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8/22/05                                                                                       View Comments

The Godly Christ-like Atheist

sent in by William

As a child, and young teen I followed my parent s instruction and went to church on a regular basis. I studied the bible, King James version and memorized hundreds of passages in my years. In my youthful ignorance, like a sheep I followed my adult leaders and gave my life to God. My first church was a very conservative Baptist church called, The First Baptist Church of X. It was very, very conservative. Women to this day do not wear anything that comes above the knee. They strongly believed that the King James Bible was the most correct version and still teach all to memorize passages in the old English tongue.

I went to church two to four or more times a week. There was Sunday school, (Sunday morning, kids were downstairs in classrooms and learned a different bible story every Sunday, which was an hour long,) after that there was the Sunday service, (which was almost 2 hours long,) Sunday afternoon on occasion we went to one of the local retirement homes/centers and met with the old and sick, sang songs for them, read to them etc. Sunday evening was filled with another service, (about an hour and a half long.) Wednesday evening was another service, although very few ever showed up for this service. Finally on Saturday there was Youth group.

For many years I went to this church, I was close to the Pastor s family who had a son my age named Timothy. This was my life, I wasn t particularly a very well behaved kid, but this life of going to church all the time was my norm. I liked it. I learned the lingo, played the part of the good Christian, and was involved in all the activities the church had.

During the summers I went to church camp, Camp Joy in Wisconsin. This camp was a few weeks long, it was centered on programming young children s minds to follow the lord, read the bible, avoid temptation, etc. I loved going to this camp, partly because I was seriously stronger than your average nerdy Christian and shined whenever I competed against them. Again we were encouraged to memorize hundreds maybe thousands of passages in the bible, and I did very well at this.

As a young teen the leaders of my church and at this camp gave me a lot of support and love, and feelings of belonging, which every kid at my age needs. My parents were not involved with the church were very comfortable with the church being my babysitter. It gave them a chance to do their own thing, (even if that was to relax watching TV.)

In my early years it was very normal to see me after school to go to my room and read my bible, pray to God, etc. I never questioned God, Jesus, Christianity or religion as a whole. I gave speeches in my bible classes about the values of Christianity, and why the protestant Baptist church was better than that of the Catholic Church. I went out into the public in the parks, at the mall, going door to door, telling others about getting saved, how that unless they confess they re sins to Jesus and ask him to be their personal savior, they would go to Hell for eternal damnation.

My grandparents, (on my mothers side,) have been going to this church for over 20 years. One day the church demanded that they pay more to the church in order for them to maintain their membership so they left. This was the first instance of eye opening awareness of the corruption of the church.

After this happened I started noticing other things. The well-respected leaders in this church had very racist views behind closed doors. Actually using the word, Nigger! Gossiping was behind the backs of many in the church became more apparent and little groups evolved. People started grouping together and gossiping about each other. Now I m sure that all of this was going on before but I just started noticing these things. Women who dressed a certain way were shunned, called a whore behind they re backs. People who were poor and ignorant where not shown true love and affection but where also shunned and made to feel small. Words like dirty bum, slob, fag, or any other demeaning name you can think of were being said behind they re backs. I started noticing the human corruption of this church that I ve been going to for years.

I didn t even know what sex was till I was about 14, and until I was 15 I thought baby s came out of the mommy s butt. I remained completely ignorant of sex until sex education class in high school. (I was probably the only boy in my class who got sick and threw up, and had to go to the nurse s office from what I saw.) My church was heavily involved in trying to prevent this education in the schools. In school I was a quiet ghost, afraid of mentioning my religion to those who I saw every day.

I wasn t in any sports or school activities, but there was one teacher who greatly influenced me. My English teacher, Mrs. Blank. She was an Atheist and at first I despised her. She on many occasions mentioned how her friend, a Christian would constantly talk about another friend who was Jewish, and how she was going to Hell. Mrs. Blank asked her why, and she stated that because the only way to get to heaven was through Jesus Christ, and since Jews were responsible for killing Jesus, and many did not believe that he was the savior so they were going to Hell. Her friend also mentioned that if she could somehow ensure that her Jewish friend could get to heaven she would go as far as killing her if that is what it took to get her in to heaven. And then there was the books we were forced to read, books like the Scarlet Letter and the Salem Witch Trials, evolution and creationism, and the influence of the Romans, Greeks and they re mythology on modern day theology.

I learned by reading these and others about what happens when religion corrupts. From the Aztec s and they re sun god, to the American Indians and they re many gods, the Greek Gods, and the many hundreds of branches of the Protestant church. (Protestant, to protest against, the norms of the Roman Catholic church, giving justification for divorce among other things.) I learned about the 30 years war, Crusades, Philosophies of Descartes, and on and on. From the killing of thousands of men in war over simple differences in one leader s religious beliefs from another. So many a time in history has a God figure has been used to take advantage of the poor, and ignorant. Kings and leaders in history from all over the world would keep a religious leader by they re side, (or create one.) for a few simple reasons as quoted by me below:

{In order for me, a rich, powerful King to rule over so many, and force them to listen to me, I must be selected by God or a God to rule over these people, otherwise they would surely riot. Secondly in the poor and ignorant person s mind they justify they re sustained suffering at the hands of they re leaders for a few short reasons. First their leaders were selected by God, so I must obey or else I am going against God s demands and will have to suffer eternal damnation in whichever version of hell the religion chooses. Also, one must remember that no matter how much I suffer in this lifetime, even if it means spending an entire lifetime creating a temple, or a pyramid, or paying huge taxes or giving up a child to the service or as a sacrifice to the King. All this suffering would be rewarded conveniently after death in heaven or their second life. }

I still remember all those who I as a young teen brought to God, scaring them of life in hell for eternity if they did not confess they re sins to Jesus and ask him to be their savior.

I see so many who normally live a full life of sin, from everything on the list of sins, end up being leaders in church. Godly on Sundays, worldly on weekdays. So many who judge others on a regular basis, telling others what to believe, who barely follow their religion themselves.

My wife s father is a prime example. Very active in the Catholic Church here in Los Angeles, as held many positions from choir group leader, to one of the church s Filipino American leaders, he s continuously rewarded by the church yet he was on many occasions unfaithful to his wife. He cheated on her multiple times, having sex with other women, while at the same time having sex with his wife. Even after being confronted and admitting his adultery, he still continued and was caught by his daughters at his mistresses home, (the mistress was a youth leader in the same church, who herself was divorced and had a 13 year old son at the time.) After my wife s father separated and later divorced her mother, taking the house that was given to her by her parents from her, who among other things got alimony from her mother who made more money. He annulled his marriage to my wife s mother, (what does that make his children?) and had the nerve to get married in the church. (Great godly example, huh? ) One question I ask is how in the world did the church allow this? The simple truth was the leaders make the rules, and since my wife s father was active in the church he was able to easily persuade a priest in the church to marry them. Now this Godly couple still remains very active in the church and all in the church know what they did and accept them after what they did.

My wife s mother is another weird case. After her divorce with the encouragement of her children she finds a great man who worked at the same school where she taught. They married and she quickly accepts the religion of her husband. Russian Orthodox. I know very little about this religion but it is very conservative, from what I ve seen. This church is very strict, no seats, everybody stands during the entire church ceremony. My daughter and nieces have gone with them to church and since they are young they are quickly shunned by everybody for talking and fooling around, (they haven t yet received the fear of God of talking when the priest is.) So many in this church feel free to tell the 2, 3 and 5 year old kids to SHUT UP! My experience from they re wedding was unusual to me, my daughter was too noisy during the cult like wedding, and of course she was again shunned so I had to take her outside. My evil daughter was shunned yet it was perfectly ok for the priest and everybody else to get drunk to stupidity at the reception.

Being the conservative, strongly religiously educated person I am I take great concern whenever I see individuals that are so quick to mention how strongly they believe in God, yet don t even come close to living a Godly lifestyle. From dating with dozens of men or women, (IE having sex with) negatively judging and gossiping about others, to cursing like sailors, having nothing to do with any charity, or are so materialistic it s gross. (I ve gotta have my $400 knock off purse, boob job, and 50k car.) These same people look at me with disgust when I tell that I gave 5 dollars to a bum on the street, or raised $500 for Tsunami victims. Saying things like, how can you give that money away, you ve got bills! You should have put that money away in savings, etc.

A couple years ago when my wife was pregnant with our second child at 5 months we went in to see the doctor, hoping to find out the sex of the baby. We found out instead that the baby was going to die, because there was no amniotic fluid in the sac. Oligohydramnios, or lack of amniotic fluid. The fetus or baby s kidneys did not develop properly and the baby s heart rate was deteriorating. Amniotic fluid is necessary for all development for the baby, lungs, heart, oxygen flow, blood flow, etc. We were told that for the sake of my wife s health, we should terminate soon or risk a deadly infection. So that is what we did. My wife underwent a D&E, (Dilation and Extraction) where they open up the vaginal cavity and take out the baby. Not a very happy moment in our life. We wanted this child so bad but there was absolutely no chance of survival, it wasn t anything we did wrong, it was a simple abnormality that happened at the early stage of genetic growth. (Not necessarily genetic, or hereditary, but a circumstance of a damaged protein gene in the DNA structure, or something like that.)

Now what did we get as of support from family? Pretty much nothing. We were the butt of gossip by my wife s ignorant family. (Ignorant meaning my wife s family with very low theological and scientific education. Gossip was started saying we aborted our baby, (third trimester abortion, would normally be disgusting to me, but this wasn t an abortion.) Other gossip was started saying that the genetic abnormality was our fault because we are overweight, which would make sense to a retard, but anybody who knows anything about genetics would understand that a normal perfect baby is more of a miracle than that of one with abnormalities. Anyway, the religious godlike lovingness of mankind shined through once again.

So with all this being said, one might say, oh your just a poor lost soul, a lost sheep in a society of corruption, it really isn t like that in the world. The simple truth is that the real world is this way. People in general are ignorant, and they gossip and allow they re ignorance and gossip to spread. These are the people who spread hate throughout the world. It is these types of people who go and feed they re ignorance to the poor and ignorance in places like Iraq and take advantage of the suffering of those poor suffering people. All it takes is someone with some conniving intellect and the mere mention of God to play a role as a religious leader of a bunch of highly ignorant small minded, cave dwelling starving individuals. Since very few actually read any of the old scripture writings and even fewer ever challenge anything anybody says that is remotely religious sounding and people accept it as fact. We are a people with the inability to think for ourselves, if we hear something on TV or the radio we take it as fact. We immediately think that since someone says something on live TV that we are getting the whole truth, very few ever research the details themselves.

And this is the single biggest problem with religion today. Very few challenge religion, and even fewer challenge God. Most accept everything a religious leader says, (a leader who possibly has very little religious education themselves.)

Now to why I title this writing, The Godly Christ-like Atheist. This is I. I believe that all people need to be understanding, sacrificing, loving and caring. I believe in the work of charity organizations, I believe that corporations have a responsibility to ensure the well being of their employees. I sincerely believe that churches have a community responsibility, and should be challenged with the responsibility of helping those less fortunate in their community. I enjoy the lovely instrumental and vocal music found usually in church both for it s artistic beauty and for it s human uplifting feeling that comes with it.

However I do not believe in the existence of any supreme god. I believe that Jesus existed and that he was probably a pretty good man. I no longer believe that he died for my sins although he may have believed so himself and did die for something he believed in. I believe that in most cases organizational religion is corrupt. This includes the Vatican Catholic religion, who over the years has been involved in many atrocities like the extermination of many scientists and their research in the early years after Christ, to covering up molesting priests without forcing justice against them. All of the Protestant religions, are merely a corrupted version of the catholic church, who in turn is a corrupted version of the Jewish religion, which in turn is the corrupted building of yet another of thousands of religions that throughout history have existed for a short time since the existence of mankind.

I believe that it is a sad thing to see that most charity work is the result of religious organizations, very few are independent of religion, or religious affiliations. Although I am an atheist I have done thousands of acts of charity. From assisting in the building of churches, schools and homes and building of community centers throughout the world while serving in the military. I ve stood behind feeding trays giving food to the hungry needy and poor, I ve sat and listened when a stranger just wanted someone to talk to. I donate blood almost every other month, so far 35 times, just over 4 gallons of blood in my 29 years. I plan to get on the bone marrow list. I give money s to charity organizations and donated many personal items to charity. I have come to the aid of complete strangers on dozens of occasions. I ve helped the lone grandma cross the street. I hold the door for women or men as a courtesy. I represent myself as a role model to the younger men in my wife s family and my own, and those others around me. I encourage education and knowledge, not merely for good grades but for personal growth and open mindedness. I am a faithful father and husband. I am there every morning waiting in line at my daughter s kindergarten school, waiting for her teacher to take the class from the yard to the classroom. I yell and scold the kids who fight while waiting in line. When I am at a park and the ice-cream truck comes I don t just buy ice cream for my kids but for all of the kids thatI see in the park. (10 to 15 dollars to see such joy and happiness on these children s smiles.) But I am not rich; I on occasion need to borrow money from my family and/or my wife s family. I do not give regular money to the church, but I do give money to those I feel are doing great things for others.

I design genetic research equipment in a small biotech company. Equipment used by scientist all over the world in they re research to fight cancer, AIDS and other horrible diseases. I keep my low paying job because it allows me be there for my family. I get dozens of offers from other companies that are offering tens of thousands more per year but demand a lot more and are less flexible when it comes to me being there for my family. My wife currently works but in a few months when we pay off our cars she will no longer have to and will be able to be a stay at home mom if she so chooses.

I am not against the use of God as a symbol in government; I could care less if my money says, In God We Trust. I don t care that our country s pledge of allegiance mentions our allegiance under God. I am however against forcing one to abide by rules governed by any one specific religion. Giving the death penalty to someone simply because a passage in the bible mentioned, An eye for an eye. Or a classroom teacher scolding a child for not bowing their head for prayer in a classroom. As I tolerate the role of religion in society so shall society be forced to tolerate my right to declare independence of religion without persecution by any legal governing organization.

I am a Godly Christ-like Atheist. I sacrifice for others; I have respectable morals and demands for my children and my family and I believe that this is what everybody should do. I acknowledge the usefulness of religion in society but I also believe that it must be challenged when it is caught doing something wrong. I acknowledge (although feel it is unlikely) the possibility of the existence of a superior being. I believe that when I die the only way for me to exist is that which I have already done while I was alive. I will exists in the memories of my loved ones, my accomplishments, my intact honor and the deeds that I have done to help others.
Some philosophical points or questions we should all consider.

God may exist, he may not, the only difference between you and I is you have blind faith.

Blind faith is the basis of all religions and all well educated seniorreligious leaders admit this fact, this includes the Pope and many other religious historians.

There is no single proof in the existence of God. Our existence is not proof in the existence of God, our existence is merely the proof of our existence.

If God does exist, then he is responsible for all atrocities as well as the miracles.

If God does exist, there is no way to know that he loves you, or even cares.

If God does exist, there is no way to know that there is only one God.

The universe is not proof of Gods existence; otherwise I could use the same proof as follows. If God created the universe, then who created God, a superior God?

Many people believe that the Big bang theory is impossible, an entire universe from nothing? Study matter and anti-matter for a better understanding. IE get some scientific knowledge.

An argument that you better believe in God or you will go to hell. You cannot scare a belief into someone. You can only scare an individual to comply with your view on the outside, it doesn t change that individuals core values. If there was is a God, do you really believe that he wants lemmings to follow him? You say you believe in God because it is the IN thing to do, the question is, do you follow your Gods teachings or are you a hypocrite. If you truly believe in your God you should fear him, and your actions in life should represent that fear.

Although I am not religious it does not change the fact that I honor and respect those who are. They have an ability to believe in something that I cannot, it doesn t mean that they are stupid, rather they choose to believe in a higher power, I choose to not believe. I respect the humanitarian actions of the last Pope, he was a nice man, as well as Gandhi, Martin L King, Buddha, and Confucius. Now although I respect these individuals it does not change the fact that my views on organized religion. In my personal belief somewhere, somehow there is corruption in all organized religion.

Religion is on an inevitable track towards complete disbelief by all. It may take decades, centuries or even a millennia, but unless God comes down from above and offers proof of his existence to all, everybody will soon be non-believers and life will continue.

My biggest problem with religion is the hypocrisy, if you say you follow a religion follow it, study it, learn the history behind it. Don t just be lemmings. Question what your leaders tell you. Most of all be good people, care for each other in this lifetime, don t wait for whatever you call your next lifetime.

Los Angeles
CA
USA
How old were you when you became a christian? 5
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 18
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Baptist, Catholic
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Atheist
Why did you become a christian? Because I feared god!
Why did you de-convert? Because the existence of god doesn't make sense, and corruption in the church only adds to that fact.
email: ynotbegoodtoall at aol dot com