It took a long journey before I literally woke up one day and realized I was an atheist. I went to a Christian college. This is where maybe my belief started to get cracks. In my freshman year, I enthusiastically got involved with the Christian group. I was in the choir that the chaplain led and got to travel around performing concerts. I went each Sunday night to Fellowship where we sang, and people made inspirational talks. I even did a talk for the group with my roommate about the superficiality of many friendships.
But soon things didn’t fit right. One of the songs we sang had a line paraphrased as but for all the friends you sent I never have to be alone. Yet I looked at all the singing happy people and I felt alone.
Through my reading and study, I learned about how long humans have been around, and about the multitude of different religions. In the musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar” Judas ask why Jesus came in such a backward time and place. I wonder is why he did not come sooner. Australopithecus, Homohabilis, and Neanderthal all lived before he came. Neanderthal was around longer than we have been on Earth. They worshiped gods. Small statues of been found of rotund buxom women. It doesn’t look like they worshipped Jesus.
Ancient Egypt lasted 3000 years all before Jesus came part of that time predated the Jewish faith. When Jesus came, he walked around in Palestine spreading the message that you can only be save through him, but there were people living in Asia and the Americas who had no way of knowing about him.
There are so many different religions with such a diversity of different beliefs that have nothing in common. I would think either God would work all the religions to point to him, or he would message the followers telling them that they were on the wrong path.
I have also known people who read only Christian books, listen only to Christian music, and are highly involved in their church. Yet they openly express hatred of gays, immigrants, Muslims, and others. These people also hang out in an ivory tower with all their Christian friends isolated from contact with anyone else and are not involved in any hands-on activities helping other people.
I know a girl who I was friends with for a while who was in a small group, (A church-affiliated social group of women) and actively participated in Forty Days of Prayer. Yet none of that had any effect on her. She was still a self-centered drama queen who took life personally. If the spirit of Jesus Christ really does into a person when they seek h9im out then both those former friends should have been better people. One friend talked about having a personal relationship with Jesus. If so then why didn’t Jesus remind him to love his neighbor even if the neighbor is gay, an illegal immigrant, a Muslim, or other sinner?
If I have some strange desire to be insulted, treated rudely, and condemned, I’ll talk to a group of Christians. If I want to have a pleasant intellectual conversation without judgement I”l talk to a group of atheists.
There are also the evangelist who live in mansions and fly around in private jets, which goes against Jesus’s teachings about the virtues of poverty.
I also find the idea of someone dying for me disturbing. I didn’t ask him to do that and it makes people feel guilty; “How can you not worship him after he did that for you?” Even though he was resurrected he still suffered death. He suffered for us for a crime done by my ancestor. I am guilty for no other reason than being born and am doomed to be punished because of that.
I also am disturbed by the all or nothing. Choose Jesus or go to Hell. What if the most beautiful Man/Woman approached you and said, “Mary me or I’ll kill you.” Would you be drawn to them? Would you truly be able to love them? It’s similar to the play “Annie” where Mrs. Marsh has the orphans say, “I love you Mrs. Marsh.” Why can’t a god say choose me, here is what I have to offer. If you don’t chose me that is fine. You’re loss.
I also don’t fathom the idea that humans only live 80 to 100 years. Why should we suffer for eternity for only 80 years of sin? I can understand Hell, but isn’t that punishment too severe? Even with the most heartless murderer wouldn’t a few hundred years be sufficient? And I knew a theological teacher who said that the aim of punishment is to reform. I like the notion that souls go to Hell and are punished according to their sin and it is worked out and they are refined and eventually make their way back to God.
I know Jewish people, Muslims, Hindu, even atheist who are good people very devout in their belief. If they are all going to Hell at least I know I’ll be in good company. I’ll also share the fate of Greeks, Romans Egyptians, Maya, and other cool people.