a small insight into my life: wife-mom-football-fitness-politics-religion~upcycle
I have been reading many blogs on religion lately; people telling their stories of how they found “Jesus,” became Buddhist, or their journey as an Atheist.
I’ve never thought of my exact journey, only certain moments/events that brought me to where I am today.
Here is my story…
I didn’t grow up in an uber religious family. As a young child, we would attend church on Sundays and religious holidays. The family would get all dressed up; mom in high heels, dad wearing a tie, and us kids wearing ill-fitting dress clothes. As we piled into the Chevy Caprice Classic and headed to the Methodist church, I would try to convince my parents to stop at IHOP or Denny’s for breakfast instead of going to church, it never worked. I would go to Sunday school classes and my parents would attend the service. On a few occasions, we were too late for Sunday school and I had to attend the service; this is where I started asking my parents for forks to jab into my eyes or to be sent abroad for Chinese water torture, because surely that would be less unpleasant than listening to a middle aged man speak at me about how I would be saved by Jesus Christ.
When my parents would tuck me into bed at night I would recite a prayer.
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord my soul to keep
and if I die before I wake
I pray the lord my soul to take
God Bless: Mommy, daddy, sister, brother, etc
I am pretty sure I had no idea the meaning of this awful prayer…… Now, as a parent, I would be freaked out if my son said “if I die before I wake” that’s just morbid & strange.
Once or twice a month we would eat dinner as a family and always said the prayer
Come Lord Jesus
Be our guest
Let these gifts to us be blessed
I never understood then & still do not understand now, saying a prayer before a meal…..anyone want to explain this one to me?
I don’t have many memories of actually going to church. When I was 9 years old, we had a Sunday school lesson on “Who is the Holy Spirit?” I was beyond confused and decided to read the entire bible, cover-cover. Even as a young child, I was always very logical and rational and the bible seemed like a collection of fairy tales; this is probably when I started to question the validity of “Jesus.”
Around age 11 we moved across town and stopped going to church, at this point I was convinced “Jesus” was in fact real, because the only thing I had ever prayed for was that we wouldn’t have to go to church anymore and that came true.
When I was a freshman in high school a friend invited me to a teen night at her church. She went every week and told me it was fun, plus her super cute twin brother was going, so I decided to go along. This ONE night held the biggest moment in my life as far as “faith” was concerned. This was a huge Baptist church, the teen night would easily have over 300 kids in attendance. They would separate the teens into a few rooms and the youth minister would speak over a loud speaker with his message being aired over tv screens in the rooms he wasn’t in. The message this particular night had something to do with television shows/movies/music and making sure that what you watched/listened too always had a clean godly message. I was listening to the minister with one ear and to the conversations around me with the other. Sitting quietly in this room filled with 70 or so teens, observing, listening and I’m sure spacing out a little bit, I heard the minister say (something to the effects of), “Anyone who watches the television show, Beverly Hill, 90210 will be going to hell.” I immediately craned my head around, looked him dead in the face and truly listened to the next few minuted of his diatribe. At the time, this was my favorite tv show. My brain was working a million miles a minute. I hadn’t been to church in a few years, but not that much could have changed. I was under the impression an eternal damnation was only sentenced upon the evil non believers. I remember feeling like someone was trying to brainwash me. I didn’t say anything to my friend, I just stood up and left the room. Standing alone in the hallway, my skin was hot, I was sweating, my heart was racing. I felt trapped. I wanted to go home.
The next six years were spent reading books on religion, talking to people about their relationships with “Jesus Christ,” asking question after question after question about religion and faith and heaven and hell and what it means to be a Christian. I re-read the bible, cover-cover.
and when I was 20 years old I could confidently say, with 100% certainty…… Hi, my name is Erika, and I am an Atheist.