Now I know the world is about to come to an end. Glee has crept its way into my mind and has now actually inspired an entry to the blog. It isn’t like this is a topic that I’m not familiar with, and it is definitely not a topic that I have never tackled before in my personal life. I just finished watching the Faith episode of Glee where Kurt’s father has a heart attack and the topic for the entire episode is various characters struggling with their faith in God. There was a scene that did give me the spark of inspiration to write.
The character Sue and her sister are talking, Sue admits she does not believe in God and her sisters responds with “Why Not?”… of course this prompts a lengthy story from Sue explaining why she lost her faith. Honestly, I did take a bit of offense to this scene. My offended feeling came from the “Why Not?”… not from the episode itself because on the whole the episode was actually pretty good.
This brings up the issue in me that I have been struggling with ever since I’ve publicly admitting that I am an Atheist. I do NOT believe in God, and frankly I do NOT feel the need to defend that belief. I detest the thought that the most common response that comes from a theist when they hear I don’t believe in God is “Why Not?” There is just as much or more evidence against the existence of God then there is evidence that God exists… so why would it be uncommon for an Atheist to respond to someone’s proclamation of faith with “Why?”
Why do YOU believe in God? – I welcome anyone that wants to comment about it.
The thing is I stopped believing in God a long time ago. Yes there is a story behind how I came to this conclusion, but the problem is when I tell it I am viewed as just a scorned, spiteful soul that will one day rediscover his faith once he works through his pain… that isn’t the case. I don’t have a dark deep secret in my heart that is preventing me from seeing God, I had an epiphany when I was younger and it has become the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I refuse to believe in an all-powerful deity looking down on us and governing our lives and decisions, saying we have to play ball or we will suffer for eternity. Does that make me a bad person? I don’t think so. Am I trying to convert you all to the “dark” side? Hell no. I found peace in my awakening, the same as the born-again type find solace in their God.
Getting back to the episode. Kurt is going through a hard time and he continually tells his friends that he does not believe in God, he appreciates the group showing their support but prayers are not something he can relate to. The issue I have with this episode is that although the episode is trying to teach us about tolerance and to accept people for who they are, there are numerous occasions where it is being portrayed that Kurt does not believe in God, therefore he is in a dark place by himself.
I’m sorry I do NOT see it this way. I’ve been in plenty of dark places, I have my own thoughts on spirituality, but the belief in God is not something that is required to get through a crisis. It doesn’t take God to help you get through something profound. I found faith, in my own inner strength and when that wasn’t enough, I turn to my friends. Even when none of them were around over Christmas when I had a couple of the roughest nights in recent memory… it was the fact I knew they would be there if I wanted them to be that gave me strength.
Atheism does NOT mean we are alone, in the dark, and spite on good morals. I decided a long time ago that I was going to try to live my life the way I think life should be lived. I try to do the right thing, even when it is at my expense. I believe that we all should live life in the manner of treating everyone fairly and equally and being there when others need you. This is a Christian belief of course, but it is also Jewish, Hindi, Islamic… religion at its core when you look at the worship all say the same thing. Live a good life and be rewarded. It is in this thought that I believe that the Atheist of the world are stronger than those that actually believe.
I don’t believe in an afterlife. Spiritually, I have no consequences for the sins that I commit. I could go on a killing spree, rape a bunch of women, rob a couple of stores, and blow my brains out with a shotgun and it will have the exact same end as living a good life, helping the people around me and trying to make at least my immediate surroundings a better experience for all…. and yet I try to choose the higher road on every occasion. There’s no reward for me to do the right thing, other than the belief that it is what I want to do.
Don’t tell me it’s a phase… that when my back is to the wall I will turn to God. Don’t try to get me to justify to you why I don’t believe in him, and I’m not going to ask for you to do a presentation of why you DO believe.
I hear it all the time from my mother especially, telling me that the way I was raised it is impossible that I am an Atheist. My cousin over New Year’s basically said the same thing. That there HAS to be a God, no one can deny that. Well Sorry Mom, but I DO deny that. I am not confused about my faith, this isn’t a Crisis of Faith per se, this is more of a recap of the end of my Crisis when I started having more faith in myself and less in a God.
This is a world where you should be able to believe what you want and worship how you chose… I think especially here in Canada we have that part nailed. The misunderstanding that I see everyday is that people don’t realize that just because you have the right to believe what you want, it does not mean you have the right to belittle another’s beliefs too. We all think differently and let’s leave it at that. You have your heaven, and I’ll have my pine box.
Don’t look done on me… I won’t ridicule you.
Let’s just agree to disagree. Thanks.