For anyone who has seen religion’s true colors and walked away, have you ever felt:
Unsure about your conclusions?
I have. Sometimes I still do. I have deep regrets in my life and there is nothing I can do about them now.
I can’t say the words I needed to say to my parents. They are gone. I won’t have an eternity to talk it out with them. They are gone. I can’t get to know them as regular people. I will only know them as my parents and nothing more. They are gone and it’s too late. I miss them terribly, but my memories are all I will ever have.
I will not get to see the four children my wife and I have lost. They are gone. There is no evidence of an afterlife whatsoever. Getting to see them when I die is not an option. They are just gone before I ever had a chance to get to know them. I have four children with me here and now and I cherish that. But I have four other children who died before they had a chance to live and I have to deal with that every single day…and it hurts.
My best friend died when he was twenty, just a few months before he was to be my best man at my wedding. That was 22 years ago now. I once longed to see him again. Now I won’t. There will be no catching up and rejoicing when my time comes to join him in Heaven. That was all a dream.
Religion has a way of making some people (myself included for a very long time) feel safe and secure. People see religion as a comfort because of all it offers. If the promises are to be believed, there really is nothing that can hurt us here in this life. We have another life to live when this one is over and it far exceeds the happiness that this one can offer. All the hurt and loss we experience in our lives is no big deal. We will all be healed and can begin again in the next life. Unless…
Unless it’s all a lie, or a scam, or just misinformation. It doesn’t matter the reason. What matters is that there is absolutely nothing that indicates any of it is true. Stories in books or stories passed down orally through generations do not have any evidence whatsoever to back them up. They are simply stories that are told that comfort us in the here and now. But do they really? None of the promises are fulfilled, nor have they ever been. They are empty promises. Anyone can promise anything. If the promises are vague enough or if there’s no definite timetable, you can promise everything, deliver nothing, and no one can say you are wrong. That’s religion.
I was promised relief, bliss, comfort and answers. I was promised so many things, but there is nothing to suggest that any of these promises have merit. They are words designed to comfort, but don’t actually do anything. Once you realize that, and realize you’re on your own, it can be tough. When your crutch is ripped out from underneath you, what do you have to lean on?
There is so much we can use to lift us up. Family. Friends. Truth. Knowledge. Anything but blind faith based on nothing. That only comforts when we convince ourselves it does. We are taxing our brains to work overtime to pretend these things are real. As far as we know, they are not. Nothing suggests they are. Words are not enough. When will we as a society realize this? Words are nothing without evidence to back them up. Nothing.
Yes, I have experienced depression since leaving religion. At times, it was a deep and painful depression. I have experienced loneliness, confusion and regret. I have experienced a longing for something more like when I believed there was such a thing. Religion has done us such a huge disservice by promising us the world and delivering nothing whatsoever. It’s infuriating and sad at the same time.
I wish I could go back in time and never be sucked into that world to begin with. I wish I could have seen through the bullshit or at least been open-minded enough to catch a whiff of it. There is no reason to believe any of it. There never has been. We need to somehow move forward and get past this. I have, for the most part, moved on. As a society, we still cling to, and lean on, that crutch. Why? Why must we let old superstitious beliefs guide us? Why can’t we be honest and forthright when we teach our children? There is, by all accounts, only one life to live. Let’s live it right and just be honest.
There is only knowledge of this one life. There is no knowledge of a god as we’ve been taught to believe. There is no judgement, sin or reward in Heaven. If there is, there’s absolutely no way to know that. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.
Be good people. Live good lives. Raise good children. Love deeply.