Thursday, October 14, 2010

Religion and Me

I was brought up by my Mother as a Baptist with a grandfather who visited on Sundays and preached fire and brimstone. I listened carefully; I asked a lot of questions. I had a little book called "10,000 Questions and Answers about the Bible". No matter what question I asked PaPa Floyd, he had an answer. But I had deeper questions. Unfortunately, my questions were considered disrespectful and I knew better than to ask them. You remember those days, don't you? Back when you really couldn't express yourself if it differed from your parents' opinions. I left home, and that little niggling question was still in the back of my mind: Is all of that really true. I read a lot, I listened a lot. I prayed and waited for answers. But, knowing how my mother felt, I just kept a lot of it to myself, and only once in a while let my doubts show. As I grew older, I kept my opinion more and more to myself, but became more and more sure that I didn't believe. I have thought and thought and read and read, and no, it doesn't make sense to me. The only person's opinion I ever really cared about was my mother's, so a year or so before she died, I told her that I just didn't believe. She wasn't happy, but she understood my feelings. And I'm sure somewhere in her mind she was thinking that I would learn better someday. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for an unpopular belief or non-belief. If you are born to believe and accept it, there is no further thought necessary. If you are born to believe and don't accept it, there is a lot of soul-searching and you have to give it a lot more thought. It wasn't an easy decision, but it is my decision and want it to be respected as much as I respect those who do believe. Live and let live.

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