Even Believe is Based Off of Knowledge

August 9, 2011
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Imagine a small country town, barely surpassing 10,000 in population. There are more churches than one would care to know; adolescents wear their belief on their sleeve with a self righteousness to boot. Now clue in a teenage atheist living quietly within the Bible belt. Never being free to not believe and being condemned to hell on a regular day basis.

That teen is me. I attend a very conservative school in which liberal is muttered as an insult and Christianity reigns over the student body. If not being a Republican was bad enough, surely being godless was worthy of capital punishment, in this case, going to hell. An atheist in a situation like this is much like a homosexual coming out, we are programmed to believe it shameful. Which is a shame, simply not worshiping God should not be enough of a reason to ostracize someone. The kicker for me though is not that they can’t accept my way. It’s that they don’t even know their own way.

Before becoming a full blown atheist I faithfully went to church and Sunday school, after, I completed my confirmation (which I commonly joke that it was a confirmation of faith, a faith that God didn’t exist.) Through my confirmation classes I began to realize I had doubts. To have followers like the individuals in my class it seemed God could not be real. They were mean and rude; one of them mercilessly made fun of anyone and everyone for being ugly, another was superficial and could care less about God, and there was a pair of siblings who were cruel to whoever didn’t agree with them. Listening to their horrendous doings and hurtful words I started to question the Almighty and come to a conclusion, if someone such as I, with little to no faith was able to be confirmed with nothing but knowledge of the Bible, what was faith for? What was believing in something if nothing but being a good reader could claim it? Faith was a hoax from the beginning.

Now I laugh at my confirmation class, I know more about the Bible yet I do not believe. They know less yet they claim an absurd faith. I, who am looked down upon by Christians, am more knowledgeable about their sacred book than they. It seems silly that they condemn me when they don’t even know the doctrine they base their faith on, which they blindly believe in. I don’t know about you, but before I yell at someone for not swimming, I like to know how to swim myself.

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HisPurePrincess This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 31, 2011 at 3:28 pm
I must have read a dozen stories like this on here, and each just makes me mad.  I'm a Christian and I'm disgusted with how some people behave.  They're all just acting in a "stained glass masquerade."  I'll apologize for them.  Of course, there is all that "how far do Christians go in tolerance?" but that doesn't include judging.  I hope that if I come into a situation with an atheist that I'll have the sense and respect and courtesy not to treat you like scum.  al... (more »)
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I am so very sorry you've been 'shot down' by hypocritical Christians for being an atheist, I've heard stories like yours many times, and it's such a pity that anybody is bullied for what they believe in. But I encourage you to remember that not all religious people, not all Christians, are like that. I, for one, attend a church with liberal-minded and tolerant individuals, and little or none of them persecute atheists.

Best of luck to you as you try to survive the conservative do... (more »)

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