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How my beliefs came about.

Posted by CommunitarianKevin , 04 April 2012 · 200 views

I was raised Lutheran Christian but it was never a huge part of our lives. My parents really only went to church with us kids and it was a few times a month maybe? I think after confirmation we went only on holidays. My parents ever really prayed at home. My dad told me recently that the only reason he made me go to church because I was baptized and he made a promise (not sure if it was to God or the family) that he would get me confirmed. I think they were just “going through the motions” of Christianity.

Personally I never really “felt” anything. I asked for Jesus into my life and prayed it I never got my eye opening experience. I like to think I tried. After I joined the military I was having a hard time in basic training, so like many I turned to religion. I got a set of rosary beads there. Not knowing anything about them I wore them. This pissed off a guy in my flight and he was screaming at me because of how offensive that was to him. It really turned me off to Catholics because I did not mean any harm; I was simply trying to find comfort. After that I started going to some Mormon services because a guy in my flight was Mormon. I had learned about them in an intro to world religions class in school. I went there until basic training ended.

After basic training, in tech school, I was a white rope. A white rope was basically a Chaplin’s assistant. I also made a promise to myself that if I made it though this whole training part of the military I would go to church every week. I was finally crushed when I found out I would be going to Europe and not staying close to home.

This is when things changed for me. I cannot remember the exact details but something very severe happened with the Chaplin on base (for the second time with a different Chaplin.) I do not remember what it was but he got kicked out. I then had bitter experiences when I was trying out other churches in the area. At one of the ones I went to, on the first day, the pastor called me out and asked if I sin. Then he tried to convince me that it is possible to live a life free of sin. I got real irritated and never went back.

Now it was time for a deployment…on my first deployment, a day before Christmas, my g/f broke up with me through email hasn’t that story been told 1000 times?) I also worked mortuary…we re-iced bodies, broke fingers for finger prints, saw parts of bodies or bodies with no heads all while smelling burnt flesh. You try not to think about it but it gets to you when you see on the news who the people were that you were processing. When I got back to my base in Europe I was a different person and this is when I totally gave up belief in God. This was my logic…

At this point I am only believing in God because I am scared what happens after I die…

But if I am only believing because I am scared, I do not really believe and if God is how people describe God, he will know when I get up to heaven that I did not really believe…

So if my only reason was fear, it was not worth it to believe. I decided I was not scared anymore and declared myself an atheist…

Like most atheists do at first I kind of acted out. You know every time there was a prayer in the military I was complaining about how they were forcing religion on me when we are supposed to have a freedom of religion in the military. I also started learning evolution and astronomy.

That is the first part of my story I guess but things changed again…

The next part of my change took place in college. I started with classes in science and history. History led me to philosophy and religion. A class about the study of religion and about Darwin’s theory turned me from atheist to agnostic. I gained more respect for religions and understood them but at the same time I also learned that evolution does not disprove a god. I came to the conclusion that we cannot know if there is a god or if there is not but I was able to decide which gods were not true. I tried joining the atheist group on campus but they were some of the worst people I have ever met. To this day I feel much more comfortable around religion people. They seem so much more respectful to me…
So that is my story…that was a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. Thanks for reading.

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