The Fall of Religion

I stumbled on another "ex" Christian testimonial site tonight and was pretty damned impressed with the story I read. Although I empathize with the difficulties this young man went through to shed himself of irrational religion, I envy him that he was able to think so coherently at such a young age.

Then again, why be jealous? At least I found freedom eventually, right?

Interestingly enough, my 13 year old daughter is having some of the same discussions with me that this youngster had with his own parents. The parallels between my daughter and this person are striking. You see, to understand what I am saying you must realize that for over half my little girl's life, she was part of a completely committed, fundie, evangelical, non-Catholic, believing family.

Naturally we attended church every time the doors opened, but we went far beyond that form of mundane devotion. For starters, we listened to only Christian music. Then, we memorized huge passages of the Bible together. Our Christian friends were quite impressed to hear the kids rattle off whole chapters at a time like a mantra. We have proof of their language and memorization skills on video tape right now!. Next, we had daily family devotions. I owned and played several versions of the Bible on CD and cassette for everyone's edification. I own more sets of theological commentaries and systematic theologies than many of the "pastors" I sat under during my tenure as a "believer." For ministry, we even took our kids and our musical talents to Geriatric centers and churches of every description. We were lay preachers of a sort, and included the kids in it all. My 15 year old son still has trophies of his accomplishments in the pseudo-Boy Scout Christian group in which he excelled. Good grief, we even homeskooled our kids through most of their elementary years ! Even now, since their parents have become apostates, they still attend a private "Catholic" parochial school ! (Some habits die hard. I hope you are not inconsistent in anything you do or say ~ lol)

Now, don't get me wrong, we had fun. I did everything I could to make doctrine fun and exciting. I loved the stuff and I desperately attempted to infect my kids with the same consuming passion for digging deep into the dusty tomes of dead and nearly forgotten clerics.

My kids have seen it all. I really hope they recover. One thing they have in their favor is that they have the ability to think logically. I suppose that is what eventually brought my wife and I out of it all - our brains. My religious training was not abusive toward them, and I never hid my doubts. Now that they are questioning teenagers, they will come to their own conclusions.

Interestingly enough, as a non-believer I am much more comfortable with that natural course of events than I ever was a Christian. There is a gentle reassurance in knowing that it is normal for the next generation to have their own ideas about nearly everything. I think this natural "rebellion" is nothing more than the assurance that our race will survive another generation. I really don't want my kids to make all the same errors I have in my 40 something years to date. I want them to progress beyond me - whatever that means.

So now, even tonight, my daughter is asking me questions about the meaning of life. She has such a well infused understanding of the foundational teachings of Christianity that she wonders what the purpose of life is if there is no God. She is waking up to the realization that life is full of struggles and pain. She reasons that If there is no afterlife, heaven, no eternal abode in the sky, then why work so hard? Here is a quote from the disertation that I read tonight:
I still strongly believed that the universe was designed and created by some intelligent being/beings, and that there was some higher purpose or meaning to everything. I also still believed that human life was special, sacred somehow, and that if there was a god, he or she or it held human life in higher regard than other forms of life. Essentially, I had managed to strip away the top two thirds or so of my beliefs (Christian), but still had a fundamental religious core. And why not? There has to be some reason for our existence here, doesn't there? Where did the universe come from? It can't be a naturally occurring phenomenon, can it?
That is exactly the thought that my daughter was expressing.

Now I know that many of the "never were a Christian" types that come here think that homeschooling is nearly a child abuse. In some cases I have to agree with that assessment based on many of the real life families that I am only too familiar with. However, my son who is now in 9th grade has a 4.0 grade point average, and my daughter, who is harboring all the philosophical questions, has a 3.57 as of her eighth grade third quarter. Yes, I know they are in parochial school, but it is a matter of record that this particular Catholic school has the highest, and hardest, standards in this area of the country. And as I've said before in other rants, the religious indoctrination they receive at school has done more to inoculate them against the mind numbing effects of Christianity than any soliloquizing I might be tempted to indulge in or subject them to.

I don't torture my kids with my atheistic ranting. I felt compelled to "Christianize" them during my previous life and superior "world-view. Those demons have been effectively cast out.

Anyway, I had only intended on introducing this fine article linked below. I suppose it encouraged me so much, my fingers just had to type something. It is a very good read, so if you haven't seen this already, here it is: "Fall of Religion"

Read it all the way through, it is absolutely worth the time. And please: Have a great --------- "Lord's Day."

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