Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Coming out of the proverbial closet

When I sit back and reflect upon my decision to stop attending church, I wonder a lot about my grandmother's reaction.

I only wonder this because I can't recall what excuses I gave to her about why I no longer chose to attend church.  I only remember the conversation that took place approximately a year later when I came out of the proverbial religious closet.

But somehow, despite my faulty memory, I managed to not go to church and escape my grandmother's disappointment until my freshman year of college.

That year I took a "Mythological History" class (I can't remember the exact name). It was also then that I took World Religions.

I never knew how naive I was about the world until I took those two classes!  I'm pretty sure I believed that christianity was the only religion that existed. That we were right about God and everyone else was wrong.

Those two classes made me start wondering...

What happened to the people in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt? I mean, they had their own deities and things they thought were the truth. Did they go where they believed?  Did they go to hell because they didn't believe in Jesus (who to them didn't exist?)

Is christianity truly the right/only way?  In my short life it had seemed like it, but now I was starting to second guess these things.

Morever, I was also taking a philosophy class in which my professor was a former catholic nun who was now buddhist.

I was truly baffled at how someone could make such a religious 180, so to speak.

I carried all of these little seeds of information and doubt in my head as I started to really question life as I knew it.

Thus led to the day that I finally told my grandmother about all of my doubts. The day is so etched into my brain and is one I will never forget.

My grandmother and I were walking her dog (as was customary each night) and as usual we were chit chatting about the day and how school was going.

I remember the house I was in front of (it was blue) when I finally looked at my grandmother and nervously said, "Grandma, I don't think I believe in God."

I recall her pause as she took stock of the words I had uttered.

She then looked at me and said, "I am really disappointed." and left it at that.

She never asked me to go to church and she never spoke of our conversation again.

And while I breathed a sigh of relief at her lack of pushing me to go to church, I was still sad that I couldn't live up to her religious expectations. And it wasn't because I was just being a spiteful youngster, I just truly didn't believe.


mac said...

I have wondered how the Ancient Americans would fare in a Christians eyes.
Would they go to Hell, even though they had never heard of Jesus? But we showed those heathens the way, even if we killed them in the process.
That still goes on with missionaries :(

And, what of the current people who don't worship Jesus? A good amount of those folks don't have a choice in the matter - the people living in non-christian theocracies, for example. Do they go to Hell too?

You were brave that day.

Stacey (aka Ultraprincess) said...

I don't think that it was fair of your grandmother to express disappointment. I understand that she is a woman of her generation...... But, it feels as if she was trying to make you feel guilty/ ashamed (I could be totally wrong as I don't know her).

I decided as a young person that guilt should have no place in religion. I was tired of always being ashamed of myself.....

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