I was born and raised a catholic. I went to Sunday school every week until I was well into my teens and I was inspired by the nuns there to do good unto others and to be unselfish and caring.
It was a good church and monastery. They were heavy on the caring bit and good on the forgiving bit and less on the rules and regulations of religion. In fact, if I learned something about Catholicism, it would be that God forgives anything if you repent.
So I suppose, I had a real good foundation for having faith, doing good and believing in the wonderous creation of mankind. I did not grow up in fear and loathing. I was not suppressed by religion.
I did however grow up with a pretty good head on my shoulders. And at some point I began to wonder. At first it was the obvious questions like; Why would God create a world of so much discord? Why create those horrible diseases? Why must little children suffer?
As I grew older and matured, so did my questions. I found it difficult to wrap my head around which God actually created which world, when there is a number of “one and only Gods” out there, all depending on your religion, but only one world. Also there was some concern in me as to the whole ” be a good person and do good and good will come to you”.
I met a lot of truly good people, selfless people, helping people, who were struck by horrendous circumstances like loss of children, rare debilitating illnesses or violence. Why would God not protect them and reward the good, they were doing?
I tried debating this with other christians but excuses like, maybe they were not really good inside after all or God works in mysterious ways, only carried me for a while. Especially when disaster struck my own life. Then I knew my true nature and that no God would find fault in my intentions, no matter which religion, he was master of.
Whilst managing my own life and the difficulties that invariably come with a disabled family, my wondering persisted. Alongside my ever-present passion for people, their rights and opinions. And I would say that for some years my quandaries were limited. But then Facebook showed up a few years back and religion was thrown right back in my face.
I read statements everyday ousting people (or hoping to) who were different, criminal, unemployed or just annoying – all in the name of religion. When the american election was on I had to block some of my feed to avoid the hate spewed there. I remember trying discuss the matter before deleting an acquaintance, trying to bring to light her own actions which I found nothing even remotely christian. Hate speech, ostracism of certain groups, arrogance and self-righteousness. But to no avail. I had a good beating with the bible and was accused of not only hating christians but also americans in the same sentence. I still do not understand how you can call yourself a christian and hate other people. I really thought the message in that book was something entirely different.
When I saw somebody re-posting a statement about President Obama being Satan, I gave up.
I cannot believe that any or one God would create this. And if he had by mistake, I am pretty sure, he would have been smart about it and cleaned up the mess by now. Why on earth would you make so many little innocent children suffer? And why on earth would you create people in your image, let them come to church every week and read you book, only to equip them so poorly when it comes to just good old-fashioned good behavior?
I do not believe it. I do not believe. I do not believe in Karma or reincarnation either.
I look at my little boy suffering and the unbearable hardship of my family and I must say I do not believe in ” the best students get the hardest homework” either. I just do not believe.
I block bible bashers on Facebook. It is just too sad.
As for my life, I am still the same person. It is impossible for me not to care, to help and to do something. And so I focus on loving my kids, fighting the necessary battles for them and with them and being the best person I can every day. I have accepted, that nothing happens for a reason, it just happens. I have also accepted that I walk alone, aware that there is no divinity in my life except for the exceptional love for my children.
Now that I believe in. Love.