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Saturday, February 26, 2011

No God, One Life, No Problem!

Ever since I can remember I have never believed in God. As a child I could never get my little head around the idea of heaven and hell; it simply violated my personal concept of justice. I just thought that it was an absurd idea to think that we could be punished for eternity for making a bad decision during our lifetime. My parents were fairly regular Catholics, if not really very religious. It’s not like they were Jesus freaks or anything like that, they just went to church every Sunday. Consequently, I went to church every Sunday for the most boring and pointless hour of my week. I was also forced to attend Catholic religious instruction once a week on Wednesday evenings which was even more horrible than going to church.

I found a way out of attending mass on Sundays. I would simply tell my parents that I was going to the early mass and go out and play. Then I would return home and they would go to the mass at 11:00. Avoiding the Wednesday night Catechism was a little more difficult, unfortunately.  The classes were so fucking boring that I often felt like I was going to faint. My father died when I was 16 and I stopped the charade of being religious and never went to church or religious training after that, nor did I claim to be attending services as I did before. I had wasted enough of my life on religious silliness. As an adult I refuse to set foot in a church unless it is for the purposes of tourism. I won’t validate religion’s claim to have any jurisdiction in our lives with things like funerals or weddings. I stand out in the street during this part of the ritual.

Most of the Spanish that you meet here in Valencia are either atheists or very occasional Catholics. Almost no one attends mass regularly except the very oldest of the old ladies. Catholicism still serves a bit as a tradition for weddings, funerals, and a few baptisms but few people follow the tenets of the faith—whatever the hell those are. I think a lot of Valencianos are like me in that when they see a priest we wonder if he is a child molester. Nuns totally creep me out to the point that I have the urge to cross the street to avoid walking past them.

A lot of religious people claim that atheism is itself a religion. I heard a great rebuttal to this: Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby. What happens when you die? This is a question that always comes up when you tell someone about your lack of beliefs. I simply ask people, “What was it like before you were born?” That prospect doesn’t worry me. I wouldn’t want to live forever; I can’t imagine how boring that would be. I also can’t imagine wasting a lot of this life trying to find answers to unanswerable questions. There are too many interesting things to learn that are actually knowable.

So the answer is No. No, I do not believe in God or any other hocus-pocus or spirituality or whatever else you want to call it. I realize that you probably don’t give two shits about what I believe or don’t believe in but, as is the case with just about everything I write here, this was written just to define myself better to myself.

3 comments:

  1. Do you feel better now?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not at all. I just like having shit on the record. I wouldn't want anyone to claim I was religious if something were to happen to me. Do you feel better?

    ReplyDelete
  3. not really...I haven't been to mass in awhile.

    ReplyDelete

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