I just returned from visiting my brother. The difference between the two of us religiously and politically is getting further and further apart. Where I am slowly but surely turning away from religion and the fairy tale I believe it is, my brother seems to be more and more immersed in Christianity. I listen to Air America, watch Bill Maher, read a lot of liberal authors and feel very strongly about women’s rights. My brother listens to Rush Limbaugh, voted for Bush (twice), has multiple bibles in his house, and I’m sure is anti-choice given his beliefs.
We went to their church, and while it was one of the most pleasant masses I have ever attended, I couldn’t help but feel a bit like a fraud as I went through the motions and rituals of the mass (save communion, that would have not just seemed wrong, but been wrong). I hadn’t been to church in ages and seeing it with my newly atheist eyes and hearing it with my “new” ears was an experience. I realized how much is made of “confessing your sins”, “asking Jesus’ forgiveness”, “praying for salvation”, “ours is the only God”, that I had never really noticed before because it was just something I did every weekend and had stopped actually listening to what was being said. It seemed odd to me that there was so much reverence for something I believe to be a fairy tale. There was also a interesting feeling of surprise that I didn’t miss any of it, and that I didn’t believe it. Not just thought I didn’t believe it, but really didn’t believe it. Of course my mother noticed that my kids enjoyed it and said I should expose them to it more. What they enjoy is the songs and the singing, and I answer any questions they have as best I can. I’m in a tough spot where I don’t want them to be indoctrinated, but I don’t want them to have no knowledge, and I also don’t want to pass my beliefs (or non-beliefs) onto them and have them accept them without question. I don’t want them to think that only one way of thinking is “right” and the others are “wrong”. I have a hard time with that myself. One thing I realized is that I don’t think I’m going to be a closet atheist for long because I sometimes have a hard time keeping my mouth shut, especially after going through childhood and early adulthood never questioning anything.
There’s no real point to this post other than a brain dump. It’s this kind of thinking that sometimes keeps me up at night. I have a difficult time shutting down my thought processes so I can fall asleep, and sometimes talking or posting them gets rid of them. Sort of how passing an earworm on to someone else tends to get rid of it for myself.