I’m sort of capitalizing on Michael’s last post (hope you don’t mind Michael).
Twenty years ago I was 17. My dear friend Dave Fischer remembers me at that age (I was using a fake ID to get into the Complex in St Louis, my home city, and he remains my favorite bartender, hi Dave!) I was a Christian in the minimal definition of the term. I believed in the imaginary bearded man in the sky. I believed in the 2,000 year old dead probable schizophrenic who was still alive somehow. But that’s about it. Seventeen years of Sunday school had given me a strong knowledge of the Bible. (A book I’m very hesitant to capitalize the name of)
But I was having a very difficult time reconciling my being gay with the “faith”. I read the verse Lev. 20:13 almost neurotically. I was told over and over again that this was the Old Testament. And that God had made a new covenant. None of this made sense to me. Should it be disregarded? If so, why is it part of god’s “infallible” word?
Eventually all the various contradictions in the bible just became absurd to me. At the same time I was reading an awful lot of theoretical physics. I watched all of the original Cosmos series by the great Carl Sagan. And the world of Christianity and the universe I was discovering just weren’t compatible. Hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars, each with one or ten planets, maybe more. Countless civilizations that must be out there. Christianity just seemed so tiny-minded. Every religion did.
So I became an atheist. Over the years quite a bit of militant one as I watched what religion and the religious were doing. Against gays, against everyone and everything that didn’t figure into their little molds of their tiny realities. Now I just pity them. They’ll live out their lives never grasping the true beauty of the universe they inhabit. Though I doubt many of them are even capable.
I’ve never looked down on the friends I have that cling to their respective religious beliefs, nor disparaged them. I respect their right to believe whatb they want, as long as they give me the same respect. It is my theory that the origin of all religions is the fear of death. So I wouldn’t begrudge anyone of their chosen crutch. If they cross that line, however, I won’t hesitate to explain to them how little they know both about their own religion, and about the universe they exist in. Otherwise I keep quiet about the subject as I was raised to in polite society. These are my thoughts on the matter. Feel free to have at me in the comments. I welcome a healthy debate.