How I Became an Atheist – A Parable

January 27th, 2010

As some of my readers may have noted, there has been an um….  philosophical shift in this blog.  To put it simply, I once was blind, but now I see.  Or to put it even more simply – god is imaginary.  Or to put it even more simply – I was a practicing christian in various shades, degrees and forms for the past 41 years and then within a span of a few weeks – I became an atheist.  

I can’t really point to one particular event that caused the last brick to fall out of the crumbling building that was my faith.  Over the past five years, it has been slowly falling apart. How about if I use a parable to explain?

 

The Parable of the Hole in the Curtains

By (not Jesus) Rechelle

Once there was a woman who had a house that had a large window.  The woman kept the window covered because she had heard that if you looked out the window, you would die and go to hell.  She covered the window with thick curtains and kept them closed at all times.  One day, the woman noticed a small tear in one of the curtains.  Afraid of accidentally seeing what was on the other side of the window and condemning herself to hell, she decided to completely ignore the tear so that her eyes might not stray and she would not be condemned.  But the tear got bigger.  Soon it was a hole.  She tried to stitch the hole together without looking at it, but she was so afraid that she might glance at what was on the other side of the window, that she did a terrible job of patching the curtain and only made the situation worse.  The hole grew larger and soon other holes appeared.  

The holes in the curtain appeared whenever the woman read the bible.  Whenever she read about god asking someone to kill their child to prove their faith.  Whenever she read about god condoning slavery or misogyny or the murder of women (and not men) for having sex before marriage or for being a homosexual or for working on the sabbath or for disobeying your parents or for having sex with an animal (the animal has to be murdered too of course).  She tried to ignore these old laws that were written by the same god who is also Jesus and instead focus on the new laws.  Because those old laws were clearly written by an insane person and not an eternal god of love and mercy who longs for a relationship with human beings.  The new laws were a little better, but they still condoned slavery and misogyny and quite often they didn’t make any sense either.  

The woman began avoiding that room with the window altogether.  She didn’t want to watch the shredding curtain fall apart. She stayed in other rooms.  Dark rooms.  She threw herself into working for her church.  She became an elder.  She taught Sunday school.  She served on committees and directed choirs and organized plays for her church.  

But it was impossible. There was a room in her house with a light filled window.  And a curtain that was full of holes.  She couldn’t forget it was there.

Then she got a letter from her church.

The letter was a list of things that she had to promise to believe and do if she wanted to serve as an elder in her church for a second term. 

The woman absolutely did not want to serve as an elder in her church for a second term.  The woman did not like being an elder.   Being an elder was mostly about money.  How to get it and how to spend it.  She came to understand just how much money it took to maintain the large brick church building that stood empty six days a week.  The amount of money it took made her sick.  It was thousands and thousands of dollars every month.  She thought about how all that money could be used to alleviate human suffering and misery and instead it went to heat and cool and pay a mortgage on a huge brick church building that stood empty six days a week.  She thought about the hundreds of dollars that she gave every month to maintain the huge brick church building that stood empty six days a week.  She thought about how if she gave that money to a starving family or a hospital in Africa or a school in the slums of Brazil, she would be doing a much better thing than when she gave that money to heat and cool and staff a huge brick church building that stood empty six days a week.  But the bible commanded that the woman give ten percent of her money to the church and not to starving people in Africa.  The bible was more interested in the empty building and not the miserable people who were suffering and so was god.  The woman did not want to be an elder anymore because she wanted to forget about that money that went to heat and cool the huge brick empty church building, but the woman felt like she had to be an elder. Because that is what christians do.  They serve the church… or the the expensive brick building that stands empty six days a week.

So when she got that letter from her church…

And she read through that list of promises she had to make to be an elder a second time…

(They were the same promises that she had made the first time she served as an elder.  The promises hadn’t changed, but the woman had.)

She knew that she couldn’t make the promises again.

Because she didn’t believe in them anymore.

She especially knew that she did not believe in the bible.

So she walked away from her church.

And she went back to her dark house.

And she tore the curtain off the window.

And light streamed into the room.

And she danced in the golden beams.

And warmed her hands in the silvery streams.

And the glorious light bathed her mind and filled her heart.

With the truth.  The truth.  The truth.  

There is no god.

And it was good.

It was VERY GOOD.

And yeah…

She was going to die.

But she was not going to hell.

Because there was no hell.

When she died… she died.  It was over.  That’s all.

And it made every second of her life much more precious.

Because now, every minute needed to be spent well, spent carefully, spent honestly and spent joyously.

And that is how I (the woman in this story in case you couldn’t tell) became an atheist.

The end.

 

P.S.

Tomorrow!

I apologize for all the terrible things I believed while I was a christian shit-head for 41 years.  

You won’t want to miss that!

P.P.S.S.

You may have noted the rise in the usage of the word ‘shit’ on this blog.  Since I am no longer a christian I am giving myself permission to occasionally indulge in a well-placed curse word on this blog.  It has always been my desire as a writer to use language appropriately and well and to not be offensive just for the sake of being offensive.  Therefore, I promise to only use foul language when the situation absolutely demands it. Such as when referring to the bible, to god, and to homeschoolers.