I was brought up Presbyterian, going to church every Sunday. I believed without question.
I loved the music, the candles, the happy people drinking coffee after. I stopped going to church regularly when I went to college but I still considered myself to be a believer. In my late 30s, early 40s - my mother started her decline into oblivion with Alzheimers. I started questioning why God would let this happen. I heard Oprah talk about the power of prayer and wondered why it didn't always work.
Does anyone pray for the guy sleeping on the subway grate in the cold? Is it a popularity contest and the prize goes to the one who gets the most prayers? I was amazed how much of our life is influenced by "God" and religion. On the nightly world news, young men dying over religion, revolting protests at funerals, even women losing weight by relying on their Christianity! ALL over something that is not real. Not guaranteed. And I realized I wanted ALL that time back. While driving down to the shore, I put on NPR and heard Julia Sweeney's "Letting Go of God" and my belief fizzled out by the time I hit the coast. She said everything I was feeling so eloquently. Since then , life has thrown some molotov cocktails my way - and I sometimes wish I could blindly push it all away for a fairy tale, but that bridge has been washed away.
I try to live a life full of kindness, consideration, appreciation of the beautiful nature around me, happiness and wisdom... I think we are amazing creatures - why credit this to a fictional, all-knowing, all powerful, almost laughable "God"? I think we're spectacular enough all on our own....
- Anne, Former Presbyterian