Feeling like a different person

You know what’s the strangest thing about quitting Christianity?

It’s the fact that it doesn’t feel strange. Not at all.

I feel awkward and apprehensive sometimes, like when I know the next words out of my mouth are going to really surprise someone:

Maybe Jesus didn’t rise from the dead.

What if God doesn’t exist?

Life starts at conception? An unborn child has rights? Like what, the right to an attorney?

I left the room rather swiftly yesterday to keep that one from coming out.

And when someone asks me to pray for them, I usually say “okay” before I can come up with a different response. (I have to work on that. Don’t want to be a liar.)

But when I tell someone that I’m thinking of going to a local atheist group, the look of shock on their faces… well, it shocks me. Everything feels pretty much the same as it used to feel– in my head. Nothing I’m doing or thinking feels shocking. As far as other people’s expectations of me go, they tend to be a little dated. They think I am the same person I used to be. I mean, I obviously didn’t go on a killing spree or start robbing banks once I stopped believing in God. I still don’t swear (mostly), I drink responsibly, drive safely, love my husband; I still play guitar and read on the train and try to cook Indian food (and usually fail). I go back into the grocery store when I realize they forgot to charge me for the milk.

But my mind is very different. I think of things differently. Does this make me a different person?

I feel like I have found a shortcut that I never knew was there. it made sense to take it; it makes sense that there is no god. It isn’t very complicated.

Here’s where I’m coming from: when you’re a Christian, you believe that God gives your life meaning. You believe that Jesus’ love and sacrifice gives your life worth. You believe that your belief will be rewarded, and that your belief must inspire good deeds. Therefore, it’s easy to infer from these philosophies that without God, life has no meaning; that without Jesus, life has no worth; that doubt will be punished; that good deeds are impossible without God inspiring them.

But my life has virtually the same meaning as it ever did, I value my life and my self, I reject rewards and punishments like Heaven and Hell, and I find that I still like to be a nice, kind, good person. Is that meaningless because I don’t have a god in my corner?

What if I had another God than you had? Would that be okay somehow? Would you breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that I was being kept in line by some other all-powerful being? What’s so frightening about life without a god?

Well? What’s so frightening?


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