I wasn’t raised with mandatory belief. I was, however, exposed to different, well, we’ll call them options, at an early age. Or does options sound too creepy, too Exorcist? A practicing Catholic, my mother often took me to Sunday mass, and sometimes would take me to Ash Wednesday. I remember feeling incredibly cool with a giant ash cross plastered across my forehead, but only because it’s what Rafiki did to Simba in The Lion King. The reason I didn’t mind going to mass, was because it was a love-at-first-sight moment when I walked into our neighborhood cathedral. Adorned with stained glass windows and gigantic Roman-esque pillars, St. Francis Church held all of the magic I could have imagined. Plus, there were doughnuts after we sang, stood, sat, sang, stood and sat…bonus.
My father, on the other hand, wanted to try everything. From a small group of practicing Buddhists, to a full-on Baptist congregation, I was exposed to the calm and the chaotic*. Ultimately, my parents never made me commit to one thing. Perhaps it was their separation, or the fact that they really are just that understanding and open-minded*, but I never felt pressured to be “religious.” As time went on, however, I knew my mom was hoping for a change of heart. She would never say it aloud, though, and my mom has this incredible ability to understand and comprehend aspects of “God”, which I respect, but don’t really get. I think, deep down, she’s hoping for a full conversion someday. Only if there are endless supplies of doughnuts – yeah, I can probably be bought.
But this post is entitled “Atheist in the making?” so the real question to be asked is, do I consider myself an Atheist? In short, probably. And just probably for now. I believe in people. And yeah, I believe in magical moments (a lá my former employer, Disney), I believe in putting good into the world and getting good in return. Yeah. But ultimately, I believe in people; their ability to be kind. People, nature and facts*. We are responsible for the success of our world. And for me, that’s it. Isn’t that enough?*
Thoughts like these don’t often pop up in my normal conversations. Mainly because, for someone who has little fear of speaking up, I never want to sound like the “Vegan who doesn’t want to talk about being vegan, but constantly talks about being vegan”…know what I mean? Now, where’s the “Hi, my name is Ariel and I’m struggling with my ability to understand a bunch of man-made Holy bullshit.”* support group?
* They are.
* No shit.
* Refer to Minchin quote regarding religion in a previous post.
* The truth comes out in the closing remarks.