I could waste time being disappointed in myself that it took 50 plus years for me to realize I am an Atheist; a much better use of my time is to realize that I now know the full extent of work required to rewire the hardwiring of a thorough brainwashing. I know the value of this knowledge in helping me to understand the tactics of my enemy who did this to me when I was a small child.
My enemy is religion, specifically Christianity.
As the daughter of a S. Baptist minister, I took the full assault on my female person, not being worthy of anything but marriage and motherhood, lived that lie, found it to be a lie, so left and took my offspring with me into a new world called higher education. I studied biology and chemistry in my 30s, did undergraduate research, learned how to think and how to ask questions, asked questions, and found a huge elephant in the room instead of logic at the very foundation of the Christian religion that negated the whole need for salvation and the Christian religion. The elephant: Original Sin that none can escape is presented as the reason we all need to be “saved” and the reason for Christianity; however, when I read Genesis, I find that Original sin could not have been a sin according to the definition of sin. And, if Original sin is not a sin, then there is absolutely no need whatsoever for Christianity. This seems entirely reasonable.
In order to commit a “sin”, we have to know the difference between right and wrong, obedience and disobedience, etc., and then we must be able to choose to do wrong or “sin.” When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, something happened to them, according to scripture: they realized they were naked (Hey, this is wrong!) so they did something they had never done before. They made some sustainable clothing from nearby fibers. That’s the evidence that a change occurred in their perspective. Now they knew what was “good” and “evil”, “right” and “wrong”, when before eating that apple, they didn’t know the difference between good and evil or right and wrong. Got that?
Before they ate that apple, Adam and Eve had no idea that it was right or wrong to be naked. They had no idea that there was “right and wrong”, which includes the subset of knowledge of “obedience and disobedience”. So, how is it, exactly, that they could have chosen to disobey god (sin) before they knew the difference between good and evil? They couldn’t have chosen to disobey or obey anything or anyone before they ate that apple because they wouldn’t have had the cognitive means to have that internal dialogue that precludes sin: “Wow that looks really delicious. Yeah, but god said not to eat it. But I’m hungry so if he didn’t want me to eat it, why put it there? Yeah, but god said not to eat it and if you do, you’ll be disobeying god and disobedience is evil and wrong and you’ll be punished. Yeah, that’s right, god said not to do it and so it would be evil and wrong for me to eat it.” There was no angel/devil sitting on their shoulders, yet, weighing the pros and cons of disobedience to god.
No sin could have been committed until AFTER Adam and Eve ate the apple and gained the concepts of right and wrong. Jesus, if you are going to tell a story, keep the facts straight! Remember, it was the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so they couldn’t have known the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, obedience and disobedience, until AFTER they ate the apple. That means eating that apple was not a sin. And that conclusion is based on the fact that the scriptures show a radical change in the perceptions of Adam and Eve AFTER they ate the apple when they chose to make some clothing.
DUH to the infinite power (I mean it both ways).
Bottom line: the Christian god is unjust, just any other human-like tyrant and dictator, setting a dish of candy within reach of the equivalent of a 2 year old, yet telling the child they will go to hell for eternity if they eat a piece of that candy and expecting the child will understand THAT when they don’t yet know the difference between right and wrong. According to scripture, if god was a human (Jesus?), he should have to go to hell for causing his offspring to sin by putting that tree there to begin with, or at least he should have to pluck his eye out or maybe chop off his hands for planting that tree. (Or maybe be crucified? Now that’s sick if that’s his scheme.) What exactly is the difference between tempting and testing, anyway?
By the time I got to this stage of thinking, I was about 38 years old. I left the church and I took my offspring with me, happy to be in my “I don’t know” period, and relating to Richard Feynman and his eloquent I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things; in fact I find it much more interesting. It took another 13 years to reach my current identity of Atheist, where I can say out loud that I don’t believe in any god. With this realization came the memory that I never for one minute believed in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny, either. I never told anyone, though, because I wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to be liked…like everyone else.
With age, I find I would rather be honest and say I don’t believe in god, any god, and I think that if a human does believe in a god, then that human is a victim of brainwashing, denial, ignorance, and the need to continue to believe in Santa Claus and the continuing hideous, illiterate lie that human sacrifice is actually going to do something good for someone, that it is anything besides murder, which, by the way, is against god’s law. That’s a solution? Human sacrifice? Of your own kid? That’s the best god can come up with to fix a problem god caused when god pretended to create humans with free will? Let’s see, I’ll have to break my own law “Thou shalt not kill” to offer them salvation.
Shades of Melak, don’t Christians know where this need to kill first born sons comes from? Wow, godly “duct tape” is just plain STUPID, just like we people who created IT and our stupid god, in our image. This is the behavior of people who just can’t deal, period.
See, Nature is red in tooth and claw, and we have to get over it. We don’t get to escape life without going through some of it, so put the stinky stockings back on your feet and quit cluttering up the mantle with them waiting for Santa. There is real work to be done and it doesn’t include imaginary friends like Jesus, his father or his mother (commonly referred to as a ghost), Casper, Wendy, Scooby Doo, or Archangels with fluffy wings.
So, anyone want to know what became of my Christian family? They like to say things like how are you going to feel when you hear your kids screaming in agony from hell because you taught them to be Atheists? Wow, can you feel the Christian “God is love” thing? Feels exactly like coercion through fear tactics to me, and brothers and sisters, that’s not love, and not worthy of loving, by you or by me.
I suggest we all love ourselves, take responsibility for ourselves, and make amends where needed; emancipate ourselves, educate ourselves, pop our Disneyland Jesus cherries, get off our knees and actually do something good and helpful for anyone, including ourselves by getting off our knees. If all we’ve got to offer people is “I’ll pray for you”, then we’ve got nothing to offer at all.