posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:08 AM
As the title suggests, I am not an atheist by choice. I grew up in a church going family, in a very fundamentalist Christian community. I went to
church every Sunday, and attended bible camps in my youth during the summer. I was even in "Awana", which is kind of a Christian Scouts kind of
thing. I had always assumed faith was something that could be learned, and I had also assumed that as I grew older my faith would strengthen. But it
did not. My "faith" for lack of a better word didn't exist, even as a child. I wanted to believe, truly I did. I wanted my parents to be proud of
me and my community to accept me, but the faith never came. I studied the bible, reread passages, attended by Awana meetings. I could sing most hymns
by heart, could quote nearly passage that was asked, and the faith never came.
I prayed every single night. I asked God "Please give me the faith that I need in you. I want to believe." I was baptized, I praised Jesus. I went
through all the motions. And the faith never came.
I kept my lack of faith a secret until I was about 14 years old. By then, my mother had lost her faith as well, but for reasons I won't go into here.
When I told her that I didn't believe, she was understanding, thankfully. I thought my friends would be the same way. I gathered the strength to tell
them how I felt, and I was immediately ostracized. They told me I was going to hell. My best male friend cut off all contact with me, calling me a
devil worshiper. Word spread through my small town that I was one of "those devil worshipers" and soon even my teachers would become terse and rude
with me. My principal sat me in his office one day and asked me why I chose to be the way I am.
I told me my story, of how I prayed, studied, sang, attended camps and clubs, but the faith never came. He only nodded and eventually said "Keep
trying". But by then I knew no matter how hard I wished it or prayed for it, the faith would never come. I graduated high school with exactly two
people I could call "friend". Everyone else in my community either pretended I didn't exist, or gave me dirty looks when they passed by, like I
stunk of unfaith or something.
Thankfully in my young adult life and into my current age, I've found people who accept me for who I am, and I've even made several devout christian
friends who don't judge me because I can't believe. It was never a choice for me to atheist, I tried. I really did try. I just could find the
You may say to me: Why not believe just to be safe? Pascal's wager comes to mind. The trouble with that is, even if I go through all the motions, say
the prayers, attend church and sing the hymns.. Even if I did ALL of that, I still wouldn't truly believe. I would continue to be without faith. And
if a God really DOES exist, surely he/she would see beyond my lies of faith and judge me just as guilty as any non-believer.
This was my story as a atheist who DOESN'T want to be an atheist. I really wish I could believe, even today. I want to have that faith, but I just
...can't. It's like I was born without some required faith organ. I feel defective, like there's something wrong with me.
What say you, ATS?