I grew up Catholic. Always believed in Christianity. Never an issue. Until the last few years.
Then one day a few years back, I read a column (I think it was a Straight Dope column) that asked about December 25th being Jesus’ birthday. I discovered that we don’t know that it was Jesus’ birthday, that it was just a day that was picked to coincide with an end-of-the year pagan bash as Christianity was trying to gain followers. That was a shocker to me.
I started to begin viewing “the Church” as an institution unto itself, dedicated to (among other, honerable things) perpetuating itself and to gain followers to it’s particular “flavor” of Christianity. And which church is “right” anyway? I felt that rather than get force-fed a particular church’s brand of Christianity, that I should get it straight from the source itself: the Bible.
But then I realize: which Bible? Whose version? We know that what I read has been translated into English by way of Latin, Hebrew and (I think) Arimaic. And that it was written a long time ago. Given the way that language changes over time, it seemed to me that a lot could get lost or misinterpreted in the translation.
Then I stumble across this little ditty (again, courtesy of the Straight Dope) and my faith took another hit. This stuff wasn’t being written down as it happened? Some of it wasn’t wirtten down for centuries? Man, I don’t know many people who can give accurate accounts of what happened a year ago, much less 30-300 years! We don’t even know who these people were who wrote these “sacred” words? What if these folks were fanatics trying to push an agenda? Instead of “hearing God”, they could have had psychological troubles and heard other, less-than-divine-voices! I also went back and studied when the Jewish religion was being formed and it aligned to when the Greco-Roman myths we’re being created as well. And quite honestly, to me, a lot of Genisis (and Revelations, for that matter) sounds a lot more similar to Greco-Roman and Teutonic myths than they do to anything remotely resembling history.
So while growing up Christian I viewed athiests as poor, lost (or worse) people, only to now find myself one myself. Well, that’s not completely true. I still have a sense of a higher power, but place little, if any stock in Christian Bible (or any other religion’s) other than some excellent stories that give some very contradictory accounts about God and the world. I used to think I had a shot at heaven. Now I think it was just a myth. That sucks!! I want my peace-of-mind back.