...it has to be said, I'm pretty sure I'm an atheist.
I've spent the better part of this week reveling in the nationally recognized equality of marriage act, which now allows my many gay friends to legally marry, no matter where they live. Such a happy week, and yet, I feel like the only person at the party who is standing naked in the middle of a crowded room.
That crowded room is also known as Facebook. Where 99% of my friends and family believe in God, or something similar to a god-like being. Now I cannot deny that there is something after this life, because of THIS, and THIS and many other things that have happened to me throughout my life. But like I spoke about in this post, I thought I related to Spiritualism, which by definition, is a state of believing in a God, or a higher power of some sort.
However, as I stood up for the rights of my gay friends this week against the nutbag, over-the-top right wingers who came crawling out of the woodwork, I had to rethink my position. (I am happy to say, that none of these crazy-pants' were any of my friends. But friends of friends, who were happy to troll about, making people as nuts as they themselves truly are.) During all of this, I became vehemently, adamantly opposed to any kind of God that any of these horrible people would call "their god." The very thought of such a thing turned my stomach.
It made me stop and really think about what I believe. Do I believe in the Bible? Absolutely not. I think it's a misogynistic piece of drivel, created by overbearing men who wanted to control other men through fear, and put women beneath them. And to hear people quoting it like it was the constitution of the United States? Wow. People really BELIEVE that stuff?? So, where does that put me? Definitely not in the Christian camp, or even the Jewish camp, because although Jews and Christians differ in their belief that Jesus is the saviour of the world, they both believe there is a God.
I've said before that I consider the afterlife, of which I absolutely believe; and would be a big huge hypocrite to deny; to be a place of love and wonder. A place where the cares of this life don't even matter anymore. A place governed by love, and not necessarily by ONE PERSON. I think of that place as just a place to BE. To watch over those we love who are still on earth. To agonize over their struggles, to assist when needed, and to fervently wish those left here knew how good it was going to be to leave it all behind in death.
My grandmother died this week too. And I sat in a Mormon church and wished her a lovely, light-filled journey, and tried to ignore the dogma in which I grew up immersed, as it seeped into my very pores. 35 years in a religion will do that to you, even after you've left it. I wasn't afraid or filled with guilt. I remain genuinely pissed off that my forefathers in the Mormon church were persecuted, tarred and feathered, and pushed from place to place, no matter how misguided I now believe the religion to be. Maybe that's why I have so many gay friends. I always want to help the underdog, the downtrodden, the outcast.
And it boggles my mind when other people go after those very groups that I spend my life and career helping. It makes me really hate people who are well. I feel like screaming: YOU COULD BE SICK!! You could need our help and not be able to get it because you can't afford it! You demonize President Obama, and yet he's the reason my patient got a 7 hour emergency surgery my boss and I stayed up until 1 am performing. And YOU didn't have to pay for it! Non sick people suck. At least sick people are nice, and like you for trying your best.
Which brings me back to the alive-and-well zealots.
Why are people who think they have all the answers so intent on making sure everyone else must have their "truth" to the point of force feeding it? Why do countries go to war, and people die for these so-called "truths?" Inconceivable to me. So there I stand, in the middle of all my Mormon/Christian/Muslim/Hindu/Gay/Bi/Trans friends, one of the few people who is not religious, and not afraid to say so. And I find myself referring to Dayna Christison as an 'athiest,' a word I grew up associating with communists, socialists and anyone of the black persuasion. Because I was taught that kind of hatred.
And I refuse to live that kind of hatred. I might not believe in a god, a saviour, or a prophet, but I believe in the inherent good of mankind. I know it's in there. I have seen it. I see it every day in my bosses hands, as he works miracles in tiny places, with tiny instruments, on people who don't appreciate the enormity of his knowledge. I see it in the eyes of my son, as he watches his daughter growing in the womb of his fiance. I see it in the laughing eyes of my husband, a Christian, who loves me and all of our children, despite the fact that none of us believe in Jesus. And I see it in you, despite our differences. I hope you can see it in me.
I. Hope. You. Can. See.
Because I'm Dayna Christison, and I'm an atheist.