Does Opting For The Latter Make Me Agnostic?
In order to maintain a level of sanity in society, one needs to adopt a certain level of stoicism – particularly in matters concerning religion. You see, I was brought up in a fiercely religious family that also practiced ancestral rituals and I regarded that as the norm because I knew no better.
Like most kids my age, I knew of God and I knew of Satan; I knew of a heaven and I also knew of a hell. I knew of the Virgin Mary who gave birth to Baby Jesus and I knew that baby Jesus grew up to perform many miracles which in turn made people beef with Him and conspire to kill him, and I knew that He died on the cross for my sins. I knew of the exact dates of most commercial Christian Holidays; well, depending on which day they fell on the calendar every year. This is what I was taught and it is how I continued to live until I realised, “Hey, wait a minute. My brain can actually think for itself!”
I grew up and started to question every religious concept I was ever fed. I questioned the existence of God and whether he had a form (oddly enough, I still acknowledged that the devil was among us –wearing a different face like a piece of clothing depending on which day of the week it was). I questioned the accuracy of the Holy Book and why it seemed to always contradict itself. I questioned the need for so many religions and why one regarded itself more superior to the other. I questioned why Jesus was always portrayed as a Caucasian and why there was never any mention of the black man in the scriptures. Eventually, all the questioning turned into a big ball of confusion and my life and everything I had ever based my beliefs on spiralled out of control.
It didn’t help that the people responsible for feeding me this organized doctrine responded to my questions with exasperation and a partially blank, partially stunned expression on their face. The common response to my question became “You’re a heathen” and I naturally retorted with rebellion: ‘Well then, better a heathen than an ignoramus who follows what he himself does not understand.” I swear it seemed like a lot of them dared not question their beliefs for fear of being struck with a violent lightning from heaven. It is only now I realise that they refused to question the dogma because it gave them a sense of belonging; a sense of calm in all the calamity. I can’t hold it against them, but it made me reject religion as nothing more than hogwash used to brainwash us human beings into submission. I stopped referring to myself as a Christian and figured I’d just be spiritual instead.