Losing Faith

I used to think that God existed. I also used to think vegetarians were all hippies who slept in trees. I’m not knocking Christianity (or vegetarians!); I have been christened and have a bible under my bed. But just recently, I’ve started to wonder if He really does exist. The only reason I believed in God was because of outside influence. My parents are both Christians, and I went to a C of E School. We would sing hymns at assembly and have an annual Nativity play. I never questioned my faith and would always turn to God if ever I was troubled. It often seemed to work too.

My first real boyfriend told me he was an atheist, although I don’t think he really knew what he was. I never took much notice of his religious views and he didn’t mine. It wasn’t until I was 20 and I met a very intelligent young man at work. Ben had a very dry sense of humour and I loved listening to him talk because his points of view fascinated me. Everything I had ever had a view on was completely different to his, it seemed. So we got to know each other and eventually got into a relationship. His views on God and Christ were totally opposite to mine. I didn’t like to hear it because what he was dismissing was my entire belief system. But the more I thought about it, the more it niggled away at me. He never pressured me to change my beliefs, and encouraged me to carry on with my faith. But as time went on, I began to find the whole thing a bit hard to believe. I had never sat and discussed this subject with someone who wasn’t a Christian until I’d met Ben. My argument started to sound silly against his very logical views.

And now, looking at it from another’s perspective, I find many cracks in my once sturdy faith. Suddenly, I had a realisation: If there isn’t a God, then I’m free to do as I wish. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I am free to enjoy my life and not worry about eternal damnation at the end. I do have quite strict morals, but this is more on a societal level. I don’t eat meat now because I believe it is wrong to use another sentient animal for my gain. I don’t use products tested on animals for the same reasons. My vanity should not come before a life. I don’t steal from people because I don’t have a right to take things from others. Would I kill a person if I could get away with it? If there is no Judgement at the end, I would only have to serve my prison sentence. Although I don’t think I’d have the guts to kill someone. Heck, I can’t even tell someone when they’ve pissed me off. But that’s some freedom, isn’t it?

But here’s something I can’t get my head around. I still move dead animals out of the road. Why do I do that? Some morbid interest? Perhaps. If I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in Heaven. So it’s not like they’d be able to see me doing this. But I feel a real need to give an animal dignity in death. Is that a trait of Christianity, or a trait of good morals? Who knows.

I’d like there to be a God and a Heaven, but I’m not so sure any more. So many people say there is, so many say there isn’t. There’s only one way to find out, and I’m prepared to wait for that!

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