I know that there will be people who will find this controversial. I know that there will be people who do not agree with me. I’m ok with that.
I just got bible-thumped by someone on my facebook that I went to school with. Literally told, after politely saying I appreciated their sentiment and to not to continue the conversation, that they feared I was going to hell because I didn’t believe in their god. (Edit: The first line was: have you accepted god? ((paraphrasing here)), I politely told them that I appreciated the sentiment, but to please drop the discussion, the second line was: I’m afraid you’ll worship satan, to which I repeated my request for them to drop it/leave me alone, their third line was about me going to hell, and it went on from there.)
Well, to that I say, do not force your beliefs on me. I do not believe the same thing you do, and I am not wrong for believing something different. I wasn’t planning on pushing my own beliefs on them, so I would have appreciated not having theirs pushed onto me.
It took a few tries of politely, but increasingly firmly asking them to just leave the subject alone. It took entirely TOO MANY times for them to get the point and to leave me alone. Initially, I can understand and appreciate their sentiment. I know they mean well. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. After not respecting my polite initial request, I quickly start losing my patience, and my respect for that person. Regardless of who it is, someone I know or someone I do not.
I don’t go wandering up to people and tell them what they should believe in. I do not want it done to me.
I was raised Catholic. I became a born again Christian in my mid teens.
I just do not believe the things I used to. I have my reasons for that.
There are a lot of things I believe, they just do not specifically include someone else’s idea of “god” and the writings of men and the unending re-interpretations of something written ages ago that might not even look anything like what was originally written.
I live a good life. I live a life that I’m trying to make healthier and healthier. I am a good person. I care about others. I give, I nurture, I help, I try to surround myself with other good people. I don’t believe in harming others. I try very hard not to harm others, intentionally or unintentionally.
My life has literally gotten a gazillion times better since I stopped following any kind of religion.
I do not need religion to feel good about myself, or my life, or what may happen to me when I die.
I do not need religion to do good things. I do not need religion to care for others. I do not need religion to give to others. I do not need religion to live a good, and happy life.
If this makes me a bad person in someone else’s eyes. So be it. I’m willing to take that chance. I don’t preach to people who don’t want to hear me. I don’t preach at all. I don’t go around trying to convert people to my way of thinking. I don’t shove what I DO believe down other people’s throats, or use guilt and scare tactics to get them to convert.
I think it’s incredibly wrong to use guilt and scare tactics, and YES that IS what telling someone they will go to hell is. It’s a guilt and scare tactic. And it’s just plain wrong in my opinion. I do NOT respond to threats. I REFUSE to be guilted.
I had enough of that growing up. Not again. And since I’ve stopped allowing myself to fall for that fear mongering, my life has been incredible. Yes, life throws it’s curveballs. But I deal with it on my own, with the support and love of the people I’ve surrounded myself with, and the inner strength I’ve found.
I do not begrudge anyone their beliefs if that’s what gets them through. As long as they don’t try to threaten me into thinking their way.
I leave you alone, leave me alone.
I am living my life in a positive way. I hope that whatever happens to me after I die is something good. To be honest…I think that I believe far more these days in the more paganistic return to the earth, fulfilling the cycle of nature. Do I believe in the soul? Perhaps. Do I believe in the spirit? Sure. But I believe that if I live a good life, make my own amends and do good things that regardless, I’ll be just fine when I am returned to the earth.