Friday, April 20, 2012

rood awakening

DISCLAIMER: This entry is not meant to belittle religious people of any persuasion.

When I was but a wee lass living in Indiana, my family went to church on a regular basis. During Sunday school, I'd stare at the picture of hippie Jesus on the wall and fantasize about marrying him. I wasn't old enough to really understand what marriage meant, and why I had no chance whatsoever with him; I just thought he was handsome, and I liked the fact that the picture showed him chillaxin' with a bunch of kids and what I assumed to be his pet lamb.

I was 8 when we moved to California, and we stopped going to church. Of course, my religious grandmother was convinced that the two were related, but according to my dad, that wasn't the case. Many years later, he told me, "I just got tired of the hypocrisy. I'd see guys in church on Sunday acting all pious, and I knew they were fucking around on their wives the rest of the week. It made me sick. I don't think you need to go to church to be a good Christian."

Over the years, I started to become less and less religious, but then in high school, I fell hard and fast for a classmate I'll call Brett, since that was his name. I knew he led Bible study every Tuesday during lunch, and I started going so I could moon over him. Eventually, I started attending his church, and I became a born-again Christian. Then I asked Brett to the Sadie Hawkins dance, he said no, and I was like "well fuck you then, I'm too fine for your ass anyway."

...okay, no, I actually cried in the bathroom.

Anyway, I stopped going to church and Bible study, but I still believed in God. Then, once I went away to college, I settled into agnosticism. But when my mom got sick, I began to pray to God again because if there's anything in the world that will make you want to believe in God and Heaven more than watching a loved one suffer, hoping that there's some all-powerful being who can cure them simply by waving a hand, well, I don't know what it is.

Then she died, and I gave up on religion entirely. I still wasn't willing to stop straddling the fence and leap into full-fledged atheism, but if you were to put a gun to my head then or now (and, um, please don't) and make me choose a side, I would choose atheism without a second's hesitation.

Obviously, my friends and family know that I'm an agnostic, but aside from my work wife J, people at work don't know. I'm not ashamed of being an agnostic, but I work for a pretty conservative company and there is a bit of a stigma about being an atheist/agnostic. Hopefully that will lessen as more people come out of the closet, so to speak, but for now it's on a strictly need to know basis.

Well, today I noticed a flyer in the break room talking about a Bible study group that's starting up here at work. My coworker A is leading the first session, and she's pretty excited about it. We were standing at the printers waiting for our respective interminable print jobs to finish, and she asked me if I'd be interested in attending.

"Oh, no, I don't think so, but thank you."

But still A pressed on, and finally I said, "I appreciate the offer, A, but I'm an agnostic."

A sucked her breath between her teeth and said, "Oh, [sairentohiru], you're way too smart to be an agnostic!"

I seriously have no words.

No, wait, I do have three: