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Losing my (fear of) Religion

I drive past a church every day two and from work. Lately I've been feeling the vague urge to stop and attend a service. I don't know what denomination it is, and it doesn't really matter. And I kept asking myself why. It's not that I've gone docbritePZB or anything, because I've long ago realised that my faith gene was defective from birth.

Maybe PZB's conversion and Alana's discussion on angels and Christianity have triggered a part of my brain which has been dormant for the past couple of years. Really, since moving out of my grandparents' house, I've had no reason to fear religion. Hating the whole concept was a big part of my life through high school and some time after. I made it through high school by the grace of Nine Inch Nails' 'Heresy' and this one kid named Jorge thanks to whom I knew I wasn't the only atheist in the world. I didn't have to be in the gay closet, I was in the atheist closet. And from reading a lot of stuff on psychology and the brain, it's my understanding, as a layman, that there really is a specific part of the brain which handles faith, and just like any other mental issue it can vary from person to person. I don't know, and won't speculate, what the 'default' setting is for religious faith, but mine doesn't work. I tried. I used to think that religious people were dumb to see things that weren't there, but that's no longer my opinion. We're just wired differently. And I'm glad to have matured to that point.

Is my urge to go to this church - which is a vague and fleeting urge but has occured to me a few times now - an attempt to recapture that sense of identity as a non-religious person? It's kind of twisted if it is. And I really don't need old imaginary battles to fight, that would be kind of immature. I really have no desire to go back to that mindset. I don't hate religion anymore, and that's mostly because I've left the environment in which crazy overzealous people were shoving it down my throat 24/7. You'd hate cake if you were forced to eat it at every meal for 25 years, especially if you didn't care for it to start with.

Anyway, this morning I think I'll dedicate some time to leveling Deadowen my undead priest. I'd write otherwise but I'm still mulling over the end of the chapter, and I won't be online tonight to level and Mr. koshernurse will get too far ahead of me because Ianto is already lvl 10. Toodles!


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 28th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
I have never known a closet athiest! :) Honestly, I've learned quite a lot about my own faith from athiests and agnostics, because they tend to ask the most thoughtful questions.

If a church is built right, it should be an inspiring building, even if it's just a simple structure. That, in itself, could be enough of a reason to visit. Religious architecture is fascinating to me (the most beautiful, most sacred building I've ever visited was the Blue Mosque in Istanbul), and I wonder if, given another path, I might have studied it. ;) At any rate, it may be worth stopping by, just to quell your curiosity.
Mar. 29th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
Speaking of religious architecture, I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where most of the architecture is modern or 18th century Spanish (think the French Quarter today), and yet in the most unlikely place, a very urbanised, commercial drive, there was a small Gothic church, gargoyles and all, somehow surviving the passage of time. Not sure how it even got there.

I never had the opportunity to visit it, but if I'm ever in PR again, I will.
Mar. 29th, 2008 05:53 am (UTC)
I used to think that religious people were dumb to see things that weren't there, but that's no longer my opinion. We're just wired differently. And I'm glad to have matured to that point.

I'm SO glad to hear(read) you say that! Somehow, there was always a part of me that secretly feared that you thought me defective or something. (No, don't feel any guilt, darn it. It was only your nature.)

Who knows? You might even find faith in something.
Mar. 29th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
Maybe you're re-evaluating parts of yourself that you took for granted as being true, and ow that you're growing intellectually and emotionally, you feel the need to make sure the elements of your worldview still fit who you are becoming. Maybe you'll find a reason to change, maybe you'll strengthen the convictions you have. I think the point is, though, that you're open to the experience. Which is a good thing, I think.
Mar. 29th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
The more I think about it, the more I think it's somehow connected to my sense of purpose. I kinda saw myself as the atheist avenger, cape and all, trying to liberate the world from the shackles of superstition. Now that I'm just a regular Joe, and no longer feel personally and directly threatened by religion, it's almost like Inigo Montoya after he kills the guy who killed his father. Now what?

Now I guess I can enjoy the mythology of it all without having to poke holes in it. So in that sense, do I really need to expose myself to it directly and risk inciting that old passion?

Honestly, I doubt that it would get that far. My daily life is still generally devoid of fundyism, and it'll take more than one church service to get me on the warpath again.

Which leaves me back at square one, why do I feel the random urge to stop and attend church, just once.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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