I’ve talked about my atheism at length on this site. When I was a kid, I never really believed in God. Never will. It always seemed so silly. Like, there’s a magical man in the sky who has magical powers and can magically shape the world and could magically make all the things in the world right, but magically doesn’t. Yeah, you try figuring that one out. All my life, it was just silly. I said that I believed, and perhaps there was some small part of me that would at least be open to the idea of a god. Just now the Christian one. I went through Confirmation at my church, but it was all a lie. To this day, I wish I’d just told the folks about it. Would have saved me some annoying trips that the youth group went on.
Around the time that I realized that I was an atheist, I had no one to talk to. It was annoying. Then, one day, I found a friend in the most unlikely of places. Finally, I had someone that I could talk to about atheism, philosophy, and the nature of the world! And we did. There are so many nights that I remember the two of us absolutely ruining the filter of my mother’s hot tub by having our long and thoughtful conversations about such things. Those are some amazing memories. I saw this man as a kindred intellect. All of the simple people in my life that I couldn’t talk to about the really deep stuff, and now I had someone that I could.
I lost that tonight. In what was one of the most stunning displays of frustration I have ever seen, my ability to respect someone that I looked up to is gone. See, him and I had this movie night. It was supposed to be where the two of us made fun of a terrible Christian film. And the film was terrible, don’t get me wrong. But not in the way that you could make fun of it. Just in a way where your time feels like it’s being tested. Then it ends with one of the stupidest third acts that I’ve ever seen. It was beyond insipid. I still feel like my time was wasted. But it seems that I am alone in this view. For you see, something religious reawakened inside of hi. He found his spiritual side again, and he found it in a big way.
There were no words. I couldn’t believe it. This man, who I had talked long into the night with about the nature of the world and philosophy, with whom we had discussed apologetics and debunked them. Now, when I brought up some of this stuff, he was throwing those same tired old lines back at me. I couldn’t believe it. Not for a second did I think that it would come to this. Someone who I saw as a kindred intellect was using old arguments that the two of us debunked together against me. It still doesn’t feel real. I feel so lost.
How can I put this? It’s like those memories are now a mute point. They are part of some other life that existed. Some life where this person whom I had respected so much is no longer connected to. It’s gone. Vanished without a trace. With all the memories that I have been keeping with me, this feels like a little something has been taken away from me. Something I won’t get back. It hurts. How did this happen? What got me here? I wish I knew. I truly do.
I argued with this guy for over half an hour with arguments the two of us have sussed out about how dumb they are. Those nights of us laughing, looking at points of view and the way we saw through it, it’s all being thrown right back in my face. It was beyond frustrating. Downright annoying. And the worst part is that now, my ability to see this man as a kindred intellect is gone. In one annoying conversation, it vanished. I see him as just another person who uses arguments and doesn’t listen to rebuttals. An apologist who just wants to keep his belief structure intact for the purpose of having some connection to faith. Because apparently faith is so much better than not faith. Accepting something that has ZERO evidence, for the express purpose of feeling good. Religion in a nutshell. I feel like such a fool. How did it come to this? If one of you can tell me, I’d love to know.
A girly-mate that I’ve reconnected with said that it was likely some spiritual experience. It can happen to anyone. That makes some sense. Doesn’t make it easier, and I’ll never see him as a kindred intellect ever again. Still, at least I get that. Plenty of smart people accept stupid things based on random experiences. Hell, one of the smartest women I know is hardcore Catholic. She was raised with religion her whole life. Come to think of it, so has he. There are dots clicking together. But the damage is done. Now I get to keep moving forward. Wonderful…
Until next time, a quote,
“Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told.” – George Carlin