This is an wonderful atheists heartbreaking story of losing her religion. Please take the time to read it.
I do not have a heartbreaking story of losing my faith, but I understand where Kim is coming from. Thanks for sharing Kim.
No words necessary. Sorry I don’t know the source; I found it via the National Atheist Party of Pennsylvania Facebook group.
Hi Kelly, thanks for the submission. I’ve actually seen this a few times on a couple of sites. I’m also not sure of the source, but I’m pretty sure that the message in the notebook was not originally “FUCK YOU GOD.” It probably was something showing how this child after being disabled, or being born with a disability was still able to write. If anyone knows the original source of this I’d love to read the story behind it.
I’ve said a few times that it was during my pediatric clinical rotation in nursing school that I finally hit my last wall with religion, particularly the loving, kind, father portrayed in the Bible. I had to spend 12 hour days for several weeks at a long term care facility for kids. Imagine a place where every child was born with a debilitating disease or disorder. Where victims of shaken baby syndrome, near drownings, or other accidental and deliberate acts of violence and trauma LIVED. These were children that if they survived childhood, would only be moved to the next level of institutional care. None got better from this place and went home.
I almost dropped out of school because it was that bad. I remember picking up my Bible and opening it to Psalms 139:13-18:
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
I re-read it so many times, trying to find the place in there where God knew all the days of lives of these kids, but had a reason for their suffering. I wanted to find comfort. I turned to what used to be my favorite Bible verse, Psalms 46:1-2:
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea
My faith was in trouble. I was fighting for my spiritual life. No matter what I was going through I used to pray that verse for the strength to go on. It only served to anger me ever further. What refuge had these children found in God? How had he been there for them, protecting them from all they could and would encounter in this world? Why was I worshiping this terrible being that would claim omnipotence, yet allow these things to happen to innocent children? It was a never ending cycle of questions.
Discussing this with my apologist pastor also further infuriated me. He conveniently failed to answer my questions about suffering children and instead questioned my interpretations of predestination and predetermination. Instead of admitting that God, as he sold him was flawed, he questioned my understanding of scripture! His challenge was good for me. It made me realized that I had fallen into the cult-like trap that comes from being religious. Allowing someone or something to control me, despite seemingly being of sound mind and body, was something I had to put an end to.
By believing that God was omniscient, predestination had to exist. If God did not know all the days of our lives, then he was not all knowing, and could therefore not be all powerful. Then we have to factor in free-will. Predetermination does NOT mean God’s plan for us. We are to believe that he plots the events of our lives, but we as beings with the ability to make choices, actually determine the outcomes. If I have the power to influence God’s plan, what use is he? If his granting of free-will means he won’t intervene when someone is hurting a child, what use is he? If he knit us together in our mother’s wombs, yet children are born every day with congenital illnesses, what use is he? Am I to expect that parents really choose this for their child, or worse, that children make the choice for themselves?
Don’t doubt that I was guilty of consoling people with the words of the Bible when I was a believer. Romans 8:18-30 is all about future Glory, our reward being in heaven. It still sickens me to know that I’ve said things like this to people:
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[g] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
So thanks again for the submission Kelly. Any opportunity to remember where I’ve been and the things that made me get the hell out is always welcome. There is no power great enough to ever cause me to falter in my absolute hatred of the poisoning nature of religions. My brain was held captive for far too many years for me to even consider going back now that I’m able to think freely. ~ Kim