Into the Jungle, Part II: Fear and Trembling

I was taught that once a person was old enough to understand the basic gospel message, that person needed to “be baptized for the remission of sins.” Had to be total immersion in water, had to be with full understanding of what sin is and a desire to repent, had to be in Jesus’ name. God is apparently very picky about these things.

Given how important one’s state of mind is to this whole process, I didn’t want to do it until I was sure I was really on board with the whole belief system. The thing is, I often found myself thinking the whole story didn’t make a lot of sense and seemed to be at odds with observable reality. I would occasionally ask questions about the parts that just didn’t compute, but those questions were rarely well-received. The clear, unspoken message was a simple one: shut up and believe. Continue reading

Still Alive

No, I didn’t just start a blog and then abandon it. I just didn’t have a free moment in the last couple weeks, but school and work are a little less all-consuming now. Enough to get in a quick post, at any rate.

Soon I will get back to telling my story and commenting on various things from around the interwebs. But for now, since I’m here anyway, I will use this opportunity to get something off my chest.

Part of the reason I started this blog is that my unbelief is still relatively new to me, and I needed a space where I could process all of these new, previously forbidden thoughts. I desperately want to “come out” to family and friends, even if it means losing some of them. I haven’t been lying to anyone, or even actively hiding my unbelief. So far, it just hasn’t really come up in conversation. Even that, though, feels dishonest to me. I don’t want to encourage mistaken assumptions about what I believe. I want to get it over with. I want to know who will accept me and who won’t; who will still love me as I am and who will no longer be willing to be a part of my life. I certainly hope I’m underestimating people’s capacity for tolerance and respect, but until I speak I just can’t know.

So why don’t I? Am I afraid? Well, yeah. Knowing what my parents and some of my old friends believe, it’s a gut-wrenching proposition. Of course I’m terrified. But I know they’ll find eventually, so why not now? Continue reading