On Being a Happy and Peaceful Heathen

Peace-Love-HappinessPeople keep telling me I seem so much happier than I was a year ago, or two years ago. They’re right, and here’s why…

Two years ago I was a Christian, and I was stuck with a panic disorder and severe depression. I had anxiety so bad it damaged my ability to do just about everything. I would frequently be sent spiraling into panic by a sound, a word, a smell, anything that elicited flashbacks to a handful of traumatic events.

A year ago, I was still a Christian and was recovering from depression. I finally saw a psychiatrist in February 2015 and was prescribed an antidepressant and another drug to deal with intense anxiety.

The medication worked. After praying earnestly for years, and always truly believing in a god who could heal my brain if he wanted to, I was rescued from my pain by science, by taking my fate into my own hands. A few months later I finally reached the inevitable result of my sincere search for truth, which involved years of studying my bible using every resource I could find. The result: I accepted that Christianity could not be true.

The fallout of being open about my conclusions has at times been rough, but overall 2015 was my best year in a long time. Perhaps my best year ever, although I was ignorant enough as a kid to be quite happy. The results of discarding the last remnants of my former religion have been overwhelmingly positive. Rejecting the concept of sin freed me from self-hatred; rejecting the concept of hell freed me from paralyzing fear about what might happen after I die; rejecting the entire bible freed me from the cognitive dissonance involved in trying to reconcile reality with false “truths”.

It may seem somewhat unfair to Christianity, but my most important years in the religion were filled with traumatic experiences, being manipulated, and losing a lot of good friends. People have already tried to use these facts to prove that I left for purely emotional reasons, but that is not true. Reason and truth forced me out; terrible experiences are just one reason I don’t want to go back. I don’t believe Christianity for exactly the same reasons I don’t believe Islam or any other religion humanity has invented. They all make impossible, contradictory, nonsensical, and demonstrably untrue claims. It’s as simple as that.

I’m happy now and I can feel normal emotions again. My life is my own, not controlled by the whims of a god nobody has seen. And I’m free to examine the evidence around me and believe the most reasonable conclusion, rather than trying to figure out how to explain everything in terms of how it could be twisted to fit with Christianity.

If the evidence leads me back to “the bible is true”, then I would have to believe it, but since there are plenty of things in the bible that are quite obviously false or self-contradictory, I don’t think that is possible. In a future article I plan to go into as much detail as I can about the exact reasons I have for disregarding the bible. There are many layers to it, such as historical issues, scientific issues, morality, internal consistency, the alleged nature of god, and more, so perhaps I’ll end up writing an entire series on the matter.

Image: Pinterest

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