Anyway, as a pre-teen, my dad married a very Christian woman. This was the first real introduction to Christianity I ever had. My grandmother was a devout Irish catholic, but since she died when I was a baby, I was never introduced to her faith. So I found it to make much more sense than the hippie life I was consistently ridiculed for by my classmates. I threw myself in to Christianity with force. I wanted knowledge. I wanted to know everything I could know. What did God say? And why did he say it?
As I got older, my personality grew to be much bigger than I think even I realized. This is where the nickname “Tornado” comes from. I am a force to be reckoned with. I am unstoppable. And I most certainly cannot be contained. If you're familiar with the Christian religion, you can probably see why this is a problem. I am a female.
Now, saying this, I do not believe losing my faith was a crisis. I don’t think it is something you, my readers, should pity me for. Nor do I think you should feel the need to pray for my soul, although if you must, go ahead. If I’m wrong and God is real, I’m certainly going to need it. For me, loss of faith was my salvation. I was driving myself insane. And since letting go, I have become completely okay. I don’t have to punish myself for not seeing the signs before Jeff died. I don’t have to hate myself for not going with mike that night and stopping him from putting that needle in his arm, because it isn't my job to police the actions of others. I only have this one life. There is no magic fairy tale world afterward. There is no fiery pit of doom. Just this one life. And I can either waste it, or I can make it something to be remembered for years after I am gone. This is my reality.
My friend, Saq, asked if religious guilt and life’s guilty pleasure can coexist. To this I say yes. And for a reason why: I belief the Christian religion is 100% based on guilt. You are constantly supposed to be atoning for the sins you were pre-determined to commit, and you are constantly supposed to be spreading the word of the all mighty creator. And if you fail, if you stumble, you must pay. And I think guilt is the price Christians have put on human error.
I do not want any of you to feel like I hate religion. I don’t. I think it is wonderful if you can believe in something so completely. Sometimes I wish that I could. Because the truth is, my beliefs can be a little disheartening at times. But I cannot change them any more than you could change yours.
Saq, you are human. You have done nothing wrong in reality. And you have nothing to feel guilty of. Do not let society destroy the man I have come to consider one of my closest friends. You can pull through this. All of this is temporary.