I think I stopped believing absolutely in capital “G” God in 5th grade. The granddaughter of a Nigerian Episcopalian pastor on my father’s side and baptized Catholic at a young age from my mother’s side, you’d think that religion would be a strong part of my life. It’s not difficult to see how my relationship with religion became so loose. I think I had gone to church with my family less times than I could count on one hand. Any time I was recited a Bible story was no different than when I was recited any other story.
Despite these blatantly obvious facts, I think there’s like a grand total of one person who knows that God and I are kind of on the fritz. And again, you can’t really blame me for the secrecy. I think every single person I grew up with that I considered a friend is very attached to their religion. One of my good friends even said that they couldn’t respect someone who didn’t believe in “anything” ( at which point I began to internally scream “yikes” for our entire conversation ). So of course I pretended to be a good Christian™ for all my buddies and go to non-denominational church with them every now and then. I know it’s bad to lie to every one around you, but I have not a single point of reference to how my friends view people with no religion. I have some very argumentative friends and the last thing I want is to have to defend myself in a debate that is essentially “un-winnable” on either side, altering friendships because we lie on different ends of an uncomfortable plane.
I’m not preachy about my disbelief and really don’t see the point in trying to “convince people” that ” there is no God” and that’s not a business I endorse for anyone. My decision and beliefs are extremely personal and I’m not 100% sure any one can really prove my beliefs over another, but I just feel in my gut that this world that we’ve got is all there is, and I’m more than comfortable with that. When the question of “what values do I have comes up?” comes up, I think my answer is no different than even many religious people and that my values come from what I carefully believe to morally good. I try to be as good as I can for the sake of it, without any kind of “moral dessert”. And I think I finally admitted my agnosticism when I realized I could do all of that without believing in a God I didn’t have faith in. I didn’t believe in God because I saw this world as random and chaotic and have no reason to believe the way it came to be and everything there is can’t be the same. I totally get religion, 100%, and admire and respect every one on this earth (within reason, Scientology is still sketch. Sorry Tom Cruise), but just like all religions should coexist, I think we should be more comfortable with the concept of disbelief at a personal level and all get used to letting people live their lives how they want to see it.
And on this long note of agnosticism being just another part of me, my lack of any attachment to any religion led me to evaluate what other things I felt I was blindly following with no personal connection. The first thing that came to mind was my sexuality about a year ago (okay, maybe the fact I’m in college also influenced the thought). I knew I was always attracted to men, but I realized I didn’t really understand what “not” being attracted to women really was. In the past year I haven’t been super into anyone like the epic days of middle school, so I really began to understand for myself what attraction and sexuality meant to me. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that I didn’t see any reason why I was only attracted to men. I was only ever attracted to guys because of qualities about them. Of like the few I’ve ever liked, they’ve all had pretty similar personalities that I thought would really mesh with mine. I don’t know if bisexual or pansexual or just queer is the correct way to describe myself, but I’d rather just be defined as having no definite sexuality. I think people should love people for who they are as people. Their personalities are what draw others in. And yeah, before anyone screams at me, I get the difference between this and sexual attraction, which is where the definition probably comes into play, but again, I just see no reason as to why I shouldn’t be attracted to women the same way as men? It’s bizarre to say, especially since I have no life experience to prove I actually would be attracted to women because I definitely thirst hard over some men, but deep down inside of me there seems to be some chaotic nutcase that just doesn’t believe in restrictions or codes or whatever. Deep down, I think that what feels right should be right and all we have to do is be good to one another, for no reason other than that.