I suspect this article will irritate two groups of people: atheists, and Fundamentalist Christians. I’m not judging your religious beliefs, or lack thereof, rather I am often asked why I am not an atheist? I am asked this question nearly equally by the two above-named groups. Many of my friends, and family members don’t understand my reasons for abandoning Christianity, my mother’s religion.
On social media, I mentioned that the Bible is not the word of God. It is a collection of myths, stories, and often questionable history. A few fundamentalist folks immediately proclaimed me a heretic and an atheist.
This event followed my visit to an Atheist site that proclaimed the Bible a lie, and that people were worshipping a fantasy. The atheists proclaimed me an ignorant fool who prays to thin air and is anti-science.
Neither case is true, especially the latter.
I was raised in my mother’s Baptist tradition, complete with two Southern Baptist minister uncles. I could memorize phrases from the Bible and use them as “proof” of truth with the best of them.
As a boy, I ran into a buzzsaw at the Wall Street Baptist Church in Kankakee, Illinois, my hometown. My sins must have been memorable because I was sent to the church’s basement with the minister’s wife, so she could engage in some one-on-one brainwashing.
She was not the most intellectual of women.
Here was my deep sin that caused hand-wringing and great concern for my immortal soul. I dared to ask a Sunday School teacher in front of kids why there were two creation stories in the Bible? I wanted to know why Genesis Chapters 1 & 2 are contradictory, with only a shred of similarity?
Rather than answer the question, I was told there weren’t two and I should learn to read. Undaunted, I asked if we all were descendants of Adam and Eve, and she said yes, they were the first created by God, and every human on earth is their descendant.
This was where I ended up in the basement. I asked the teacher, how could that be? Eve had three sons, and who were these people later that Eve’s sons married? Exasperated, the Sunday School teacher told the kids to lay hands on me as she prayed for the demons to be cast out of my soul. She then left, returning…