Letting Go of the Hatred

I don’t hate many things. In fact, I can only think of a handful of things off the top of my head, and none of them is a living thing. I hate putting clean dishes away, though I don’t mind putting the dirty ones in the dishwasher. I hate putting clean laundry away, but I like putting the dirty ones in the washer. (There’s a pattern here, you think?) I don’t want to hate those things, but they’re necessary to the success of my household and therefore I tolerate them and complete the tasks as needed.

I feel much the same way about religion. I don’t want to hate it, and I’m not entirely sure where my hatred for it comes from. Perhaps it’s because I now fully understand the ridiculousness of it all. And perhaps it’s because I can now see how genuinely stupid some people are. My eyes have been opened to the world and all the bad that religion has done. It’s difficult for me to see the good through all of that.

I think my religious upbringing was good for me in some ways. I moved out of my dad’s house when I gradated at 17 and rebelled wildly against all that was taught to me as a teenager. I stopped going to church, I found comfort in the worldly pleasures of life that were once so taboo I couldn’t even speak of them. I often wonder if I would have been wild had religion not contained me, like maybe that wildness was ingrained in me. But I also wonder if religion is the reason I had that careless disregard for consequences. I don’t feel like was robbed of my childhood, but I do wonder how I would have turned out if I had been raised in a family that believed in free thought and education. Religion probably did some good for me, but I couldn’t see the bad it was doing at the time.

So, I have this deep hatred for religion – the conservative Baptist faith in particular, probably because that’s the denomination with which I am most familiar. Every time I read about the bullying of a gay person or the church’s stance on abortion rights, an anger swells inside of me that rivals that which I felt toward Satan as a believer. An evangelical feeling comes over me and I feel the need to shout to the world how crazy these people are. I feel the need to convert people (I was a major harvester of souls for the Baptist church) and I want to post on all my social networks links that expose the backwardness of the church. The trouble is that I know this is not the way to go about giving atheism and agnosticism a good name. The beauty of my new belief system is that I am not required by a higher power to share my beliefs or gain converts. It’s difficult to move past that way of thinking.

Since I have the dawning of a new year at my doorstep, I’ve decided to work hard to let go of that hatred and to move past that unfounded need to harvest “souls” for my new belief system. As my mind becomes more open and accepting of all types of beliefs, I have to realize that religion is one of those necessary things in life. It will always be part of the world. Some people need religion to live “normal” lives. Therefore, it’s just one of those things I must accept. It’s going to be a process.

2 Thoughts on “Letting Go of the Hatred

  1. I am so glad I found your blog. I love the book Raising Freethinkers. Unlike you, I was raised in a non-religious family, though education still wasn’t a big deal and I’ve not gone to college. After HS I married into a very religious family. They spun off of a Baptist church and made their own. I escaped with my two sons five years ago and am now living my life as a free thinker and raising my kids the same way. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. Angie, thanks so much for stopping by! I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment until now. I’m new to blogging and am just getting the hang of it! 🙂

    Good for you for escaping! Please feel free to comment any time! Thank you!

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