Because I Want To Sin….

I just spent a couple of hours talking to my mum for her 71st birthday. Yeah life is not so good when you get old but she is doing really well. Retirement upset her schedule and sent her to depression but the meds seem to be working, so all is good.

Surprise of surprises, she is still a devout pentecostal evangelical adherent.  No, I will not disrespect my own mother. Not going to happen. But the conversation at one point did turn to ‘end times’ talk. She wants me to say that I’m ‘saved’ to feel fulfilled as a mother. I hate depriving her of that feeling.I asked here about end times such as Mathew 24:34 when Jesus indicates that all will come to an end before his generation is dead. She said she didn’t remember and would look it up and get back to me. Things like that usually stop her from ‘witnessing’ to me. Still, it’s sad.

In fact becoming atheist is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I no longer can say that ‘jesus is not done with me yet’ or other trite sayings that give believers a get out of jail free card. No, I have to own everything I’ve ever done, good and bad. I have to own every time that I was an asshole, every time that I hurt someone. I have to own that. Becoming an atheist meant that I had to personally own it. I had to step up and say that yes, I was an asshole, I’m sorry. I have to live with every bad choice I have ever made… and it’s not a small number. I have to own my life and be responsible for all I have done and will do.

Being an atheist is not easy. Not at all. I did not do it just so I could sin. I became an atheist and now I have to own every one of those sins. I’m responsible now, and it makes me a much better person.

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  1. Have you told your parents? I would not blame you if you have not. Didn’t you say your father is a preacher? I mean, I’m into BDSM, but I don’t feel the need to talk to my Dad about it.

    • No, I don’t tell my parents about BDSM or atheism. I talk honestly, but do not push that boundary with them… I WANT them to know and feel that they did a good job. I won’t say I believe, but I will not tell them they are wrong.

      • I agree completely. My extended family is big on “Jesus”. I just let them have it and chime in when I can be honest and still pleasing to them.

        • For my parents, I want them to understand that they have been good parents, and that I _do_ appreciate what they have done for me. I don’t reject them at all. My preacher father and mother have both calmed down over the years. I see in them now only the desire to know that they did well. I won’t ruin that deserved understanding of their lives simply to make a point. It pains me in many ways but on top of the list I want them to know they did what I think is fantastic job of being parents.

          • They did do a fantastic job as parents.

            • That is exactly how I feel about it… it’s a tightrope that I walk

              • You are their child. They know their son. You are a good person and they can see this. I have no doubt.

                • Yes… I know this. My mother is getting to the point where she can’t remember a lot. It is heart breaking.

                  • That’s hard.

                    • It is. It gives me pause to think of where I am in life. I don’t think I’m in a wrong place, but now I have no support system… it’s me having to deal with this. No trite sayings, no trite thoughts.
                      This is life, she will die. It won’t be pretty.

                    • My grandmother is 90. I cry for an hour ever time I have to leave from visiting her. She lives four states over. Her mother died at 98, so she could live another ten years. I would be very happy if she did, but her memory is not very good either. My aunt looks after her. She still lives in the same home she has lived in since she was married. I am close to her in a way that I am not with my own mother. I am haunted by the idea that the call will come and I will have to face her death. She is okay with it though; we’ve talked about it.

                    • It is a sad thought… sad time, yet this is part of life, the cycle of life

  2. The only brand of Christianity I can stand is one that says, “The evil I do is mine and mine alone; the good I do comes from someone greater than I.”

    Without, you know, plunging the speaker into despair, guilt, and despondency.

    • when I own it I no longer need a god.

      • You know, without drawing too many connections, your explanation of why you don’t need a god is strikingly similar to the explanation of why people do need God. At least in a few of the better sermons I’ve heard.

        • The thing is, I’m honest about it. I understand that I am here. It’s all me. I do not ask forgiveness or saving. I am who I am.

          • Honesty is always good.

          • Usually.

            • I have not found a time when it was not good.

              • I can respect that.

                The “usually” was tongue-in-cheek.

                • LOL, then you understand why it is difficult

                  • Naturally.

                    One observation I’d make about your original post, by the way. Malinformed Christians do frequently assert that atheism is somehow just an excuse for sinning. It’s stupid, I know. But one thing to keep in mind: they don’t typically mean excuse-for-sinning in terms of suspended responsibility, like you talk about here. They’re more thinking in terms of the things that popular Christianity forbids that atheists aren’t constrained about. Sex, mostly.

                    Frankly, I find the fascination with sex and sexual sin to be a bit creepy myself. Blogged about that. But I just wanted to make that distinction.

                    Not that it invalidates anything in your post.

                    • You misunderstand me. A Christian believer can sin all they want and know they will be forgiven.. never have to face the people they hurt… on their deathbed they know they have a get out of jail free card. They _know_ they will be forgiven and so need feel no guilt. They are sure they are heaven bound as long as they ask forgiveness… See the difference? For me, there is no such thing. I have to live with all my bad choices and learn from them. I don’t get instant forgiveness. I don’t get rescued by simply saying I accept a savior. I have to live with it all.

                    • My former comment was directed toward the “because” statement in the title. I thought the implication was that some Christians say atheists choose atheism “because (they) want to sin” — hence the title.

                      In response to your statement here: Christianity is a terribly convenient worldview for any Christian whose affections toward Jesus are insufficient to provoke an intensified sense of responsibility. Then again, if they have that little respect for the namesake of their faith, I’d tend to question their allegiance.

                    • Yes… on all points.

  3. Being an atheist is not an easy job, you must know why you don’t believe and you just can’t say it is as is.
    It must be hard not being able to tell your parents about your non belief I guess.

    • It’s not that they don’t know. It’s this game where they dance around the question “Did I teach you well, Was I a good parent?” Their faith does not allow for them to be good unless I too believe

  4. I’m sorry that she needs you to say you’re “saved” to feel fulfilled as a mother. Seems to me, since you’re willing to own your life and “sins”, that she did a fine job.

    • Well, I think so too. My pain is that she can’t see that.

  5. It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan.

    Truth is not always a pleasant thing to live with, and it takes courage and determination. You have to to a point that you realised the meaning of life and existence better that any believer does. If I were you I won’t tell my parents, not because I am afraid or because I’m a coward, but simply because truth will hurt them. I won’t make it hard on myself thinking that I didn’t tell them, they won’t understand or agree on it.

    You have your friends here so that you can release and unleash your burden and we are here to share it with you and give you a tap on your shoulders and give you a virtual hug.

    Hang on there buddy. You are doing a great job and your parents did sure a marvellous job too.

    Mike

    • Thank you. I tell my mother that too. I fear that she won’t one day be able to remember I’ve said it and I think that hurts the most in her aging. Selfish, perhaps. It’s something that I have to deal with. It seems to me that life is pain… one after the other or so it seems at times.

  6. Bravo! Great piece.

    • Thanks john, Sometimes I get inspired.

    • criticofchristianity
    • March 28th, 2013

    Oh no, that sounds very difficult with your mother.

    I completely agree that atheism allows you to own your actions. No one else is paying for your sins. The buck stops at you. I think this sense of personal responsibility really encourages morality much more than the Christian system does.

    Great post 🙂

    • Thank you very much.

    • teyahdreams
    • April 5th, 2013

    I’m in the same situation with my 71 yr old mother. She doesn’t witness to me as much as she used to, but I don’t have the heart to tell her I can not believe in a god that for one I do not believe is real, nor would allow such suffering to the ones he supposedly loves, and I can not follow man-made rules thrown at you as a god’s word or law. Thank you for sharing this post, it is always nice to know other’s go through the same situations and how you deal with it.

    • teyahdreams,
      Thanks for commenting. It is also good to hear that others feel as I do and experience things that I do. I appreciate it.

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