Editor's Note: Awhile back I was asked whether my wife was also an Atheist. Well, she's graciously agreed to do a guest post describing her own religious past and where she is now.
Since that post she's received some reactions - some from religious people. Here's her response.
Warning: This post does contain some colourful and expressive language. Might not want to read it to your kids.
On Losing My ReligionI wrote a guest post on this about how I came to find and then lose my religion. In this post I'm mostly interested in the talking about the reactions I have received since then.
I get the impression some Pagans believe I think they're stupid now for being religious. I don't think religion is stupid. After all, I did believe for quite some time. I spent a lot of time working in the community. I was the president of the university group. I was a volunteer. I helped open the Montreal Pagan Resource Centre. If I thought all of that were futile, that sure was a hell of a waste of time! I went through the actions, made it my worldview and did rituals because they did something for me. I felt good doing it. I felt like it gave my life purpose.
Somewhere, at some point, I stopped getting good feelings. I felt like it did nothing. It lost its purpose to me, so logically, I stopped.
That does not mean, however, that I look down upon those who still practice. If it works for you, good! I am happy for you!
I've always had issues with cranky asshole ignorant atheists. I don't like calling myself that for that reason. I don't have an issue with all atheists, only the ones who insist on mocking things they don't understand. A lot of atheists have no clue about the details of most religions. When I've question them about it, they tell me they "don't have time to learn about world religions." Really? You don't have time to correct your ignorance? Well, you are truly a star now!
(On the other side, I have an issue with religious people trying to shove their beliefs down people's throats.)
But what I'm trying to say is, just because I've lost my beliefs, it does not mean I've automatically become some sort of angry ignorant atheist. Might I remind everyone I was only one course away from having a minor in religion (and in too much of a rush to finish to get it, which I still regret)?
Being a sceptic means nothing is set in stone. I was like that about my beliefs at the time and will continue to think that way. I may try religion again some time. I'm open to doing whatever works or feels like it has some worth in my life. I'm not here to say my way is the right way.
I think some people think that to have left it, I must have never really believed. I see it as no different than a past love. After breaking up, you are still able to admit you loved that person and then you fell out of love. It doesn't mean you wasted your time or never really loved them. I can still look back at certain times in fondness. I marked major life events (my marriage, hello!) with religion. I met my husband because of my beliefs! I don't think religion in itself is wrong - but the people are another issue.
I have an AUM symbol tattooed to the back of my neck. It's not like I'm going to get it removed now. I still believe in the concept of AUM and what it stands for.
I still chant on mala beads now and then. I still meditate sometimes. I still do yoga sometimes. I just don't pray or mark the changes of the year in any way. I don't go to rituals. I don't involve myself with the Pagan community more than is necessary. I don't celebrate Christmas. In fact, I pretty much hate it now. While the rest of society is pretty much intent on teaching my son about some guy named Santa, I'm working to make sure he knows he isn't real. I don't see a reason to lie to my son.
In her own words:
I have an slightly unused degree in Linguistics. I've taught English as a second language and now prefer copywriting and editing. I run three blogs - all about a different interest of mine: http://www.solowomantraveler.ca, http://www.onequartermama.ca and http://www.couponcrazykelly.ca. I wish I were dedicated enough to do yoga daily, but I make up for it by watching videos on my iPad. I've been in an open marriage with Godless Poutine for over 10 years and us two imperfect but attractive people created an imperfect but very attractive little boy. My main purpose in life, I believe, is to help women and my child achieve their dreams and full potential.
You can also check all of Kelly's posts at her Bio Landing Page.