So I grew up in multiple religions, all Christian. I went to Catholic school. I became a nurse.
When my patient breathed her last, and became a body, I realized that’s all we are. I lost my faith.
But did I?
I no longer believe in a higher deity, controlling every result and every movement, but does that mean I don’t believe?
There is strong historical evidence to show that Jesus Christ existed, and he set a very good example of how to live a life. The saints, real or not, provide amazing examples of humanity.
I have a strong ethical and moral backbone. I believe in being a good person because it’s the right thing to do, not because I hope to get into heaven or avoid hell. I still enjoy the occasional mass in honor of my grandmother.
I believe that religion exists as a method to control the poor and uneducated. It is a system that has worked to control the masses for centuries. Religion tells you that if you work hard, you’ll get a reward in the afterlife. It’s the base for every trickle down scheme the world has seen. Just do this and you’ll get this. The belief in a deity that will step in and save you was created to control you, not to help you.
You know who can save people? People. Be a decent person. If you see racism happening, speak up. If you see sexism happening, speak up. If you see someone being bullied, say something. Volunteer. If you see a parent about to lose it on their child, lend them a hand. People can do so much for each other if we start believing in each other and stop believing someone’s going to come along and magically make it all better if we follow a set of rules.
Live each day. Make friends. Do what makes you happiest. If your religion makes you happy, be religious, but don’t ram it down someone else’s throat. Don’t assume atheists have no moral code. Doing good for the simple purpose of doing good is…. fucking awesome. So give your atheist some respect. We have the right to be here, too.
Edited to add: I still pray with my patients. If a person asks to pray with you, they are in their time of need, and it doesn’t take any effort to hold their hand and share your spirit with them. Their prayers are not about your choice or lack of religion, their prayers are because they are ill, and they need support. It’s not the time for religious debate.