Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

What do I believe?


I receive frequent questions about my faith – from readers, friends, family, everybody who knows my story. Do I believe? What do I believe? My only answer is “I don’t know.” I really don’t.

Sometimes I wish I could just leave it all behind and be an atheist. Enjoy my life for what it is now, be responsible for myself, have my own opinion on things. Sometimes I even am like that. A life with no guilt, no fear of a heavenly punisher just waiting to teach me a lesson or two. No judgement from a being who I don’t even seem to know.

Other days I’m really angry at that being. I’m not an atheist on those days – I know he exists, I know its his fault, everything that goes wrong is his fault. And I want to hurt him. With my words, thoughts, actions. I want to tell him to get out of my life. That I’m not afraid of his stupid hell because Id rather spend my eternal afterlife there than sit next to a violent, punishing wannabe-father who has no other joy in his existence than burning ants and torturing cats.

And then, there are other days again, where I feel like there’s a good chance that he doesn’t exist, that we’re all making this up in our minds to soothe the fear and pain that the knowledge that nothing will ever wait for us after our deaths causes in our minds. The days were I’m longing for a good, heavenly Daddy who waits for me with open arms, cries for me, forgives me all that I have done and will be doing. The Daddy that hugs me and says “It’s all forgotten now, now you’re with me, I never meant this to happen to you.” I wish I could be Daddy’s little girl on those days.

So here, that’s my belief, I guess. I suppose you’re not much smarter now, and neither am I.



5 thoughts on “What do I believe?

  1. The various ways you feel about God is very similar to a somewhat famous internet quote (often mis-attributed to Marcus Aurelius):
    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

  2. One of my favourite pieces of graffiti I ever saw said: “If Jesus is real, he understands.”

    What you describe *sounds* like the things i have heard from a lot of atheists who were raised to be strongly religious. These people generally describe “losing” their belief as a process (often spanning years), with days “forward” and days “back”. The anger seems to fade when they accept, finally, that there is no one to be angry at. (You can still be plenty angry at the institutions, however.)

    Will you end up there? I can’t say. Some people do. Some people end up deistic, or agnostic, or (like my mother) “spiritual but not religious.”

    Far more important, I think, is finding peace, happiness, and fulfillment for yourself in your everyday life.

    Er, basically what Jed said. 🙂

  3. I think I have some idea of where you are coming from. It has taken me a long time to separate my idea of who God is as my Father from who my dad was. I am still learning who God is, that he is not much at all like my dad was, and I still experience lots of fear from time to time that God will “get” me if I mess up or that he is just looking for things to criticize me about, or that he may even be moody, but he is teaching me gently and slowly that He is the real deal, the Dad who has done everything and will do everything just because He loves me. And he loved me BEFORE I loved Him!

    When a parent sets himself (or herself) up as the GOD of the home, I think it makes it really difficult to have a healthy idea of who the REAL God is, and I also think it is way too much pressure on a dad to keep up that image, robbing his enjoyment of his family. Withholding love from a child in various ways i a terrible form of teaching adn discipline, and I am finding it is not the way God operates, but it is still hard for me to separate the two. I’m sure I will keep learning more and more about who God is for the rest of my life, and I am happy about that.

  4. I just wanted to let you know that your blog – mostly the life story part – is responsible for keeping me up until 12:58 am, which is way past my bedtime 🙂 You (and Libby and Melissa) are fascinating reading, thank you for sharing it.

  5. This reminds me of Adam Savage (of Mythbusters!) and his talk at Reason Rally:

    “And finally, I have concluded through careful, empirical analysis and much thought that somebody is looking out for me, keeping track of what I think about things, forgiving me when I do less than I ought, giving me strength to shoot for more than I think I’m capable of. I believe they know everything that I do and think and they still love me and I’ve concluded after careful consideration that this person keeping score is me.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s