I think the first thing I need to clear up is some possible misconceptions people may have about why I am doing this.
I’m not doing this because I have doubts. I don’t. I am quite secure in my lack of belief. I am doing this because I was asked to and it’s intriguing. The moment I read the post asking me to “give up Atheism for Lent” I got excited. It really pushed a button in me. I love social experiments and this is definitely going to be one.
Many will say that this is God leading me back to the Lord. If I was unsure then I would wonder if maybe they are right but really this is just a friend who has challenged me to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I see it as an opportunity to shake things up in my life a bit (not that my life is boring but we all could use some shaking once in awhile) Plus how can I truly defend my views if I don’t challenge them?
This will definitely be a challenge too.
It seems that some people think this will be easy to do. It won’t. It has already been a challenge to change my way of thinking on the first day and it is not even dinner time.
Firstly, can I still snicker at the “Praise God” comments; the first of which I read this morning? How can I not? Shit. Damn. :insert appropriate expletive here: I guess maybe this will be the hardest part. Not giggling and thinking how ridiculous such a comment is, but I’m going to banish the thoughts and make a valiant effort to change my knee-jerk reaction to comments like that.
Next, we went to the library this morning and I decided I should probably read some christian based non-fiction* so I headed to the computer to figure out where the religious section is. First I queried “atheism.” There were 35 books in the county library system that matched that keyword. Not just at that library but in the entire library system. Guess how many came up when I queried “Christianity”? 1297! And to think people are worried about this being a time of skepticism. If it is – no one is writing about it or at least my library isn’t buying it.
While perusing the shelves for books on Christianity the Atheist books were on the shelf right above. I really wanted to bring home The Atheist’s Bible and The God Delusion because I have not read either of them. I imagine many Christians have read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins so its amusing that I have not, but conversely there are many Atheists who have read more of the bible than many Christians. Either way I passed on what sounded like interesting reading and stuck with the plan. I picked up 4 different books from the Christian religion section at the library.
Finally, I read a post today on Facebook asking for prayers. Normally I would just ignore these or just say I am thinking about them if it is a prayer request because of illness, injury or death (AND I am actually going to have them on my mind). I am not one to offer false hope or sugar coat a situation but if I am trying to immerse myself in Christian culture and ways does that not include answering prayer requests? Am I expected to pray for everyone who requests it? Can I pick and choose? How does one even pray?†
I get that my christian friends assume hope that after just 45 days I will find God.
(What? He got lost? Better check under the bed.)
I think my Atheist friends are worried I will be brainwashed and convert.
All I am worried about is that there won’t be any donuts at Church on Sunday morning. (I have been told grand stories of donuts, lattés, live bands and big screen tvs instead of hymnals)
*Atheist thought: “christian based non-fiction” is an oxymoron because we see the bible as fiction, therefore, anything based on the bible would be like me trying to sell you a book about the history of London and basing it on what happened in Harry Potter.
† I am planning on praying even though I know that all this is going to be is my words floating out into space.