Free Agnostic

   I’m avoiding my story.  I’m near the last phase of completion in the story development area.  If I went to school for writing I might be using words that would have more meaning in this phase but I didn’t go to school so I’m just winging it here, throwing out buzzwords and hoping they make sense. It’s really hard to write a story.  I kind of don’t like it so I’m not sure why I do it.  I guess that’s why when Kasper asks me what I did all day I always say:

Pretended to write

giphy    I’ve actually been avoiding the computer when I’m home alone.  When I get on I’m quick to become distracted.  I was going to blog yesterday; blogging is different from writing my story.  I can say whatever I want here and not make sense and still be comfortable with that.  I can just let it flow out here but with a story you have to put more thought into what is coming out, how, why and even when and where! All of the W’s are there…. I was going to watch some tutorials for WordPress yesterday, learn a bit about the site to improve my boring old blog here but, silly me, I left my Facebook open in a separate window.  Next thing I know, I’m getting in a mild argument about religion and faith and why I should read the Bible.  Why is it so difficult for some to comprehend that some people just don’t feel….religious-y????

   I think religion and faith are so complex for every person that it’s pointless to argue any one view.  If you’re not hurting someone, shoving your beliefs through the bubble of another and into their world, then who cares what you believe? So, I learned not to say that to Gordon.  He doesn’t understand agnosticism.  I’ve learned a lot of people either don’t know it exists or don’t know a thing about it.  He kept telling me to read the Bible and learn about what I oppose.  I told him I don’t oppose the beliefs and faith of others but I oppose religion, or the concept of religion and so I won’t read the Bible.  It’s a personal choice, others can do whatever they please but when you start closing down clinics in my city, the only ones affordable without insurance, because your religion tells you to have a problem with its practices, I’m going to start doubting your idea of what is proper “Christian behavior.”  I also don’t understand refusing facts of known history and science because of what you feel yet when I say I don’t feel the same as you, you tell me to pick up a bible and inform myself?  Pick up a science or history book and inform yourselfplease, because you’re driving the rest of us batty!

   When I first had the stroke, religion was kind of forced upon me.  I mean, I went to a Christus hospital, in a city named after a religious body and I was pregnant.  When you’re pregnant near a diverse population such as this city you learn a few superstitious practices along the way.  Pregnancy isn’t really taken too lightly by some people.  I don’t pray but I won’t turn away someone praying over my belly.  When I lay in a hospital hall on a gurney waiting for a room and a little old Mexican woman in a black robe carrying her bible and rosary come to stand over me and pray, I won’t refuse them and that’s where people become confused.  I believe in the faith of others.  I believe in positive vibes….imagesman.  I just don’t agree that your prayer is going to an oversized man in a cloud no one can see where he turns those words into magic.  I just can’t bring myself to say, “Yeah! That totally makes sense and sounds legit!”

    People wonder why my stroke didn’t “make me religious.” What kind of question is that?  You know what it did do?  It offered me an awakening and isn’t that just as good or better than discovering I was vapid enough to have found some mystery man no one can prove ever existed in our world’s history? I’m a better person because of my stroke and I didn’t have to find Jesus to do it.  Why is that a bad thing?  You know what’s weird?  I did have a, I guess what you could call a religious experience.  It was during my first stint in UHS-SA.I have yet to write about this part, I’m so far behind in how I planned for this blog to go.  Anyway, they transferred me to a hospital, UHS-SA, in another city a couple of hours north of here. They sent me for treatment of the AVM and to receive inpat rehab. I was in N.ICU for a few days before I received my first embolization which is where they send a catheter trough an artery from your groin to your brain.  They basically try to starve the AVM by blocking its feeder vein with either a coil or onyx glue.  After the procedure they transferred me to inpat rehab.  My timeline is still jumbled here, but at some point after the procedure I woke up swearing to my mom that a man in a robe with this intricate golden pattern embroidered into the edge of his huge bell sleeves visited me! In this “vision” he didn’t speak, I saw nothing but his hand and bulbous white finger and it was directing me forward, as if away.  I thought this was some sort of crazy visit from some prophet or Jesus or even God himself! But the thing is, I didn’t die so why would I get a visit?  I think it was a dream; my subconscious was telling me to stay strong, that I will win this battle in the war of life and that I must continue forward.  To me, that makes a lot more sense than a deity coming to me from the heavens and blessing me with a touch of his finger to my chest to direct me on a righteous path towards healing.  I seriously wish you could hear my mocking tone.

   And let’s be serious, if Jesus came to me because I had a stroke, I’d be super pissed.  Go worry about someone who actually needs you like all those kids starving out there. Or go do something about cancer or infectious mosquitoes.  What the hell?  So, no, my stroke didn’t shine any light upon me that makes me look at colored glass differently.  Why is that a bad thing?!  I don’t understand and I don’t think I ever will. Let me have me beliefs; I let you have yours and just because you don’t question yours doesn’t mean I can’t.

   I have never stepped foot in a church for the first time without my eyes filling up.  I am always overwhelmed with emotion.  I don’t think it’s because of any holy spirit watching over that church, I think it’s because the room is full of what the others are emitting.  In church, people open up in a way they can rarely do anywhere else.  They go to pray, to stare, to think, to ponder and contemplate and they do so openly.  People attend filled with love, confusion, pain, anger and pity and I think that’s what people feel in these “holy houses.”  I think they feel each other on a level they can’t comprehend.  I know it sounds silly but in my head it sounds more plausible than an invisible man in the room watching creepily.  **shivers**

   One thing for sure is how irritating it is that people automatically assume you are atheist just because you’re not claimed under any roof housing any religion.  I’m not an atheist.  I’m not against the idea of faith in a higher power and I’m not even opposed to the possibility that maybe there really is a Creator.  I just won’t say that Creator is a God or an alien or some other such theory.  I won’t say these things because I can’t.  I even made the joke to Gordon that for all we know we could be a part of some strange alien relocation program.  No one knows!  And that’s what I love about agnosticism.  I am not bound to any one truth.  I am free to explore my thoughts, the thoughts of others and the world around me.  I can question and doubt without fear of burning in hell.  I don’t have to worry about what comes to me naturally being sinful or disloyal  or if I’m being disobedient.  I’m a human being and humans are still mammals which means we are animals when you get down to the core of our beings.  I don’t want my right to instincts  denied…that’s a fucked up way to live.  But I’m also a person and that means I live in a society; I share a world with many other people and we all have to make room for each other, be considerate of each other and acknowledge each other’s existence.  It seems like religions don’t make room for this kind of thinking. And atheism seems just as bigoted and close minded as those they actively oppose.  I don’t understand that either.  You can stand there and tell me what Christianity and Atheism are all about but your actions are not providing an accurate depiction of what you say you believe and why you oppose that belief.  Ok, you don’t believe in God and think all that do are stupid, but is that an excuse to end their right to publicly practice what they believe? So you think abortion goes against God, okay, I get it, but is it necessary to stand there and taunt women with horrible pictures of dead fetuses and scream at them as they are struggling to get through what is likely an incredibly difficult time in their life? Let men marry men and women marry women.  Let a teacher hang a Merry Christmas banner in their classroom despite what history, logic and reasoning tells us about the true pagan holiday. Let women wear their hijab in the grocery store for crying out loud.

   I’m agnostic, dammit, and I’m tired of defending and defining why.  I had a near death experience, so what?  People have them every day. Don’t tell me agnosticism is a safe play because “what if” because that’s not at all what it’s about.  Don’t tell me I’m really atheist but I’m splitting hairs because I’m not; which, by the way, the first person to say that to me is now claiming they are agnostic when they were heavily atheist before.  I guess Richard Dawkins was all, “Well, we can’t say for sure…” and so atheists were all, “well maybe I’m not atheist after all…”  That’s the problem with being a follower. You lose the ability to know where you stand and what you really believe while you’re swimming in the thoughts of others.  You’re just watering yourself down, it’s really kind of sad.

   For more insight on agnosticism, I’ve selected two of my favorite interviews that give accurate descriptions of what being an agnostic means and how it can be defined by both science and the spirit of the heart and mind.

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