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Thursday, October 23, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

I need help

I don't know if I am putting this in the right place, but this is where I figure everyone will see it. I need your collective help as a community.

You may remember me from not too long ago; the story of the 17 year old Ex-Southern-Baptist with depression problems.

It has only been about 6 months since the first time I said out loud, "I am not a Christian." It has only been about a year since I first began to realize that my beliefs were largely irrational and started to question my faith.

Where I stand now, I am no longer uncomfortable thinking about religion in general; I am firm in my disbelief. However, there are certain things that can...get to me. Triggers, if you will, that set off an enormous wave of emotions, particularly doubt (that I am doing the right thing, etc.).

The main "trigger" is the Bible. When I was religious (and oh, how religious I was) the Bible consumed every waking thought of my time. For three years I ate, slept, drank, and shitted scripture. I still have my three Bibles: my original Bible given to me when I got "saved" at 5 years old, my trusty "study" Bible filled with my own notes and underlinings, and my four-version "translation" Bible to compare all the different versions. I cannot get rid of them because my family would notice and at this time that is not advisable. Anyway, I LOVED the Scriptures with a passion. I have always been a big literature buff, and even now I have to admit that when considered as a piece of fiction, it is still a masterpiece. Perhaps a masterpiece of lies, but most works of fiction are.

And therein lies the problem. I can't so much as pick up my study Bible without my brain going absolutely nuts. Waves of nausea and doubt roll over me. I once felt the Bible to be the absolute authority, and it still holds some effect over me. Particularly passages that I once loved. I was hoping I could just live with them in the knowledge that they were nothing more than beautiful pieces of writing, but they cannot be that, apparently. They are burned into my mind. I am at a loss.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Other triggers are praise songs (I have always been musically inclined) and memories (we all know how strong they can be).

What am I to do?

Also, without my religious crutch, I have a newfound fear of death. I am having a hard time dealing with the idea of annihilation. And when I say a "hard time", that is a gross understatement. I am not an atheist but neither am I a theist--it's rather hard to describe and I don't want to get into it--but suffice to say that I believe in the existence of immortal souls. However, looking at the face of time, this doesn't seem rational. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I welcome comments on this particular issue from anyone but I would PREFER to hear from someone who isn't a total atheist. Just to see if anyone has a view that isn't irrational.

Someone please give me some thoughts to chew on. I am quite young and very overwhelmed.

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If you are a Xtian PLEASE do not respond. I only want comments from people who aren't part of the problem in the first place.

Emily