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Saturday, March 13, 2004                                                                                       View Comments

The Man from Neverwas

When you can't honestly say you've been part of something, it becomes a lot easier to leave it behind.

I had always been part of a family that, by all accounts, you could call "Chrisitan". My grandmother was probably the most religious of us all, at least for as long as I could remember. My own life had been what those so inclined could call a "miracle": I was three months premature, asthamtic, and would probably have died without a little luck... or a lot. Thus, the idea was firmly implanted in everyone's head: I must have been a miracle, end of story.

All through my life, I had been the type who questioned things. Among them, I wondered why a supposedly benevolent god would let bad things happen to those who didn't deserve it, while the horrible people of the world wallowed in ill-gotten wealth, power, and control. It's really hard to pinpoint where the change began, since I'm sure I started to question it somewhere around 12 or 13.

When 9/11 came, I saw what I feared most: religion, something I wasn't particularly fond of overall, taken to an extreme that caused people to be hurt. That was about the time that I officially renounced my faith, although I didn't really have much of anything to renounce.

It all would be going fine, if not for the fact that my mother had a breakdown last year and started to attend a fundamentalist church, with which I have serious conflicts of interest. Because of the beliefs they've instilled in her, I'm afraid to even declare my own opinion.

I see religion, and especially Christianity, as a bomb painted to look like a flower - it looks harmless, unless you know about what lies under the surface. Justifying, and legislating, hate through duress, as the neo-conservatives here do, is something that was never supposed to happen. But, until the day that we apostates are not seen as "Godless heathens" trying to "destroy religion and take God out of the country", we will always be the second-class citizens that nobody in power will stand up for.

Vulgaris Prime