Good day folks, Sparky here.
I’ve been sitting on this post for a while. Largely out of being easily distracted by school, work and other such things. But the start of Lent seemed a good time to get back to writing. Today I would like to briefly address my agnosticism.
Weird, right? An agnostic child of two good Catholics, with a brother out learning how to be a priest? Where did things go wrong? What drove me from the faith? I must just be going through a rebellious phase. Or I’m ashamed of something. Those are some of the usual questions and explanations I find. Ex-something or others are common enough here in Utah (usually ex Mormons just by population distribution) that we have all heard it all. Part of this is well meaning concern and some of it is simply folk only understanding (tvtropes link warning) Hollywood Atheism. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodAtheist
Let me answer the questions now so you don’t need to ask the next non-believer you meet. Nothing went wrong. My parents are not perfect but who is, and they did an excellent job of raising me and my brother. It just seems that some of the religious teachings stuck with him more. No one incident drove me from belief and if it did that is no business of yours. I don’t have a grudge against God or the Church. Some do, but as a matter of fact I deeply respect the Catholic Church (and as a side note I think that the current Pope is one of the most awesome humans alive), as well as other faiths. I don’t want to tear down religions, I don’t think they are brainwashing the masses and I don’t think they are part of a conspiracy to control the world. The simple matter of it is that I do not have faith in any higher power. I am not an atheist, I do not inherently refute the existence of such a power, I simply question if one exists and if it does what form does it exist in. This is not an act of rebellion on my part, though there was an element of that in forging my own identity. Nor is it me hiding from God out of shame.
And all this brings me to the title of the post. Just because I lack faith myself does not mean that I defy yours. When someone says they are praying for me it means a lot. I know that they believe in prayer and they have taken the time to include me in that ritual. I don’t hate your religion. In fact I likely admire at least some portions of it. And I don’t take offense to people couching things in terms of faith, addressing or thanking a saint or deity for some act of good fortune or praying for aid during difficult times. If you take nothing else from this post take this. Agnosticism and Atheism simply mean that someone does not believe. No more and no less. Thank you
– Older Brother