I Don’t Know If I Want to Be a Christian
A third-generation atheist explores the faith.
If I’m being honest, I’ve always been interested in Christianity.
This usually comes as a surprise to people. Not because non-Christians are rare, but because people like me who are unconnected to Christianity is almost unheard of in the United States.
I’m a Spiritual Unicorn
No, I didn’t turn away from the faith because I thought atheism was more logical. No, I wasn’t baptized. No, I’m not from any religious minority group.
I’m a white woman who was born in Appalachia in 1990. My father’s family hails from that area and Missouri. My mother’s family immigrated from Scandinavia about a century ago and settled in California.
Something weird happened in the last few generations on both sides of my family. Their belief in Christianity fell away. By the time I was born, it had become normal to not even discuss religion with their children. It was a non-topic — like the taxation rate in Mongolia to the average American.
I’ve never met another person like me, except for my older brother. I’ve never even heard of another person like me.
Isolated From God
It might surprise you to learn that, if you have no one in your family who’s Christian, then nobody tries to seriously evangelize you. Only a few stray comments have been sent my way by any single Christian.
This has caused some hilarious misunderstandings about the faith that I didn’t learn until I was an adult. The first was that I didn’t understand Jesus. Was he a magical baby or a wizard? The second is that I had no idea what the Holy Spirit was. Naturally, I believed Christians were obsessed with dancing ghosts.
The third is that I thought the Father was a bird.
Hey — there are lot of images of doves out there. Why wouldn’t a non-Christian think bird worship was a thing?
The closest concept I had for God was the Matrix. I thought that, at best, somebody had programmed the universe and we were living out the algorithm.
But that, as it turns out, is a frustrating worldview.
Nothing Matters in a Simulation
I see a lot of atheists wish for a future where children are raised without a religion. I was that child. It didn’t make me happier. I was just confused.
Not that I can blame these same atheists. Many have traumatic experiences with the church or grew up around spiritual hypocrites. But who I am is a testament to the failure of their wish.
Without religion, I was unconnected to the culture around me. Without religion, morality was based on fear of the law. Without religion, I had no sense of purpose.
While I was fortunate to have good parents and little adversity, something was missing. I had no drive to exist beyond my base desires. People were just bags of meat I interacted with, though some were more favorable than others. I wanted to be good, but I didn’t know what good was beyond what people told me and people were obstacles or tools.
It was inevitable that I would become a depressed teenager even though I had a fortunate life. But what did I have really — nice things and a polite social group?
That’s not enough.
My Spiritual Mission
I can’t say for certain if I’m going to be a Christian a year from now. However, I thought it was time for me to start seriously exploring the idea of it. Not to mention I have a unique perspective on the religion.
For that reason, I’m going to read the Bible. All of it. First, I’ll start with the New Testament, go through the Old Testament, and then reread the New Testament. If I’m lucky, I’ll find something special. But even if I fail, maybe I’ll finally understand Christianity and stop having so many embarrassing gasps of knowledge.
I hope you’ll find my journey entertaining.
Do you think children should be raised without religion? Let me know! If you’re interested in my journey, be sure to follow me and subscribe to my newsletter to find out what happens.