Growing up in rural Alabama, the buckle of the bible-belt, I became very acquainted with fundamental Christianity and revealed religionists. Luckily, my parents always taught my brother and I to be open-minded in matters of faith and religion. As a family unit we attended church on fewer than a half-dozen occasions. I remember as a small boy that local pastors would sometimes visit our home attempting to lure us into church. It was the usual approach; “Jesus is coming soon, and we are living in the end-times so we must be prepared.” In particular, there was one charismatic preacher who would always witness, and until my parents saw the negative impact it had on us kids, they would simply invite him into our home out of southern respect and mannerism. This preacher always had a Bible, and invariably, he would read from it, prophesying that the end times were upon us. Of course being only small children at the time, this would terrify us kids. I always thought that these people were strange, but as a youth I didn’t question it much. It was these experiences that actually deterred me from Christianity, and was the impetus guiding me into atheism in early adulthood. All of these Bible prophesies that never seemed to materialize made me a skeptic of the bible and revealed religions.
Through God given reason, I later concluded that there had to be a God; a grand designer, or a higher power simply because nature and life were too complex to be of accidental origin, and could not have evolved from dead matter. I joined a Catholic church, but this relationship was of short duration, simply because it didn’t make sense. I departed the Catholic church and visited other churches. However, the end result was still the same: I always felt like a hypocrite; not a moral hypocrite, but an intellectual hypocrite. I felt stupid standing there trying to conform to societal pressures, and pretending to believe and accept something that made absolutely no sense to me. For many years I simply trusted that there was a God, but I was not affiliated with organized religion. I stopped reading the Bible because every time I did it only created confusion and frustration, and every bit of my logical synapses told me that at best, the Bible was only a book of fables written during the antiquity by highly superstitious men with active imaginations.
In college, I had taken a western literature course and remembered a term “Deism,” which was associated with the Enlightenment Period. During one class, it was briefly mentioned by the professor, something of Deistic philosophy, which I found interesting, but I didn‘t probe any further. A few months ago I came across the term Deism again, and this jogged my memory from back in college days, so I was intrigued to do a Nexus search. I happened upon the World Union of Deists website. Here, I found all of my questions were answered, and everything made perfect sense. My confirmation of God through nature and reason that had been existing within me for years finally made sense and had meaning. I realized that the Deistic beliefs coincided with what I had believed for many years. Becoming a Deist was one of the greatest defining moments of my life, and I was quite ecstatic to learn that many other people shared the same beliefs. I have peace and happiness, and I no longer live my life in fear, fighting an intellectual war within myself. Peace and confusion cannot coexist, just as love and fear cannot coexist. I’m happy to be free of the bonds of atheism, revealed religions, and the superstitious ignorance, fear, and hate perpetuated by the Bible.