No Matter Religion


I go to a public school in a small village. It’s mostly white, mostly German, and mostly Catholic or Christian. In fact, I’ve even been Confirmed – despite being Atheist. This choice is a very defining piece of myself, but I don’t really feel the need to talk about it – unless my public school has a motivational speaker mention God. That debacle is said and done, though. This post is more about what has transpired since then.

Most people are still as indifferent to my religion choice as they ever were. One of my friends and I got into a misunderstanding, but made up within two classes. Others…are not nearly as accepting. I had talked with this one extremely religious boy months before any of this had begun, and we both said we respected the other’s choice. But then, after the motivational speaker came, there seemed to be a lack of respect.

“Jesus loves you,” he said for the third or fourth time.

I laughed in response – he was just joking around with me.

“Thanks, but that doesn’t really get me anywhere. I’m pretty set on my being Atheist.”

“Why?”

“Because I am,” I say with a shrug of my shoulders. I didn’t really want to go into the logistics of my choice because religious is already so hazy, and a lot of it had to deal with personal matters.

“Oh, well Jesus still loves you.”

That’s what I encountered the other night at my choir concert. For a while, I thought he was just messing with me, but even after I politely asked him to stop saying that, he didn’t. Apparently he was also talking about me today – my sister overheard him. Eventually he turned to her and said, “I was just trying to tell her that Jesus loves her.”

He doesn’t seem to understand that I don’t believe in Jesus or God being omnipresent in my life – or in anyone else’s for that matter. As much as this frustrates me, I will always try to be tolerant of other religions and never tell a Christian or Catholic “God doesn’t exist” because I don’t know if that is true. I have no proof, just as the Bible’s validity is unclear.

I know these types of encounters are only the beginning – I actually can’t believe that it’s taken me until nearly eighteen to meet them. But I can only hope to find like-minded people to surround myself with in the future. I want people who are willing to accept other beliefs and actions as they are and just agree to disagree, no matter religion.

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