Why Giving Up On Religion Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

I’m a big believer in a lot things. In fact, I love believing in things. I believe that grilled cheese is the single greatest food product created by the hands of man, and that a good bottle of Pinot Grigio is not a wine, but a human necessity. I believe that Sylvia Plath’s diaries hold the most tragic and truest words ever recorded, and that Gina Rodriguez and Amy Schumer deserve all of the girl-crushes in the world. I believe that you can sleep better with one foot peeking out from under a blanket and that, no matter how hard you try, you’ll never know more about a person than what they want you to. I even believe in things just for the sake of believing in them enough to argue for a few good hours, because I definitely believe that feeling right or pissed off is better than feeling bored. But for all of these things that I do believe in, there is one thing that I don’t… and man, it can suck sometimes.

You see, I don’t believe in God.

And it’s not anybody’s fault, really. My childhood Sundays were taken over by Hebrew School, my hometown is about 95% Jewish, and because my dad was raised Catholic, we even threw a Christmas tree alongside the Menorah during the holidays. I went to a Jewish sleep away camp for 8 straight summers and stood up in a little gold dress in front of my awkward, greasy, prepubescent friends during the ceremony for my Bat Mitzvah. Yet, here I am, nineteen and Godless, watching my friends find satisfaction in faith and reading about people finding salvation in spirituality.

I wish that I believed in God, since there are moments where we all feel directionless and alone. I also wish I had red hair and could dance. Some things just aren’t going to happen.

It’s kind of crazy to me how many people are so intense about their religion. I appreciate it, don’t get me wrong, but the idea of being born into a set of values and beliefs that are supposed to govern your life simply doesn’t seem right to me. Some grow up reading words from ageing books and singing prayers in languages that they don’t even understand, yet cling to their religion with a blind potency that can really only be explained by the concept of indoctrination. There are hundreds of different gods that hundreds of different people believe in fervently enough to defend with guns and warfare. Who is to say which one is right, especially in the midst of all this action which is so tragically wrong? I was raised Jewish for more than half of my life, but I still don’t really understand what that means. I understand that the prayers and the readings told me to be a good person, to live a good life, and to care…but I don’t see the point in tying that to a religion when it all seems so logically tied to plain humanity.

I don’t think that God has a plan for us. I think that things happen in life, by chance or choice, and nothing is either a punishment or reward. If it falls on one end of the spectrum, it’s either a sh*t circumstance or an awesome one. And I’m not alone in these beliefs… a whopping 34% of my fellow millennials don’t believe in God, either. I wonder if some of them don’t because they grow up hurt and afraid, perhaps in the midst of war or genocide and wonder how an existing God could ever let these things happen. I wonder how many of them believe so firmly in science and explanation that attempting to correlate the world’s events with an unseen and unknown power seems completely ludicrous. I wonder how many of them have spent years of their life half-heartedly practicing a religion that they had no higher connection to.

Maybe some of them are like me, and they have no solid reason why they don’t believe. I can’t will myself into thinking that there is a higher power just because it is conventional, and I can’t pinpoint down an explanation for my lack of faith because it’s more of a plain absence than a stance or a result.

Just because I don’t believe in God doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in anything. I believe that making both orange juice and milk breakfast beverages was a bad call. I believe in love. Sometimes I wish that I believed in a God, because it would be nice to have a little more to hold onto, but I believe in people and the power that we hold, especially when we are together. I believe in good and I believe in change, and for now, at least, that is enough.

Featured Image via We Heart It.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Love love love this article! I was hesitant to share it online because of the ridiculous taboo that being non-religious & non-believing is an awful thing. However, I shared it and got a great response from my friends! So many people felt like this and I let out a huge sigh of relief that I am not alone. I may not believe in God, but I am not lost or a bad person because of that. I just choose to believe in people and love (and grilled cheeses too) instead. Thanks for such a refreshing and great post! It’s more appreciated than you know.

  2. Dear Molly, Thank you for your article. I can tell you are very genuine and honest person. I as well dont believe in religion. Religion was made for men in order to connect themselves with God. Religion has made more damage and confussion than anything on people. But definively I do believe in God and I do have a strong and close relatioship with him. I know He loves me inconditionaly and I have seen his power many times in my life. To be honest I cannot figure out my life without Him. He is my bestfriend, the lover of my soul. I know that when I talk to him he can hear me, He has shown it to me always. Just give him a try. Dont look for him in people but in your heart that is his desire. Once you know him you will never let him go. I promise you.

  3. When you say in your article that “I don’t see the point in tying that to a religion when it all seems so logically tied to plain humanity” I totally agree. That’s because 99% of religion teaches that man is generally good and that he must do good deeds to gain favor with God in the same way that we are told in the secular world to live “good” lives in whatever way that means to us. On the contrary, the first book of the Jewish Ketuvim, the Psalms 14:3, says that no one does good.
    Sadly, most humans are looking for the right religion, teaching, or spiritual experience, rather than the right One. The same was the case with the Jews who in their time rejected Jesus Christ based on their own Talmud of traditions rather than sticking with the Word of God (the Jewish Tanakh) that prophesies the Lord Jesus in many places (Isaiah 53, Psalms 22, just to name a few).
    It is not about being good, being on the right side, etc. It is about the sacrifice for sins that Jesus Christ made for you at the cross and then rose again on his own power 3 days later. That’s what it’s about. So if you are looking for some higher calling, teaching, religion, deed, or mantra, here it is all wrapped up in one person (God incarnate): The Lord Jesus Christ!!!
    I hate you not and would never use force to advance my beliefs as Ephesians 6:12 tells me that the battle is spiritual and not physical anyways. I love you very much and am writing this from the bottom of my heart. No judgement is intended toward you as you have the right to believe (or not believe) what you want, but I beg you to please at least consider Jesus Christ before taking your last breath.
    “Try Jesus Again” by Pastor Charles Lawson
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2J6eBHX-nI

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