katylivewire

“Christ is my way, my light, and my savior.”

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 1:49 am

These are the words I see repeatedly on my Facebook News Feed. They’re bold, with blue letters that seem to glow on the screen. They’re alluring, seemingly magical.

Over 34,000 people on Facebook “liked” this sentence…and it’s just one of hundreds of Christian pages.

What’s amazing to me is that these people seem incredibly sure that they alone are right. They would never dream that Jesus Christ is merely a prophet, rather than the son of God, or even just a regular man who tried to teach the world what he thought were important morals.

Although I have been wary of religion forĀ  a long time, and especially repelled by Christianity, I can’t help but be fascinated by the psychological aspect of religion…particularly, Christianity.

What makes them so sure?

After all, what is their proof? The Bible, a book that could be every bit as fictional as Harry Potter (and undoubtedly just as outlandish)? Stories passed down by word of mouth — a method that has been proved time and time again to be faulty at best?

And yet, despite the evident lack of proof, they claim, insist, that they are right and all non-believers are wrong.

In case you haven’t guessed by now, I am one of these so-called non-believers. This is partially due to my love of knowledge. I love proof. I love cold, hard facts. I love the inarguable invincibility of science and equations. Faith? That’s something that I have trouble getting behind.

I’ve always scoffed at Christianity and other religions. A big fish swallowing a man…who survives? A resurrection? A virgin giving birth? These things are scientific impossibilities. It is a mystery to me why they are so widely believed, so widely accepted as…well…fact.

And yet…there is something about religious people that is different. A certain bounce in their step. A certain matter-of-fact tone. A particular smile that practically beams sunshine your way that only graces their face when the magic word reaches their lips: “God.” “Jesus.” “Christ.” “The Savior.” “The Lord.”

These words are like their crutches to lean on, the foundation of the structure of their lives. It’s a little incredible. In fact, it is incredible.

So here’s my question: How do I get that happiness?

Do I have to blindly believe in something with no proof behind it?

Do I have to agree to follow a set of rules — that I don’t necessarily agree with — and decide that if I fail to, I’ll spend eternity in a fiery Hell?

There are hundreds of lifestyle changes that Christianity entails. Baptism, church-going, Bible-reading, God-loving, cross-wearing…Lent! These would be as easy as pie to take up. It’s like making the decision to exercise weekly. Buy yourself a Stairmaster and hop to it.

But the belief? The actual, shining moments of pure faith?

The truth is, I know I couldn’t do it.

I’ve tried, believe me. There was a time when I was convinced that I was evangelical. This was in seventh grade, when my entire group of friends attended the same church. They made it sound so enticing — they had VBS, a week of games and singing during summertime, they had snacks, they got dressed up and sang beautiful songs together in a room of stained glass.

I knew I had to try it. So I hauled out the old Bible — to the surprise of my non-affiliated, indifferent family — and went with my friend Mary (Of course!) to church.

I stepped in the door and was immediately handed a thick program. In it were the songs, Bible readings, and sermons that would be happening in the next few hours. I was shocked — church must take forever!

The songs whizzed by for me — even then, I loved to sing. I just zoned out and let my vocal chords do their thing. But the sermons…the sermons took a good few hours.

I was just trying to determine whether I could catch a good few minutes of sleep without Mary and her family noticing (the other thing about church — you have to get up EARLY!) when the pastor said something that made my ears perk up.

It was a word. “Homosexuality.”

This was an area of interest for me. Besides the normal childhood curiosity about how someone could be attracted to the same sex, I had noticed that some people were biased against people who were. Even as a sheltered and fairly naive preteenager, I knew that this was wrong. And the way this guy was speaking, he didn’t seem to like homosexuals at all. In fact, he damned them. Multiple times. I felt my face grow red, partially with indignation, and partially because I was flustered — nobody else seemed to notice or care that this man was being unfairly angry at people who had done nothing to him!

I listened to the rest of his rant in a nervous silence. Oh, but he wasn’t done yet.

He moved on to the subject of Hell, and my hackles really went up. Doubt was bad. So was premarital sex. I thought nervously of my maternal grandmother, an admirable woman who unfortunately got pregnant with my mother by accident at the age of nineteen. Two of my uncles got girls pregnant during their youth, and never married them.

And then I thought of myself…the biggest doubt-er I knew! After all, I hadn’t even considered Christianity before! I was already doomed to be forever burned! And my parents…they had no interset whatsoever in religion. My mother took the approach that there was something out there, and she was okay with that, and she would live her life the way she felt was best. My father was speculative and believed in God but wasn’t altogether sure about Christianity. Was this such a crime that my parents deserved to suffer in a burning pit for all of time? I grew increasingly nervous as the pastor continued to graphically describe the horrors of Hell. I imagined myself, an angel in Heaven, as my parents screamed in Hell. The thought was horrific. I didn’t want to be in a Heaven with these self-righteous people who deemed my parents unfit for paradise!

I was positively burning with indignation by the time the pastor finished his sermon. He ended probingly, “Anyone who does not believe in Hell, stand.”

No one stood. Not even I, who personally was having some doubts in the back pew. Even if I didn’t believe, there was no way in…well, you-know-where, that I was going to subject myself to the judgment of fifty fervent believers. I sat quietly and just waited for it to end.

It did end…and although I was prodded into attending several more services and some youth group meetings, after that, my doubts only grew until I had no choice but to declare myself a non-believer. Yes, it sparked some controversy (and a whole lot of pre-death damnation by my wholly convinced classmates), but I survived.

I still consider myself a non-believer. There are times when I enviously observe the joy in the faces of the religiously fervent. There are times when I wish I had a God to turn to…many, in fact.

But then I remember that if I did, He wouldn’t answer back anyway.

And so, Christ is not my way, my light, or my savior. Kind of a sad statement, but hey. At least I have something.

The path I choose is my way.

The ideas that fill my mind are my light.

And I am my own savior.

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Allow me to introduce myself…

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Hi. Don’t you recognize me? It’s me, Katy.

But, actually, it’s not.

At least, it’s not the Katy in real life. It’s not the real me. I guess you could say that it’s the metaphorical demon on my shoulders, the tiny part of me that whispers “no.” This is a part of me that I refuse to expose, that screams and rants and raves and shakes its monstrous arms in protest at the wrongs in the world. The part of me that seethes with secret fury.

Meet LIVEWIRE.

I imagine her as a redhead. I’m not sure if this is my childhood admiration of redheads coming out, or the cliche of redheads with tempers. But, it’s my imagination, my metaphorical demon, MY character. And so I give her red hair…a blessing in the midst of all her flaws.

LIVEWIRE sometimes hates me. She hates me and is embarassed of me. Katy. My mild-mannered, peaceful self who solves problems by accepting the difficult parts in life, who avoids conflict out of fear, who cries when she disappoints people. LIVEWIRE is disgusted. LIVEWIRE wants vindiction. LIVEWIRE wants blood. LIVEWIRE wants killers and torturers and paper-wasters and litterers and rapists and kidnappers and animal abusers and bullies to pay for their crimes. LIVEWIRE wants them to drown in their filt, to slowly feel the agony that they inflicted on the world.

This is LIVEWIRE’s forum. This is where Katy stands aside, idle, and watches LIVEWIRE wreak havoc.

So say goodbye to Katy…and meet LIVEWIRE.