Believe What You Want, but Leave Me Out of It

Sunday I attended a church service with the rest of my family.


Now let me start by saying I am an atheist, and while I was raised in this church denomination, I have always taken issue with their teachings, even when I did consider the possibility of God.

The topic of the sermon was, Is There a God? For 30 minutes the preacher said things such as those who don’t believe in a god are idiots,  we shouldn’t read science books,  homosexuals and transsexuals are sinners and do not deserve any rights, and the Big Bang Theory is a lie.

This guy’s premise is that God exists because the Bible says so. Using that premise, I could say that Harry Potter exists because the book series says so.



I can’t describe how surreal it felt to have members of the congregation come up to me at the end of the service ask me to come back, as though they would expect anyone to willingly come back and listen to more of that vitriol.

It offends me that some people who believe in a religious faith think it’s OK to discount the beliefs of others, especially when those people proclaim to care about me as a person. I have just as much right to not believe in a deity as others have to believe in one. And let’s face it, if I were going to change my mind about a deity, it would be more because of pastors like Nadia Bolz-Weber than those who spew hate.


If therapy has taught me anything, it’s that what I think and feels matters. I won’t be cowed by those whose beliefs I find offensive. 

35 thoughts on “Believe What You Want, but Leave Me Out of It

  1. Some religions and especially some preachers are very negative and condescending. My wife is a big believer and I did tell her once or twice that I have doubts and she freaked out. She thought she was going to heaven without me. I keep my mouth shut now and go to church with her when she goes, which isn’t that often anymore. I will say that I don’t mind going because everyone is so nice and the pastor is always positive and a little self-deprecating with some humor thrown in.

    1. I have gone to church with those I was providing support to when I worked in a group home for those with special needs, and even though the denomination was one that is notoriously non-accepting of others, this particular church was very friendly and the sermons were more positive. Oh, and they had free coffee.

      1. Pretty low, Jen, even though I’ve found much of your cynicism and sarcasm truly refreshing.

  2. It is offensive that churches ha e such artful architecture because I have no other reason to want to go there. Catholic upbringing, half catholic, half Anglican. Learnt to question God early but choose to believe there is ‘something’ however don’t believe in the whole ‘God-thing!” You would not believe how often people stop me in the street to offer they can pray for me or to invite me to church. Get me on a bad day I will insist they go forth and multiply! (Just avoided swearing) as long as people are not blind and ignorant or blowing others up in the name of ‘their God!’ I’m ok with it just leave me out of it! I suspect we are the same? Cheers,H

    1. I was quite upset about the entire affair, but more so because of how it upset some of my family members. I’ve faced down far worse than an angry preacher and lived to tell the tale. But it hurts to see those I care about upset.

      1. Seems to me that the force-feeding of a “belief” is a global phenomenon, one that crosses cultural lines from rainforests to the West Bank. And it also seems to be a timeless phenomenon with anthropomorphism and power games hiding behind the guise of The Other. Said the scorpion to its savior: “It’s in my nature.”

  3. im not religious and dont agree on religion being forced onto people. like jehovas come round door knocking wanting you to join their community… they must be desperate they even stand on streets desperately trying to give out leaflets to people. if someone wants to join a religion they will find a way to do it. children here are taken to church sometimes with preschool. the preschool i worked in took kids to church about 4 times a year for under 5s service and the local primary took the 1st year kids (preschool 2-4, 1st year primary 4-5yrs) its a half hr service, bit of signing and them talking about jesus loves you and god be with you or something. not sure the kids understand it, well i know our lot wouldnt, they just saw it as a little adventure when we walked down to the church to sing songs. but not convinced they should be expected to be religious, surely wait til they are old enough to decide? i was at an air festival fri and sat and someone kept flying a small plane low over the beach with a banner behind it saying “jesus loves every 1 of u” i was in a queue at the time to sit in an large fast jet when it first came over and loads of people started laughing. the next day im walking along the beach when it comes over and again people laughed (it was circling the beach for a good hour or so each day shortly after stalls and other events opened, wouldnt have got away with it in the afternoon with the flying displays being on. i got a pic of it and was going to post it on my fb then i wasnt sure if it was a good idea coz i would have captioned it “everyone was laughing at this banner being flown over the beach” but i thought ive got friends who are religious and they might not like it that people were laughing at the banner, i dont want to start an argument between religious and non religious friends.

  4. Your sweet little feline family members didn’t go to that church with you. I’m glad you included their pictures, because they will always love you, and will never judge you!

  5. Hear-hear, kiddo! More of a live and let live teddy myself! Long as nowun gets hurt you can do wot yoo mayks yoo happy in my books! (wich include @kennykoalabear’s vegetarian cook-book while still liking a nise sossidj now and again, hehe!) Ther ar mor questions than answers in this Universe and nowun has got all the answers heehee! Best fing we can all do fur all critters on this littlle Blue Dot is be KIND and sumtimes that meens being kind to yurself furst.
    Big Huuggs!

  6. I’ve never understood the those who think the creator of the UNIVERSE (in their opinion) has favorite ways to behave, who one should fall in love with ETC. And the hatred towards anyone different, the ignoring of science and favoring of ‘beliefs’…scary. I’m not outraged as much as I am puzzled.

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