guess i’ll just jump on in here
Hey, y’all. The name’s Robyn, and I’m an atheist.
At the moment, I’m taking a course in African American Rhetoric and Early African-American literature during the same semester, and I’ve been thinking about black people and religion (particularly Christianity) a lot lately. Not that I ever really get away from it—my mother is reasonably pious (I say ‘reasonably’ because she isn’t a minister, but she volunteers, is on a lot of church committees, and, well, she prays) and I do live in the Bible Belt. The stuff’s everywhere.
Anyway, I’ll rant about Christianity in particular, later. I’ll just introduce myself for now. :)
My mother has taken up to claiming, recently, that I was “raised in the church”, and I simply don’t think that is so. I’ve always been rather indifferent to going to church—almost to the point of being hostile about it—when I was kid. I simply hated going. I made no friends among the other kids in Sunday School and sermons were insufferably boring to me. I preferred reading about Pagan gods (such as Greek and Roman myths, and later, I was fascinated by Voodoo/Santeria and Catholicism—which was basically the same thing to me). She knew I was interested in these things; she even stopped making me go after a while (maybe when I was middle school). So the claim is odd to me.
Fast forward to years later, still not recognizing the fact that I was an “unbeliever” though I would get annoyed at church and was experimenting with other religions (such as Wicca and other bits of Neo-Paganism). My friend converted to Reform Judaism, and as a curious friend, I read up some stuff on it (and, at the same time, I looked up stuff on Islam, because she said something to the effect of “While I’m not a Muslim, they have a beautiful culture,” and I wanted to see if Judeo-Islamic relations were that good—I didn’t know anything about it—and boy, was I surprised at all the animosity between the faiths).
That turned into me being just fascinated with exegesis of the Abrahamic religions (and, at the same time, a piqued interest in Satanism). Somehow, I was led to a realization: “Since I don’t believe in any of this stuff, I guess I’m an atheist. Huh, how about that?” It wasn’t a huge revelation, as I never felt like I believed in any of it, despite how much I would have liked to. I was just relieved that I knew nothing was wrong with me.
I still find religion quite fascinating: I love reading the mythologies of other cultures, get excited about religious symbolism in purely secular works, sometimes (like when I can spin a totally secular song into a gospel one in my head...yeah, too much Sister Act and The Matrix), and I think religious items are quite beautiful (like rosaries and sand mandala). And while I don’t believe in it whatsoever, I suppose I have an irrational soft spot for Catholicism, Paganism, and Satanism, like I imagine former Baptists or Evangelicals might have a soft spot for Baptists and Evangelicals.
Nope, my mother doesn’t know about any of that. Heh heh, I think it’s because I have this picture of “The First Supper” in the computer room and I once said something about “going to church does not equal ‘unbeliever’.” It doesn’t, but it seems so ironic, now. I’m waiting until I’m on my own to say that.
So...hi, everyone! I hope there’s some more introductions after this.