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Personal Paths To Humanism

by David Allen

Following is the second essay of a series on how various persons have grown toward unbelief. Submissions are welcome. The preferred length is 750-1200 words. Essays may be sent to: Editor, AAH EXAMINER, P.O. Box 664, Buffalo, New York, 14226-0664.

The question that I am constantly asked is how a born-again Christian could ever turn out to be a full-fledged humanist. The answer is simple. Too many letdowns, too many lies, too many contradictions and too many hypocrites. Additionally, I learned to depend on myself to fulfill my needs and desires.

My faith in Christianity started to decline while I was still in middle school. I prayed for new clothes; I prayed for girlfriends; I prayed for money; I prayed for a bike. I prayed for many things. And though my prayers were never answered, I continued to have a strong belief in God. I was told - and believed - that God did not answer my prayers because I did not have enough faith.

Oddly enough, this belief was my first step toward humanism. I eventually received all of the material things for which I prayed. I obtained these things, however, through my own labor and abilities. I worked to earn money to buy a used bike from a friend. I found a job which paid me money with which to buy clothes. My belief in God was still strong, but I felt guilty because I was always asking him/her for ungodly things.

During my senior year in high school I was dealt a fatal blow to my faith. I was at football practice when I sustained a back injury. It was minor, but I was unable to go to practice. I could not go to summer football camp and was cut from the team. For years I had demonstrated a firm belief in God; and I figured he would come through for me in my time of need. I was watching Pat Robertson on the 700 Club (as I did frequently), and he told the viewers who were ailing to pray with him and put their hands on their television sets. I did so. When the prayer was finished, my back felt better. I began to rejoice. I thanked the Lord. I danced and sang. I then collapsed with a more serious back injury. I asked myself, "Is there any truth to what I believe?"

Not even God could act without time. Time, in my opinion, was God. This was a step toward humanism.

The team I would have played for went undefeated that year. They were ranked number one in the metropolitan area. I wished that I could have shared the glory. Why would God not intervene for me? I no longer believed that I did not display enough faith. I was faithful, and no one could tell me differently. How much faith does it take? And how is faith being measured?

I began to think that God was not as powerful as I had assumed. I read the book Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Daniken. I began to think that God was nothing more than an extraterrestrial being who had just happened to come to earth.

I also began formulating my own theories. I equated God with time. Those things that I believed God could deliver could also be delivered given enough time. Not even God could act without time. Time, in my opinion, was God. Once again, this was a big step toward humanism. By equating God with time I assumed that, in order to reach my goals, I would need time and effort. The money that I always prayed for was available when I invested in the stock market and gave my investment time to grow. The car that I prayed for was available when I took time to save the money to purchase it. The girlfriend I prayed for was with me when I took the time to find her. I had found the answer!

Though I had drifted far to the left of Christianity, I still maintained some devotion to it. I felt that the Bible was still legitimate, but it just took time for things to occur. It took time for Moses to free the Jews. It took time for Jesus to prove his point. Therefore, I figured, Christianity should not be abandoned.

I maintained this philosophy until my brother, Norm Allen, Jr., sent me a book titled Atheism: The Case Against God, by George H. Smith. I then realized that the Bible was filled with contradictions, absurdities and blatant lies. I asked myself, "Why would Christians continue to tell these lies?" It then dawned on me that Christianity was a multi-trillion dollar, international tax-free business. I realized that ministers were driving new Cadillacs and Mercedes Benzes while their benefactors could not even afford a one-bedroom efficiency.

Greed is what perpetuates Christianity. Christian leaders are the biggest "sinners" of all! They are liars, cheats, extortionists and sexual deviants. Their selling of religion to those who need a reprieve from the woes of daily living makes them no better than the cocaine dealer who is offering the same temporary relief. The only difference is that the Christian salesperson makes more money, sells it legally, and owes no taxes.

Today I am a firm believer in Darwin's theory of evolution. I am constantly being asked how I manage to live without believing in anything. I respond, "I believe in something. I believe in myself and humanity."

It has worked for me so far. But what if I am wrong? What if there is a God? What if there is a hell? And what if I go to hell? Well, because I will have an eternity, I will figure out a way to get myself into heaven.

David Allen is a writer from the Washington, D.C. area.

[*] AAH Examiner Selected Articles


This page was last updated 02/13/2004

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