Fighting with a higher being

More than three-quarters of Americans identify as Christians, according to the Washington Post. This means I’m a part of the one-quarter of Americans who don’t. 

When I was younger, my family and I went to church together most Sundays. I used to go to the children’s ministry and all the kids there seemed connected to God and into the activities. We used to worship and watch videos about Jesus, sing songs, and play games. 

I never really felt the connection with God that others had, and I felt out of place. When we prayed and worshiped, I silently thought, “Why are we doing this? I feel stupid.” I prayed outside of church, but didn’t feel a presence spiritually. Back then none of this made sense to me. I thought that maybe I wasn’t doing something right, or maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough. 

After a few years of going to church consistently, we suddenly stopped, but my family remained Christian. As I grew older, I started to question God and look at some different religious options. I feel most connected to Agnosticism — or the view that the existence of God, of the divine or supernatural, is unknown or unknowable. If someone asks, I identify as non-religious. 

I don’t feel comfortable being so invested in a person or thing that I cannot see. To me, there’s no real evidence of Jesus Christ or any religious figure. Not enough for me to worship or believe in a person or thing. 

When I explained to my mom that I didn’t identify as Christian she said that while she didn’t agree with me, but she believed that I have the right to have my own beliefs. I could tell that she didn’t want to talk about the topic because she wasn’t responding to what I had to say.  While I’m glad she approves of me forming my own beliefs, I wish that she didn’t just dismiss the conversation because now I’m hesitant to talk to her about the topic again. 

People in the christian community can be aggressive and try to force their religion on others. Non-christans also do this. 

A friend’s dad came to him and told him that if he didn’t learn The Lord’s Prayer he would disable his phone service. Situations such as this can make people feel isolated and forced, especially when there’s an ultimatum involved. 

Even though my friend ended up learning The Lord’s Prayer, he didn’t want to, and he was disappointed in his dad for making him do it. 

My dad and I also debate religion. He gives me pep talks,  and most of the time he mentions God knowing that I’m agnostic. He lectures me about how God can help a person through hard times, saying, “If you have the lord by your side, you will be successful.”

I come right back and tell him that I believe that you don’t have to believe in God to be successful. Even If he doesn’t agree with my opinion I make sure he knows that it’s important to me. 

Even though I don’t believe in a God, I believe in being a good person and I believe in respecting other people’s thoughts on religion. Everyone deserves respect despite our differences. I wouldn’t try to convert people to Agnosticism, but I don’t have a problem telling people my opinions and hearing others’ beliefs. I want people of all religions to come together and develop a mutual respect for one another.