Sunday, January 31, 2010

Me and Religion

I sometimes wonder how it turns out like this.

Did it start with a random day in the underground basement before choir practise over ten years ago, when my brother came up with a nickname for me? I came up with a nickname for him on that very day too. His stuck for an hour. Mine stuck for over twelve years. I recall just last year in a lunch with my classmates from sunday school that some couldn't remember my name and only remembered my nickname. It's kind of expected when you think about it, I guess - I've almost never been called by name by most of my peers in my entire life in the church. The exception would be the 3 guys older than me in choir (the 3 who stuck around the longest) - of which none remain in the choir, and only one remains in the same church. Oh, and it's not the session I attend either.

Did it gradually start from the various lessons during Sunday school? Fingers pointed. I usually ended up answering majority of the questions, or end up seeing an awkward silence every week. It gets ridiculous. I kind of turn into a teacher's pet. I hate it. Some ask me stuff after Sunday school. Some tell me I should try leading in worship or whatnot. I couldn't have possibly wanted to be further from that idea. "You have the leadership capabilities" they said. It's a sentence I'm familiar with, even outside of church, but I've never entirely believed in it.

Did it gradually start from my interest in philosophy and Nietzsche between primary and secondary school? Maybe - it does fit chronologically. But I don't entirely think this is the case - it probably sped up the process a bit, but I doubt it could have been a cause. Xenosaga Ep.I will still be amongst the most awesome JRPGs to come out for the PS2 though.

What I do know is that I've been feeling this way since Sec1 and have since been slowly moving into this state.

I realized sometime this year that the act of leaving the faith is probably one founded on emotional rather than logical foundations. To say that you can leave the faith because you started questioning it and couldn't get satisfactory answers is unlikely for anyone unless you never had a bond with the religion in the first place. And that's precisely the state many of us are in, so it's no longer just about questioning and the like - it's perfectly normal in Christianity. In fact, people who doesn't question their faith in the least bit are the exception rather than the rule.

At the same time, staying in the faith despite all that is also a decision founded on emotional rather than logical foundations, I feel. It's what's keeping me from doing something that I should've done long ago. Social inertia. Fear. Emotional pain. The way your decisions affect the livelihoods of others in that smallest way. The little things that tie you to a place, a concept, a person or object.

It's turned me into what I was for a good six years. Schoolmates eventually just thought that religion was an O.B. topic for me. But really, it was because I couldn't give a good answer myself. Of course, there were idiots who think that TOK lessons talking about inconsistencies in the Bible would lead me to question my faith. Some people don't get it at times, I guess.

And I think that after six years, I'm almost capable of severing ties. It's probably the most painful thing to learn; its necessity so very questionable. But there's still one last person at the end of it all and I still haven't figured out how the hell I'm going to get around this.


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