Category Archives: nonfiction

What Convinced Me? My Response to Greta Christina.

Recently, atheist blogger Greta Christina asked her readers how they changed their minds about religion. This is my answer.

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First, a bit of background information: I was raised in a fairly conservative sect of Lutheranism, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. From preschool to the end of high school, I went to private Lutheran schools.

Now to plant the seeds of skepticism: During my senior year of high school, my religion teacher invited us to write questions about faith on index cards and submit them to him anonymously. One day, I asked about the whole “homosexuality is a choice” myth, and the answer he gave the class left me even more confused than I had been before. I concluded that I wouldn’t be staying in the WELS much longer.

After I started college, which was the first time I’ve gone to a secular school, I began identifying as a Protestant rather than a Lutheran. It was also around this time that I began talking to Paul, a fellow writer on DeviantArt. He was the first person to make me really question my faith, and soon I considered myself a deist. I wavered between deism and agnosticism until August of 2010.

My mother volunteered me to organize felt storyboards for the preschool students at my former elementary school. One day, when I was assembling the cast of the Fall of Man, the thought came to my head, “If God is omnipotent, why did he allow Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge? And if he’s omniscient, didn’t he know they’d sin? Did he plan for them to sin?” Luckily, I was working alone, because for the next twenty-ish minutes, I nervous-laughed and paced around the room, going, “Holy shit, God doesn’t make sense! I’m an atheist!”

And finally, the aftermath: Now I’m twenty. I’m still an atheist, and I don’t see myself going back to the church. I feel SO much better about myself since I’ve abandoned my faith. And you know what? The world is so much more beautiful without God, and I’ve gotten much more interested in science.

Since I’m still dependent on my parents, I haven’t come out yet and probably won’t for a long time. I have a lot of supportive friends at my college, though, and for now, that works.

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Centennial Park

I think it’s called Slaterville Park, or maybe Chena River Park. The bridge slopes so that pedaling is hard and yet easy for inexperienced bikers.

The concrete of the sidewalk is multi-colored until it joins downtown, almost like it’s segregated.

I’m perched on the sole picnic table, watching the river flow to the east. Occasionally pedestrians pass, and sometimes our eyes meet. Countless people have fucked on this table, I’m sure, and maybe that’s what the pedestrians think when they see meet sitting here. Or maybe they aren’t.