Believe or Else

My friend recently updated her Facebook page with the following:

I woke up this morning and realized God doesn’t exist.

Holy shit!

The backlash that followed caught her by surprise. While she did expect to receive some comments, questions, concern and possible intense debate, what was unexpected was the personal attacks that ensued. Here’s what she wrote to me after struggling with deep sadness after her “friends” comments regarding her epiphany.

Some of this may have been triggered by the backlash that I am getting for outing myself to my friends, siblings, and aquantances. But, I wanted to announce in some way that I am not the same. Those that love me will accept me as I continue to evolve, those that don’t or can’t will move on. I know this in my rational mind. My emotional self however longs for acceptance. The attacks, and I have no other word for them, have become personal. Attacks on my character, my intentions, my intelligence, my morality. The energy of anger, condencension, pity, disgust is bombarding me to a point where I feel myself shutting down despite my weak attempts to remain immune. I should have known, god is not something people can shrug their shoulders about and allow others to accept or not as we see fit. My evolution became a personal attack on them, and they lashed out at me. In my typical catholic girl stress reaction, I subconsciously accepted that in some way I was deserving of their anger and hurtful comments.

To not believe in God in our society is very alienating. It’s one thing to question, doubt and wonder about God, but to declare you don’t believe emits responses that can often be unexpected. And those most offended and aggressive are those from the evangelical world, who regularly update their Facebook pages with quotes about God’s goodness, scripture passages and prayer requests. It would be easy for me to simply chalk this up to Christians being stupid, but I think they are coming from a place of fear.