No God, Know Peace

I remember the first time I saw this bumper sticker on a guitar case at church:

NOOOO

I was blown away at its simple and beautiful statement. With God, the God of Abraham of course, in our hearts, we as believers have a peace of mind that people without Him couldn’t possibly understand. It was a bold and profound statement that bolstered my faith and made me feel a strong sense of solidarity with my fellow believers.

Imagine my surprise when years later I found the opposite to be true. That holding no recognition of a god or gods was actually when true peace finally met me. I’d come to realize that much of my inner turmoil, frustration and stress was directly associated with belief in a god and trying to make my faith work. Working to find agreement with what my brain thought and my heart felt, had dead ended me to a intellectually dishonest place where I couldn’t stand to stay in anymore.

Being able to take the world as it is and accept my fellow man unconditionally was the first time my mind felt at ease in my adult life. Realizing that we’re not born broken by default and forced to accept a cure to a disease we don’t have was my ultimate awakening.

My name is Nathan Pratt and I’m exceptional for the mere fact of existing and you are, too. We’re not broken. We’re not incomplete. We’re not unworthy.

I didn’t feel fully alive until I was almost 30 years old. To have no gods is to be free. To have no gods is to know peace.

 

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20 thoughts on “No God, Know Peace

    • Awesome and thanks! I hope it can be of some benefit.

      When I sincerely tell believing friends that I’m happier now than I have ever been in my life, they look at me like a crazy person. The exact opposite should be true in their worldview.

      • Exactly. Living in the bible belt, I get the same reaction. Even online, I’m told that I “could easily be delusional”. . Projection anyone? 😉 I read that in a post just today by that very tormented Christian I shared your post with.

      • Yikes! It’s both hilarious and depressing how little they grasp about the failure in their thinking.

        Oh well. All we can do is plant the seeds of doubt and hope they take root.

      • I was one of those over-analytical and self-reflective people too, and I didn’t get that way until I became a devout Christian, which was after my husband passed away. The fundies latched on to me during a very vulnerable time in my life. I didn’t make the connection back then, but now I’ve come to realize that anyone who becomes totally committed, bible studies along with all the hoopla, has never know true peace.

      • So sorry for your loss. It was the loss of my brother that was the “pop” I needed to motivate me to find a conclusion to my doubts I’d had for years. My biggest regret was never following my doubts and questions to their ends earlier. Fear and not wanting to upset my family were deterrents back then.

        I think believers that get closest to peace are those that admit to the failings of the bible, but latch heavily onto the love of Jesus. I never understood that line of thinking, but it allows them the sappy, emotional trappings of sentimental evangelicalism without the baggage of the rest of the text.

        I finally cornered one such friend like that when I flat out asked, “What makes Jesus so different from a really good humanist?” He had no response.

        Also, it was cuddly Jesus that largely ushered in the idea of hell, the least loving aspect of the bible. They never grasp the irony.

      • Spot on, Nate and thank you. I’m sorry to read about your brother. But like you, I needed answers, and the death of my partner caused me to have a lot of questions. So I started researching about the brain. People steeped in their beliefs fail to see the character of Jesus when he supposedly comes back to redeem his “bride”, as noted in Revelations 19, or that he demands total loyalty or you are condemned. I was a Christian all my life, but it wasn’t until I got involved in fundamentalism, became ‘born again’, and really started studying my bible, that I began to see Christianity for what it really represented. We know from neurological studies that specific regions of the brain associated with critical social assessment and negative emotions (towards someone we are in love with) deactivate. This attachment activated regions in the brain’s reward system that’s rich in oxytocin and vasopressin receptors, and it is those neurotransmitters released (including dopamine) that deactivate specific regions of the brain associated with attachment.

        So when people fall in love with the sappy part of Jesus (the bridegroom) they are literally blinded by their love for Jesus and can’t see just how negative the message is — or how narcissistic Jesus and his daddy god are. When my frontal lobes finally came back online, I was stunned when I realized how easy it is to dupe people into religions like Christianity. They literally mess with our neurotransmitters — and the people who created this religion knew exactly what they were doing (through observation) with the attachment/bonding terminology “father and bridegroom”,even though they were not been aware of the specific neurological mechanisms at work.

        “I finally cornered one such friend like that when I flat out asked, “What makes Jesus so different from a really good humanist?” He had no response.”

        Hehe — they rarely do, but in the back of their mind they are still thinking that you are going to hell.

      • Awesome! I’d never dug into that aspect of it, but freely admit I am rather enamored with the psychology of religion. Particularly the fear sales pitch of hell!

      • “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers, as useful.”
        — Seneca —

        Hell, it was hoped by its inventors, would keep people in line from birth to death.

    • Brandon? Good luck with that! Can you say, “Water off a duck’s back?”
      He selects a personal truth, then warps and twisted any facts presented to him, to make them seem to point to that, or at the very least, invalidate them.

      • Yeah, he’s one of the most tormented Christians I’ve ever met besides my late husband who didn’t become that way until he became a Christian towards the latter part of our marriage. As I told Brandon, he’s over-analytical and too self-reflective.

  1. Wonderful insight Nate. I am sadden by the Christianity that we often offer. I think it is wrong, No God, No Peace. I think it is wrong that knowing God is knowing peace as it appears. It was actually knowing God that brought no peace in me. I discovered that if God existed He was holy and righteous judge who I have to stand trial for what I have done.

    If God exists then He is the authority and has the rights to declare what is right and what is wrong. I did not need a Bible to know that taking things that did not belong to me was wrong, or telling something that is not true is wrong &c., Yes, we are complex but it appears that our selfish gene, as Dawkins put it, gets the better of us from cradle to grave.

    A holy God and I, a person alien to holiness, brought no peace. That is how I forsook my Christianity. Unlike you my ending was different. I did not find peace. Peace found me. 🙂

    • Always appreciate your thoughts, Prayson. I’m glad that as a believer you can agree with and understand many of the ways an unbeliever may come to their conclusions. It’s not very common among believers as you and I have spoken of in the past.

      Even though our journeys led us to different answers, I always enjoy your input and honesty. A search for truth is always worth undertaking!

      Thanks for stopping by.

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