I recently woke up in the middle of the night, gripped by a sudden panic. What if I’m wrong?
If I’m wrong, I’m going to hell.
I’ve spent the last several years campaigning to raise public awareness of fundamentalist Christian schools that I consider abusive. I went to such a school myself, so I have a dog in this fight. If what they taught me is true, then I have spent these years fighting against God himself.
The fear claws at me for a while, and then in my groggy state I manage to remember some stuff:
If the strict Muslims are right, I’m equally doomed whether I’m a Christian or an atheist, yet that has never given me a moment’s worry in my life. My fear is not spiritual, or rational. It’s cultural.
And anyway, the notion of a just and/or loving God sending me to infinite punishment for finite sins is self-contradictory. It can’t be true.
Panic over, I go back to sleep.
I haven’t believed in God for seven years. I’ve openly identified as an atheist for four of those, but there are still situations where I have flashbacks to my fundamentalist past. Read the rest of this entry