When I was living in Los Angeles, I passed a terminally ill child while en route to a coffee shop in my neighborhood. Sure, some people may say, “how do you know they were sick?” Let me tell you: when you see a terminally ill child, you know. You can see it on the face of the kid. You can see it on the face of the parents. As always, being me, I couldn’t stop thinking about the girl.And, as always, it had me thinking about my own future in regard to kids.
At 23, I feel as if I have already accomplished a bunch of my life goals: Moving to the west coast, writing for a magazine, falling in love, traveling the world, graduating from college, and so on. In addition, one of my main goals is to have children, and even though I have what I consider a “thick skin,” it really does hurt each time I turn on the news and hear some homophobic politician claiming LGBT individuals are unfit to be parents. Of course, 99.99 times out of 100, it’s fueled by religion, and most times, it’s not what they say that makes me sick, but that they have millions of people that support them. That’s the scary part.
Spending four years at a liberal Catholic college, taught me and my fellow peers, religious tolerance, which ultimately was a main influence for why I now consider myself an agnostic theist; I believe that there is a possibility of a God, but I also believe that there is no way that human beings are capable of knowing, or even understanding, what that higher being could be. I’m not really sure what the future holds, and I’m not really sure if there is an afterlife, and I’m not really sure about anything in relation to God. And I’m comfortable with that. But, after I crossed paths with the sick child, it had me thinking about religion, and God, and the afterlife, or, the so-called afterlife.
And heck, was I confused and at odds with myself. And religion.
What if my child had a terminal illness? What if I was not comfortable saying, “It’s OK honey, it will be over soon and you’re going to a better place?” Actually, I’m not comfortable saying that to anyone; man, woman, or child. Quite frankly, I don’t believe that to be true. But, for the comfort and sake of my child, would I tell them these things so they wouldn’t spend their remaining time on earth in fear and pain?
Religion is a complicated subject and as the years go by, the aspect of organized religion actually makes me question humanity; at times, and not always, certain acts, and wars that have been pursued in the name of “God” exceed things that were inspired by so-called “evil." As humans, we disregard the thousands of modern religions that currently exist. As humans, we throw away the hundreds of thousands of religions that have come before us.
Now, just think, a couple thousand years from now, the religion you cherish so deeply will be cast aside, just as the others have, and humans will sit around our equivalent of a coffee table and say, “Can you believe those people back then believed in that?”
And really, at the end of the day, aren't we all atheists in regard to all the other religions in human history that have come before us?