It struck a chord for me... and as I was leaving him a very lengthy response, I realized that I just needed to go ahead and put it out here... that is to say, I have been meaning to blog about it, but the timing had just not been working out. So, thanks, Tafari, for kicking my butt into gear.
Take some time and rummage through T's ruminations... he doesn't hold back (which I love) and takes GORGEOUS photographs.
Here is what I wrote to Tafari with a few more lines added in...
I have been off the god thing for a while but not really talking about it with others. Recently I tried to talk to a few people who know me well about it and received some strange and defensive reactions.
It surprised me because the fact that I don't believe in a "god" that is keeping track of things behind the scene doesn't contradict the way I live in any way. It certainly doesn't make me evil or un-godly ;) -- but it scares people. I am not sure if they are able to respect my beliefs as I respect theirs; I get the distinct feeling that they don't really care what I believe as long as I don't talk about it -- and in some way force them to have to choose?! In any case, as long as I am not trying to talk anyone out of their belief, I can't see why it would be a problem.
I was raised by very religious people (they still go to church EVERY DAY) and I
love and respect their faith. They did their best to teach me that same faith by example not edict for which I will always be eternally grateful, but I have never been able to connect to the spirit the way they do. I admire the sense of comfort and protection they feel. I just don't find it in the same ways.
When I hesitate from telling people, "I will pray for you," in times of trouble, it bothers some people. I just have not been able to continue the facade for the sake of not hurting other people's feelings. I do keep people in my thoughts. I hope that we will have the strength to bear troubles with grace, but I know that I cannot bring about what I want in my life or someone else's life by asking a god to make it so. This is not to say that I don't throw out wishes to the universe. I do. But I think life is about what we go through every day right now.
It's complicated... and yet, for me, it is so much more simple, it is just what it is. I take personal responsibility for the inevitable ups and downs... I am not waiting for a god to make it better or give me things that I want... as long as you don't try to talk me into believing something else, I have no problem with your beliefs. The world is a big place with all kinds of comfort and protection to go around; the trick is to find the one that works for you.