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I Do Not Believe in You

Essay by   •  May 26, 2011  •  Study Guide  •  898 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,539 Views

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I do not believe in you.

Yet your doors are always open. I have never been a religious man, nor an overly faithful child. Life itself mocks those who cling to faith as shield and sword. Life itself seeks a reason to believe.

I suppose that I find solace here. In reality, the sight of these people, wandering in and out of your doors, offering homage to an entity that cannot possibly exist...it should be disturbing. More disturbing, perhaps, than the murderers and filth that I strive to capture... because at least those are real, solid. I can see and touch them and know that they are wrong, and should be dealt with.

You, I cannot understand.

Man paints a glorious tale...they sing hymns in your name, devote their lives to your ideals, follow you blindly. I wonder if you were just a man once...what kind of man could you have been?

I suppose it doesn't really matter.

I suppose I'm here because I have no where to go. I am incapable of the faith that the few scattered souls around me carry. I am sorry, but I cannot bring myself to believe you any more than an ideal. You are an idea, a comfort in a world that offers none of its own. You offer protection, affection, and trust to those who cannot find it for themselves. I suppose that is why I, even as an atheist, tolerate you. You act as a parent to people who cannot trust themselves. You are the ideal, the goal that they strive for.

You give them purpose.

And even I can understand the need for that. I cannot begrudge you your power, because in all honesty, what are you really going to do with it? Nothing. The entire fabrication of your existence serves a single purpose. To guide...to offer hope in a world that shuns its people, in a world that cannot, will not, love them. It was once said that religion is merely a tool to keep the poor from murdering the rich.

I do not entirely believe that to be true.

Yet, as I sit here, in the back pew in this great hall in your honor...I cannot help but think. I wonder how long these people can delude themselves into believing that you will truly save or damn their souls. I wonder how many will falter in their faith, stray from the golden path we have created and given you credit for. Morbid, perhaps, but then...I am an atheist seeking solace in a cathedral.

In truth, I suppose I envy them. I envy that quiet strength that they leave here with. They come with shadows in their eyes, with heavy hearts and great burdens. They come and they sit, and we share the silence, they and I. One by one, they drift in, and are gone again. One by one, I watch people restore their resolve, steel themselves against that harsh, cold world that we're all running from.

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