April 22, 2012
Going Back to Church is Hard

I feel at peace—even joyful. I revert. When the doors open and I am released into the world for the week, I grasp desperately for a firm hold, feeling lost and alone—tragically abandoned by my god, who does not exist in the way I have always recognized Him. The silence is deafening.

This is all part of an experiment, though I’ve not yet arrived at the purpose of it. So far, it has cast me into a strange moment within myself. I feel that I am existing as two people. In order to make sense and take advantage of my experiences within the church, I feel I must be genuine. Irreverence wasn’t ever something I was very good at and now, as an Atheist, I am confronted with a challenge. Sitting in a pew, Bible in hand, I bow my head in prayer, nod in agreement, and mumble “Praise the Lord”. During a point of the service where congregants gather, hold hands, and join together in 15 minutes of constant, fiery prayer, I accept a tissue from my favorite Deacon and fight to hold back the sobs. When the doors of the church open and I am released, it’s like a time machine jumping me up 5 years and an existential crisis later. These two people cannot exist in harmony with one another—certainly not both within my own brain.

I never thought I’d say this, but I believe it’s time to guard my heart against God.