I never was a religious person. Sure, I sat in church for maybe eight to ten years of my life every Sunday. Sometimes there would be Bible School or that one week in the summer where church was a themed adventure learning about Jesus. I went to those things, but I was never attached to what was happening. It turns out it would take me losing any faith I had left in me to really appreciate what it meant to be Christian.
I liked video games. Once our family had recovered from the darkest economic times when my father was laid off, my parents bought my sisters a Nintendo 64. It was a symbol that our times of struggle were over.
When YouTube became a popular place for “gamers” to come together, I happily joined in. I watched more videos than I can ever recall. However, fun does not last for long for a child reaching adolescence it seems. Gamergate happened, and I suddenly found myself having to defend my hobby. Simply playing video games made us all racists and sexists who love to commit violence against women. It was from there that I found individuals like “Sargon of Akkad” and “Thunderf00t.” Not only were they people who gave light to a movement I had become a part of, they were atheists through-and-through. Like all children, I was impressionable. I became militant. I watched as many videos of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens as I could get my hands, keyboard, and mouse on. It seemed so simple. There is no God. The world is arbitrary and when we die it is just a void of darkness. I then suddenly deemed myself an expert on the concept of “freedom and true good-will.” Social programs, abortion, welfare, and even the beginnings of Black Lives Matter were the collection of things I believed in on top of my atheism. I hated Conservatives and religious people as those who had nothing noble to believe in or had any convictions besides making life worse for everyone that wasn’t a part of the clique.
I only thought of myself. I never had the courage to look beyond my own eyes and see what is in everyone else’s. I did what is cowardly. I looked only within myself and kept my ears open to what I wanted to hear but not what I needed to hear. There is a little more to life than just seeing one thing and staking your entire being on it.
I was treated awfully. Every day was a new crusade against Conservatives and then myself. It was a goal of chasing away White bourgeois tendencies and institutions. Even being barely middle class with fair skin made me suspect.
I liked money. It couldn’t last forever, pretending the math didn’t add up that is. Who will foot the bill for these liberal policies? Do they really help more than they harm?
I stopped thinking of myself. I was speaking for the whole of humanity, but what I ended up meaning was me.
Even though it has been roughly three years, it is still a difficult story to tell. I don’t like to talk about it because I still hate my old self. After all, I still am me. No one likes being wrong.
I now believe religion is a personal matter. That isn’t to say everyone is right equally in a philosophy of “the self”. What matters is being human. Show humanity towards others. Therefore, I remain with Conservatives. They believe in that concept. From my experience, I cannot say the same of the ideology I once belonged to. They’re cannibals who will happily eat their opponents or each other for clout and a false sense of morality.