Reflection Essay

Submitted By tomcees
Words: 1018
Pages: 5

Transitioning Away from Christianity It is seven minutes until the wedding begins and as I have never sang to a live audience before, I am sweating profusely and am greeted by cold chills as I look down to review the a capella Episcopal marriage hymn “How Great thou Art” which I am expected to perform to my Christian family in a matter of minutes. I am nine years of age and a very shy, easily influenced young boy who has been raised by two Christian parents who had both been brought up by deeply-rooted Christian’s before them. It bothered me deeply that I was expected to sing praise at such an important event in two people’s lives when I myself wasn’t even sure what I believed in! So was I acting on my own free will reciting this extremely spiritual hymn to bring two strangers into holy matrimony? Had I really made this conscious decision to sing praise to the Christian “God” that all these people followed and lived by? The way I felt about this performance I was to put on in a matter of minutes was only a tiny peek into my rethinking of my entire Christian life from baptism to when doubt’s cruel tendrils first crept up my spine, thus transitioning away from Christianity. I, like many other infants before me, was forced to endure the very culturally popular ceremony that would begin my life as a Christian, whether I knew it or not. When I was just a small child I was baptized into the Episcopal church of my hometown Charleston, South Carolina. I could not feed myself, form comprehensible words, or even wipe my own bottom, let alone think for myself or make serious life decisions such as my choice of religion. Regardless of these facts, there I was being cast into this mass-culture orthodoxy, which could even be looked at as a lifestyle, before I could show any sign of defiance besides letting out a blood-curdling cry (which was met with extensive “awwwh’s” and “goo-goo gah-gah’s) as they dipped my very bald head into the pool of water that a total stranger had not much earlier washed his hands in to create a metaphor which I had no chance of understanding at the time. Fast-forward to my pre-adolescent years, where I had experienced several Easter’s, Christmas’ and Lent’s. I am young, happy and pure with not a care in the world. I did not think it the least bit odd that I was going to these Episcopal church services every week and speaking words of hope, praise and thanks to an unknown entity with my family every time we sat down to eat dinner or before I retired to my bunk bed each night, I thought everyone did it, it just seemed normal as this had become a regular part of my schedule. I almost even enjoyed these moments, because they seemed mysterious and conveyed the impression that the prayers we spoke brought my family closer together. It nearly gave me the feeling of stability, and actually helped me get to sleep at night as I sincerely believed speaking these sacred phrases to some greater existence would actually change my fate, both in short and long-term durations. “Most Christians suffer from a form of mental dyspepsia. A detachment from reality which I can only dub christopsychosis or bibliopsychosis, both being particular forms of theopsychosis. The only cure and protection: thinking, logic, and reason, is hard to administer. Often the condition is acute and incurable, and has proven to be malignant and contagious.”---Eljay. It was not a sudden change, no one significant event or discovery made me suddenly denounce myself from the Christian following, but I can pinpoint the point in my life when I began to question my belief. It was on Christmas day, in my eighth year of existence. My mother, father and I were