The Closest I've Come To Believing in God


A forum I participate on, The Happy Atheist Forum, had a post which quotes Trent Reznor as saying:

I just don't understand how people can blindly believe a bunch of the shit they're fed, to believe it so that they don't think too hard about other issues. 'Be a good boy and you'll go to heaven.' If it works for you, fine, but it doesn't work for me and that pisses me off because I kind of wish it did.

They then asked if we had ever felt a similar desire to be religious.

I'm going to skip all the usual snarky 'sure, I'd love to happily live in ignorance' shiz and share a story about the only time I ever felt a longing for god to be real.

It was after my dad died. My mother had called me in hysterics and told me my dad was dead, had died in his sleep. I went to his house and it was true. He looked like he was sleeping, but his lips were a frosty blue and his face was the color of dusty miller. I remember not feeling anything at first and then having intense waves of grief and fear and sadness break over me, over and over again.

I went outside and shouted, then threw up. My dad had been sick for so long, I stopped being afraid of him dying. I was so used to him being sick it hadn't worried me when he told me a few days before that he was having problems breathing in the mornings. He was dying for over a decade and the decline was so slow that his death was a complete shock.

I remember being outside and for the first time in my life and the last time since, I looked up and I really wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel that god feeling people talked about, and I wanted to feel it right then. I stood there long enough to end up surrounded by my family and I didn't feel a damn thing.

I realized later that I wasn't really expecting god to bestow me with his lovey glow, I just felt really scared about the end of my father's life and I wanted there to be a god because a god meant an afterlife than an afterlife meant my dad wasn't gone forever. Hangin' on clouds in heaven or fact checking the internet in hell, I would see him again, talk to him again, hug him again.

That's pretty much the closest I've ever come in my life to believing in god. A fleeting moment, brought on by extreme sadness and loss.