I'm An Atheist, But I Wear A Cross Every Day
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I'm An Atheist, But I Wear A Cross Every Day

I don’t celebrate Jesus the prophet or Jesus the Son of God. I celebrate Jesus the man.

I'm An Atheist, But I Wear A Cross Every Day

I was born into a Roman Catholic family. As is the norm, I was baptized as an infant and, as he did for all of my siblings and cousins, I was given the gift of a golden cross necklace from my grandfather in celebration of it. Fast forward twenty years and I proudly wear that cross around my neck today. Only thing is, I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in Catholicism at all, actually.

See, I went through baptism, communion and, with a good bit of coaxing from my mother, even confirmation. Hallelujah. From the time I first started thinking for myself though, I never really believed in any of it. I mean, the morals obviously are still something I agree with. I still think “thou shalt not kill” regardless of if it's written on one of the stone tablets Moses didn’t smash or not. The idea that these commandments were given by God, and all the other spiritual teachings were, are where my beliefs part with widely held Christian teachings.

My beliefs only got stronger as I grew up, getting to see and experience more of the world. I’m not going to get into my reasons behind why I believe what I do or even my qualms with Catholicism in particular as a whole, but I am going to answer one question that I’ve gotten a lot. If I’m an Atheist, then why do I still wear a cross?

The reasoning lies in the story of Jesus Christ. Now, nobody disputes that Jesus Christ did at one point live. We have proof of as much. Whether or not he was a prophet, or a demigod, or anything with divine powers is debatable, but we know that he was, in fact, a human being that existed at one point. Most know the story of Christ and why the cross is a powerful image in the Christian religion.

To very very briefly summarize a long story, Christ was condemned by the Romans, tortured, humiliated, and ultimately crucified, which is where the cross comes in. Now, I don’t wear the cross in gratitude for Jesus dying for the sins of all mankind, or in respect for the religious beliefs that he both shared with and inspired in others.

I wear the cross as a symbol of the unwavering conviction of Jesus Christ in the face of death.

I wear the cross as a testament to the strength of the human condition.

Divine or not, Jesus was a great man. He was horribly tortured, being whipped and forced to carry the tremendous weight of the very object he was to be executed on to his place of death. He was mocked and humiliated, made to wear a crown of thorns and purple robes to make fun of his reputation as “King of the Jews.”

He ultimately was crucified, which was a common practice of the Roman’s and a brutal one at that. Christ’s own crucifixion was even more severe than most, as some were tied to the cross, and others had only their hands nailed to the wood. Christ had each hand nailed to the cross as well as a single nail that went through each of his feet. He did all that in defense of his own beliefs as well as the beliefs of others.

I don’t celebrate Jesus the prophet or Jesus the son of God.

I celebrate Jesus the man. I keep the cross around my neck as a constant reminder to never compromise what I believe in when facing adversity, and as a symbol attesting to the overall strength of mankind.

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