Before I talk about why I became Agnostic, I should probably tell you how religious I once was. I was raised as a southern baptist. Couldn't cut your hair, wear jewelry or makeup, no tattoos, your skirt had to be to your ankles, pants were only for boys, and so on. My mom didn't practice this to a tee, but you get the point. In high school, I dated a guy for almost 5 years who helped me form the foundation on which my religious views were built from. He went to a Christian, private school if that tells you anything. We went to church religiously, we prayed together, and we read the bible together and apart. I thanked "God" for everything he did and didn't do for me. But the moment I ended the relationship with that guy was the moment I ended my relationship with "God."

Of course, after I started questioning my faith and religion, I had gone to my grandma's church for the last time. I was already struggling with the decision but I knew if I just tried, it might come back to me. They spent an hour talking about other religions and how silly it is for others to believe that there is a god outside of their god. I knew there and then that religion was definitely not for me.

Living in America, where Christianity is pushed on you from the fine print of "In God We Trust" on our money to people on every corner on a college campus handing out bibles, it is hard to feel "normal". Where we publicly embarrass others of different religions and those of the LGBTQ community to "stop pushing their lifestyle onto us", although it is the exact things that Christians do. I say "Christians" because that is the only accepted form of religion throughout the U.S. The only religion where people can parade up and down the streets yelling out, "Love God" and it is okay. The only religion where people can have signs in their yard that says, "Jesus loves you" and it is okay. People can wear clothing and support propaganda that enhances the light on Christianity but those of other religions will be shamed if they do that as well.

But this isn't the only reason why I became Agnostic. Reading the bible and going to church every Sunday does not make you a good person. Believing in Allah or practicing Buddhism does not take away from the fact that those who do not believe in anything are bad people. I support and admire all religions, but I don't want to take part in any of them. Everyone I know that is religious, sins in one way or another. They go against whatever interpretation of the Bible, or their sacred book, they chose to go with that day, one way or another. They do things that go completely against their religion and as I write this, I cannot even skim the surface of why I no longer believe.

I grew tired of people talking about living for their god and doing right by their god before doing right by those around them. I grew tired of hearing my grandparents talk shit about Catholics, black people, and gays and then go to church to say that we should love everyone. I grew tired of people saying that "god" does not love or accept gays. I grew tired of seeing those who are religious be the same ones who draw the lines between white people and those of color. I grew tired of seeing those of other religions hated and bashed for doing the same thing that those of the more popular religion is doing. I grew tired of thinking that the only way to be a kindhearted person was to believe in "Jesus" and "God". I grew tired of people taking no responsibility for their actions and asking, "why me, God?" I grew tired of people dismissing logic and ration. I just was just so fucking tired.

But, I am not a bad person and I do all the things that those who believe in a god do every single day. I have tattoos, I have sex, I drink alcohol, I cuss, I do every single thing humans do and have done for centuries, but the only difference is, I don't believe in anything. I don't think anything bad is going to happen to me because I do those things. And I don't spend time at night asking for forgiveness but waking up and doing those things all over again. And somehow, I feel this continuous need to justify how and why I am a good person, while all a religious person has to say is that they go to church or believe in a higher power. Boom. They are a good person. I didn't need to tell you how I was once religious, that does not change your perception of me nor does it help you accept the fact that I no longer believe in a higher power.

Religion is just ultimately something that helps you feel like you belong to something bigger than yourself. I respect everyone's views but I also understand how me making you feel as though I am saying your "God" isn't real, makes you defensive, so stop. I am not taking away anyone's beliefs nor am I trying to "convert" anyone.