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I Accept Your Decision To Be An Atheist, So Respect My Decision To Worship God

A lot of people these days have this stigma against Christians because of a select group of people who have ruined it for the rest of us.

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Sometimes, I am scared of my faith.

A few months ago, I went out with my friends from my executive board and one asked me, "Are you religious?"

I don't know why I stuttered and hesitated at this question. It didn't catch me off guard (we were already in the middle of a conversation about religion) and I knew the answer to it, but then why was I so hesitant to say, "Yes, I am religious"?

I remember I had a group of friends and whenever we talked about things, they would always point me out and say, "Nooo, Lanette wouldn't do that because she's too Christian." and I remember the words spilling off of their tongues like a rapid fire of hate. I remember them having a dispute about who was the most "religious" of everyone in our group and for some strange reason, I didn't want that person to be me.

But why? Why was I scared to play my gospel music in the community shower at my dorm? Why was I afraid to tell people that I could hang out on Sundays because they were "holy" days? Why was I afraid to tell my friends how excited I was to get my Inspire Bible? Even now, why am I so afraid to clasp my hands together and silently pray right before an exam in a huge lecture hall? I won't claim my faith in public, yet on my Instagram bio, I'll quote a verse about how the spirit dwells within my soul. Sometimes, I really feel like such a hypocritical person when it comes to my faith.

I never really questioned this about myself until about a year ago, when I started becoming friends with more Christians. After going through a really hard freshman year, certain people had come back into my life the semester of sophomore year and had really opened my eyes to the way I was living. College had made me wary of my own faith, but after meeting so many new people this year, who had such a steadfast love for their religion, it reignited a fire within me and I started to grow in my Christianity.

I guess my friends know who they are, so I don't have to shout them out, but I'm forever thankful that they've always been there so we could talk about religion, God, and people's views on certain religious topics. One thing one of my friends brought up that was so amazing to me was that we shouldn't be afraid to bring up our views in public. Speaking about your religion or your race or your views out in public doesn't make you a bad person and it doesn't have to be so "taboo."

Even though I went through this transition of a "born-again" Christian almost a year ago, I bring this up now, because of something that sparked my attention on Twitter the other night.

I'm a huge supporter of LGBTQ+ rights and I love pride month, so of course, all of my followers are posting and retweeting pictures of them and their friends at Pride around the U.S. I remember seeing this one post in particular, and it really shook me to the core. It said:

There were a lot of mixed reactions on my timeline about this controversial photo. Some people were super offended and others said that it was a joke and should be taken that way.

I, as a modern-day Christian, was conflicted too. I know this man was joking, but maybe I'm missing the joke because I honestly wasn't laughing. And maybe I am overreacting for being upset about this, but isn't there a valid reason why I'm so upset?

I feel like a lot of people these days have this stigma against Christians, because of a select group of people who have ruined it for the rest of us. I'm talking about the DEVOUT Christians, whose relatives were probably KKK members. The ones who openly detest gay people and the ones who want to get rid of anyone who's not Christian. The ones who don't talk to their children about sex and safe sex because they believe that pre-marital sex is a sin. Or the ones who are sexist and misogynists because God didn't make Eve first, and she was the creator of the original sin.

So yes, I understand why people would hate on some Christians, but just like how all white people aren't racist Neo-Nazis and just like how all black people aren't criminals and just like how all Muslims aren't terrorists, not all Christians hate everyone else whose views don't align with what the Bible says. Just like how all atheists don't always hate on people of other religions.

But I do feel offended, on a spiritual level, by this post. And maybe he did mean well, but I feel like we should be aware of what we're saying about other people's beliefs, just so it doesn't offend others. Some atheists never want Christians to deface their beliefs, so why should they do the same to our beliefs?

I feel for a while now, our society has moved away from a "politically correct" society and has started to slander everyone else for beliefs that they don't necessarily agree with. Why don't we just let people believe as long as what they believe isn't offensive or doing harm onto others?

Because honestly, all of this slandering, mud-slinging, and blaming will cause a genocide similar to that of why World War II was started in the first place. All of this hate won't breed anything effective to help us progress as people. And maybe that's why I was so afraid to speak up about my beliefs and views before; I was afraid of being persecuted, just for having a different set of beliefs.

This goes for me and so many other people who feel insecure in their belief-system.

Once we can appreciate others' viewpoints and see things from another perspective, only then will we be able to be a happy society.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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