On Faith

On Faith

A Poem by Austin H.

My views on faith, and why I have none.


I've always been envious of the fervent. The believers, the “blessed”, the faithful. I had the normal childhood expected of the middle child of a Catholic family that never attended church. I've had the normal experience of a middle-class intellectual, who never had to wonder if he would have dinner that evening, nor had every delicacy I could imagine. I used to say the Pledge of Allegiance out loud, my hand over my heart, every morning at school. I would pray to God every time a pet was ill, or during Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas dinner. But now, as I stand on the threshold of adulthood, I envy those who have faith.

To say I'm an atheist would give myself a stigma I'd rather not have. In Christian America, I'd be scorned. Even my non-practicing parents would tell me, “There is a God.” When my uncle recovered from an ailment this past year, one where he couldn't breathe on his own due to his abuse of substances throughout his life, my parents claimed it was a miracle and that God had a hand. My father and elder brother had attended him, my father going through the terrible conversation with his sister on if they would pull the plug on their brother. They agreed it would ease his suffering. Yet, as they sat by his bedside, they watched him recover. He could breathe without a machine. When at first he couldn't go an hour, he was going nonstop for several. He's recovered now, and has resumed his tragic life. My father, whom my mother claims doesn't believe in anything, claimed it was God. I disagreed.

This is a spiritual, take it as you will, work. I won't go into logic and science for this, although I will reference them now, as an insight to what I think. I envy those who believe in an absolute. They have comfort. They have the knowledge that everything is for a reason. They have the knowledge that cruelty exists because it has to, is supposed to. They have the knowledge that, no matter what tragedies befall mankind, no matter what sick, twisted, and horrendous people rise from the filth that is man and mark another dark chapter in this horror novel that is our history, there is salvation. There is a benevolent being who will save them from torture and pain. I don't have that.

Back to what I am then. As I said, I am no atheist. Even in communities that are accepting of this “radical” belief, I would not belong. For as I am not a theist, I am also not an atheist. I could say I was apathetic, and most would nod or grunt then move on. But I do care. I do care that I have no anchoring belief. I don't believe in a god, or gods, and yet I do. I accept that perhaps there is a greater being somehow, somewhere. I accept that perhaps there is something bigger than ourselves, that molded this universe for its own purpose. I also accept that there isn't. It's maddening, sometimes. I feel alone, empty. While they faithful can always look up and know that someone is watching them, listening, I have a vast, empty sky. I don't even know what to have placed on my dog tags for when I enter the military after college. They say that there is no such thing as an atheist on the battlefield, but what about me? Will I have the knowledge that a savior is protecting me from harm, or do I have the statistical probability of dying, entering oblivion?

I can't imagine eternity. I can not wrap my mind around spending forever in emptiness, ceaseless blackness, and no consciousness. No one can, and I loathe that thought. I think to myself, “Truly, if there is no God, I must live forever. I won't lose myself. I won't die, and erase everything that was me.” Childish yes, but I am still a child. I'm a child who fears death already. I fear dying too, in a sense. I fear knowing that these are my final moments, that I've wasted time doing something pointless, that I won't have a tomorrow. I envy the faithful. They have a Heaven for themselves, and a Hell for those who wronged them. They have life again with reincarnation. They have a Nirvana and eternal pleasure.

I envy them, for having a cause to rally behind. I've always thought that extremes are always capable of slipping into each other. That myself, the most fervent disbeliever in everything, wishes to be something like a Templar of old, championing my God and faith throughout the land. I've always wanted something to cling to, something to cherish and know will be a universal truth. But I've neither religion nor science. Religion has degraded to the point of corruption, and science is cold and empty. So, I'll end on this note. This is why I envy the faithful, theist or atheist.

© 2012 Austin H.

Author's Note

Austin H.
Your views on my views welcomed.

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"The have a Nirvana and eternal pleasure.
I envy them, for having a cause to rally behind. " Missing the "y". Otherwise, I COULD HUG YOU. Thanks for posting this. Truly personal investment. Are you agnostic? Do you consider atheism a religion? It's the belief in lack of belief, whether the big bang, or otherwise. Or that there was simply no start. "a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings". Is that a dogmatic principle by being its inverse? I never could tell. I am always jealous of certainty. Finite principles are amazing. Christianity is a modern/ancient wonder in how many people get scammed by new rules and so many churches and interpretations I've lost count. And seminars that make you pay for miracles. People seriously think they've healed and hop around from the wheel chair temporarily and die/get worse once they go home. It's horrendous. And the molestation? If I were Christian/Catholic, I'd be embarrassed. Every politician says they believe in God but don't take the BIble literally. CAUSE OTHERWISE THEY WOULD LOOK RETARDED. Morons. Thanks for posting. Made my night come true.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on June 29, 2012
Last Updated on June 29, 2012
Tags: Faith, theism, atheism


Austin H.
Austin H.


I am a student of history first and foremost. I like to imagine myself as a writer and weaver of beautiful words. I think myself witty, cynical, and critical. My favorite works to read are historical .. more..

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