From time to time it hits me just how relieved I am to have relinquished faith.
My lovely bride and I were chatting about this the other day. For years she was plagued by guilt. She tried everything she could think of to assuage, dispel, or otherwise properly deal with such guilt.
It wasn’t guilt about anything in particular, mind you. She had committed no crime, sullied no character. Guilt just kind of hung in the air, like a fog.
For me, pride and discipline comprised my personal cats-’o-nine-tails. I beat myself up over the continuing presence of these scourges on my character, my failure to meet the humility modeled by and demanded by the Savior.
Unlike my bride, I felt like I gained some ground in my personal struggles. She, unfortunately, remained plagued as ever.
And then we discovered the awful truth about Jesus, about religion. Jesus was just a guy (and maybe not even that; some say he may never have actually existed). Religion is just a man-made fill-in-the-gaps type of mental and cultural device. The Bible is just an old book, and not a particularly wonderful one at that. So we chucked god.
And, God!, does that feel good! The Mrs. has not felt guilty hardly at all since then. My pride and discipline issues are less imposing, less concerning than they were before.
The relief we both feel, seven years hence, is hard to overstate. Like anything, we have adapted to our new normal and so have been desensitized to it. But like grief at a loved one lost, or laughter at the memory of an old joke, or melancholy about times past, every now and then the relief sweeps over me anew. And I am reminded of the great liberation that comes from releasing (and being released from) faith.
And it is good.