Friday, August 5, 2011

The Blank Slate by Camica

Cam is another one of my Twitter cohorts. She makes me laugh all the time with her tweets and she runs the fabulous Well Written Woman site. I'm so glad that I've had the opportunity to get to know her and I'm happy to share her writing with you as well today.


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Neither of my parents were religious. We never went to church, we never discussed God, we never prayed at dinner or bedtime and any questions I had about the origin of the earth, humanity or the universe were answered as scientifically as possible. If my parents couldn’t answer my question directly, the referred me to a full set of encyclopedias that were purchased for exactly such a reason. See, my parents were raised Mormon and Southern Baptist. Both fled their religious upbringings as quickly as they could. My grandparents didn’t hold it against them, but neither have been back to the church in my lifetime (though dad sometimes attends an Episcopalian church to appease my stepmom).

I had essentially been raised as an atheist, though the more militant of the Red A crowd called me an agnostic. I didn’t get the memo that for one to be an Atheist you had to have a strong desire to tell people who believed in God that they were wrong, instead I lived life as if I didn’t have all of the answers. I listened to discussions on religious practices, I engaged in a few angry debates with the more fundamentalist Christians, which unfortunately made up my mind that religion would never be something I could be involved in. I could never ignore evidence that was right there proven in front of my face. I couldn’t believe in God, because God wasn’t proven. That’s not to say he (or she) didn’t exist, just that there was no firm scientific, empirical data to prove existence or not. This singular idea made me a bad Atheist in the eyes of most of my fellow skeptics. They had the same close minded extremist view point as the fundamentalist Christians I had happily loathed.

I found myself spiritually misplaced. I asked my mom why she didn’t raise me with a particular belief system since the church had been so important to her family growing up. She explained she wanted me to make up my own mind and discover my own beliefs that worked for me. She thought it was important that I ask questions and live life by the truths that I found by way of experience rather than religion.

A few years ago I began to feel as if there were more to the world than just what I saw and could explain quantitatively. There was a stirring, a calling, a desire for more. I began to read about Buddhism, Hinduism, some Islam, but never Christianity. As Ghandi once said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians” - I felt exactly the same, only I didn’t even want to get to know Christ because I was so turned off by the so-called Christians I had interacted with in my youth.

Then one day in the midst of a slightly snarky conversation that led to a profound philosophical discussion, my world changed.

“What do you believe?” my friend asked. I was gobsmacked. What did I believe? I fumbled through an answer because I didn’t have a “belief” I just did my best to be a good person. We talked more and more about the romance of Christ, I met more and more friends who were good Christians. Beautiful people with common sense and reason and understanding that didn’t judge me for being an Atheist or snidely proclaim they were praying for my eternal soul. This one simple question sent me on a new adventure in understanding and acceptance. I was enamored with his adoration of Christ, not religion, but the romance, the love story of Christianity. It was enough to open the door to an experience I had been avoiding for a very long time.
While I do not consider myself a Christian, I do consider myself a believer in something bigger. I believe we all find our way up the mountain, our journeys are all different, our arrival at our own truths imminent. What matters is that we all believe in uplifting one another in this life, encouraging each other to be the best possible version of ourselves and always, always extending a little bit of amazing grace to our fellow human being.


What do you believe?



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Camicia is a wife, wine lover, writer and surprisingly introverted gemini, despite her tweet count. Hobbies include sarcasm, potty humor, putting hats on her dog and LOTS of yoga. She is the founder of The Well Written Woman and you can find her tweeting incessantly or occasionally posting on her personal blog.



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