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Martha September 24, 2007

Posted by Teen Atheist in anecdotes, friends.
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Two years ago, my friend Martha* was feeling depressed. She was in tears, and this close to giving up on God. Guess who came to the rescue? That’s right. Me. Teen Not-Quite-Atheist-Yet.

“God has a plan for all of us,” I’d told her, meaning every word I said. “I know you can’t feel Him right now, but that doesn’t mean He’s not there. You just have to keep believing. It’s all going to be okay, trust me.”

After talking things out a little more, Martha smiled, thanked me and resolved to start actively trying to restore her faith in God. We left the dormitory room for a walk around the track, feeling much lighter.

I was actually quite proud of this moment. It made me feel like I could really help people. I, after all, am the kind of friend who would probably spend the most time trying to talk you out of your depression or attempted suicide. (Which I have done, incidentally, on more than one occasion.)

I’m not sure what this moment means to me now that I no longer believe, though. Further to that, I wonder how Martha would react if I told her that I now think it’s all bullshit.

*not her real name

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Comments»

1. overcaffein8d - September 25, 2007

Wow, you really hit the nail on the head with that one- that’s exactly what I was trying to ask with my latest post [http://atheismandcoffee.blogspot.com/2007/09/religion-is-motivator-good-or-not-so.htm] (I don’t know whether html links work or not, so why risk it?)
I was trying to figure out whether using religion to comfort someone or to help them do what was the best for them.

In my case, I was trying to use gang violence and drugs…. but this is also definitely pertinent to whether it is proper to use religion as a motivator/comforter.

Keep in mind that what is comforting and what is true are two completely different things. If your grandmother dies, of course it is comforting to “know” that she’s in a better place. But she’s not.

2. Teen Atheist - September 26, 2007

Yeah, but keep in mind that I was a believer at the time. I don’t think religion should be a motivator for doing good, since that would only further the common theory that atheists are incapable of virtue.

3. Gab - September 27, 2007

“Further to that, I wonder how Martha would react if I told her that I now think it’s all bullshit.”

Let’s hope she doesn’t find out. 😄

4. DaFatalGigabyte - October 31, 2007

At a youth retreat was when I turned to God after being prayed for and crying really hard, feeling forgiven afterwards. This was after the thinking-with-slow-music thing that churches probably do to get people into faith, using music to stimulate emotions. The day after I told Hot Girl at Church that I thought I was Christian, but I had to think about it all. The next week at church she asked me if I was Christian and I muttered “yeh” and she hugged me tightly and said I was so cool. Now I’m atheist and she’s befuddled. She knows I am actually such a cool person…ok, as in a good person with good values lol. I guess if your friend Martha finds out you are atheist, then you’ll have a theist who knows how human atheists are. That moment that kinda said theists are the only good people actually might not affect her.
Let’s hope she finds out.

5. Martha, part 2 « Diary of a Teenage Atheist - November 9, 2007

[…] issues, school. Tags: atheism, Martha, religion trackback I met up with my religious friend Martha for the first time in months. During one particularly quiet moment when we sat on the steps, […]

6. www.winegavel.com - December 2, 2011

I completely agree that its better to add to your sources of knowledge than it is to abandon them. It would have been more accurate for me to have written about moving away from relying solely on ratings, not moving away from them entirely. Too much wine, too little time to do otherwise than get good information anywhere you can find it!


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