It’s been warming up a bit the past day or two. Honestly, I don’t like it. I prefer the cold. There’s something about a crisp, cool wind coming in across the lake that I enjoy far more than any summer day. I guess that’s just another thing that makes me not fit in around here. All the other kids are excited about the chance to go jump in the lake. Me? I’m sitting in my room with a fan on, typing out my thoughts onto a blog no one reads.
I spent the weekend re-reading Age of Reason. I still feel like the book is far too focused on refuting Christianity instead of building up deism, but Thomas Paine was still an incredible man for releasing something like AoR in the 1700’s. He truly does not get the respect he deserves. In his day, instead of a hero’s funeral, the one he was given was nearly unattended. Today, instead of being looked at as an example of moderate political views and deist beliefs, he’s held up as a far-right conservative Christian. America should be ashamed of itself for forgetting who one of its fathers truly was.
I’d be lying if I said Paine wasn’t a significant inspiration in leading me to where I am today. The day I picked up that compilation of his works changed my life. It’s been a rough road, but worth walking. In particular, the following quote really has put me into some bad positions in regards to my family:
But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe. -Age of Reason, Part I
As soon as I stopped claiming to be a Christian, my father has treated me differently. He obviously still loves and cares about me. He’s my dad. He just doesn’t understand that I don’t believe the same things he does anymore. I cannot believe in his god, and it bothers him. He’s a strict man, and he expects me to submit to his beliefs and decisions. The fact that I refused earlier this year and continue to refuse has been just another point of conflict in our relationship.
I know someday he’ll accept that I’m my own man and will make my own choices, but I doubt he will until I’m much older. Until then, I have to live with a father who forces me to go to church twice a week and makes sure to mention my soul in dinner prayers every so often.
I just wish he could see that this is my choice, that these are my beliefs. I am a free man, just as he is.
Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good. -The Rights of Man