I started questioning my faith about six years ago, but it was only in the last few years that I fully acknowledged to myself that I simply didn’t buy the whole premise of an all-seeing, omnipotent god. But I continued to give lip service to religion, mostly out of years of habit. Like saying “excuse me” or “thank you,” saying “bless you” or even “I’ll pray for you” was so ingrained in me that the phrases popped out repeatedly whenever a friend or acquaintance was in distress. I’ll be honest, when it happened, the response from others was always gratifying. They were appreciative and grateful, so I didn’t backtrack or correct their assumptions. After all, why would I want to cause them distress? And I knew that if they knew I didn’t believe, they would be distressed, appalled or both. I wasn’t willing to upset them with the revelation about my crisis of faith. And I didn’t want to have to explain myself or get into a philosophical debate. And I feared that my relationships with others would suffer.
I don’t know if I’m a coward trying to avoid a confrontation or I’m being compassionate to friends and family who would be terribly distressed that I was no longer in the Christian fold. Quite simply, I didn’t want to talk about it. I feared that I would lose friends or that they would try some kind of intervention. I was afraid they would think less of me. I was afraid of disappointing them. I knew I didn’t believe, but I couldn’t give up the “God Habit” that had been a major part of my existence for most of my life.