I'm posting here what Mark sent me. I based my five questions to him on this.
Let’s see, a few things about myself: I grew up in a military household, with my father (only in name) as a strict head of the household. I am the youngest of six kids, and growing up, my father very strict. I didn’t really know him until he came home from Viet Nam, in 1971, and according to my siblings, he was a different person when he came back. They all said it was as if he died there, and what we got was the shell of the man that he was.
We grew up Lutheran, my mom carting us in the station wagon to church. I started noticing that things were not as they should be when, every Sunday, before church, my father would find fault with someone or something, and the yelling and screaming and beatings and crying would commence, always before church. When we got to church, it seemed that the hypocrisy would be the lesson of the day, no matter what the sermon was. I was told to go to Sunday school and behave, but I always had too many questions, and never enough answers. I was always afraid that if I didn’t listen, or if I said something wrong, I would suffer eternal damnation. Why would such a god, who I was told loved the world so much, allow such misery to invade our house, and allow such dishonesty in his house of worship.
Then came the time that my parents finally got a divorce. It was after my oldest sister, whom I loved so much, was thrown out of our house for becoming a Mormon, and later, marrying a Mormon man. My dad had started going to a southern Baptist church, and he just kept getting worse and worse. I started to read the bible, to get a sense of what would cause this, and what I could do. But all I discovered was contradictions and more questions than answers. I would ask our pastor, but all I got was a run around answer. I tried going to my father’s church, but was met with derision, and bullying by the other kids and their parents. I was told that my dad was the head of the house, and to obey him, and not question him. But he was incapable of anything except anger, even though he was “Saved” and “in the lord’s good graces”. I tried to read his bible, but there were even more backwards way of thinking. I soon started to question all religion, and even spent a summer with my Mormon sister. I didn’t get how we could all become gods of our own planet, when there was supposed to only be just one God. it sounded like Bullshit to me. I started to party, and became involved in drugs and being in a band, and getting in trouble.
I moved to the Midwest after I was in my twenties, and found the woman that I would marry. I hadn’t been to church in a long time, and was no longer sure that there was a god. In my teens and early twenties, I had dabbled in witchcraft, and wiccan, and then lost interest in all religion. I had started to settle down when I was finally doing good for myself and my wife, and my newborn daughter. Then I injured my back, and had surgery. I was in my heated pool one night, when I intercepted a gang banger trying to steal into my neighbor’s car. I called the cops, and called him out to get him to stop, when he called his friends. They showed up and the cops didn’t. I had to keep them out of our house, all five of them against me. I was studying martial arts, and my training saved my life, but I’m not Bruce Lee, and they finally got in a lucky shot with a wrought iron tiki torch rod. They jumped on me and beat me pretty bad. I was taken to the nearest hospital, and treated like a common thug, because it was late at night, and only trouble makers and criminals would need help after a fight that bad. My wife kept begging for them to help me, I was losing blood, and consciousness. I flat lined and stopped breathing, and everything crashed. I was basically dead, in darkness, and nothing hurt or bothered me. I just wasn’t anymore. it was nice. Then I heard my wife, screaming for me to breathe, come back, breathe, breathe, BREATHE!
I woke up, and I realized that there is nothing after. Just blank. We just end. No heaven, no hell.
But now I’m here..and taking care of my family. Everyone wanted to tell me it was god’s will, that I was alive, but I knew better. There was nothing.
So I just enjoy my family and my life. My wife is still catholic, but we get along. I believe in Science. That is all.