Hello, my name is Maggie, an computer geek and gamer and renfaire lover, artist and sometimes writer and complete bookworm living in the miserable sun-baked city of Phoenix, AZ.
I was originally raised Catholic, I am told, though I have only a couple vague memories of catechism before my mother left the church. Most of my early religious memories are of Gospel Hall, a Baptist church that I went to because one of my little school friends invited me to sunday school, and it was super fun, we sang songs and earned points for memorizing Bible verses that we could spend on toys and books and stuff, it was all very appealing to me as a 6 year old girl even though there was a lot of talk of having two birthdays, one when we were born on earth and one when we were born again in Christ, the day when we accepted Jesus into our hearts, and I didn't really understand that because as far as I could tell I had always been a Christian, and it worried me that maybe I couldn't be saved because it was impossible for me to accept Jesus into my heart when he was already there, and when they asked me when my second birthday was I just made something up.
Aaaanyways, when I was ten my family moved away and I started attending the Methodist church down the street. That place was... pretty wonderful, actually. I had family there, and some of my closest friends are people I met at the church's youth group. I was in the choir, and the handbell choir, and I volunteered at vacation bible school, and helped prepare church luncheons, and read bible verses in front of the congregation, and I really, really believed in Jesus. And then... I don't know what happened, but I was in high school and a lot of my friends were into Wicca. So I read up on it and I'm sure many of you can understand how appealing it was, with it's lovely imagery and non-patriarchal structure and the chance that I could really take control of my life (through magic spells). I kept going to my church, because I was happy there and I loved the people there, even when I gave up Wicca because seriously? Magic spells? and converted to plain old paganism, and then "spirituality" and then Buddhism.
And then I went away to university. Since religion just wasn't that important to me anymore, I didn't choose a new church and when my mom asked what I was doing for Easter I deflected her questions by saying "I'm too busy" and I found that without a church in my life religion became even less important. I decided that it was dishonest and prideful to say that I knew what God was, what God thought, even that God existed when I, in fact, knew no such thing. I was officially agnostic.
That served well enough until I moved away to Arizona, where I slacked off until I found a new interest in science, and became upset at how much difficulty I was having just thinking logical thoughts after being out of school for so long, so I began trying to train myself to think better, to examine hard questions and follow them through to their logical conclusions. And one of the questions was "Is there a God or gods?" and the conclusion I ended up at, while still essentially "I don't know", was really "Almost certainly not, and definitely not the Christian one."
And you know? It's like a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I could stop worrying about my lack of faith dooming me to hell. Now all I worry about is... what if my mother finds out?