To start, I will first introduce my family's religion. My family believes in Buddhism even before the born of me. I am sure my family believes it because of my parents. As I know, my father and mother are both had grown up from devout Buddhism families. According to them, they often went to the Buddhist temple a few times a month. Also, both of them believed in supernatural things from Buddhism. For example, my family has a Buddhism talisman on the house door which is believed to keep the demons and evils out of the house. Also, My father has a bundle of silk threads in his car which is believed to keep the car safe as well as my father. Likewise, my family believed in somewhat supernatural things. My brother had his own Buddhism talisman given from mother who thought it will give him safer and happier life for a particular year.
Even though my family believed in such supernatural religions, we were really not so 'crazy' about it. When I was young--I am talking about when I was about 10 years old--whenever the school ends, I could see a group of people gathered around in front of the school main gate. They were handing out some kind of flyers with candies. They were Christians wheedling the young innocent child to join their church.
One day, I gave them my home phone number. Well, I was trying to avoid them to bother me around but was too kind to simply deny them. I was thinking to give them the home phone number first and ignore them. However, I realized how they were very persistent. They literally called everyday. My poor innocent mother had to deal with that because of my stupid mistake and innocence. I became more and more cruel and brutal, gaining skills on how to deal with these looters realizing how the society is full of vice. I became a bellicose student who decisively defied all Christian's attacks.
You see, Korean Christianity is somewhat corrupted at least I think, because they do not pay any taxation to the government while earning quite a lot of money by giving sweet talks to a few people saying that Jesus will save them whatever. This is why there are so many Christian churches in South Korea. When I was young, I enjoyed to go up the rooftop and look outside even though it was a little bit scary. I could see normal things that anyone would see if they go up to the rooftop but plus one to that scenery. I could also see about five to seven red LED crosses on the top of buildings. Those were the Christian churches showing where they are and making people to believe in Jesus more and more. Whenever I went up to the rooftop and saw those, I thought Jesus did not bestow ever living eternities on those Korean Christianities but one giant cemetery.
|Pic. 1. red LED crosses on the building.|
This kind of buildings are everywhere in Korea
Of course, my parents influenced me to stay away from the Christians. However, I always did not care about the religion. I considered myself as a Buddhist more like just in order to keep Christianity away from me.
Christians sometimes visited people's house to talk about Jesus Christ. They were so tenacious and skillful on speaking, it was just impossible to cast them out. Once, my father came back to home in the morning after passing night at work. While he was sleeping, a Christian came to the house and knocked the door to pass out 'the words of Jesus.' Extremely tired and exhausted, my father was so infuriated and shouted them to get lost. As you can see, Christians had crossed the line and started to intrude people's life. This is why my family did not accept any Christians at all. At least, in Korean situation, believing Buddhism was better than believing Christianity. So, no religion for me even when I was young although my family somewhat believed in Buddhism very lightly.
Meanwhile, I made a couple of new friends in middle school. One of them was a devout Catholic and the other one of them was running a Christian church and his father was minister. I had no problem at all being friend with them. Rather, we had pretty good relationship and still continued. It was my ever first time to visit Christian church and Catholic church after I became a friend with them. But my perspective on religion did not change at all.
In 2011 August, I moved to New Hampshire, U.S. to study abroad. I met a giving and sophisticated family and of course, my brother. They, for the first time in my life other than my parents, influenced my religion. Host mother influenced me a lot toward her Capitalism beliefs. Eventually, I started to become a fan of Ayn Rand like she was. I read couple of books not during staying with her family but after that. Thus, the time I actually started to discuss more about Ayn Rand's philosophies was next year. However, slowly she still influenced me toward 'not believing god' just by living with them.
In 2012 August, I transferred to a Catholic High School in Kansas City, Missouri. This event totally strengthened my belief on religion. Yes, Catholic school. All students were required to attend a mass about once a month. I was surprised at how Catholic mass was so holly and sacred. The music and the process were sincere fresh shock to me. Soon, I wanted to know deeper inside of Catholicism. So, that is how I met Fr. Joe Laramie, S.J. the Director of Patrol Ministry of my school. I could not have so much time with him to talk about my thoughts though. However, the day came. On the retreat day, I had enough time to talk about my thoughts to him. He gave me a bible and other things to start life as a Catholic. I did what he said. I read bible, tried to talk to god, praised every morning and night. Well, I was not so sure though. After about a week, I went to see him to make things clear.
You see, I was really interested to be a Catholic. But, I just could not understand him saying "believe in him." I just could not see him, hear him, smell him, and feel him. Father asked me to imagine and embrace him. But I even do not know if god is there! I had a long conversation with him about believing in Catholic and made my conclusion after about a month: there was no such shit. I apologized father and confessed that I may never be able to become a Catholic. He understood and blessed me that I will live through this long adventure without obstacles.
I considered myself as an agnostic. But, after my attempt to become a Catholic, I found myself has absolutely no belief toward god. There is no such thing exists! Am I supposed to believe something that I even do not know if it exists or not? HA! I came to the conclusion that I will live as an atheist, who does NOT believe in god. Rather, I will believe in my integrity.
"This god, this one word: I." (Ayn Rand, Anthem)
"They claim that they perceive a mode of being superior to your existence on this earth. The mystics of spirit call it “another dimension,” which consists of denying dimensions. The mystics of muscle call it “the future,” which consists of denying the present. To exist is to possess identity. What identity are they able to give to their superior realm? They keep telling you what it is not, but never tell you what it is. All their identifications consist of negating: God is that which no human mind can know, they say—and proceed to demand that you consider it knowledge—God is non-man, heaven is non-earth, soul is non-body, virtue is non-profit, A is non-A, perception is non-sensory, knowledge is non-reason. Their definitions are not acts of defining, but of wiping out." (Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 148)
I came to this with my sole decision. I believed in Buddhism to defy the Korean Christianity, but then I became an agnostic after I got to know my host mother and Ayn Rand, and eventually I became an atheist after my attempt to become a Catholic. For your information, I am not an atheist because I support homosexuality--sometimes people ask if I am homo for being an atheist. NO! Please well why, I despise homosexuality. Disgusting, please.