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Religious Rationalist To......

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Hi all, my name is Joe. I am 19 years old and a senior in high school. I was raised in a politically conservative Christian household. At the age of 11 I started having issues with my sexuality i.e. Am I gay, straight or bisexual? In my quest to answer this I focused on my religious teachings and conservative polemics. At first I became obsessed with being right since my rightness or wrongness would dictate the course of my actions in regards to my sexaulity (for a teenage male thats a big deal okay...lol). But quickly my obsession of rightness transformed itself into a substitute form of self-esteem. I achieved my self-worth through the moral superiourity of my positions.

My religious up bringing inculcated three key ethics in me: agape love, moral superiourity of mercy over justice, and the moral absolute of God. Agape love in this context means self-less love. The highest moral ideal in my faith was the crucifixion of Christ. In other words a completely innocent man was murdered for the sake of the evil according to the standard of justice God upheld. This inverted form of "morality" sets up the murderer and Mother Teresa as morally equivalent and brings Teresa down to the level of the murder through unearned guilt. And last but not least is the moral absolute of God. I was convinced that without God there could be no objective morals that to reject God is to reject the Good in this world.

Meanwhile, my quest for sexual indentity acted as a catalyst to break my faith. I eventually reached a point about a year ago that left me in limbo. I had completely rejected God (I thought I was going to Hell). Then I came across Atlas Shrugged and well here I am. :D

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