Should I feel guilty about not believing in God?

No.

Even if you come from a family that highly values faith such as with my mothers side of the family, there is nothing to feel guilty about when it comes to being honest about your beliefs and your feelings. Particularly when it comes to spirituality we can’t really control whether we believe in a given thing, we either feel a belief/faith or we don’t. It’s an area that we can explore, in which we can try to find some meaning, some truth, something we can identify with. Though ultimately whether we end up identifying with any spirituality is not a choice, it’s a feeling.

I personally would find it dishonest for me to tell my mother‘s father that I am still a Christian when I know that I am not, and I cannot just choose to believe in Christ so as to appease my grandfather. I don’t feel the presence of Jesus Christ in my life and therefore do not have faith in Christianity, and that was not a choice that I made. As much as it bothers my grandfather to know that I do not worship Christ, what’s more important is that he accepts me for who I am and what I believe. Were I to tell him that I still identify as a Christian, even though I really don’t, he would not be accepting and embracing the real me.

No one should feel guilty about anything regarding their personal spiritual beliefs. In a way it is not unlike sexual orientation and gender identity, we either feel a certain way or we don’t, and no one should be faulted or feel guilty for any feelings or beliefs that they have when those feelings and beliefs do not harm other people (I do not count upsetting one’s family for not identifying with the family religion as causing harm; it’s no one else’s business, including family members, what we as individuals feel and believe).

Even God, who I personally do feel the presence of in my life (which isn’t to say that I claim to I really know exactly what the Ultimate is or exactly how It operates) more than likely wouldn’t judge a person for not believing in Itself. It surely must be primarily concerned with how we treat others, which is why I’ve said many times before that some of the most truly Christian individuals I’ve met are atheists when it comes to practicing what Christ preached. Whatever God is, it couldn’t fault anyone for finding the lack of hard empirical evidence pointing to It’s existence a bit troubling. It would have to be a very petty and insecure Intelligence to become “angered” with perfectly rational people who can’t honestly say they feel It’s presence in their lives, people who didn’t choose to not believe but rather find themselves unable to honestly say they believe.

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