After being effectively removed from religion as a teen, I adopted the label of agnostic. It was inoffensive and safe.
The kind of label that said, in small-town Minnesotan fashion, “I don’t really entirely believe in this, because I have questions, but it might be right, and who’s to say? Certainly not me. So I’ll just sit quietly over here, then.”
It suited me.
My polite, careful label became a challenge to those around me. You see, I didn’t believe yet. I was agnostic because I hadn’t yet been convinced.
I was regaled with endless stories that alleged to prove the existence of God and the diety of Jesus Christ. Small coincidences and natural phenomena were described to me as miracles. If only I would open my heart to the possibility of Jesus, then I would see.
I didn’t see. I never saw.
Not long after, I finally found peace as an atheist.
It may be that “agnostic” is still the most accurate label for me. I have no answers. But I’ve long since concluded that I don’t need them. I don’t reject the possibility of deity; I just don’t need the answer in order to live a good, compassionate life. I rest well with nothing but happy curiosities.
Atheist it is.