Honorable mention: Enlightenment from the horrors of the bible by Telexius Wilson

Enlightenment from the horrors of the bible

FFRF awarded Telexius $200.

By Telexius Wilson

It started when I was in elementary school and my mom and I went to a new church. Kids sat in the back while the adults sat in the front. All the kids were allowed to sleep through the sermons, so I happily joined because this church started early in the morning and I was tired and bored. After the sermons I always felt like my mom and I didn’t belong there because most of the people were related to the pastor. My mom always taught me to pray for everything. When I did, I noticed that most of the things I prayed for never came true unless it was simple stuff. One day I stopped praying and realized the world didn’t change one bit.

When I entered high school I got interested in science and the world around us. I realized that none of the tons of evidence backed up the claims the bible made. I started researching deeper and deeper. I found all the things wrong with the bible on my journey.

I could never support something that says any form of slavery is OK. As an African-American I could never accept this. My ancestors didn’t die for me to support a religion that condones their mistreatment. I found out people even used the bible to defend against abolishing slavery. The bible is against women, too! When I learned about this, I knew I was no longer a Christian. I told my mom that I was now an atheist and you could tell she wanted to slap the black off me. She said, “You ain’t no atheist.” That was the end of our conversation. I’m planning on coming out to my entire family after I finish college. I know that means they might ostracize me, but I can’t continue to live a lie forever, and my friends support me.

When you’re down on your luck and have no one to turn to, the church seems like it has the answers to all your problems. It doesn’t matter if you’re poor and uneducated because the church needs people like that to keep it going. You have arms outreached to help you through everything when you’re at your lowest. You are not alone anymore. That is how they get you. If someone tells you that if you put a little money into our church, you’ll get something back in return, like a promotion, new car, new house or something, wouldn’t you want to do it? I remember when the pastor said my mom was getting a new car. Guess what? She didn’t. It’s easier for people to accept a lie than the truth. It’s so much easier to turn off your brain and believe someone has something amazing planned for you. The church also has another big advantage: They start their members young. Kids who are too young to understand what’s going on are woken up early and dragged to church or children’s bible study. Their teachers avoid all the terrible things that go on in the bible and only spoon feed them the good stuff.

How would I would make the freethinker movement more attractive to minorities? First, tell kids to question everything and do their own research. Look up all the bad things their holy book says. Education and knowledge are the key to becoming a freethinker. Have a debate with them and point out all the holes and flaws and maybe they might see that you are right. Start a group in the community and fundraise to help out struggling families. Religion has dehumanized atheism, so doing something great for the community will help get rid of some of that stigma. Don’t start a war with the neighboring churches, be kind to all. Give the questioning a sense of acceptance and belonging like a church does. Use the methods that make churches so successful to your advantage. Their methods are successful for a reason. That’s how I would make the freethinker movement look more attractive to minorities.

Telexius Wilson, 18, grew up in West Palm Beach, Fla., and attended Lake Worth High School. She is attending Palm Beach State for two years, then Florida Atlantic University after that. She wants to major in criminal justice so she can become a police officer.

Freedom From Religion Foundation