I was put into the Catholic Church at a late age, when I was around nine years old, but my sisters were even older. By that extent, we were put into Sunday School as well.

My dad told me that he wanted to raise us without being dominated by a single religion, to let us choose for ourselves, but when my oldest sister began hanging around people who did drugs, he didn't trust himself and he wanted to give us a better role model. He was raised Catholic himself, and he probably thought that this was God's sign to come back into the fold.

I was into the whole thing. I loved the church. More often I enjoyed the flamboyent Italian man gesturing wildly with his hands during the sermon. I enjoyed the coloring books and learning about this dude named Jesus and getting sprayed with water.

And then my priest was accused of sexual abuse. Guilty until proven innocent, that's how it works, right?

The case never went to trial because the accuser committed suicide before the trial date. And now the only two who know the truth are the Priest and God.

We stopped going every week.

And for a very long time I only went to church on holidays.

Until my junior year of senior year of high school, when I was mentoring another student in his biology class for extra credit in advanced genetics. He suggested that I come to the Confirmation class introduction, just to see if I'd want to do it. I decided that I'd go to one session, just to see.

Six months later I was Confirmed Catholic and a first Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus. I'm a fucking knight. A fucking knight. A FUCKING KNIGHT.

And for the next three years, God was my aide and companion. Although I knew he would never talk back to me, I prayed constantly, and used him to guide all my decisions.

Through Basic Training, I prayed, read the bible, and went to church every Sunday. Through Combat Engineer School, I did the same. And most of Freshman and Sophomore year of college, I was a devout Catholic.

And until last year, I went to church EVERY SUNDAY. Without fail.

I even had this experience at a remote retreat while I was praying in adoration and the monstrance the altar and I heard the voice of God. I heard the voice of God. It was within me, very soft, and it told me to go to Somalia and build a church.


But then, after I had flunked out of University, I was scrolling around Twitter at around 3am on the giant projectors in an empty classroom, and I saw this link.

I clicked on it. It was a video recording of Google Earth starting in some city (London, I think) and zooming out, out, out.

It just kept zooming out. It zoomed out of the country. It zoomed out from Earth. It zoomed out from the solar system. The Galaxy. The Galactic neighborhood. And it just kept zooming out.


And when I saw this, there was this other voice in my head. This one seemed real. So fucking real. It was like it was me.

It said to me: there is no God.

And I was like: "woah."

That was the first time I ever thought that.

So, which voice was right?
The voice in the church? Am I supposed to build a Church in Somalia? Or am I supposed to accept the fact that there is no God?

<<read part 1