What I believe, OR: Agnostic Apologetics.
TL:DR - I'm an agnostic. Sort of.
I've been thinking over what I believe lately. Reading some blogs and Twitter accounts by what you might call "progressive Christians." (Fred Clark and Rachel Held Evans figure prominently, if you're curious.) Remembering what I felt in church, the sense of this is my home alongside the discomfort and turmoil as my views evolved.*
It does still feel "homey" in a way. And I'm so, so grateful to have discovered this network of Christians who - well - aren't Pat Robertson's type of Christians. But I don't think I'll ever go back to the church.
This is not my coming out as an atheist. I'm not comfortable or confident with saying There is no god. Being raised Christian - wholeheartedly embracing it for a good two-thirds of my life - will always be part of my thinking. But liking the nuts and bolts of Biblical interpretation, liking the discussions on the aforementioned blogs about history and theology, is not the same as believing in the Christian God and all the attendant stuff. When I left the church I made a promise with myself that I'd stop forcing myself to believe what I thought I ought to believe - to stay true to the writing on my own heart. Well, I have, and God simply isn't written there.
God, or something similar, may exist, or may not. Whichever is true, will be true no matter what I believe. But if my heart is right - if there is no God, no afterlife, no goal at the end of this race - that doesn't lead me to a nihilistic view of the universe or of our place within it. In fact, it's the opposite. If we can't count on anyone to sort out our collective shit for us when we die, to dispense justice like a mighty river, to exalt the humble and humble the exalted - then dammit, we've got to do it ourselves. How we treat each other is the ONLY thing that has ever mattered and will ever matter, from now until the end of time.
...If there is a God, I can't imagine S/He would be too displeased if we lived like that.
*Confession time: I remember once saying something to my mom along the lines of "I think being gay is a choice, because God wouldn't be cruel enough to condemn people for something they didn't choose." Mom said something to the effect of "well, we can't really know or judge what God has in mind." I can see now that she didn't believe being gay was a sin at all, but was letting me work things out for myself. That must have taken some courage for her. ...I was in maaaaybe fifth grade at the time. When I was a child, I reasoned like a child, as the apostle writes. ;)