08/25/2014 02:08 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

My Decision Whether or Not to Become an Atheist is in God's Hands


I'm still not sure if I am ready to actually declare myself an atheist, so I guess I am just going to leave it up to God.

I mean, what do you think, big guy, or gal? I need a little guidance, here. Should I stop believing in you? I know, I know, you're bored out of your skull with that tired old trope about why would a loving God allow suffering in the world, but I have to admit it does crop up now and then. Especially when I need an explanation for what I see on the news, and why human beings can't seem to stop hurting each other, or why people on Facebook insist on posting pictures of their dinner entrees.

See, if you came down this instant and told me that you were cool with me being an atheist, then I wouldn't need to have an answer for why things happen at all. They would just happen, and I wouldn't be able to blame it on you, prostrate myself to you or bargain with you, or any of the things that grow naturally out of an emotional investment in your God-forsaken existence. But since you haven't seen fit to become involved in my decision about whether or not to claim you aren't real, I'm back to square one: asking why: why you aren't fighting a little harder when you know one of your pitiful, imperfect subjects is considering dropping your ass?

You haven't seen fit to show me a sign, which is what you have done for a lot of famous religious figures over the years, let's face it. Okay, maybe I'm just a piker who isn't exactly worthy of a burning bush or being asked to sacrifice someone to prove my loyalty, but give me a break, this is a big decision! We're talking atheism here! So, if we are all equal in your eyes, would it kill you to send some sort of clue or miracle down to Earth so I can know how to proceed? Maybe I could be walking around thinking about becoming an atheist and then a lightning bolt could narrowly miss me, or a Bichon Frisé could suddenly start telling my fortune in perfect English, or my parents could inexplicably start understanding who I am as a person.

Clearly, Lord, you spoke to Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins, informing them that they could get the hell (if there is a hell) out of Dodge (if there is a Dodge) and I suspect you did the same for Christopher Hitchens, God rest his soul. So I know you are capable of swaying people in one direction or another. And of all the heinous, unspeakable things that have been done in your name, one citizen simply asking you whether or not he should switch sides does not seem like that big a deal.

And hey, at least I'm asking! I want you to know I would not fling myself rashly into declaring you don't exist. No way. You're God, and you've earned the right to a fair trial. So how about meeting me halfway at least? Let me know if I should become an atheist, will you? I'll be honest, sometimes I get the feeling you would feel more of a call to action from overhearing the hidden thoughts of a Red Sox fan who's considering supporting the Yankees for the rest of his life.

Okay, sorry, don't mean to sound bitter. I'll just sit here and wait for a nudge from on high. Until such time, I will try to be comfortable with the question that continues to plague me.

Should I become an atheist? God only knows.

More of James Napoli's comedy content for the Web can be found here.