Jacquie Waliczek talks about Atheism and life

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When I’m hosting events people always ask me what my most memorable experience as a Playmate was. I’d have to say it was working a casino event in Kansas the day Harold Camping predicted the world was going to end (May 21, 2011). I was surprised at how wildly reported his prediction was, on the internet and television, since I thought he was crazy.

I was joking with the girl I was working the event with that it would be funny if it were true, since the time he predicted for the world to end I would be wearing the Bunny Outfit, so I should get to the front of the line for heaven, if I’m treated as special as I’m treated when working as a Playmate. The idea of standing in line in my Bunny Outfit with seven billion other people waiting to be checked in is amusing. Or, like the movie Beetle Juice, I could be sitting next to a woman sawed in half and a man with a shrunken head.

The bunny suit Christine would have been wearing had the world ended when Harold Camping it would. (Photo by Christine Smith)
The bunny suit Christine would have been wearing had the world ended when Harold Camping it would.
(Photo by Christine Smith)

It was perfect weather when I started signing autographs, then at the exact time he predicted the end of the world I saw that it was raining so hard outside that the parking lot had flooded, water was rushing past the front doors. Then I heard what sounded like bowling balls being dropped on the casino roof, the size of the hail was so large.

One of our security men showed us photos his wife sent him, a tornado had ripped out an underground trampoline and blew it on their neighbor’s roof. In the second photo she was holding hail the size of her hand. They were constantly checking the tornado reports to see how close this big one was to us.

While I was smiling and signing autographs looking outside at what really did look like was the ending of world I was starting to get worried and thought what if the world really was ending today? My first thought was if I die, God will be disappointed, I haven’t helped nearly enough animals. I’ve always believed that my looks, my ability to get everyone to donate anything I’d ask of them for charities and my talent for rehabilitating animals was only because God gave those talents to me and I was supposed to make a huge difference in how animals are treated here and that I needed to help as many as I could.

I was doing myself a disservice by never giving myself any credit for my drive to help. I always felt I was just doing items on someone else’s checklist. Instead of just being happy at charity events I started to feel I was so far behind on the list that I was just playing catch up. Doesn’t make much sense does it?

Although I believe in a higher power, thinking too much about the afterlife or what we are here for can cause as much stress as it does help us. I recently came across the tornado souvenir I bought at the airport after the world didn’t end. I bought it as a reminder that life is short and to do much more with my life because I enjoy it. Not because I feel I have to.

Lately, I’ve been interested in speaking with people of different faiths and reached out to Jacquie Waliczek who is Atheist. She was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions. We all can learn a lot from her answers. If I thought this life was all I had I’d probably spend much less time wasted on TV, the internet and other useless things. If I believed when my loved ones died I’d never see them again I bet I’d call them a lot more.

Here are my questions I asked Jacquie Waliczek, I enjoyed reading her answers and appreciate the time she took in writing them.

1) When religious people go through difficult times in their lives, they tell themselves ‘everything happens for a reason’ and believe it’s a test from God, or, like the “Footprints In The Sand” poem says, that when they felt alone God was actually carrying them. Do you feel it is more difficult for you knowing that the hard times are just a part of life, not part of a greater plan by God who will help you through out that time? Or is it easier for you not having to believe he will be judging you for your faith in him during the tough times?

Photo provided by Jacquie Waliczek
Photo provided by Jacquie Waliczek

(Jacquie Waliczek) Having the view that there is no God or higher power, I do feel that sometimes it is more difficult dealing with what life throws at us. As human beings, we have a tendency to want answers, safety, security and comfort.  We tend to seek out these things even more during difficult life events. People don’t like the idea that terrible and unfair things happen for no reason and that there is no way around it. We all conceptualize reality and our existence differently.

So when life gets rough, of course I want to believe in something more comforting than the concept of life often being cruel, unfair, terrifying and that things don’t always happen for a reason. But I’m not going to believe in something with no proof behind it so I can deal with life more comfortably. My view keeps me grounded and shows me that I’m strong enough to handle what life throws my way. It’s empowering to know that about myself and it gives me a sense of comfort while dealing with life and its struggles.

2) Has your belief in science instead of God affected your relationships with people who feel they need to “save” you by trying to convince you there is a God?

No. Even though my beliefs are strong, I don’t talk about it very often and for the most part, the people I’m surrounded by don’t talk about their beliefs, either. We respect each other’s beliefs and leave it at that. Life is too short to waste time on people who can’t respect your right to have your own views and opinions concerning religion.

3) Do you feel you would live your life differently if you believed there were a punishment and reward system to all your actions on Earth in an afterlife?

That’s an interesting question! Of course I don’t want to be punished and hell sounds absolutely terrifying. I’m sure there are things I would do differently in fear of the ultimate punishment. But I am a good person in this life without fear of Hell looming over me. I don’t give to charities and help people and animals throughout my life due to religious obligation. I’m not a Good Samaritan because I think it will get me closer to the gates of Heaven. I do these things of my own accord.

However, I do not discredit those who do these things due to religious belief. People have insisted that something good I did had nothing to do with me and it was really all God working through me. I don’t appreciate that sometimes. But, if you’re “doing good” in the world, that is what’s most important, whether or not it’s fueled by fear of Hell, anticipation of Heaven or people thinking it’s really God working through you.

4) Were you raised to be an Atheist? Or did science’s proof that dinosaurs first lived on Earth 245 million years ago and life has evolved since then lead you to believe that there is no “greater being”?

I was actually raised Jewish. My dad’s side of the family is Jewish but my mom’s side is Lutheran. I went to Hebrew school, had a bat mitzvah celebration, celebrated the Jewish high holidays but also celebrated Christmas at my grandma’s house every year. During my early 20’s, I re-evaluated my religious beliefs and other aspects of my life. I realized that I while I identified with Judaism due to my upbringing and from being surrounded by Jewish family members and friends my entire life, science was what resonated with me.

Photo by Tim Forkes
Photo by Tim Forkes

Even as a child, I didn’t feel right pledging allegiance to the flag with the word God in it when I didn’t know if I believed and I felt I was too young to make an educated decision about such a topic. Throughout my life, I see a lot of people using God and religion as an excuse for their behavior and a way to not take responsibility for themselves. I see so many people constantly asking God for things like a genie in a magic bottle. It doesn’t make sense to me that people can believe such a being exists only to turn around and pray to Him for a win at a little league game. It doesn’t make sense to me see to all these costly churches and exorbitant lifestyles of religious leaders when there is poverty and hunger in the world. I don’t understand how a person can so strongly identify with a religion, but pick and choose what parts of the religion to follow.

In order for me to devote my entire life to a belief or concept, there needs to be substantial proof backing up its validity. In my eyes, science seems to do just that. While being Atheist works for me, I respect and understand that it doesn’t work for everyone.

Many people don’t know much about Atheists beliefs.  Some people fear that without God in their lives the world would be chaos.  I’m glad I was able to share Jacquie Waliczek’s views with readers. Hopefully I was able to help people understand even without God, they are still great people!