4/30/05                                                                                       View Comments

Free !

sent in by Ian

I've been hanging around here lurking for a few days and thought it was about time to introduce myself. Although I¡¦m English, I now live and work in beautiful Sweden (why is a long story which I might go into another time). I guess my story follows a familiar pattern which many here will recognise.

I was born into a secular Jewish household 47 years ago in London. I did all the normal things a Jewish boy did but I must admit that it was more because my parents made me do it rather than wanting to or even believing in the mumbo jumbo. By the time I was 15 I was a strong atheist and remained so for the next 15 years (during which period I met and fell in love the woman I was to marry and am proud to say that we are still going strong 25 years later).

It was not long passed my 30th birthday on a snowy January night in Aberdeen when I had an experience (it doesn't matter what it was; at least not at the moment) which I felt at the time I could only interpret in a Christian context. This was a bolt from the blue and a real shock for my wife who was and remains to this day an agnostic. For the last 17 years I've been an on and off Christian, experimenting with just about every denomination you can name and many other faiths (especially Buddhism) as well. At some point a long the way I became a Catholic (don't ask; just one in a series of many mistakes).

So where am I today? For years I've been struggling to hold together my faith against the background of doubt. For long periods I managed to suppress my true thoughts by hiding behind Tertullian's statement, "I believe because it is absurd." Somehow I convinced myself that because it is absurd it must be true. Bizarre! A few weeks ago I was talking to my wife about JC and all that stuff trying to convince her that I was right when, perhaps for the first time, I really listened to her arguments against. And the house of cards came tumbling down. Instead of feeling scared I was relieved. Suddenly I was free of guilt. I now realise that Christianity is an unhealthy religion constantly forcing adherents to try to reconcile its contradictions or pretend they don't exist. I can now see that there is immense stress in living between the carrot of heaven and the stick of hell.

So now I'm free. Free to do or believe what I don't know (any suggestions will be appreciated !) but at least I'm finally rid of that superstitious mumbo jumbo that held me back from being a whole person. I'm rediscovering interests that have been long suppressed in the name of orthodoxy and enjoying life again.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Ian

Male
Sweden
Converted at 30
De-converted at 47
I was a Catholic (and just about everything else)
I am now a Seeker after truth
I joined becuase It felt like I had no choice
I finally left because It felt like I had no choice
email: ian.gitlin at gmail dot com

4/25/05                                                                                       View Comments

Can't get over the ghosts

sent in by Jenessa

It's hard for me these days......after all the crazy stories I've been believing for years.....being atheist is like calling my mom, and entire family, a liar, and that's difficult to do.

They're unique. They aren't just Christian. They have countless stories of supernatural happenings to back up their beliefs. All of which I grew up believing to be true. It became my reality. Now, I know they're not true, which is hard to comprehend. Why would anyone make these things up? Or are they that messed up that they actually believe these things truly happened? It's horrible. To this day, even knowing in myself that it's a bunch of bull, I can't sleep without a night light.

My mom as a teenager dabbled in the world of spirit writing, which she believes has followed her around from house to house, state to state for many years now. While in the house she grew up in she spent many of her days taking care of her brothers and sisters, as my grandparents were never around to do it themselves. She claims that her spirit writing cursed her, her family and the house that they lived in.

One day she was washing the walls in the hallway while her baby sister sat nearby watching her. She stared up at the ceiling and began going into convulsions. My mom called an ambulance. "As soon as they removed her from the house, she stopped." That's one of the more believable stories.

Another, she had just finished cleaning the kitchen and moved on to the living-room. In the kitchen were linoleum floors. All her brothers and sisters were at the park, she was home completely alone. As she cleaned the living-room, she heard a chair pull out from the table in the kitchen. Upon inspection, she saw the chair had indeed pulled out. She looked around, no one was there. She pushed the chair back in and returned to the living-room. She heard it again. Once again, the chair had moved. Bewildered, she started looking around to see if one of her brothers or sisters was playing an evil trick on her. She went outside and looked down the road and all of them were just then rounding the corner returning from the park.

One of the more bizarre stories is backed up by another witness, my aunt. The three sisters share a room. Unable to sleep, they both were just laying in bed while their baby sister lay sleeping in her crib in the corner of the room. I'm not sure of the order of events but both of them saw a dark cloud hover over the crib. Their beds raised off the floor and began to shake.

Now, mind you, these women are now full grown adults and will swear to this day that these things actually happened. My mother also has many other stories (which were while I was alive) of seeing ghosts in our house, any house we lived in. She would leave bibles open in every room. It wasn't until she became "born again" that these things stopped.

Like I said, I still can't sleep without a night light. I am scared. Although I tell myself over and over that theres no such thing as ghosts, I walk up the stairs frantically staring behind me then up the stairs again, then behind me, then up the stairs, while struggling not to fall down as I pick up the pace with every stair.

Ghosts have been made my reality. This is by far the hardest part for me. Knowing the bible is a bunch of bull, I can do. I know deep down that what I believe as an atheist is the truth. Sleeping in the dark, that's another story.

Now that I have a child of my own, I don't want him to even think there's a such thing as Santa. If some guy who flies through the air with magic reindeer can materialize into your house by way of your chimney, why couldn't there be a monster in your closet? Or a ghost? Or a bloody Mary?

The constant battle to hold my own beliefs separate from my family doesn't bother me much anymore, it's this. This is how Christianity has scared me.

Massillon
Ohio
USA
became: 0
left: 22
Label before: Christianity
Label now: Atheist
Converted because: Force
De-converted because: Logic
fairydreamz23 at yahoo dot com

4/23/05                                                                                       View Comments

A brief glimps into the thoughts of a lunatic

sent in by Kendall

this seems more than anything like an AA meeting, but anyway...

I was born into a christian home: fundamentalist mother (calvinist and dutch), a slightly milder father (methodist). and mom did speak, and there was faith. and she did speak again, and there were acts of faith. and she did speak again... and didst become angered when I couldn't figure out how to worship god in new and exciting ways. basically, my early childhood consisted of a) preschool (thank god it wasn't christian) and b) church- where I learned that satan was bad, but god wanted us to love everyone, and wasn't satan one of them? I got in trouble for asking the sunday school teacher that, fairly early on.

that was pretty much it for me: I attempted to convert my neighbors when I was young (and really set one of them off). that was about the time I started believing in evolution: I became an unofficial scientologist at that time (I was about ten). christianity was just starting to become exciting: I was discovering contemporary christian artists (DC Talk, Newsboys, etc). I became fairly heavily involved in it: going on retreats and so on. then several of the pastors did a whole series of meetings about how games are evil (specifically roleplaying games, but every type has its place in hell). that didn't sit well with me, but it took another couple of years before I figured out why: it involved a book I was reading (a fantasy novel) that had a 'sample RPG' at the back of it: a DND fast-play scenario designed to rope fantasy nerds- like me- into the DND fold. it worked, and it suddenly clicked what the wrong feeling was with the pastors: they had lied, simply because they'd had a bad experience and had seen several cases of players taking the game too seriously. and with that realization came a chain reaction: if they could lie about this... they could lie about other things. I became more heavily involved in roleplaying (I don't do much anymore, but I was exploring the depth of it at the time to see if they even knew what they were talking about: they did, to an extent. it had been 30 years at the time since either of them had played any RPG), and the 'character exploration' somewhat inspired me to question what I believed: up until that point, I had taken that there was a god for granted. then one of my role-playing friends confessed to being wiccan: I had heard of it once or twice (in church, about how evil it was) and decided to try it.

"communing with the goddess" did indeed give me a funny gut feeling. it took me another several years and a good bit more insight to realize that the 'funny feeling' was the subconcious realization that this was a bunch of shit. from there, I went straight to athiestm, fuelled in part by Carlin's objective (and hilarious) look at religion: it had convinced me that there was an invisible man! living in the clouds! who was watching me each and every second of each and every day. then I started to look back at what I had believed and became so repulsed I began hating all religion, but specifically christianity.

the key thing that I've learned from all of this is that christianity is a very helpful crutch. a group of people who will go through hell to avoid an imagined one and will help each other is the basis for many very successful organizations: such as religion and (in certain cases) a highly functional branch of the military. both of these groups preach protection of 'brothers and sisters', both are very concerned with who dies and lives, both are (ideally) tightly knit organizations that back up each individual with a group, and each individual backs up the group. both are very dangerous and are more than capable of a great deal of destruction, however, both are capable of a great deal of good too, if they can be convinced that it needs to be done (look at cathedrals if you'd like an example from religion, and the maginot line and the foreign aid stations from the military). If you've never been a part of a tightly knit group, then be warned: if you mess with one, you're messing with all of them, and any who take a fall usually become martyrs: "don't be like him, and make it impossible for others to make more like him!"

the other thing I've learned has more to do with my personal distaste of religion. in a very dispassionate way, I can point out the fatal flaws in most religions (mormonism being easiest, then wicca, then christianity, and so on): but I've figured out WHY I dislike religion- its because it fooled me, and I see others partaking of it as reflections of my own weakness. "they're taking the easy way out, and I have to take the hard way out? fuck them, I'm going to vent a little bit!"

Running from religion

sent in by SilentLoner

Where to start? I’m not sure where to begin, but I’ll do my best.

I officially became catholic around the age of 3 months when I was baptized at my hell-fearing grandma’s request. My parents had never been very religious, my mom coming from a non practicing Muslim family and my dad a deconverted catholic but obsessively caught up in an Indian guru cult he joined in the 70’s.

Even though I was born in the US, my family moved to Central America, where I grew up and have spent most of my life.I lived in a very catholic country, never meeting anyone of a different faith until my preteen years (one Jewish, one Buddhist).

We only attended church occasionally, or whenever my grandma asked us to. I enjoyed going at first, only because near the end of the sermon, the priest would ask all the children in the church to come up to the front altar where he was. All the kids would run up, and he would have us raise our arms while he said a prayer for us. (Looking back on it now it’s embarrassing).

My grandma made me pay attention by telling me that the large wooden statue of jesus on the cross up on the front of the church would come to life. I was young enough to believe her, and fro a long time each time we went I would stare transfixed at the statue, waiting for it to move. I spent a lot of time with my grandma, who I think is the one who taught me to fear punishment for not following the faith. Each night I stayed over she would put holy water on my forehead to “keep demons away.” I was afraid to sleep without it. She made sure to teach me that other religions were dammed, and she even had a prayer booklet that asked for everyone in the world to become catholic.

The school I went to was not a religious school, but the teachers threatened us with “god is watching” and it had mandatory religion class after school for elementary students.

Here we would sit in a circle around this old lady who told us the stories of adam, eve, noah, the usual stuff. We recited “hail mary’s” and “holy fathers”. To encourage our memory, she would reward whoever recited correctly with erasers, candy and plastic rosaries.

At home, things weren’t too different. Over the years, my grandma’s preaching and at the insistence of several religious friends of my mothers, my mom finally gave in and converted. Unfortunately for me, she became the main religious force in the family.

Although she claimed to be “merely spiritual”, you would have to be brain dead to see that to be a huge understatement.

We went to church every Sunday night, where I was expected to be on my best behavior. Once when I yawned in church, my mom slapped me and hissed: “This is the house of god!!” she later apologized, but I have yet to forgive her.

Like all the kids there, I had my first communion at the age of 10. The teacher who was supposed to prepare me for the communion made me read the bible, so I was unprepared as to what to do once there.

Things went impressively wrong at the communion, including my dress sleeve catching fire from a candle and me gagging on the wafer and wine.

While it was horrible at the time, I’m grateful it went badly. It would help me in my decision to leave Catholicism behind.

My first real doubts happened when I went to confession one day when I was around 11. I went to the confession box, and the man on the other side practically yelled at me, asking what my sins were and when the last time I confessed was. I stammered that I didn’t know the last time, and he proceeded to mutter something about hell. I told him the sins, which consisted of talking back to my mom and lying about something. He muttered that I was wasting his time and shut the wooden window in my face.

I came out of that church and never went to confession again.

Doubts kept coming when the topic of evolution came up in fifth grade science class. The rest of my classmates laughed, but I was fascinated.

I don’t think I deconverted at one single time, but rather that my belief in a god wore away slowly, usustained by any logic. I think I became an atheist at around 12.

It wasn’t until I was around 14 that I started doing research on the subject and started getting angry about all the lies I had been told.

Not only did I not believe in xtianity anymore, I was furious at it. I had spent my childhood fearing condemnation and being bribed into believing. I became bitter towards my religious relatives and got into nasty arguments with both my parents. I found the concept of a “god” to be ridiculous.

At school, doubting the faith practically made me an outcast. I was made fun of a lot. Real good experience, being preached to by your sixth grade classmates. I only had one friend at the time, who was Buddhist (only non catholic besides me).

When I was 15, I learned about Paganism. I was drawn to it. Not only did the practices give a sense of comfort, I deeply enjoyed practicing something my relatives had always warned me against.

It’s been two years since then, and I do consider myself pagan (I follow my own set of beliefs). But my family still believes me to be an atheist. My parents still think im doing it just to rebel against them and that it’s just a charade. My mom thinks earth religions are dangerous evil magic practices and my dad thinks they’re fake. my realtives would freak out and probably have me exorcised.

I’ll spare them the trouble and keep my beliefs to myself, something I only wish they and all fundies out there would do.

4/17/05                                                                                       View Comments

The Peacock Feather

sent in by David Luck

I was a born and bred Catholic, however 12 years ago I walked away, and have never felt more happy or comfortable with my decision. As a young person I'd pretty much done it all Churchwise, Altar Boy, Catholic School, Religion Prizes, Youth Group Leader etc.

The Catholic faith while expousing many virtues was steeped in contradictions and bigotry. In the end I was repelled by it.

I have since been leading a comfortable secular life. I have married into a Chinese family and have many friends from a variety of backgrounds. Humanity is a beautiful thing and it doesn't need relgion to screw it up.

Just recently I've started a great new job with a small firm. There is a christian senior principal who uses morning tea to put forth his own views on creation etc. I have had to bury myself in many a good book during such discussions.

Recently he had a peacock feather and was using the eye of the feather to demonstrate how such intricacies could not have evolved from evolution. This has made me feel a little small and isolated, as my half my colleagues are also Christian.

I have never sought to define my athiest beleifs, as this plays hands of Christians who seek to label people into simplistic groups. After the peacock incident I have decided to read into atheism much more deeply. It's great other peoples testimonies, and I've never felt so empowered reading all your words.

Thanks guys for making me feel proud about who I am.

I'll never set foot in a chruch again

sent in by Alison Randall

I enjoyed church really for one reason: when I took home the information they gave me, I would get a great and horrified reaction from my parents. They wanted to be Christians; they really did. They were very young and strangers in a new town. My Mom left her Quaker family, my dad's was Methodist, but he never really went to church. My dad was a music teacher and got a position as choir director. I think this got my brother and I places in the private school in this independent evangelical church we went to. I ended up practically living in this place.

Yesterday I had a long conversation with my mother. She really regrets what "that church did to you." She told me that, along with my brother and I, the two children of their best friends will never darken the door of a church again. She relayed a story of one of my horrifying church school-lessons. Apparently, my teacher taught us that, since we were all made of clay, Jesus left some in the sun too long and they were "ruined." These clay people were the black and brown people. I also informed my Mom that my heart was black until Jesus could wash it white again with His blood. One day, after I has received a spanking, I tearfully said to my father, "thank you." This spooked them, and their fears were confirmed. My teacher had told me to say this.

It took them a long time to get out of there. They waited until some scandal split the community in two before they left. I was spooked this time and asked to be baptized. I was, but to my disappoinment, nothing happened. I left the church, because I had no one to go with. I begged my family, and for several weeks, we went from one church to another. Fancy hand-waving churches, bluegrass churches, fire and brimstone churches. Mom chose a stained-glass church with a big organ. Many members of the symphony went there. she liked to sing. I went for a couple of years, but by this time, I already had been trained not to trust christains. Too many christians were my babysitting clients, and they were just too weird. Besides, my father was educating me in science, philosphy and other ideas, and Mom was educating me on women's rights and good taste: something she taught me was absent from Christianity since the Victorian era. You could tell good art from bad art, and gone were the Michelangelos, here to stay were the Helen Steiner-Rices and the Precious Moments.

I went to a very progressive college after that and was educated in comparative religion. I found skepticism, which was handy in a college that embraced New Age and Paganism. It was during one summer after my sophomore year that I knew I had to say the words to myself: I am an atheist. It was sometime around the "Brief History of Time" craze. God just didn't fit in anymore. And that was ok. It was a huge relief, and I felt proud of myself for taking that stand.

Today I am living in Quebec, Canada, the least religious place in north America. It's a great step away from even Seattle, where I lived before. Religion is for the elderly, and for the token french-canadian catholic culture that's lost any deep spiritual meaning since the sixties. I have a weekly internet audio show now, and a station, and I write and record every day. It's called The Hellbound Alleee Station, at http://www.hellboundalleee.com / My husband and I have many other websites, including Strong Atheism dot net, the Graveyard of the Gods ministry, and our site about Crackpottery, Insolitology. My husband and I are very fond of our inlaws, and he even got along well with the religious ones I only see at Christmas.

I am much happpier being morally autonomous. It's exciting, and sometimes a bit stressful to confront Christian fundamentalists, but I think it's important, and I've come to be used to being courageous. It makes me feel like I'm not wasting the short time I have on this little planet.

Thanks!

Hellbound Alleee
Sex: F
URL: http://www.hellboundalleee.com
City: Montreal
State: Quebec
Country: Canada
Became a Christian: I don't think I ever truly was a Christian, but I was put in a Christian church/school at about 1 1/2 years old, through to age 7. I went to church until I was 15.
Ceased being a Christian: I stopped being a christains at about 16, when I decided I would never set foot in church again.
Labels before: I was a member of the Calvary Bible Church, then I was a First Presbyterian-in-law. Through my parents. They almost had me. I even have a "born again birth certificate" from 1976.
Labels now: I am a rational/spiritual material individualist
Why I joined: I became "born again" through peer-pressure only. I got baptized at 12 because of fear alone.
Why I left: I deconverted because I listened to the minister, and I was fed up with the sexism in the church. I peeled away christainity starting with hell and the Devil, and I went from there.
Email Address: afrpennycentury at hotmail dot com

My Story

sent in by LeeD

Well first of all I would like to say hello. I have been visiting this site for many months just reading and listening to others. While I do not agree with everything that is written here it is certainly a good forum for ideas and a good place to meet with others who have been through Christianity.

It all started for me when my mother use to take my younger brother and myself to church when we were kids. Church at that time was quite boring. Full of old people and crappy old hymns, what a waste of a perfectly good Sunday monring!

A few years later, when I was around 11 - 13 years old received my first propper bible (The New Life Good News Bible) It was full of pictures and helpful reference stuff. As I began to read about Jesus in the gospels, my young heart and mind was gripped. I fell in love God and knew that I wanted to take church and Christianity a little more seriously.

Church seemed to take on a new meaning. I enjoyed the ceremoinal of the ritual. The priest in his white robes, the altar with the candles, the procession etc. To me there was a majesty about it all. When in church I felt a real reverence for God, that he loved us, but that he was holy and to be respected - there was a dignity about it all.

Later as I went through my teens, I rebelled against this type of church, as I read the bible and it talked about mircales and healings, I thought there must be something more. It was then that a full gospel church moved in on my estate and opened up. The leaflet advertised a "Full Gospel" approach to Christianity. It promised, healings, deliverance, miracles, intercessory prayer etc. Man this was for me I thought.

Several years went by, I struggled with masturbation and sexual supression, but I knew this was the truth so persevered.

The church closed and I went to another one. This one was less "fundamentalist" it seemed to have a more sensible approach to these things. It still believed in the things mentioned above, but it didn't make a song and dance over it. Nothing was forced. At last I had found the "true" church experience.

It was about this time that the Internet started to take off. Most households now had a computer and probably an internet connection. I had both. I found myself regularly viewing pornography and then beating myself up over it. But I had a demon so it was alright - I only had to cast the demon out and all would be fine (No personal responsibility!)

It was also about this time that I discovered the vast amount of material exposing false prophecies and contradictions in the bible. This just blew my mind. At first I denied it. Up until this point I just believed with 100% certainty that the bible was true. How other people could not believe it was beyond me. But over a period of several years of supressing and denying this stuff I realised that I had to take a proper look.

I found myself unable to believe the mainy stories found in the bible, but still I continued in church. It was also at this time I found High ceremonial magick (deliberate spelling). This I found to be far more interesting and applicable to modern life.

The rest as they say is history.

One thing I would just add though, as I have been reading this web site I notice that there are some people who adamantly proclaim that there is no god or spiritual reality! To me this is just as foolish and dogmatic as the Christians who claim that there is a god. No one truly knows and to say one does for sure is pure folly!

Have a nice day.

Lee

4/16/05                                                                                       View Comments

Ex-Christian A Few Months In

FiguringItOut

I've talked a bit on this site about how it was difficult to leave Christianity. I did it this year, after it seemed not to provide answers to real life questions and closed me off to people and relationships and friends who didn't believe or think the way I did as a Christian.

The immediate feeling was relief -- this freedom from having to tell people how they should live; freedom from people telling me how I should live my life; freedom to build relationships based on friendship, common interests and intellectual connection. I also found that there is a moral basis to life -- to respecting others, to caring about people w/o Christianity. Surprise! I learned to respect other people's beliefs and religions.

The flip side was that I felt lost without God -- and I had tied the belief in God to Christianity so closely, it didn't seem like I could get back to believing in God w/o going back to Christianity -- and I sure didn't want to do that! But yes, I guess I really crave an ethical structure -- not to tell me what to do (that's in my heart) but to give me meaning. I don't want to neglect or ignore the spiritual part of life. I want to have ritual and something that connects me to the world in some deeper way.

Maybe this is an artificial thing or a sign of weakness, but it is something that I've missed. Also, a big issue that I had in my Christianity was the sexual one. I mean, I didn't have sex because I wanted to wait until marriage. But that just didn't fit with my age and what I was ready for as an adult. I mean this was an issue that most churches deal with wholly inadequately. Perhaps in Bible times it was reasonable to talk about abstinence when you got married at 13, but we're staying single longer, sex is a natural desire, and I know of very few people who don't say one thing at Church and "cheat" in other ways with their girlfriends/boyfriends anyway.

(There are those who are lucky -- they often have a network of family and friends who arrange relationships for them; but if you're not in the in crowd, or your parents don't know another Christian family whose daughters are all of eligible age, or you're not the right race, or you've had other things to do in life than wait around for a relationship, or you just haven't met the right person, tough luck; you're stuck with push-ups and cold showers!) What a mess. And I've been to Bible studies where all the guys do is talk about having masturbated and feeling guilty about it. No healthy masculinity there -- it was good to leave that environment. When I left Christianity, I began to have sex -- and it was great! But I didn't know what to think about it -- what are the boundaries?

Do I want to have sex with every woman I meet or date? Do I wait until I really love someone? How do you kiss? (This is REALLY embarrassing, if you don't know by the age of 29) It was just a little much to handle all at once. (By the way, I felt like Christianity really kept me from figuring out how to handle these things in any balanced/honest sort of way -- I wish I had figured it all out when everyone else did --ages 13 - 25). To tell you the truth, I want family and just one relationship and some type of way to transmit traditions, and values and spiritual strength to the children I hope to have once I figure this stuff out.

I suppose that I've been a bit wild at times, as I try to figure out what to do with my sexuality -- but deep down, I don't think that is something I want either. So I guess I'm writing this to say that I'm glad that I left Christianity -- but I miss God. I hope that I can find God and find order and values and ritual while leaving everything that has been so hurtful about Christianity behind.

Sex: Male
Became a Christian: 5
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 29
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Evangelical, Protestant
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Searching
Why did you become a christian? Fear of Hell
Why did you de-convert? Constant Fear is Unhealthy

4/14/05                                                                                       View Comments

My path to enlightenment

sent in by Ben Nilsson

(Please make a few allowances for coherency/comprehension, as this was written over an hour an a half period of time, doing other things as well, from midnight to 1:30 am. Also, the order is roughly chronological, in case that's not entirely evident. Thank you.)

My religiosity, I suppose, started with my birth. Of course, my parents claimed some religion previously, but never took it seriously. It was revived somewhat with me, the third child of five. I was born somewhat premature, and soon therafter, I developed an infection that required an extended stay at the hospital. I recuperated well enough, and was allowed to go home in good health.

During my infant-through-toddler stage, I'd had anther problem: I'd sleep so deeply that I'd stop breathing occassionally, requiring my mother/father to massage me back to respiration. I had, I was told, become blue a total of four different times thoughout my infancy.

I can only imagine what this did to my parents. As I was growing, their religious tendancies waxed and waned, and I became only more religious with each passing year. During early-elementary school, I remember telling a rather quiet jewish boy in my class that christianity was the only religion not disproven, as I had been told that sometime earlier by my older sister. (not one of my prouder moments)(She, BTW, is also no longer christian. I've never quite understood what she is now, but she enjoys [i]Freethought Today[/i] and we laugh together over Chick Tracts)

At one point, I tried to repeat a biblical experiment with a patch of rabbit fur and an area of land. I asked God on several successive nights to place dew all around but not on the fur, and then on but not around the fur. It was late summer, and neither of these experiments worked. Nevertheless, I continued with my faith, somewhat shaken, but I disregarded the results of my experiment.

As I aged, I can remember periods of time that I had ascended "levels" of intelligence and thought, as if each time before the current level I was not fully concious, always in a kind of fog. I fully expect I will look back on myself now as much the same.

During one particularly rough level of thought, (age 9-11 or so) I became significatly bipolar. I alternated between periods of time on which I fully believed in the greatness of life, understood that it felt better to be happy, and was energetic, with periods of severe depression in which I attempted suicide seriously twice. During these periods I'd often be physically ill, miss tremendous ammounts of school, and believe that life was folly, suffering, and meaningless. I'd cry and pray to God for an end to existance, believing that nothingness would be better then feeling like I was. God didn't seem to like to respond. It felt like I was two entirely different people during these two times.

Eventually, I got on Paxil. I did start to feel better, and after several months, I decided I didn't need it, and foolishly just stopped taking it. (I understand now that it was good that I got off of it. Paxil is known for developing hard-to-break dependancies. However, I suffered no ill effects that I can remember.)

It was around this point that I began to accept what I had been slowly realizing for years, that if god existed, he didn't care to keep my faith. And if he didn't care to keep my faith, I didn't care to give it. This idea branched out, and eventually I came to the conviction that religion (at least, western, organised religion) is detrimental as a whole to humanity.

That's about where my religious ties end, but I've had another path of progression through my secularism. I realised long a philosophy that I simply found better names for over the years. Essentally, what I had developed was Utilitarianism, under many different guises. At first, during my elementary years, It was that if what you did didn't hurt anyone, then it's your own buisness. It later manifested in the Wiccan philosophy of "An it harm none, do as ye will." Only months ago, I found the proper name for it.

As for my issue of agnosticism/athiesm, I am agnostic in belief, and athiest in principal. In that I mean that I believe that many entities that humans would recognise as gods probably have existed in some other universe (within the nothingness from which the uncaused cause was caused, all events would have a slim probability of occuring. When time does not exist, as when there is nothingness, all events have a probability of 1 of occuring. I'm sure this is a horrible way to phrase this, but the most accurate ways require maths that look like sanskrit to the avarage person.), and that it's possible that a god created us, that a religion is correct, that all others are doomed. However, it's rather unlikely, and it doesn't matter, as I believe that humanity would be better off with secularism as the norm.

As for my Bhuddist ties, I have, over the past months, come to realize more and more he trueness of many bhuddist philosophies, if not accepting the whole of the system. Or it may be that I'm delusional, however, I'm happier this way.

As of this point in my life, I'm happier then I've ever been. My mood is stable, I'm physically fit, exercising, attending collage soon (I'm 16) with no great physical or mental problems. (save somewhat poor eyesight and crooked teeth) (And, if I do say so myself, damned sexy!)


City: Anchorage
State: AK
Country: US of A
Became a Christian: Born into it
Ceased being a Christian: 12
Labels before: Catholic
Labels now: Agnostic, Athiest, Utilitarianist, Bhuddist
Why I joined: Born into it
Why I left: God did not feel it needful to keep my faith
Email Address: Xenoce at hotmail dot com

4/12/05                                                                                       View Comments

Trying to avoid despair

sent in by Mary

I'm not sure where to begin, or where to end...but here goes.

I have been a church-goer for most of my life, and I guess I always just believed in Jesus. I was raised mostly as a Presbyterian (not too hard to take), but as a young, married, adult I became involved in a non-denominational (mostly Baptist) church where first I was made to feel bad because I was married to a "non-christian", and then well...I just didn't measure up to all those holy people.

Something about my "umbrella "having a big hole in it because my husband was not christian, but I was ok because I was in the church and I guess the preacher kept me protected. Anyway I did the whole, read the bible, go to bible study, take my kids to sunday school, indoctrinate them that they were sinners and going to hell if they didn't accept Jesus.

After my husband decided he didn't want to be married anymore (I think my religiosity had something to do with this), I moved back to my hometown and raised my kids, worked, attended the presbyterian church again, but...since I was divorced I still didn't really fit in to the whole family oriented church thing, so eventually I quit going to church except for once or twice a year.

I have many christian friends, and they all love me...but this past winter I was doing some searching on the web and came across "pagan origins of christianity" and well...my whole world sorta collapsed...it was just before Christmas and I am reading about how much our Christian practices are more from the "mystery religions" than anything new or special because of Christ.

It's all is confusing, but yet it makes sense. I've been reading alot on your site, and right now I'm still trying to figure out what I really think, but I don't believe in a literal bible, or literal hell, or literal much of anything that has to do with god. This doesn't really make much sense...but there it is.

Your State WA
Your Country USA
How old were you when you became a christian? raised in church
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 54
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Presbyterian, non-denominational, charismatic
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Agnostic/skeptic
Why did you become a christian? Thought I needed saved
Why did you de-convert? Discovered it might be all a lie
email: mmarr at bmi dot net

The Journey of Me...

sent in by Darkenmoon

My parents divorced and I moved with my mom to be hear her family in Illinois. I was 5. I don't remember it effecting me really... it wasn't like my father was around anyhow. After we moved back here, I began going to church, the church my mom grew up in and her side of the family still went to. I believe it was more the pressure from my grandmother and my aunts that encouraged my mom to send me to church. I'm not sure she would have done it on her own since she hadn't before taken me.

The church was a church where the local politicians went to see and be seen and to have very little asked of them. That's in a sense almost as bad as a fundy church I think... just in a different way. Anyhow, I did the whole be involved thing (not being a politician.) I was in choir, youth group, etc. As I got older I helped in the Sunday School classes and then taught in them. For many reasons I got squeezed out of doing these things though. That kind of disillusioned me about the church. Here they cry out for help... and then reject it when offered. So over time I kind of drew away from the church.

When I went to college, I again got involved. This time I began attending a Catholic church. I thought I was being called to it... but looking back I can see that it wasn't so much that I was being called to it, but more that my boyfriend and later fiancé (but thankfully never husband) was Catholic and it made things much easier. When we broke up, that was the last time I ever really stepped foot into a Catholic church. That also ended for a time my time as a Christian.

I left and tried to follow a nature religion... but I had so much anger in me for Christianity that it didn't really have a good chance. I tried hard to just ignore the anger and ignore my frustration and pretend Christianity didn't exist. But since I didn't deal with it... it was so very easy to get sucked into it again. Maybe that sounds strange because of how angry I was with it... how unfair it seemed... how prejudicial... how sexist. But I wanted to belong... to be accepted. It's amazing how the mind will allow things to at least momentarily be less important when you want to belong and be a part of a community so bad.

So in walks someone who I thought was my friend... a good friend. She pretends to be interested in my spirituality... my hurts... my needs. I can see now that her real desire was to love me into Christianity. Anyhow, I fell for it. So shame on me. Strange how when you don't fit that perfect born again Christian fundy mold people shun you... hoping you will conform. Of course they'd never admit they or anyone else was doing it. They aren't barbaric you know.

Anyhow... I went off on a tangent. After some time, love bombing, and heavy missioning I submitted and "accepted Christ into my heart". Oh yay.

I got right into doing Bible studies... church... women's retreats, all the stuff the good Christians do. And of COURSE I went out missioning myself. OF COURSE.

I can't believe how I hurt some people due to my missioning... and how I arrogantly thought I was being kind and loving. Why couldn't I just leave these people be? I guess in the scheme of things, it was fortunate I'm a bit shy... because I did a poor job overall... but I still created some hurt. I still felt that I was superior. Grr.

Fortunately after about 5 years I realized this just wasn't me, wasn't where I wanted to be, and wasn't even true. There were too many inconsistancies... too much doublespeak... too much prejudice... to much sexism... and we were supposed to think this was all ok! NO! NO NO NO!

This came over time. There wasn't some instant where I could say THIS is when I quit believing. It kinda began slowly. It came from realizing how far modern day church services are from those listed in the New Testament. It came from seeing how people in the church who are supposed to love everyone and care about everyone are often more hateful and cliquish then those outside of the church. It came from realizing how brainwashed people became... how much of a teddy bear their Bible and faith became. As I grew apart from the church... staying home on Sundays... reading other things.... exploring other options...

I slowly realized that really I was no longer standing in line with the evangelical Baptist Born Again Christian types I was aligning myself with. And I began realizing that I needed to do something about this. So I spent several months working through this on and off until I felt that what I needed to do... what was best for me... was to work through this... get rid of anger... deal with the pain... allow this part of my lift to be put away and left behind as it wasn't a part of me anymore and was weighing me down. I've worked through so much... and the friend who love bombed me has since dropped the friendship. My best friend who is like my brother but is a born again Christian has stayed. He's a very good guy. He helps me remember not all fundy Christians are evil or the enemy or just out to mission to me.

Anyhow, a different friend of mine once said about my journey from Christianity that it would hurt like hell but it would be a good thing. It has definitely hurt like hell. But it has made me so much more free... so much more content... so much happier. I just take it one step at a time. I don't know where the path is leading. Right now I don't really believe in much of anything deitywise... yes I hesitate to call myself an atheist because I am not sure that there is nothing out there. I try not to classify myself. I'm just me. I try to accept where I am... accept that it is ok... and continue to grow...

4/5/05                                                                                       View Comments

Why I quit being a Christian

sent in by Khash

I grew up in the Southern Baptist church. I didn't question it - it was life, reality, truth. How do you question truth? Well I didn't. I've always known I was gay but it wasn't a problem until I was an adolescent.

I fell in love with my youth pastor. I might be many things but dumb isn't one of them. I knew this was "wrong" but it felt right. I didn't expect him to return my passion, but nor did I think what I felt was wrong. I read the Bible cover to cover trying to find some way to heal myself - hey, God wrote it, there must be some hint in there somewhere...

Then I met a girl.... not exactly hollywood's idea - gay boy meets girl. But it worked. She knew the Bible better than I did. And she was smarter than me. And when I came out to her, she said "Oh for Pete's sake, just give it up! You wanna fuck men, then fuck men! You worship this god who insisted that his son be tortured to death and then obsess about giving another man pleasure. I think the ethical choice here is pretty clear. Think about it!"

She was right. I tried lots of religions, including atheism. I ended up with Wicca. But I don't take it seriously in the sense of most religions. I don't believe in a Great Goddess in the Sky. For me it's just a shorthand way of describing reality - a form of poetry, perhaps.

I no longer think in terms of right and wrong or good and evil, instead I think about how my acts actually affect other people. Ethics rather than morality.

Khash

Sex: male
City: Houston
State: Tx
Country: USA
Became a Christian: I was born into it
Ceased being a Christian: How old were you when you ceased being a christian?
14
Labels before: What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Southern Baptist, now I'm Wiccan but only consider it a metaphor
Labels now: Gay pagan sadomasochist
Why I joined: Why did you become a christian?
No choice, I was raised that way
Why I left: Why did you deconvert?
Why did I deconvert? Um, good sense?
Email Address: khashka at ev1 dot net

4/3/05                                                                                       View Comments

Thank you all for helping me to think for myself!

sent in by Psychobunny56

I apologize in advance for the length of this story, but you can’t allow me to write without a defined length limit and expect something short.

Any good deconversion story starts with the reasons the person sought religion in the first place. For many people that reason is simple: they were born into a religious family. Mine, unfortunately, is not that straightforward. The most religious people in my extended family are baptized and go to church only on Christmas and Easter; I was not among that group, but needless to say, there was very little religious influence on me as a child. Some people would argue that I was lucky not to have that pressure on me; I believe my gross ignorance of religious matters was a major factor in my eventual acceptance of literal, fundamentalist, born-again Christianity.

How ignorant was I? I did not even hear the name Jesus until I was four years old; I actually had to ask my mother who this person Jesus was in the song “Jesus Loves Me.” She explained, I accepted (how many four-year-olds do you know who would doubt their own mothers?) and for the next two years, the whole “God thing” was a non-issue. During that time, I grew up a little and learned the truth about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. I started to think that maybe, just maybe, the adults were lying to me about God, too.

The disbelief persisted, but when I asked no one would admit they were lying, and the more they denied it, the surer I was that I was right, because they had denied the nonexistence of the former supernatural entities until I annoyed them enough to admit it. Since no one would tell me the truth, I devised a little experiment (Feel free to laugh. I do when I think back on it.): If what they said at daycare was true, then Jesus loved me. My mother had explained that Jesus was God, and I figured that if God really loved me, He would not want me to get hurt. I wanted to levitate like my favorite cartoon character. We could work together. I would pull both legs out from under me at once, and God, who supposedly loved me and did not want to see me get hurt, would have mercy and let me levitate for a split second before returning me safely to the ground. Right?

Wrong. That was a rather painful lesson. I came up with a few possibilities for what went wrong: one, I was right and God really didn’t exist; or two, God exists but doesn’t love me; and three, that was just a really stupid thing to do and the pain was my punishment regardless of whether God exists or not. Yes, it was a deeply flawed experiment, but looking back, I am strangely proud of it, proud of the fact that I was agnostic before some sects even realize you have the ability to make rational decisions. I wish I had been able to keep that healthy skepticism, but, unfortunately, life intervened.

For a year when I was seven and eight years old, I was repeatedly molested at daycare; it stopped only when my mother could no longer afford daycare and pulled me out of it. I did not tell anyone what had happened and I, like many children in the same situation, blamed myself. I became withdrawn and depressed; by the time I was nine, I thought of suicide on a daily basis. The depression lifted shortly thereafter without medication or counseling and, for a while, I was fine.

When I was eleven, my beloved great-grandmother died and I was rejected from my school’s gifted program, not because of my IQ, I later found out, but due probably to my teacher’s recommendation. At twelve, our class went off to middle school and I was suddenly isolated from all the friends I had made over the past few years. I withdrew again, never speaking unless spoken to (definitely not normal behavior for a now-thirteen year old girl!) and the depression came back, familiar yet different from the last time. Instead of feeling suicidal, I felt completely numb, desperate to feel something, to feel anything; I felt completely apathetic as to whether I lived or died. It was then that my best friend from elementary school decided to invite me to her church for youth group.

I went that first Wednesday because I missed her company and because I had nothing better to do that night. Everyone in the group was so nice, so friendly; they cared about me when I could not give a damn, so I learned three Bible verses that night (Have you ever noticed that they are only the nice ones? It is never the “eat shit, drink piss, hate your family, dash little ones against rocks” stuff, it is always the “alpha, omega, omniscient, omnipotent” verses, probably because no one would join if they knew the whole truth.) and recited them to join the youth group.
All of a sudden, I was learning things to which I had previously not been exposed. I was still a skeptic then, and I had so many questions about this God fellow, but the youth group leaders could not give me suitable answers. I wanted evidence; all they offered was faith, and their reactions to my skeptical attitude were not pleasant. I was made to feel little better than Satan spawn for even daring to ask such heresies and told I was going to Hell for doubting the teachings of their Lord (I was still unsure as to whether the whole thing was made up or not. I decided I would never positively know if a god(dess) existed, and had no clue how they could be so sure of themselves, but I worried that if a god(dess) did indeed exist, I was displeasing him or her with my thoughts of his or her non-existence.). At one point, I asked how evolution—which I knew very little about—fit into the Genesis creation story; they responded by showing us fifteen hours of Kent Hovind lectures and ordering me to pray for salvation. That night—January 20, 1999—was the night I was “born again”, the night I was finally recognized as a true member of their church, but the coercive tactics did not stop. They influenced me despite these hard-handed methods—I learned to stop asking questions, to stop demanding evidence as a prerequisite for belief, to do what the leaders said to do and keep quiet about it.

It was not easy. They demanded total loyalty: encouraging us to listen only to Christian music and read Christian literature, telling us that our friends and dates should belong to the group also (to the point that, if we were going to speak to people who were not church members, it should be solely to witness for Christ), warning us that the Devil was actively working to corrupt us, and the like (“The Bible says to honor your parents, but if they’re not Christians, they could be endangering your salvation!”). I still did not care whether I lived or died, but they made it clear that people who commit suicide go to Hell for taking the choice away from God (but what about our free will?, I wanted to ask). I did not know how a God who supposedly loved me would allow me to feel so terrible for so long and then, if I tried to end the pain, would torture me for eternity, but I stopped contemplating suicide. And as I did, I used religious activities to fill the void, proselytizing aggressively though I felt uncomfortable forcing my beliefs on others. I had something to live for: an invisible triune man in the sky.

All that time I lived one block from the church, but that May, Mom and I moved and now I was miles from my little support group. I found, to my surprise, that I really did not miss them all that much. I liked not having to listen to their idiotic and contradictory explanations. Moreover, I started to think for myself once more and to form opinions of my own, radical feminism being among the first thanks to an extremely offensive sexist teacher I had in seventh grade. Radical feminism is not compatible with literal Christian fundamentalism (duh), but instead of changing my opinion of feminism, I started looking for a more suitable faith. I realized that I had swallowed the group’s outrageous claims completely; I did not ever want to be manipulated like that again, and I thought that if I did not find a mainstream religion I would be a good target for cults. At first, because what I had been taught was still fresh in my mind, I looked only at Christian denominations, but by the time I was sixteen I had started to look at all the major world religions, systematically rejecting them one by one until I was left with just a few that I considered less objectionable than the rest. Even those, however, did not come anywhere near what I thought about the world and what a supreme being should be. I worked off the Christian god-concept of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence; I would gladly have sacrificed the knowledge or the power, but any deity worth worshipping had to be omnibenevolent, and, having studied some basic psychology and physiology, I was convinced that consciousness was a product of brain activity (no soul, no afterlife, no rebirth), making for a rather interesting and difficult search. Despite rejecting every religion I researched, I still clung ferociously to my nontraditional god(dess)-belief, trying to be “spiritual but not religious” , because I thought it was the only thing that had saved me from suicide.

By that point, I believed very few of the things the group had indoctrinated me with, but the idiotic denial of evolution was one of them. I had never heard the other side of the argument as my high school did not teach evolution in its science classes (this is completely unacceptable considering I had five science classes, two of which were biology!) and I never bothered to look it up, having been told by the group leaders and the videotapes that “the evolutionists are in the minority”, “the evolutionists are a bunch of dirty atheists out to corrupt your faith”, and “evolution is just a theory”. When I went to college, however, this changed. A skeptical psychology professor blew to hell that irrational belief with his statement in lecture, “If you believe that DNA can be used to solve crimes, I don’t know why you refuse to believe that humans and chimpanzees share 98% of their DNA.” I looked it up—he was right; this was yet another lie perpetrated by the youth group, and I had fallen for it.

This particular professor had said, on the same day, that he was “an agnostic at best and an atheist on [his] bad days.” If he was right about evolution, maybe he was right about God, too, but I was not going to take just anyone’s word for it. I had studied different religions in my free time for two years and knew that no existing religion fit what I believed, knew that even during the height of my religious fervor I had been an agnostic (and felt pretty damn guilty about not having had enough faith), so I started reading about agnosticism and atheism. (The deconversion stories on this site helped a lot. Thank you!) In doing so, I realized that while I still did not know for sure whether any deities existed, I felt almost positive that I would not find one that conformed to my criteria. On October 12, 2004, I let go of my god(dess)-belief. I had finally found something in which I could actually believe, something that did not require me to change my opinions to conform, something that felt completely, unreservedly right—a giant load had been taken off my chest, I had butterflies in my stomach, I was finally at peace. The search was over; only I, and not some invisible friend in the sky, was responsible for what would happen to me, for my own actions, and for making the world a better place.

I owe that professor a thank you for provoking me into thinking for myself. And I owe the people on exchristian.net a thank you for sharing their stories. You all have greatly influenced me and I very much appreciate it.

Sex: female
Country: USA
Became a Christian: 13
Ceased being a Christian: 18
Labels before: born-again Christian (a.k.a., rabid fundy)
Labels now: agnostic, atheist, skeptic
Why I joined: social pressure and suicidal depression
Why I left: finally encouraged to think for myself

It all started as being a teenager growing up in a Hindu family...

sent in by anonymous

It all started as being a teenager growing up in a Hindu family. I was always taught to believe in God and I was always taught to pray to God as a hindu. I was finding high school rough. I was finding hard to blend in socialy. I was working hard in sports, wasn't getting recognized. My social environment was definitely not good. I continually got frusterated with God because it was so frustrating. One day, I came to meet an attractive girl who worked at a restaurant, who I hadn't seen in eight months.

It felt like she was a terrific person. She was really nice and I found it much easier talking to her than my peers. Pretty soon things got ugly. For some reason, I don't know why, I started to get the idea that maybe God brought this girl into my life, and when I lost contact with her for a while, again I was upset at God. Combining the fact that Hinduism just wasn't working for me, I felt like I wasn't reaching God because of my frustration. This girl was a pastor's daughter, so a thought occurred to me, which never really was an issue before. Maybe as a pastor's daughter she could tell me about God.

Maybe I could actually understand God better. So I asked her about a recent teen's death and asked her about heaven and if God was taking care of him. That is when the evangelism started. She wrote me a long email about how I needed Christ and how salvation was based on faith and how it was hell if there was no relationship with Christ. It was your typical evangelical Christian message. Fixxed on the idea that God was indeed trying to reach me and using this girl at the same time, I immediately accepted this relationship. I soon wavered back and forth why God would do this, but I soon did something that I didn't imagine myself doing. I picked up a KJV Bible. Although I continued liking this girl, I was becoming more involved in the Christian message and I was believing every word of the New Testament.

My relationship with God was focusing more on me getting to know the Bible and less on this girl(making spiritual decisions based on a girl is premature) , but an important part of this testimony. This girl and I were never boyfriend/girlfriend, but we were friends, although I did like her. As my focus became on getting to know the Bible, I was soaked in the "Word of God". Everything was crystal clear. Jesus was my Lord and Savior, and He came do die for my sins so I can attain heaven. It was simple. I mastered the New and Old Testaments and knew the stories thoroughly. I was always a smart student, and since I had desire for this knowledge, I definitely soaked it all in. I was continuing to go thru rough times in school though.

I lost my starting spot on my high basketball school team after losing my spot to a kid who became eligible after one month. I also got very sick for 4-5 games and lost significant strength. Those two factors made me play minimally. the coach replaced me and promised to give me a chance even when i got replaced, but he used my sickness never to play me and never to challenge back for the starter position that I clearly deserved when i got healthier again(there was a kid who was chummy with the coach, and the coach was looking for any reason not to play me). my parents were not supportive and forced me to play saying that it would toughen me. being the obedient son, i obeyed their command. they knew that i should have quit when i got sick and when coach was not going to play me even when i got better. it hurt so bad.

Coach refused to play me more than two garbage minutes, even though he promised me a chance. even the kids who i originally beat out were playing as much and sometimes more playing time than me. it was a screwover job where i needed help. This made me dig deeper into Christianity, because I needed some thing to make me feel better. i disregarded their Hindu beliefs and went even deeper with Christianity.

I never told them about my Christian committment, but one day, I was telling my brother about it, and my mother over heard. This began some heated arguments which all were intended to cancel my faith. None of them ended my relationship with Christ, until.......my parents went deeper. They called the pastor(girls' father), who was helping provide Biblical material, as well as encourage my commitment as well as his daugher. My dad told them to stay away from me. There was so much turmoil. Why would Jesus let me go through so much turmoil? I wished for two things I wanted my family to come to Christ and I also wanted this girl, who btw was who's real intent was only to missionize and be my "friend". Why was Jesus not answering my prayers? I was putting in the time.

Soon I grew weary of my relationship with Christ.

During my relationship with Christ, I laughed at counterarguments to Christianity. Nothing could measure up to Christianity in my mind. I was in a trance. Soon, however, I became more reasonable. I examined athiests/jewish arguments against Christianity(websites about why Jesus was not the Messiah, athiests arguments), and why Jews didn't believe in this crucified man-god who died for sins. It all started making sense. What I just committed myself to was all in my mind and not divine inspired. It wasn't the Holy Spirit who was influencing me, but me interpreting emotions to mean that God was reaching to me.

I realized that Christianity was not the "infallible word of God" but instead collected texts designed to fit a purpose. Certain doctrines in Christianity didn't even make sense as it did before and also the warm fuzzy eternal gift was not even directly versed all the way throughout the Bible. I was angry with Christianity. I felt like it was a thankless job. I soon realized why this girl had her beliefs too. Living in the comfort of a Christian household and now a Christian college, her life was taken care of. She would be raised Christian, go to Christian college, increase her chances of marrying a Chrisitian by going to a Christian college.

There was no me in her picture, she was just trying to missionize me. That isn't even the point and I am mature enough to understand that. It was clear that my Christian experience was going to turn into a nightmare, because my family was never going to reconcile. she wasn't going to ever be with me, she already had her life taken care of. Her life could easily be accustomed to Christianity because every long term situation she was in, there was always security. My situation would be increasingly unstable and depressing because clearly no prayer would be answered. I was believing a lie the entire time, varying from many inconsistent Biblical concepts.

I could list many of those contradictions, but I think it's more important to know that I know realize that Christianity isn't what it is. Although I am very angry at her, she knows I don't believe in Christianity. She still insists on being "friends" and "praying for me". I really have no room for friends who think that I am going to burn in hell. It truly is a double standard.

To sum it up, my life has been heartbreaking and Christianity had made that exponentially worse. As I am a freshman at Northwestern University, I find no people who have been in a situation like this. In my mind I have two new goals. To think more rationally and still realize that as a human I haven't lost the ability to love. I want to start over with life. Another wish is to meet a girl who has had a similar situation as this, but is ready to move on and realize that life is still great in spite of past set backs.

Being a smart student, I want to restart my life, doing the things I love, and being with the people I love, and understand people who also feel heartbroken through this issue. I think its time to acknowledge that this indeed hurt me, but also to realize that I am not alone. Someday I want to raise a family where religious issues don't cloud over rationality. One can love and not be Christian/religious. BTW, I never really went to church, but instead was consumed in my Bible and based everything on my Bible. that tells u about the stability of my committment.

State: ND
Became a Christian: 16
Ceased being a Christian: 18
Labels before: nondenominational/evangelical
Labels now: logical, unbrainwashed
Why I joined: influence of a pastor and daughter
Why I left: thought in a different perspective

Get over it!

sent in by Hugh

I was born and raised Xian, and after years of questioning the logic, the dogma and what I felt in my heart, I realized this was all bullshit.
I read the bible, which was created by a bunch of ass backward rag heads trying to explain the world in which they live. Through death, slaughter and self severing means they learned to control the masses (which every religion does) and they succeeded.

And as a recovered addict/alcoholic…I have experienced hell. They all told me god would heal me from this affliction if I would just give my heart to him. I have seen people in the greatest of despair praying to their god and carrying the bible and quoting this empty shallow bullshit only leading them into more turmoil. In the end they either succumbed to death by their addiction or blew their fucking brains out.
Through the river of time man has tried to explain what happens after death and what god wants us to do. Because of our own insecurities we have cause more death and segregation.

If we could just throw that damn book down the shitter with the Koran and all the other bullshit religious writings, sit down and discuss what we could do for one another to help each other prosper and grow, this world would be a better place..but that shit aint gonna happen.

So in the end…NO ONE KNOWS…..Quit trying to determine what an unseen, unknown god wants..quit trying to tell me what YOUR god wants…cause I don’t believe in YOUR god.


City: Harrisburg
State: PA
Country: US
Became a Christian: Birth?
Ceased being a Christian: 20+-
Labels before: none
Labels now: unknown...cause no one knows
Why I joined: no choice in the matter
Why I left: I woke the fuck up
Email Address: stenmk5 at comcast dot net