My Christian saga began at birth with a blessing from my father that I would never leave the church. My family spent many hours every week in an old time Holiness congregation. The women wore no make-up, pants, shorts, bathing suits, did not cut their hair even for a trim, and were required to have on a out of style dress, girdle, slip, pantyhose, bra even on the hottest day. The men always looked GQ. There were many other such restrictions about sex and the body. My mother finally quit the church and my Dad did as well.
At about 10 I started attending the Baptist church across the street from our home because all my friends went there and we had a great time at GA's and Sunday School. At 13 all my friends and I went to a revival where I got saved because the visiting preacher scared the holy shit out of me with his hell fire and brimstone message, and I did not want to burn in eternal damnation for all eternity for my sins. What my sins were, exactly, I could not have told you, but after he got done with me I knew I was a low down dirty rotten sinner who deserved eternal torment in the fires of hell. And if I wanted to avoid that I had better accept Jesus so I did.
Thus began my journey through hell on earth. I began to have serious problems with my self worth and body image and became compulsive in my quest for personal perfection. I began to hear voices, became anorexic, and completely withdrew from normal teenage activities because they were anathema to me as a believer who thought she could lose her salvation. The credit for that goes to the Holiness church of my early childhood. I spent inordinate amounts of time studying the KJV of the bible. At 18 I decided God was an ogre and completely turned my back on church for about 5 years. At 23 I got married a had a baby, got a divorce, got help for the anorexia, and reentered the Southern Baptist church. I was not happy there so I tried the Charismatic, was not happy there so I continued looking, got remarried, got another divorce, got married again and am currently happily married for 10 years.
Those 2 divorces were 2 of the smartest decisions I made at that time. The dumbest was going back to church. For 14 years I searched for a church only to be treated as a scarlet woman over my divorce(I didn't dare tell them about the 2nd one)and the fact that I married a Portugese Catholic Yankee only added to the good Christian treatment I received. They told me to divorce my present husband and go back to my first husband or face hell. Fortunately this was advice I ignored.
At 37 my present husband suggested a few things that would raise the hair of any good Independent Baptist woman. I asked him if he wasn't afraid Jesus would come back just as was really enjoying himself and he said no. I was shocked but intrigued by this attitude by an admitted Christian and began to think about how short life is and how unhappy with the church and the bible and bible god I had been for a very long time. This brought me to The Case Against God and my deconversion. I have been an atheist about 4 months and am well on my way to full recovery from a lifetime of emotional abuse. My husband and I are my happier in our intimate life together. It isn't easy to relax when you think angels are watching and Jesus might come back at any time. I now have a whole list of sins I intend to commit.
age I joined: 13
age I left: 37
where I've been: Holiness(old time)/ Southern Baptist/ Independent Baptist/Charismatic/
what I am now: atheist: I do not believe in anything above or beyond the natural universe
why I joined: A Baptist preacher came to my church for revival and he scared the shit out of me so I got saved to avoid hell.
why I left: I read The Case Against God and had to admit the obvious.I was ready for a change.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)