(My name is Margaret, I'm Kevin's daughter.)
Ever since I can remember, I have attended church. I never really liked it, but I would have never told my parents that at the time. Those sexist fundamentalists made girls wear dresses all the time, and the only alternative to pants was coolotts. I got made fun of for wearing those.
As I got older, I began having doubts about my religion. These doubts scared me so badly that I stayed up late every night in the dark, praying for god to forgive my sins, and to not let our house burn down. That was pretty stressful for someone so young.
When my family moved to Chile as missionaries, I suddenly had a new burden to carry. I was the pastor's oldest daughter, and I had to portray the unrealistic image of a godly person. I was constantly finding more doubts buried deep inside.
I watched the discovery channel a lot, and slowly the idea of creation started looking a little old fashion. I never admitted it, but I liked to think of the earth as having been there for longer than 6,000 years. I mean c'mon, there's evidence of human remains that date back way earlier than that!
But the further I found myself from god, the more scared I got. I was constantly haunted by the thought that I would burn in hell when I died if I didn't ask for forgiveness over and over again. It eventually got to the point that I was frightened of being alone. I felt like someone was always watching me, and that scared the crap out of me.
As we ran further away from the claws of the fundamentalists, we just got closer to the jaws of the charismatic pentecostals. We adopted many of their worship techniques, which made me very uncomfortable, such as raising your hands while singing. Then we even started attending their services almost weekly. Their church was disorganized and they seemed completely obsessed with demonic possession and casting demons out. When we finally came back to the U.S. I had had it with church. THough, I had not completely dropped my faith, I begged my dad not to make us go to another church.
About six months later, we all just spontaneously announced that we were all atheists. I am so happy now. I'm not afraid to be alone anymore! In fact, I like to be alone.
THere is no God who has my future planned out. The future hasn't happened yet, so I'm going to set my own goals, and I'll try to acheive them myself.
My dad says: "Religion is a fault in human evolution."
Became a Christian: somewhere between 3 and 5 years old.
Ceased being a Christian: 15
Labels before: Independent Baptist
Labels now: I am an atheist.
Why I joined: My parents told me to pray to Jesus one day.
Why I left: I wanted Sundays off. :)
e-mail: margirenben at yahoo.com