sent in by Sallie
I went to a small Nazarene church when I was little, and it had things for the kids to do, so I became very involved in the Caravans and Quizzing programs. In Caravans, you learned verses and such and earned patches -- kind of like Bible boy and girl scouts. Quizzing we studied books of the bible and went to competitions where we were tested on our knowledge and got trophies and ribbons and such state-wide!
Then I went to middle school and befriended a Mormon girl, who gave me a Book of Mormon, and then they started telling me how her religion was evil and so on and so forth, and I started wondering about which church was right. I went to several churches over the years and participated in several youth groups, but I eventually converted to Mormonism when I was seventeen, and quickly quit believing after hearing a bunch of the fucked-up doctrine. I also came out as bisexual, and had to sit through Mormon therapy that told me that I was no better than a child molester because of that. Asshole.
I went to college and went to a gay-friendly church, a catholic church, and even some wicca meetings. After college, I met a friend who was Messianic Jew, and got into all of that, too. All in all, I would have to say it's been one hell of an intersting experience, and hey, it's mostly been fun! I've learned about a lot of different belief systems, which has lead me to one conclusion --
THEY ARE ALL A BUNCH OF SHIT!!!!
That's right, they're all crap. Basically, religion is a way of explaining why your life sucks so you can have someone to blame it all on, now that we have science to explain such things as, oh say, the weather. There is no such thing as one true church, just what you decide to believe is the truth. I don't need to pore over my bible for hours to figure that out.
However, letting go of my old beliefs was not easy. When I was 21, I had an abortion, and met a wonderful woman that I truly loved and wanted to spend the rest of my life with, which made me wonder if I truly was going to go to hell. That sucked! I'd see one of those awful Jack Chick tracts and get the shivers, knowing I'd believed in that shit for so long. Even with all my religion-hopping, I'd never quite let go of those basic beliefs. I had a tendency to go to a church and throw myself into it, only to later get fed up with it and move on. So instead, I didn't go to church for 2 years, and studied everything on my own.
A few weeks ago I went to a church in my town, and that was when I finally met some people who felt the same way that I did -- that there was a God, but not the asshole church god that I knew and loved, and that the true religion is what's right for you!
And that is where I finally found my closure.
Became a Christian: 7
Ceased being a Christian: 23
Labels before: Nazarene, LDS, Messianic Jew
Labels now: My own path
Why I joined: Going to church with mom was fun! And I got cool prizes!
Why I left: I decided it was all a bunch of shit!