sent in by Jason
I was born agnostic, as are all children, but both of my parents are Christian. My mom started me in church when I was five. She wanted to do what she felt was best for me; but she's never been able to see the religion from an honest, fresh, and impartial perspective. By the age of seven, I developed a keen interest in dinosaurs. I wondered whether the creation of man or the existence of dinosaurs came first. I learned in school and from my outside reading that dinosaurs were around for millions of years. Adam and Eve, on the other hand, were created in the first week six thousand years ago. I couldn't think of a way to resolve this discrepancy. I asked my mom, but she didn't know either. Instead, she advised me to ask my Sunday School teacher. Her answer was, "We don't know there were dinosaurs." I immediately realized the religion had problems if it resorted to such claims in order to explain scientific discrepancies; but as time went on, I simply attributed further contradictions with science as "explainable in some way" while holding on to the book of "absolute truth."
A great inspiration struck me one day in church when I realized billions of people who didn't accept Jesus as their savior were going to hell. In fact, they were over there in Asia thinking the exact same thing, with the roles reversed. But what if they were right and we were wrong? I remember justifying it by burying my head in the sand and saying Christianity is good and other religions are evil. I'm ashamed of ever thinking that. By the age of seventeen, I began making a list of all the absurd Old Testament rules and regulations God and Moses oppressed on us. Around that time, I completely disregarded the Old Testament as fact due to the cruelty and scientific error it presented. The Bible was no longer a perfect book, but the New Testament was still proof of a god to me. By the age of twenty, I finally did an impartial analysis on the prerequisites of entering heaven. They simply weren't fair. If the New Testament is true, members of other religions are going to hell because they're brainwashed by their respective teachers. They were simply doomed from the beginning. Plus, there was no evidence any of the events surrounding Jesus were true with the exception of four contradicting accounts written decades after the alleged events. It was just a little too convenient the fate of the world was decided in an age that wouldn't allow testable records. Because of this choice God made, no one could know for sure what really happened. All the while, he watches us in silence as we kill ourselves over who has the correct religion.
When I was twenty-two, the internet was in full blown use. I browsed the web to see if there were people who had made the same discoveries. I was amazed to find there were millions of freethinking individuals in America alone. Hundreds dedicated their lives to freeing others from a life of conditioned thought. Enormous amounts of evidence had been discovered that smashed the Bible's credibility to pieces. A select few had an understanding of the Bible far beyond what I ever hoped to ascertain. As for the Christian defense, I could see a lot of straw grasping. Their best spokesmen, having obtained bogus doctorates from paper mills, stretched and twisted biblical text in order to make it fit their agenda. The answer finally became obvious to me. If you undertake an honest, impartial, and emotionless analysis of the Bible, you can easily conclude it's not the word of a deity. Certain facts can't just be absolute truth. The creation of God's afterlife was nothing more than the human defense mechanism against death. All creatures fight for their survival; likewise, man has tricked himself into believing he's immortal.
Even with my newly discovered knowledge, I still attended church. I didn't want my mother to worry about me, so I went to make her happy. There are a few good lessons to be learned through the stories, and the people are some of the kindest I've ever met. At least they're kind to fellow Christians, but they generally don't desire to associate with "the misguided." Once I completed my minor in psychology, I had a better grasp on how religious systems work. Individuals associate with groups who hold similar interests and invite others to join. I had been mentally conditioned, and I tried to recruit others because that's what I was told God wanted me to do. I also realized many Christians don't even know what they believe because they never took the time to read the whole Bible. Their response to presented complications is usually "The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it." When it comes to religion, they're all zombies just like the cult members everyone watched burn in Waco, Texas. Christians are normal people in the real world, but their brains shut down on Sunday. Cult members can live normal lives most of the time, too.
My family still doesn't know I'm not Christian.
Became a Christian: 5
Ceased being a Christian: 20
Labels before: Southern Baptist
Labels now: Agnostic, but Atheist toward Christianity
Why I joined: I didn't want to go to hell. Persuading isn't it?
Why I left: Logic
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org