sent in by Kevin Haas
At first I was mad, I've been lied to my whole life about this god/supreme being. Told I had to follow this one account of someone else's life. Argh!
I am here to tell you that I no longer accept it, I am no longer mad, but rather now I feel sorry for those still stuck. It is a little like escaping from the “matrix.” I want to free other minds, but most are not ready to be freed. They are too dependent. I have often thought this maybe that is one of the hidden messages behind the Matrix movie.
I was raised Catholic. I was even an alter boy; not abused by a priests (as far as I can remember.) I never once attended mass on my own after my parents stopped forcing me because I did not live under their roof. That was not the point where I “lost the faith”, but it certainly seemed like going to church on Sunday was a waste of time. I don't blame my parents they were just passing what had been done to them.
I live in the Bible Belt. I was not born here, but moved to it before I renounced the teachings of that foul book called the bible. It is a bit uncomfortable being a non-Christian in an area where religion is so important. I feel like I have to keep my feelings on the universe to myself for fear of persecution. While I do not think I would be openly discriminated against in the work-place I am not comfortable sharing my thoughts even if I were asked. Theists are so sensitive about anyone disagreeing with their point of view. It is better not to answer than to contradict local mores.
Since high school, for the last 12 years, I would have to classify myself as non-religious. Everyone just assumes I am a Christian because I am a Caucasian. What started me down the road to atheism/deism was the birth of my son. I decided it was time to either embrace the bible and start going to church or renounce Christianity—no more sitting on the fence. I've always been a skeptical person, but I had no idea what an eye opening experience this would be.
My father-in-law (a devout Christian) knew that I was on the fence about Christianity so he gave me a book, A Skeptic's Search for God by Ralph O. Muncaster. The result: rather than convince me of validity of Christianity, Mr. Muncaster made me want to run the other way. If my father-in-law only knew that he pushed me in the other direction he would be very disappointed. I think on some level he knows, because we do not discuss religion anymore.
I would not call myself an absolute atheist, but in the spectrum I am pretty close. I think technically I would be considered an agnostic, because if solid scientifically verifiable evidence for a supreme beings existence (not a two thousand year old book) was ever produced I would at least reconsider my position. This does not mean I believe it will happen in my lifetime if ever, I just can not slam the door so completely on the concept of god the way most atheists do. That's their choice.
If you are stuck on the fence as I was or you are questioning your faith I highly recommend these books. They helped me land the right place and got me to find this website.
--Atheism, The Case Against God by George H. Smith (the most profound book I have ever read. I'm sure there are other great ones out there.)
--Why, Atheism by George H. Smith (follow up to the first book)
--Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan (not so religion focused by why science is good)
--Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (This is an extremely popular book in Chrisitian apologetics, but it was not convincing.)
--Challenging the Verdict by Earl Doherty (a rebuttal to Challenging the Verdict)
PS. If you are a Christian, do not bother emailing me to tell me I am lost or that I was never really a Christian. It's not going to change my mind.
Became a Christian: birth
Ceased being a Christian: 30
Labels before: Catholic
Labels now: Atheist/Agnostic
Why I joined: I was born into it.
Why I left: Could not accept Christianity. Too many wacky concepts.
Email Address: agentorange at carolina.rr.com