sent in by Brian
I have no spectacular tale to tell, nothing that makes for good reading, nothing that will cause tears to be shed. All the same I was raised by loving parents (though NOT demonstrative) to believe that the most vile invention of humankind was 'the truth'.
As an adult I have read parts of the bible and am astounded that such a rediculous collection of fantasies (the NT) and horrendous accounts of savage bloodshed and superstition (the OT) can be so highly regarded by so many otherwise clever people. It causes me to shake my head in utter disbelief. We give ourselves far too much credit as a species if this sampling can be called representative of the 'average'. I often want to scream "Wake up, you mindless fools!"
Back to my deconversion; I was 13 and attending Catholic school when I was first able, though only in the gaurded spaces of my mind, to admit that I didn't believe in gawd (or J. Hoover, as I sometimes like to call him). To a kid who's cognitive abilities were just forming, as well as those 'other' changes that were happening then, this was a major event. Not as terrifying as you might expect, though I was riddled with self doubt and anxiety over my new-found disbelief. I kept my guilty little secret for several years from everyone. That was no picnic, having to bite my tongue, going along with the religeous holidays, watching my older sisters marry and begin raising their kids to swallow the same, destructive, negative shit I had to fight my way from. I felt completely alone in a sea of nut-cases. Luckily, I began attending a public high school that fall and was able to disassociate myself from that crazy faction.
Let me lay out my cards, stated as plainly as I can; I hate religion. I hate it for what it has done to an otherwise promising species. I hate it for causing so many lives to be wasted so completely. Not just the endless parade of sheep who pissed away their most precious gift on a fantasy, but also the ranks of holy warriors who have killed and been killed to support the political will of their churches. I hate it for the obstacles it's adherants have thrown up to defete social, technological and human progress. True, we did this to ourselves by inventing the damn thing in the first place, however the time for scratching around in the dirt for answers (with apologies to any archaeologists out there) is long gone. When are we going to collectively wake up? What is it going to take before people will open their bloody eyes? Sigh...
So, here I sit, atheist and, frankly, proud of it. I shook off the guilt and confusion of theism and encourage others to do so at every opportunity. It doesn't win me a lot of support or friends, but, I remind myself, those who object could never be my friends anyway. It wasn't a quick and easy process. It took years of soul searching and analytical thinking to get me where I am today. I can easily recall the terror and confusion I used to feel while under the spell of theism. If I can bring light into any dark minds, any relief to the tormented, I feel that is the best thing I can do with my time remaining.
My family still don't understand me. My mother even recently professed that she has been praying for me (Don't get me started on the usefullness of that practice!). They still accept me, from a comfortable distance, but I can never feel as close to them as I should. In itself this is a tragedy, after all, who else do we have in this world but our families? Who else cares for us unconditionally?
Thanks for listening, its great to be in the presence of people who understand the implications of my journey and have suffered as I. Cheers, long life!
Became a Christian: born into a Catholic family
Ceased being a Christian: 13
Labels now: humanist, anti-religionist
Why I left: I came to my senses
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)