sent in by Alexandra Cammack
I was brought up a Roman Catholic – not strict, but I made my First Holy Communion when I was seven and was expected to believe in the basics. We never went to church, except Easter Sunday and Christmas Day but even that stopped by the time I was 12. My grandparents died when I was 12 and that’s when I began thinking about Christianity and how it just wasn’t for me. My Dad’s pretty cool about it. In fact, he doesn’t really believe much of it and is open-minded. I’m not sure if he still calls himself a Catholic or even a Christian, but he does watch the God Channel. To laugh at the scary-ass Christians.
My Mum still thinks of herself as a Catholic and can get very angry when we debate religion. She doesn’t care what I believe but she doesn’t understand why I left the religion. Actually, I think she is a very mis-informed Christian because she doesn’t seem to know all the stupid rules and contradictions. Maybe if she read about it form an unbiased source she’d change her mind as she is fairly open-minded too.
The real problem I had with leaving Christianity came from school. I started a Church of England high school a few days before my twelfth birthday and my beliefs rapidly decreased from there. The trouble was that many of my friends were, and still are, Christians and were scandalized at my frankness in discounting their religion as plausible. Also, the school has a Eucharist service once or twice a term which is difficult for me to stomach, but I only have four more months of that left.
I’m not entirely sure when I decided to become an atheist, I don’t think there is a set point where you just change. I think that over time, as I learnt more about the religion and the faults with it and the inaccuracies and spoke to people who made a lot more sense that Christians, I gradually developed my own set of beliefs. I am a left-winger politically, and I realized that the Christian belief system is too rigid to accept my political convictions (eg abortion etc). I also realized that the Christian fundamentalists tended to support the right-wing parties and I sort of put two and two together.
I definitely do not believe in the idea that there is a benevolent entity/entities who are watching us, and I seriously doubt that there’s a force, but part of me doesn’t want to believe that when you die that’s it. I’m hopefully starting a university course in Philosophy in September so maybe my ideas will evolve from there.
Became a Christian: When I was born, I guess
Ceased being a Christian: About 12
Labels before: Roman Catholic
Labels now: Atheist
Why I joined: Born into a Roman Catholic family
Why I left: Christianity didn't adhere to my political convictions
Email Address: september28th at hotmail.com
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)