Recovering Christian

sent in by Amethyst Moonstar

I grew up Lutheran in Minnesota, which is still a very Christian state. My parents pretty much forced me to go to a Lutheran school where I never really fit in, no matter how much I tried. I begged them to let me go to a public school for junior high, and they finally caved because it would save them money. I lost my mom to cancer when I was in high school, but that is not the event that made me deconvert -- on the contrary, my belief was probably at the strongest then and it did help to deal with her death.

But a few things started to happen that made me question. Someone at church told my dad my mom was going to hell because she was afraid of dying. That pissed me off immensely. Because if that was true, then no one would be in heaven. I don't think any human being has ever NOT been afraid of dying at the very end, no matter how religious they were in life.

In college, many of my friends were Pagans and/or Agnostics and Athiests. I had some Christian friends, but they were more moderate. I ended up dating an Agnostic who later became Wiccan. We had quite a few interesting debates.

I think, though, what led me to deconvert was that once away from church and home, I was finally free to think about things for the first time.

I believe there is a god, and that it's worth leading a moral life. But I don't think you necessarily have to follow any one religion in order to do so. I'm leaning toward Neopaganism myself because it makes as much sense as anything else.

Unfortunately, I have to remain pretty much in the closet because of where I live. My entire family is Christian -- Lutheran on my Dad's side & Catholic on my stepmom's. Some are more moderate than others, but I have Bible-thumping relatives too. My uncle & his family are ultra-conservative Baptists.

I personally see religions as human creations and just different paths in life. I don't think there is any one right way for everybody. I go to a United Church of Christ church occassionally -- mostly so my relatives won't worry and tell everyone to pray for me. Although the Bible-thumping ones probably do anyway.

Sex: Female
URL: Your Homepage URL
City: Twin Cities
State: MN
Country: USA
Became a Christian: 0 (Baptized)
Ceased being a Christian: About college age
Labels before: Lutheran, agnostic, eclectic/neopagan
Labels now: Eclectic/neopagan
Why I joined: Forced to by my parents
Why I left: Had time to really think about Christianity


Anonymous said...

A 15 year old in western North Carolina responded to a Christian column in a small mountain county paper...saying that she was very happy to have finally broke free of Christianity. As I read it, knowing of the people in that area, I thought, " are going to draw a lot of Christian wrath with your statements. Well, she did draw anger and the extent that her and her family moved away. But there was one thought she raised that to me was very meritorious....and that was "If people with a few generations in this country would just think about it...most people's faith is just the result of where they were born...if I had been born of generations living in the mid-East I would probably have been an Islamic... Had I been born of Indian heritage in India, I would probably be of Hindu faith.
Were I of Cambodian or Vietnamese heritage, I might well have been raised as a Buddist. In brief, I have learned that choice of a religious chocie for the most part is thrust on people by their predecessors... In short, she continued, had I been born in many countries of the world other other
that the U.S...I very likely would have never been raised as a Christian!"

TheJaytheist said...

J. Parker, I live in the WNC mountains. Could you tell me what paper that was in so I could read more about this?

Anonymous said...

Hey there

Good to know there are others out there hiding in the closet with regards to conversion to another faith or lack of faith at all. I also started to question everything once I left home and had the freedom (not) to go to church. presbyterian and baptist background, South african.My family would patronise me and cry whilst on their knees in prayer if they were to know I was a naturalist (or, if you wish a 'bright') Don't like calling myself an atheist, as it's just a negation of someting else. I prefer to identify myself with something positive and fresh, I feel liberated by accepting the world and universe as natural and free of the supernatural. That's just my preference though, if belief in something supernatural floats your boat, that's fine. The point is to give the human mind a chance to think for itself!

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