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.
URL: Your Homepage URL
City: Twin Cities
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