sent in by Christian L. Ambrose
I grew up as a devout Christian and "won a few souls." Anyway, as I got older I became less religious. I never really did believe in some of the fairy tales that kids believe in today. I reasoned my way out of Santa Claus belief and the Easter bunny and tooth fairy was never emphasized to me. Especially as I became older, I did not believe in supernatural things (those beliefs eroded away as I saw more of the real world and learned more science.
I went from being a staunch creationist to being an evolutionist. I began to read up on evolution and it made more since than having a god zap things into existance. I began having pagan friends, much to my mother's chagrin. I was told that these people were hell bound and that I was supposed to be preaching to them, not socializing with them. However, as I became older, as part of my becoming less religious, I was more reluctant to preach to people. I began to wonder why my religion was anymore correct than someone else's. When I was a child, I had the bible continuously fed to me. I had to read the bible, memorize bible verses and copy parts of the bible as a way of improving my handwriting. As a result, I became rather aquainted with the bible and as most people know, that can lead to atheism.
I became a liberal Christian and realized that most of the stories in the bible were stories borrowed or stolen from pagan myths. In my thinking it was a way of teaching some lesson. Even a Christian pamphlet that talked about reconciling evolution with Genesis called the creation stories myths and said there were two sets of creation myths. Through this, science, and eventually taking logic, the scales began falling from my eyes as it were. I began to think of god as more of a concept of good but remembering that the bible showed him ordering genocide, advocating slavery and mysogyny, making a loyal follower nearly sacrifice his son as a test of his loyalty (something you would expect from a tyrant), and using another loyal minion as a pawn in a cruel cosmic bet with an archenemy, made me rethink a few things. By this point, I had pretty much abandoned the idea of literal hell, heaven and the divinity of Jesus. I met an atheist at a college who guided me through the last leg of my journey. He loaned my his copy of Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker.
I devoured that book and other books he loaned me from his library. It was Losing Faith in Faith that finally gave me the courage to possitively call myself a confirmed atheist. When I did that, I was finally free. It was like being in prison for a crime that I did not commit but being able to escape from that awful prison with a friend's help. I saw things clearly for the first time in my life and it was awesome. I was truly at peace which helped me when I was kicked out of my Christian home. I began realizing that my destiny was mine to make and that I was truly responsible for my moral choices to my fellow humans, not responsible because I would be threatened with hellfire. I felt more moral than I had ever been. My morals had become better developed and I have enjoyed this new life. I have been a confirmed atheist for five years, this month and it is still wonderful. My fiance is somewhere between agnostic and deist. He does not believe in a specific god but he believes there is something out there that is bigger than us. We have great discussions and I look forward to a lifetime of that.
URL: Your Homepage URL
City: Kansas City
Became a Christian: 6?
Ceased being a Christian: 26
Labels before: Nondenominational
Labels now: Atheist, Humanist, Freethinker
Why I joined: I was raised that way.
Why I left: I slowly realized that all the religions of the world made the same claim to having the truth that xtianity made.
Email Address: hypatia1128 at yahoo dot 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)