sent in by Ian
I've been hanging around here lurking for a few days and thought it was about time to introduce myself. Although I¡¦m English, I now live and work in beautiful Sweden (why is a long story which I might go into another time). I guess my story follows a familiar pattern which many here will recognise.
I was born into a secular Jewish household 47 years ago in London. I did all the normal things a Jewish boy did but I must admit that it was more because my parents made me do it rather than wanting to or even believing in the mumbo jumbo. By the time I was 15 I was a strong atheist and remained so for the next 15 years (during which period I met and fell in love the woman I was to marry and am proud to say that we are still going strong 25 years later).
It was not long passed my 30th birthday on a snowy January night in Aberdeen when I had an experience (it doesn't matter what it was; at least not at the moment) which I felt at the time I could only interpret in a Christian context. This was a bolt from the blue and a real shock for my wife who was and remains to this day an agnostic. For the last 17 years I've been an on and off Christian, experimenting with just about every denomination you can name and many other faiths (especially Buddhism) as well. At some point a long the way I became a Catholic (don't ask; just one in a series of many mistakes).
So where am I today? For years I've been struggling to hold together my faith against the background of doubt. For long periods I managed to suppress my true thoughts by hiding behind Tertullian's statement, "I believe because it is absurd." Somehow I convinced myself that because it is absurd it must be true. Bizarre! A few weeks ago I was talking to my wife about JC and all that stuff trying to convince her that I was right when, perhaps for the first time, I really listened to her arguments against. And the house of cards came tumbling down. Instead of feeling scared I was relieved. Suddenly I was free of guilt. I now realise that Christianity is an unhealthy religion constantly forcing adherents to try to reconcile its contradictions or pretend they don't exist. I can now see that there is immense stress in living between the carrot of heaven and the stick of hell.
So now I'm free. Free to do or believe what I don't know (any suggestions will be appreciated !) but at least I'm finally rid of that superstitious mumbo jumbo that held me back from being a whole person. I'm rediscovering interests that have been long suppressed in the name of orthodoxy and enjoying life again.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Converted at 30
De-converted at 47
I was a Catholic (and just about everything else)
I am now a Seeker after truth
I joined becuase It felt like I had no choice
I finally left because It felt like I had no choice
email: ian.gitlin at gmail 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)