sent in by Jo
I was born into a practicing Catholic family. I became VERY religious in my early teens, so I decided to devote my Sunday afternoons to reading the Bible. Well, I was horrified by what I read. I don't like violent movies, so you can imagine how I felt reading the Old Testament. I was also troubled by the sexism of the New Testament, such as wives obeying husbands, man being made for God and woman being made for man, etc. I wondered what if my husband was wrong about something and I was right. Was obedience still required? What if I'm smarter than my husband? Why did different sex organs and hormone levels make men preferred over women in God's eyes?
So, my Bible reading started a general process of questioning that destroyed my beliefs. I also started to question why God had to send his son (who happens to be himself, because they are one) to die as a blood sacrifice to eliminate a sin committed by Adam and Eve. If God controls everything why didn't he just eliminate the sin without the blood sacrifice?
Of course, having been raised with Catholic guilt it took me years to throw off the shackles of religion. I had stopped practicing in my late teens but was still quite fearful of sin and hell until my late twenties. I'm 32 now, so it wasn't that long ago. I recently had my first baby. I don't want her to experience the kind of fear and guilt I went through.
I do believe in God or something beyond this world. I have had experiences that have made me believe that. But I don't believe that God is responsible for the existence of any religion. The idea that God would appear to an individual whether it be Abraham, Jesus, Muhammad, or Buddha and give his expectations for mankind and then send these people out to convince the rest of us is really ridiculous. Why doesn't he just appear in the sky even few decades and tell us all at once what he expects? That would eliminate a lot of confusion and religious bickering.
I do respect people's right to practice a religion. My husband is a devout Muslim (although he believes that women should have all the same rights as men and that homosexuals should be allowed to marry, so he probably wouldn't be considered a true Muslim by many of his religious cohorts) and I respect his right to practice his faith. Many religious people are good people who are open-minded and respectful of others.
My problem with religion is that too many religious people feel that they have the right to impose their beliefs and personal morals on others. That crosses the line. With the rise of the religious right in America I am starting to develop a hatred of religion in general. I'm tired of hearing the term family values, which insinuates that only religious people have values. Everyone has values regardless of whether they practice a religion or not. Anyway, I hope that religious people will soon be freed from the shackles of ancient religious philosophies.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy life (something religious conservatives are soooo afraid to do).
How old were you when you became a christian? I second old
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? My views evolved throughout my teens and twenties
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Catholic
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Believe in God but not religion
Why did you become a christian? I was born into it.
Why did you de-convert? It didn't make sense
lr_oc_ca 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)