sent in by Michael Foland
Although I was a regular church goer since I was a small child, I was 13 when I was "saved."
A very religious aunt walked me through the process. And shortly afterwards, I was baptized. I was due to have surgery on my left eye to remove it. It was a blind eye since birth and affected my childhood greatly. I prayed to god so I would not have to go through surgery. I wanted to see with both eyes.
I was also going through puberty and I absolutely knew I was gay. I didn't want to be different "that way" either.
Of course, no amount of praying to god or jesus changed anything about my situation. I had the eye removed (it would have affected the good eye). And I am still very much gay.
My de-conversion to christianity began when I was about 15 or 16. The youth group in the church I attended were planning a trip to an amusement park in another state. I was excited about going. A few weeks after the announcement of the planned trip, I was approached by the pastor's wife (no less) and she told me that I was unable to go on the trip because I was not a regular attendee of the youth group. I was baptized and my parents were members in this church.
This threw me for a loop ... it was the first time I was humiliated publicly.
I lost all interest in religion although I still attended when required to do so. And I still had a great love for religious hymns. I owned several albums of hymns sung by country artists right up to about last year. One particular favorite was my "Statler Brothers" album.
Then about three years ago, I began to get involved politically. Both in my Union and with the local LGBT (Lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender) community. Where I learned of the attacks by the "religious right" on any organization that promoted gay rights.
This led me to study the correlation between being gay and the church.
I stumbled onto the website "Biblical Errancy" http://members.aol.com/ckbloomfld/
It was this website that opened my eyes to how religion is so wrong on so many levels that I could not possibly go into it here. I reccomend this website to anyone questioning the christian religion. I now own both books offered by Dennis McKinsey.
I came out to my parents in 2003, both as a gay man and an atheist in one e-mail. I believe they had more of a problem with my non-belief than they did of my sexual orientation.
Now: Gay atheist
Converted because: Didn't want to be gay or handicapped
De-converted because: I found this site: http://members.aol.com/ckbloomfld/
email: myqel1960 at aol dot com