sent in by Adam
I was raised in what you could call "Medieval Catholicism". There was lots of emphasis on Hell, Purgatory, blood, sins of the flesh, penance. I sure wish I could have a "do over" of my younger years, because I spent those years scared and burdened with theological bs that a kid should not have to worry about. But my past is what it is, and now I am a better person because of it.
Sometimes I think I can enjoy the present more because I am able to contrast it with the difficult past. Overall it would have been better to have a healthier, functional past, but if I had, perhaps I would not have the insight that I do now to help others.
Sexuality was the deal-breaker for me in regards to christianity. The theology basically teaches that sex is a necessary evil, to be tolerated ONLY to procreate to make more catholic people. To the extent that I felt sexual, I'd feel guilt and far away from god. After many years of that I just finally decided that I was not going to screw up the rest of my life feeling guilt for being who I am. So I tossed out the parts of catholicism that were at odds with sexuality. But it was like pulling on a thread on a sweater... the rest of the religion just unraveled.
Also, I could not believe that god would demand a blood sacrifice to atone for humanity's wrongs. I don't believe god, if god exists, would be so primitive. I also don't believe humanity is "fallen". So there's no real reason to be christian for me any more.
When I finally admitted to myself that "Jesus is not God" I thought my life would fall apart. I thought that without the religious structure, I'd be a "ship without a rudder". But nothing like that has happened! My marriage is fine, the kids are fine, my job is fine, I can sleep at night, I don't swindle, cheat and steal.
The only thing that has fallen apart is my relationship with my parents, who still very much believe what they always did. Silly me, I thought that as I matured, my parents would also mature, and that we could discuss theology like grown-ups. Nope! They have accused me of blasphemy. They choose their religion over their relationships, and that is too bad.
I'm very glad to have found this site and I really enjoy reading what others have shared. Some of the stories I read remind me so much of my own experience or thoughts, and I am relieved that I am not the only one thinking or feeling as I do.
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)