sent in by Cindy
I was raised in a strict Southern Baptist family. Being Baptists they of course had very stanch views on everything, nothing escaped the judging eyes of their religion. Not even my personal issues were safe from their prying eyes. As a result I gladly strayed from the church and my views changed dramatically.
I attended church like a good little girl every Sunday. I prayed, listened to Christian music, and did missionary work. Every Sunday I would listen gratefully to the sermons and feel like that was the absolute truth.
There was one sermon in particular that really stuck with me. The sermon was about the "Evils" of homosexuality and how they are "Sinners" and deserve the "Fires of Hell." This sermon stuck with me in such a way that it made me fear the homosexual lifestyle. I refused to befriend them or to even acknowledge them. I practically hated them and their sin.
To my dismay one Sunday I was sitting in church minding my own when a gorgeous girl walked in. My heart began to race and I couldn't keep my eyes off her. I was attracted to her. I couldn't believe it, so I ignored it. I went home and prayed for my earlier "sin" to be forgiven.
These feelings for girls continued to haunt my mind everywhere I went. I was a "Sinner" as far as I could tell at the time and I was going to go to "Hell." I didn't dare speak to anyone about these feelings for fear my horrible secret would be revealed.
One day at school in my English class there was a discussion on gay marriage. They all seemed to unanimously agree that gays had the right to marry one another. I was appalled how could people be so misguided. Slowly as the discussion progressed I began to listen and as I listened something in my mind clicked.
That day I was sitting alone on the computer looking at a Gay Rights website and I began to think. Homosexuals can't help the way they are and any compassionate form of God would realize that.
Next Sunday the Pastor announced that the next four Sundays would be lessons on the evils of homosexuals. I sat through the first lesson and grew more annoyed. How could they hate them so much? They always talk about love and understanding but they never bothered to understand homosexuals.
After church I told my dad my horrible secret, that I am one of the people with a unique sexual preference, a sinner in their minds. I asked my dad if I could stop going to church because I am sick of the hatred, he refused.
The next Sunday I was sitting quietly and the pastor was ranting on about how these sinners will go to hell. I sat there patiently and waited him to finish his ridiculous speech. He finally prayed and it was over with and I could leave.
Just as I was walking out a rather self-righteous group of teenagers came up to me. They felt it was their Christian duty to tell me that I was a sinner and that my dad told them everything. They continued ruthlessly, telling me what awful punishments I had in store.
Finally I couldn't take it I ran away crying so hard my head hurt. I ran away from the church and have never gone back. What I thought was perfect was merely misguided mind-set that was ruthlessly pounded into my head.
Your State AZ
Your Country USA
How old were you when you became a Christian? 4 or 5
How old were you when you ceased being a Christian? 16
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Baptist
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Collective Unconscious and various other Ideas
Why did you become a Christian? I believed it
Why did you de-convert? disillusionment with God