Yes, I am an atheist

Sent in by G.C.

Hello all,

I am here to bear my testimony about straying from the fold. I grew up in Samoa which is probably one of the most religious (Christian) countries in the world. My parents are devout Mormons and as such I grew up indoctrinated in its teachings. It is not so bad as some people make it out to be, it is pretty much the same as any other religion, it makes stupid people think they have all the answers, good people feel better about themselves and everyone else like that homicidal monk in the Da-Vinci Code.

Having visited some of the exmormon sites online, I came across a common theme with them in that many of its proponents gave it up for another sect of Christianity. That wasn't really the flavor I was looking for so I didn't spend much time there. Then I found this pot of gold. I have lurked and read so many testimonies, articles (thumbs up to DagoodS and the webmaster, you guys rock!) and stories that really hit the nail right on its head for me.

I cannot remember the time when it started, when my non-belief started, my father gave us lunch money for school and he would sometimes ask us to pay tithe from it, I never did but my siblings paid. There is this first Sunday of the month thing at church where the congregation is invited to step up to the pulpit and profess their love for the Lord and truthfulness of the church, everyone who was able in my family did, except for me... it was a mixture of shyness and not knowing what to say really. I have now just finished my degree in Computer Science in New Zealand, with my family back home in Samoa anticipating my return so that I can fulfill the 'call'- you know, be one of those guys knocking on your door. That scares me but not as scary as the inevitable time when I have to tell everyone that I don't believe anymore. I have already gotten a lil taste of this exclusion from my Christian friends, whom have not responded back to me since I put up a blog piece about my atheism on a popular social networking site. They usually come and pick me up for Church (an evangelical one) on Sunday and youth meetings on Tuesday evenings. No phone call or text replies which is unusual because they knew that I had difficulties accepting their church's message. Maybe it's from the fact that I forgot to mention to them that I am an atheist, like this sermon I heard there a few months back saying that most lost souls out there believe in God, the 'creator', they just need to fill in the details, details available only with their church.

Yes, I am an atheist, I have tried to find books by Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins in the bookshops here but to no avail. I have read the Bible and the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine of Covenants and most religious publications, the most recent was A Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel and in all of them I could write my own book on what I don't agree with, with them. I have read excellent critiques of them online so i will spare myself that task.

So, having that off my chest I am looking forward to reading and finding out more about why most people around me subscribe to this divisive and apocalyptic world view. Yes, I know you and Jesus love me but I will have a hard time being happy in heaven when either my family or friends, depending on who is right, are roasting in hell. If the off chance of this hell being, and I am going there, I hope and pray to this almighty and cruel God to spare me my wits and not to replace my fearlessness of it when he sends me there. Give me all the pain you can muster but please don't take away my reasoning ability. I value it so much in this lifetime and whatever illogical and eternal damnation waiting for me.

Thank you for reading.

G.C.

13 comments:

Micah Cowan said...

Give me all the pain you can muster but please don't take away my reasoning ability.

Awesome—simply awesome.

I have tried to find books by Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins in the bookshops here but to no avail.

No ability to use amazon or bn.com? Because that's my primary book-source... BTW, I cannot recommend highly enough, Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World". It is one of the most wonderful books I've read in a long time. It inspired me to purchase a highlighter pen and little sticky bookmarking things. It also inspired me to purchase about five other books which were cited—such as Paine's "The Age of Reason", Clifford's "The Ethics of Belief", and de Vaca's "Castaways", in which Spanish explorers of the Americas inexplicably exhibit apparent powers to heal or to kill en-masse large the heavily superstitious indigenous people, by will alone.

Telmi said...

G C,

From a member to another - Welcome!

I have found this site enriching and exciting - a pot of gold - as you say.

SpaceMonk said...

Welcome G.C.

"...why most people around me subscribe to this divisive and apocalyptic world view."

Thank the old school missionaries for that one...

superman4real2000 said...

It is good that you left the LDS. I too was born into Mormonism. My relatives stopped talking to me because I left at 20 to become a born-again. That lasted for 13 years and I am an athiest now. I left LDS because I was told by Xtians that is was false and xtianity was different. I found that to be untrue. LDS church did not meet my need to be accepted and xtian witnesses told me that they could not meet my need because they were a false relion and that xtianity was true because they could provide it. It was the same false product with a different spin. Xtianity is mainstream so they feel all others are cults.

rodsurly said...

Congratulations on finding a new way to see Mormonism and religion in general. I was a Mormon from the age of 15. Now at 56 I'm still living with the baggage of a wife, children and grandchildren who are active Mormons. About books, if you are in American Somoa you might want to try Walmart online. You can find Sagan, Dawkins, Harris and many more there. By buying a gift card at the local Walmart store you don't have to give up your credit card number. The prices are good and I've been happy with the service. Good luck!

jim earl said...

Welcome G.C.

Thanks for your post. It is refreshing to see more and more people join the 2% of Americans who call themselves atheists. I am atheist myself and proud of it. I was raised in the Nazarene Church in South Carolina but STILL was able to find the real TRUTH.

I am not that familiar with the Mormon Church except what I have read and seen on South Park. Of course, mainstream Christians laugh about Mormons as much as everyone else. It just proves that no matter how ignorant or crazy the story, certain people will still believe it.

I don't have anything else to offer you except to continue on your path. You have something that most mainstream human beings lack and it's called logic and reason.

Gus said...

Thank you guys.

Micah Cowan, you see, I would buy them online but I don’t have a credit card, yes, shock horror! I am also looking for a job. Having read about you in your blog, if you have any contacts in New Zealand, put in a good word aye :D

So yeah, jim earl, I am in New Zealand on a Samoan passport.. It is sad to know that only 2% of the US are atheists, might be the same for Samoa, or less actually.. but those figures will continue to grow as long as anyone with a hint of doubt in what they are following jumps on the net, read some books, read the whole bible.. run down that gauntlet and discover for themselves how grotesque the smoke and mirrors of religion is.

rodsurly, thanks for that suggestion, I am from (Western) Samoa actually but I could ask my rich relatives in American Samoa for Wallmart gift vouchers as a birthday present.. I can't ask them to buy the books for me you know.

You all have a good one.

Gus said...

superman4real2000, funny you mentioned you were born again. The church I was talking about in my testimony is like that, the one some of my close friends took me to. I nearly answered an altar call not because I was taken in by what was suggested, or felt something from it.. it was because I liked this girl there and she told me that she will only be with a Christian. Bummer!

Shucks, I couldve done it, be with her and then drop the charade later on... I wouldnt know if she would forgive me for that. I wouldn't forgive myself.

Ah well, plenty of fish in the sea. :D

superman4real2000 said...

Gus,

Funny you mention a girl. An attractive girl witnessed to me I and fell in love somewhat.

It is difficult to leave LDS because of how "close" everyone is. They make you dependant and when that is gone you feel alone. Don't feel alone. Its better to be alone than to live a lie. I felt alone when I was in the church so it was no different for me. I was lucky to move away from Idaho when I was young.
The thing you have going for you is that you know more than one religion and it opens your eyes to the fact that there is no truth. Xtians tell I am confused because of more than one religion. That is laughable.

Mormonism and JW goes after conversions in places aside from America because of two reasons. One reason is to use the language barrier to trick them into the religion. The second is they tell them they are poor and American Jesus can help them out of that. They play on a bad situation and say "look at me".

xrayman said...

Hey G.C. welcome to the club. The whole reason it took me 43 years to find the truth is because of the lack of mainstream information refuting religion in general in the U.S.A. Thankfully last year I stumbled onto this site and a few others and I completely read myself out of God belief in a very short time. I have since found the wonders of Amazon.com and have ordered several fine titles that have reinforced the fact that religion is man made bullshit.

Once you become an “Enlightened Atheist,” it’s like you walk out the door of religious beliefs and it closes behind you never to open again. Once you get to that point there is just no turning back even if you wanted to. The Christians who barnstorm this site just don’t get it. They think we can simply have a change of heart and go back, but for virtually all of us it is impossible.

I have learned everything I know about the Mormon faith from that South Park episode. That was fucking great laughs just as it is such a great laugh when the Christian will laugh off the Mormon faith as a false absurd religion yet failing to see the fucking absurdity of their own far fetched fairy tale.

Jamie said...

I stumbled onto this site and a few others and I completely read myself out of God belief in a very short time....The Christians who barnstorm this site just don’t get it. They think we can simply have a change of heart and go back, but for virtually all of us it is impossible.


xrayman, that is what I'm finding. The speed at which I have lost my faith is dizzying. I wonder how many other people's faith Google will destroy. Once I decided to 'test' my supposedly bulletproof faith by Googling the simplest of questions, I discovered that one belief after another simply didn't hold up. When I see the christian arguments held up against the atheist arguments, the christian arguments fall like moths buzzing around a zapper.

I still hope there is a God...one who really is loving, not in the "I love you so much I have to kill you so you'll learn" way he comes across so often in the bible, though. But unlike some here, I do wish I could live forever. However, I'm finding that 'hope' is a far cry from 'belief' and while I still hold out hope that there is a God, belief pretty much eludes me at this point. And frankly, it's a freeing experience and has helped me live in the present in a way I've been unable to my whole life.

Telmi said...

Jamie

"I still hope there is a God...one who really is loving..."

On cannot discount such a possibility. Considering that the Earth is nothing more than a tiny speck in the immensity [or infinitude?] of the universe, can Earth or for that matter, humanity, be considered as something special to this God [G], assuming G exists? As a person, I can see the downsides in the living environment - natural disasters, diseases, suffering and misery of millions or billions of people through lacking the basic necessities etc. So I can imagine that if G is existing and loving, G may not be all-powerful; he may have his own limitations. But why restrict to one God; when you look around, you can see variability and plurality -
male and female, and all sorts of differences. So if the Earth is teeming with variability and plurality, is it not possible that elsewhere in the universe [I think it is infinite], variability and plurality also exist, including gods/goddesses? Maybe, gods/goddesses are the wrong terms to use; maybe there are entities with a level of intelligence, knowledge and technology far superior to those of homo sapiens.

What I am about to say is no doubt subjective - this world is far from being the best of all possible worlds. It was a harsh, inhospitable environment before mankind appeared; it was only through toil and sweat, and human ingenuity, over hundreds[or thousands?] of years that we have the things we see around us today.

God? Answer: one of man's own creation.

TheCapetonian said...

Welcome G.C.

It takes courage, and dare I say, faith, true faith, to walk away from all the lies that you have been told. Yes, ostracism is a consequence of walking away from the Christian faith or any other cult. This on-line community has helped me deal with such issues. Keep reading and enjoy the posts. Again, welcome and enjoy the reading. As for getting more books, I find that Amazon.com has all the books that are referenced on this site. Good luck !

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