Sent in by Kyle
Hi. My name is Kyle, I live in Austin, and I am a former devout Christian.
I grew up in a semi devout family. By semi, I mean that my grandparents on both sides were extremely religious, but my parents were not too religious. I did the whole CCE Church deal on Wednesdays as a child, and went to Church on Christmas, but that was about all.
However, once I became about 15, I started to study more about religion. This was my Confirmation year for the Catholic Church, so I started wondering a bit more about why I was Christian. And, I ended up becoming extremely devout. Every week I would now go to Church with my grandparents on my mom's side, and I became extremely religious. My grandpa on my dad's side is a Protestant Pastor for the Church of Christ, and so I talked with him all the time, about theology, the Bible, and anything Christian!
So, to sum it up... My parents were not really religious, but when I became a teen I became extremely religious. My grandparents were religious, and they always took me to Church functions, and all that.
So, I stayed extremely religious all through high school, and then my Freshman and Sophomore years of college. I had read the bible many times, did the Rosary daily, you name it!
Now if you know about Austin, you will know it is a very liberal city. Liberals all over! So during my years, I met many open homosexuals, and all that. In college, I met a very good friend of mine who told me he was gay.
Now this friend of mine (who I will call J) is the nicest guy I have ever met. He is such a great, loving person. And, he is gay. And I just asked myself "Why would God send this dude to hell for being gay!" It just made no sense to think about such a nice person going to hell.
So, I started questioning the ideal of hell. And then, many more questions popped up. I started readings some atheist books. I began to look at the skeptical approach to not just Christianity, but God in general.
So, questions filled my head. And I was worried about all these questions. I could not sleep at night. So, I just kept thinking about it for about 3 or 4 months.
Then, I decided that theism was not right. I just found that the Bible is a book that is nothing beyond human comprehension, and was just not satisfied. I learned about a lot of pagan roots in the 3 abrahamic religions, and learned a lot of skeptical approaches to different aspects of religion. I studied other religions during this time.. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Ositris, you name it..
And, I just could not believe in a God anymore. I just realized that God does not exist.
For a few months it depressed me. But, then I became more appreciative of life.. this world is so amazing, and I am just so glad to be here.. It is great to see how this world works, without thinking of some "loving God".
I just graduated from college, and I am now a happy atheist. :)
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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)