Sent in by Korinne
I was raised in a secular household, and never had more than background input from religion. I was always encouraged to think deeply and rationally, and ended up studying science at university.
While at uni, I met some Xians, who invited me over for a chat which ended in a massive discussion about everything under the sun - the reliability of the bible, the reality of god, morals, homosexuality, all that. They were very patient and non-judgmental. We had a really open and honest discussion, but I was still unconvinced. I stayed in touch, though, and eventually went to church and had what I felt was a supernatural experience. I tingled, I felt elated, I "gave my life to Christ".
I still had questions but I suspended my disbelief and threw myself into Xianity completely, alienating myself from all my gay and feminist friends, eating meat again, talking about demons and angels, and adopting quite a superior attitude - all this was encouraged on the basis that my queer friends would only influence me negatively anyway, so better be rid of them, meat is for man and you can't be anything but a meat-eater, the devil is real and our church had the truth, any other reasoning that wasn't ours must be flawed. This church was one of a major church movement in Australia - not a wacky cult.
But my mind wouldn't turn off, and I grew tired of hearing preachers make in-informed comments about the science that was my job. I starting asking questions again ... only this time I found that asking questions in unacceptable. Once you are in the fold, you can't ask anymore. The people who so kindly debated me as an atheist treated me with disdain for having a "lack of faith" as a xian.
So, i talked to atheists. And guess what? They listened, they reasoned, they talked to me about the question, not ad hominem attacks about my supposed "hidden sin" or whatever. And then I realised that if god didn't exist, my whole world could make sense again and I could be free mentally. So I left. I don't believe. I was right the first time!
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)