Sent in by Sandra
I was raised by my great-grandmother who during my early years taught the small children in the Mormon church we went to. I was a sickly child so she often read the lessons aloud. So I was reading "Little House on the Prairie" when I was five years old. At the age of eight I was reading from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. I was a voracious reader. The library was my favorite playground and curiosity my playmate. And I had questions by the bucketful. I would read the Old Testament and would feel really confused, so around the age of nine I started pestering Mama with many "Why does the Bible say...?" and "Why do we (Mormons) believe...?" Now here is the answer she gave that put my feet down the path of not accepting vague answers. She looked me square in the eyes and simply replied "I don't know." And then we would look stuff up together.
Fast forward four years and I am living on my own, pregnant and dumped by baby's daddy. The Mormons excommunicate me because I was not going to put the baby up for adoption. Why must I put the baby up for adoption? Because, single moms just can't raise kids up right! What else? Thankfully Mama died a few years before this. After being given the boot I felt relief, but I was still a young, scared, soon-to-be-mom who was a bit wet behind the ears -- an easy mark for the fundies. I ended up going from Mormon to Assembles of God (AoG). Talk about shock! Mormons are usually reserved in worship. AoG the opposite were the opposite!
Thus began the year of jealousy. I had a lovely little girl and the pastor's wife couldn't have children. Needless to say she hated me. So if I had to nurse my baby or she was too "fussy," I had to go in a small side room that had no air conditioning. And it was summer in New Mexico. I spent most of my church time in that room. Well I got fed up with the crap and started going to the Baptist church. I hadn't quit reading the Bible and I was now trying to find a church that went by biblical teachings. I was also unaware of how much I was conveniently ignoring the not so nice stuff in the Bible.
Some friends of mine started going to a Messianic church. I went with them and loved the church. (Must not smack self upside head.) I couldn't get enough. My friends would have weekly Bible studies and I drank it in. But my mind couldn't ignore the "kinder, gentler" things of the Bible. The one that really caught my attention was too lovely (I am being sarcastic here) part where if a girl is raped and the guy is caught (You know if she actually screamed loud enough), and he has to marry her or pay daddy for damage of goods. I couldn't help but look at my daughter and think, "There is no way I would want her to have to live with her attacker for the rest of her life. That was just sick!" Then I started really seeing what was in the Bible. I could no longer lie to myself. It was like a blindfold coming off. The light hurt at first but then it became beautiful.
Now my girl is eight years old and already sees through the manure the is called the "Word of God."
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)