My journey to apostasy

Sent in by Jimmy

Okay, maybe "journey" is bit of an overstatement.

It's quite simple really. I was born and raised in a Christian household. I went to church every Sunday (though it bored the piss out of me when I was younger). I was taught that the Bible was the inspired Word of God. I was taught that evolution was a big lie perpetrated by the scientific community. (Or was it liberals?) Oh, wait, I know! It was the Devil himself. Eh, I can't remember which one it was; all those things were taught. Every time I would hear the big, bad 'E' word I would loudly and proudly announce to anyone who gave a crap that "I didn't come from no monkey!"

I was taught that to be a homosexual was a sin and an abomination against God. Yep, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," was one of my favorite sayings. I was taught that everything written in the Bible were historical accounts of actual events. I believed all these things without question. Then about two years ago I actually began thinking about these so-called historical events in the Bible -- I mean really thinking about it. For the first time in my life they seemed ridiculous. Fucked-up is a more fitting term. The reality that was forced upon me since at an early age started to look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book or something.

I started searching the Internet for evidence for creationism and their so called "proofs" just seemed, well, retarded. I began reading up on everything on evolution from a non-biased viewpoint and actually started to learn something. I realized that I rejected it my whole life without ever knowing the first thing about the topic. The only reason I believed in any of the things I did was because my parents told me since I was barely old enough to walk that this was the real deal.

I was indoctrinated, which is just a nicer way of saying brainwashed. I was taught that being a good person won't get you into Heaven. How fucked up is that? You could beat your wife, beat your kids, be hateful and intolerant of those different than you, lie, cheat, steal, hell even commit murder and none of that matters as long as you just "accept Jeezus into yer heart and ax fer fergiveness!" and you will get a pass through the pearly gates. On the other hand, you could be the most selfless, compassionate, loving person who dedicates your life to helping people who are less fortunate, never judge those who are different than you, but because you were not "saved" you will go to Hell where you will be tormented beyond imagination for all ETERNITY just because you didn't choose the right religion among hundreds of others.

I had never really taken the time to think about this before. Once I did, though, the idea seemed cruel beyond words. I used to think I was a better person than non-believers because I had "good Christian morals". Looking back now, I realize that I'm a better person now than when I was a Christian. I was a HUGE homophobe. I was that type of asshole who would physically assault you just because you were attracted to the same sex. These days I support gay rights, especially the right to marry. Some of the most ignorant, close-minded, hateful, intolerant, self-righteous, arrogant, hypocritical, judgmental people I know are Christians.

This all began for me in 2006, but I didn't finally admit it to myself that I was no longer a Christian until last July. I never really came out and told my family, but I drop some hints every now and then. My old man pretty much thinks I'm going to Hell. I know it. We even came to blows one night last summer because I dared to criticize his belief in the Biblical flood. I now absolutely cannot stand the Christian cult and I have nothing but contempt for it's fundie followers. Notice I said fundie. I realize not all Christians are fundies.

Every since I de-converted I feel as if this huge weight has been lift off of me. I now feel free to actually think for myself and to be more open minded. The Bible that I once called the "good book" I now refer to as the ol' ball 'n chain. Today, I consider myself an agnostic. I'm open to the possibility of a higher power and if their is a God I don't know who He/She/They is/are. All I do know is that if a God does exist, I don't believe it is the petty, childish, cruel, tyrannical sociopath of the bible.

Or should I say, "the ol' ball 'n chain?"

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good one "Ball and Chain" I love it! Welcome to freedom.

CarlK said...

Yes, isn't it liberating to get rid of all the supernatural notions that inform way too much of our lives. That was my experience, too.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to a healthier and happier life...keep thinking!

leotracks said...

Well done to you, Jimmy!

My only advice to you is to keep reading, keep learning all the things you were "sheltered" from growing up, and always be prepared to defend your beliefs. The one thing people like us have in common, is that we tend to believe in only the things we can explain through evidence and logic, we have, by far, the stronger ground. Unfortunately, even when you successfully kick a christians teeth in, they never seem to know they've lost.

As far as you family is concerned, you will probably have to learn to live with their disapproval and ignore all the threats of hellfire and other bullshit you are sure to hear. I am guessing that you are still young, perhaps early twenties. I am in my late thirties and my mother still screams at me weekly about how I can't have peace in my life without jesus. She can't see that the only thing disturbing the peace in my life is her screeching.

And do not try to convince them of anything; it won't work. Consider your own deconversion; was it from someone's guidance, or did you arrive at this point on your own? If they force an argument, and they will force many arguments, defend yourself, cite your examples, and leave them free to believe whatever they like. You have seen the blinding light of reality because you were psychologically and intellectually fit to do so. Faith is a choice to ignore what you see and hear and experience; it is a choice to remain simple, safe, childlike. You cannot make that choice for anyone else. The best you can do is provide them with the tools to make the best choice possible.

billybee said...

Hey Jimmy,
I like your style, bro!! Keep digging and learning. The best is yet to come!!!

Aspentroll said...

A great post, Jimmy.

Go to Youtube and type in Pat Condell. This guy tells it how it is. There are zillion sites that debunk xtianity on the web and most of them are worthwhile reads.
Read Dawkins,Harris,Dennet, Hitchens and many other authors, they all try and get people to think and they all point out the dangers of
organized religion.

It's a great new world out
there, Jimmy, grab a hunk of it and enjoy.

Trancelation said...

Man, they fed you the oldest ones in the book, didn't they? Just goes to show that all these lunatics have is bland repetition and denial. As the rest of the world is learning and growing, the religious nutjobs that drive us ever closer to our extinction try to cram it into their obnoxious, retarded worldview. Religion is a poison, and all who practice it and support it are POISONED. Glad to know that yet another person has broken free from the tired old hatred that is "religious love".

melodramy said...

Jimmy,
Somehow, despite the brainwashing, mandatory ignorance and programmed bigotry, a kernel of humaneness and rationality remained where it could not be destroyed. If there was hope for you, and for me who experienced the same journey from there to here, there is hope for anyone. Congratulations on having the strength and integrity to find your way out of that fog, and welcome to the light of reason :)It's like fresh air out here where you can enjoy learning as much as there is to know about reality, don't have to lie to yourself to force crazy things to seem sane and don't have to hate people for being different.

Anonymous said...

"I didn't come from no monkey!"
Isn't it funny how coming from dirt is somehow better?

Free Thinker said...

very good post Jimmy, and good replies. I hope to see more from you on this site as you have a lot of "good sense" and your way of explaining makes for good reading. Some day think of joining the Freedom from Religion Foundation to help keep the first amendment the way it was written. Enjoy your new freedom!! Erich

ou812 said...

Right On Man! The world would be a different place if religion would die and people started living as though this is the only life you have so enjoy it with a passion. Everyone loving and caring for his fellow human being. Wow, sounds like a pipe dream, but hopefully someday it will happen. DEATH TO RELIGION AND POLITICS

sir fer said...

I gotta disagree with melodramy. My parents know all my reasons for rejecting religion but they still regard themselves as "spiritual" (whatever that means!) which to me a lesser case o the same affliction.

Also some people are just plain stubborn and there's usually not a lot we can do about those types.

And congrats to you Jimmy on tearing down the curtain of delusion, there are several hundred more to go ;o)

Bear7 said...

Hi Jimmy

You feel relieved because you have thrown off the weight of oppression that has come from an intolerant and self righteous mind set – well done. The danger here is that this ‘bad stuff’ may have been lumped in with the faith. I would urge you to try and separate the two. It is good that you have begun to question the faith but this vitriol so apparent in your letter appears to me to have been the fault of your upbringing, rather than the faith (It sounds like your dad may lack bit of compassion and reasoning).

Because Christians have been persecuted for their beliefs there is a sad tendency for some to become as the persecutors (eg. I’m right…get stuffed….you’re all going to hell etc). They must learn to stand and talk with truth, wisdom and grace. Insecurities must be dealt with and not passed on in the form of anger.

Cheers

blanka_southamerica said...

Bear7 said:

"You feel relieved because you have thrown off the weight of oppression that has come from an intolerant and self righteous mind set – well done. The danger here is that this ‘bad stuff’ may have been lumped in with the faith. I would urge you to try and separate the two."

You just don't get it, do you? The 'bad stuff' IS part of the faith. Every christian I've ever known, even the "nice" ones believe that if you do not "accept Jesus" you will burn in Hell for eternity. It's in the bible. It is part of the christian faith. In fact that's probally why you are here, isn't it? You're concerned for my eternal soul. You read my post and thought "oh gosh, I'd better do something before it's too late".

"but this vitriol so apparent in your letter appears to me to have been the fault of your upbringing, rather than the faith"

That's another thing, you disagree with how I was brought up. Another discovery I've made during my deconversion is that every chrsitian pretty much has their own belief. I highly doubt that any 2 christians in any part of the world can completely agree on what exactly the bible says. Even in the same denomination. If christianity is the one true religion, why all the different denominations? The baptists think the jehovah's witnesses are going to Hell, jehovah's witnesses think penecostals are going to Hell, the penecostals think catholics are going to burn, and I can just literally go on all night, but I think you get the gist of it. You'd think they would all be united under "The Truth" since "The Truth"
is "self-evident". You know what the bible really says? Whatever the hell you want it to say.

"Because Christians have been persecuted for their beliefs there is a sad tendency for some to become as the persecutors"

Yeah, that's why so many christians
are intolerant assholes, it's because they are so clearly oppressed. This persecution complex that so many of you have these days
is enough to make me want to hurl. No one is throwing you to the lions. Christians, at least here in the U.S., haven't known what real persecution is in over a thousand years. How about the persecution christians commit on the gay community every goddamn day? Get the fuck over yourselves already. Look, I realize you came here with the best intentions in mind, but my eyes are open for the first time and I don't have any intentions on re-closing them anytime soon, and I sure as hell don't need anyone to try to convince me too.

Jimmy

Nina said...

Bear7
There is no truth, wisdom and grace in religion, just in people and I don't see xtians using much truth, wisdom or grace.
Nina

Bear7 said...

s

Bear7 said...

Hi Jamie

JWs don't believe in hell.
The fact is we are all going to die. That is why we need a saviour.

Cheers

Dave8 said...

Yes, JWs don't believe in the mainstream Christian lie of sin at birth, and Eternal Hell.

However, they do believe that our biological death is "Hell", because we cease to exist in our current bio-form.

They as well only believe 144K folks are going to be allowed to live beyond their bio-death in their concept of Heaven. This means, pre-destination.

No Hell and no ability to change one's destiny. What is this savior for again?

Bear7 said...

Dave 8

There is no point in being a JW because you don't need a saviour. If you are really bad you cease to exist and if you are a 'good person' you end up on a paradise on earth.

Cheers

Dave8 said...

Bear 7,
Yep, I agree, no logical reason to be JW.

I think it's really interesting in a sociology sense that JWs don't believe in corrupting their body, as they suggest their body is the temple of God.

I've recounted JWs dying at car wreck sites, because they refused a blood infusion as they bled to death.

If JWs are pre-destined to Heaven/Hell, then what is the point in refusing to live, by rejecting medical help?

They seem to believe they will ruin their chances of getting into Heaven if they don't remain pure.

What part of pre-destination and an Omniscient God do the JW’s not grasp?

If their God is omniscient, they are already "known" by their God to be Heaven bound or not, nothing they can do will possibly "change" their God known destiny. All of their life was pre-known before they were born.

Great insights Bear 7, Cheers.

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