Sent in by Andrew
The story of my faith starts out like every story here. Born and Raised in the Roman Catholic Church From Birth. Dragged To church, but eventually "became a believer". Was "Confirmed" in the church and currently a senior in a Catholic High School. You get the picture.
In elementary school, I was what you would call "a retard". This was before I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. I stabbed myself with pencils and safety scissors. I cried nearly everyday for some stupid reason. Most of all, I wanted to die because I was tired of being made fun of. The thing was that was when my belief in Christianity was at my strongest at that time. I always participated in church, had strong beliefs in the Bible and Ten Commandments. I also had strong respect for anyone who was a priest. Once I entered high school, though, that was all about to change.
During my early high school years (freshman/sophomore), my views of the Roman Catholic Church changed. I came to the realization (one way or another) that church was just a mild form of crowd control. I realized this through the fact that this is why most people behave and do what they do; because their religion encouraged it. Sadly, this was at a time when I was going through with some life-changing personal issues, including a diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome, so I was more worried about these issues than my view on religion.
My views, though, drastically changed, though, Junior year. In Junior religion, the main priority was to learn more about the history of the church and the sacraments (remember those?). As I we were learning about this (mainly the sacraments), I began to realize that church was nothing more than just applied psychiatry. Reading the textbook, it went on about how the sacraments have ceremonies for the sake of being tangible, and that the sacraments bring the community together.
This got me thinking about something. What makes people truly happy? I know money, wealthy possessions, and lust don't make them happy. I also know (thanks to Britney Spears) that alcoholism and other addictions don't make people happy. What I have discovered is one simple thing.
Religion does not make people happy. People make people happy.
People go to religion hoping to find acceptance by others who promise to accept them no matter what they've done in hopes of finding happiness. The truth is that religion alludes to happiness, but you can never truly be happy. From what I've seen with the world, I am more happy when I am socializing with people rather than reading some history book.
I was a little hesitant on my thoughts, though, namely because I am surrounded by Christians. This caused an uneasiness in my stomach which went into the summer months. As this was happening, George Carlin had died. This launched a media frenzy and HBO began showing Carlin's specials like crazy. I was bored to hell, so I decided to watch them.
I'm not sure which one I watched, but he began to rip on religion and started saying how religion was a load of crap. I was intrigued and began getting hooked and laughing out loud. It was at this moment that I realized it was ok to think differently, even when everyone in the room will be against your decision and you can be successful. It was that moment that I officially denounced my faith.
I have decided, through getting called "ignorant" in chat rooms and forums, being spat upon by everyone, and some internet research, that I believe in deism. I do believe that there is someone/something that created us, I just have no clue on who created us.
I just want to make two random comments about "revealed religion" that I couldn't fit into the main body of this that I want to address.
1) It's funny that religion can question what I believe, but when I question something about religion, I get told to shut up and believe.
2) I want to say that although religion is applied psychiatry, all religions teach love and tolerance. Sadly, some jackass hijacks religion with hate -- all in the name of God.
As I conclude this piece, I just want to say that I am scared to admit it to everyone around me. Just about everyone that I know is Christian is some aspect and with most of them being the "go to church every Sunday and I love everybody" type, I worry that they'll reject me and basically turn their backs.
Now, I have read some of the other testimonies and mine is mild considered to what I have read. I just hope that this is a step in the right direction.
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)