Sent in by Awlheart
I was always a very religious person. I was born into a Sicilian-Catholic family. I went to Catholic school and was the kid that always had questions on religion because so much of it didn't make sense. But I was brainwashed very well and bought into it 100%.
Then the teen years hit. I met this wonderful Southern Baptist boy at 15. He brought me to his church. I loved it, but now more questions came up. How come his church puts down what my church believes in? Why do we have different beliefs? So I begin bible study with a friend who is Evangelical Christian. She teaches me so much and shows me all the great things God does and all the things I need to do to go to heaven. All these years of being a Catholic I thought I was going to heaven if I was good, then I learn it has nothing to do with being good, it has to do with saying a prayer that I swear to believe in Jesus as my savior.
So I head on down to my Catholic Church with bible in hand and full of knowledge of the bible. I talk to a priest at my church. I show him all this evidence, and ask tons of questions on why are these beliefs so different. I want to go to heaven, not hell, and I had to be sure I was making the right choice. After all I have to say to this priest he just has one thing to tell me, "If you believe in the bible, you can't be a Catholic. It's a choice you have to make." A choice I have to make?!?!?! Isn't there someone who can tell me "THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH." (There were tons of different denominations that told me they were the true believers as I set on my path to find the right church.)
I became Southern Baptist till I later found out after being married to a Calvary Chapel Christian that having a denomination is a bad thing, that those are religions, not God! So I end up in a non-denominational church. Whew! I was safe now! I'm for sure going to heaven! Unfortunately my parents acted as though I was this criminal who sold my soul to, well, I'm not sure what they thought but they acted like I was a triator. Of course the people in the church told me that sometimes becoming a true Christian means sacrifices like losing one's family. Well, I didn't lose them, but they were hurt which really didn't feel good to me. But I was learning what God wanted and he was my father too!!! Which father do I listen to?!?!? Ugh!!! The bible is clear that both fathers are important, but the god the father rules over my father so he is the one I should please.
From Calvary Chapel to Harvest. You know Harvest? It's Greg Laurie's Church. He's the Calvary Chapel run-away because he had better ideas I guess. All was going great. I broght my daughter safely in the right church. Oh, don't get me wrong, she was baptized Catholic because I had to please my parents and I had to be sure she was safely going to heaven no matter who was right or wrong.
Then one day something happened to me. I was now 28. Big trouble ahead. I realized I'm a lesbian. That's another story in itself! But it took me 10 years to come out as a lesbian due to my fear of the lord, losing my family and going to hell.
Now my relationship with God gets weird. How can I love a woman when God doesn't want me to love a woman? How can I stay in a marriage and cause my husband to suffer when I was unable to have sex with him. It literally made me sick to my stomach! God insisted that I submit to my husband, but submitting made me ill! So he suffered too. I ended up divorced of course.
Harvest was too Evangelical for me and I left the church. Oh, I was still a very strong Christian, but now I conveniently realized the bible was just being interpreted wrong because it doesn't talk about loving lesbian relationships, only about sex. So I chose to believe that God loved lesbians and I can be a Christian and a lesbian. After all, if God is a loving god, what is wrong with love?
At this point in life I was with a woman who is very Pagan oriented. Pagan? Wait, I heard of them in the bible! Weren't they the bad people? That's a religion?!?! You mean I left one out?!?! So into Wicca classes I go. Oh my f*cking god, this is like Catholic Church only with tons of gods AND goddesses! It was at this point my mind said, something is just way wrong here. People make up this crap! ALL OF IT! There is no god or goddess! There is us, humans, and the earth.
My personal studies turned to where religions come from. I learned it's all made up. It's all stories told so many times from thousands of years before a so-called savior called Jesus. These are all the same stories with different names. Religions evolved from ideas!!! Everyone conveniently made them fit their own lives. I went through a lot of heartaches losing my god. I felt very alone for a while. Mainly because after having the thought that someone was always with me, always listening to me, no matter what the world had in store for me, I thought he was there. Now I had no one but me when things went bad. It was scary! I lost my imaginary friend I called Jesus!!!
BUT, guess what!?! I found ME! I was "born again" into knowing that I have control over me and my life and no one else does. Not any god and not any human. I had this new saying I love, "If it's going to be, it's up to me!" I found out I am a god and goddess. I am able to help others, save others and do good in this world. I get to make decisions by using my very own conscience. I get to be proud of the good I do and know I did it because I chose to do it.
My mission in life is to help wake up everyone to the dangers of theocracy and how it enslaves them. I think just about everyone who knows me knows I'm a Lesbian and an Atheist and I'm very proud of me! It was a long ride but I made it here safely! Thank me!
I was Born from a human, became a Born Again Christian, "Came out" as a lesbian then as an Atheist and now I'm Born Again Me!
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)