Hi! I just came across this site and I wanted to share MY story. I was raised by two Catholic parents in Maryland. where I live, religion plays a major role in the daily lives of people. More than 90% of my friends are Christian, and the other 10% is predominantly Jewish.
Growing up I was taught that it was bad to question my belief in God; that He would become angry with me if I ever thought too skeptically. I went to Sunday school during my entire childhood and church on Sundays as well. I also attended a Christian summer camp and was read the bible every night by my mother. Despite my indoctrination, I began to question God when I was 12. You see, by reading the bible and thinking critically, I was able to ascertain that much of "God's word" was impossible or illogical, misogynistic, cruel, and racist. I was shocked to find that God, my beloved father, sent people to Hell for small mistakes or flaws in belief. At the time I remember I simply thought "But I thought God loved us all the same?" At that point I entered a state of weak agnosticism... I couldn't find any proof of God but I was too afraid to admit I didn't believe-- I would rather delude myself.
I was lucky enough to go to a private school which had the liberty to teach evolution. As I learned more scientific theories and at the same time more Christian beliefs, I decided that I truly didn't believe this lie I was being fed about God. After all, how could there be so many religions and only one answer? So at age 14, I put down my cross and bible and accepted a different text, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.
I'm happy to say that I'm an atheist, and never been happier. I am so much more satisfied following a secular humanist philosophy than a Christian one. All i can say is, thank God I'm an atheist!