I was raised atheist, and really never even knew about God until I met a kid in my first grade class who was from a religious family.
My mother explained the general story of Christianity to me, and even bought me a children's bible with pictures in it so I could read it for myself. I thought it was a great story, but I never believed it to be true.
I was never told to "not believe in God". "God" was just never mentioned in my family. I was baptised, but that was just explained as a "tradition thing" by my mother.
When I visited the U.S. a few years ago (I'm from Sweden), and made friends with some Americans I began to take interest in American religiosity, and was baffled and horrified when I realised how many of them believed in creationism, angels, Noah's Ark etc.
I would just like to introduce myself to you guys, and I would love to have conversations with some of you to learn about your stories and to get a deeper understanding of your religious backgrounds and I hope to be able to be of some help to some of you.
Hope you have a great day.
All the best,
I was ember raised super religious as my mom was the one who went to church for the most part and my dad very rarely went. Although Christmas was a pagan holiday, we mostly celebrated it as pretty much a way to spend time with family and take a break out of mundane life.
I was raised basically the same way. We were never told of any god characters or taken to any religious institutions.
The closest we got was mum saying my baby sister was in heaven looking out for us (I was 4 when she passed away from SIDS, aged just 9days), but even that concept wasn’t explained as it was just mums coping mechanism.
When I was 9 I befriended a neighbour whose mum was very religious and they attended church regularly, that was my first introduction to any of that stuff and I found it all be very weird. In grade 5 I met a Jehovah’s Witness... she didn’t appreciate our conversation on the topic.
When I was 14 I learnt the word “atheist.”
Thankfully in Australia you can generally believe (or not) in whatever you want, religion doesn’t seem to be discussed all that much.
I genuinely have no idea what the majority of my friends believe, and I can only think of one person who I know for certain attends church every week.
Thanks for sharing Jasper! I find it so fascinating to meet someone raised so very differently. As an African American, my upbringing was one that presupposed some level of religiousosity in everyone you met. I was in middle school before I met an agnostic and was grown before it occurred to me that I had a choice about what I believed. The more I interact with people from around the world, I come to realize that more and more this seems to be a truly American peculiarity.
Hello and welcome Jesper, I was raised knowing of God and had friends that were very religious or not at all. Religion was never taught or discussed when I grew up not even by members of the family that did attend church regularly. It was never used as a means to intimidate me or put fear in me either. Over the years I have learned so much of how people all over the world have suffered or witnessed it myself. I cannot in my right mind imagine a God picking and choosing who should or should not have prayers answered or get a miracle. It all seems so impossible to believe. How can so many people believe in something no one can see just because you are told you should or because its written in a book. Out of fear I suppose, of being wrong and ending up burning in hell, everyone goes along with it. I believe organized religion has been used for centuries as a means to control people using fear and to build wealth in the church by requiring the giving of money every week. Today I also see it as an excuse to be judgmental and hypocritical of others and an easy excuse out of responsibility. I tire of hearing people say to pray about it, put it in Gods hands. Personally, I would rather figure out a solution to the problem, if possible. I feel saying that lets you off the hook so to speak. I am so happy to find this website. I can finally speak freely about how I feel about these things. I find it's best to never let anyone know you have any doubts about God, unless they say it first. My mother married a Baptist man and now all they do is talk about how terrible other people are. From what they wear to if they have a drink in a restaurant with dinner and if they pray harder than another religion. Its nuts! I can’t even stand to visit with them anymore. She is nothing like the mother I grew up with. I agree with the other comment, my mother hates that I will not tell her to her face that I believe in the same things she does. I finally had to tell her that if she continued to harass me about these issues that we could no longer have a relationship because I felt that she was always judging me. I know she still does, but at least she keeps it to herself now. But it hurts to know your own mother thinks you will go to Hell! Its awful. I envy you that you grew up without this kind of conflict in your life. Its almost stupid when you think about it. My mom is taking the word of total strangers that I am bad because I don’t believe in a book of stories and that she is to ensure I am saved (by them of course) because that’s her job now.
Oh My Gosh it’s all too much Ridiculousness!
Best to You ALso,
Welcome! And i will be the first to tell you how envious i am of you! I was born into a southern baptist christian family and these stories are regarded as FACT. In fact, anyone who does not believe in these stories is seen as evil, ammoral and are generally shunned. Being an african american can make it worse as christianity is often very intertwined in the culture itself. It has taken me many years to reprogram my mind from the dogma of my youth. I still have some scars