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How did you deconvert?

By Ario994
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17 comments

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0

After losing my job, fiancé, and not being able to afford the rest of my biblical studies degree. I began to question what I though was the will of god for my life, and began to be curious if there were others that were also in seminary questioning what they were learning. I started watching a lot of deconversion testimonies on YouTube (something the church would love for you to never see), reading Hitchens, Carrier, Dennet and the like. Until finally I woke up one day and realized I don't believe this Jesus stuff anymore. It was strangely liberating, but also very scary because "what now?." But I eventually found solace in knowing that it is me that determines my purpose and not some supernatural entity, even though I still struggle to determine exactly what that is...

Nardis Level 3 Apr 19, 2019
1

When I was an early teenager I found people of faith to be hypocrites, not all and at different levels. I didn’t understand how someone could go to church on Sunday and as they’re leaving the parking lot swear and be nasty because they neede to get home to start dinner. Confusion and disbelief led me from the church. At about 16/17 I felt structured religion was simply a parade of we’re better than you and we show it in our appearance type of stuff. Stature should not be required in a congregation. Then at about 37 I went full blown atheist mearly from being a supporter of science and knowledge. I don’t care what people think when I’m asked(very big in the south what church you go to) and I say I don’t believe in a higher power. It’s simply, Stars, Planets, cold dead space, terrestrial and extraterrestrial life. We live, we love if we’re lucky someone loves us back we pursue our individual happiness and desires then we die. Period. Don’t burry me in a damned box. I would love a King Arthur Funeral.

0

I have an old black and white picture of me at about 14, I'm in a black suit, white shirt, thin black tie, a bible in my hand, I'm standing the other two boys are sitting. I'm razor thin with a burr haircut. "Vacation Bible School" no doubt. My Adoptive parents got rid of me every chance they got, always summer camps and military school etc. You can tell by the look in my eyes, I want to be anywhere but there. At least I was dry,...I guess, fed,..some.

MerlinZap Level 7 Jan 11, 2019
1

I am from a traditional Catholic family and in my childhood I was deeply religious. The first time I critically analysed my belief system was when I was 20 yrs old . I read " the God delusion" by Richard Dawkins and it made me to rethink my beliefs. It was really hard telling my family that I was an atheist, since in my community everything is entangled with religion. Publicly being atheist would mean irreversibly breaking a lot of relationships . Therefore not many people other than my near family know about my irreligiosity. And my close family also thinks that this is a temporary phase . So my deconversion is a work in progress

lovin1987 Level 3 Jan 11, 2019

Oh are they going to send you to Atheist camp like families do to their gay children? Did they try to have an intervention for you to SAVE YOU FROM THE DEVIL? What a damn joke. I have a sister who is Mormon I also was baptized when I was 12. She shudders whenever we’re together. It such a joke. My actually yelled at me and I calmly explained it was none of her concern because I was old enough to make my own choices.

@sbboudreau61 There is a crazy priest running a Catholic retreat center near my place. Someone suggested that I should attend a 3 day prayer retreat to rediscover my faith. I saw the really crazy aspects of religion during this retreat. There was a lot of fear-mongering about satanic forces infiltrating every aspect of life, speaking in tongues, people fainting after receiving the holy spirit etc. I came out of the retreat convinced to stay away from religion.

@lovin1987 hell yes

0

The first time I went to Sunday school when I was about 5. Even then i realised the bloke in a frock was having me on .

Hebert54 Level 7 Jan 11, 2019
0

I was in the Nation of Islam and there too many to I got on my knees and asked my self what was I praying too. And one day I went to visit my mothers grave and asked myself why was I standing there talking to dirt. I soon realized that I never believed in any of it

newt125 Level 3 Jan 10, 2019
4

Wow. Everyone that posted here was so lucky. They're deconversions (I call it un-indoctrination) seem so seamless, so painless. That is pretty much polar opposite my experience.

Gruesome details aside, I spent 25 years living in fear. Fear of death/afterlife, fear of living (ie: sinning.) I KNEW I wasn't a believe, but I tried so hard for so long I was finally too exhausted to try anymore. Graduate school later in life introduced me to world religions, and I bounced around from Christian-light, to Buddhist, to Taoist, finally to Agnostic and one day I just said, to myself, "F*ck that. I've always been an Atheist." That simple statement to myself brought on the shunning, the pity, the broken hearted family/friends who were in vain trying to save my soul, to the eventual termination of most every relationship I'd had prior to my "coming out" which was really just "coming clean." Fast forward to present day and I can't even remember how or why I found myself indoctrinated into batshit crazy land, but I now can state: it was much harder getting out, than getting in. I'm just grateful the last 20 years have been sans religion. The freedom is truly priceless. smile002.gif

It’s difficult when everyone around you is so blinded by faith and force it down our throats to have your own true thoughts about “What if this isn’t real” especially when your young. I was appalled that my mother reacted the way she did when I told her I was atheist, about 9 years ago and I’m now 57. I said you almost never go to church how can you act this way?

1
I worked in the upper levels of a denominations hierarchy, to see the hypocrisy brought me back to 17 yo me that said it was all bullshit.
glennlab Level 9 Jan 10, 2019

I was raised by a southern Baptist Preacher adopted into a military family.

3

I concluded it was all nonsense at the age of 12, but I kept going to Sunday School/church/Youth Fellowship because many of my friends did as well. Once I turned 18 and went to college, I had no more reason to use the church as a social outlet.

BD66 Level 7 Jan 10, 2019
1

Common sense... The recognition of gobbledygook....

1

i was raised by athiests

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The pain of changing my thinking became less than the pain of not changing it.

mordant Level 8 Jan 10, 2019

Sounds like a struggle, glad to see you made it through.

0

I never really believed in god and the concept of this sky daddy perma watching me and judging if I'm bad or good was always a jarring concept to me, probably because my parents decided to teach me empathy before religion, however I used to believe Jesus was a historic figure with supernatural powers very much like I used to believe in Merlin or the Three wise men from the west, when I was really young around nine, that come to an end. During theology class, even if they never told us it was theology and tried to pass it as actual history, they asked us to draw the garden of eden and I drew the usual stuff, Adam, Eve and bunch of animal among which I also included a therizinosaurus, the priest got all mad at me and told me dinosaurs weren't real, something the church should learn is to never force a kid to decide between dinosaurs and Jesus. But I have to thank that priest for what he did because if it wasn't for him I may be a young earth creationist today.

Lol yeah, the idea of dinosaurs is pretty appealing so that makes sense.

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Strangely enough it was in church!

Now I say that I was Saved a 2nd time.

SPRapp Level 4 Jan 10, 2019
1

I didn’t specifically deconvert, my upbringing was mostly by New Age parents and some Christian influence from grandparents and the environment. But what for me finally made the difference was a YouTube video segment of Richard Attenborough being interviewed on his religious beliefs, and what he said was at once so civilised and made so much sense that it started me off untangling the ball of my own beliefs.

Denker Level 7 Jan 10, 2019
1

I guess it's also courtesy to put my own story on here even if it isn't very climatic.

To begin with, I never really thought about god before middle school. Occasionally I'd hear a friend talk about it and then I would a song or something that may remind me of it. Other than that, I had little experience with religion. I just always believed god existed because I was told so.

So in the summer before my first year of middle school I went to a nice Bible camp. I had a great time and ended up with the idea that God existed, I even started trying to read proverbs everyday like they recommended in Bible study. Then middle school came around and I was introduced to my first cristicism of Christianity. A friend was teasing one of our Christian friends. I of course, also believed but I nothing that could defend against what I had been raised to believe so that was that. People had their own thoughts and I had mine.

I went to the Bible camp again and became more set in my belief but never learned anything about the defense of it or what merit it's criticisms had. Eventually the same friend who had been teased about being Christian told me about how he was researching the criticisms and was deconverted from it. So I talked to him about it more and more and developed a sense of what exactly god would be if everything I taught was true and realized it was insane.

So then I became an atheist.

Ario99 Level 4 Jan 10, 2019
1

i never had to deconvert and this site is showing me how lucky i was. i was raised a secular jew and when i discovered there was no god, i didn't even think how it would affect my being jewish (not at all) since i wasn't religious to start with, and to me jewishness (not judaism) is more a cultural thing. if i'd been raised christian i imagine things would've been quite different.

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genessa Level 8 Jan 10, 2019

Yeah I can relate, it was a pretty easy transition for me. My family of course was sad when I came out but when I explained my reasoning my mom started to agree with me.

@Ario99 i never mentioned it to my folks -- not because i was afraid or even hesitant, but because it just didn't occur to me they'd be interested. a decade later i was living three thousand miles from them and someone asked me whether my parents believed in god and i had no idea! so i called them long-distance and asked, and they were annoyed that i had called long-distance for such an unimportant question! neither had a ready answer for me. each hesitated. my mom said "i think... i think i do." my dad said "i think... i think i don't." that was that! it was THAT traumatic lol

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