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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a long, emotional personal story. Some of it may seem surreal but I promise it's all true.
I served in my father's church of christ for many years. I began as an usher, but I always longed to pass out the plastic cups of christ's blood and those unsalted crackers.
One day, the church relented. I got to walk around the aisles with my little segmented tray of juice cups. I was so proud.
But I had missed someone. In my excitement, I just passed them by. They made quite a scene, and I was certain i had just sent someone to hell because they didn't get to drink their weekly potion of blood juice.
They didn't let me walk around with the juice cups anymore after that.
To cheer me up, my paw took me to the place many people go following Sunday church service: Godfathers pizza buffet.
I saw one of my friends there. He noticed I looked sad. He came up to me and told me to cheer up.
"Come on Xuande, I've got something in my mom's van that will make you feel better."
Now this kid was my friend but he had a reputation for being a little bit of a loner. He was the kid that always made those weird, morbid jokes in school and was really quiet otherwise.
I set down my Pikachu edition Gameboy Color and followed him outside. In his mom's van, he had already prepared a way to consume the evil drug my parents always warned me about.
He didn't peer pressure me, but he showed me how to do it. He had his own little can bong fashioned. I'll never forget that, for some reason. It was a 7-Up can.
I was scared, so I told him I had to go. He began to cry, and did something I never expected.
He pulled his stepdads gun out of the console, put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
It was unlike anything I've ever seen. His stepdad would later kill himself out of grief and guilt for leaving the gun there.
I remember going back inside the restaurant in a haze. I didn't think anyone had heard the shot but apparently his mom and several employees had run straight past me and I never noticed.
Anyway, I stopped being a Christian that day. I was young, but i knew after i came back inside and saw someone had taken my Pikachu edition Gameboy Color that God must not be real. I had a goddamn level 84 Pikachu on that Pokemon Yellow cartridge.