Hello everyone, here is a small introduction!
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23-09-2014, 08:40 PM
Hello everyone, here is a small introduction!
Hello to Seth and TTA community.
When I heard about the topic of the next show "The angry atheist" I finally broke down and thought that I would share my story.
While today I consider myself to be a fairly friendly and well-rounded individual, someone that isn't quick to anger and does everything I can to be open and honest and accepting, there exists this little twitch in the back of my mind when someone starts to talk to me about religion.
I grew up with a story similar to yours. I went to Christian camp, went to Sunday school and attended service both Saturday evening and Wednesday evening as well. I was also raised as a young-earth evangelical with the stout view that not only was the earth young, but that everyone believed the same as I was told to believe. It is an interesting feeling, knowing that you believe "THE TRUTH" and that everyone else is wrong, but at the same time we all truly believe....interesting and confusing. However it wasn't until my ultimate apostasy that I started to look back at my life.
The reality of the situation is that I was filled with hatred for those that were in a state of dissent. I was taught to fear "the gays" as well as the "liberal media", science, non-Christians, Muslims and other branches of Christianity that weren't in my small little church. I was ignorant. I grew up knowing NOTHING about the world and I had no idea HOW to think. I sure knew what to think, but never developed a critical thinking mindset till college. I look back at all of the things that I thought I had accomplished and was disgusted with myself, because I hadn't done anything of merit: I'd done NO good and I knew nothing. Sure, I went to camp with the church, and said my prayers for the starving kids and sung the songs in the choir and even volunteered to raise money for the church.....but that only helps the church and those who run it. I thanked Jesus for my new bible cover I got for my birthday one year. Sure all those kids starved to death that day, but Jesus still loved and took care of everyone...... I look back at my lack of accomplishments and there is only one emotion that I can truly describe how I feel. I AM ANGRY.
Let me be very clear, my parents and grandparents loved me and sincerely believed all of the teachings that they instilled in me. They truly do care that I do not end up in hell. However, as I finally began to read the supposed "TRUTH" that was spoonfed to me since a child, I found very little truth.... at all. It's amazing how far we have come as a society and how many people still hold these archaic and really savage beliefs. Blood sacrifice? Virgin birth? Heaven and hell and demons and zombies and spontaneous formation from sand and djinn and a flat earth and the list goes on and on and I believed it ALL. It is infuriating to the extent of making you dizzy! It is like looking back at something you did that was really really dumb. Like saying the wrong thing, or maybe passing some gas in front of a cute girl or just all around goofballness that when you think back makes you feel a bit embarrassed today and a bit mad. It is like thinking "I am such an IDIOT!" I remember my memory versus and my scripture and the songs and the romans dance and the whipping of Jesus and the prayer during the Passion and the speaking in tongues and it is SO FRUSTRATING!
I try. I really do try. I try to be patient and understanding for everyone's sake because people would be and have been patient with my own ignorance. But in the back of my mind I still feel angry. I feel angry that people lie for their faith because if it is for Jesus than suddenly it is OK. I feel angry that YOUNG CHILDREN are indoctrinated and will suffer the same struggle that I still feel remnants of today. I feel angry that even though the internet exists, it is one google search away for a comfirmation bias from the creationist websites. I feel angry that my parents and grandparents are so hurt by my no longer believing in any religion. It is the worst feeling when you let down those that you love because you no longer believe the Kool-Aid will send you to heaven.
I grew up in Reno, Nevada, which doesn't quite meet the Mega-Church status that exists in Texas but is still so filled with religion. It is over-saturated. It is plagued with religion. There is a church on every corner and filled seats every week. It is the biggest untaxed business and I sit back every day and I am angry. Why couldn't I see it before? Why can't they see what I do now? How long will it take for others to get to where I am at and where will I be 10 years from now? 20? I see the people on the University campus waving their bibles and signs and casting spells and feel not only pity, but anger at the entire system. And what is worse, I feel angry that I am helpless. Even my ex-girlfriend left me because I refused to attend a church with her. To put it as she put it "that's a deal breaker for me." Heart breaking......and a little sad. The crazy part that I used to identify with is was ultimately tore us apart. It makes me an angry atheist!

However I do want to end this on a more positive note. The anger I feel every day appears to be less and less. I am only 5 years out from my escape from religion and it would appear that time is the best remedy. I am graduating from college with a Bachelors degree in Biology. I am the first in my family EVER to do so. I am even applying to medical school! I will finally have a chance to do so much good in the world. I am newly finding a large subset of the population that while drastically different on many things (especially upbringing), we share one thing for sure: a thirst for knowledge and evidence. Today I work at a private research institute and do cutting edge atmospheric science. I have a few friends with a similar mindset and can finally look myself in the mirror and like what I see. It is a true C-change from how I grew up. I have hope that one day I won't be the "angry atheist" anymore, but just be a good 'ol evidence seeking, rational, loving atheist. Who knows what my future may hold....it's truly exciting.
I truly appreciate all of your work and the feel of community that I've longed for for so long.
Thank you for everything you've done,
Patrick
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[+] 2 users Like patrickhurbain's post
23-09-2014, 09:02 PM
RE: Hello everyone, here is a small introduction!
Congrats on the graduation Big Grin
And welcome Shy

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23-09-2014, 09:07 PM
RE: Hello everyone, here is a small introduction!
Welcome to our community. I hope you decide to stick around.

Smile


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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23-09-2014, 09:29 PM
RE: Hello everyone, here is a small introduction!
Hi! Welcome!

I fluctuate between relief, grief, and seething. I can relate - I come from a southern baptist and Methodist background. I harbor pure hatred for baptists and fundies in general, and pity for Methodists and the more liberal Christians.

Good luck with med school! I've got 3 semesters of prereqs and the MCAT before I can apply as a non-trad. Remember to be nice to the nurses - they can be really helpful and give you extra info on your patient when you're new and figuring things out. For example: the other day I helped a student before rounds by mentioning "pt has a hx of lle dvt, all we have is SCDs for prophylaxis. You may want to consider anticoagulants." I could have saved that for rounds, but he was nice. And my intubated patient got much needed heparin as a result.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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24-09-2014, 01:17 PM
RE: Hello everyone, here is a small introduction!
Hi patrick - "angry" is fine when you're working it all out... in fact, I don't see that it even gets worked out unless there is anger. Thumbsup You sound like a busy guy but hope you can pop in from time to time and join in the discussions; you can certainly add insight and maybe gain a little as well.

Welcome to the forum. Smile

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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24-09-2014, 01:19 PM
RE: Hello everyone, here is a small introduction!
Welcome aboard Smile

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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