My own story
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05-02-2010, 10:09 PM
My own story
I know everyone has their reasons to be on this site, after finding it I would like to share mine. I was raised christian and went to catholic school all my life. For me hell was very real and even though I had my doubts I never questioned God existed. None of the teachers or priests in my life were mean or intolerant. In school I was taught science along side the bible and was taught what was just a story in the bible and what was real.
In college I went out on a date with a beautiful girl, and as we talked she mentioned she was an atheist. I asked her "Really!? you don't believe in God!?" I asked what she thought happens when we die...she said nothing happens."

I was just blown away. Needless to say, breaking the cardinal rule of not bringing up heavy topics on the first date, I never heard from her again. But the conversation sparked ideas in me. I started to look at some of the more ridiculous stories in the bible and all of a sudden, it all seemed silly to me. Not long after, the mother of a friend of mine died. I remember at the funeral, I thought everything the priest was saying sounded so childish to me. I came to the conclusion that I was not a catholic but believed in a higher power.

As the years went on I read books by Dawkins and Harris and began to realize I was turning away from god all together. I believed in myself and stopped thinking the world would change based on my prayers alone. What would happen, happened whether I prayed for it or not. At first I was scared, I felt vulnerable as if my life were out of control and I could do nothing to stop it. As I thought more about it, that fear subsided and I realized if I couldn't change it I can accept it and just live. It was then that I felt a huge weight off my shoulders. My life is what it is and if I can't control what happens, if I can't prayer sadness and pain away... then why worry about it.

I am much happier now. I have friends who tell me that the way I think makes god angry and that I could go to hell. To this day my parents won't speak to me about my lack of belief. I don't try to throw my atheism in people's face but I do speak up when I hear about other's using their religeon to force their sense of morality on others. I try to be the best person I can be and try to live a life where I can be happy without hurting others. I think that's moral and I don't need a bible to tell me so.

I know people think atheists just want to sin but it's simply not true. I've met more atheists that are good people than christians.

I recall leaving my grocery store one rainy day and seeing an old woman walking home. I offered her ride and took her home. When I dropped her off she noticed the book "god is not great" in my car. She looked at me in awe and said "you an atheist!" I said "yes, you seem surprised." She said she was and that she didn't understand why I helped her home. I just told her "I felt it was the right thing to do"
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09-02-2010, 04:59 PM
RE: My own story
Hey Siborg6--Every time I hear a success story, I'm uplifted. People can recover from religion. It doesn't have to be a terminal illness. I feel sorry for people who never escape. I can't imagine coming this far in the universe-- to actually become a living, thinking being and then throwing it all away for some other visitors' misconceptions. Welcome to the "real" world! It's infinitely more interesting than what they try to sell you on first arrival. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. You'll have to search your self for other lies humans are susceptible to (I check myself daily), but at least you got one of the big ones out of the way.
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11-02-2010, 06:41 PM
RE: My own story
So, my story...

I was raised Orthodox Christian, and I rarely attended church (only for weddings, baptisms, and Easter). The select stories my mother would tell me were always told with such fascination (e.g. the story of the tower of Babel), but I always had questions. My parents were of the type that said 'just go with it, don't ask so many questions', so I never did.

Well, I think I started losing my faith about 15 years ago. My grandfather, who I was very close to, had died and I was very angry at god. I couldn't believe that he could take away the one person who I clicked with the most (I was named after him, but it was growing up with him and all the great memories that really mattered). Just before he died, I met my future wife. She was a great shoulder to cry on.

I remember a few months after my grandfather had died that I confessed to my wife-to-be that I didn't believe in god. Her response was 'boy, you aren't your parents son, now are you?' She didn't mean it angrily, I think she was just surprised that I had the mindset I did.

I hung on to my belief over the years, even got married in a church. Had my kids baptized and everything. But, it was about 3 years ago that I finally had read enough about Atheism to figure out that THAT was what I Atheist. I came out at my sister's house (my brother-in-law is a devout Catholic), and things have never been the same! Smile

I came out to my parents about 5 months ago and, let me tell you, it was interesting. My father blamed me for being a Jehovah's Witness, and my mother tried the whole guilt trip on me ('god gave your sister the second child she always are baptized Orthodox...etc., etc.)

Pleasantly, though, my mom and I had a conversation about 1 month after the situation above and, although she still wants me to return to belief, she said she was understanding how my 'generation' was more into science, social equality, etc.

Bumpy, yes. Satisfying, somewhat. Having a mom cry for such a thing is both annoying (because of the illogic behind it) and endearing (because, in the end, she's still my mom).

I'm still standing by my guns. I'm teaching my 6 year old about reasoning and critical thinking, and planning on doing the same for my 2 1/2 year old.
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15-06-2016, 08:52 AM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2016 08:58 AM by Siefert.)
RE: My own story
I'll start my story here. Not sure how far I will get before tiring so better get started on it. Smile

Since I left England for South Africa when I was 6 my first 'religious' experience must have been about an age of 5 or just over. By then I had grasped that Father Christmas doesn't come down the chimney which made me a bit more careful about being too naive regarding adults. Both parents were Church of England which is what most Brits. are. However, by then I had still not got a handle on Christianity, Jesus etc. etc. This was a several years after the end of the WW2 about 1949 or so. In Plymouth, where we lived, there were still many bombed out buildings especially in the city centre. One in particular fascinated me, an old church, Charles Church that had been hit and burned out, the roof gone and the authorities had by then already decided to leave the ruin as a memorial to the war. The pic. from Google shows the ruins today.

[Image: serveimage?url=http:%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot....5ecbf73be2]

What fascinated me were the granite portals to the Church's main entrance and the window frames. They were maybe 10 to 12 foot high carefully carved, polished granite stones with similar on the top. I must have spent ages staring at all this until my mum got fed up and grabbed me by the hand and off we went.
Till then I was not sure if 'religion' was just a story for kids going to school so that we all sort of behaved well. Looking at that granite doorway I knew that a massive amount of very tedious, hard work had been invested to create such a beautiful work in a very hard stone.
Consequently, my first main impression was that virtually ALL other people MUST really believe in this religion ... which meant it must be true. It must be....

To be continued....
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