Share your de-conversion story
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10-06-2013, 08:35 PM
Share your de-conversion story
It's been suggested that we have a stickied thread for everyone to post their de-conversion stories in and I think it's a fantastic idea, so here it is.

My own de-conversion was rather boring. I gradually realised it was all bullshit, didn't have a big coming out moment but my family became aware, some of them were disappointed while others weren't bothered, there's the odd argument about religion in my house but nothing major.

I know others here have far more interesting stories though so please, begin sharing.

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
Best
Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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10-06-2013, 08:46 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I think there will be some common theme in these de-conversion story, and it will be knowledge. Knowledge of the facts, knowledge of the scientific method, or knowledge of the deeds committed by those in the past, and in the present.

My de-conversion story was pretty simple. I was always searching for more information, and I happened to stumble upon a documentary called "The God That Wasn't There" and I watched it, not meaning to be challenged on my conservative faith. After that, I decided I would read the bible to challenge myself. After I did, I felt disgusted, and I ripped myself away from the God concept. I studied, and after I denounced God as a being worthy of hate, I figured out that we haven't even established that such a bing exists, much less even possibly exists.

Shocking

Knowledge was the driving force for my de-conversion, and knowledge will be the driving force for my conversion. Not faith, not feelings. Not family, but knowledge.

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Credit goes to UndercoverAtheist.
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10-06-2013, 09:19 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I know I've posted it on the forum before, probably in a couple of places. But here goes again, for posterity if nothing else. Tongue

I won't go into any great detail, Ato pretty much summed up the how, or the process: a dedicated pursuit of knowledge and truth, regardless of the outcome.

The why is what's important to me. I was raised in a pretty fundamental household, dad was/is a preacher, so after I left home I never really settled into another church. When I had my son is when it hit home for me that it was up to me to show the little guy what's right in this world. As he grew older and began to talk it really got to me that he would soon begin to question the world, and I would be his go-to source of all knowledge for the first most impressionable years of his life. I really didn't want to screw that up.

So I vowed to renew my faith and thirst for following the lord. But for some reason it went beyond just jumping right back into church and singing the songs.

For some reason it was way more personal than that, and I was determined to find god on my own.

The rest, as they say, is history. I pored over countless various materials on many different facets of god, faith and religion. After a while rational thinking was finally allowed free reign in my head and the argument for god finally failed for good.

My sons will not be indoctrinated. They will not be made to feel worthless and forced to blindly accept a deity who's concept does not make sense. They will not be told to stop asking questions for fear of eternal torment.

My deconversion means the intellectual freedom of my family. And that makes me happy.

"It's a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
― نجيب محفوظ, Sugar Street
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10-06-2013, 10:31 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Wonderful idea thanks...My de-conversion happened in stages. I tried super hard to be what my parents and I thought god wanted me to be. My parents seemed deeply religious, especially my dad who was kinda raised catholic (but knew NOTHING of Catholicism). My grandma was Lutheran, so was my mom. Somehow I ended up going to a Baptist school.

The school was awful. Sure I learned but I was also smacked around, bullied into,prayer and accepting jesus as my personal savior (another term I never understood). I could recite the bible verses. They told me dinosaurs didn't exist period, evolution was of the devil...god would destroy the earth with fire.

My problem was I asked to many questions. When I mentioned that the noah story sounded like a myth...I was prayed for. Lol. Meanwhile my parents became catholic and sent me to catechism. Eh whatever..it felt like I knew more about the bible than the nuns. I would ask questions and rarely received any answers that didn't sound forced. I mentioned once that st Paul it sounded like he hated girls. At least it seemed to me...

I was distancing myself from all religions by the time I entered high school, but was confirmed roman catholic. My husband never cared about religion. He was raised catholic...everyone in his family was catholic but none of them cared. It was what they did. They go to weddings, funerals, confirmations...etc. but never went to mass, even on holidays.

My grandma was a church every week person. She would give like $200 a week to her church then cry she had no money to do anything to anyone who would listen.

My real de-conversion began when I was watching a show on the 10 commandments...I'd never thought about them much...I realized how badly theyre counter to modern day advertising -- which is totally based on coveting.

It wasn't even about deeds...it seemed it also about thoughts...like some weird mind control. I began to think back when I took sociology in college and why religions exist...I started to read more. I was still searching...astrology, shamanism, whatever that give me what I thought I needed. It was fun. Tarot cards...

But it was also a lot of bullshit and I knew it was. And I felt bad for others who believed that it was real.

I began reading the bible with fresh eyes. I began seeing inconsistencies and I guess asking the right questions..

I became agnostic. Then I was chatting with someone on aol. And I admitted I had doubts. That person sent me an IM and we talked for hours about of all things atheism. Why did I want to believe? I walked away thinking more like an atheist.

Then after the kids were born, we were talking with a friend about why bother with the christening. What's the point? I had no answer.

Then when my grandma started in about all the religious stuff I had answers to effectively refute her arguments. Suddenly I had an ephany. Why would anything that could create everything need people to blindly worship then?

I decided if god did exist, it was more likely he didn't give a shit beyond...why or how could a god have such human failings? Destroying the earth...a god wouldn't need to go through that..if he were truly omnipotent or omniscient he could just change people. There was no need for all the free will bullshit.

Why would someone so perfect need to take people aside and whisper to them, truths always when no one was around?

He wouldn't.. There wouldn't need to be games or cloak and dagger shit. Why?

That was when it hit me. Man created god in his image, not the other way around. That's why god has so many human flaws.

After that the onion fell apart. Still I kinda clung to it all.

Then when we went through a very difficult and trying time...when we were through it -- I realized I didn't pray...didn't even think to and things were just fine. They weren't completely...but it was fine.

Apologies that this is so long.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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10-06-2013, 10:49 PM (This post was last modified: 10-06-2013 11:03 PM by ridethespiral.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I'd rather discuss the thoughts that pushed me over the edge, the introspective moments that pushed me in the direction of a rational material life, then the process and the consequences which could fill a whole other post...

First a little background....I was raised Catholic, my mother was Byzantine Cathoilc (Roman Catholic with more gold leaf) and my father Roman Catholic, we had to attended church every Sunday or Saturday night and I decided to do the whole alter boy thing rather than sit in the pews since at least I got to play with matches and hot wax which is way more interesting than listening to the same speech over and over again. I got really into it because it seemed to please my parents and the whole thought of heaven was what sustained me as an unpopular kid. I really did try the whole Jesus approach to coping, which in retrospect must have just made everything worse, I needed to be aggressive and learn dominance and instead I was turning the other cheek and acting the wuss, I really bought into that whole 'blessed are the meek' shit they feed you and my mother encouraged it.

When I was about 11 my dog died at the age of 6 from renal failure. She was an amazing dog and my best friend in the world and it was a long hard painful thing for me and my poor dog. I wound up taking her to the vet with my dad to have her put down after weeks of deterioration. I tell you this because some weeks later I was in CCD class (sunday school) when we where having a lesson about heaven and I had read that only people where granted entrance into heaven, and when I queried the bristly old shit that served as the principal of CCD/my teacher that day he vehemently confirmed this passage, in fact poor Sheba didn't even have a soul. I was devastated, surely my dog who died young and was the best dog a kid could ask for would have been granted a place in the afterlife, if only for my sake. I was by no means de-converted at this point but I think this very emotional letdown resonated as a long low note for me.

Soon after came confirmation, for the unaware it is when you 'confirm your faith in the lord' and you have to take the baptism oath again but this time you are old enough to be aware of what is going on but still not old enough to really avoid it. It is supposed to be the final nail in your mental coffin. They have you pick an extra middle name and they bring an adult relative in to guide you through the process and ensure that you follow though. At this point sexuality is starting to enter the mind (about 14 IIRC) and you're really forced to confront that whole aspect of religion, and of course my father made it clear that he was strictly with the church on these issues... Its a really awful thing to feel so corrupted and to have the same bristly old shit who told me that my beloved dog lacked a soul telling you that you are going to rot in hell for that kind of thing, while simultaneously feeling rejected among your peers...and it's a whole other thing to get into a little box and tell the old drunken irishman in a white collar about it, which I could never bring myself to do. So this was my second break with the church, and while I struggled internally for a while I ultimately decided that the church was wrong and that I would simply 'live in sin.'

My parents sent me to catholic school year or two later in the 10th grade and while I had a 'resurgence of faith' almost in preparation, I had decided that it was okay to disobey some minutia as long as I stuck to the bulk of it and I thought maybe 'god' would make my life a little more bearable in this new godly environment (of course that wasn't the case). For most people in the Catholic faith it stops here, or so it seems. At this point you can become a 'Christmas and Easter Catholic' who uses birth control, has premarital sex and 'reads' playboy. Not me however two months of being submerged in that environment and it all started to unravel, I was thinking about it too much, learning too much and starting to feel the pressure and the guilt again.

I could no longer even do the song and dance, I saw it as all or nothing. I knew that there wasn't a Catholic god at this point. Santa Clause was fake and I had believed in him, why should god be any different. God or at least the biblical god was a creation of man and no more. To explain and control, just like the Greek gods before him. I was listening to TOOL among other things and the song Opiate still resonates with me. I concluded that Pascals Wager was a trick question, if there was an omnipotent god faking faith was the greatest sin of all, it was lying to god and he would surely know. I had no faith to speak of, I was committing thought crime daily, hourly... I decided that I would rather live an honest secular life than a lie. I started to refuse to go to church, I stopped praying when instructed too (they would still make you stand), I started asking the questions you aren't supposed to ask. I was already an outcast and I had nothing to loose, and ultimately I found a niche in Catholic schools pathetic little counter culture.

From here it was a battle with my parents and with the religion closing in around me that really hardened me and re-affirmed my Atheism but I'll save that for another time.

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13-06-2013, 06:25 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I'll copy and paste from my bio, but I'll add a bit more after...

I'm A.J., and I'm a middle school World History teacher from Maryland. I have been a closet atheist for a long time, but I (as many have probably also been in this spot) feared repercussions. I live in a rural, very conservative area, and when I moved here for my job, I was not religious, but still towed the same line...I believed in God, the Bible, etc. I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, and was pretty much a C and E Catholic by that point (Christmas and Easter). As time went on, as I grew as an educator, I found myself researching religion for lessons on world cultures. I have always prided myself on not being afraid to teach any cultures religion (rather ancient or modern) as a part of understanding why history unfolded the way it did. As I did my research into ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Norse, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. beliefs I found myself realizing that religion, and God, etc. was nothing more then what I had previously believed about all these other cultures: a myth. I think I had known this fact for a long time, but never self-realized it until then. So I found myself married, with a son, a teacher in a Christian community, but also FINALLY having the guts to say and realize that I was/am an atheist.

Being a history teacher, the only way I know how to tackle a problem was to research it. So that is what I have been doing, reading lots of books, online sources, journals, etc. because I realized being an atheist can sometimes mean being accosted by others who know very little about you. When I told my wife and family the reactions were mixed but I lost no one over it. They think I am wrong of course and have used many of the arguments many of you are so familiar with, hence my research (to be prepared to defend and dare I say attack with my own viewpoints). I also told my friends and co-workers as well. Lost some of them sadly, but most were pretty supportive. This when talking about ancient Egyptian mythology in class one of my students asked me if any of this was real (the Egyptian myths) and I said while it gives us a lot of insight into understanding how people thought and why they did the things they did, none of this is reality. The inevitable follow up question was, "Well what about Christianity?". I found myself saying, really without thinking, "Personally, I'm an atheist, and I don't believe in it." I froze, thinking, OH SHIT why did I just tell a group of 11 year olds that. Most of the kids had no idea what I was talking about of course, but they asked. So my big "coming" out moment happened there and then and I explained what an atheist is, etc. and did a pretty damn good job of it. I was still scared shitless, but amazingly I did not get one ounce of blow back. I get how lucky that is, since many don't get that.

ANYWAYS, bio out of the way, I agree with what was said earlier in this thread. Knowledge was the key. Being a history teacher and a science lover always had me skeptical to begin with and with age and more research I found myself de-converted and into the world of atheism.

"History teaches us that no other cause has brought more death than the word of god."
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13-06-2013, 06:35 PM (This post was last modified: 13-06-2013 06:39 PM by Dom.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Mine was simple, and I've written about it here before.

My parents were closet atheists, so closeted that I did not find out until each was ready to die. They told me then and not ever before.

They just let me do whatever. So I went to church with some other kids for years, catholic. I was really into it, built a shrine to mother Mary - and I even have forgotten by now what the specific holiday for her was, lol.

My dream was to become a nun.

So one day when I was 10 I read the whole bible. I actually ended up reading it twice, well, the more entertaining parts.. It sounded to me like the Grimm's fairy tales - gruesome fantasy stories.

So I filed both the bible and the fairy tales away and moved on.

My parents must have noticed that I quit going to church, but they never said a word about it. Religion wasn't a topic at home.

While my parents never influenced me regarding religion, they did always answer all the "why, why, why" questions, even if they had to look the answers up. It was actually a fun thing for all of us, rifle through dad's library (no, no internet in those days) and look up all kinds of obscure information. I think that this is the way they did influence me, and on purpose. They could stay closeted, and still they could teach me to think for myself.

Our community and family was so religious that they would have lost all their relatives and dad's job had they come out.

I about fell off my chair when my mom, on her deathbed in a hospital, asked me to please keep the priest from coming into the room. I happily obliged (and the priest put up quite a fight about it, lol).

About a week before his death my dad asked me what I thought happened after death. I said " same thing that happens every night when you sleep". He said he thought so too. It was odd that he died of a heart attack a week later, as if he had known...

I trundled through life without giving religion another thought, I did stay away from very religious people. I don't even recall talking about it with my husband before we got married. It came up years later and he was atheist too.

So, many years later my husband died, and I got extremely irritated with all the religious babble I had to listen to when people tried to be nice and console me. I was polite about it but started staying away from them, and I came here to vent.

Since I have been here I have actually started thinking about atheism for the first time, and about religion. I really wish I could thank my parents for making it so easy for me.

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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17-06-2013, 07:56 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Mine is kinda weird lol.
It has always bothered me why hindu's dont eat cow but they do eat pork,and that muslims dont eat pork but eat cow. I have always learned that there is only one god,so i thought that if allah and the hindu gods are the same,why doesnt god punish them?
And one day,i had a small argument with a muslim kid in my class,so when i went home,i searched "why muslims eat cow and hindus dont" and that ofcourse had no relevant results,so i tried "muslim vs hindu" and i found a debate between them.
They both made great points of wich i really had to think trough.
After a few weeks of trying to find the answer to the questions the muslim made, i had my doubts and still no answer. So i decided i should watch the movies again(i had a whole collection of dvd's explaining the holy books and showing the red lines) i began to ask questions like 'if god was great,why didnt he just change the evil into good?" and "if god does exist,why didnt he ever answer all prayers?" so i was left with more doubts. And then i decided to watch informatical programs about this. It was then i realized why god made the same mistakes as mankind. It was not god who created mankind,it was mankind who created god. Since then,i kinda was an atheist..
And thats my story folks.

KC IS A LIAR!!!! HE PROMISED ME VANILLA CAKES AND GAVE ME STRAWBERRY CAKE Weeping
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17-06-2013, 08:29 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I was born.

Okay, so its a slight bit more complicated than that.

I remember as a child growing up that science and religion never fit together. I went to several churches with my friends and just...never bought it. I couldn't "see" how that book was different from the Grimms that I read and the Jim Henson Storytellers I saw on TV or how magic never really did much outside of what my mum would say. (Wiccan, magic, etc) but I never really thought much about it outside of an afterthought. Well outside of the fact that I was obsessed with fantasy even back then. Smile

When I was in highschool a couple of my friends invited me to their church (persuading me with the argument that they had lots of cute boys that attended. I was 15, it worked, and they weren't lying....sadly) Thats how I ended up in a First Baptist church.

But I went...which presented me with a question that hadn't openly and obviously presented itself to me before. Was god real? Now instead of buying into it like a lot of people do I started wondering what was wrong with me. Why didn't I believe it? What the hell was wrong with me?! I tried SO hard to change my mindset. I went to bible studies, I prayed, I went on stupid youth group outings, I watched Kent Hovind a MILLION times. (ugh) I even almost went on a "mission" (Thank goodness my mother didnt have the 3000 dollars or whatever insane amount it was to send me to LA for the trip. O.o wtf). It didn't work. Not really.

However I continued going to church. I was in a small town, didn't have many friends and they "accepted" me (to my face anyway. I can't describe how tired I would get of hearing about the church talking about my possessed wiccian mother or how I could read ungodly fantasy books). It made me a terrible person. Anti-gay, other religions are wrong etc. (which i never really felt, but that's what good christians are supposed to think right?).

Around the time I graduated High school I finally admitted to myself that I was being insane, and that science didnt match up to this crap for a REASON and that it was time to stop lying to myself. I also decided at that time that I would never ever be ashamed of what I was again.

And I havent been. Open and loud about it ever sense. Big Grin


Lots of rambling, and I'm sure no one else really cares. But there ya go.

Sorry to disappoint that it didn't fit the "I discovered my way out" stories. Sad

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." Soren Kierkegaard
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20-06-2013, 05:04 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
You guys have such interesting de-conversion stories. My walking away from the faith was so dull; I read the bible, thought it was bullshit and gone!
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