Share your de-conversion story
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19-02-2014, 04:05 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(19-02-2014 02:46 AM)Miss Suzanne Wrote:  If this ended my way, I'd be living on my own. But no, I couldn't get a job away from home. So now at home I am, stuck living with a bunch of Mormons. Here, perhaps, is the kicker. They don't know that I am not a Mormon anymore.There's few reasons I haven't broken down and told them. One, I don't know if they could handle thinking of me wandering around in hell because I rejected Joseph Smith's gospel. Two, with my dad being extremely conservative, I know he'd kick me out since he even said once that he'd disown his own children if they were being evil (he said that in relation to if one of us were gay which is "close to demon possession" but I imagine being Atheist is the same) and I don't have the money to be on my own yet. Three, I don't want my parents to pressure my sister to stay within the church and discourage her from making her own life choices more than they probably are because I fell away. All of these are excuses, yes. But it's what I feel I got to do now to survive and keep myself from getting more depressed in my life.

All perfectly valid excuses Suzanne for keeping your atheism secret for the moment. If you are not financially independent then there will always be certain rules that you need to live by. It's just a matter of time though before you do get a chance to be yourself.
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19-02-2014, 05:30 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(18-02-2014 05:18 PM)Wanderingcelt Wrote:  (actually my mother's cousin, so my second cousin)

Actually, he's your first cousin, once removed. His children are your second cousins.

-Genealogy Nazi Yes

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-02-2014, 04:21 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
My parents were both Christian, however my father was very much against churches due to bad personal experiences. My mom grew up under a religion by the name of "The World Wide Church of God". She converted to Christianity once she was an adult. My mom never actually taught us religion, and we never went to church, but she wouldn't allow us to watch shows like Pokemon because they were "witch craft". We never really understood what she meant by that because like I said, she never actually taught us anything on the topic.

When I was 7 years old, our neighbors from across the street introduced themselves to us, and I became best friends with their daughter who was my age. I remember playing with her in her room, and I asked her who someone was in a picture I saw on her wall. She said to me "That's my Bubbe, she is going to Hell." I knew what heaven and hell was, and I knew about God and Satan, but I was never taught about the specifics, so naturally that sparked curiosity. I asked her why she was going to Hell, and she replies "Because she is Jewish". Which then lead into her explaining Christianity to me, and the whole story of Jesus. I asked her if I was going to Hell, and she told me not if I asked Jesus into my heart and became a Christian. So scared out of mind of going to Hell, I asked her to help me ask Jesus into my heart, and I did. After that I went to church with her on and off. Then my mom actually started going to church as well which encouraged us kids to continue going.

I always hated church, it was always so boring. I was also EXTREMELY shy, and they would always have us do these socially interactive games and activities. I attended a variety of Mega Churches, and a few non-denominational ones as well. It was not until I was about 12 or 13 years old when I became what I consider a hardcore Christian. I preached to people all of the time (even though I had never read the Bible) and I even sang in the church worship band at a mega church when I was 14.

Once I started high school I made new friends, and ended up becoming friends with and dating an atheist. A lot of my friends were not very religious either, or considered themselves to be Wiccan or whatever. Basically, far different from my beliefs. I didn't care though, I was very open minded and did not judge people based on their beliefs. I would say I started questioning my faith because of my boyfriend at the time. He would come to church with me, and make comments about things that were said that just made me stop and think for a minute. I began seeing flaws in the church and the religion itself.

The day that set me off the edge was when my godmother at the time (my christian neighbor) was getting onto me for dating an atheist and being friends with atheists. She told me I was to be "equally yoked" with who I was with. Then she proceeded to tell me that she noticed I was one person at church, and another person outside of church. She told me I was not acting like a real Christian, and that I should act the same everywhere I am. I told her "You're right" and I called my Bible Study leader right away to tell her I was "taking a break from religion" . She was all for it! haha. She actually gave me her blessing to go and be agnostic for a little while. Thing is a little while turned into more than that. I realized at that time that my godmother was right. I was not the same person at church and at home. I was myself at home and at school. I was not at church. She thought that what she was saying would open my eyes to being a BETTER Christian, but it really just opened my eyes to seeing that I wasn't a Christian at all. It wasn't until recently that I realized the only reason I became religious in the first place was because of my friend instilling the fear of hell into me. Since my de-conversion, my depression hasdecreased DRASTICALLY. I even stopped taking medication around the same time as well. I have been so much happier and have felt so free. I am more full-filled than I was with religion and not as afraid of everything, at least not irrational things such as hell, or an invisible being watching my every move. Of course I am still on my own personal journey when it comes to all aspects of life, and I still continue to learn more and more every day. It's just so awesome to have the freedom to ask an unlimited amount of questions about practically everything without having to worry about what "god" thinks about it.
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22-02-2014, 11:01 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(20-02-2014 04:21 PM)Punk Pumpkin Wrote:  I am more full-filled than I was with religion and not as afraid of everything, at least not irrational things such as hell, or an invisible being watching my every move. Of course I am still on my own personal journey when it comes to all aspects of life, and I still continue to learn more and more every day. It's just so awesome to have the freedom to ask an unlimited amount of questions about practically everything without having to worry about what "god" thinks about it.

That's terrific! Its amazing how this sense of freedom is characteristic of every deconversion. Christians talk about the 'good news'. If only they could understand that their gospel is a prison, while it's atheists that are spreading the actual good news of liberation from tyranny.
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25-02-2014, 01:43 PM (This post was last modified: 25-02-2014 01:47 PM by =jesse=.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Grew up in a Christian house, went to church as a kid, Dad read me stories from the children's bible when I was a tot. I guess we were more modernized or progressive. Dad's dad left him when he was a kid. Mom's mom left her when she was a kid. Dad is Korean and Mom is a mutt. Neither one of them expressed discrimination towards any particular color, gender, or sexuality. So really it was just the 'good stuff' in the bible they stuck to. I spent most of my life though believing the same- convinced that somewhere along the way, somebody just misinterpreted God's word, because there's no way he's such a murderous, misogynistic, jealous, prick.

And if you read my welcome post, I watched How the Universe Works, listened to Krauss and Harris debates, read books from Kaku and Krauss, yada yada yada. At the end I felt like a dummy, and simply could not believe how indoctrinated I was. I went from being in awe, to being confused, to becoming defensive of my beliefs, to becoming understanding of atheists and agnostics, and then finally accepting of my own atheism. Then I realized I was against all religion, though I still worship the cheese steak and jack daniels....so you guys are just going to have to deal with that.

I slowly took it to my family. They were ok with it, though my parents are still believers. I haven't really told anyone else though. My best friend's parent is a Chairperson at a very prominent Catholic organization. This person has been a second parent to me for over 20 years now, and is a devout, devout Catholic. I haven't expressed my atheism yet- though my friend knows. Coming out of the atheist closet is still something I'm working on. Quite a bit of my family is still deeply religious, against gay marriage, pro 'Merica as a Christian nation, and in favor of giving the boot to the godless atheists.

The religion of one age, is the literary entertainment of the next.
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06-03-2014, 11:17 AM
Adopting a More Objective Perspective
Becoming an atheist was perhaps the most significant contributor to my philosophical and spiritual investigations because it allowed me to adopt a more objective and universal perspective. My decision was not inspired by any particular experience, event, or exchange; rather, this transition was a very gradual process that took place over many years. I was born into a very religious environment and was raised in the Roman-Catholic tradition. Although my parents belonged to religious denominations (my father was a Protestant and my mother was a Catholic), the household in which I was raised was relatively secular. There were no morning prayers or mention of God at the dinner table.

Most if not all of my early education and childhood revolved around a rich Catholic tradition. Every class session began in prayer rigorously enforced and legislated by our teachers – most of whom were nuns or priests. Like my child peers, I had no inclination to resist or question the doctrines and precepts of the institution because they were given to us with our mother's milk so to speak. I was never a ‘devout’ Catholic in the conservative sense, because I staunchly rejected the mechanical and laborious process of “Confirmation”. I did not believe that my spirituality should be afforded to me through the bureaucratic process of the church. I suppose that it was on these grounds that I first became a skeptic.

As I matured morally and intellectually, my skepticism of the faith became sharper and more refined. Perhaps the earliest stirrings of my emancipation began when I discovered that there was more than one religion than the one that birthed me. The mere diversity of religions, each fluctuating according to culture, climate and time-period, opened my eyes to a much more universal understanding of the world. I quietly departed from the faith and declared myself an agnostic. I valued this position, because it nurtured my uncertainty with an objective and neutral perspective – a value that was not apparent or available to me in my more traditional, religious upbringing.

I discovered almost immediately that my outlook on the world both in spiritual and moral terms was not constrained by the bias of religious dogmatism. Because there was more than one approach to exploring this territory, I developed an unprecedented degree of openness and receptiveness to other cultures and worldviews. My skepticism did not gravitate toward atheism until my later years in college. My investigations included not only the cultures of the world but more specifically its religions.

After conducting a more thorough study of each religion's 'holy' texts and their respective precepts and doctrines, I became aware that each of these beliefs were limited to the collective knowledge of their time-period. The most salient example is the Bible, riddled with warrants for genocide, slavery, racism, tribalism, genital mutilation, etc. These preachings were not only appalling, but absolutely indefensible. Textual criticism became the instrument of my skepticism and led me to question the most fundamental aspects of religion and the claims made by its representatives.

However, I am still a deeply spiritual person as I have always been throughout my youth. I am captivated by the idea of transcendence and self-discovery without having to subscribe to a belief in a supernatural dimension or deity. I am still capable of awe, rapture, ectsasy, love, and all the deepest aspects of human experience and I challenge any person or institution who would deny me this inherent right.[/b][/font][/size]
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11-03-2014, 11:18 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
While being raised a Jehovah's Witness, I was always taught the "after-life" would be on Earth and the Earth would last for all eternity. Only 144,000 would go to heaven, and they would serve as kings and priests over their brothers on Earth. Everybody not killed in a divine judgement would be resurrected.

Of course, the Earth will not last forever. It has a fate the same as every other planet in the universe--to be swallowed by it's star.

Even if the Earth did last forever, there would not be enough room for far over 100 billion people to live on it. That turned me away from my childhood faith. I found similar logic flaws with other religions, so I came here.
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11-03-2014, 11:32 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I deconverted when I was 17 am 32 now. Even when I was a kid none of it ever made sense to me. Btw I think someone ought to post or share a link on how christianity actually got started in the first place. I'm too lazy at the moment to do so. One thing most people don't realize is that the early christians couldn't agree on what writings would be in the bible. They actually fought each other over it until the romans forced them to have a council. They then voted on what books would be in the bible and what wouldn't be. Google "lost books of the bible" to see some of the ones that didn't make the cut. That was a deal clincher for me when I learned that.
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13-03-2014, 07:03 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(11-03-2014 11:32 PM)john2 Wrote:  I deconverted when I was 17 am 32 now. Even when I was a kid none of it ever made sense to me. Btw I think someone ought to post or share a link on how christianity actually got started in the first place. I'm too lazy at the moment to do so. One thing most people don't realize is that the early christians couldn't agree on what writings would be in the bible. They actually fought each other over it until the romans forced them to have a council. They then voted on what books would be in the bible and what wouldn't be. Google "lost books of the bible" to see some of the ones that didn't make the cut. That was a deal clincher for me when I learned that.

I will look those up...
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24-03-2014, 08:22 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Here is my Daughters de-conversion story; or as I like to call it "2,000 year old mystery solved by a five year old in 20 seconds".

Out of the blue.......

Her: "Daddy, if God is supposed to exist and he is supposed to have created everything, and everyone, who created Him?"
Me: "That's a very good point."
Her "I thought that story didn't make any sense."

Fortunately we are English and probably won't ever have to talk about religion again because we are pretty much all Atheists in the UK. Well, I did meet reasonably religious person once but that was at a wedding and he was at the front of the church doing most of the talking.....
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