Share your de-conversion story
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20-09-2014, 12:12 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
This post will be interesting for those who like a different perspective. Most of the members here appear to me to have been raised Christian. So here is a perspective from someone who was raised Hindu and has become an atheist. I hope you will find it interesting. I wrote up my story as an article that I posted on my own blog, and am sharing the web address with you. I look forward to your reactions. Although this is a "de-conversion" story of a Hindu, I think you will find a lot of stuff in the article that is fairly universal.

http://www.leftbrainwave.com/2014/09/why...-from.html

Best regards,

Kumar
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21-09-2014, 06:45 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I enjoyed your article, quite an eye opener about how ingrained and deeply superstitious that area of the world is. It's quite a feat to rationalize yourself out of superstition in such an environment. Thumbsup

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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30-09-2014, 01:29 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Some of you may have noticed I'm new to the site as of the last month or so but I've rarely been available to contribute to discussions aside from a couple. I've been wanting to share my path to atheism and while mine isn't really a de-conversion story I hope there's some value added by sharing it.

I was born in Columbus, Ohio but was moved to Oklahoma at the age of 5 yrs old along with my 8 yr old sister, my mother, and her soon to be husband (my soon to be step father). It was his idea that we move to Oklahoma as this was where he was from and of course his family resides in Oklahoma. At first things were great! We settled into a very modest south side home off S. May. It was there my step dad taught me some guitar chords for the first time, OU football on Saturdays, and that hard work pays off as step dad was a dry waller and roofer. He was quite the practical joker and teaser. Very goofy and funny dude. We had a lot of fun in that house until a couple Mormons knocked on the door. I still remember being irritated that they interrupted what was otherwise a pretty fun evening not to mention the fact that I thought they seemed like brainwashed weirdos wasting our time with their product despite not being sure of what they were selling. They came in our living room preforming petty magic tricks with ropes and knots. I still remember looking for the knot that seemingly disappeared in the floor after they left.

From that day forward we began going to church and learning about the Mormon religion. I did not realize this change had anything to do with our weirdo visitors. Our home life changed from happy goofy fun stuff to strict rules. No elbows on the table when eating dinner. Restricted TV. Bed time was after dinner was over. Etc. For me I had to try and force myself to sleep despite feeling like I was missing out on laughter, love, playing, life, etc. At the age of 5 I already had the taste of an atheistic type life despite not really understanding what was making it so difficult for me. After about 6 months of this new way of life my mother wanted out and so did my sis and I. We didn't have to communicate this verbally. The home was miserable. It was just days after a huge fight occurred that my mother left him and we moved into a run down apartment complex. Soon after my sister moved back to Ohio to be taken care of by my grand parents while my mother and I stayed in Oklahoma.

My mother met a kids mom I had met in the apartments we were living in. She was a Baptist. Struggling to pay the bills they decided to shack up which I thought was awesome considering my friend and I seemed to really get along. Soon after I realized my friends mom was religious and church was to be attended regularly on Wed/Sun. My mother worked nights so Wed night church was non-negotiable. By now I was about 6 or 7 yrs old and was beginning to become defiant. When we would attend church my friends mom would trust us to walk to little kids church up the hall and report to the youth pastor. I was a BAD influence. I would convince my friend and his little sister to skip youth church with me and instead hang out in a room I discovered that was a storage room. After all they could either go to Church or hang out with me... I wasn't going to any Church service. From that room we board out a small hole with a pencil we found that overlooked the big church congregation. While keeping an eye on the service we shared ghost stories, philosophized, and whatever else kept us entertained. After quite a while we eventually got busted and was walked to little kids church everytime. I rejected it all. I hated everything they taught and honestly felt surrounded by a cult. I did my best to pretend but was close to really freaking out when I learned my mother had decided to build a home in Moore and that within the next few months we were moving.

It wasn't long after we moved to Moore that I met another friend that I began hanging out with. Once again I didn't realize that his parents were really religious except this time I wasn't forced to attend church so I didn't mind attending with him on Sunday mornings if it meant I could stay the night on Saturday night. As it turned out I attended a Catholic church for the first time with my friend and his family and a couple of times after that. I was 12 yrs old. Having attended Mormon and Baptist churches already, Catholic church was really different but still the same rhetoric and brainwashing activities in my opinion. By now at 12 yrs old I was convinced by my experiences with the other church communities and now this church community that the whole thing was about control. I never believed in any of the ridiculous stories before and now I was convinced they were stories intended to instill fear for control.

Needless to say unfortunately my friendships with the two kids I mentioned in my story have long since dissipated. Despite a natural bond that seemed to be magical other powers were at play and I was labeled a bad influence because of my disinterest in God. So while I was never indoctrinated, I was alienated as a result. I spent most of my life feeling like an oddball and a bad influence because most everyone I met in Oklahoma was religious. Despite the pressure I felt to have friends I always felt it most necessary to find people that were like me vs lying about my who I am in order to be well liked or fit in. I didn't think discussing religion was necessary to be great friends. I was a naturalist and was more interested in a naturalistic bond than what they believed. Of course if asked my beliefs I never shied away from the truth. Finding people like me was challenging but being resourceful and social was one of my strengths so by the time I was 16 I found plenty of friends and places I felt comfortable to share my stories.

In closing the recent shift from theism to atheism over the last decade or so has been amazing and somewhat liberating for me. I've always loved people and I've always seen everyone as a mom, dad, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, grandma, and grandpa to someone. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and genuinely hurt for others. Unfortunately I've learned that when dogmas are not standing between us love and compassion flows freely. While I've made moral mistakes I don't believe it was the result of a lack of faith or control. I believe everyone fights their primal instincts and sometimes we are not able to win that fight but brainwashing to control people and their behaviors is not the most logical way out of this paradox. I believe as we continue to evolve as a species we will continue to use logic in place of emotion. Over centuries we will learn to love more than we hate but it's a process that takes a long time. Brainwashing is not needed any longer if it ever truly was.
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19-10-2014, 05:37 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
i was an atheist since 7th grade and have witnessed countless number of events that cant be wrote in a single post. I am from a orthodox typical Indian Hindu family
My family prays to several gods, actually 100's of gods. They dont question about god and his miracles, but i did.

THE BEST incident i experienced recently
-> Dad went to a holy place to pray for his job
-> He felt restless & tired day after returning
-> Within 2 days his heart was diagnosed with 75% failure
-> Operation, Treatment, had to leave job

I said to them
"Saw ? your almighty, peace loving and caring god blessed you with a severe heart condition"
Their reply was "God helped us diagnose the disease when it spread 75%, we should thank god he alarmed us before it reached 100%"

I was stunned by stupidity.
BTW my Dad has touched alcohol 2 times in his life & he's a 58 year old man
I didnt feel surprised at his heart condition due to seeing his eating habits & me being in fitness knowing dangers and risk of junk food.
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23-10-2014, 04:41 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story

Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!
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11-11-2014, 06:59 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I read the bible from start to finish.
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12-11-2014, 07:50 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Dad: Son Allah is real
Me: Nope
Dad: Okay
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19-11-2014, 08:38 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I'm not even sure I WAS de-converted because I was 10 when I decided the whole notion of a God seemed about as believable as Santa Clause...and I hadn't settled into belief because I was so young. I don't remember some a-ha, now I see the light moment. It just sort of boiled down to seeming impossible and that was that. I do have some memorable moments from my early life as an atheist though.

First, a bit of background. I was raised in the Methodist church in a small suburban Midwestern town. My mom made me go to church every Sunday and I can remember HATING it from as early as 6.

Somewhere between 6 and 10, I asked my mom if my cat would go to heaven when she died. My mom said no...that heaven was for people. Well, that didn't sit well with me because I loved my cat and if she didn't go to heaven I wasn't too sure I wanted to be there. At 6, I also bought Madonna's Like a Virgin cassette, fell in love with Prince's 1999, and decided I wanted to be like Deborah Harry because the song Rapture was another favorite. These pop cultural attractions set me up to reject the idea of conforming to the Christian notion of "goodness" I think.

At 10, I went to summer church camp. We had to sleep on cots in hogans, which I remember finding unpleasant. I also remember the plucky Christian teen counselors, who seemed nice but weird to me. Luckily, a massive outbreak of food poisoning happened two days into camp and parents were called to pick us up early. I remember that I didn't get food poisoning; I also remember that it was after those few days that I simply didn't believe anymore. I don't remember the specifics of how or why, just that sometime during that three day period I decided the whole notion of a God just wasn't believable.

Around the same time my disbelief was further strengthened when a classmate of mine, who was known for his scientific smarts and who went to my church, confessed that he didn't believe in heaven and that he thought after you died, you were just dead and that was that. "Of course!" I thought while also wondering how I hadn't figured that out on my own.

It was also around 10 that I combined the Christian hand game "here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors, and here are the people," with Kiss's "Heaven's on Fire" much to the chagrin of my Sunday School teacher.

Flash forward a year...I was 11 and in sixth grade. We had to do a book report on a famous person. I checked a book out on Charles Darwin at the public library and the librarian commented with concern that "he has some pretty crazy ideas, huh." Now, I should note that while my parents were religious, they weren't science deniers. My dad had hipped me to Darwin. As such, I was confused by the tone of her voice because I assumed everyone believed his theories. "What do you mean?" I asked. "Well the whole idea that we came from monkeys," she replied. Further confused, I thought for a moment before saying confidently, "well, I think he's right," which left her confused and concerned.

A couple years later, I did get confirmed in the church. But I remember playing devil's advocate during the confirmation process and trying desperately to figure a way out of confirmation without any parental confrontation or disappointment. I couldn't think my way out of it, so I did it. In the picture from my confirmation I look utterly miserable.

All through high school, outside of my house, I was a pretty open atheist...and in college, when my mom expressed deep concern that I'd stopped going to church, I told her I didn't believe. (She and my dad, now Catholic converts, continue to pray for me and have a Catholic magazine sent to my house. They are far worse now than when I was growing up and I feel grateful that their belief then was not so crazy. I think it would have had a far more negative impact on me than it did.)

A few years after college, I moved to Los Angeles, where I lived for 10+ years and where being an atheist is pretty normal. However, I had one experience in LA while working at a school where foreign educated Doctors prepped for their American board exams. One man in particular, a Muslim, told me that because I believed in a morality I DID believe in God because morality comes from God. I assured him that I didn't; but he insisted that I did. It was like Oprah and her Ahhh moment. I remember thinking he was an idiot...and just cutely dismissed him with an "OK, whatever you say, but I don't."

I've never really been angry at believers. Historically, they have just seemed cute to me with their superstitious dogma and their insistence that I don't know what I believe. I've also never really felt discriminated against due to my beliefs, although because I was so young when I came to atheism, and so openly confident in private circles about expressing my lack of belief, I don't think I would have recognized discrimination tied to that aspect of my being.

But in more recent years, as I've become more sensitive to the way religious lobbies control decision making about issues that I think are important, I've recognized that my previous dismissal of theists as harmless idiots was short-sighted. I've begun to believe, like Roger Waters, that radical atheism is the answer to weeding out wing-nut religiosity. There are FAR more non-believers posing as believers because they don't want to deal with the potential repercussions of "coming out." We need more people stand up reject superstition while advocating for and normalizing reason, logic, and evidence based thinking - and so I'm hear at The Thinking Atheist.
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21-11-2014, 10:00 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
As for my deconversion, I suppose I'm still in the process. I'm sure I will eventually make my way down the path that so many others have already tread.

For me, I spent all of my life trying to be the good christian girl Angel I was supposed to be... Spent all of my time convincing myself of what I was. I tried and tried for years. I thought that I was doing the right thing... I didn't realize until recently that I was never really a "devoted" christian. I was REALLY good at acting like one... Going to church every week--Worshipping Worship Slaves --dancing--singing--"speaking in tongues." I did it all... I was good at doing all of this while I was around other people... I kept hearing service after service Lecture_preist that if I didn't "live the life" outside for others to see, that I wasn't a true Christian. I felt like such a hypocrite... Now, don't get me wrong... I was never really intentionally pretending to be something that I wasn't... I was always trying to be a good person... I would follow the 10 commandments... But when I was by myself, I never bothered to worship or sing or even pray... I would only do those things when I was in church.

Then I went to college. I made a lot of really good friends, several of whom are still good friends. I had bible study after bible study... I still went to church every time I could... I was still trying to be the good little Christian girl that I thought I was supposed to be. I met a guy, thought I had fallen in love. Was hurt very badly and hit rock bottom... I was in a very bad situation where everyone was telling me what I should and shouldn't do, but it was impossible for me to live up to those expectations. When I would do something "wrong", I thought that I was being a bad person, when really, I was just being human. It took me a really long time to figure that out.

I eventually grew up and started to notice that there were so many things about the Church that were flawed. I've seen so many hypocrites and people that think that there way is the ONLY way... but in reality, they can't all be right... It wasn't until recently that I started to realize that it's not just the Church that's flawed... but that the all powerful, all knowing, perfect God that I was raised to believe in and worship wasn't so perfect after all... Consider

(10-06-2013 10:31 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  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.

I couldn't have put it better myself.....

I've asked so many Christians what makes this God so special that he's allowed to do things that his followers aren't... Such as mass murder... That's a big one... I've read the Bible from cover to cover in at least three different versions... and for years, it seemed like a great book... This last time that I was reading through, I had a different perspective... I started noticing little things... like the whole tree of knowledge of good and evil thing... If God was all knowing, then why would he put that tree there if he KNEW that Adam and Eve would eat from it... Most Christians would argue that he was offering them free will... but that's a totally different confusing topic for me...

Then I got to the parts where he floods the earth The Titanic , he kills all the firstborns Bangin , he burns Soddam and Gommorah Evil_monster ... and I can't help but to think, as a former children's minister, I think of the kids... Sadcryface I could understand destroying a town full of people if they were nothing but evil... But you can NEVER convince me that there were absolutely no children in the world, or that they were inherently evil... For me, it's more about the kids... I absolutely love kids... and the God that was "leading" me to minister to these kids was the same God that would mass murder so many of them? Huh That wasn't okay with me... No

As far as deconversion, like I said, I'm still in the process... But I'm at the point where IF God DOES exist, I want nothing to do with him... I can't reconcile the "Loving Father" with the "Angry God" Goodevil that would destroy so many of the people that were his own creations... I had studied Psychology while I was in College... I had heard of Cognitive Dissonance, but I had never known what it was truly like to have two conflicting beliefs in your head at once... Even if I tried, I couldn't bring myself to worship someone who expects so much from His followers, and yet can't live up to the standards himself...

So I started doing my research. I'm still really confused Huh as to what I should or shouldn't believe... and I'm not going to say that the Bible is all bad... There are some REALLY good words of wisdom in there... but the God that all these things supposedly came from is someone that I cannot convince myself to bow down to again..

Now, here I am, for all intents and purposes, I call myself an Agnostic... Because I honestly don't know anymore... My family are all very devout Christians, and most of them are Pentecostals.. I haven't revealed my lack of belief in God to them because I'm bringing the man I'm planning on marrying home to meet them after Christmas, and I dont' want them to blame him for my newfound "beliefs." They were already convinced when I first started dating him that he would only "pull me away from God." And to them, it will be Winter's fault that I'm no longer a Christian..... Confused Honestly, I find it kind of insulting that they would think so little of my own state of mind that I could be so easily swayed by the thoughts and beliefs of one person... He wasn't the one that made me despise the God I once loved... it was the Bible that did that... So, I'm choosing not to say anything at the time because I don't want the time he's there with my family to be any more uncomfortable than it has to be... So I have to go home and ACTUALLY pretend to be something that I'm not... Honestly, I don't like the idea... Undecided But I also don't want them to refuse to meet him... Because all things considered, I still love my family... Heart

So, that's pretty much where I'm at right now... I'm an Agnostic/Borderline Misotheist, in love with an open Atheist... having to pretend to be Pentecostal for a few more months until I can come out to my family...
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21-11-2014, 10:12 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(23-06-2014 01:15 PM)Winterwolf00 Wrote:  My mother wanted me to read the Left Behind series because she thought it'd be good for me.
Got halfway through the series and that started me away from religion.

Thanks mom! Big Grin

hahahaha... and to think that I looked all the way through this thread just to find your post and all I got was this! Big Grin

But yeah... almost all of the Christians I know will tell you that series is crap anyway... lol
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