Share your de-conversion story
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19-07-2013, 10:17 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(18-07-2013 10:25 PM)Lienda Bella Wrote:  Years pass, and I'm an adult in Houston Texas. By now, I have dramatically recovered from my downhill ride, but God wasn't the backbone of it. My parents split up, and that made our entire family much happier than ever. I've mostly been with my mom, struggling to find a good workplace that would actually keep and acknowledge any kinds of skills, but as usual, nobody gave the slightest dam about me! They always seemed to believe that my speech manner was stupidity and nothing more. I believe that whatever I involved myself in (church or not), I would get the super easy tasks, because my speech manner means "idiot." Fast food, laundry, dishwashing, stage plays, whatever, I'm the lower intellect of the crew, despite my pace at learning. I still don't try to learn much, because it feels extremely unrewarding.

But, the joy of my family made me quite happy. Everyone was much more smiley. I visited some forum web sites, where I had to eventually leave after dealing with several tolerated accounts of abuse. The last one I dropped before YouTube is a very tough one to forgive. "Pissed off at" doesn't scratch how I feel for that third place right now. That one close friend I had was tremendously helpfully to my mind! The loss of it was a huge wake up call on me. I was in my mid or late twenties when we went to a different church in Houston. By then, I had enough of this anti-evolution, pervert the gays, and giggle at the other religions bigotry. I thought it was wrong that people in our group were gladly excusing their condescension onto others while playing the card of being "discriminated by the sinful world." I walked out of the auditorium several times, and eventually vented to myself "Enough!"

I stayed home at the apartment, and this emotional rollercoaster of fear started going. I tried the supper at home, which made my paranoia and guilt worse. I heard steps in my bed room when there weren't any. I started seeing shadow creatures when I worked in the garage, but around this time it really bothered me enough to lose sleep a few nights. I figured they were the demon boogie men come to possess naughty little Lienda and teach her a lesson. I'm not even from a religiously strict upbringing either, so I can't imagine how hard it is to have those kinds of parents! I had enough to deal with as it was. Sad I had auditory illusions occasionally to, but looked sane enough that nobody could really tell. The neighbor down stairs just got annoyed with me talking to myself a lot, though. (I was cooped up quite a bit, but lonely among other people otherwise. Lacking social talents is great, yeah?) One day, after being crazy for at least two months, I decided to go through the bible more deeply, scoffing at it a little sometimes to prove to myself that it was the perfect piece of print that they always told me it was.

It had the opposite effect as intended. Instead of seeing this "enduring love," I discovered this total DICK that preferred to destroy and make miserable many lives than help them with the best solution from the start. It's like one ugly game of tears for the deity. Since then, the boogie man theme I just brush off saying "you're tired, go to bed." The urges to smack myself with blunt objects has lessoned dramatically. I guess it's because I don't regularly meditate battery onto my mind! I rejected that God while I believed he existed. I like to delude myself occasionally, but it's more like a "scare or kid yourself for fun" game. I still hate sitting in church, but not as much as some people do.

Wow, that was a long one! You know, many people become atheists once they actually read the bible.

I think though that you really need some therapy. Too many pretty awful things have happened to you.

[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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20-07-2013, 08:10 AM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2013 08:15 AM by Lienda Bella.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Yeah. I post sometimes and then it takes me several minutes to hours to realize it and think "oops. I posted irrelevant things I could have made shorter again."

V sig.

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20-07-2013, 08:50 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Lienda that was all written quite well, what is the problem with your speech? Why do you think people think you are stupid based on your speech? Looks like you have a lot of things that have gone badly in your life...I hope it gets better.

See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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20-07-2013, 08:37 PM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2013 08:54 PM by Lienda Bella.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
*shrug* Well, thanks for being sensitive and all, guys. I didn't realize I put something that dramatic. 'sigh' (except for the bus incident. That was horrible, what happened to that girl.) I'm not good at lengthening conversations. My communication oddness doesn't always connect the two of us like most average people expect.

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26-07-2013, 11:58 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I don´t know if I deconverted rather than realizing the bible is a silly and nasty old book.

I cant remember exactly when, but it must have been in 3. or 4. grade (9 or ten years old) being taught about the bible. The trinity was one of the things that made absolutely no sense, if there were 3 entities, why insist they were one. While father and son was somewhat acceptable, why the holy spirit with god being omni this and that, it was a bit like a ordinary bicycle with a third wheel not touching the ground.

One of the stories of the OT along with the claim that god was good was the catalyst to my disbelief. It was the story about the wise king Solomon and the two mothers with one living and one dead baby. Now some questions formed in my mind like: Why did god kill one baby if he was good? If Solomon was wise, why threaten to split the living baby like a primitive and brutal simpleton? The ends do not justify the means.

When I was a kid we never attended church or prayed or anything of the classical indoctrination stuff, but my mom was also my teacher in this bible classes and history. This lead to the funny situation of learning about christian mythology (which was presented as something to believe in by a double authority figure) and learning about Norse mythology in the history lessons (the gods with the incredible stories).

Some weeks or month passed after learning about the Solomon story I asked my mom about it several times until she finally caved in and told me that she didn't believe in this crap either and neither did my grandma, who as a young girl tried to read the bible and gave up early on. After that I the more I learned about the lame bible the more I learned to despise it.
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26-07-2013, 09:39 PM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2013 09:45 PM by knowlegelover.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I remember it all started with the internet. Everything starts with the internet these days. 3 years ago i began reading the bible for lack of interesting things to do, and when i read the bible i came to question where the Bible fit in our world where technology and science reign. I couldn't reconcile my unwavering trust in science with the "divine truths" of the bible. It wasn't helping that i already viewed evolution and the creation story as both undeniably true, much to my utter confusion. It can rip you apart at the seams trying to reconcile your love and trust for science and the precious beliefs you had when you were growing up.

I remember asking a few people about it, including a few friends of mine, who i couldn't believe just hand-waved it all away and went about their business and continued believing in two contradictory beliefs. A few were skeptical about EVOLUTION, the one that had scientific evidence!

Don't people care about the validity of "truths" given to them? I fear for the future of humanity if people continue to live ignorantly.

I feared for my sanity. Looking back, i laugh at how my mind used to work. I used to be terrified of losing not my catholic religion, but to lose my grip on religion in general. I naively thought that ALL people had religions, and to lose faith in a higher being merited you as a lost sheep with no place in society.

i finally got over my queasiness and reseached on the internet. To my dismay i found no satisfactory answer for my simple questions. But after stumbling through countless forums and websites and hearing it being mentioned a lot of times, i found myself curious at another subject: Atheism.

At the time, i didn't know much about atheism. So when i learned that they were people who didn't follow any sort of religion, i became more and more curious." Who are these lost sheep?"

And as read the deconversion stories of atheists, i had a sort of epiphany, a great enlightenment, a revalation. I started asking harder questions that made my earlier question look like that of a child's.Why would god punish these loving, kind people for not believing in him? What distinguished him from mythology and other religions to make it the True One? Why had he created man to be fallible when he had the power not to? Why would he, a perfect being, give rise to imperfect beings? And the other religions are just as absurd.

I became more and more disillusioned with religion, and secretly dropped all traces of my christianity two years ago. No praying, no fasting, no going to church. I became a closet agnostic, and then an eventual atheist. When i revealed it to my family, they grudgingly accepted it. It didn't stop them from trying to reconvert me though.

And that's my story.

"I'm an agnostic atheist looking not to FIND the meaningful purpose of life but to MAKE life's purpose meaningful."

"I love science, logic, and reason. And thus an atheist was born."
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29-07-2013, 03:25 PM (This post was last modified: 29-07-2013 06:47 PM by multidaytim.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
My own story, I feel, needs some background.

I am the descendant of a very long line of international missionaries and it remains the most common job title among my extended family. My Great Aunt recently wrote a book about this family so that future generations will be able to 'see God's hand in our lives.' The first seven pages, in small font, was just a list of the family members of the past 4 generations, and the countries where they had 'served the Lord.'

Enter, Me.
I was born to a pair of missionary kids, both of whom had spent a large portion of their adolescence in Africa. The story gets complicated for a time, but to fast forward a little, I received Jesus into my life at the age of 4... because I wanted to go to heaven, where Mommy was.

I was raised strictly in private christian schools and even graduated from a fundamental baptist high school; a school so strict that I once received demerits for sitting too close to a girl. Science classes even often featured videos by Ray Comfort, Kent Hovind, and Ken Ham. During this time I was very involved in the church, beginning to serve in the music ministry when I was 12, first in the youth group, then the college group, and eventually the main congregation. I was a part of, and even led many small groups in the church, and I was also involved in missions, travelling internationally myself, with the goal of bringing people to Christ.

I had made the realization, back in my high school, that people believe vastly different things but just as fervently as each other. I wanted to know if I had been lucky enough to be born to people who knew the truth, or if I was just as wrong as I believed the others to be, so I began to set out in search of answers; sitting down with Swamis, meeting Buddhists, looking into Islam and even Zoroastrianism.
All the while, I remained convinced that I was right.

It was not until I was watching a science documentary (NOVA: Becoming Human) that I realized the lies I had been fed at the baptist school, and seriously thought, 'what if there is no god?'
My world fell apart.
I did not know what to do.
At the time, at one church, for 3 services every Sunday, I served as part of the music ministry as the sound engineer: you know, the guy in the back that no one notices unless there is a problem.... an aside... I DO miss that digital, 64 channel Yamaha board with a touch screen and flying faders..... It was beautiful. lol. Meanwhile at a second church, the second largest college age youth group in the country, I served in security and as an usher every Friday night. There, I was also one of the guys they would have near the front, available to pray with anyone who needed it.

When I finally admitted my lost belief to myself, I had to move away to get some space from my family and to step out of the roles I held in those churches, without raising too many questions. I have spent the time since then studying and thinking, pursuing my intellectual edification, and though I feel so much more free, it is still very hard for me, having lost a community that had been such an important part of my life.

“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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31-07-2013, 06:49 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
i was raised roman catholic and was "educated" by jesuits until college. i rejected the catholic faith at the age of 16 after going though a heavily religious period from age 13 to 15 during which i was going to masses twice a week and calling my parents out on being bad catholics for only going once. at 16 we were given classes on jesuit missionary work in which we were taught how wonderful it was to spread the word of christ to the pagans, while at the same time in religious history being taught of the "oppression" of the christians by the muslim converters of the ottoman empire. the hypocrisy hit me like a tonne of bricks. for many years i tried to find my particular kind of spirituality. i went to india to study buddhism, did a bunch of yoga, dabbled in occult there for a while too. all the while this was going on i was pursuing my education in physiology. the more i found that religious "truths" were contradictory and not fulfilling, the more i learned how to apply the scientific method i was learning at school into my personal life. in the end it all came down to me. i was the one having the experiences, i was in control of how i felt about myself and the world around me. i was responsible for my actions. currently i am a neuroscientist, skeptic and atheist, and i have never felt better about myself.
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07-08-2013, 06:05 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. I would like to think I never really believed in it, but I remember spending nights awake as a child fearing "the end of this system" or "Armageddon". I would wonder why God would be so cruel as to kill all the people who just as adamantly believed in their faith as we did ours. After all many were probably born into it and never gave it a second thought, just like me. It was many similar things that led me to decide that if God did exist then he was not a loving God that I should worship. I didn't leave the Witness's out of fear of excommunication but I decided that I would no longer personally worship him. At that point I wasn't sure if he was real or not but I didn't want anything to do with him.

More recently I went the extra step and started researching more about evolution, atheism and the JW's Watchtower Organization. The more I read the more I doubted whether God actually even existed. Then I broke through and now as I sit in the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses I don't mindlessly absorb all the dogma we are spoon-fed, but now I realize what complete and utter crap I had been believing in all these years. Instead of reaffirming my faith in Jehovah and making me spiritually stronger it makes me more sure of my disbelief and it gives me a sense of peace knowing that there isn't a all powerful being controlling my life. One day when I move out on my own and fade away from the Organization I will truly be free.
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14-08-2013, 01:20 PM (This post was last modified: 14-08-2013 01:26 PM by Kari93.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
My apologies in advance, this will probably be a really long post.

My indoctrination started at birth. I was born and dedicated into Christian Life Assemblies of God, a church my great-grandparents on my mother's side started. When I was three, my parents moved to Utah so that I would grow up in a culture where bigotry and superstition were the norm, even if it wasn't their particular brand. I was raised in ignorance. I don't remember the exact age or time that I prayed the "salvation" prayer, but I know I must have been very young.

It was around eight years old that my de-conversion started. Every week, twice or three times a week, I was in church. I knew so many Bible verses I felt like a little encyclopedia. Every year I started going to church camps and retreats. But there was no denying it; I didn't feel "god" anymore. When I prayed, or sang worship songs, or read the Bible, I felt nothing.

Still, I continued in my indoctrination. I went through a girl's program called "Missionettes", I was even crowned in a ceremony for how well I had done in that Bible class. I believed it was my mission to recruit people for this religion, to make them believe and follow my silent sky-father. As I moved from childhood into adolescence, the motivation became less about it being the "right thing" to do and being terrified of Hell.

I was fourteen by this time. I was a loner in middle school, an outsider, because Payson Middle School was full to the brim with good little Mormons who had no use for non-Mormons. I went through life with my head down and my nose in a book. In ninth grade, I slowly came out of my shell and started hanging out at the "nerd" table, the table occupied by drama geeks, anime freaks, and people I generally find awesome.

But the event that really changed my life was meeting her.

When I started to live in the real world rather than purely in the pages of a fantasy novel, I noticed her. A girl who hadn't been there the previous year. At first what caught my eye was her style, so different from all the other girls. Fingerless gloves, baggy pants and jackets, chains everywhere. My interest was immediately piqued, and at the time I didn't know why. Why did this girl hold so much interest for me?

I watched her for a couple weeks. I was a shy girl, used to being alone, ill-equipped for spur of the moment conversations. When we came back to school from winter break, I found that I shared two classes with her. I was thrilled. Finally a chance to talk to her, an excuse to satisfy my curiosity. I sat at her table in math, and our friendship was sealed with one conversation.

Over the next year we did everything together. I hadn't had a best friend since second grade, and I was beyond happy. The only issue we ever had, the only thing we ever fought about, was religion.

Elfy (her nickname) was an atheist. I tried unsuccessfully for the longest time to convert her, but she wasn't having it. I even gave her a Bible for a gift one summer, but nothing I could do would change her mind. When we had been friends for a year, I found out why. In addition to being atheist, Elfy was bisexual.

Until confronted with it in my best friend, I hadn't really known what "gay", "bisexual", or "lesbian" meant, much less "transgender" or "queer". They were insults, dirty words. As I talked with Elfy about it, I grew more and more uncomfortable. Things she said sounded familiar, and I didn't want them to. I didn't want to understand how she felt about girls, because so much of what she said... was exactly how I felt in the deepest part of my heart.

That interest, sparked the first time I ever saw her, was chemistry. The affection for her rare smile and creative talent, the need I felt to be with her... it was love, or as close as a fourteen year old kid can get.

It struck me the September after I turned fifteen. I was just lying there in bed, wondering why I was crying my eyes out, why I was so sad, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in love with her.

That crucial moment, that horrible sleepless night, was what changed me forever. For a week straight, I "prayed it out". I begged and pleaded, cried a thousand tears on the altar of that silent sky-father. I promised rashly to do anything he asked of me, if he would just take away what I felt for Elfy. If he could only make me NOT love her.

Of course, he didn't. And that was when I realized that if he did exist, I hated him. How could he let this happen, to me of all people? Me, who had followed him unswervingly since birth, who had given my soul to him, who had given up all kinds of experiences to be his and his alone?

My life became a lie, at least as far as anyone but Elfy was concerned. She remained a true and loving friend, through everything, even during the times she couldn't return my intense feelings. The more I went to church, the more I loathed god, and myself even more.

The secret of my orientation came out when I was seventeen. My abusive, controlling mother went through my phone and found sexual messages to a girl. I was beaten and screamed at, then locked in my room to "pray it out". Though years later I now understand that she was probably afraid that I was going to Hell, how could a loving mother scream such horrible things at her child? How could she raise her hand against me for loving someone?

In a couple weeks, that event will have been three years ago. My journey between there and here was full of education, of agnosticism, of doubt. I came to realize that all my self-loathing, all my indoctrination, all my church-based "education", had been a horrible waste of my intellect and childhood.

I was so relieved, in discovering the atheist community, that there were people who felt the way I had since I was eight. Who had seen the horrible things in the supposedly Holy Book, who had never truly felt "God's" presence, who had been taught to hate themselves and others for no good reason, who had lived under the fear of fire and brimstone their whole lives and come to see it as bullshit.

I'm happier now than I've ever been. I'm a human rights activist. I escaped the veils of ignorance that are everywhere in Utah, and moved to Washington within the last month, where someday I will marry my Elfy. My life has meaning and purpose now, the meaning and purpose I choose to give myself.

It's a lot more fulfilling than sticking my nose in some dead book, or praying to a silent sky-father.

((Please forgive the length; I'm a story-teller at the worst of times D:))
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