Share your de-conversion story
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21-06-2014, 10:07 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(27-05-2014 06:55 PM)etbonney Wrote:  De-conversion, in my mind I find it a funny word.

I was never converted in the first place. My mother was raised catholic, but when God took her first son at 10 months old through sickness she was much to angry with him to really sell me on the idea when I was growing up. The only other people who could have "indoctrinated" me into religion was my father's side of the family and my mother couldn't stand them much. I always had the idea that their views were 'stupid'. Both of my parents were too busy to be concerned over my spiritual welfare (they both concentrated on making sure I had enough food, and a place to sleep... they were such great parents) so it was up to me to decide if god was real.

I was too caught up in my imaginary wars between GI Joe and Cobra to really give a shit.

When I grew up and became a semi-adult, I ignored religion much like politics or society in general because I was too busy saving Vvardenfell from the blight. Yeah, those pesky alter-realities were way more interesting then the real one and I just locked myself away in my tiny apartment and plugged my ears and eyes closed until I met Melissa.

Shocked I came to religion because of a cute girl? Tell me I'm not the only one!

She was Religious ('an-noted with jewels'... blah blah, now that I think back on it, she was REALLY full of herself) with a capital 'R' and her family were 'self-proclaimed' prophets. When my interest in "deflowering" (or defiling, that might be a better word) Melissa became apparent, this lead to an opening to shackle my unprepared mind into the binds of their pentecostal faith. I sadly admit, I bought it hook, line and thousand pound sinker.

It didn't last long. See I couldn't hide the fact that I couldn't buy their faith (speaking in tongues was the most ridiculous thing I ever witnessed, those fools actually believe they are inspired? hahahaa). Melissa couldn't hide the fact she was into physically built black dudes with dreads while I was a pudgy bald white guy. So my inspiration for praising Jebus... I mean Jepus... I mean... you know what I mean was dying quickly. There wasn't another cute girl to keep my interest.

It however didn't stop me from getting baptized.

Those guys... always selling the idea that my life will be greatly changed once the pastor dunks me in the holy waters of the frigid Chesapeake bay in February. I held my skepticism until the day he nearly drowned me in that salty water and when I emerged I fully expected to be wet, out of breath and cold. To my amusement, I was all of those and... pissed, because I went home, changed clothes, ate some soup and went back to saving Vvardenfell from the blight. My life didn't change one iota.

So much for that holy spirit thing... I knew that was crap.

Another ten years went by and I saved Cyrodiil from Oblivion, visited the Capital Wasteland, defeated the reapers three times and I believe I killed some arch-demon in a place called Denerim and was happy in my useless isolated existence. I started and quit college, was diagnosed bipolar and tried to commit suicide twice. I was a charming fellow to be around. One day, I managed to find a good job, become settled without the use of mind altering drugs (praise behavior therapy!) then bought a house.

That led to me becoming familiar with local politics. A few months later I had to navigate the troublesome waters of Obamacare which in turn opened my eyes to the crazy ways those religious nuts were trying to overtake our government (I was helping one of my nephews study for a test which was TEACHING INTELLIGENT DESIGN AS SCIENCE) and I thought... damn, now I have to study religion too? Being a full adult fucking sucks. Although I do have a killer house painted red and black to show for my trouble, and rocking out to loud music and not bothering a soul is SOOOOO worth the effort.

Now I am learning to activate my atheism so I can make the world a better place for me and my loved ones. I don't know shit about religion (listening to Seth's podcasts are helping in that regard) but I know it's shit and I just wanted to touch base with the fine people here and share my story. I'm happy I ran into this forum!

Take care,

Ron

Very interesting and well written...hope you hang around a while. Welcome.

'See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way.' -JF
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23-06-2014, 01:15 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
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

Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage among his books. For to you kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned with the flick of a finger.”

― Gordon R. Dickson
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23-06-2014, 01:20 PM
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

I loved those books, they were so silly and they wanted to be super serious.

[Image: Hitchhikersguide_zps7678fbae.jpg]
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23-06-2014, 02:03 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I never really had to de-convert. Although my Mom was raised Catholic, my Dad hated it and church was never an issue.
I remember as a kid (probably ten-ish) I started asking questions about religion because other kids at school said they were this or that.
My Mom told me we were Christian, so that's what I went with. Later I wanted to go to church to see what it was like, so we went, I didn't like it much and that was the end of it.
From my teens to my late thirties I never gave religion or god much thought at all.
I was completely ignorant, but I knew or worked with plenty of people who were very religious and I just didn't get why they believed what they did. It just seemed silly.
About eight years ago I started to pay more attention to how religion effected things outside of the churches, and I didn't like it.
The more I read and learned about how god was being forced into places it didn't belong, the more convinced I became it was a bullshit cult. I decided then that I was definitely an Atheist.
I was also aware of how that stance was looked at by others, so I pretty much kept it to myself.
About two years ago I stopped hiding my Atheism and began to be more vocal and call people on their bullshit when I could.
I find this enjoyable for the most part. Thumbsup
This brings me to the present, I'm very happy not being in the situation of having to worry about how friends and family will treat me for my Atheism.
I hope those of you who have a long religious background, or family that may cause you problems for your lack of belief the best of luck in your future.
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24-06-2014, 03:21 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I was raised in a Pentecostal household, my mom pushed church on all of us (brother, sister and me), we grew up only knowing that church was part of life-period!
I went to a Christian school and learned all of the creationist BS without questioning. At 15 years old, my mom discovered my spine was curved (Scoliosis) and I had to have surgery. Well, I obviously prayed a lot, and had other people in our church praying for me. So guess what? I still had the surgery, that was not what I prayed for and I heard the standard BS excuses. You need to pray more, you have to have a lot of faith, etc. I knew this was BS, but it took a lot of working it through in my mind with how all of these people at our church were fooling themselves with BS excuses when they didn't get answers to their prayers.
I started sitting quietly and listening to their testimonies and started deconstructing their delusions that they comforted themselves with, I started deconstructing the delusions that I had. I surmised that IF god exists, then he probably isn't a personal god and doesn't answer prayer. I had other times where I prayed intensely and thought I heard god's voice speaking to me, but there was a yes/no point reached where an answer had to present itself -there were no excuses! And the god hypothesis failed miserably.
As I entered adulthood, I stopped going to church, I relegated god to a general, impersonal deism and forgot about religion the next 25 years. I just put the whole issue on a shelf and stopped thinking about it, I was comfortable with the term "agnostic" to describe me during this time- but I still kind of believed just in case! Don't want to spend an eternity in hell do you?

Fast forward to a couple of years ago, I had a fairly intense argument about religion with my mom. I couldn't accept the simplistic answers to life that religion provided and I let her know it. After that conversation I realized I had to re-examine my beliefs. I had read the entire bible, had it drilled into my head as a teen, I was certainly aware of it's weak points, but you always rationalize when you believe. I just couldn't read anything by an apologists, I had to read something by a person that was truly questioning their faith and was ready to call BS on it. I found John Loftus' book "Why I Became An Atheist". He was a former minister and he came to a skeptical view of Christianity, not from a scientific viewpoint, like I had, but from a biblical scholar's perspective.

As he went through numerous criticisms of scriptural passages that I was already aware of, it was like reading the bible without a filter. Loftus simply nuked every major point in Christianity, there was nothing I cared to cling to in terms of my faith, I could see what folly it was and how it was just a book written by a very ignorant and superstitious people.

I had always loved learning science, but now I'm enjoying reading and learning about evolution- what an amazing biological process! There were so many taboo things that you wouldn't touch as a Christian, but now I can enjoy learning about these things without guilt or fear.

I've learned to live my life without guilt or fear, this is not a small thing that I have gained, it is tremendous! It puts the lie to Pascal's wager, you DO have a lot to lose if you believe in ancient superstition. You bow your head to an imaginary being and live in fear your whole life to it. This is not a bargain I will take anymore......

Sorry if this was a bit long, but there you have it, that's why I'm at this point in life, it's been a journey of decades to get to this point.
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24-06-2014, 03:26 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(24-06-2014 03:21 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I was raised in a Pentecostal household, my mom pushed church on all of us (brother, sister and me), we grew up only knowing that church was part of life-period!
I went to a Christian school and learned all of the creationist BS without questioning. At 15 years old, my mom discovered my spine was curved (Scoliosis) and I had to have surgery. Well, I obviously prayed a lot, and had other people in our church praying for me. So guess what? I still had the surgery, that was not what I prayed for and I heard the standard BS excuses. You need to pray more, you have to have a lot of faith, etc. I knew this was BS, but it took a lot of working it through in my mind with how all of these people at our church were fooling themselves with BS excuses when they didn't get answers to their prayers.
I started sitting quietly and listening to their testimonies and started deconstructing their delusions that they comforted themselves with, I started deconstructing the delusions that I had. I surmised that IF god exists, then he probably isn't a personal god and doesn't answer prayer. I had other times where I prayed intensely and thought I heard god's voice speaking to me, but there was a yes/no point reached where an answer had to present itself -there were no excuses! And the god hypothesis failed miserably.
As I entered adulthood, I stopped going to church, I relegated god to a general, impersonal deism and forgot about religion the next 25 years. I just put the whole issue on a shelf and stopped thinking about it, I was comfortable with the term "agnostic" to describe me during this time- but I still kind of believed just in case! Don't want to spend an eternity in hell do you?

Fast forward to a couple of years ago, I had a fairly intense argument about religion with my mom. I couldn't accept the simplistic answers to life that religion provided and I let her know it. After that conversation I realized I had to re-examine my beliefs. I had read the entire bible, had it drilled into my head as a teen, I was certainly aware of it's weak points, but you always rationalize when you believe. I just couldn't read anything by an apologists, I had to read something by a person that was truly questioning their faith and was ready to call BS on it. I found John Loftus' book "Why I Became An Atheist". He was a former minister and he came to a skeptical view of Christianity, not from a scientific viewpoint, like I had, but from a biblical scholar's perspective.

As he went through numerous criticisms of scriptural passages that I was already aware of, it was like reading the bible without a filter. Loftus simply nuked every major point in Christianity, there was nothing I cared to cling to in terms of my faith, I could see what folly it was and how it was just a book written by a very ignorant and superstitious people.

I had always loved learning science, but now I'm enjoying reading and learning about evolution- what an amazing biological process! There were so many taboo things that you wouldn't touch as a Christian, but now I can enjoy learning about these things without guilt or fear.

I've learned to live my life without guilt or fear, this is not a small thing that I have gained, it is tremendous! It puts the lie to Pascal's wager, you DO have a lot to lose if you believe in ancient superstition. You bow your head to an imaginary being and live in fear your whole life to it. This is not a bargain I will take anymore......

Sorry if this was a bit long, but there you have it, that's why I'm at this point in life, it's been a journey of decades to get to this point.

Welcome to our community! Thank you for sharing your very personal story with us. We're glad to have you!


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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26-06-2014, 06:58 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Hi all,

Well, it looks like my de-conversation is going to be a bit long winded but it only took a few years!

From birth, to the age of 8 I would do and say whatever my mum and dad told me to do and to go along with them as a good kid should do!

So, I attended the Church of England, but the place soon became the Church of Wales when we we had a new vicar who wanted to administer pastoral care!
My brother, who was and who still is 3 years older than me was a chorister in the Church. Mum would take us there every Sunday and dad would be with us when he was not working! As crime had no day off so my dad worked Sundays. He was a Police man, and he was in CID.

This was fairly idyllic, until my mum changed over to the JW's. (Dad remained C of E).
Now each bed time story became a bible story. But not the fluffy ones of JC who is giving the world a 2nd chance. Hell NO! We had the Thrown in to flames and walking with angels!
The next Armageddon and what to expect! Along with this we where told that the JW's would be harmed and treated just like the Jews where in WW2.

This got me asking question as a kid about the war! My both parents had completed military survive. And that is where they met! The Royal Air Force!
So I had some of the history from my dad and some books! My school had a TV and we would have some history from it. It was schools education program that was on public television. The program was "The world at War".

While I was working on this, a question came in to my head! God was on who's side?
Then I found out that Hitler was a Catholic! And we had Catholic's on our side and so I postulated this. "Each one was praying to the same god and killing each other and thanking god that they are still alive"!! That was the point that the glass shattered! I was 8.

My dad who was doing his job got a smack in the face and suffered a catastrophic blood loss!
Taken to hospital and was given 9 pints of blood to keep him alive! This violated the my mothers tenants of her religion. However, I was sheltered from this fact but life went on.

Now I would ask questions to my mother about god and would get some answers! Like where is the garden of Eden now? I was told it was destroyed in the flood!
OK that sounds good! Where are the dead? All are resting with out knowing about the passage of time and when the res erection cums they will be asked if they believe in god and will live for ever in an earthly paradise!

So I went to the family bible! And tried to read it and when I came to a bit I needed help to understand I would ask questions about! This was a big problem for me as I am Dyslexic! So I was told that I just did not understand as my word blindness stopped me from understanding but to just take it on faith!
My dad who was not too happy I was taking and looking at scripture with my mum.
Gave me some advice. And to this day I have used it much like a mantra.
He would say." You can not convict a man on what you think, you can only convict him on what you know and can prove"!
It was not much but it worked for me and I was looking for proof not to just except what I was told by a third party even if it was my mum.

After two years of looking and trying to read! I was asked by out local vicar who came to our school once a week to teach us about the bible and all the things that came with Christianity. And it was the run up to lent, and the best time for chocolate was Easter! However, he wanted to know what we where going to give up for Christ during lent?
Well as you can think all kinds of stuff such as crisps, chocolate, boys telling him they where going to be nicer to there baby sister!
Then me, I was at this time I was thinking that "the god stuff" was no more than the death of Santa and the loss of the tooth fairy. I had experienced theses over the years and I could not see god as being no different than Santa!
This was just one of the lies you get told as a kid and you move on to the next one!
So I looked him in the eye and told him with a clear voice "Religion".

Next thing I know or I can remember is being in the headmasters room with my mother and father, the vicar and our headmaster. At this point the talking was a bit like Charlie Brown! (They where talking, but I do not understand what they are talking about!)
So we finally left the room and I was going home early with my mum and dad!
My mum telling me that we are going to read the bible again and my father looking at me and saying to me. "Nice one!" And beamed a smile that just told me how proud he was!

The rest of my life was looking and understanding science. I work in the field of chemistry. But biology has always remained my passion!

Thank you if you managed to get to the end of this!!

K:

Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!
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26-06-2014, 12:19 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(26-06-2014 06:58 AM)JONES Wrote:  And it was the run up to lent, and the best time for chocolate was Easter! However, he wanted to know what we where going to give up for Christ during lent?

So I looked him in the eye and told him with a clear voice "Religion".

That was funny! Good on yer, mate. Keep posting.
Doc
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11-07-2014, 08:25 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
My de-conversion has been a long, drawn-out process that's taken place over the past five years, with multiple relapses into religion. I started questioning after the death of my best friend in 2009, when he was 14 years old. The wrestling subsided for about a year, and then I found the videos of agnostic youtuber Onision. While I think Onision is kind of a dick, he raised a lot of really good points about religion that really got me thinking. Since then I've been moderating my beliefs, becoming a liberal Christian for about two years up until recently. About a month ago, I realized that my more "moderate" God, a universal consciousness, was still based mostly on feelings and not on evidence, regardless of whether or not it felt primitive to me. So I think I would say I'm a "spiritual Atheist", because I still feel a very deep connection to the universe, although I don't feel it's divine in any way.
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