Poll: Were you once religious?
Yes, I used to believe once.
No, I never did.
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Were you once a believer?
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14-06-2011, 10:14 PM
 
RE: Were you once a believer?
Of course. But I merely blame particular factors,i was a believer to an extent when i was still a young lad because of environment. Everyone around me had a a belief,in at least god which rubbed off on to me. I never really did church. I read the bible though. Boring book,in my opinion. Once i matured enough i outgrew belief. Mainly because I started to see something terribly wrong with it all.
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15-06-2011, 12:35 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
(23-01-2011 08:20 AM)Mohanna Wrote:  It's hard to believe in a loving God when you are being literally beaten in an attempt to force you to believe and conform.

I come from a very similar background. In my parents house, it was "believe or bleed".

I always questioned the bible in sunday school, and was always beaten for it. I was even frequently slapped or spanked by sunday school teachers for questioning the bible, which would lead to near life threatening floggings when I got home. Even that could not get me to believe. ( Wonder why? ) Confused

The more I was beaten, the worse my behavior became, because I was smart enough to realize that nothing that the church preached was ever practiced by any of those vicious assholes! I honestly believe that if killing unruly children had still been legal, I would not have survived childhood. ( I barely did anyway )

Everything was a contradiction. Preach love, administer violence. Study and get good grades, but don't believe history or science. Excel in math, but don't add up the facts. Believe in a loving and forgiving god who is gonna send me straight to Hell without question.

My dad was in the "Occupation Forces" in Nagasaki after "the bomb" was dropped, and they surrendered. I grew up knowing a lot more about nuclear devastation than anyone in my home town did. My dad saw it first hand. He was in the first group of occupation forces, before the clean up even started. He saw the melted sidewalks and burned, melted, mutilated bodies with his own eyes. He told me about it, hoping I would one day preach against it.

One day in sunday school, we were talking about Armageddon, and I made the comment that the only thing that could cause such quick death / destruction was "the bomb". OOOOPS! I had spoken science in church again! It went over like a pregnant pole vaulter. "God doesn't use nukes!" My response was "The hell he don't. Nothing else could do that, except an anti matter bomb" ( I heard of those from "Star Trek", and at that time, figured we probably already had one. {I was about 8 years old at that time.} )

That led to another spanking in sunday school, and another near death experience, once home! The endless violence in and out of church was already making me believe that if there was a god, he was worthless, and did not deserve praise. I knew the price I would pay for saying that, so I kept that one to myself, until I was about 18. I didn't really believe at all by then, but hadn't actually thought of myself as an atheist then, yet. That would take about 2 more years.

Looking back, I can't really say I ever fully believed, because through all the contradiction and violence, I really was too scared of being alive to really think about what I believed in. ( there was no "safe haven" for me. The violence was 24/7, 365. ) Since I was 5, I believed more in E.T.s, than god, but I think I probably did believe to a point, when I was young.

To this day, my parents still think of me as an embarrassment, since it's well known I'm an outspoken blasphemer and atheist. I do preach science, sometimes, much to the dismay of my parents. Their living room wall, and hallways are covered with pictures of my doped out sister trying to play the organ for church in front of 40 - 50 people, but not one photo of me onstage in front of hundreds playing guitar! When they are gonna have 'family photos' taken, I am not invited, or welcome, if I accidently stop by. (not knowing, since I'm never informed!)

I have been told by my family that I am living proof of Satan's work. They honestly believe that I am a tool of Satan. They think nothing of telling me that to this day. It's all I heard growing up. Their name for me when I was growing up was "Damned Kid". ( true fact! )

So, to answer the question "Did I ever believe?", the answer truly is, "I don't really know, maybe when very young". And to Mohanna, you are not alone. I too, was beaten for "religious violations".

Oxymoron: "Religious teaching"
"Simple common sense goes out the window when religion comes in through the door." Me (Blasphemy Fan )
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15-06-2011, 02:59 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
Was once a devout Catholic, went to church, sunday-school, even joined bible study with the young adults when I was 11. I was really optimistic about the world, thinking God can solve anything. It was about 12 years old my curiousity took over. I questioned various things in the Bible, and about religion. I asked how the things do not match up, and why didn't God do this or that. I still question if I have the chance, but I hope not to offend anyone. Science satisfied my ever growing thirst for knowledge. I finally started questioning the need to go to church, the need for all the rituals. Now I'm agnostic, still wavering between religion and atheism.

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17-06-2011, 10:38 PM
RE: Were you once a believer?
I did believe in something once... when I was 13, that's when I started to question the existence of a god... and then I just stopped believing in the christian god and made up my own. I sorta went from deism to pantheism and then atheism. It was in a few months. So... yeah... during 8th grade is when I stopped believing.

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18-06-2011, 01:49 PM
 
RE: Were you once a believer?
I was, when I was about 13. Then I started questioning and rationing and religion can't pass that test.
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19-06-2011, 09:02 PM
RE: Were you once a believer?
I was for about 10 years. However, those fundie Christians would probably say I wasn't a "true Christian" All I really did was pray, where I just close my eyes and asked for something like 50 times and just hoped I got it. I remember "praying" very hard to get my family's ticket drawn at this raffle, and we were the first ticket to come out, unfortunately, the best prizes were given to the person who was drawn LAST. I also remember asking god to reveal himself to me, and I remember a gust of wind coming in, and for some stupid ass reason, I thought that was proof. Just so you know, I was about 10-ish when all this was happening. When I was about 12 or 13 when I started to become an Atheist, sadly, I can't remember the transition, or what finally made me go "I'm an Atheist" I have a very bad memory, maybe that's why.

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19-06-2011, 10:33 PM
 
RE: Were you once a believer?
I was raised Catholic, converted at age 14.
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20-06-2011, 11:25 PM
 
RE: Were you once a believer?
Yes. I was a (Southern Baptist) believer. Was "born-again" when I was 7. Became a youth minister at the age of 27. Attended, experienced and lead many religious gatherings between those ages. While a youth minister, I really started getting into evangelism (Way of the Master type stuff) but soon my life crashed around me. My wife couldn't handle the "religiousness" of our lives and wanted a divorce. I was angry and God and at myself for getting so involved with "my creator". I hadn't prayed or gone to church since then (6 years). I watched a documentary called "Religulous" by Bill Maher and it really opened my mind to other possibilities. He had mentioned in the documentary about a movie called "Zeitgeist". I found it and watched it and realized that I didn't know anything about religion. When the movie got to the part about the ancient Egyptian gods and Horus, I became depressed for a while. I had always thought that Jesus was the only one who was born of a virgin, the only one who had been visited by the wise men, had twelve disciples, performed miracles, died for our sins, rose from the dead.... I found out that there were so many claims to the same miracles that Jesus performed and the life that he lived that I was overwhelmed. How could I have said I believed in the One who was born of a virgin to live as a man, died for my sins and rose from the dead.... which "One" would that be? Now, I don't know if there is a one true god or not but I live as though there is not one. I don't even go as far as to speculate what he/she or it would be like if he/she or it existed. If the god of the Christian bible existed, though, he needed to get newer material to write the bible instead of plagiarizing older writings of the Egyptians and other cultures. Would have made everything more believable rather than relying so much on faith that the stories were actually true.
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22-06-2011, 09:31 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
I used to consider myself once a believer but when I look at people who are so called believers or give their past experience of how they were, I don't consider myself having been anything close to the same way. This also was all in the time that I was still a child.

After hearing Richard Dawkin's debate how ridiculous it is to call a child a Christian, Muslim, etc. I realized it's sort of invalid to say I was a Christian, but instead, a son of Christian parents in a Christian family. When I was 12-13 I had 6 months of conformation school and through that time reading The Bible I felt it was all parables and never could take it as the truth of God.
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23-06-2011, 10:06 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
I guess I was once a believer, insomuch as I was scared into believing. My maternal grandparents played a big part in my upbringing, I loved and respected them very much, but they were also southern baptist, and insisted on bringing me to church, which my mom allowed, because hey, what harm done right?

Southern Baptists are very fond of using scare tactics, especially to the vulnerable, like children or emotionally weakened people. I was told that if I don't accept Jesus, that I'm going to burn in hell forever and ever, and I was told this, almost daily. As a young child I was terrified (children are very easy to scare as it turns out), so I went along with it.

By the time I entered my "tweenhood" I began to fall in love with science. Very early on I demonstrated natural aptitude in analytical thinking and reasoning, by all accounts I was a very intelligent child. Now, here is where my father comes into play into my religious upbringing. My dad was raised by non-practicing Jews, I sincerely doubt he is even "spiritual". My dad loved to buy me science books, discuss history (his favorite subject) and philosophy with me. I began to understand concepts of evolution, geology, astronomy... and that's when the questions started.

As a "Tween" I pretty much ignored the bible other than "Jesus Saves". My parents split up, and I moved away from my grandparents, and my mom didn't care enough about my religion to take us to church.

Both of my parents gave me books, and continued to encourage my scientific understanding of the world (I had enough lab kits and equipment to outfit a small university).

By high school, I was very well aware that I was agnostic, but it was an emotionally distressing time for me, and temptation came as a handsome and charismatic teenager who invited me to church. I came and enjoyed being part of a community, being accepted and cared for.

Until I realized they didn't like me because of me, they liked me because I was a seat filler, a donation giver, a fellow believer. I left, and it wasn't even noticed until a few months later.

I didn't think much about religion until I started serving, and I realized how much bullshit is shoved down our throats. I then finally put on my atheist hat, and been happy ever since.

Sorry for the long post >.<

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