Exodus from Faith stories

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Augus's picture
Exodus from Faith stories

I think it would be interesting to read the various stories of how Atheists who used to be religious left their religions. here is mine

I grew up in the Bahá'í community. I loved it. In my teens I was certain that I would never leave it partially because, as I read so much of the literature and internally recorded history and participated in the local, regional and international community, I had convinced myself that it was immeasurably superior to all other religions. I also knew that if (insane an idea as it was to me) I did ever leave; I would simultaneously be rejecting the entirety of religion. Over a four-year crumbling of faith, I was dragged kicking and screaming out of it by my own sense of reason.
There were four sort of pillars in the Bahá'í faith, or at least my perception of it; personal belief and prayer, the writings, the community and the institutions. The first thing that shook me was found in the community. Something I considered as fundamental and inviolable about my religion was the concept that people should be introduced to the faith through honest and casual conversations. This was how I grew up in the faith and it was backed up by virtually everything I read in the source material for the religion.
In the spring of 2008, I took note of a disturbing new trend. A few Bahá'ís decided to "experiment" with different ways of 'teaching the faith' (the common turn of phrase for spreading knowledge of the Bahá'í religion). These Bahá'ís in several areas, including my own, experimented with the already tried and castigated method that has made Mormons and JWs infamous; namely, door-to-door preaching, sometimes with a flipbook to homogenize the experience. Along the same trail came other ways of approaching interactions with non-bahá'ís that were unsettling. I won't go into all of that, but suffice it to say that the community was progressively letting in practices that violated what I considered to be the fundamentally Bahá'í way of doing things.
Even my own efforts to introduce people to the faith felt stifled. In late 2010, I had made friends with an ex-Mormon my age and went through a sort of introductory workshop type book with him. We'd get together at his place, and read some stuff and trail off in discussion. One of the major things that had turned him off of Mormonism was the door-to-door teaching. I wanted to reassure him that Bahá'ís were totally opposed to doing that type of shit. But I fucking couldn't! Because in the current state of the Bahá'í community, it wasn't true anymore! I thought, "How can I even introduce this guy to the rest of the community?" this dude was becoming a good friend, and it felt like I would be betraying him if I brought him to some event and somebody started talking about their most recent door-to-door bullshit.
Next were the institutions, the organizing boards and committees, some elected from the bottom up, and others appointed from the top down. From the local levels to the international, I watched as they sanctioned these new modes of proselytization as ways for Bahá'ís to step out of their comfort zones and, yes "experiment" with new ways of inviting people to join the 'Cause of God.' Then, speaking of sanctions, came the actions of some of these institutions at the local and national levels, like kicking somebody I knew as my summer camp children's class teacher off of the Portland local spiritual assembly (LSA) and revoking her rights to participate in the conduct and elections of these institutions, her "administrative rights." Following this was my brother receiving the same in the form of a letter from the National Spiritual Assembly (NSA). My brother had after years of estrangement from the Bahá'í community, started to worm up to it again, taking small steps like joining prayer gatherings. His only infraction was declining to recite, with his Christian bride, the Bahá'í marriage vow at their wedding. What an incredible slap in the face out of left fucking field for something he probably didn't even realize was that big a deal. I started to feel I could relate to Malcolm X when he found out that Elijah Muhammad had been fucking multiple teenage girls.
During the same years that all these events were going on, I had come to a certain impasse in my obsessive compulsive vein of reading the Bahá'í writings in chronological order, alongside historical essays. For example, somethings that I had certainly read before in Abdu'l-Bahá's Some Answered Questions, stuck out more glaringly a second or third time through. Here he unequivocally disagrees with scientific theories of his day, which are recognized as scientific facts today; to be exact, the origin of Man in the family of primates as a product of evolution through natural selection. In Abdu'l-Bahá's own words, if religion disagrees with science it is simply superstition. At the same time, the concept of spoken prayer made less and less sense to me every time I considered the belief that God is all-knowing, and is aware of your every thought and feeling.
Finally, in the late spring of 2012, as I sat in my college dorm room, contemplating the futility of my current situation within this confused Bahá'í community and my inherent inability to persuade people of my perspective on what they were doing, due to the sanction of the institutions, I stepped out of the faith in true Bahá'í fashion; by following another piece of advice from Abdu'l-Bahá':
Religion should unite all hearts and cause wars and disputes to vanish from the face of the earth; it should give birth to spirituality, and bring light and life to every soul. If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division it would be better to be without it, and to withdraw from such a religion would be a truly religious act. For it is clear that the purpose of a remedy is to cure, but if the remedy only aggravates the complaint, it had better be left alone. Any religion which is not a cause of love and unity is no religion.
So I said to myself that, at least for the time being, I should not be a Bahá'í. There is a concept I have heard referred to by an ex-Mormon as 'the shelf,' the place where you leave the religious ideas that do not yet make sense to you. After my tentative decision to stop being a Bahá'í, I more and more found just how much was left forgotten on that shelf. At a certain critical mass of beliefs and rules that made no sense, I passed the point of no return and outgrew religious thought all-together.

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Basileus biggus the Great 's picture
Yo Biggus here I used to be a

Yo Biggus here I used to be a pagan then I converted to early christiaity and so I more or less changed as the religion did. to make a long story short I try to do what is hip at the time.now that may seem strange but if you live over 2000 years it makes sence trust me.

Basileus biggus the Great 's picture
Yo Biggus here I used to be a

Yo Biggus here I used to be a pagan then I converted to early christiaity and so I more or less changed as the religion did. to make a long story short I try to do what is hip at the time.now that may seem strange but if you live over 2000 years it makes sence trust me.

Alembé's picture
Hi Augus,

Hi Augus,

Thanks for sharing. This subject comes up from time to time. You may wish to check out the stories posted a couple of years ago:

http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/atheist-hub/what-your-story-being-...

MCD's picture
Here is my story. I never

Here is my story. I never believed. I played the game. I pretended. And then one day, I decided not to pretend anymore.

Augus's picture
I want to clarify. the thread

I want to clarify. the thread from two years ago is all well and good. and thank you Alembé for posting it. But I'm more specifically look for the process that people went through in leaving a religion. what changed for them and how they decided to bounce. and mine was kinda long, partially because it was a long process and partially because it's the first time I've actually tried to sit down and write out the whole concise story. so it can be as brief as you feel like making it, but I'm curious to see if other people went through whole thing to arrive at the exit.

JB God's Country's picture
I more or less had the same

I more or less had the same experience as MCD.

Astratix's picture
I personally used to be more

I personally used to be more like Augus,very straight en in my religion(Christianity)especialy growing up in Romania wich is the second most religious country in Europe.As a kid(from the age of 8 to 11)I was determined to become a priest coming from my deep love for Christ and his creation while my familly being a faithful one to God tottaly suported me.I used to go to church every Sunday and always tried to learn something new from the holy bible.
There were times when I started to question God's existence when I was feeling that science disproves Him and when I felt that some parts of the bible dont go well with the reality,but ending up stopping myself and saying that is the devil trying to delude me.In my familly I really didnt had experiences with atheists,my father is,but didnt talked to him about religion,my mom said that he didnt liked going to church early in the morning so that is why he became an atheist and I went with that explination.Two years ago my doubts about God started to grow more and more and religion was making less sense,so I said that is time to answer my questions.I meditated in this subject for about three months,talked to my father who share his views on God,talked to some friends where one of them talled me that he red the whole bible and saw how much bullshit is in it.Following his advice I started looking carefully in the bible's verses and started seeing it's flaws and realized is not inspired by some divine being.That is when I deconverted and for the past two years I've been an atheist.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Thinkable - I felt that some

Thinkable - I felt that some parts of the bible dont go well with the reality, but ending up stopping myself and saying that is the devil trying to delude me.

That is a very interesting insight.

Augus's picture
one of the most insidious

one of the most insidious things about about organized religions is the mechanisms in place to keep people from questioning their beliefs. some of them are quite intricate. In the Baha'i faith, there is no devil, and in-fact, there are verses that have constructed the well known tenet of personal investigation of the truth. This gives the believer the sense that they have held onto their faith entirely through their own volition and sense of reason. But then, their are verses such as this one:

"We have consumed this densest of all veils, with the fire of the love of the Beloved—the veil referred to in the saying: “The most grievous of all veils is the veil of knowledge.” Upon its ashes, We have reared the tabernacle of divine knowledge."

there is this concept that man-made knowledge can veil you from divine knowledge. when you start to question your faith as opposed to questioning everything else, you think "am I falling into the trap that the writings have warned me about? that's sort of our devil hiding in plain sight.

Pitar's picture
Your "one of the most

Your "one of the most insidious things about about organized religions is the mechanisms in place to keep people from questioning their beliefs." is what we now call a religious meme. The routine stabilizing of the apologist is done through their weekly exposure to the meme. It isn't anything different than what has always occurred but these days bring new terminologies that have current universal understanding allowing us to move forward without explanations of antiquated terminologies.

I've given my story here before so I won't cover that ground again. I will say that I was an anti-theist before reaching my teens and settled down to atheism some years after.

I read through your thread-starting post and have to say that what you're going about is the commercialism of your faith versus the cultural embracing of traditional rights of passage through the community and family unit. Well said, but that's the way of all religions and perhaps the crux of their problems. Brand competition is an ugly business even if gods are in the sales pitch.

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
Although I have Catholic

Although I have Catholic/Christian family and have read the bible a couple times.. Hinduism is the religion I grew up in. like many religious people, I thought mine was better. Why not right? It literally does promote peace. Cool. Karma is a concept that promotes the golden rule. Cool. And The worst that can happen to you is that you're reincarnated into an animal you're not fond of. Not eternal torture lol. All true but wait... We have our Crazies too. From the people who are devoted to our god of death and sacrifice a goat every sunday to please her to the one who think that eating beef is offensive. From a young age I always doubted that there was a sentient god and the story of it all, but the catalyst of my rejection is how much money mattered. The Pandit(our version of a priest or other holy person) would refer to the families who donated the highest amount as "The Financial Families" like do you hear yourself? And are the rest of you proud of this shit? This guy was upset that there weren't more high rollers at the casino.. oops I meant Temple. My writing cannot properly illustrate it, but oh boy, if you could see how fired up he was when talking about this shit. It took about an hour of the time that I was expecting to get my spirituality on. My parents and i never returned to organized religion.
I think my atheism was always there and I didn't know it. I was a child of science. Especially biology, geology and Astronomy. Creation made no sense, religious people always sounded brainwashed, I always felt rediculous when I prayed and it didn't seem fair for people to thank god for thier accomplishments instead of themselves or those who helped. College only turned my skepticism into something real that I could back up at anytime. Learning history, a multitude of sciences and Epistemology was a gift. At 24 I finally felt like I was at a point that my word had gravitas and I told my parents and close friends that I don't believe in God. It's liberating really. Thank common sense, education and free will.

Augus's picture
Like I said at the top, I too

Like I said at the top, I too thought my religion was so obviously vastly superior to all others. The more I stepped back, the more I could see just how similar it was to Christianity or Islam which it happened to grow out of.

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
Yeah they're all man made

Yeah they're all man made systems of mind control.. better off without em. Although I admit I still slip up and say phrases like "oh my god" or "I could've swore" or "holy shit" lol
it's just common language. Is that something to worry about or not?

Augus's picture
no, in time, it will cycle

no, in time, it will cycle out. for example, I tend to say "for fuck sake" as opposed to "god's sake". I've never been one too fret over language though. ours is just so infused with christianity right now. But it will fade in time. language is always evolving.

still breathing's picture
Brought up Catholic, fought

Brought up Catholic, fought it through my teens, read Ayn Rand at 18, became an atheist to the stupefaction of my parents, saw the light and got born again, couldn't bear the inevitable bs, did all kinds of new age crap in my 30s, including living in a yoga ashram, came back to Christ (shit!), left again, then, then: I found myself in a cult, a real, honest-to-badness, fracking, idiotic cult, one so horrifyingly ridiculous that its name shall not be named (because some of you might look it up and then some of you might think me emotionally impaired--not that I'm not, necessarily).
Sigh. I think that's what cured me though. I saw the worst of the worst, truly. Following all of the OT, all those laws. There were lies, abuse (every sort), oppression, and a leader who was a sociopathic maniac (par for the cult course, of course). But I was able to question and examine what was going on--thanks, Internet!--and I did escape (taking my son, leaving the abusive, faith-addled husband) and that exodus was 18 years ago. And although for years I had murder in my heart (I mean seriously), I got over that, and accept that I've been there and done that and, it's done. I am cynical, a lot grumpy, I "believe" nothing. Now, I think, I am too damaged and too old to be further bamboozled.
Wait, an audible voice might do it...

Pitar's picture
still breathing

still breathing

Quite the gauntlet. From "an atheist to the stupefaction of my parents,..." to "...too old to be further bamboozled." is a snug fit in my own past though the two followed in close succession before I hit my teens. The latter I suspended as a shield between us that ultimately removed the parent/sibling relationship altogether. If religion could do that then we have evidence of its deeply resident evil calling to simple people who prefer to avoid becoming, as you nailed it, "faith-addled".

I'm glad you collected your senses, your son and split. Otherwise, I hope all is well with you.

still breathing's picture
Oh, hey Pitar! You know, I

Oh, hey Pitar! You know, I thought I "subscribed" to this thread, so when I got no email about any reply at all, I thought, oh, well now, this is a friendly bunch! :(
Anywho, thanks for commenting and wishing me well. But I will have to say that I think the time for "all is well" with any of us who are thinking and paying attention is slipping away. I haven't wandered around this site enough to know yet, but will I be set upon if I venture the opinion that we really may be living in the end times...? Now, of course I don't mean that in the biblical sense, but in terms of how human beings are overrunning the planet and making it unfit for all life. Is that an extreme view in an atheist community? I surely hope not. But that is not for this thread. Maybe I'll start one about that and find out. Or, anyone who will could point me to threads on that subject. Meanwhile I'll search the site and see what I come up with.
Finally, yeah, me and the kid (21 now and so much an atheist that it's part of his very identity I suppose) are doing well enough, all things considered.

Truett's picture
I became an atheist at the

I became an atheist at the age of 50. I had been a Southern Baptist Deacon, conservative Republican, NRA member, and supporter of people like Ted Cruz. So in other words, I was a misogynistic, nationalistic speciest who prioritized the fictitious life to come over this life.

I've been in the tech sector on the business generation side, so I was/am well traveled and work with execs from across the country. I have a BBA from one of the nation's largest business colleges. Still, I was under the impression that there was an unseen order to reality and that god was real. I could tell that the Bible wasn't literal in most ways, but I none the less thought it was true in a deeper, more profound way.

Early in the Summer of 2015 I happened to see a walking-with-dinosaurs type program about the early days of the dinosaurs as life emerged from the Permian Extinction. Included in the program was a dog-like creature called Thrinaxodon. It was a mammal like reptile that appeared part dog and part lizard. The circumstances of its existence couldn't have been worse; it and the few other life forms that made it through the Permian Extinction are arguably the most abused specimens in the history of life. Just about all life on earth died, and these guys barely made it.

The program made the point that all mammals are related to Thrinaxadon, but that isn't what hit me. What hit me was how unkind and unfair the whole thing seemed for this dog like creature (I love dogs). A cornerstone of the Christian faith is that people don't know god's ways but he is in control and makes all things work together for good. The Permian Extinction makes a mockery of that belief. No plan could include the needless suffering of so many animals 251 million years ago. The fact that it was a dog type victim allowed the whole thing to filter past all of the mental barriers of my religious delusion.

This event was one of the two moments that created the epiphany needed to dismiss all supernatural belief. I pursued more insight, which included David Attenborough's "First Life" BBC program. I then wanted to hear debates with leading Christians, and in the process I came to know Christopher Hitchens via Youtube debates. His reasoning and mockery were extremely effective on me, and as a proof point to one of his arguments he mentioned Lawrence Krauss' work on something-from-nothing. I followed up on this and listened to Krauss' arguments and that was it. I was finished with faith.

Here is the reason that Krauss' work is so important: Existence. I don't mean our existence, I mean existence in general. Most educated Christians believe in god and at the same time recognize that we aren't the center of the universe, that demons don't cause illness, and that Noah didn't have an ark with every single creature. They, like me, were raised our whole lives believing that there is this unseen but incredibly important dimension to life. They, like me, look for the kind of evidence that we rely on for every other decision in life, but we don't find it except in a few spots. Those spots are in the current unknowns of science, especially the origin of life from non-life and, more importantly for many, the mystery of existence itself.

It was destabilizing to me to realize that there are really good working hypotheses about how the first self replicating molecule evolved. That left existence. If god is the creator, which is arguably the most common description of god in the bible, then he had to create something. If he didn't create the universe, then he isn't a creator and the bible is wrong in every conceivable way.

Lawrence did two things at once. First, he described a plausible means by which something can come from nothing. The other thing was within my mind; in reading what Lawrence Krauss hypothesized, I could see that, whether he had it perfectly correct or not, the final answer will be scientific. It will not be supernatural.

I am embarrassed by what many of my fellow atheists must think of me right now. It is silly to go so long in life without making that connection. The entire bible and belief system is unbelievable. Still, that is pretty much what happened. I knew the bible thoroughly. I taught adults the bible, I read it over a dozen times cover to cover, and have some knowledge about ancient Hebrew and Greek. I was personally instrumental in convincing hundreds of people that Christianity was true. I was deeply convinced of the truth of the bible and Christianity. I was perfectly wrong.

When I realized that I had been so gravely mistaken, it was the most pivotal occurrence in my life. My positions on every front had to be reconsidered, my family had to know, and I had to come up with new meaning in life. Because of a matter that was in the news in that time frame, which was the Kentucky clerk who wouldn't marry gays, gay marriage was the first to be considered. I changed my position on gay marriage, abortion, capitalism, the nation-state model, morality and ethics, animal rights, and many other things.

I think the single hardest thing was something that someone who has always been an atheist might not understand. I genuinely thought that if there was no eternal life then there was no real meaning to life. It is so silly to me now, but I had that deep conviction for decades. There is a lot to discuss on this point, but I'll leave it alone to keep this short. But this issue was the single heaviest anchor that bound me to the Christian faith.

I abandoned the Republican party and volunteered for Hillary and local Democratic politicians. I am now a secular liberal progressive humanist. My immediate family has been split on this whole issue, and one voted Republican. My extended family almost entirely voted for conservatives, and best I can tell everyone in my community voted Republican.

Becoming an atheist for me was like waking up. Imagine a person who wears kaleidoscopic eyeglasses. The person sees everything that a non-theist does, but it is categorized and set on edge in a way that distorts its place in reality. All the images and colors of the world are the same, but they are mistakenly segmented and disassociated from each other in a way that severely distorts reality. Imagine that visual analogy applying to just about everything. I didn't have to relearn but I had to resort the whole lot. Everyone I know is currently deluded in the same or similar way, and attempting to wake someone is not well received.

A few luminaries of the atheist world were especially helpful to me, and they are the late Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence Krauss, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. Peter Singer and Steven Pinker helped with philisophical and moral reasoning arguments. Youtube was the best medium.

I was really hoping to make this a short piece, so apologies for the length. I am so very glad to be free of that delusion and I deeply appreciate this forum for me to hear from other atheists. The area where I live is deeply religious, so I'm neck deep in a theocratically-minded population. That said, a community of fellow atheists is like oxygen to me, so thanks a million for being here and for reading this.

anon_atheist's picture
It's my first time really

It's my first time really putting my whole story out there...so here goes.

I was raised to basically believe in nothing. We weren't an atheist family, but we weren't theists either. We were just kind of there and theism/atheism didn't play a part in our family dynamics. But when my father became saved after attending GA and AA me and my brother became pushed into the world of religion when I was around 13 and he was 15. My mother being the logical woman she is turned to the world of atheism and ran...fast. My parents separated and my father took on full custody. He put me and my brother into RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). We weren't adults, just teenagers...but with pressure from our private school, christian community, and my father and my new stepmom I went through with the process and got initiated into the Catholic world. I was pretty devout throughout my teenager years. I went to Catholic youth retreats, I protested at abortion clinics, I was a leader in the youth group at my church, and I was a member of the religious society at my private school. In the religious society we organized Sunday masses and school masses/confessions during the week. As a part of my training in RCIA I was informed by my elders in the church that I should distance myself from people like my mother....that they were damaging my relationship with Jesus. I was told that my mom was going to hell and God would punish me for communicating with those who denied his existence. I didn't talk to my mother for some time...Looking back on this I'm rather ashamed. I regained communication with my mother during my senior year of high school. It was about once a week I was allowed to see her against my fathers wishes. During my senior year of high school my paternal grandfather (who I was extremely close to) and my mothers boyfriend passed around the same time. My heart was crushed. I wasn't handling it well. The idea of a loving God ending the life of two amazing people so young...I just couldn't wrap my head around it. The counselor at my private school suggested a retreat they had once a year that was coming up. At this retreat I experienced something I will never forget. When I went to confession and began to confess my sins the priest completely lost it. He told me that I should be ashamed to even be there mourning the loss of a non-believer (my mother's boyfriend)...I should never mourn the loss of a non-believer. He is suffering in hell and I should be thankful God has eliminated him from the earth. He was very loud and people around me could here him. Throughout the rest of the weekend I felt alienated. All eyes were on me and I needed to leave. I lost many friends and mentors that I loved so much. To this day none of them will speak to me. I was depressed for about three years as I left for college with absolutely zero friends, zero supporters. My dad hated me for leaving the church and my mother was having a hard time with her boyfriends loss so she was not much help either. I wasn't atheist at this point.... I was just lost. I went to the university church once...Ever since then I have been an atheist. I just had another horrible experience. After my mother grieved long enough that she could have coherent conversations with me we talked for a long time about theism and her own beliefs. I've done my research since then on my own and we have talked about what I went through living with my father.
Now I am 22. And I am engaged to an atheist whose family are devout Jehovah's Witnesses. They kicked him out at the age of 16 when he refused to go to meetings with them and he has been fending for himself since then. Now they want a part in their grandchild's life and want to bring him to meetings. The struggle against religion in the deep south is never-ending.

Endri's picture
Hoah! that is some big hit

Hoah! that is some big hit there! I won't pretend I feel your pain, but that's a big step for your age, especially when you were so deeply affiliated with Religion. Well, shit happens, people die, life goes on. I've had close people die, my Uncle, my Friend (9 years old) and my Grandpa, I've gotten used to it, hell, I might not even shed a tear when my mother dies, life does hit hard. They weren't that religious, but they weren't atheists either, they were just....nice simple people.

Nyarlathotep's picture
anon_atheist - I am engaged

anon_atheist - I am engaged to an atheist whose family are devout Jehovah's Witnesses. They kicked him out at the age of 16 when he refused to go to meetings with them and he has been fending for himself since then. Now they want a part in their grandchild's life and want to bring him to meetings.

I can only tell you what I'd do. For example:

absolutely no religious indoctrination:

  • no attendance of religious functions
  • no religious teachings
  • no prayer (if they feel they need to pray, do it when he isn't in the room)
  • no conversations about religious topics (if the child asks them a religious question they are to instruct the child to ask their parents the question)

Also be sure to warn them that you aren't interested in arguing technicalities, that if they do anything that you feel violates the ground rule or even the spirit of the ground rules, that their privileges will be revoked; that you alone are the arbiter of the rules and consequences. Tell them if they are unwilling to accept those ground rules then their interactions with the child will have to be supervised.

Truett's picture
Wow, Anon. That is really

Wow, Anon. That is really moving. The cruelty you've endured is the kind of thing that has led me to be an anti-theist. Individuals who actually believe their religion's doctrine and precepts are a danger to the world at large. Take the Jehova Witness family; they genuinely believe that we are in a great spiritual war where demonic forces are sadistically battling god and all that is beautiful, peaceful and loving. Anyone who is not with them is truly and honestly against them, and any person not with them is a henchman of satan. In such a demented construct, they are acting rationally. Taking their deluded premise, it makes sense to fight against the forces of hell and darkness and damnation. In such a mistaken reality the nonbeliever is not a fellow human being but is instead a vile enemy that god has rightly doomed to hell. So deeply religious people are a danger to those within their orbit of control.

I just hate what happened to you. It is this type of thing that highlights what I believe is the greatest immediate project of mankind, which is to free humanity from religious dogma and superstition.

Thanks for sharing your moving story.

anon_atheist's picture
And their deluded belief that

And their deluded belief that only 144,000 people will make it to heaven. Why would I join a faith or let you bring my son to join a faith that he is not guaranteed ever lasting life in even if he does believe! This magic number is just ridiculous to me.
But I am thankful for my time I spent in the church strangely enough. It has given me a better insight I feel...Honestly. Not all of these people should be blamed for being religious nutbags because most of the time..it's truly not their fault. They were raised this way and punishment would follow if they deviated from the faith. Alienation from everyone they've grown to love their whole life is threatened if they try to venture outside the bubble they have been trapped in. I have a better understanding of what I do not believe in knowing that I did believe this for so many years and I was fully involved in it for years. I have seen the moderates...I have seen the extremists...And I have known to many who wish they could do what I did.

In regards to my son...His contact is limited from his father's side of the family. I let him speak with them. And I probably would let him go to a meeting...Only if I was there and not until he is much older. Past the age of reason where he could decide for himself how he feels. I don't want to force him to be an atheist. Then I would be no better than my father was to me. I want him to know what he does not believe in. To be more informed.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Good, I think it is much

Good, I think it is much easier to break this cycle of non-sense by just not pushing it on them when they are so susceptible to it. There is a reason they push it on kids; if they waited until people were older they would laugh in their face.

CyberLN's picture
Bingo. My kids were not

Bingo. My kids were not given any gods as children. When they got to be teens, sometimes one or another of them would attend the religious services of a friend of theirs. It was interesting to them but nothing stuck.

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