What has worked for you?

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DebbR's picture
What has worked for you?

I was brought up in a militantly evangelical christian household. Imbued with religion almost from the start of my life, I've found it difficult to rid my mind of the influences, especially of the expected end-times (I still look hard at world leaders, watching for signs that they are the beast, etc .. it's all habit, but it still happens).

So .. what worked for you (those of you who left the church) to rid yourself of these habits?

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Cognostic's picture
@Hi Dbbr: Education is the

@Hi Dbbr: Education is the bane of religion. The more you learn the less of a grip it will have on you. The "End Times" is a Christian Story, invented by the Christian faith. Satan is a Christian Story invented by the Christian faith. These stories have origins and you can watch them develop and change over time. You can also see how they are interpreted differently by the 30,000 different Christian Sects.

The more you read, watch and understand, the more you will realize that we know absolutely nothing and all the stories are just made up. Buddhism is made up. Krishna Consciousness is made up. Chakras are made up. Hinduism is made up. Taoism is made up. Jainism is made up. Shinto is made up. Karma is made up. These are all just attempts of human beings to answer the difficult questions for which there are no answers yet. Atheists have just learned to say, "We just don't know." and "Until you prove your silly claims, we really have no reason to believe you."

Pagel's book on the Origins of Satan is a wonderful read.
Bart Erhman's lectures on YouTube - How Jesus became God, Who wrote the Bible.

Another comes to mind. Jesus, Mything in Action. All great videos to watch.

Audio-books can be downloaded from P2P servers. Or a great place to buy them cheap is Thriftbooks. They sell used books for pennies on the dollar.


If you can stand Matt Dillahaunty, The Atheist Experience is a great show to watch. Tracie Harris is also quite good. Watch them on YouTube.

There are loads of Blogs on this site and they are fun to browse.

Finally, join the fun. Just get in the action and start testing your understanding of things. Anything at all that sounds silly or out of place in the forums is going to get challenged. You have to be wrong before you can ever be right. The more you participate, the more feedback you get and the more you learn.

Good Luck!

David Killens's picture
Hello DebbR, welcome to

Hello DebbR, welcome to Atheist Republic. I was also raised in a christian family, although pretty lax and liberal by the standards others have described. Of course jesus and moses and all those bible stories were deeply ingrained into my head, but the threatening and constant pounding of dogma was not there.

And this is my first suggestion, that you constantly remind yourself that you spent your life as a victim of indoctrination, where fear was the primary tool.

My second suggestion is to at least read most of the debates that go on in here, they help any atheist collect and organize their thoughts. And watching a lot of videos debating these subject is also a great assistance.

My third suggestion is that you constantly remind yourself that you are not alone. Most of us had made the same journey, filled with fear and confusion. You are not alone, and this is a safe place for you.

One can not cast off a lifetime of brainwashing easily or quickly. But over time, it does materialize.

Live, love, laugh.

Tin-Man's picture


Welcome! If you are having trouble shaking some old religious habits, then you are in the right place here!... *grin*... If you truly want to be totally free of all those nagging doubts caused by your religious indoctrination, then I can tell you from personal experience this little site that some of us call "home" can be a major positive factor in helping you along the way. This is especially true if you are in a location/situation where you do not have anybody else with whom to discuss your concerns.

To echo a bit of what David said, one of the best ways to fully escape those religious bonds is to simply start learning. Follow along with and ask questions in the debates on here. Express your thoughts/ideas and get feedback on them. (Be prepared for tough/straightforward answers, though.) Watch videos. (Atheist Experience, Non-Stamp Collector, DarkMatter2525, etc.) Believe me, a few of those videos along with regular interactions on here will help clear up any doubts you may have in a jiffy... *grin*...

And, too, like David said, always remember you are not alone. Many others here (and across the globe) have experienced what you are now experiencing. It is normal. But, more importantly, it can be overcome. Meanwhile, just be happy with the fact your eyes are now open and that your mind can soon be totally free from the debilitating, invasive, and burdensome weight of religious dogma. Welcome to freedom.

cranky47's picture


I did not 'decide' or suddenly become an atheist. My atheism was the inevitable conclusion of a long journey.

I'm 72. My journey began at age 16 when I questioned some of the more fatuous Catholic beliefs.EG infallibility of the Pope, Limbo for unbaptised babies, the trinity, the virgin birth.

Still living at home with my chronically Irish catholic family AND still at Catholic school, , I decided discretion was the better part of valour, and outwardly remained catholic. Hypocritical? Sure, but acceptable within my code of ethics because of the level of coercion implied.

I parted company with Church when I was conscripted at 20. I was no longer a Catholic, but remained an agnostic theist .

I spent the next 20 years searching ,both informally and at university. I found nothing.

At around age 40, I finally realised that I no longer believed in such things as; gods, the soul, angels, demons, heaven, hell, the paranormal, mountain trolls, dragons or fairies at the bottom of my garden. This due to a lack of proof.

I did not and do not claim to KNOW such things do not exist. Hence I call myself an agnostic. [atheist.]

I do not define myself as an atheist. My atheism is simply my position on the question of the existence of god. My agnosticism is about a lack of knowledge of a great many more things about which I know little or nothing .

I am not at all embarrassed about saying "I don't know ". Ignorance in itself is not shameful imo. But willful ignorance of the kind often encountered with dogmatic theists ,is not something about which to be proud, imo.

My present position works well for me. I do not discus religion with strangers. IF a believer gets in my face, he/she is asked to stop. If they do not, I will say some very unkind things.It's been about ten years since I have needed to do that.

I DO discuss such things on a couple of Atheist forums. These platforms are safe and anonymous. I can also simply leave at any time, with no repercussions .

LogicFTW's picture
I was not raised the same as

I was not raised the same as you, so unfortunately I cannot offer much good advice.

If I was religious though, I think it would be pretty easy to jump to the conclusion that tRump is the beast at least in my mind.

Cognostic's picture
Hey! You could marry and

Hey! You could marry and atheist. Send picks to AR, PM, cog! :-)

Seek3R's picture
Atheist Republic's answers

Atheist Republic's answers have worked for me and time has worked for me. I followed a religion like a crazy mofo for 18 years. I memorized its books, I went to... well, let's say equivalent of Church, every single day, I never stopped praying. In other words, I sold myself to God.

1.5 years have passed since I became an atheist. I still don't consider myself freed from the influences. Things that happened in my life, words that were said to me, things I had to personally experience in my family, claims which were brainwashed inside my mind.

It's hard. Time heals all wounds. The disadvantage for people like me i.e. people who have followed a religion like an extremist, is that it takes us A LOOOOOT of time to understand things and literally UNDO all the bullshit.

But here are my suggestions (this is what I did and still do):

1) Ask all your questions here, put your trust in the fellows here. Believe me, they are experienced people who have gone through life and nobody understands us atheists better than them

2) Start reading "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins

3) Start watching lectures of Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris on YouTube.

Believe me when I say this, you have to do hard-work to undo the influences and live the peaceful life that you desire. At least this is what I have to do. Not sure about you but this is how it is.

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