What attracted to you religion and what pushed you away from it?

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Nyarlathotep's picture
That is facinating.

That is facinating.

What struck me more than anything was that it was, for lack of a better word: periodic. I was surprised that they felt the need to have the object (often times a statue) blessed OVER AND OVER AGAIN. You'd think one application of that magic juju from the ruler of the universe would be plenty.

She was from an ethnic(?) group that I think is properly called Visayan (she used a different word). I know next to nothing about this stuff, there was a powerful language barrier between us.

Joy--'s picture
“my introduction to

“my introduction to Catholicism was from seeing the bruises on the two neighbor girl's legs from when they were forced to kneel in a closet with marbles on the floor at Catholic school, for not being familiar with Catholic dogma. Despite the fact that they were not Catholic and had just joined the school. Before that point, I thought Catholic was just another church building.”

That is horrible. When and where was this?

Nyarlathotep's picture
It was in the South (USA), in


It was in the South (USA), in the early 1980's.

ronald bertram's picture
I departed from theism before

I departed from theism before I was 10 years old. I had my doubts about spirituality and Gods about the same time I knew there was not an Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. And that was a long time ago because I am 69. In the interest of brevity, the concept of the major religous doctrines don't pass a laugh test. What I observe is that humans have created a God or Gods and then dumbed them down with human traits and characteristics. Imagine a being capable of creating the Universe needing to be loved? And why does the God created by the Christian doctrine have gender? Why does HE need a penis and testicles? It does not pass a laugh test.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Nothing ever attracted me to

Nothing ever attracted me to religion. I was given my first bible by my Grandad as I asked questions. Religion was like a background hum always around but never relevant. We had the "wee Free's", I went to a Presbyterian Elementary School, then a C of E Public (i.e Private) School.

Grandad and I chatted about religion and he answered my questions with "go read aboot it". I soon realised what a hypocritical mess the whole christianity thing was.

Growing up in the 60's I was archetypical New Ager with an insatiable zest for "find out what it is all about" . I read different bibles,visited many churches, had a close friend as a Greek Orthodox priest, another a Shia Imam, went on retreat to buddhist monasteries, Benedictine Monasteries and generally did a lot of enquiring....with no answers.

Got into Zen as I was heavily into martial arts for 30 plus years, and met my good friend a Jesuit Priest who told me the real meaning (and showed me) of the rhyme "Mary Mary quite contrary"....and, set me off on a 30 year study path of 1st and Second century Christianity. A passion I still have today as more and more texts are being rediscovered, more archeology is coming to light, various dating methods and restoration methods are being improved and discovered.

To read the gospel of Thomas, from the Nag Hammadi trove is brilliant, to read the Codex Sinaiticus and explore the textual differences to the next oldest Codex is amazing. To see how a religion can grow to influence almost half the world's population (if you include the other judaic cult of Mohammed) terrifying.....

So nothing turned me off or onto religion. Like a head louse under the microscope I wonder at its bloodsucking disease carrying capabilities, but I never caught them.

Cognostic's picture

What attracted me to religion. Religion feeds on the weak, downtrodden, lonely, and confused. I left home as a 16 year old. I bounced around from one relative to the next and failed out of 3 high schools before I was 18. Pratt High School in Pratt, Kansas. Lee High School in Huntsville, Alabama, and Newport Beach Harbor High School in Newport Beach, CA. Religion found me and gave me a place to feel accepted and at home. God was the father I never had. Then I grew up and individuated. I learned to be my own mother and father. I found out that I was responsible for my life and not this God thing. I stopped being a child following a magical father figure and became an adult, responsible for my own life. I went back to school, completed my HS, and now hold two university degrees and am the author of two books as well as other publications. I have individuated from the parental figures in my life and I am now completely responsible for my own decisions and all I do.

re: "And the more I thought about it the more I realized that religion is the most comforting and convenient thing if you want it to be. If my prayers are answered, God is real, if they're not, it's part of God's plan."

This is one of the stupidest comments you could possibly make. Religion is comforting if you want it to be? That says nothing at all about it being true or correct. The happiest man in town is the VILLAGE IDIOT. Anyone can be happy when they are willing to live in delusion. I used to be happy at Christmas time because Santa was going to bring me a gift. When I was a Christian, God was going to give me a place in Heaven and of course anything bad that happened to me was not my fault but evil forces working in the world. FUCK THAT SHIT! You can live in your delusions if you want to, I prefer reality.

A DOUBLE BIND FALLACY: If god answers prayers, its part of his plan. If god does not answer prayers, its part of his plan. Complete and utter HORSESHIT! Demonstrate that god has ever answered a prayer. There are prayer studies on top of prayer studies and they clearly demonstrate that PRAYER HAS NO MORE EFFECT THAN BLIND CHANCE. What theists do is count the hits and ignore the misses. Or in your case, completely ignore the misses and attribute it to "NOT BEING IN GOD'S PLAN." Utter and complete nonsense.

Have fun in your delusion.

RF321's picture
Thanks for the reply although

Thanks for the reply although again I think people have really misinterpreted what I said.

When I said that religion can be comforting/convenient when you want it to be, I meant that as a criticism of religion. I am not a believer anymore.

One of the main things that turned me away from Christianity was when I realised that it was a convenient lie. I realised that if I prayed for something (say, a new job) and I got it, then I would think this was proof God was real. If I prayed for something and didn't get it, then I would tell myself God must be testing me. I agree that it's a delusion and I regret getting caught up in it.

I also think this whole idea of "God's plan" is ridiculous. Like - what the hell is his plan? Some of the things I would hear other believers (at the time) discuss, pray about was so, so, so, so trivial. Like why on Earth would an all-powerful deity care about whether or not I get one job over the other? Again, it's like a cycle of delusional logic, where you keep telling yourself "It's part of God's plan" even though you have no idea what the plan actually is.

Kevin Levites's picture
I suspect that my story may

I suspect that my story may be a little different than anyone here.

My father was Jewish, and my mother was Presbyterian. They both rejected organized religion, as they saw the toxicity that it creates first-hand.

I went through a religious phase that lasted several years when I was younger. I hadn't found myself yet (still looking, in some ways).

I had a kind of spiritual, existential crisis when I was a medic, as I dealt with life and death all day long.

It is in my nature to question things, and had to spend a weekend pondering the state of my spirit . . . and became very agnostic after I got my head in order.

David Killens's picture
Although I born into a

Although I born into a religious family, one factor that kept christianity from sinking their hooks into me was the concept that jesus sacrificed himself.

My father served in the navy in WW2, and re-upped in the air force in 1951. From 1956 to 1960, we lived in a military housing area named "Mynarski Park", dedicated to a heroic Victoria Cross winner. And being a baby boomer, I was fed a steady diet of heroic war stories.

And many of those stories were a tale of incredible heroism and sacrifice. So to that little kid, jesus did not stand out as anything unique or special, I was aware of other people who also sacrificed themselves.

So when someone states "but jesus sacrificed himself for you", it has little effect. Yea, just go to any war cemetery and ponder that statement.


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