So my name is Aubrey, I have just recently became an atheist. After about 19 years growing up in the church, I have just been feed up with the crap that has been indoctrinated me since i was born. OH and did i mention that this was a Evangelical church too. Not only did we believe in the working of the holy spirit, but we were also known as a live church (The working of the holy spirit thru speaking in "tongues"). I feel into the trap that the church set, which is to fear you out of hell. It has been a mental battle for me these past 6 months, I would have never thought about atheism before. What really changed me was a missions trip I just got back from 2 weeks ago. I realized, pray does not help anyone, and that is all we were going to do on this missions trip, Pray, really there is nothing better we can do to help them. Made me sad to know that we probably did not help the people of Nicaragua. Nevertheless, I could not be happier to say, God damn it I'm proud to be atheist!
Welcome. You'll find there's as much diversity in views among atheists as there is between Christian sects. We're a diverse bunch. Some of us even (apparently) believe in spirits and life after death. I find that hard to process, but it's true.
Prayer is God picking sides. Therefore, I do not pray. I put my trust in my own capacities as a thinking human being rather than plead for God's capricious choice.
Welcome Aubrey... every week Nelson sends out a Sunday School email, and often there are links to studies about how prayer doesn't work.
As a former Catholic myself, I understand the power ritual has over people. Like others have said, don't be so hard on yourself. This is the beginning of YOUR life, not the ones your parents chose for you.
Welcome. You might enjoy this (if you haven't already seen it):