I posted this as a blog entry and it made me curious if others can remember their earliest feelings of doubt and disillusionment...
I remember being 9 or 10, doubting during the Xmas service at church...asking God to give me a sign. I saw one bulb on the Xmas tree moving furiously back and forth. I got so excited to have my sign that God existed...until I saw the heating vent positioned directly to the side of that section of tree.
I remember visiting my aunt's church around the same age and attending Sunday school there. The lesson was on Judas betraying Jesus. On the worksheet, we were to circle the correct answers to the questions. The question was, "How did Judas betray Jesus?" a)with a kiss b)with a hug c)with a handshake. I, of course, circled with a kiss. When the teacher went through the answers and said Judas betrayed Jesus with a hug, I about peed my pants. I started to argue with her, and she and the rest of the class looked at me dumbfounded. She said "Jesus would never kiss another man."
I remember being 6 or 7 at an Easter service wondering how the hell Jesus dying on the cross would make God forgive our sins.
I remember being 15 when my 2 year old cousin drowned. I remember staring at my favorite picture of Jesus, carrying a black sheep, praying with all my heart for God to save her. I bargained, I threatened, I promised "If you let her live, I'll never doubt again." She died. I was shaken to my core, and I never regained my faith after that.
Oh yeah...and...what about miscarried souls and babies who died before they were baptized?
I remember asking my pastor during my confirmation classes about people who died without knowing about Jesus and he said, "Well, if they were good people, they'd go to heaven." I don't recall seeing that in the Bible anywhere... :P
Even the Catholic Church realized that sending babies to hell is immoral early on. So they made up BS like limbo and eventually the doctrine that there is a certain age limit in which babies go heaven in any case.
My first doubt was at 5 while attending my great-grandfather's funeral. Everyone was sobbing uncontrollably but they kept saying, "He's in a better place now." It just didn't add up. If he was in heaven, and we were all going to see him there someday, then everyone should have been happy for him. I realized then that nobody truly believes the bullshit.
I was surrounded by pictures of Jesus knocking on a door in a garden or dieing on the cross, and I was told that as soon as I let him into my heart I would be 'saved'. At maybe 8 or 9 I prayed with one of my grandmothers, saying that I wanted Jesus in my heart, and she assured me I was saved. It never really made sense to me though. God seemed perfectly real, and Jesus to an extent, but I just couldn't believe that god hated us and had to kill his son to like us.
By 11 everything fell apart as one grandmother wanted me to start Catholic confirmation and the other wanted me to go for a Pentecostal baptism - the conflicting dogmas tore each other to shreds.
I was 7 or 8, when I wondered if we were created by the gods, then who created the gods? Their gods maybe? So it went on like that. Gods live in the sky above us, their gods live in the sky above them & so on. But there was something wrong with that. One, who created the first gods. But the major point was how come we're at the bottom of the chain. It didn't seems right. Maybe we were gods, probably gods of the insects. But I don't feel like a god & insects can see us, and I don't see them praying to me.