I myself come from an extremely devout conservative family. I was raised as a Catholic and became "born again" during a Summer Vacation Bible camp when I was in the sixth grade. I made all the sacraments, went to CCD (like Bible study classes), attended Christian Conferences and week long camps, and even went to a Private Catholic College. My husband went into the military shortly after we married and I think that was the beginning of my de-conversion. I attended LSU and lived all over the deep South. This really opened up my eyes to a world very different from where I grew up. I began questioning after attempting to find a church that "fit" us. Listening to pastors talk about beating their kids, using Bible quotes to condone it, and then sitting through masses about tithing and speaking in tongues, I started to see how crazy religion was. I guess I identified as non-denominational for a while because I didnt want to have anything to do with man made religion. Then it was watching documentaries and specials on Jesus and I started questioning the Bible and whether or not he could have existed and raised the dead, and walked on water, turned water to wine, etc....My conclusion upon getting my degree in Science Psychology was no he couldnt have, those things are improbable. If that was my conclusion then every other "story" in the Bible was improbable and where did that leave me?
My de-conversion was a process and progress if you ask me. I didnt just wake up one day and say "I think I'll be an atheist". I was a long sometimes painful process that led me here. I could never "go back" EVER, too many things about this world and Universe point to happen stance, probability, and accident. We are Serendipitous, the outcome of a happy accident. I'm fine with that, I'm happy with that! I no longer need a man in the sky subconsciously re affirming my every choice and "making" me feel guilty when I make a poor decision. My brain is far evolved from the mythology and going back is no longer an option.
The repercussions from my de-conversion have been slight. My Mom cried when she found out and told me I was going to Hell, now she just tries to get me to listen to Christian radio stations and referred to my recent raise and promotion as an "answer to her prayers". I deal with the religious rhetoric because she is family. I now look back often, especially when she looks at something purely scientific and attributes it to God, and wonder how I could have ever believed such nonsense.
I was raised atheist but did some investigating into Christianity and neo-paganism as I grew up. Ultimately I found the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the gig was up. Seriously, I was touched by His Noodly Appendage and stopped apologizing for not believing in Jesus or anybody else. I also began to see Christianity in a more sinister light, recognizing the colossal amount of damage the religion and some of its adherents have done in the world.
I learned a lot more about Christianity and, especially science that proves Creationism (and its cousin Intelligent Design) untrue. I spoke up as an atheist and have not stopped since. I do not want my children, or anybody's children, taught nonsense as science. Somewhere along the line I realized the pervasiveness of Christianity's influence in my life, world history, and politics, and I got a little angry. No more Ms. Nice Lady.
Good for you Diane! If I ever have kids they will be taught the history of religion, since it is a huge part of world culture, but I will allow them to make up their own minds when they feel they are old enough to do so.
So my mom is starting to come around. I went up to camp with my parents and things got pretty ugly. I told them that politics and religion are two things we obviously cant talk about and if they continue to make things awkward or uncomfortable for me I dont have to spend any time with them. They have been pretty great lately, things have been nice. They aren't accepting of it but our conversations can touch upon the subject of my "atheism" and my mom doesnt get as angry. She still says she is concerned for my soul but she sees how happy me and my hubby are and I think she is realizing that it isnt a phase. Has anyone else hd similar experiences with their parents? I'm hoping it gets even better? How did it go for you?
It didn't go well for me at all. My mother is a fundy with mental illness and couldn't be in a room with me without pulling out a bible and babbling on in tongues in a desperate attempt to ward off the demons that tear away constantly at my flesh (in her eyes). I haven't seen her since '92.
Your situation sounds a lot more manageable.
Wow Heather....thats crazy. I'm sorry you no longer see your mom. I am grateful that my mom is not a fundamentalist, I think at that point people my be too far "gone" to even entertain a different point of view.