As an American adolescent growing up in a small town in New Jersey, I had been an atheist that didn't realize people took religion to be literal. I learned about saving sex for marriage and the like. However, I thought these were social traditions to keep social order. It wasn't until I moved to Florida that I realized, when trying to find an apartment with my girlfriend at the time, that religion and its dogma were indeed a very integral part of peoples lives. For the first time in my life, I had felt judged for a lack of belief. Naturally, having felt the onset of ostacization I lashed out in small ways by mocking believers, including some family members. For me, while there was some instant gratification, in the end I felt like an immature jerk. It wasn't until my mid-twenties that I met many Christians with whom I became friends with and adored. I finally got to know, what I would have defined then as, real Christians.
Now, after many debates I realize the existence of god is a futile discussion. Rather, I want to establish relationships with Christians so they'll understand where I come from. I do not want our society to be governed by their beliefs, through law and socially. I want them to hold each other, and their leaders, accountable for making efforts to change laws on a religious basis. I want them to do the same for perpetuating social stigmas based on religious ideals. I want to befriend them and make change happen, not by force, but through developed relationships based on a mutual love for humanity.
The religion you left
Was never a part of one
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