Being raised christian with a rational mind

Ever since I was born my parents have always told me there was a god but no santa clause or tooth fairy. I didn't understand how they expected me to understand why god was invisible and never speaking up for himself. It was hard for me, but I believed with all my might and became what you'd call a hardcore christian. I feared for my soul and everyone else's and never wanted to be raptured because there was so much work to do with all these atheists and catholics.... Really funny now that I think about it.

I started asking the BIG questions when I was 12, like "would you believe in god if there was no threat of hell or promises of heaven?" or "if god makes all the rules why did he have to kill his son for OUR sins?" oh man my youth pastor got so overwhelmed with my questions, and he studied them too, trying his best to answer them. He couldn't of course so I dove into the bible trying to save my faith. I studied the bible for many years after than and attended church camp, and missions trips, desperate to feel the faith I felt when I was in elementary school.

Well what happened when I read the bible was disasterous, I found more questions, more things that made me angry, or betrayed even. The god of the old testament couldn't possibly be the same god my loving parents brought me up believing in. I felt so upset that I had been raised in lies I really went off the deep end and told my parents I was done. They told me they were failures, that I wasn't fulfilling the promise they made to god, and blah blah blah. Can you imagine what that feels like for a kid? I was a good kid, I always obeyed them, never asked questions, and had the most trouble with telling lies that whenever I told one I quickly fessed up about it. I was a fucking GREAT kid. but it wasn't good enough if I no longer believed in god.

I'm on my own now, living with my husband in our atheist household, its refreshing to be safe from that life of fear. I no longer have to be afraid of the unknown, the supernatural, or fear for the souls of my friends. I love being kind just for the fucking sake of being kind, not because of hell or heaven or my soul. I know now that sin is a made up problem with a made up solution.. I no longer judge people for being impulsive, or passionate, or "slutty." Life needs those things to be enriched, and full and beautiful.

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Comment by Justin on July 3, 2011 at 10:58pm

Congratulations on finding your way to a household of tolerance.  Hopefully your family hasn't alienated you as a result of your beliefs.


Your story is remarkably similar to mine growing up.  Church three times a week, I took my Bible to school (but never read it), paid attention to the pastors and even argued on Yahoo! chatrooms against atheists.  I wouldn't even listen to regular radio stations, I only listened to Christian stations, or my Audio Adrenaline or DC Talk CD's.  Eventually, it all came crashing down.  


My peers at church always talked about hearing God and answered prayers.  I had never once felt as though I had successfully spoken to God, even though I prayed in earnest on a daily basis.  My last ditch effort to save my faith came when I broke down to my youth pastor that I had been asking for God's help to keep me from sinning (being a 14 year-old male looking at porn) but it wasn't working.  I opened up to him and we prayed and nothing happened.  After that, I finally did start reading the Bible and seeing it as the book of lies that had controlled most of my life at the time.  It is certainly refreshing being able to claim atheism without judgement.

Comment by Vikki Garland on July 4, 2011 at 12:05am

That's so great that you mentioned DC Talk, and Audio Adrenaline, that is exactly what I listened to growing up. Even now without faith I feel nostalgia about them, crazily enough. Isn't it funny that it was actually reading the bible that brought us that realization?


My parents are better now though, since I got married and am a pretty nice person. But because I'm nice my mom tells me that she thinks someday I'll "find my way." Ugh. I told her I felt happier, alive and at home in myself. I felt I had found my way. I spend every sunday afternoon with them, and we don't talk about it. I'd like to enrich their lives, but I know they're too far gone.

Comment by Chris on July 4, 2011 at 1:59am
I agree that the very best book a rational person can read to cure them of theistic faith is their scripture. I also agree that life without the comfort of a faith is also life without the dread of the unknown. The unknown is still there, obviously, but somehow killing faith tames it, in my experience.


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