Choosing my Religion...Again. And Again.

For the last 15 years, I have classified myself as "Christian". From birth to about ten years old, I was a Catholic, then I converted to being Baptist until I was fifteen. As a Catholic, I felt nothing but shame that I was too poor to go to Catholic school, and I hated being in the heathenish Public School. I read my Bible, praying for a better life.

I met a friend in the fourth grade, and she shared the gospel with me. At age nine. In Public School. I went to her church, read her Bible, and eventually converted when I was ten. As a Baptist, I felt nothing but shame that I was a sinner, that I wasn't good enough even though I didn't lie, or steal, and I left people alone. I felt nothing but fear for Hell, just as I did as a Catholic, but I also had a friend as a constant reminder.

At fourteen, I met another friend who told me about being an Atheist. At first, we fought, I continued going to church, I told my church friends about him. But eventually, without the knowledge of anyone else, I began to read books. I read The Origin of Species, I read the Bible (thoroughly), I read Letter to a Christian Nation, I read The Daily Bread devotionals. I read about all religions, what they believed in, and "lived" them for a week, reading, reading reading. asked questions, recorded the answers of all parties in my diverse high school, and eventually, I knew.

I never felt God, only shame. Only hatred for myself. But when I asked questions, only one party treated me with respect, and not outrage at questioning.

The Atheist.

Last year, at fifteen, I left the Church.

I feel I have chosen wisely.

Views: 14

Comment by Don't label my essence! (Jared) on November 27, 2009 at 4:01am
Good post.
Comment by James on November 27, 2009 at 9:58am
Congrats on casting the burden of religion from your life. Enjoy thinking and never stop asking questions.
Comment by Dave G on November 27, 2009 at 11:16am
Welcome to a thinking, questioning life, Samantha. And welcome to TA.
Comment by Samantha J. on November 27, 2009 at 11:18am
Thank you. All of you. Finally someone who won't tell me "This is just a phase".
Comment by Dave G on November 27, 2009 at 12:07pm
The 'just a phase' reaction is a common one, particularly from family members (especially parents) who often have a hard time understanding why their child has 'left the flock'. To be fair, some things are phases, and they're probably hoping that you'll 'grow out of it' or are in a 'rebellious phase'.

Really, all you can do is to maintain your position, try to calmly, rationally explain your reasoning if asked, and try not toroll your eyes when the 'just a phase' phrase gets pulled out over and over again. And it may be around for a while. I know of one atheist whose mother is sure that he's just going through a phase. A phase that has lasted the last 23 years.
Comment by Samantha J. on November 27, 2009 at 12:13pm
Has he gone through procedures of studying the Bible through dreams and osmosis? Many Bible Study meetings spent that way.
Comment by Dave G on November 27, 2009 at 12:30pm
Dreams and osmosis? Nope, that's a new one on me.
Comment by Samantha J. on November 27, 2009 at 12:56pm
Yeah. Bibles under our pillows at retreats. Glad I'm free from that.
Comment by a7 on November 27, 2009 at 3:09pm
That was a really nice post, made me smile.

hello there from Glasgow scotland, home of the haggis


dont talk , puff
Comment by Gaytor on November 28, 2009 at 4:15pm
If anyone hits you with a question that you need help with, this is certainly a place where you should feel welcome to ask. Most of us know the struggle that you face and we're happy that you don't have to face it as alone as us old folks did.

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