Hello, I just officially joined Think Atheist and I'm now a member. I think its fiiting to mark my arrival here with an incident in my reccent transition to athiest thought. Here's a little background to the story. On my 14th birthday I was given a neclace with Jesus on it. Now, since i'm 21 and an Atheist/(Neo-Humanist) i took the medalion of jesus off and only wore the gold neclace. A few days ago, my deeply religouis christian mother saw this and got so upset she said that if i don't wear the jesus medalion then i should give her the entire necklace back and if i don't then she would litterally break the neckalsce from mty neck to take it from me. I was so stunned at the threat and when i tried to explain to her about the futillity of wearing a jesus peice on a necklace and on my disbleief of jesus entirely she was so outreaged and told me that "it dosn't matter if you don't belive in it, you just have to wear it for your own good" She was impling that the chain protected me from...something (to this day i don't know what). When I laughed at the idea and called it impossible she didn't eant to hear it and wanted my to comply and force me to wear a symbol that i don't believe in. So i refused to give in and wear the symbol so i gave her the whole gold necklace instead and said that if i can't even choose and think independently than you can take your "gift" back. And because i confessed my disbelief she muttered under her breath that i wont get anything from her again. This is a defining moment in being an atheist because this is the first time i suffered for being an atheist. I can't belive she tried to push her beliefs on me and treated her own son, simply because i'm an atheist. (me being atheist didn't change how i treated her our our relationship, until that day) Now don't get me wrong my mother is a very loving, kind generous and seemingly intelligent woman and i love her with everything i'm made of, but she honesty believes that a gold chain with a Jesus face on it will protect me from evil...or whatever and that pryaing to candles with madonna and baby jesus on it will help her with her problems. This showes that religous people themselves aren't dumb, its just that religion forces smart people to adopt stupid ideas. so with this incident it gave me the courage to offically sign up to this website. Now i have "suffered for my faith" to borrow the term religous people use, i'll be postin up my thoughts reguklarly and i'll comment on those which i find interesting.