Insert Witty Title Here- My Deconversion Story

In my last post I mentioned the official first step towards atheism.

I have had difficulties with faith for as long as I can remember. My first crush was a woman (I was 5 and I thought her red hair was so beautiful I wanted to marry her.)

At 7 I asked if different languages can use different words for apples and oranges and not be wrong, couldn't the same go for God? (In case you don't know, the answer is usually "NO!")

At age 16 I had my first existential crisis, I gave my virginity to an emotionally abusive young man, and felt I had to marry him because of my faith. I eventually broke down into tears and screaming on a dirt road while telling my best friend (a different one than the one in my other posts, this one is brilliant) that God was a deadbeat father and I hated him.

At age 17 I attempted suicide because...well God wasn't helping me keep my urges in check and I was just becoming unraveled.

 

I'm 28 now.

I lost my faith about 5 years ago.

See, I had just lost my way enough to stop going to church, and had been speaking with my dad about how I was having a hard time with my faith because no matter how hard I prayed I just didn't feel God listening any more. He told my my younger brother, and the one I am closest to, was struggling with his faith as well. He told me that we should talk, and maybe I could help him understand what was bothering him. (Oh! Fun fact: I was a hardcore Catholic Apologist for 10 years at this point!)

Long story short, brother was an atheist and by the end of the night so was I. (More details on that particular night in my last post.

 

As any ex-religious nut can tell you, becoming an atheist isn't that fucking simple. (I cuss, because it needs cussing to express properly)

There are so many things in life that suddenly need reexamining as you ask yourself, "Is this really wrong or did I just think it was because of my religion?"  I went through that entire process while on a deployment to Kyrgystan.
I made the mistake of telling my mother before I deployed, and she refused to talk to me the entire time I was overseas. Imagine each morale call to my father, I ask to talk to my mother and he, embarrassed, would tell me that she didn't feel like talking to me.

This tension went on for about 2 years until my mom came to Las Vegas (I had left the military and had a kid and gotten married at this point) to help me watch my then infant son. She wanted to go to mass and I attended with her, mostly out of respect for her, because in spite of everything, she is still my mother and I love her.

It was a very emotionally stressful environment. Extreme Stress + Religious Pressure + Postpartum= REVIVAL OF "FAITH"

So for a year I went back to church. Forced my husband to have our marriage blessed and taught Sunday School because I knew that the only way I could be Christian would be to completely and utterly immerse myself in it entirely. I even convinced one young man to become a priest (I lose sleep over this.)

But I still didn't believe any of the garbage I was selling.

Finally I stopped pretending. I stopped making excuses for religion, and stopped hoping for some sort of magic sky justice to give me peace.

I was quiet at first, but as time has gone on I've become a little more outspoken, especially against the RCC.

I am an anti-religion atheist.

I am a pro-mercy atheist.

 

I deny and reject the "Holy Spirit."

God is not good, he is not merciful and he is not real.

 

Views: 213

Comment by Logan Jancek on October 28, 2011 at 11:54pm

Well told story that many of us go through. It all comes out fine in the end.

Comment by CJoe on October 29, 2011 at 12:03am

You're awesome, Carol. I'm so sorry for all your pain, but it's an inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing :)

Comment by _7654_ on October 29, 2011 at 1:20am

Sometimes the journey is long, and your feet may get blisters. But now you have crossed the most difficult part. welcome.

Comment by Carol Foley on October 29, 2011 at 12:11pm

Almost all of the atheists I have met so far are pro-mercy. We know that hands clasped in prayer are hands not acting, so we work to ease pain and suffering through actions. We also reach out to those who religions abuse, such as children, women who have to make tough choices about their pregnancies, the gay communities and others who are constantly bombarded with religious ignorance.

Most atheists I have met are like that. It only really needs highlighting in comparison to my anti-religious stance because the claim of anti-anything makes it seem like I am antagonistic for no reason.

Comment by John Kelly on October 29, 2011 at 6:44pm

Carol, I am sorry to hear you experienced such suffering.  I am not an anti-religion atheist, but I can understand why you are given your experiences with it.  God is not bad, there is just no evidence for him existing.  If he was there, I am sure you and I would have had better experiences with Christianity.  Christian teachings can really screw some of us over though.  That is due to God not being there to make sure they are actually rewarding.

Comment by CJoe on October 29, 2011 at 7:46pm

@John Kelly... I have to kindly disagree that "God" is not bad, at least as far as what god you're referring to goes. The god Carol was raised to believe existed would be a truly evil god, and the problem is that religion made "his" precepts something to live by. Yahweh is a despicable god to model one's life after... and I'm definitely torn on what I think should be done in regards to those who do model their lives after this hateful, misogynist, genocidal, racist, and self-absorbed god.

If this specific god really existed, I think our experience with Christians and Christianity would be much worse. The reason Christian teachings screw us over is because they are screwed up, not because a god is not there to fail to implement them properly. The Bible is full of hateful, murderous commands... not full of kindness and mercy, as many Christians would have you believe. It is full of contradictions, directives to both love and murder your enemy, and condemning speech that purposefully leads to self-loathing. Christianity is a religion of submission to an abusive spouse.

I might admit that other religions (Buddhism, perhaps) is based on peace and love, and that its adherents merely failed to understand its teachings in many instances. If anything, Christians have watered down their religion so it better fits in today's more progressive society, and we have a better experience with it now than we would've had years ago. But, if this god existed, it would be bad; Christianity is bad.

Comment by David Brown on October 29, 2011 at 8:43pm

Couldn't agree with you more Cara and if I may I would like to add that it's  not just the Christian version. All religions are fear based, cults of death. Like all controlling ideologies, they use fear of retribution to control the masses. The true beauty (horror!) of religion is that it uses our own parents to enslave and indoctrinate us. 

Comment by Carol Foley on October 29, 2011 at 11:47pm

@ John Kelly

I agree with Cara and David. There is no evidence for a god, and yet the gods that people have created have led to wars and hatred, bigotry, slavery, sexism, and numerous atrocities I try not to flood my mind with.

So this not real thing, exists only in the minds of the people driven to madness through the constant threats of not only eternal death but eternal torment at the hands of an all powerful sky bully.

How can something not real be good?

How can an idea which creates so much horror be good?

If this god did exist and his followers were allowed to behave so abysmally towards other members of humanity without interference, how can we draw the conclusion that it is good?

We know a tree by the fruit it brings, and the fruit is foul.

Comment by John Kelly on October 30, 2011 at 12:22am

Carol, honestly, religion is getting scapegoated for being used as a scapegoat.  But the problem that concerns me is if it is fair to engage you when you have suffered so much at the hands of religion and need real healing.  I am certain to engage others on this on this board, as antitheism is pretty rampant here.  But I can engage this if you really do wish me to.  But I really need to ask again before creating a rather long debate, because the middle ground is a radical idea here and you will have a lot to say I am sure in defense of antitheism that I will need to deconstruct.

Comment by Carol Foley on October 30, 2011 at 12:44am

John, I'm a logical person. The hurts I have suffered at the hands of religion aren't because of religious extremism, it was Catholic parents simply raising their daughter to be Catholic. My parents are good people who believe bullshit. The torment comes from believing bullshit and trying to mold your life around it. 

Engaging me about my anti-theism isn't going to damage my psyche. I'm not anti-religion because of my personal experiences with it. That's petty. I am anti-religion because I honestly, with every fiber of my being deny that religion is a force for good.

Engage away, I'm not a delicate flower, I'm a well-spoken atheist.

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