It may seem strange looking back on my youthful days now and how easily it was that I accepted these dogmatic beliefs without questioning. But the truth is that none of us can choose where we are born and the parents we grow up with. With that being said, on 4/22/1983, I was brought into this world as a newborn atheist. Sadly enough I can trace my very earliest of memories back to sitting in crib of some type of you guessed it, a church daycare facility. Talk about being set up for disappointment :-)
It has always bothered me to hear christians call a person born into sin. Born into sin...how's that for being dealt a bad hand? Damn my parents for not telling me this earlier I would have done something about it! LoL But seriously every christian has used the phrased to describe our unholy and evil ways before we get saved. You know those occasional moments in your childhood where there was something good going on?? Yeah that was sinful. But those times where you were physically beaten by someone you loved or someone you looked up to...yeah that was just god testing you? This type of logic is dangerous and confusing.
Even at my soon to be age twenty-six, I can look back on my childhood and see plenty of points in my life where a dangerous decision was made. That dangerous decision was put in front of me time and time again and it was the choice to either enjoy life, or repress something amazing and worthwhile for the sake of some intangible and omniscient parental figure. And growing up with my very christian family I always just seemed to gravitate towards the repression of good life experiences. Again this is not to say that I had a poor upbringing, just a confusing and often cheapened shaping of my youthful worldview. I don't blame my parents for any of their decisions because they did the best they could with the hand they were dealt and then some. All I know is that from their shared life lessons with me I can safely say that if I do have kids, they will not set foot in a christian school or church. Instead they will be brought up to think and reason.
I had a talk a few days ago with an atheist friend of mine who also used to be my pastor. I brought up the moment (around 3-4 years ago) where I just knew I was an atheist but somewhat guilt ridden at making the decision a public one. Not because I feared what the people would think of me, I can deal with people not liking or even hating me. But there was this hole in my existence that was PUT THERE by christian theology and to acknowledge it meant to say that every decision I made in the past was worthless and wrong. I wasn't brought up in family that dealt well with being wrong and it has admittedly been passed onto me in some form. But my friend convinced me that it is really a package deal. The decisions of the past have shaped my very existence and so I can't write them off completely. The repressive and the free-thought induced experiences go hand in hand and there isn't really anything that can be done to separate the two.