My Story As An Ex-Fundamentalist!

I decided to go ahead and formally introduce myself to the community-so, HEY everyone! Nice to be on here :) I'm 20 years old, and can honestly say that my life up until now with religion has been TERRIBLE. Until january of this year, I was a very convinced fundamentalist Christian (surprise-surprise ;). I was convinced that Jesus Christ was lord and savior, the earth was 6000 years old, and that the earth would be ending soon. I know, I know, foolishness. But I never actually asked myself the real important questions: Why do I believe that a god exists (besides the fact that my mother, her mother, etc. all believe and passed it down to me)? What real evidence was there that there was some floating deity out there (besides all those unverifiable and unfalsifiable subjective experiences of being "re-born")? And how could I prove to those atheists that a god did exist when he wouldn't even answer my questions when I asked him (schizophrenia?)? Well, I decided that if I was going to put up any kind of fight, I would need to know my opponents (Plus I had already started having my doubts about god).

After only a few weeks of going through a few websites (www.whywontgodhealamputees.com; www.godisimaginary.com, ect.), a few forums, and listening for the first time to Hitchens, Dawkins, and others, I felt like a complete idiot (which I had been). I hadn't even chipped the tip of the iceberg for what science and reason had to offer, and I already felt like a fool for believing the utter crap that I had been made to swallow since I was young. Before I researched what atheists had to say I had made a pledge to myself that because I wanted to be a scientist, and one that followed the evidence with as unbiased an opinion as possible, the evidence for the probability of no god or gods won without hardly a fight. As a christian, I was soooo confused with how I was supposed to reconcile god's supposed all-encompassing and all-merciful love with his unyeilding, "justified" wrath. It got so bad that I was constantly asking for forgiveness when I believed I had sinned. Daily, and multiple times at that. I was too nervous and scared to wait until the end of the day to say my prayers. And I still offered up a prayer at night and in the morning, along with my daily devotional.

Besides that, how was I supposed to love someone with my whole heart, unselfishly, who I had never seen? All I had was his book and a vague assurance that "he's always listening". I read my bible almost everyday for at least 3 years, more than many of the people in my family who claim to be christians. I probably know more too. I made one really bad decision that will probably stay with me for at least a few more years, because I seriously thought that god was watching over me and helping. I can honestly say that religion is NO help at all. And when it came down to it, my family blamed me for the mistake (rightly so since I was so naive) and not god, because god is so perfect. I would like to clarify that I didn't stop believing in god because of my mistake, but it did disillusion me a great deal, which kinda opened me up to atheist arguments. I didn't stop believing until I was actually convinced by the arguments, along with the lack of evidence of a god in our world. So that's my story in a nutshell. I just felt like telling it, so thanks to everyone for reading :)

Views: 75

Tags: christian, former, fundamentalist, story

Comment by James Franchino on May 7, 2011 at 8:54pm
Welcome! Great story!
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 7, 2011 at 9:02pm
Welcome to TA and thank you for your sincerity.  My story is quite similar to yours.  It takes a lot of time to get over the induced obsessive/compulsive prayer habit, almost like giving up smoking, so I hope you realize there is still a difficult road ahead.  Anyway, you've opened the door for discussion and that is the hardest step to take.  Congratulations.
Comment by Shamari on May 7, 2011 at 9:05pm
Thank you guys for the welcome. To be truthful, I feel more free now than I ever did as a Christian, and there lies the irony.
Comment by Cara Coleen on May 7, 2011 at 10:54pm
Wow! You were a staunch Christian only 5 months ago? It took me two years to fully realize my atheism. Two years of anxiety and fear and searching. Like you, though, once I broke through, I never felt more liberated and at peace. I finally got that "peace beyond understanding" I was always promised as a Believer, but it was BECAUSE I had understanding! Congrats. Welcome. And Heather is right... it's difficult to drop the prayer habit. :)
Comment by BryanPaul on May 7, 2011 at 11:03pm
Welcome Shay. Feels good doesn't it? To know that the world just got bigger and there is so much more to learn that you thought? When it came to me that religion was all a crock I realized " that means there is a natural explanation for everything"! lol, I thought " oh man, I'll never learn it all"! Well good luck and I hope you post often. The fact that you came around so fast points to the idea that you are bold and outspoken, so I can't wait to read your views.
Comment by Ron V on May 7, 2011 at 11:04pm

Welcome.  I left some reading recommendations on another post for you that helped me in my transition from Christianity.

My major in undergrad was Chemistry (with a minor in Biology and almost a second minor in Physics).  I then went to medical school and over the years have subspecialized in the diagnosis of leukemia and lymphoma.  Science, for me, is far more fascinating and liberating than religion (and provides far more "answers" to many questions that religion has been absolutely wrong about for centuries).

So, good luck with your non-theist journey and path in science.  I hope it is as rewarding for you as it is for me.

Comment by Shamari on May 7, 2011 at 11:08pm
Yep, in December I was a christian and when I came back to school in january I was more of an agnostic than an atheist. I think it's been in the last two months that I've really started thinking of myself as an atheist. I used to have alot of doubts through the years that I kind of pushed to the back of my mind with a "God is beyond my finite mind" or "He works in mysterious ways". So those doubts pretty much set me up to be more open to the possibility that god didn't exist.
Comment by Ron V on May 7, 2011 at 11:17pm
I read about atheist groups at many schools these days- I hope your school has one that you can check out- might be fun and a good support group.
Comment by James on May 7, 2011 at 11:39pm
Welcome to T|A! That was a great story. Thanks for sharing and honesty. I hope you enjoy the site as I have and to see you in the discussions. And to add to RV's suggestion, check out meetup.com. You may just find a local freethinkers group.
Comment by Shamari on May 8, 2011 at 12:12am
Thanks for the suggestions R V and James! I'm going to check out the website now.

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