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...and I Came Tumbling Out Of The Brainwashing Machine


AKR
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below is my story. i tried to make it as complete as possible, without going on forever. there are various tangents running around in my brain that would materialize if i thought about it longer, but i don't want to make this too long and put people to sleep. so without further adieu :

 

 

 

 

 

 

many parents see religion as something that should be genetically passed on to offspring. Unfortunately, my parents agreed. Since that is not possible, they decided to start brainwashing me from the moment i was born. i'm sure i was attending church services the sunday after my birth.

 

i went to church every sunday-day and night. i went to awanas (or "extra brainwash wednesday" as i like to call it) when i was old enough. i was homeschooled until 4th grade, and then i went to a private christian school. i was bombarded with christianity from every direction. all of my relatives were christian as well, so not a day would go by when i didn't have it pushed on me. even my school books pushed christianity on me. it wasn't until years later when i looked through a few of the books that i realized just how crazy it was.

 

i went along with it for a while, like all kids do. i never knew anything different and never had any sort of other influence. once i hit junior high, i started seeing flaws in the system. i started asking bigger questions. if god created this, who created god? why doesn't he interact with us like he supposedly did in the bible? why do we never see miracles? if god is omniscient and perfect, why did he feel regret for creating humans and want to destroy them all with a flood? what about those that never have/had access to the bible? what about those who don't find enough reasons to believe? how is that fair? if we have free will, how come god "hardened" pharaoh's heart? how come i've never felt god? the list goes on.

 

i'd get "i don't know" and "well, you can ask him when you get to heaven" for answers. because christianity was so ingrained in me, i felt like i had the eyes of god always burning holes into the top of my head, but i wasn't buying the story of christianity. it was like they had successfully instilled the notion of an ever-watching god, but failed to get his story straight. i began to despise the idea of god. the more i thought about it, the more it pissed me off. i felt like he created us for his twisted amusement. it's our "choice" to believe him, but if we don't, we fry. awesome choice. so essentially, by creating us, he has sent some of us to hell. if he is omniscient, he knows all that will happen based on the personality he gives us, which puts him in the control chair. free will is an illusion. if he is not omniscient, he is rolling the dice on our eternal damnation for his amusement.

 

so here i was, going through high school, with an ever-growing distaste for god. as my anger grew, so did my fear. i felt like i couldn't worship or love a god like that, and i would end up in hell. as i believed less and less in god even existing in the first place, i feared that if i was wrong, i'd end up in hell. this fear is really the only thing that kept me banging my head into a wall once i was about 17. if there was no fear of hell, i would have dropped it and never looked back. it didn't make sense anymore, but i couldn't move on with my life because i wasn't sure enough to bet my chance of eternal damnation on it.

 

between 17 and 20, i pretty much tossed it off to the side, but didn't compeletely discard it in my head. i didn't go to church and didn't really have anything to do with the religion. when i was 20, i fell for a girl who was a hard core christian. i labeled myself as a agnostic and she was ok with that. we ended up getting serious (she proposed to me), but within a year, we had broken up. part of her reason was that i wasn't christian (this is a warning to others).

 

i was so sick of having christianity mess with my life. i just wanted to know one way or another-once and for all. i started reading some books-including, reading the bible over from the beginning-and did everything i could to come to a conclusion. i thought that if i could become a christian, she would take me back (dumb). it ended up clouding my mind , and with a biased mind, i skimmed through a book with supposed evidence of christianity and became a strong christian. not only was the desire to get her back influencing me, but i had become so desperate from fearing hell.

 

i ended up not wanting the girl anymore, but i still felt strong in my belief. it felt nice to finally have an answer, but that didn't last long. within half a year, i had stripped that away and realized what i had done. i had found a religious/polictics forum in which i participated in a lot. i was taking a philosophy class as well, so my brain was going 150% on this. i had always been philosophical, but it was like i was going in overdrive.

 

on top of the other things that never made sense, i found more. by the time i was 22, i had rid myself of the fear of hell. i had finally released myself from christianity. that was 5 years ago, and i will never go back.

 

today, i am an agnostic atheist. i think all religions concerning an interactive god are rediculous. i don't see any reason to believe in god, but i accept the possibility that there might be one. i just really don't care, because if there is one, it doesn't want anything to do with us. that much is clear.

 

my siblings are still christian. probably everyone i went to school with are still christian. i feel very lucky to have thought my way out of that cage. i still feel the damage though. i still have this slight feeling of the eyes of god on me, but i give it the finger. i know it's just a side effect of the brainwashing that was done to me. i know that no god that could be intelligent enough to create all of this but be dumb enough to send people to hell for not believe in him, when he has failed miserably in showing himself. the whole scenario is just rediculous. they all are. put a fork in me; i'm done.

 

btw, i just want to add that i'm stoked to have found this place. i was discussing mormonism in another forum, which reminded me of the exmormonism site, and i decided to google exchristianity. don't know why i didn't before, but it's nice to have a place for those of us who have been deprogrammed or are working on it. Reuben

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Hiya mate,

 

welcome here and well done for escaping christianity, especially in view of the upbringing you had. May life after being un-born again be good to you.

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Hiya mate,

 

welcome here and well done for escaping christianity, especially in view of the upbringing you had. May life after being un-born again be good to you.

 

thank you. i feel my life is much better without christianity. i am no longer at war in my head.

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i am no longer at war in my head.

 

Hey, that resonates with me! Never thought of putting it that way. I don't know where I'll be someday but for now I could believe in paganism or perhaps some other ism or anity or ology if I wanted to. But for now I figure if I'm going to dump the biblegod why bother with any supernatural entity? It takes a large amount of energy and does nothing for me. Nor for that other entity.

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AKR,

Thank you for writing your story. I found it healing as I went through a lot of the situations you describe.

 

Thanks again!

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Welcome AKR! Thanks for sharing your story. You are a little farther along than I in your deconversion and at a much younger age. I didn't really start questioning and letting my anger come to the surface till my mid 40's.

 

I have a question for you. How did you finally drop your fear of hell?

 

Also, I homeschool my four children. The two oldest are in college now. The oldest holds to some of the Christian faith but leans towards buddhism also. The next oldest is agnostic. They were raised in a fundamentalist church but with a Mama(me) that had a lot of questions and never could believe God would send everyone to hell. The agnostic daughter lost her faith the first year of college. Too many questions that no one, including her professors, could answer. My younger children are sort of in the middle. We don't go to church anymore but my husband professes christianity. Anyway, I know we are unusual as far as most homeschool families go. I had to smile about your description of homeschooling and christian school, as I'm intimately familiar with your descriptions.

 

Do you parents know of your deconversion? If so, how did they take it?

 

Best of luck to you,

WakingUp

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Welcome AKR! Thanks for sharing your story. You are a little farther along than I in your deconversion and at a much younger age. I didn't really start questioning and letting my anger come to the surface till my mid 40's.

 

I have a question for you. How did you finally drop your fear of hell?

 

thanks for the welcome.

 

well, it's sort of a combination of things, all of which i can never remember at the same time.

 

one, is, as i said before, the fact that god supposedly sends people to hell even though they genuinely don't believe. some people confuse hope with belief, and so because they hope god exists, they claim to believe, and don't see how others could possibly disbelieve. if i were to hold someone's family at gun point and tell them i'm going to kill all of them if they don't believe i'm superman, they're still not going to believe. the only thing they will believe is that i'm some wack job, wearing underwear outside of my pants. no matter how much they want to believe, they can't, because belief is something that either happens or it doesn't. you can't will it. millions of people all over the earth will supposedly go to hell because they have no control over their belief.

 

the bible seems very short sighted. it does not look as if it was written for everyone, everywhere, for thousands of years to come. and what's to account for the people who will never know about christianity? if they do, why should they believe? if someone came up to your door from some tribe over in a rainforest in south america, would you even CONSIDER following their religion? no, you'd look at them like they were nuts and shut your door on them. if someone has been raised with one religion their entire life, you can't just expect someone to "have faith" in YOUR religion, when that's the same thing they're doing with THEIRS. there has to be something more than faith that overrides their first belief.

 

isn't it funny how every god-religion asks for faith? this doesn't set any of them above the others, and makes it seem a little rediculous when you try to stand outside all religions and act as if you're trying to choose one for the first time.

 

and if someone says, "well, god will judge people differently if they never hear about christianity," i give them this:

 

romans 1:18-20

"18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

 

20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."

 

if it's so obvious, than why are their so many other religions, and there are agnostics and atheists? if we all really believed in the christian god, then we would know we were going to hell for not following the bible. what sane person would do that? none. all that leaves are crazy people, and then it's not even there fault.

 

let's think about this a little more. i'm way in debt right now because i'm building a house. i have bills every month. i KNOW they exist, but i wish they didn't because i don't want to pay them. do i stop paying them? no, because i'm not retarded. i believe the bills are real, i believe i have to pay them, so therefore, i pay them. if i pay something so simple as a bill, i-and a billion others-would follow christianity if we believed it, because if we don't even want bill collectors after us, we certainly don't want satan chasing us around with a pitch fork.

 

i don't know a lot about evolution or the big bang, but i do know enough to know that it totally blows the adam and eve/creation story out of the water (and i believe both, because there is so much science behind it, unlike christianity). you can twist and cram this story to fit all you want, but it still seems a bit strange that god would give a story that looks NOTHING like what actually happened. if god is omniscient/omnipotent and really cares about everyone, he would know that for milliniums to come, people would fail to believe, at no fault of their own. he'd realize this, and make sure the bible would not look silly when modern science came along.

 

then, there is the issue of free will. i don't know if you've studied psychology or sociology much, but the personality of a humans is based off a combination of biology and environment. this means, that every choice you make, and every feeling you have is based off of the body/brain you were born with and the world you interact with. if you change any one of those things, your personality-and therefore, actions-will change.

 

now, look at this from the point of an omniscient/omnipotent being, who not only creates everything but knows exactly how all of that will interact. he knows that by making billy in a certain way, that he will make all of these certain choices and have all of these certain personality traits. since god creates all other people (plus physical universe), he can see how each thing he creates will interact. is there really free will in that situation? (even if there was an adam and eve, he would have created them, who's personalities caused things to play out the way they did and effect everything just so)

 

let's take my life, for instance. apparently, god made me have the mind of a skeptic. he made me a philosophical person who just couldn't stop thinking about things, trying to figure out what the hell made sense and what didn't. he knew that by giving me the brain he did and by creating the rest of the universe, that i would become this person who CANNOT believe. therefore, god made me to go to hell.

 

i cannot believe that someone intelligent enough to create all of the super-complex designs of this world could be dumb enough to basically create people for the purpose of punishing them, and pretend we have a choice in the matter. i think more than any scientific evidence, the fact that people CAN'T believe and yet, supposedly go to hell is what put the bullet in the coffin for me.

 

there is also this site that was created by a few people i know from a forum. i haven't really looked much at the website, as a lot of the ideas are already talked about in the forum, but there will be some good stuff on this site. it was founded in part by an ex-preacher who has seriously researched the bible. even after being an agnostic atheist for 6 years, and having found problems with the bible for years before that, i always love reading this guy's posts, as i learn something new each time.

 

http://www.atheisttoolbox.com/fcbible.php

 

that part is just about the bible, but the rest of the site should help you as well.

 

 

 

Also, I homeschool my four children. The two oldest are in college now. The oldest holds to some of the Christian faith but leans towards buddhism also. The next oldest is agnostic. They were raised in a fundamentalist church but with a Mama(me) that had a lot of questions and never could believe God would send everyone to hell. The agnostic daughter lost her faith the first year of college. Too many questions that no one, including her professors, could answer. My younger children are sort of in the middle. We don't go to church anymore but my husband professes christianity. Anyway, I know we are unusual as far as most homeschool families go. I had to smile about your description of homeschooling and christian school, as I'm intimately familiar with your descriptions.

 

Do you parents know of your deconversion? If so, how did they take it?

 

Best of luck to you,

WakingUp

 

 

my parents know, but i didn't directly tell them. my sister picked me up from work one day and asked me about my relationship with god or something, and i told her i no longer believe. (i was about 22) i KNOW she told my mom, and even if she hadn't, my mom and i got into a discussion not longer after, which made it rather obvious i wasn't religious anymore. never have said anything to my dad about it, but i'm sure he knows. he's not the confrontational type.

 

i know my family is very upset about it, but that's life. they pretty much leave me alone about it, but add a "i'll pray for you" now and then, and my mom is sure to mention god in birthday cards.

 

 

as i said, these are just some of the reasons i no longer fear hell, but the main one i speak about here is the most important to me. i hope this all seems fairly fluent, as i was a little scatterbrained, adding things here and there.

 

i think it might help to just think about the fact that lots of religions claim severe punishment for disbelief and law-breaking. do you fear not following THOSE religions? probably not, and probably the only reason you fear yours is because you are so used to it. apply the same critical mind you do of other religions to the one you're getting out of. good luck!

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AKR, I love the way you write. You express your thoughts so well. Best of all, you are allowed to ask your questions. You are allowed not to believe in God. Sure, your parents don't like it but they're still nice to you. They don't kick you out or treat you badly. I believe in positive thinking, like Paul wrote if there is anything good to think about to do so. You're the second young person tonight that I'm responding to who is being treated okay by family despite having deconverted. Makes me feel hopeful. Thanks for sharing your insights.

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