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Atheist At A Christian School


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(First post. Woot.)

 

I was a Christian. My parents weren't really Christians - no church or anything, they just claimed they had "Christian values". I doubted that though.

 

From the age of 4 I was sent to an expensive private school. Good education. But they emphasise on religion. We'd learn our ABCs and then sit down to learn about Noah or something. Hell, we watched a fully gruesome re-enactment of Jesus' crucifixion in grade 2!

 

I was sure of the existence of God after grade 5. I'd had a very good teacher who was very religious and he taught us lots of stuff. I was sure of the afterlife, the creation, everything.

 

Grade 7 was... different. I had a super-Catholic teacher - when we had sex ed, the lesson after she'd tell us all how masturbation is wrong. Turned 12. This is the age where you begin to be a teenager - puberty reaches higher levels, you have a lesson timetable, etcetera. The once harmonious people began to split into cliques - the cool, the jocks, the dorks. I was a nerd. I became more interested in other things, and religion wasn't the top of my list.

 

Then I heard this: Moses was apparently planned by God to save the people of Israel from Egypt. However, we got taught in a lesson (involving the Bible) that God gave Moses the choice. Contradiction! I'd had enough. It was that night I set out on to the world of the Internet. And it suddenly all made sense.

 

God was merely a teddybear for my problems. I'd pretend he was there... I was sure of it. I just... figured it out.

 

To the end of that year I kept my beliefs a secret. I'd pretended I was Christian, though I'm sure others noticed a difference in my participation in certain activities.

 

Then those summer holidays I decided to once and for all, abandon Christianity. My official religion is now Atheism.

 

This year, I've had a rough time but I haven't resorted back to God, and I don't plan to. I haven't resorted to slitting my wrists or contemplated suicide. I am living a happy life without a non-existant deity. However, since I've made my Atheism more public, I've been under scrutiny from people. As we all know, Atheists have no morals ;)

 

There are a few really strong Christians who actively taken by the newer "cooler" gimmicks of Christianity, like hardcore music (allowing them to be rebels... for a good cause?). I'm not into that: I'm strongly into Gorillaz, Ben Folds, System of a Down. I'm a keyboardist, but I've never played a Christian song, nor do I plan to.

 

If there's anyone out there as an Atheist (or indeed any non-Christian religion or lack thereof) constantly stuck in a Christian environment, I'd love to hear about it. Damn, I hope I've said all I can in that ;)

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If there's anyone out there as an Atheist (or indeed any non-Christian religion or lack thereof) constantly stuck in a Christian environment, I'd love to hear about it. Damn, I hope I've said all I can in that ;)

 

Helloooo??? You must be talking to me. I'm studying Christian theology at a seminary. Read my posts on "Did Jesus Exist?" Earlier this week I was writing a paper on the historical Jesus for an intro course on the New Testament. It was tricky business blending what I learn here with being respectful of Christianity but I feel I did a good job.

 

I gather you're much younger than I am. I am in school by choice, but seminary was not exactly a choice. Life got me into a bottleneck where it was the most viable option available to me so I took it. I have not regretted it. I was raised in religion but have always had serious problems with the theology, ever since first hearing that Jesus died so we could get to heaven.

 

I was in a community where you were either inside or outside. This was done by ostracization. Not accepting the religion at the assigned time in life would have had unthinkable social consequenceswith which I was emotionally incapable of dealing until well into my middle-age. We were a distinct culture by lifestyle, language, and dress.

 

I would say my deconversion became complete in early September of this year. All of my family (parents, siblings, and extended family) are zealously religious. I was not really aware that I had changed. But I had a few run-ins with fundies that made me aware that I must have reached a new level of atheism.

 

Actually, it is only this past week or so that I have found myself applying that term to myself. This exC community has been influential. Talking with decent people who identify as atheists has made it possible for me to be honest with myself.

 

I would say I was never really a Christian though I lived as a member in good standing in a horse and buggy Mennonite community until well over the age of 40. Nobody ever tried harder being a real Christian than I did. It did not come naturally to me to accept what my elders (parents, teachers, preachers) said. I naturally questioned everything, even as a young child. This made for a rocky life path but I think the end is in sight.

 

I hope to finish my degree by spring and then see where life takes me. Haven't been in a church in a long time but like I say in one of those posts in Did Jesus Exist, there have been a few tricky situations. Because I am in a Christian school studying Christian theology I am in no position to put down religion; I have to be respectful of my teachers and classmates.

 

However, the questioner in me is alive and well, as my prof found out yesterday. There are respectful ways to discuss religious belief with Christians if they are tolerant of other beliefs. My school seems to have a policy of being tolerant. I'm not the first atheist they've had. It is impossible for me to know whether this tolerance is due to religious conviction or to economic situations.

 

Here's my story.

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If there's anyone out there as an Atheist (or indeed any non-Christian religion or lack thereof) constantly stuck in a Christian environment, I'd love to hear about it. Damn, I hope I've said all I can in that

 

Yup, I am one of them. You can find my testimony here

 

Welcome to the forum

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From SkepticOfBible's testimony:

Evolution is actually evilution and the earth was created in 6 literal day. Pretty much I am a "sick" person, whose only cure is Jesus and "Tolerance is a Myth" (Greg Koukl). Their arguements for Christianity sounded convincing, but at the back of my mind I knew something was wrong.

 

This is speaking to me! This is what has been happening to me and my life, though some Christians have been tolerant to a certain point, a lot of them have been hypocritical.

There have been a lot of people who I was friends with that have disconnected purely based on my anti-religion. I think I've become more socially isolated than I was before, which is a great way to be a witness (sarcasm).

 

The true Christians aren't necessarily the ones who go on about it a lot or preach a bunch. There are many quiet people who have proven their tolerance towards me and haven't tried to reconvert me. These are the real Christians, and I don't have a problem towards them.

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The true Christians aren't necessarily the ones who go on about it a lot or preach a bunch. There are many quiet people who have proven their tolerance towards me and haven't tried to reconvert me. These are the real Christians, and I don't have a problem towards them.

 

 

I love this! I agree. At my school religious tolerance is the policy and it is practiced by most people. My one prof seems to pay more lip service to this tolerance than actually live it out. Because of the school's policy he cannot make overt attempts at converting me but I feel like it's right there beneath the surface.

 

The others seem not to worry about converting me. One of them told me he does not think it is his job to convert people. I think he leaves that up to God. I think that person is living his faith. The other two are also totally at ease with my religious status.

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There have been a lot of people who I was friends with that have disconnected purely based on my anti-religion.

 

don't think of it as anti-religion. You don't think of yourself as anti-pixiesdo you. You have just returned to normal, not become a freak. Perhaps I'm biased by living in england, which is really pretty secular (creationists tend to get laughed out of town here), but you'll, hopefully, eventually come to a point where you can recognise that you have simply gone back to thinking clearly and not turned your back on anything.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I feel you totally. I've been in a Christian school for 13 and a half years. I've still got 1 and a half in the private Christian school that my patents are paying a fortune for. I've just recently fount the real truth, I cant wait to go back from vacation and argue with my theology teacher, who is a Dominican brother :)

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I cant wait to go back from vacation and argue with my theology teacher, who is a Dominican brother :)

 

Good luck on your debate, Nick, and welcome to the forums!

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