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Sudden Realization: There's No Going Back


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I have always been a very prolific and enthusiastic reader. When I was a kid in elementary school, I used to read every book in the whole classroom every year, reference books, fiction, biographies, everything; I have always loved to read and learn new things. My parents were not extremely religious but we went to mass every Sunday without fail and my siblings and I went to CCD classes and all of that sort of thing.

 

When I was 9 years old, my dad got the chance to take a job and move the whole family to Jakarta, Indonesia. Admittedly, the move was pretty rough on everyone at first, but after six months or so, we settled in and really started to enjoy our new way of life living as ex-pats in a distant land.

 

One of the biggest impacts of living in another country and going to school at an international school is the exposure to completely different cultures and points of view. It’s amazing how much this can change the way that you see the world…you really have to stop believing that your way is the best and only way otherwise your life is pretty miserable. There were families that could not make the transition and who had to leave and go home within months of arriving. We stayed for four years.

 

Around the third year, I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons (the game) and I really took a liking to it. Like everything that I liked, I devoted a huge amount of time and effort reading and researching the topics of medieval history, the crusades, mythology, and like things. All of this, combined with living in a largely Muslim country started to build up until one day, a thought popped into my mind:

The Catholic Church is a mythology and God is the main deity in it.

 

Pretty much just like that, as if part of my mind had been putting these pieces together and once it had come to the conclusion, told the rest of my brain. It was surprising and scary to think this, I was 12 years old after all. The funny thing is that I didn’t really have any trouble believing it…the evidence was all there. The mere fact that other religions existed on earth and other religions had come before was enough to convince me that Catholicism and likely every other religion on the planet were just myths. Plus, being a sensitive kid, I had horrible nightmares and I often prayed in order to be protected from these nightmares to no avail. So, prayer doesn’t work either. It was damning evidence as far as I was concerned.

 

Just in case, I left God one last chance to show himself to me and let me believe. I was to be confirmed in 8 months or so after this initial revelation, so I thought I would go ahead and see if I felt any different after the ceremony. I didn’t think I would, so I wasn’t really looking forward to it with any kind of special purpose, I remember I didn’t even pick a different name for my confirmed name, I just stuck with the one I had. The day of the ceremony came, I did my part, the Archbishop of Jakarta did his, but God failed to show up. It was at that moment, walking down the isle of a church that I knew that I was an atheist. I didn’t really have a name for it though.

 

Fast forward about a year, we moved back to the States. I was 13. It was at this time that I decided to start acting on my ideas: I stopped going to communion at church. My parents were shocked and confused, and I couldn’t really explain to them why (I was a closet atheist) but I adamantly refused to take part. I think the priest at the church asked me once why I didn’t take communion but I think he knew the answer before I even opened my mouth.

 

I was required to go to church every Sunday until I was 18 though. In this interim period, I viewed church as an irritant, but hell it’s only an hour a week so I did it for my mom. After I turned 18 though, I quit going and never looked back.

 

After reading a lot of the testimonials on this forum, I see that mine is pretty tame. No real family conflict, no lost marriage, no fight against church members…I just quit.

For a time after I quit going to church, I had a real dislike for church goers and true believers, but that’s mellowed and now I just concentrate on my own life. It’s been so long now since I’ve actually believed in anything supernatural that it seems absurd to me that grown adults still think that there is the man in the sky looking out at them. It makes me a little sad, but I know that there’s not a lot I can do so I just leave it…most Christians are basically good, normal people anyway (yes they are, stop being so hateful). Recent events in our country concerning creationism and such really, really bother me, but I’m sure that reason will eventually prevail.

 

I consider myself Buddhist now, it’s a long story in itself but I have found a lot of comfort in Buddhist teachings and since you don’t really have to believe in any sort of gods or supernatural dealings, I figure it’s ok.

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Welcome Local Weather, and may the sun and stars shine brightly upon you.

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I consider myself Buddhist now, it's a long story in itself but I have found a lot of comfort in Buddhist teachings and since you don't really have to believe in any sort of gods or supernatural dealings, I figure it's ok.

 

I am glad you found a place that is right for you. Am I allowed to ask a question? I understand Buddhism believes in karma and the wheel of death and rebirth. Isn't that a bit supernatural? I am sure it is okay believing in it but I'm curious in case you wish to reply. If not, that is okay, too.

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After reading a lot of the testimonials on this forum, I see that mine is pretty tame. No real family conflict, no lost marriage, no fight against church members…I just quit.

Hey, it's not a competition!

 

Welcome aboard

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