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Why I Now Call Myself An Ex-christian


Guest Catlady34
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Guest Catlady34

Hello everybody. After weeks of lurking and reading a lot of testimonies, I finally registered and decided to post my own story. This is maybe a little different because I have never been really devout to religion, I called myself believing but not practicing, yet my recent realization that I didn't believe in Jesus and the christian god brings lots of questions to me and I feel the need to talk about it.

 

I'm a woman from Canada, province of Quebec, and I'm 34. I was baptized catholic when I was 2 months-old. My dad has always been distant from religion, while my mom was, and still is, a strong believer; she has never practiced much until the few last years; she now attends Mass regularly. Here I have to specify that here, until the 1960s, the Church was a big power, involved in all aspects of society; my parents were educated by nuns and religious when they were young, having to learn Catechism (a book of question/answers that they had to learn by heart and never doubt about), attend Mass daily, go to confession every week (my mom once said that if she had had all the "bad thoughts" she accused herself of having, her brain would have exploded); as a result, when things changed in the 60s, they were in their twenties and massively left the churches. Consequently they have always been relax about religion.

 

When I was a child, public school here was still confessional and we had weekly religion lessons at school, as well as preparation for communion, confession, confirmation and profession of faith. As a child there was a period of time during which I was very interested in all this, but time passed and my interest passed.

 

As a teenager I became aware of the teachings of the Church about social questions (birth control, place of women, and so on) and found out I did not agree with most of them. This feeling only grew as time went on, and when I realized that I was gay, I distanced myself totally with the Church. I find their attitude about this very hypocritical - for those who would not know, the Church admits that homosexuality is not chosen and that it can't be changed; if you are homosexual, this is what God wanted for you, BUT you haYou ve to bear your cross - you have to stay chaste. The sin is not to be homosexual, but to have homosexual sex. This is especially cruel, I think. It basically means that they don't consider same-sex love to be true and worthy. It's something that makes me particularly angry. Oh, I don't think plain rejection (like other fundie Christians do) is better, but at least it's honest. And the Church's official attitude does not prevent the pope for saying that homosexuals are mentally sick and unstable. I'll stop here, but I'm sure you get the point.

 

Fortunately for me, I have never been so devout that I tried to change - I knew I could not change. So I stopped paying attention to what the Church was saying, but I still said that I believed in Jesus - after all, Jesus has never said a word about homosexuality. For a long time, it went on like that. I just described myself as believing, but not religious. It was OK.

 

In the last year, 2 things happened. First, I fell in love with my current girlfriend, after years of loneliness (I had some other short relationships but not important). We were seeing each others as friends before starting to consider ourselves as a couple, and we discussed a lot of things. Among them was our spiritual beliefs. And my girlfriend told me that after having been really taken into catholicism (way more than me), she now did not believe in any aspect of catholicism, including Jesus. It was different; most of the people I knew shared my attitude about this - Jesus is OK but not the Church (for one thing this is my mother's attitude). She did not explain me why or how she had came to this point, she said she was not ready to share thoughts that were that intimate with me, and she did not want to influence my own thoughts. It stayed like that and our relationship deepened and became more intense.

Secondly, I read a book where an ex-catholic explained why he has stopped to believe. In the book he describes in details how the NT is completely made up, full of contradictions, and how Jesus can't possibly have said half of the things that the gospels make him say (because he's using expressions that did not exist in his native language and were not in current use in greek until hundreds of years later) - proving it is made up. Moreover, he explained how it's sure that Jesus was not dead after the crucifixion (it's too long to go in details here and besides English is not my native language, and I'm not sure how to translate certain things in English). This is what has made me stop believing at all. (About the book, it's been written in French and as far as I know not translated)

 

Even if I have never been very taken into religion, this is still a big step for me. Before, I was seriously considering to join a protestant Church called the United Church of Canada, a very liberal Church with large views (where, among other things, homosexuals are welcome), but this is not good either now because they are still all about Jesus, and they use the bible a lot (although they don't take it literaly), and I can't say anymore that I consider it word of god. I admit I have never read the full Bible - I just know the main of it. The OT has stopped making any sense for me a long time ago, and now the NT as well. So I can't claim to belong to any Christian group.

 

I don't know if there is a god, my mind is not set on that point; but it's not the christian god, and it's not Jesus - who said good things if he ever existed, but yet those things had already been said by ancient god figures (I've read "The Pagan Jesus", interesting read). That's why I don't consider myself really atheist - not yet, at least. My thoughts on spirituality are still evolving. I would like to discuss it again, more in details, with my girlfriend but only if she feels OK to share that with me. I have not talked with my parents about this, my dad should not say a thing but it will upset my mom. Next Christmas, I don't plan to attend the Midnight Mass, and it will sadden her. Well I still have time to think about it. Fortunately people here (except for a few groups) are not very religious so you're not an outcast if you stop believing. Most of the people are still catholic in theory, they baptize their children to please their parents and because "it's what you do". I don't have children and I don't plan to, but if I'd have one, he/she would not have been baptized, that for sure.

 

Mostly I'm happy with my life; now I don't feel the need to belong to any religion. I'm still angry when I hear anything about the Church, especially when they try to interfere with politics, which I think is not their place at all. I respect religious people if they don't try to push their beliefs, but I'm happy to be free of that. I'll conclude by saying that I liked, and still like, to read your testimonies (there are so much of them I'm far to be done reading all them); some of you have a lot of courage and I was impressed by certain stories. And even if our stories differ I can relate with you. :)

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