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Were You Converted Or Raised In It?


Vomit Comet
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Raised in it, but the religion didn't take. I had a childhood immunity.

 

Got sucked into it in a totally immersed work environment, with people talking god shit and religious broadcasts on the radio all day. I didn't initially recoil first day on the job since I had gotten used to it as a child. But it wore me down eventually.

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Raised in it, but the religion didn't take. I had a childhood immunity.

 

I think my atheist Dad administered a vaccine before he and Mum divorced when I was four. It's the only explanation.

 

Phanta

 

hahaha you two! :D Mine was more.... slow-acting, I believe. Dormant, I think, is the proper word.

 

Thanks alot Vomit Comet for doing this by the way, I really am curious, I appreciate it

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I was raised in an atheist family but I was converted by my best friend at 15. I converted into a charismatic church and wasted my high school and early college life being in church 5 times a week. I regret my conversion intensely, mostly because of missed opportunities and the great emotional damage the church inflicted on me.

 

HOWEVER... I had some really good times, and some really good friends. Specifically, many of the friends I made at my christian college are still my closest friends today. Some have deconverted but most are still christians and we have, for the most part, managed to continue really close friendships built on mutual love and respect. Also, I got a year overseas out of the deal... I lived in France as a "missionary" but really I was just teaching ESL classes and playing concerts in local coffeehouses... I did little to no actual evangelizing. That year was actually pivotal in my deconversion process. So yeah, my time as a christian wasn't a total waste. ;)

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eastern rite christianity needs to be on that list somewhere, lol... though I suppose most people in the west will never encounter that buncha nuts, they're definitely around, lurking in the shadows.

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Didn't really know what to say for the kind of church. It was pretty charismatic - emphasis especially on praying for healing, but also prophecy, some people spoke in tongues, etc. But at the same time, it was very moderate in other ways. I think that's down to it being next to a university campus. I guess we want the exciting emotional side of things, but at the same time, don't want anything too strict. I was openly in a sexual relationship, and whilst some people said that's not what they thought God wanted, it wasn't a big deal. Everyone drank (in fact, we often met at a pub run by people from the church), and that wasn't frowned upon either. So I voted moderate, because it wasn't a scary church!

 

My family are atheists, and I converted at the age of 19, after losing arguments with Christian friends. Before going to uni, I didn't really know any Christians. Not ones who actually cared about it, rather than just vaguely identifying as Christian, at any rate.

 

 

2 years later, I'm an atheist again. That's why I picked my username, because I feel like I'm ever so changeable, up and down. I don't entirely trust myself to stick with this decision for that long either, but trying to stop in the middle is just too hard.

 

At the moment, I don't really regret the last couple of years. I regret the errors in reasoning that led to me becoming a Christian, and I regret feeling motivated to be nice to people in the hope of drawing them closer to God, rather than just to be nice. But overall, I don't regret it. I was a very immature, angry atheist before, and I didn't understand faith. Now I do. I think I've grown up a lot through my faith. And the good stuff I've taken from it, like wanting to be less selfish and to help others, is stuff I can keep. Putting aside time to write a diary and think about how I feel and what I'm doing with my life (which I used to do in prayer) is also something I want to keep from my time as a Christian.

 

 

 

SarahGrace: I just saw your post. I'm working as an English teacher in France this year, and have lost my faith during it too! Random. I expect everyone back home is going to blame my deconversion on being in a foreign country with no support from a Christian community...

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I was more or less raised in it. In my early years my mother raised me on Dr. Spock (not to be confused with Mr. Spock of Trek) and we did not go to church, except when we visited my mother's family. That was a horror for me. Then when she was "born-again" for the third time, we went regularly, but she somehow knew I would rebel against the church she was raised in, so she took me to the Lutheran Church (ELCA), but took her Evangelical beliefs with her. After I left home, I went to the Episcopal Church as a means to fulfill my mother's requirement of church and getting as far from her beliefs as possible at the same time. I'm not sure what church I was in mostly, because I think I've ran the whole gambit before it was over with. I do think my relatives' churches are/were pretty screwed up and cult-like. However, most of them have about died off- not the churches, the relatives. I seem to have fewer and fewer to deal with every year. Might explain why my mother is going batsh** crazy and bugging the hell out of me.

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TheYoYo, cool, where are you living? See I had tons of support from the other members of my mission and they were such wonderful people to me, and we are still close friends, but I deconverted all the same. I do think it has a lot to do with getting out of your normal context. I had thought that Christianity would maybe be different over there, that I would get some new perspectives and maybe be able to hang on to faith, but no. The church was really no different in France than it was in Canada... sure they did some things a little differently but it was the same kind of approach, probably because it was the Americans that took evangelicalism to all those heathen catholics. :P

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I was hoping you'd do a suvery like this. It seems to me that the majority of people on here were raised in some form of it, which is understandable to me. But I've had trouble figuring out why people convert. My (not to well thought out) conclusion is that is has something to do with (well, in America at least) the religous society we live in. Though its not extremely blatant, most of us get the impression that there is some sort of god.

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Well I was sorta rasied as a laxed christian which started when I was 8 when my parents gave me a book of bible stories that a Jehovah's Witiness work mate of my dad's gave him and my mum told me that if I read it I would be a good girl so I read it. I assume they gave my brother one too since they were two copies but he doesn't remember anything about it. He would've been 6 at the time so maybe that explains it.

 

Fast forward to 2002 when some Jehovah's Witiness that my mum had arranged to meet came round because she wanted me to decide what religion I was going to be or something like that and I went to my first meeting that Sunday and I kinda liked it so I kept going until the blinders started to fall from my eyes when I noticed that the Watchtower & Awake magazines were giving confliting advice in the same artilcle.

 

In the Awake magazine there is like an advice collum called Young People Ask where teens write in for advice on mainly religious matters. I just went on the Watchtower website and just found the one that I read that made me decide this really wasn't a good idea Why Am I Drawn to the Wrong People

 

Now that I've read it again I remember why I hated it and it was because I felt that they think all non-JWs will lead you into drugs or other things when I don't think that is the case. BTW I had already stopped going to the meetings at that point because I had a feeling of dread but still read the mags until the issues that question I linked to was in then me & my mum requested them to stop.

 

I hope this isn't too boring for you :)

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On the contrary Pandora, I enjoy the fact that the faith's own propaganda couldn't even present their beliefs without exposing cracks that you could see through. This is often the case because these systems are based on faulty logic and the fruit they bear is often hard to digest.

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Well,it's rather strange,really,but I definitely wasn't raised a christian and I can't even say,that I met someone,who converted me. In fact,I had rather strong anti-christian bias before my kinda nietzschean collapse and conversion... I just couldn't deal with the turmoil I was going through,when that happened... :cry:

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I started going to a Missionary Baptist Church when I was 14 at the invitation of a little girl in whom I had an interest. Prior to that, there was essentially no religious upbringing. I do remember being shamed from time to time by peers and adults when my statements of world view did not exactly coincide with the collective bible belt fundie world view.

 

I got converted within a month. I answered that I regret it, but, to be fair, there were positive things along the way as well as negative.

 

Of course, when you find the foundation of your life for 30 years was a delusion, that pretty much tilts the scale of regret/nostalgia over to regret in a big way.

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I was raised in a lax Southern Baptist household (if you can imagine that). My dad never went to church or proclaimed any real religious belief though my mom always insisted "daddy's a christian." We went to one of those boring, old fashioned baptist church sporadically for the occasional easter or christmas program. I went to vacation bible school every summer, primarily to get me and my brother out of the house to give my mom some peace. I went on church retreats because they were fun and cheap.

 

I guess I was "sorta" converted in a way. When I was 14 I was busted *gasp* kissing a boy on the cheek in public and I was put in lock down. The only place I could go was to church so I went to a more modern church with my then best friend. I met a boy, Gene, in church who my parents approved of so I was given a LOT more freedom when I went out with him (it was a different story with any other nonchurch friends or boyfriends). So Gene and his family were regulars so I became a church regular too. His family was always wonderful to me. I was baptised for the second time (I never told my family about my 2nd walk down the aisle). Gene and I dated through highschool and college and together we became more zealous about our beliefs and roles in the church.

 

Our church changed leadership when I was in college. I would say they had a strong hand in facilitating my deconversion because they were lying douchebags. I had a bitter, extended falling out with the new church leadership. I told Gene, he could stay but I was never going back to that church. He could choose to stay in church with his family or back me up. He chose me. We left the church, coming back only to say our marriage vows and his family also left the church to support us.

 

My true deconversion occurred after a year or so of reading the bible without the propaganda of church and with no blinders on. I realized I did not believe the steaming pile of poo that was christian dogma. I looked into other religions but they all felt equally artificial and contrived to me. I realized my natural tendency, to not believe in a deity, was the way for me. My husband is an optimistic agnostic. His family are still christian conservatives but they understand our refusal to go back to church.

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Converted myself at about age 11, due to being scared of an advert for "The Exorcist". Didn't want the devil to get me, so I went to the only one I knew (probably from vampire movies) that could protect me, and read the Bible and bought in. Went to church about 5 years later already well versed in the Bible. Stuck with it until last April-November, when it all unraveled. Free at last! Now I have to talk to my brothers who are believers, and my dad whom the believers have been pressuring to convert. Should be interesting.

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I was totally raised in it, was baptized as Assembly of God when I was 5 or so but then my mom found a Charismatic Christian church, still pretty strict but more modern like we had a band instead of a choir. My brother and I were not allowed to listen to any rock music, even some "contemporary Christian" music was off limits. Movies and TV shows were scrutinized. When it came to sex... it was only DON'T DO IT! That really worked... lost my virginity at 16 yrs old. We went to a Christian private school, too. My HS reunion will be interesting... I seem to be one of a few who no longer claim to be Christian.

So my mom was the fundi and my dad just sort of followed. He was not the Christian head of the household, so to speak. He was not the disciplinarian, educator, etc. He worked nights for eons it seems for American Airlines so I rarely saw my dad even though we lived in the same house. Most of my childhood was to either be quiet in the house or go outside because dad was sleeping and if we were outside, God forbid we were anywhere near his bedroom window! He finally moved to working days just before I turned 18. I tried to be a good Christian. As you can see I still have some respect for it but for me I just gave up on it because my dad died when I was 30 and it really struck me hard. When he did move to days we finally had a father daughter relationship. He respected me as an adult instead of trying to suddenly parent me as a child since he wasn't involved much in my childhood. We became close and for years after he passed I still would find myself picking up the phone to call him about some cool thing and then remember oh yeah he isn't here anymore. Living so far away it wasn't like an immediate impact that he was not there, you know. I wasn't at my parents house all the time because we are military, I was active duty for a while myself so we have lived far away since I first joined in 1994.

So any way my mom had a lot to do with me leaving the religion because of how she was after my dad died. I was angry at her, at God, at my dad! It's been a long process of deconversion and I am still going through it and I am almost 38 yrs old. I raise my boys very differently and that just bugs my mom because we don't go to church. That's the nice thing about being a military family, I have been able to raise MY family the way I want in peace with no grandparent interference. That won't last forever, of course. Where ever we decide to settle down after dh retires in a few years my mom plans on moving there, too. I love her, no doubt but I just can't live with her or even live in the same town.

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Raised in it. Maybe a little too fiercely. My sister now has the impression that non-christians aren't worth socializing with her. Bet she'll love finding out I'm a non-christian and have been one for years. But that's her story, not mine.

 

I was basically raised in a church. I was probably in a church more than I was at my school every week. I was sent on youth trips to CIY and all that crap, without say in the matter. Not that I didnt mind getting out of the house for a week in the summer.

 

It was basically one of those "You have to do this. It's the 'right' thing to do" things that I was told by my mother since I was very young.

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I had one of those weird upbringings where I sort of knew our family was culturally Christian, but we rarely attended church or spoke about it at all. It just didn't come up much. I have no idea what religious leanings my dad has ever had; even though I know some of his direct ancestors were Christian Scientists, he seems to be at best an agnostic, completely disinterested in all things spiritual or religious.

 

Mom, though, was raised going to an Episcopalian church in a small town. It was one of two churches - the other was Lutheran, as I recall - and all the upper class folks went to the Episcopalian church (while the folks from the wrong side of the tracks went to the Lutheran one). She found it very spiritually unsatisfying and empty. She spent most of my childhood trying on different spiritual and religious hats from time to time - sometimes she'd try one church for a few weeks, sometimes she'd bring home info on some New Age practice or other...

 

So it was weird, because I was raised without any real formal Christian training, and with some minimal exposure to other religions, but there was definitely this puritanical legacy that was handed down that was culturally religious, even if not directly so.

 

Mom was born again in my teens and I followed suit shortly afterwards. For most of the rest of my teens and a bit into my 20's we were devout evangelicals and went to an AoG church - weird, but less batshit than most. I married in my early 20's and my first spouse and I went to a Presbyterian church together.

 

Sometimes I regret having converted, but I understand why I did. I converted not long after I'd been sexually assaulted; no one believed me about the assault, they all just thought I was a horny teen, so they put me under house arrest until I was 18 and there was this overarching sense of grave moral transgression on my part. I think one of the unconscious motivations I had for converting was because of a desperate sense of needing absolution from sexual immorality.

 

So I did what I needed to do in order to get through a rough time, I guess. I don't regret that. And I don't regret that it gave me a chance to see Christianity from the inside out, too.

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I'll cut-and-paste what I just wrote in the other similar thread.....

 

I was raised catholic...irish-catholic. But at age 5, after my first vacation bible school experience, I came home wanting to know if my parents would kill me if god told them to. Thankfully they said NO, but that whole Abraham/Isaac story gave me the creeps for years. (Still does, actually.) But that experience also taught me that maybe god wasn't everything he was cracked up to be. From then on, I took everything the church/parents/schools taught with a major grain of salt. Even though I went to catholic school from grades 4-8, I could never really buy into all that catholic-crap. By the time I was 16 or so, I was agnostic and very close to being an atheist. (All the while, I was forced to go to church and other classes by my VERY catholic, divorced mother.)

 

A few years later, I met the guy who would be my husband. He too was a "fallen-away" catholic/agnostic. Unfortunately about a dozen years or so after we were married (and two kids later), he fell for the whole "the catholic church is the whore of babylon" routine and became SuperFundy. I tried to see what the appeal of church/god/religion was...I really tried. I went to church with him and got somewhat involved in other aspects. But I just couldn't keep it up. I'd sit in church and feel like I was going to puke from the complete lunacy of the teachings, the preachers, the members of the church. Then things started being taught in Children's Church that I would not tolerate my kids having to be tortured with. That was the end of my church-going days. For the past twenty-or-so years, the only time you'll find me in church is for a wedding or a funeral. Even then, I feel like I need a shower when I finally am able to leave the building.

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