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Dianka

Why the fuck did it take me so long to realize

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I had to write a draft of my testimony in Word because, really, this is the first time I have ever rationalized my decision to embrace Atheism. It is hard for me to talk about my stand on faith with anyone I know because everyone I am close to believes in God. That is the reason why I decided to come back to this site when I first discovered it.

 

I was born September 18, 1981, and was promptly baptized into the Catholic faith. When my twin and I were sent to kindergarten, it was attached to our pre-Vatican II church. Every Friday and Sunday of every week for the next 8 years, I was shuffled to church to sit, kneel, stand, sing, chant, and shake hands. I loathed church. I was the loudest one – always throwing things around and laughing. To the rest of the church I was inappropriate and hell-bound. I was just trying to pass the time.

 

The only time I actually paid attention in church is when I was going to receive a sacrament, but that was only because it was making me seem older, which to a little girl, is more precious than the princess-cut engagement ring she will be demanding in 15 years.

 

……sit, stand, kneel……sit, stand, kneel……sit, stand, kneel……until I was in a public high school, I blindly accepted, and at the same time rebelled against my church. I simply did not care about God; I did what I wanted. I stole, did drugs, and had what I considered fun at that time. As bad as I ever got, I always managed to get to church on Sunday. On my little cousin’s Confirmation (ceremony to confirm your resolve to continue being a Catholic) I ran onto church blown on opium and acid. It never occurred to me that maybe I shouldn’t go to church anymore. I just went.

 

Around the time I decided to straighten out (my friends were getting hooked on every drug and dropping out of school) I went to church and looked around: all these symbols….I have no idea what the hell they mean. I asked everyone I attended church with “what is the significance of this” and “why was that in the mass.” No one could orient me with my religion. I went to Catholic school, and was yelled at by really scary nuns for eight years, and I didn’t know the first thing about my specific faith. I decided that even if I learned all about my faith, it wouldn’t matter because, unless everyone self-studies, no one in the Catholic religion knows why it is better/special/different than any other religion. They did what I did: they just mindlessly call themselves Catholics on Sundays and do whatever the hell they want the rest of the week.

 

After I gave up Catholicism, I was “spiritual but not religious.” I met a nice Christian boy and began dating him. One day he invited me to the major assembly in front of my school. I grudgingly went. I remember people “witnessing” and crying. My boyfriend went up and told his story between sobs. When everyone who wanted to talk was done, there was singing. This was a total parody of everything that I used to make fun of Christians for, and there I was, balling my eyes out and hugging everyone. “This is real” I told myself. It was exciting, and I had a whole new flock of friends. It was so fulfilling to be part of a group that accepted you for the right reasons. My intense anxiety of public speaking prevented me from witnessing to groups, but I told all my friends about my Jesus, and explained that their current path was destructive. They had the power to change their lives for the better if they accepted Jesus into their hearts. What did they have to lose by coming to one meeting? I suggested that they borrow my bible. Some of them converted, others began avoiding me.

 

This new faith in God didn’t last long: four months. I remember asking my boyfriend if good people who did not believe in God would get into heaven. “No matter how good a person is on this earth, if they do not acknowledge the existence of God, they go to Hell,” he said. A week before school let out, I broke up with him. I thought that all summer, I would devote all my time to studying the Bible by myself. That was the loneliest and most depressing summer of my life. I missed swearing and smoking joints. I missed my funny friends, even if they were going to hell. By the time Labor Day rolled around, I was the old me, hanging out with the old friends. I was just annoyed that I had to give up the people who made me happy, and really, I am simply not as bubbly as one needs to be in order to live the Christian life.

 

Back to “spiritual but not religious.” This was the case for the next four years…

 

Last February I enrolled in a Philosophy course that changed my perception of religion, and I figured out why I was holding on to my quasi-faith. I was scared of 1.) Hell and 2.) nothingness after death. The only thing keeping me connected to faith was fear. I eventually got through the fear and guilt of becoming an Atheist. I could never imagine that I would be happier without faith. With religion I felt shame and had to repent every 5 minutes for being who I am. Becoming an Atheist made me appreciate science and the quest for the truth in every facet of my life. I also don’t view this earth as a necessary step to get into Heaven like I used to. I appreciate and enjoy everything around me. Instead of thanking God for helping me, I now search for real people that help me realize my goals, and better deserve that appreciation.

 

I am now in a process that I will not stop until I die: understanding the world around me.

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Welcome SurlyMermaid81, good to have you here.

:wave:

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Welcome! I can relate to your story quite a bit (but I was converted to "real" christianity by my middle school friends).

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Its better to have a slow change, imo, because people who change very quickly after having it their whole lives generally experience a lot of trauma and pain as they are coming out.

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Welcome, SM! It's good to see that you've decided to keep learning for the rest of your life. Too many entering or leaving Christianity have an attitude of, "I've arrived. Now I don't need to do any more work or thinking."

 

Have you taken a look at the archives? There's a lot of historical information there that you never hear from a pulpit.

 

Loren

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Welcome, and congratulations on figuring things out.

. . . and there I was, balling my eyes out and hugging everyone. “This is real” I told myself. It was exciting, and I had a whole new flock of friends.

Hmmm. I think you must have meant "bawling." Or if not, then, wow, what an interesting church. :wicked: (Just joking around, of course -- couldn't resist.)

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Last February I enrolled in a Philosophy course that changed my perception of religion, and I figured out why I was holding on to my quasi-faith. I was scared of 1.) Hell and 2.) nothingness after death. The only thing keeping me connected to faith was fear. I eventually got through the fear and guilt of becoming an Atheist. I could never imagine that I would be happier without faith.

 

This is #7 on my Personal Statement on Faith:

 

7. Theistic beliefs become irrelevant and without merit in accordance to the degree of the dissipation of the fear of death, the hallmark of what is unknown.

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Its better to have a slow change, imo, because people who change very quickly after having it their whole lives generally experience a lot of trauma and pain as they are coming out.

 

I agree with this completely. I dont think even death can compare to the sudden realization that everything you believed, and thus established your very existence around, is a lie. If there really were such a thing as being 'born-again', this realization would be it, as it is more powerful than anything christianity can conjure up.

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SurlyMermaid,

 

I've never thought about a mermaid being surly. You've opened my eyes. :)

Your testimony was a nice read. Welcome to the board.

 

Peace,

GiantBear

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Hay! That's me.

The way I see it, the more SMs we have, the better! :grin:

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The way I see it, the more SMs we have, the better!

 

Ah, S&M. This shows how far we have come from the Christian religion! FREEDOM!!!

 

Surely you are welcome here, SurlyMermaid81!

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Be careful! S&M with the SurlyMermaid will leave permanent marks!

 

I'LL BITE YA! :Duivel7:

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Be careful! S&M with the SurlyMermaid will leave permanent marks!

 

I'LL BITE YA!  :Duivel7:

Haha. How greedy I am. :lmao: Was that a threat?

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Glad you are here! Life is so much more enjoyable when you are free of the chains of religion!

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Guest aexapo
I am now in a process that I will not stop until I die: understanding the world around me.

 

And don't stop. . . ever!

 

My circumstances were a bit different, but I came out of religion about the same point in my life as you have in yours . . . so don't worry why it took so long, be glad you got out while you were young! The older we get, the more impossible it becomes, or the more likely we get scared shitless and run back to "God" and believe with even more blindness.

 

And for me, my Intro to Philosophy class was crucial as well. They outta make that class mandatory!

 

Glad you're here -- have enjoyed all your posts so far.

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I was just thinking this morning that I really appreciate your posts (especially the how often poll :wicked: ).

 

Thank you for the wise advice....

 

[. . . so don't worry why it took so long, be glad you got out while you were young! The older we get, the more impossible it becomes, or the more likely we get scared shitless and run back to "God" and believe with even more blindness.]

 

 

:HappyCry:

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Be careful! S&M with the SurlyMermaid will leave permanent marks!

 

S&M, SurlyMermaid, Spamandham. Coincidence? I think not!

 

Regarding your philosophy class, it's a shame everyone doesn't take one (or two). My background is similar to yours except that I re-embraced faith for a few years after apostasy before I finally came to terms with it (apostasy, not faith).

 

My only regret is that I wasn't an atheist when I was still single. I think I would have had a lot more fun.

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To be honest, it was pretty easy for me to become an atheist. The Catholic religion doesn't really pull anyone in with witnessing and all this talk about being saved.

 

I feel sorry for a lot of the people on this site who were very active in their religion, and then realized that they put so much of their lives into a lie. One night I sat on here after reading all the testimonies and thought "I can't imagine how these people got themselves through all the pain."

 

I was also floored when I heard that people in other religions and told that they are baptized only when they speak in tongues. That is a terrible mind-fuck.

 

AAAGGGGHHHH! I am getting pissed off thinkng about all the ways religion manipulates people!

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Guest aexapo
To be honest, it was pretty easy for me to become an atheist. The Catholic religion doesn't really pull anyone in with witnessing and all this talk about being saved.

 

I was raised Oneness Pentecostal (really weird, trust me), and as a very extreme faith (on the other end of the spiritual spectrum), it also makes it very easy to go one way or the other -- the hardest part is being in between. It's very polar -- you either have to accept its bizarro-reality in totality, or you just realize that the whole thing is a crock of shit.

 

Well, maybe it's probably "either-or" for people with brains; most of their adherents don't seem to be people who could think for themselves anyway.

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That is terrible. I honestly don't get angry with people who believe in God. It is the people that use these folks for their own profit that really make me angry. Yes, the people who get caught up in any traditional or weird faith are weak-minded, but they all turn to faith because they feel they need guidance, or generally have good intentions.

 

Ok, I need to say something positive before I start crying out of pity for these people......

 

.......

 

B)

 

ONE DAY LOGIC WILL PREVAIL!!!

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My friends used to joke about me looking like i am from Nebraska. Look for yourself in my profile.

 

Anyway, I know what you mean about the sense of community. Welcome, and I look forward to your posts.

 

:grin:

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My intense anxiety of public speaking prevented me from witnessing to groups, but I told all my friends about my Jesus, and explained that their current path was destructive.

 

Your ex-imony is very well written. Clear and detailed. That means that you could be very good at public speaking, so I don't see any reason why you should be anxious about it.

.

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My intense anxiety of public speaking prevented me from witnessing to groups, but I told all my friends about my Jesus, and explained that their current path was destructive.

 

Your ex-imony is very well written. Clear and detailed. That means that you could be very good at public speaking, so I don't see any reason why you should be anxious about it.

.

 

Well see here's the thing, I can either dope myself up on Zoloft and feel numb enough to talk to people, which has worked, or I can just accept it. Thanks Charley, I appreciate the compliment.

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Dianka,

 

hi, good to meet you

 

nice use of the f word

 

I toss that one out sometimes myself, because I find it repulsive that church folk,

(as in 9 Archdoicies declaring bankruptcy over child sexual abuse, let me rephrase that

 

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIESTS

 

well, folks that go to church really don't like the f word, so F THEM

 

and, your whole story breaks my heart

 

when the churches are corrupt, how is that going to work out for all the people

 

and, the churches are absolutely corrupt

 

and, all the world is suffering,

 

I'm not kidding, all the world

(UPCI has been cursing the world for sin for a long time now)

 

and, it happened in the bible days too,

that's what happened, rampant death disease and whole civilations crumbled

 

because the churches were corrupt

 

I hope your still reading this,,,,

I know the churches are corrupt, all the world is going straight to hell,

 

but, life is good, if you can ..... please try to survive all the crap

simply live

 

and get what you can out of it

 

love

bev

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