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Tripping For Jesus


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I've been lurking around here for a little while, but finally decided to join up. I guess this seemed like a semi-appropriate first post to make.

 

I was raised by an atheist father, and a Christian mother, but in a very Christian household. No one ever had a problem with my father being an atheist, we just didn't really mention it. And he would come to church on xmas and easter to make my mom happy, so it didn't cause any problems ever. I moved in and out of various churches, bible studies, youth groups, etc. while I was between about 8 and 14, always sort of looking for one that seemed like it fit. But I never found it, and I eventually just gave up trying.

 

I went to a Catholic high school, not because of its religious affiliation, but because it was the best school in the city. Catholicism really put me to the whole idea of Christianity. To me it all seemed like an excuse to be greedy, uncaring and prejudiced. The Catholics I knew portrayed none of the supposed qualities of Christ, and I quickly lost interest in the whole thing. Plus at the time I was drinking, smoking and having sex, and I wasn't really interested in being judged for these activities. For most of high school and undergrad I was still...spiritual, I suppose is the best way to say it. I believed in god still, I just didn't have any sort of personal relationship or ever really think about it.

 

However, during undergrad I was "born again." Looking back on it now, I sort of wonder how I ever could have been so foolish, but at the time, it all seemed very real and meaningful. I was actually born again while tripping on shrooms (kind of comical, when I think about it now). I sort of had visions (maybe more like, a feeling) of god telling me that I was doing nothing with my life and needed to come back to him, etc. Somehow this had a very profound effect on my life because I gave up drugs and drinking, moved schools, and started going to church. About a year after this I was baptized, and joined a Christian mission group in Haiti for a summer.

 

It was actually while I was in Haiti that I started to question what the hell I was doing. I started thinking, and realized that maybe I wasn't all that much of a Christian after all. I realized that the only real reason I had gone on this mission trip was because I really wanted to go volunteer in Haiti, it had nothing to do with god or Christianity. I struggled with my faith while I was there, but still had the best summer of my life. When I came back, I stopped going to church, stopped talking to the people I had been friends with for the last year, and slipped back into the stage that I had been in for most of high school. Christianity just seemed like too much work for something that I found to be awfully unbelievable (and not "oh my god, that is so amazing, it's unbelievable).

 

I stayed in this stage again for the last two or so years until about six months ago when I started to really think about it and do some research. I was reading a book on multiverse theory (I'm an engineering focusing in physics of electronics) when it started to dawn on me that the idea of a universe without a god wasn't so ridiculous after all. It didn't take me long to shed myself of all gods entirely. What is taking me a long time is breaking the news to my mother, who I know will be heartbroken. My brother, who is gay, and I joke around about how we should just tell her both things at once. "Mom, we're both going to hell, sorry to tell you."

 

I think what I find to be the funniest thing about this entire experience is that my final conversion to atheism has in fact given me a passion and energy that I never received from any sort of theism before. I've never felt so free and comfortable with myself. My mother always had this magnet on her refrigerator that said "I would rather live my life as if there is a god, and die to find out there is not, than live my live as if there is not a god, and die to find out there is". I think that saying could not possibly be any further from the truth for me. I would rather live my life honestly, live my life for myself and those around me, and live my life questioning the things that other people claim, and some day die to find myself in hell. If Christians are right, then I suppose I'll be in good company because there are about 5 billion people in the world who aren't Christian, and many of them are my friends.

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"I think what I find to be the funniest thing about this entire experience is that my final conversion to atheism has in fact given me a passion and energy that I never received from any sort of theism before. I've never felt so free and comfortable with myself. My mother always had this magnet on her refrigerator that said "I would rather live my life as if there is a god, and die to find out there is not, than live my live as if there is not a god, and die to find out there is". I think that saying could not possibly be any further from the truth for me. I would rather live my life honestly, live my life for myself and those around me, and live my life questioning the things that other people claim, and some day die to find myself in hell. If Christians are right, then I suppose I'll be in good company because there are about 5 billion people in the world who aren't Christian, and many of them are my friends."

 

 

 

Well said! I agree and I remember that moment when the freedom (feeling) kicked in for me. :) It just clicked one day as a friend's words came back to me. He simply said "doesn't it feel good to be a free-thinker."

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Welcome stoncoast!

 

I can really relate to your story! Thanks for taking the time to share it! I always love these letters because they help me so much being a new 'deconverter'. I sure hope to hear more of your experiences.

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Thanks for sharing. You're not the only person I've heard of who started questioning their faith on a missions trip. Kinda funny, ya know?

 

Anyways, welcome!

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