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My Deconversion (Very Long)


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I was raised in a Southern Baptist home. Come from a long line of Christians - everyone but me, one great uncle, one uncle, one aunt, and six cousins in my large extended family are still active, church attending Bible believing Christians. My parents were not fundies though, they played D&D and did many other activities that got themselves into trouble at church. Typical Baby Boomers, they told whoever bothered them to stuff it. My dad also liked to drink and was a smoker. The extended fam is from the midwest and Texas. I never lived in either place. Dad was military and we were never stationed anywhere near the Bible Belt. The closest we came was New Mexico. The bulk of my dad's career during my lifetime was spent in Nevada (Vegas) and in Japan. Dad retired in Utah.

 

In my case it was a bunch of little things that led to me walking away, and the little things took place over the course of many years.

 

I "found Jesus" between 6th and 7th grades. I was the last person in the children's ministry my age to do that. After my conversion my deconversion began in earnest. About six months after my conversion, my brother was diagnosed with Chrons disease. People started whining about so much attention being devoted to the child who might die of the disease. That was when the people at church were not calling my dad a satan worshiper for playing D&D and telling my mother my father would never be a deacon because she refused to keep me and my brother out late on a school night at the drama filled church business meetings.

 

About a year later, my family moved to Utah where we encountered a different sort of culture. Utah is mostly Mormon, and by traditional Christian standards, not Christian. Most of the state that was not Mormon was Jewish, Muslim, or atheist. This drove the Christians nuts. People would whine in churches about how persecuted they were by the horrible Mormons or because some chick at work was wearing a hijab. After ten years of living there, the whining got old. With nothing to focus on but the fact that they were sooo persecuted in Utah and that sort of thing never happened in Texas, the Christians did what Christians do: look for faults in each other. I ended up being bullied by some brats who were the deacon chairman's kids when I was a teen. Naturally, I wanted to make friends. Not welcome at church by the youth group, I befriended several kids at school who were, suprise surprise, not Christian. I got crapped on for that as well. It got to a point where I was being dragged almost literally to church by my parents. I became popular at school, and the more popular I became the more nasty and bitter the girls at church became, to the point where one of them uttered death threats. I only went ot Sunday morning meetings therafter, until I turned 18. At 18 I wanted to quit going to church. But being that I was broke and could not leave home, I still had to go to church. That was my dad's rule. So I chose a church across town.

 

I went to that church for a year. I did not make a single friend there, despite attending events regularly. The folks there were slightly nicer but not by much. The church was larger, so I could disappear. I made sure to get a bulletin from the front, as my dad liked to see that I was going. A year afterwards I went to college up north, in Logan, a city even more LDS than Salt Lake was. Logan was even worse. I got along fine, as usual, with everyone who was not Christian. Church was a chore. I wondered why I kept going - I was living away from home and did not have to go. I think honestly I was scared I would rot in hell for all eternity. That said, I do not have fond memories of the Christians in Logan. I had LDS roommates and both years I was there every last one of my roommates got chick tracts talking about how Mormonism was the wrong religion and Mormons were going to hell. My second batch of roommates, all five of them, would not talk to me for nearly six months and the RA refused to help me with any disputes because he too had been given a hate filled chick tract that claimed he was hell-bound. I had started playing bass guitar at one point and wanted to play in church. I remember attending class one day, after going through hell that morning with my LDS roommates who were still bitter about the chick tracts, and then going to class where I was informed, prior to the lecture by the leader of the church band who was also in the class, that God had told her I was not a good fit for the band, that I was not right with Jesus and therefore it would be bad for me to be in the church band. She chose a really bad time to tell me that I was not right for the band - there were like 10 confused LDS witnesses listening to us talk in the lecture hall before the history lecture. Talk about disgusting. On another occasion, I attended another church and endured a lecture on how my hometown (Las Vegas) was of Satan and therefore needed to be smited, and the smiting of Las Vegas was long overdue, and God would see to it that Las Vegas suffered like New Orleans, that its inhabitants and those from Vegas would suffer greatly. I am from Las Vegas, and that sermon was particularly nasty. When I went and confronted the pastor, he told me I was like Lot, living in denial. I never went back to that church.

 

I collect American Girl dolls as a hobby, and I remember distinctly that my grandmother was upset with some promotion they were doing that was allegedly evil and supported abortion. Even though American Girl was not funding abortions, they were funding the education part of the questionble company, my grandmother and many others threw fits. People picketed the company. I really wanted the Marisol doll for Christmas. My grandmother said that under no circumstances was "her money" going to that evil, abortion loving toy company. To make sure that never happened, she sent me a gift card. I endured rants from my grandmother about that company until about one year before she died.

 

I couldn't afford to stay at the pricey school and was not doing well up there anyways so I moved back in with my folks and went to the church I had attended before, the one across town. By that time there were some old people in the church who hated that the church was getting bigger. They hated the pastor and the youth pastor and wanted them out. They made up trump charges for the pastor should be canned and brought them forth at a nasty business meeting. The pastor left before they could fire him, and the church split. During that split I cried a lot and at one point asked my deacon what I should do, and was advised to read my Bible. I did what he said and began reading my Bible. During that time they looked at how they could fire the youth pastor - they being the "old guard" as the pastor had called them. They could find nothing wrong with how the youth pastor was doing things so one of the deacons, also a member of "the old guard" stood up in the business meeting, and in front of the youth pastor's wife and childen proclaimed that he wanted the n***** out of the church right now. The youth pastor left shortly thereafter. He hasn't preached anywhere since, so far as I know he doesn't even go to church.

 

I came home from that meeting and told my parents what happened. My dad lifted the requirement that I go to church every Sunday. Free of chruch, I sat at home and read my Bible. After reading it I found the thing to be full of it, and even worse, that not a single Christian I had ever met even lived according to the BIble. I called that church and formally had my membership removed. I gradually threw away the chains of the faith with which I was raised. Now unsure, more an agnostic than anything, I don't miss chruch. I left Utah for California a year and a half ago, and feel no pressure to attend any church here.

 

My parents are upset that I no longer claim Christ and don't go to church and my extended family, save for, oddly, my Texas relatives, has disowned me.

 

The other day my dad remarked that I was happy. I told him that I was happier because I was no longer chained to a faith I didn't believe in, and even better, no longer attending a church. It's like a weight is gone. yellow.gif

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That sounds about right. Welcome to Ex-C! Enjoy the weighlessness :)

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Wow, what a wringer! I have to agree completely with your assessment: to me, the most cogent and compelling argument against Christianity is how horribly its adherents act toward each other--and especially how they act toward those who aren't in lockstep with them. If a single lick of it were true, I'd expect them to at least manage to act at least as decently as non-Christians, but hell, most of 'em can't even manage that. Infilling savior guiding their every move and leading them toward being better people, my left ass cheek. I realized in my late teens that if the people I saw around me were what God considered worthy company for eternity, I wanted no part of heaven. (I think I was hoping that there might be a stairwell or something in heaven I could hide in while the assholes partied in the main hall.) But even in the most toxic of church groups, I don't think I ever got to the point where I was actually crying about what I saw going on. Wow. I really really am glad you got out of that. Welcome to ex-C :)

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Very fun to read. Welcome! Youll find many of us have gone through similar times in our life. Its funny how the bible, and church itself are the things that push so many people away. Not to mention the nasty, hate-spewing christians. Oh well, their lives are the ones to be wasted, not mine. Enjoy the free-ness of being able to use your own mind, and the ability to decide for yourself whats right for your life! There are still bumps in the road, but its great to know that you have the ability to overcome those yourself, and you dont have to rely on prayer to get you through. Thats handy, especially considering prayer is a waste of time. Anyways, welcome! Enjoy the ride!

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Greetings! Sorry about all that you went through, but it's great to hear that you've broken free and can live your own life now.

 

When I went and confronted the pastor, he told me I was like Lot, living in denial.

 

Evidently that pastor hadn't read 2 Peter 2:7, which says that Lot was a righteous man who was distressed by the conduct around him (quite the opposite of living in denial).

 

Anyway, good luck in your future endeavors. Enjoy the journey ahead of you....

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When i read these stories I'm always impressed with what survivors ex-christians are. It's no small thing to be able to survive Christian churches that openly wish for other human beings to be smited (smote? smoted?).

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