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Hey everyone,

 

I wanted to share with you all my story. First, I live in Alabama in the heart of the bible belt. My family from my great grand parents that I know of to my parents today are Roman Catholics. I grew up in the tradition. While in it, I was an alter server, sunday school teacher, training other alter servers, helping coordinating events, a member of the knights of columbus and so on. Essientially, I was involved in any and all things I could be involved with. While growing up, I was very much into the church. In addition, I attended a private Christian school in my hometown. The people in this school were mostly taught the baptist and methodist traditions so it was really the first time I began experiencing other religions.

The first seed that I can recall for my decoversion, though it wouldn't have any effect until I was in college was in the fourth grade. I was told that I had to go to confession as it's what catholics do. Having heard about the "personal relationship" with Jesus, I asked my sunday school teacher that if God were all knowing, all loving and would forgive me for anything I did then he knows that I have done wrong and because I have already asked him to forgive me he has thus having no need for me to go to confession. I remember being told that "Good Christian's don't think that way". Little did I know, this one experience would be the primary hook that would help me leave the faith as I got older.

During my teen years in both junior high and high school, I was very involved with the church. I suppose I was the perfect Christian to some extent who tried to follow the bible in every way. With my actions, the first thought was always the what would jesus do action. That said, drinking, smoking. sex before marriage and so on was not on my radar growing up. During this time though, I deeply began studying the history of Christianity and found a love of studying religions. I also began studying world religions and trying to understand why they were formed. Greek and Roman mythology had always interested me. So, when looking at other religions I looked at them through the lense of mythology. I also felt bad for those people because at the time< I believed that they would burn in hell. Clearly, anyone who doesn't accept christ doesn't go to heaven. Before leaving college, the priest at my church invited a Buddist monk to come speak about her experience and why she had converted. That was by far one of the most interesting talks that we had. The only real thing though I remember about it is after she left. I felt like crying and prayer for her because I knew that she would be condemned for all eternity for turning away from God.  

Fast forward to college and my entire life changed. I decided to take a philosophy class, mostly to strengthen my own faith. My thought was that I could take the chance to hopefully bring the good news to someone who didn't believe while at the same time make my faith stronger. I knew everything there was to know about the faith from my studies and clearly was best equiped for that task. When we entered the class my professor was sitting on his desk. He was a short guy maybe not much taller than 5"5'. He told us straight off that he was an atheist and it wasn't his job to convert us; however, we should be aware that when looking at philosophy religion is the best candidate to examine logic. Therefore, if anyone felt uncomfortable by having their religion examined then drop his class. 

I stayed in the class and we began by learning the various logical forms like logic modus ponens, modus tollens and the various other forms. Once that was complete, he began defining God from the christian perspective and questing everything there was to question in terms of arguments like the argument of evil and other classical arguements. Throughout this class, I really began thinking about my beliefs and it really caused me to pause and question. 

The argument of evil for me really hit home because it's something I wondered before. Likewise, from this argument reminded me of what happened when in fourth grade where I asked about confession. It came to a point during the class, where if I went to church I would sit in the pew and question everything the priest said. I found contradiction throughout the sermons and eventually stopped going altogether. My way of thinking changed completely and the rational side of me bloomed. To this day, when looking back I am unable to make any sense of what it was I believed or why. 

So here I am, it's been around 7 or 8 years now since I took that class. I went through the entire process between 2006 and 2011. It was a challenge but I am better for it.

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Nice story.  Your journey from being indoctrinated with Christianity as a youth, to exploration and development of rational thinking, followed by application of that rational thinking to the religious indoctrination is inspiring.  Next on the agenda (perhaps) is dealing with the peer pressure from family, friends and others who have not yet taken your journey.  That involves a different skill set.

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Greetings, awworrell. Thanks for sharing your story. Glad to hear you've broken free.

 

To this day, when looking back I am unable to make any sense of what it was I believed or why.

 

My sentiments exactly. I wasn't Catholic, but I was a firm believer, and it all seemed to make sense at the time. Now that I've learned a lot more and see a lot of the problems for what they are, it is next to impossible to even fathom how on earth I could have swallowed the sham hook, line and sinker.

 

It was a challenge but I am better for it.

 

Amen! Enjoy the journey ahead of you....

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This is exactly why pastors preach against knowledge.  As soon as you start applying logic to xianity it falls apart.  But what are we, as humans with our brains, without that thirst for real knowledge?  "Good Christians don't think that way" -- I'm sure lots of us here have heard similar things in church or in our families!  We seem to be the thinkers and they sure don't know what to do with us!

 

So just keep thinking and learning and growing.  It is challenging and satisfying.

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So you basically grew out of it. It took some of us a lot, lot longer, and I envy you your excellent start in life.

 

Congratulations, and welcome aboard.

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Nice story.  Your journey from being indoctrinated with Christianity as a youth, to exploration and development of rational thinking, followed by application of that rational thinking to the religious indoctrination is inspiring.  Next on the agenda (perhaps) is dealing with the peer pressure from family, friends and others who have not yet taken your journey.  That involves a different skill set.

 

Thanks sde. I would consider myself fortunate to some extent in terms of family and friends. First, I am not close to any of my family thus there is no need to break anything to them. I told my parents. They both tend to be open minded and have always said I had to find my own path that makes me happy. My path my not be theirs. My mom isn't to thrilled about it and avoids the subject entirely. My dad on the other hand just laughs. He is a Christian; however, he only became one because of my mom and family. My grandmother is aware, but like my mom avoids the subject. My grandfather passed away not knowing. He assumed through college I remained a Chrstian and conservative. None of us could bring ourselves to telling him the truth but it's better that way.

 

As far as friends, most of my christian friends have either broken their friendships off with me or I with them. I only have one friend who has stuck through it with me this entire time. It's only because we have known each other since we were both kids. I'm still the same person I was though my viewpoints on the world are entirely different. We have reconcilled those differences and are still friends. That skill set though I am certainly hoping to learn. I look forward to being on this site and continue learning from you all. From what I have seen so far, there are some really amazing people here.

 

Greetings, awworrell. Thanks for sharing your story. Glad to hear you've broken free.

 

To this day, when looking back I am unable to make any sense of what it was I believed or why.

 

My sentiments exactly. I wasn't Catholic, but I was a firm believer, and it all seemed to make sense at the time. Now that I've learned a lot more and see a lot of the problems for what they are, it is next to impossible to even fathom how on earth I could have swallowed the sham hook, line and sinker.

 

It was a challenge but I am better for it.

 

Amen! Enjoy the journey ahead of you....

 

It's amazing isn't it citsonga? I have come to understand though it's why children are so important to the church. Children seem to have brains of which are programmed to listen to their elders though they don't want to admit it. They are naive to a fault because they have to be in order to survive in the world. What better time of life to tell someone about a story that is competely incoherent when a person isn't capable of asking questions? Indoctrination is a beautiful thing to the extent that, one can understand why it's done.

 

So you basically grew out of it. It took some of us a lot, lot longer, and I envy you your excellent start in life.

 

Congratulations, and welcome aboard.

I suppose so Mister. I read an article once on this site about a person wondering if it was the case that Christianity was the only right religion then what is the result of the other people on this planet of whom was simply born in a different place or time. When studying mythology for me that same question was always nagging. Would the ancient greeks, romans, egyptians, or some other ancient culture burn in hell solely because Christ hasn't been born yet? Likewise, if we take a moment to assume that aliens do exist though it may be farfetched but is it safe to say that a race of people in another solar system will burn in hell because a small group of hairless apes on a little planet called earth hasn't told them about another person called jesus who happened to be born across the solar system? The question really shows how preposterous Christianity is. Don't envy me, we both have difference experiences and circumstances that we have experienced in life. What's important now is where we are. We together, as ex-christians, can hopefully move this world forward. 

 

Thank you all for such a warm welcome onto the site. I am really happy to be here and look forward to hopefully many interesting discussions moving forward.

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Hey everyone,

 

I wanted to share with you all my story. First, I live in Alabama in the heart of the bible belt. My family from my great grand parents that I know of to my parents today are Roman Catholics. I grew up in the tradition. While in it, I was an alter server, sunday school teacher, training other alter servers, helping coordinating events, a member of the knights of columbus and so on. Essientially, I was involved in any and all things I could be involved with. While growing up, I was very much into the church. In addition, I attended a private Christian school in my hometown. The people in this school were mostly taught the baptist and methodist traditions so it was really the first time I began experiencing other religions.

 

The first seed that I can recall for my decoversion, though it wouldn't have any effect until I was in college was in the fourth grade. I was told that I had to go to confession as it's what catholics do. Having heard about the "personal relationship" with Jesus, I asked my sunday school teacher that if God were all knowing, all loving and would forgive me for anything I did then he knows that I have done wrong and because I have already asked him to forgive me he has thus having no need for me to go to confession. I remember being told that "Good Christian's don't think that way". Little did I know, this one experience would be the primary hook that would help me leave the faith as I got older.

 

During my teen years in both junior high and high school, I was very involved with the church. I suppose I was the perfect Christian to some extent who tried to follow the bible in every way. With my actions, the first thought was always the what would jesus do action. That said, drinking, smoking. sex before marriage and so on was not on my radar growing up. During this time though, I deeply began studying the history of Christianity and found a love of studying religions. I also began studying world religions and trying to understand why they were formed. Greek and Roman mythology had always interested me. So, when looking at other religions I looked at them through the lense of mythology. I also felt bad for those people because at the time< I believed that they would burn in hell. Clearly, anyone who doesn't accept christ doesn't go to heaven. Before leaving college, the priest at my church invited a Buddist monk to come speak about her experience and why she had converted. That was by far one of the most interesting talks that we had. The only real thing though I remember about it is after she left. I felt like crying and prayer for her because I knew that she would be condemned for all eternity for turning away from God.  

 

Fast forward to college and my entire life changed. I decided to take a philosophy class, mostly to strengthen my own faith. My thought was that I could take the chance to hopefully bring the good news to someone who didn't believe while at the same time make my faith stronger. I knew everything there was to know about the faith from my studies and clearly was best equiped for that task. When we entered the class my professor was sitting on his desk. He was a short guy maybe not much taller than 5"5'. He told us straight off that he was an atheist and it wasn't his job to convert us; however, we should be aware that when looking at philosophy religion is the best candidate to examine logic. Therefore, if anyone felt uncomfortable by having their religion examined then drop his class. 

 

I stayed in the class and we began by learning the various logical forms like logic modus ponens, modus tollens and the various other forms. Once that was complete, he began defining God from the christian perspective and questing everything there was to question in terms of arguments like the argument of evil and other classical arguements. Throughout this class, I really began thinking about my beliefs and it really caused me to pause and question. 

 

The argument of evil for me really hit home because it's something I wondered before. Likewise, from this argument reminded me of what happened when in fourth grade where I asked about confession. It came to a point during the class, where if I went to church I would sit in the pew and question everything the priest said. I found contradiction throughout the sermons and eventually stopped going altogether. My way of thinking changed completely and the rational side of me bloomed. To this day, when looking back I am unable to make any sense of what it was I believed or why. 

 

So here I am, it's been around 7 or 8 years now since I took that class. I went through the entire process between 2006 and 2011. It was a challenge but I am better for it.

 

Welcome!

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Hello, and welcome!

Ah, philosophy - examining things from a genuinely logical perspective sure is a sledgehammer to the core of faith. I saw a room-mate in college implode on contact with a real-deal no holds barred philosophy class, and, long story short, her story is why I'm here. People need help to deal with this stuff, and there's damage being done, under that shiny plastic veneer of smiles and poofy blonde hair and elaborate shirts. (Seriously, what's with that? Why do megachurch-y Christian fashions for men involve bizarrely fancy shirt designs?? So strange...)

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