Hi all:

Here's an abbreviated version of my background...

I had the ill luck to be born to a family of Jehovah's Witnesses, and I literally almost died as an infant because of the blood transfusion issue (my mother, now a non-JW, told about this when I was in my 30s). Being the second child of an Rh+ father and an Rh- mother made me a candidate for something called Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn. It is a well-understood condition in which the mother's blood is mixed during birth with the child's and introduces antibodies that attack his red blood cells. It can be fatal unless treated with a blood transfusion. JWs categorically oppose transfusions, and my father threatened to remove me from the hospital until the State of NY stepped in with a court order. Nice, huh?

I also had a very unpleasant childhood of Kingdom Hall (that is JW-speak for church) three times a week, door-to-door every Saturday AM, restrictions on friends, and the pariah status of an oddball at school because I could not say The Pledge, or celebrate holidays, etc.

My folks divorced when I was twelve or so and that put an end to going to that damned Hall. It was then when I fell in love with Astronomy. I joined a local club and learned the joy of hanging out with adults that actually KNEW something and loved studying nature.

But in a few years I became a typical teen, and my interests turned to drugs, music, and other things. I dropped out of high school and played in a garage band and worked as a short-order cook. That was enough to convince me, at 18, that I needed to get back to my love for science, so sans high-school diploma, I snuck into the University of Utah, and ten years later, had my Ph.D. in physics. Along the way, I came across Ayn Rand, and while I disagree with much of her philosophy, she steered me sharply away from religious thinking, for which I thank her. Pretty much in my early 20s I was aware that I didn't believe in any superstitious hooey, and the older I get the more I see I made the right choice.

When I met my future wife, in grad school, she was studying biology. I asked her what she was reading at the time "The Bible" she said. My heart sunk. She went on, "Yes, I was told all these years that this book has all the answers, so I am finally reading it, and you know what? Jesus was an asshole!"

So I married her.

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Thanks. What is interesting is that the subject of religion and atheism seldom ever comes up between us, though we share the same views. And since we live in Minnesota, where folks tend not to pry, it rarely comes up at all. When we lived in Kansas a while back, one of the first questions we heard was 'so where do you go to church?'
Welcome to the party! May all your future posts be as interesting as your first.
Glad you survived the cult as an infant and then got out at 12. I just left a few years ago. Welcome to A|N!
Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone.
What a wonderful story ,thanks for sharing , you lit up my day...
I love this story and I love your wife, does she have a sister?

Fortunately fo me I come from a family of relaxed christians who let me decide my own way of thinking. I had friends whom were Jovos and they were extreme in an unfriendly and foolish way. They were the type that believed in rapture and the end of the world. As you know in rapture all the believers raise up into heven and all us good folk burn in an eternal lake of sulphur. These guys believed it so much that they had built the biggest cellar to protect them from the end of the world, go figure.

When the big day came, in 1986 I think. I went to their house to see how they were doing as their world was ending and mine was just begining. They had that worring glazed look in their eyes and were all fidgity and talkative. I asked him what it was going to be like in heaven and they replied with the usual nonsence how everything was supplied by the main man. " Well you wont be needing that new Honda of yours then will ya! Can I have it?" He snapped out of his rapture for long enough to say no! You see, He didn't really believe, he was just hedging his bets.

Now Julian is a pastor or whatever you call it in Kalgoorlie!

Go figure.

God bless him!
Thanks for the comments - she has two sisters but they are both taken (and both are mildly religious too).
Well I'm sure to carry the smile your story has left on my face to sleep with me. I'm glad that you shared that with us.
A terrific story! Thanks for sharing it here, and I hope to read many future comments.
What a terrific life story. It's exhilarating to know that people can break out of their shackles and leave the cave.

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