Title pretty much says it all, but I became one because:
-Catholicism's ideology just didn't make sense
-I had some major issues with their core beliefs
-my Confirmation program at my church made me really think about what I was believing
-I just don't think that this God that I was brought up with exists.
-My mom constantly imposing on me made me realize that a life with religion was not a life I wanted to live at all
-I believe man created God, not the other way around.

I am interested in your experiences :) so do tell!

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Hello Kristine,

Having gone through my own personal history, I can say that at the core I have always been an atheist. I don't know if there is anyone out there that can say that they have not been extremely influenced by all authorities since childhood. So, I think it's quite human to "go along" with whatever culture you're raised in until you are old enough, wise enough, or so dag-nabbed stubborn enough to stand up against that norm. I know that most of my adult I've been like a professional actor. I've had a core belief that I kept to myself and "acted" like I agreed with the believers. I even tried to make excuses for them or tried to fit myself into certain categories (Deist) that wouldn't make myself seem "all that really different" from them. It's been about a year that I finally have been done with the entire fantasy approach to life. I just can't appease these folks anymore. My last difficult task was to disappoint my mom. She's always been so strong as long as she has her religion. But I just can't do it anymore (not even for her). A lie that big affects so many people's lives and causes such systemic problems that I have grown way past coddling these folks.

Thanks for listening.

Marc
No problem, Marc :)
I can totally relate to the disappointing mom part. That will be a difficult task for me as well. I was raised around religion my whole life but was apathetic about it all and didn't bother to think about if it all made sense or was reasonable. I feel I have really matured that way in high school because I finally started forming my own views on my former religion. I was just afraid to officially turn atheist or even agnostic because of possible punishment from my parents and being excluded/not accepted by my friends. But I now realize if I do end up as such that there is nothing wrong with that and that I have to accept myself for it. I realize that I am much happier now that I do not need to worry about pleasing a God or whether I will go to heaven or hell. I still have not told my parents and most likely will not tell them until after I'm out of the house.
Marc, I have often wondered how many people who never believed were out there – besides myself you are the only one I've encountered. I bought into the Santa story until I was around 6 when I discover he was just a guy in a story and then, with the keen insight of a 6 year old, I reasoned that god was just a sort of Santa Claus for adults – a character in a story.
My immediate family wasn't particularly religious (my father was a closet Atheist which I discovered when I was an adult) ) and church attendance was a rare event on my mother's part. Although I had Jeebus lovin Baptists on my mother's side and 15th century Catholics on my fathers side, neither had much influence on me.
I almost feel left out on A/N because I don't have a “coming out” story – unless we count my birth. I really can't empathize with believers because I have never experienced belief (I do recall believing in Santa Claus – barely).
Coincidentally, I'm reading Hogfather by Terry Pratchett (a version of Santa). At one point, having been asked if the Hogfather really exists, the governess of a couple of kids replies:-

"Look at it this way then," she said, and took a deep mental breath. Wherever people are obtuse and absurd ... and wherever they have, by even the most generous standards, the attention span of a small chicken in a hurricane and the investigative ability of a one-legged cockroach ... and wherever people are inanely credulous, pathetically attached to the certainties of the nursery and, in general, have as much grasp of the realities of the physical universe as an oyster has of mountaineering ... yes, Twyla: there IS a Hogfather."
What made me a atheist? I don't think anything can make you an atheist except for rationally thinking. Now if what you actually want is what spurred my rational thought processes to come to its current conclusion of there is no god...Well that is kind of a semi-"interesting" story. So I was brought up in the good old evangelical born again Christian church, with the good old speaking in tongues(No I could never bring myself to fake this...trying to do it always felt like I was lying and trying to do something not real.) and the laying of hands and falling over stuff. Well one of the times I was prayed for/laid hands on and yes I did fall over and was not pushed over (its actually a bit of shame to have been so brain washed that shit worked on me...but there are a lot of things I think my religious up bringing fucked up, but that's another story) on the way down from this "holy ghost slaying" I came to some sudden realization of wait this was no act of any god. I remember other times where I would fall over and unlike many I would just stand back up, and even some cases where I was told to remain laying down as if it was bad show to stand right back up. So after this I started wondering what did happen to me, and questioning if not god then what? Which from all accounts I have been able to dig up it is basically brain washing and hypnosis(which the church is against if label as such)....So after this I just further questioned and questioned( Now to be fair to myself I did always have questions about creation myths they srsly don't hold any water even with a child with some amount of exposure to science. Unless you believe all the questions you have about the bible are answered by god put it there to question your faith... ). Then once the questioning started it eroded away any faith I had pretty quickly...

Hope this is what you were looking for...

-Tim
Wow! I can say I've been to a few Pentecostal services, but I've never been enticed to speak in tongues or "slayed". I can only sympathize with what you've gone through. I wonder if you've ever experienced a "fire walking"? I believe that this is the same type of experience where a group of humans gets together and causes a social exercise where emotional feeling becomes pervasive amongst the experience causing levels of endorphines to allow for extraordinary feats.

"Groups of humans CAN move mountains, but what nature of innocence is affected by it?"

Marc Green
No I never did experience fire walking....I know some time after I left they had some bits of what I would call almost mass hysteria or something the whole church had this huge laughter, and shouting fit...I wasn't there first hand only heard from my parents. I swear religious fundamentalism gives people a case of the crazy.

-Tim
actually, firewalking works because of the insulating properties of ash. If you walk briskly over hot coals that are covered in even a smal layer of ash, you will not get your feet burned. Its not endorphines, its physics :)
oh that kind of crazy people fire walking....Ya think it was even debunked on myth busters, or some show like that.
Yes that is very interesting to hear, I had a similar experience at a religious retreat I went on 2 years ago where I supposed felt "God". I actually realize that it was nothing more than a state of mind and I didn't feel any different afterwards. I've always had questions about my former religion and it was about the main points of it too, haha
And that was the first time, right Nerd? ;-)
Funny!

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