Born in 1947 in the first wave of WWII 'baby boomers', I was raised unremarkably as a free-thinking, progressive Episcopalian, an experience without much soul-scarring trauma and for which I still have fond memories. So I cannot claim that running from horrible memories of dogmatic tyranny was a factor. I immediately followed that up with a period of social and political activism centering on civil rights and war in southeast Asia. What propelled me to finally eject religion as an unnecessary companion to all my moral sojourning was an intersection of two things:
1. An inescapable, growing awareness that the very foundation of religious faith was rooted in illogic, inconsistency and insufficient evidence to justify the blind fealty that it so officiously demanded.
2. A inexplicable welling up of the courage needed to simply withdraw my assent to religious faith as a way of knowing. I can't stress enough how important this last factor was in my ultimate leap of reason.
That was some years ago and as I happily reflect, largely without regret, it was the most sane. clear minded decision I ever made.
Well, I have to say that I was a born atheist and have never seen any reason to change. My father was a science teacher and nonbeliever who always told me to think for myself and to never follow the herd. My mother was raised in a Christian home but never did more than take us to Sunday school off and on as we grew up. I was raised in the south and learned early to keep my views about religion to myself.
I got a couple of degrees in biology while my boys were small and was delighted in college to meet the first atheists outside my immediate family. My professors were the first people to whom I could freely open up about my atheism. Since then, I have felt rather isolated, living in a small Texas community. I have only very recently found a local group of freethinkers and it is very freeing to be able to discuss these matters openly and intelligently.
I'm a "post religion" atheist. I wasn't raised to believe in any particular faith or religion (perfect now that I look back).
I met my wife, who believed but had "backslidden" and felt she needed to get right. As such, she asked me to attend church with her one Easter and because I was falling for her and thought she was so stinkin hot, I agreed. Long story short, I began to dig the change of perspective and wanted to be in sync with my wife so I continued to attend with her. I slowly started to develop friendships with members of the church and those personal connections kept me wrapped up and involved in the church for years.
About a year ago, we relocated to the Kansas City area and began to visit churches in the area and none of them really did anything for me and found the people in them so hypocritical. Soon after, I began to spend more time studying the Bible and research religion as a whole. I found so many things in the Bible that just made me sick to my stomach and I just couldn't force myself to believe any longer.
I finally decided to tell my wife of nearly 12 years that I had been living a lie and had to come clean and free myself from the religious dogma that I had forced myself to believe for so long. She continues to practice her faith and I am ok with it but refuse to participate just because I love her and our 4 kids.