"Daniel, I enjoyed your post about your 13 year-old best friend, and it brought tears to my eyes. I hope you don't mind me reposting it here:
SUNDAY, AUGUST 24, 2014
Old Charlie. 8.23.14
He's 13 years…"
"Chris, maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like a religious question to me because I can't see why a secular government would care, or why it's any of their business.
I've read that the government does it to preserve stable family…"
"I swear too much also, but usually not outside. However, my neighbors probably hear me through open windows sometimes.
My new neighbors next door don't wave at me anymore. I wonder if they are religious and decide they don't…"
"For several years before I retired, I rode the 2 miles to work and 2 miles back every day on my recumbent trike, which had no covering. Sometimes in negative 10 degrees F.
I wore a ski mask and hood, but only a light coat, and never got…"
I had loving parents, but was strongly indoctrinated with Mormon beliefs as a child.
I grew-up with a logical mind and loving science, but ignored logic and science where they disagreed with Mormon beliefs.
As the years went on, my logical mind slowly made me question Mormonism. As a teenager, I came to the conclusion that either only one religion was true, or they were all false.
I believed less and less as time went on, but I still had the fear of Satan getting control of me and deceiving me until I was about age 55. (On August 5, 2014 I became 73).
That's when I finally realized that I had never had any prayers answered that I could tell, had never felt the spirit letting me know the truth that I could tell, and never had any help from my spiritual leaders that I could tell.
That realization confirmed that Mormonism was false. With that in mind, I decided to study evolution, which Mormon brainwashing had me arguing against and refusing to study.
That study quickly made it obvious that evolution was true and proved beyond any reasonable doubt that all christian religions were false.
My study of evolution let me to Richard Dawkins, and his book "The God Delusion". That book was the final nail that convinced me that all religions were false, and that there was no evidence supporting a belief in a god or an afterlife.
I quickly realized that faith and belief are ridiculous, and now accept as true only those things that have a great amount of scientific evidence to support them.
I’m now able to enjoy learning the fascinating and amazing new scientific discoveries about life and the universe without religious dogma getting in the way.
Since leaving behind the fear and guilt of religion, I’ve overcome a great deal of depression and anxiety. I’ve become 100 times as ambitious and have lost 37 pounds of extra fat (halfway there), without any questionable diets.
I love the beauty of green growing things, and very much enjoy growing things in my garden, especially delicious things to eat.
Being an atheist in a religious family is not easy. One is either forced to "partake" in ceremonies or decide not to participate/attend. You go to a sister's house for a Thanksgiving meal, and they "offer up" a prayer of thanks. What do you do? While others prayed in church, I never bowed (I did stand) or recited aloud. In my mind, I was a rock--solid and silent. I'm learning to accept the belief of others without being judgmental. It ain't easy!
I have the lowest package available (DISH) with no ESPN, etc. Suits me fine. In fact, I'm considering dumping all TV programming. I only have it on to keep me company. That and Big Bang Theory--my fave!