It's a story I want to tell. It's my story, and I think it might be the story of others who find themselves Atheist after a long journey.
There are plenty of stories about the cruelty of Abramaic religions (The Big three) and many reject that out of hand as soon as they learn some science or even some compassion for their fellow beings. Majority religions get plenty of criticism; you have the Big Three hating on each other, and in my country, Islam has surpassed Judaism for the Big Hate. That is not to say there are still plenty of Jew-haters;they're still there, as well as the Christians who declare that Catholics are not Christian.
I was adopted by my Catholic parents, as was my older sister. Mother converted from Baptist beliefs to Catholicism, Dad was born into the faith. I can't blame Mom; the incense is nice, the latin sounded nice, and the music, the church...it made a little girl froth in love for a god that was supposed to love her.
The thing is, I never felt particularly loved by Jesus or by God. Mary didn't give a shit about me; even though I prayed to her when I was growing up and in a nasty family dynamic. Dad was the boss, Mom was the under-boss, and my older sister was the enforcer. I was the youngest, who had the gall to actually think about things outside the 'acceptable parameters'. First Grade gave me access to the school library, and in those days, science was actually being taught. I went home one night with a book on astronomy, and at the dinner table proudly announced that the Sun was a Star, and it never really sets or rises.
Dad gave me shit, and even though I was sitting on his lap, he brushed me off, and said, "The sun rises and sets."
I don't think for a moment that my Dad didn't know any better, I just don't think he wanted to go there. Not with a first grader. Never had to do that with my sister.
Let me tell you about those days. It was the late 60's, early 70's. My parents were good people, but dim as far as being reflective; they never thought about why they thought what they thought, they just existed. Accepablen parameters.
My sister and I got sent to Catechism. It was a two hour class to teach us doctrine. I wanted this to be true; I wanted there to be someone 'Out There' who loved us unconditionally, and i still liked the incense, but I hated Church.
Church made me sit still, and listen to this boring old man, and Vatican II had long since passed, and I read and heard the same crap year after year. In school, I got to read about other mythologies, and I really liked the older mythologies better. I liked Demeter and Persephone, I liked Egypt, I liked Isis especially.
I felt like a heretic. I was pretty much rejecting the Abramaic crap at this point, at age 12, and feeling very awakened to pagan beliefs. this was before computers, before I got to hear Black Sabbath, before anything else, but I liked the Old ones, and I was alone. It would take a few years until i got to meet people in the pagan/newage community in my area.
I would still go outside, sit under a tree, and try to build my Power, because I was a Witch, right? The best thing for a girl who didn't fit in, filled with lack, whatever it took to make me feel valuable.
I went on to fake it through my parents forcing me to take Catholic sacraments, and it was a deciding point in me moving out from my parents house.
I snapped it, I got away from them, I built an altar to the Old Ones, practiced solo for a time, and as the years went on, met and married an Irish folksinger who was an athiest, but liked the Old Ways, so I went on to learn about many pagan religions; Santeria, VouDou, various forms of Wicca (I never considered myself Wicca; I was a Witch).
All this time, I was loving science, but not completely. I wanted science to validate my beliefs, and it didn't. I made excuses for failed spells, made excuses for bad readings, realised I was cold reading; and realised it was all a crock of shit. Same thing as any; trends - Wicca became a trend, and young girls and emo boys glommed on, and it became obvious.
Disgust ensued, and I became Satanic, just for the shits and giggles - this was the last step. I read LaVey waaay back in the day, but that didn't make any difference. The funky part was realising...
...here it comes...
THEY ARE ALL STORIES!
There might be value in the stories.
There is no value in card reading. Do not fall for that. Palm readings also apply.
Spells do not work.
I would like to see my life made better. I would like to see my fellow human beings allowed to marry. I would like to see religion not taking any part in our laws.