I never really believed in anything supernatural, although it took me until 19 or 20 to completely break free of the social obligation. I have vague memories from kindergarten, thinking how silly the stories they were telling us were. I was raised by weekly-mass-going Catholics, though. I was even an altar boy for 6 or 7 years, just to have something to do during mass, and because my older brother was one.
Hell, one of my aunts is a nun, and my father went to seminary to become a priest, before he dropped out and went to a secular college. I like to think, examining the series of events much later and knowing what I do now about atheists stuck in the pulpit, that he learned too much while in seminary, lost his faith and was basically an atheist ... just stuck playing Catholic, because of his very Catholic parents and my religious mother. I don't think he ever talked about religion with me, even once.
At least he got out before being ordained, if my guesses are correct. Lots of people aren't so lucky.
I hung out with a few pagan groups, in my late teens. That was my last check around to see if any of this mystical stuff or anything supernatural had any grounding in reality. Alas, aura sensing, astral projection, spell-casting, and all of the rest turned out to be just as nonsensical.
I was involved with the pagans for a few years longer than I otherwise would have been, because it was useful for annoying my religious mother, and I didn't know that being an outspoken atheist would have largely the same effect on her. Well, the very high female:male ratio of the groups also probably kept me involved a good deal longer than I otherwise would have been. I greatly prefer hanging out with women than men, which is a bit more of an issue with most atheism groups.
Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that I wiggled out of it. I'm more of a blunt-instrument sort, not a wiggler. ^.^
When I was 14 or 15, I asked my mother how much longer I had to go to CCD (Catholic Sunday school, basically) and mass. She said I had to go until I made my Confirmation (done at 18), and I was a full member of the church. My immediate response was that I had no intention of making my Confirmation, since I didn't believe any of the nonsense in the Bible.
That went over well, as you can imagine. I picked up the paganism stuff when I was ... 17, I think. That annoyed her further. I got that out of my system within a few years, though.
Actually, the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) groups are far more even than most groups elsewhere in the country. I think we're damned near 50/50. Most groups are more like 70/30.
I think the Triangle Freethought Society is more female than male, because that's the group that actually accomplishes things ... and women seem to be more likely to do productive things. Triangle Atheist Meetup, Freethinkers Atheists Agnostics and Secularists of the Triangle, and Triangle Skeptics are all a little more male, particularly the skeptic group.
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