I had gone to Mass out of obligation, I had been reading into other religions for years to try and find answers, I went to loads of different churches and in the end realised the only thing I hadnt tried was not believing... It turned out that Atheism was the only answer that made sense.
I havent given this story in order particularly as some of it happened a few times and it has been all going on for such a long time, I have been searching for the truth since i was about 6!!I hope it gives you a vague idea though!
Ive just 'come out' as an atheist to a friend of mine who is basically not talking to me was trying to give me books, a miraculous medal and god knows what else...urgh!!! :) It's all good though, i mean, what can you expect from someone who is too scared to think for herself??
I hope that gives you some idea of some of the milestones in my journey as it were! sorry its so long!!! :)
Well, to be honest I think Scotland has a pretty large Atheist population- there are both Catholics and Protestants here (The 'Wee Frees', as some of the Presbyterians are called!) and quite a large Islamic community too! A real mix!!
I agree with you about the difficulties facing priests, I think it would be nearly impossible to leave the Church especially if one was a 'secular' priest since there would be no religious order to give you a nice lump sum to send you on your way- a parish would never have as much income and so i suspect would only be able to offer a tiny amount. eek :(
As far as my own journey is concerned, I come from a non-religious home but was sent to Catholic School (as it was strong academically!), came to university a few years later and was confirmed in my second year of uni.I guess I was just 'used' to Catholicism and hence why I converted, it made more sense to me than some of the other churches I had attended and felt like home as i was reminded of my school days.
As I got further in to my degree I started to learn textual criticism, Ecclesiastical history and about the formation of doctrine which gradually took apart everything I had accepted as bases for doctrine. I also had doubts about the catholic church- how can they claim to be the bastion of truth when doctrine has been changed, when the church hierarchy has been so corrupt and how on earth could they remain silent about the Creationism/evolution thing...either one or the other is true....???
Then I read the Old Testament and just realised that God is really really immoral! Jesus is not the nicest fella in the world either and then the priest scandal was all over the news!!
some time later I read Hitchens ('God is not Great'- FANTASTIC!!!!) and along with the God delusion, which I am still reading, and I just realised that I really didnt believe in any of this and hadn't really for a very long time!
I know what you mean about Atheists in the Church- it takes so much courage to leave and as you say for those in the priesthood there is the whole problem of careers etc- it's awful! I have 2 friends going through seminary at the moment, I only hope they don't end up experiencing this problem in a few years time!
Thank you, it's great to be here! That's interesting that your father had a similar experience, it's comforting to know that others have gone through the same process! For me it has been a pretty difficult (and liberating!) process, most of my Catholic friends don't know that i'm an Atheist the one that does has been trying to 'convert' me ever since!! ha! :) But you keep on going!!
Dude. I need to leave the Libertarians alone. It will get me nowhere! I can just sit back and find real arguments against them all day long. It's a waste of time and I just don't want to piss people off when Im fishing for ideas.
Change that fkin picture will you!? It's just too freaky!
Thanks for the welcome, Joseph. Yeah, We're not too far removed from civilization geographically. Winston-Salem and Greensboro are just a short Hwy drive in either direction. It's definitely not Raleigh, and still Fundie Land, but not usually unbearable. What "Triad" group are you referring to? I just found the Greensboro Atheist group on Meet Up, but it sounds like you're referring to something else.
Ha, thank goodness, I wasn't ever forced into a cult by my parents. If you were going to assign one, however, it would be Lutheran. I think somehow I've known for quite some time that I was an Atheist, but for some reason I found it difficult for the longest time to admit it. I've always been a skeptical person as long as I can remember, and never felt quite right in a church setting. Thankfully, I have persons in my life who have spent a lot of time educating me. That has made all the difference, and gave me the confidence to start speaking out.
Yeah, my biological father wanted to raise me without a religion so I could choose it when I became old enough (basically make sure I was an atheist), but because of that view him and my mother divorced. I rarely saw him, and visits stopped completely when I was about 8. My mom wanted to raise me Catholic and actually had my baptism and everything prepared, but my father wouldn't allow it.
Despite that, I was raised Christian/Catholic (more Christian though) by my mom and step-father. I began questioning the bible around age 10, and a year or 2 later I realized I was only buying into the whole religion thing because I didn't want to be an outcast and wanted to make my family happy. But I wasn't comfortable without ANY kind of religion, so I decided to become a Wiccan. That lasted about a year, before I decided that religion just wasn't my thing. :P
I didn't even find out my father was an atheist until this past summer though. In the end, he still got what he wanted- an atheist daughter. And he didn't have to do a damn thing. xD
Yes. I've only recently, I guess you'd call 'came out' with my Atheism. We've had a few serious talks about it, and he seems to be okay with my lack of belief. But honestly, I think he just thinks it's a little rebellion thing, which is probably the reason he 'accepts' it.
I guess my situation is really similar to yours then. I do have other family members that I would never talk about my Atheism with. I just avoid the subject of religion altogether. I know that it would be a big issue for them. It's really a sad thing to have to hide who you really are, just for other peoples' sakes.
Yeah, I guess that's how it is for most young people though.
Actually, I live with only one parent; my dad. He's Mormon, and that's what I was raised as. But luckily for me, we've never been super religious or anything. So, my Atheism is THAT big of a problem for him.
Nah, go ahead and flirt. She's my girlfriend ... sort of ... for about the next 6 months or so. Then she's going to be wandering off out of state.
And even in the mean time, she's specifically stressing that it's an open relationship, despite the fact that she wants to be monogamous, from her side of the relationship. The girl has more commitment issues than you can imagine. I get a reminder from her that this is just a temporary relationship and I shouldn't get completely attached, on at least a monthly basis.
On top of that, she's actively pushing for threesomes, to help deal with my over-the-top libido. I have a history of wearing girls out and still being ready for sex for another hour or two. I'd make a killing in porn, if it weren't for the fact that there's really only massive demand for guys in gay porn, which wouldn't work out so well for me. I'd say that I would also be bad for porn, since I'm ugly, but then look at Ron Jeremy.
Sorry about the confusion. I said a while back, in one of the Atheist Singles threads, that I'm not celibate ... and I'm sort of in a relationship, but I'm sort of available. It's complicated.