ONTD Political

It's Dean
peace_piper 19th-Jan-2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
I was raised non-religious. Growing up, I was never made to attend a service or never asked about it in anyway. It was a non-issue to me. I remember first hearing about religion in grade school, when I was about 9 or 10 and my classmates were horrified to hear me say, "What's god?" I remember being in ... maybe 3rd or 4th grade when I had to write a paper and one of the words was 'god' that I had to use to describe something or other, and I spelled it just the way I found it: god. When my teacher was reading my homework, she told me that was misspelled and that I had to capitalise it or "the big guy gets mad." I was confused and asked, "Who is the big guy?" she took looked horrified that I had no concept of God.

Sometime later, when I was about 12, I had my first brush with religion. I don't remember the circumstances, but somehow I ended up attending a tent revival (I didn't know it was called that at the time) and all I remember from that event was this angry man in a gray suit standing on a stage with a microphone raving and ranting until he was red in the face about Hell and how Saddam Hussein was going there for killing all our soldiers. He then went on to describe hell and all I felt was FEAR. Was this what religion was? I remember asking myself. Was it all fear to make you conform and behave. I was scared of that man for years.

Later, in my teen years, talking to my mom about religion and if she believed anything, she said she didn't. She also told me that she had been raised mormon, and my dad had been raised southern baptist. They both left their respective churches in their 20s before they met. When they married, they agreed to not raise their children in any religion or talk about it at all and let me and my brother make up our own minds.

I didn't start to identify as a atheist until a few years ago, when I was listening to some atheist podcasts and "What is an atheist?" and one of the hosts described how I felt about religion to a T. Then she said, "Then you're an atheist!!" and it hit me. Wow, that's me. It had made sense, and it was okay to feel that way and question things and talk about the history of religion.

One thing I hate about identifying as atheist, especially on the internet is using the dread A-WORD somehow makes people think you're open to debate on religion. I'm not, and I don't care to have long discussions about it. I know a lot of atheists know more about the bible and some other holy books that the worshippers do, but that's not me. I don't want to waste my time reading a story I have no interest in to debate people I have no interest in debating.
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