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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

Your Stories Of Atheism: Celebrating Atheism With Pizza!

This is an ongoing series featuring your stories of how you came to identify as an atheist. If you want to send me your story, you can submit it here. To read past stories, click here.

Our first story this week comes from Chris, who you can follow at @authorvotey

The only time I went to church was during the summers with my Grandmother. Out of all her grandchildren, I was the only one that didn’t get along with her. My main problem with her is how she acted in church and how she acted at home was far different and far meaner. I always questioned, “Isn’t God everywhere?”

I think she remained a splinter in my mind for all of this. In High School I sought out people for help with religion. I felt lost. I was also scared to ask the question, “If God created everything, what created God?” The more I pursued religion, the more disconnected I felt. I tried to find a way to combine science and Christianity, but really was just me trying to justify both without questioning either. In the military, I started to read the Bible. I read a passage there about women having no voice in church and realized the Bible was a flawed book used to justify bad human behavior. I then decided that the Bible was wrong, but I didn’t want to let go of my belief in God. Jump to 8 years later, I was disassembling a scanner/scale in a supermarket, and I asked an important question, “Why do I believe in God?” I gave that serious thought and my conclusion was, “Because someone told me there was a God.” I then began searching for evidence of a God existing. A majority of the world believes in a ‘god’, and has done so for several millennia. There had to be evidence. The more I searched, the more I realized that all evidence was subjective and relied on disproving everything else, like evolution. I then began watching Thunderf00t, and within 6 months of asking that question, I became confident in being an Atheist. I still hold the possibility of there being a God, but I seriously doubt one exists.

Next, a story from @DeadlyTeaParty

I became Atheist when I was 15, prior to that I was just querying about it all. My mum and dad, whole family are Christians. I just didn’t warm to it. I didn’t like the idea of lowering myself to anyone including an idol that didn’t even exist! As I got older I seen a lot of hypocrisy in it, people using religion as an excuse, people turning to “god” all because they had a life changing experience. I found that real pathetic. Right up until I was 15 my mum would’ve asked me “would Jesus be happy” if I done anything “wrong” in their eye. I eventually got tired of it and seen it was all pointless. So when I was 15 I became an Atheist. I kept my Atheism hidden for a while after I decided, but eventually told my parents. For the 1st couple of years or so they wouldn’t accept it… but know they know I don’t believe in “god”. However they would still try and encourage me to believe in “god” again by guilt tripping me by staying “I’d hate to not see you in heaven” and that sort of stuff. It won’t work. I’m now 26 about to turn 27 in October… so too late, won’t be a bit interested in a fake being!

And finally, a story from @lovethatscience:

I was raised a poor white child. No, really, I was. My Dad was a poorly paid government employee, starting at the bottom of the totem pole, and my mom was the typical dutiful early 60’s housewife. They were fairly good churchgoers when us kids were very small, but I think that was mainly due to my step-sister being in Confirmation Classes. After she left home I don’t remember there being much church stuff. But, the cycle repeated itself when my brother came of age and HE had to start his Confirmation classes. Then, I had to go to Sunday school too. And thus my indoctrination began. As with my Sister, once my brother was accepted into the bosom of the church, the devotion dropped off considerably. Then it was my turn. I did the classes, served on the alter and all that crap until I got my magic decoder ring, then it didn’t seem quite so important to my parents again. I think after that I was only in a Lutheran Church only a handful of times. Then I took a Biology course in Jr. High School. I’ve got to tell you that made a hell of a lot more sense to a 14 year old than all the stories from the Bible did. I was hooked. In High School, I got as many science classes as I could: Biology, Advanced Biology, Ornithology, Lab Techniques, Physics, I couldn’t get enough. I was also extremely fortunate to be in an area that was heavily into the sciences, being associated with the Brookhaven National Laboratory. I even spent time in High School working with a research team from The American Museum of Natural History. So much to learn and so little time. During High School I was having some trouble reconciling my erratic faith with what I had learned. I tried to rationalize with “well, maybe Evolution is just the mecanism god used to get us all here”. In retrospect that was really weak. I finally realized that the christian worldview just wasn’t working. I graduated from high school, and was accepted into the State University of NY at Stony Brook, a major research center with a first class faculty. I chose Ecology and Evolution as a major, and after the first semester, my abandonment of religion was complete. In the face of overwhelming evidence, religion didn’t stand a chance. I pretty much kept my newfound rationality to myself except for my peers and mentor in the Department. I paid lip service to faith to my parents, and later when I married, to my wife. I had to agree to raise the kids Catholic, and they were educated in Catholic School (probably the best thing to come out of that church: they got a great education, but at a very significant hit to my wallet.)

After my daughters turned 18, I left my wife. The booze was bad enough, but if she wanted to switch hit, it wasn’t going to be on my dime. My son moved with me, and I fully intended to keep my promise to raise him catholic, mainly out of respect to his grandparents. I set him down and told him that I would make sure he could continue his religious education, but he then politely informed me it would not be necessary. “Dad, I really don’t believe any of that crap”. I’M FREE ! There was no reason at that point to keep the closet closed. “Son, neither do I. Lets go get a pizza to celebrate”. The only time I have been in a church since then was for funerals. Anybody else that dies from here on out I never liked enough to go to their funerals, so at this point I am 100% church free. My son considers himself an Agnostic. One of my twin daughters has pretty much dismissed religion, but like me she still pays lip service to it. The other daughter goes to church a couple days a year, I think mainly out of guilt. One of these days I’ll buy her a Pizza too.

If you want to send me your story, you can submit it here. To read past stories, click here.

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