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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

Your Stories of Atheism: Merry Christmakwanzakahsticeyule

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.

Before this week’s stories, I wanted to mention a couple things. A few people have asked what I want for Christmas. What I’d truly love is for you to donate to one of these charities and spread the word about them.

Merry Christmas

I want to wish everyone a super Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kickass Kwanzaa, Awesome Yule, Wicked Winter Solstice and a Happy New Year. Remember to be safe, do lots of cuddling, give lots, relax, have some drinks, eat your face off and try to ignore Uncle Jim when he’s had his 18th whiskey sour and starts singing Blue Christmas in his AC/DC boxer briefs. I love you guys. You’ve made this year something else.

And now, the stories!

Our first story this week is from Tim:

My story has been told countless amount of times, but it’s worth repeating, and maybe the liberal Christians can take back their religion, remove their dogma from their belief and actually apply Matthew 25:34-40. Until then, I will remain an atheist. So why am I an atheist?
My atheism is not based upon logic or scientific fact, as science states, you cannot prove a negative. There may be a God and I’m going to Hell because I refuse to follow God.
I quit believing because Christianity is racist. I am of Japanese ancestry. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I was your typical U.S. citizen. I also grew up in the church too. But being Japanese, I used to get my ass kicked. I was called a Jap and was blamed for Pearl Harbor.
These same people who kicked my ass were great Christians who attended church. They praised God and from Monday to Friday tortured me. But my atheism did not start there, the seed was planted though.
Then over the years, I started to ask questions. Why am I a Christian when 90 percent of the Japanese people were Buddhists (Shinto)? How did our family and why did our family become Christian? The seed was sprouting. I then did all the good Christian thing like: teach Sunday school, did missionary work, spread the word of God, became a camp counselor, I was even baptized.
I was happy. I knew I was on my way to heaven…even though in high school, I was still getting my ass kicked…by Christians. But I knew that I will have vengeance through God (Romans 12:19). So I was happy. Then on August 10, 1987, 60,000Japanee Americans were paid $20,000 for reparations and I knew God blessed us.
Yet when my former pastor spoke about his experience in the concentration camp in our denomination’s trade magazine, the members all said it was justifiable. They were scared of us and did not know that they could trust Japanese folks (Psalm 23:4)…no comments about German and Italian Americans.
This got me pissed. I also learned that Christians during the war were lynching, raping,torturing Japanese Americans and I also found out that my father, as an eight-year-old was getting his ass kicked because he and my grandparents had no choice but to move to Idaho, as per the military instructions or Executive Order 9066…they had to move inland 200 miles or be sent to the concentration camps. My father became a Christian so that he would not get tortured. He had to conform.
From there, I learned of his plight and realized that the God I believed in and his sheep were racists so I wanted no part of his grand design. I was an angry atheist for 25 years. I would chat with my liberal friends and talk about the rapture,. We formed a plan to bring out our shotguns and go skeet shooting when the rapture happened.
We were waiting for the rapture so that we can rebuild this planet…lo and behold, nothing happened. I was angry, I was pissed, I was mad, until a friend said to check out Unitarian Universalist church.
I said I’m an atheist, he said so are they. I was confused but my friend Robert told me to check them out. After a year of questioning, and when I found my church, I was accepted…even as an atheist.
I’ve been a member since 2013 and I love the community. Their website, opened my eyes and hearts to all religion, and I learned to truly love once more. I still challenge conservative Christians, but instead of promoting hate, I use their Bible to put them in their place.
I am an atheist with the Unitarian Universalist denomination.

The next story is from JT:

I remember that I started becoming skeptical a few years ago when my IB curriculum required I take a Theory of Knowledge course during my junior and senior years. I absolutely loved the course (though most hated it) and, although the teacher was an evangelical Christian, the material placed seeds of doubt.
Soon later, I met the wonderful lady that I am dating still today. She was already an atheist, while I considered myself a deist (I was transitioning). It turns out I was still scared of a life that didn’t have an ultimate purpose dictated to me. As I became more vocal in my home, the evil of religion became clear. I realized I had been taken. The wool had been pulled over my eyes from a young age. Oftentimes, the transition to secular humanism is gradual, but for me it changed the instant my mother offhandedly accused me of having Satan possess my heart. Something snapped (or clicked) in my brain, and I haven’t looked back since then. My view of LGBT’s shifted from apathy to activism. My view of women changed from the same to staunch feminism and I will not accept anything less than absolute equality. The way I view others changed completely. I often enjoy walking around town and observing people, speculating about their circumstances, reflecting on what an incredible achievement human civilization is (though we still have work to do).
Since my senior year of high school I’ve studied counter apologetics nonstop, read the Bible through and through again, and read countless other essays from prominent atheists. Things are still awful in my house, and Twitter is the only place I an really be public about my opinions, as I’ll be kicked to the curb if I do where any family acquaintances can see. I expect to be out on my own soon so I can fight the good fight in the open with no fear. Cheers!

And finally a short and sweet one from Bobby:

I grew up in a religious household in the south. It is called the bible belt for a reason. It seems in some areas there are more churches than people. When I was around 10 years old, we stopped going to church due to a family illness.
My family returned to church two or three years later, but for me it just didn’t seem the same. In my teens I began going less and less before quitting completely. I told myself that the reason I was having doubts about my faith was because, I had not studied the bible enough. But, the more I studied the more questions I had. So, I finally began studying more scientific, and philosophical materials. After a long hard journey, I came to the conclusion that religion is wrong. And then after much more “soul” searching, I decided that god doesn’t exist.

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

If you like what I do here and want to support my work, you can chip in here or become a member here.




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