Our first story this week is from Shivam:
So, here is my story of becoming an Agnostic Atheist. I am from an Indian family and specifically a very religious one. There goes no day when my Grandad doesn’t pray to his Gods for 3 hours. Yes! I’m not joking!! He actually prays for 3 hours every single fucking day!!!! He tried passing on his “habits” to his kids. Thankfully, my dad didn’t catch on a lot to it, but none the less, he is still very religious. On my Mum’s side of the family, everyone is religious as well and the most religious one is probably my mum herself. She didn’t use to be like this but she went through a really bad time and she “gave her problems to God” (That’s what she tells me). She’s doing okay now, but she has acquired so much faith that she actually attends “Satsang” (A meeting where Religious people share their experiences and stories etc) every day once/twice. Nothing can stop her now, not even my own dad. So, growing up, I and my brother were both skeptical about religion. When my mum used to tell us religious stories we would always ask “but who created God?”, To which she always said “There isn’t answer to every question” which used to shut us up. While I never was very religious at any point in my life, watching and listening about stuff related to God made me start to see him as a Superhero. In India, we have millions of Gods & every one of them serves a different purpose. My personal favourite was Krishna, the naughty one. I used to look up to him so much. In fact, I got so hooked up to him that one day I fought one of my good friends (Who happened to be Atheist) over it. I didn’t realise how toxic I was being. He didn’t attack me or say anything to hurt my feelings, in fact, all he said was that he doesn’t go to Temple because he thinks that it’s useless. That was more than enough to make me angry and fight him over it. There was also a time when I started to hate Muslim people because the elder people in my family were (and still are) pretty ignorant and said bad stuff about them, which made me think like them as well (I was a kid, don’t blame me). Then came the thing that would change my POV on religion completely. One day I stumbled upon this Channel on YouTube called “Darkmatter2525” and that was like a fucking revolution for my critical thinking. I watched every single one of his videos and it completely changed me. Now, I know better. I know that religion doesn’t describe us as a person, our heart does. You can be religious and asshole or a nonbeliever and asshole (or Vice versa). People roam around being a bad person while thinking to themselves “Nothing can hurt me since I believe in (Insert God’s name)”. I realised how MOST (Not all) use religion to make themselves feel superior to others, and the funniest thing is how they think that they can do all the wrong stuff and still get ultimate happiness in the end because they believed. After thinking on all these topics, I came to a conclusion. If god really does exists, then is he really that much of an asshole? I mean isn’t he supposed to be the all loving and most forgiving deity in the whole universe and stuff? If I was God, then would I really choose bad people over good people just because the bad ones went to church for me every Sunday? Would I really burn all the good and loving souls in hell for ETERNITY just because they didn’t believe in me? I mean, I’m fucking invisible!! How the fuck can I even blame them? In fact, if anything then, a person who doesn’t need a holy book or fear of God to be a good human being is way better than those who believe in me but still are assholes. Now hear me out, in no way am I one of those edgy Atheists who call every believer stupid. If you’re being a good person and also following your Religion while not hurting others, then props to you dude! I mean you’re basically getting best of the both worlds!! But I, don’t need that book to tell me what’s wrong and what’s right (Especially if that book promotes Slavery, Homophobia, Rape etc). I really think that if people actually read their holy texts just once thoroughly then there would be so few religious ones, but to each their own I guess. Today, I’m an Agnostic Atheist. I haven’t fully given up on the idea of God, how can I? I mean think if God really exists and he/she isn’t anything like religion has described him/her!! Not as egotistical/Angry/Love craving etc! Wouldn’t that be cool? An actual Loving God who doesn’t judges everyone one the basis of stuff that doesn’t even makes fucking sense. Till this point, this is what I think is right. I may change, who knows! Maybe god will indeed “Show himself to me” like theists describe it, but till THE END I won’t hurt anyone or look down upon anyone just because a voice in my head told me to do so.
I was raised in an environment of oppression with an abusive (physically and emotionally) father and a passive aggressive mother who watched and did nothing. I embraced Catholicism as my salvation/protection. I hung a cross above my bedroom door and prayed and prayed for peace and to be left alone. Eventually, I realized no one was listening. I started questioning the countless holes in bible stories in Catechism and got scolded and snubbed by the nuns. By my mid teens I was atheist. It took time to unindoctrinate my self, to see things with fresh eyes and become free of restrictive, harmful beliefs. Now I strive to comfort and reassure other apostates as I advocate strongly for gender equality (knowing the root of gender based violence lies in religion).
I’m so sorry you had to experience this Gillean, but thank you for being there for others like you! Well done!
Here’ an anonymous submission:
My story begins with my young and curious little self. When I was eleven I wanted to read the Bible to understand my once deeply held religious beliefs, so I read through soon I realize ” god is a real murderous jerk”, I try and deny it to myself until I came to terms and finished the book, and in the end I understood that the Bible is BS.
And finally, here’s Ray:
I was raised in southern USA, the so-called Bible Belt. I was brought up in the church of Christ and taught that anyone who was not in the church of Christ was going to hell. At one point in my teens I was even giving sermons in the church, which led me to actually studying the Bible closely which led me to the conclusion that it made no sense at all. The More I thought about it the more I became convinced its utter bullshit. Its hard sometimes living where I do, these people are completely brainwashed and impossible to have an intelligent conversation about religion with. It always comes back to because God said so when you ask them a question they can’t answer.