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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

Your Stories of Atheism: The Elephant God

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.

The elephant god

Our first story this week is from Blake. He said,

My conversion to atheism was slow, starting in elementary school as I became more aware of the absurdities and inconsistencies of the stories. It wasn’t until the past year, though, that I finally decided to be an outspoken and active atheist.

The last time I ever attended church independently (I’ll still join my family to Christmas shows, but not general services) I was sitting front and center at a young adult service. I was giving Christianity one more try, as a concession to my mother who didn’t like my dismissive attitude toward the faith. The band was playing a bunch of upbeat worship songs, and I was content to sit and listen. It was near the end of the set when they started playing a song, I can’t remember the name, about surrendering to god.
Give up your fears. Give up your shame. Give up your responsibilities.
Give up your responsibilities.
The sheer cowardice of this sentiment, that you can be absolved of responsibility for your life, for your actions, for your misdeeds, utterly disgusted me. I was so overwhelmed with revulsion that I couldn’t keep a bitter scowl off my face. The lead singer, poor girl, could see me and was visibly rattled.
I used to waffle back and forth about the validity of religion, about whether I should just try a little harder to believe and be a good Christian. I don’t worry about that anymore. Now I spend my weekends manning the Ask An Atheist booth at the city park, debating theists at every opportunity.

Next, we have Anish with some hilariously colourful language:

My Story is mostly concerned with Hindu religion and how stupid that is.
My parents are religious. And I am the black sheep of the family (you can tell).
There are several gods in India (apparently 2000+) and most of em must be jobless according to me.
My mom told me a story which was my first step to atheism (nothing like religion)
Well there’s this famous god called Ganesha. This god has the head of an elephant and body of a human.
He was created by the lady goddess Parvati who is the wife of the God of Destruction. Funny part is, she made him with clay and sand and did some magic jumbo and viola emerged this god (at first he was complete human looking, like he didn’t have the elephant head when his construction was done).
What happened in the story was this woman asked her child to stay out of their house and guard it, not let anybody in, as she was about to do something important in the house (apparently the lived in Himalayas tallest point and they magically had a house) this young fuck stood there and then entered the destruction God Shiva in the scene, telling he wanted to go in, This young fuck said no. Apparently Shiva didn’t know it was his child and launched his Trident in anger which separated the head of the kid from his body.
The mother finds this and though a goddess begs Shiva to restore it.
Shiva sends his minions to find a human but apparently in Himalayas they find a baby elephant and they bring that and shiva beheads the elephant and fits in this kids head and viola he’s back to life.
After this story I raised near about countless questions and she was like faith must not be questioned. Science cannot explain everything.
This is where I was like, fuck god. Fuck him in his corny rusted asshole.
And I saw George Carlin YouTube videos after this incident and had my thoughts affirmed that god is shit.

And finally, Chase:

I have been an atheist for a couple years now. It took me a while to feel comfortable with this label because I grew up very relgious and most of my family still holds very strong Christian values. I am 26 years old and up until about 3 years ago I was a very passionate worship leader at a charismatic church in North Dallas. I spoke in tongues, prayed for the healing of others and myself, and believed that god spoke to me and even gave me songs to sing. I first started seriously questioning god when I was about 19 but was ashamed and even scared at these thoughts because I really believed that the devil was implementing these thoughts of doubt, most likely because I had been masturbating, or treating someone poorly, or committing some other sin. (I made a friend that year who encouraged me to be ok with my uncertainty in the validity of the Bible, and although it took me 4 years to really feel ok with it, I still regard this friend as the reason I explored a life outside Christianity. Thanks, Sam❤️.)

Thanks to all of you who sent me your stories!

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

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