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Recent convert - My story
#1
Recent convert - My story
I was raised Catholic and now officially consider myself Atheist. I say "officially" because this isn't sudden, really it's been coming on for years and I've only started embracing it recently.

My parents were never particularly strict Catholics, but I was baptised out of tradition from my Grandparents (who are Maltese and Irish, so from very Catholic backgrounds). While my parents never really took me to Church often or had any religious stuff in our house, I did (again from pressure from le grandparents) go to a Catholic school and had a Catholic education.

I was never really into it.

Even as a young child I was skeptical, I saw the miracles and stories like Noah's ark as very fantasy-ish. "It's a miracle" was never a good enough answer for me, I always wondered how it happened, which nobody could ever give a good answer for. I was taught just to accept that Jesus walked on water, which even a child can recognise is a ridiculous claim.

Spider

When I got older (teen years) I wanted to believe in it because death scared me, but I recognised a lot of shitty things strict religious people do, and didn't like it. I am also gay, although I never felt this was an issue personally, I always felt it was perfectly possible to be both gay and religious. So for a long time I identified as a "soft" Catholic (words like "secular" hadn't entered my lexicon at this point). I wanted to believe, but I interpreted the Bible critically and saw it as a symbolic work of fiction, rather than fact. I was comfortable in this for a while until I finished at my Catholic school went to university.

Worship (large)

At university, I met my good friend named Christian, who is a militant atheist (the irony, right...). As I was still in secular Catholic mode, we did have some friendly debates about religion and atheism. He slowly brought me around to outright atheism through showing me more shitty things religious people have done that I did not know initially, and explaining his views on death and the meaning of life in a way I could feel comfortable with. Over the course of my time at university so far, I have became more comfortable identifying as an atheist.

Thinking

I also started looking toward high-profile atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, and found a lot of what they were saying to be very similar opinions to my own newly forming atheist views. It gave me more confidence to speak up about it. That said, telling my parents was never hard, they're so lax it's a stretch to call them "practicing Catholics" so it hardly makes a difference to them. I'll spare my grandparents the news though, not out of fear (despite being conservative they are good people, not nasty WBC types) but because I know religion means a lot to them and I don't want to make them uncomfortable.

So yeah, that's it in a nutshell. Here I am, a young budding 20 year old gaytheist.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! Wink Shades
"Adulthood is like looking both ways before you cross the road, and then getting hit by an airplane"  - sarcasm_only

"Ironically like the nativist far-Right, which despises multiculturalism, but benefits from its ideas of difference to scapegoat the other and to promote its own white identity politics; these postmodernists, leftists, feminists and liberals also use multiculturalism, to side with the oppressor, by demanding respect and tolerance for oppression characterised as 'difference', no matter how intolerable."
- Maryam Namazie

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#2
RE: Recent convert - My story
Thank you for sharing your experiences Smile It sounds like your critical thinking was too strong even as a child for the absurd stories to take hold. It's really good your parents are cool about it, that's so often a huge problem.

Congratulations on your graduation to reality Smile
Feel free to send me a private message.
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#3
RE: Recent convert - My story
Hey, welcome and thanks for sharing your story! I can pretty much relate to what you said, (well, except I'm not gay lol) as I was raised a Catholic too, and I know oh-so-well how it only works through peer pressure. To me, it was the rituality of the religion that gave the coup de grace to my shaking faith.
"Every luxury has a deep price. Every indulgence, a cosmic cost. Each fiber of pleasure you experience causes equivalent pain somewhere else. This is the first law of emodynamics [sic]. Joy can be neither created nor destroyed. The balance of happiness is constant.

Fact: Every time you eat a bite of cake, someone gets horsewhipped.

Facter: Every time two people kiss, an orphanage collapses.

Factest: Every time a baby is born, an innocent animal is severely mocked for its physical appearance. Don't be a pleasure hog. Your every smile is a dagger. Happiness is murder.

Vote "yes" on Proposition 1321. Think of some kids. Some kids."
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#4
RE: Recent convert - My story
I never had to come out as an atheist, being a lifer, but through reading so many wonderful stories, I feel like I can imagine the experience. It must be so liberating! Scary too, sometimes. The nearest I can relate it to is when I got my own place for the first time and got away from the mental hooks my parents had in my brain.
Feel free to send me a private message.
Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

Index of useful threads and discussions
Index of my best videos
Quickstart guide to the forum
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#5
RE: Recent convert - My story
Congratulations on coming out, so to speak. I too was born and raised Catholic, though my mother was hard core and my father was a pretender, so I can relate to the particular challenges, especially the guilt.

The seminal moment for me occurred during a conversation with my father. I questioned why he believed when he constantly poo-pooed religion behind my mother's back. "I don't want to die and find out there was a god, so it's easier to believe."

Even back then, at my relative young age, I said: "Big deal, if you don't believe, don't believe. And when you die, if there is a god, say I used the brain you gave me and I called shenanigans, sorry."

I'm not a social scientist, and I don't have the access to hoards of study subjects, but I am a bar owner, and I see people at both their best and worst, I believe that most people who consider themselves religious are similar to my father inasmuch that they carry the weight of bullshit on their shoulders and aren't inclined to shake it off, or are too busy living live to give a shit, or are chicken-shit and are hedging their bets for an imaginary afterlife.

Anyway, congrats on having the courage of your convictions.
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Epicurus
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#6
RE: Recent convert - My story
Welcome! It's always nice to see how reason and logic inevitably lead to deconversions.
Celebrate Reason ● Think For Yourself
www.theHeathensGuide.com
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#7
RE: Recent convert - My story
Thanks for your supportive responses everyone Smile

And thanks for sharing your story too 404NotFound, interesting to get some other perspectives Smile
"Adulthood is like looking both ways before you cross the road, and then getting hit by an airplane"  - sarcasm_only

"Ironically like the nativist far-Right, which despises multiculturalism, but benefits from its ideas of difference to scapegoat the other and to promote its own white identity politics; these postmodernists, leftists, feminists and liberals also use multiculturalism, to side with the oppressor, by demanding respect and tolerance for oppression characterised as 'difference', no matter how intolerable."
- Maryam Namazie

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