Epiphany of sorts?
I was brought up in a strict Roman Catholic setting for my entire life. Full on Italian family who values God and his followers more than anything in the world. At about 14 years old I stopped praying, with the concept that I didn't need a sit down with God to ask for something because a) I'm not that special and b) He already knows. By 15 I was strongly questioning his presence, and about a year later, I dismissed it. I've been anti-theist for a while now, but never really looked into it too much. I haven't really said anything about my beliefs or lack thereof in god, except to my girlfriend, who kind of flipped a little bit. It doesn't help that the college I go to is the most apathetic place I have ever seen... so conversations of that nature barely ever arise.
What drove me to look around at atheist materials was about two weeks ago I messed my knee up pretty badly. Before the MRI, my dad said, "Just pray to God that nothing is torn... if you even believe in him" (He's had his doubts for a little while) To which my mom responded, "Of course he believes in God, what type of person would he be if he didn't"
That exchange had an effect on me, in that I realized my parents would respect me less due to something that is so trivial in my eyes.
There was such a negative connotation around atheism that I thought of it more like some sort of cult of anarachists (that word had a huge negative connotation in my childhood as well)... I've been reading posts for about a week, and have been floored with the amount of concepts I share with the majority of people here.
Basically what I want to say is hello to everyone, I like it here, and I think I'll stay awhile.