My timeline on becoming atheist. What's yours?
I saw someone ask a facebook group to state when they became agnostic/atheist. First of all, please feel free to answer the question yourself, in the comments below. I responded, and then I expanded on it briefly for facebook. After 30 minutes it's got a bunch of likes and comments, I realize it's a moving story to some and so I'll expand just a little more about it here. But I also ask that anyone who has a similar story share it below. I know I am not unique, religion has caused the destruction of millions of relationships over time.
I was born an atheist, at 5 I was sure God existed because I was told by the person I trusted the most that God existed. As I learned about the bible and started to understand the world I became a little more agnostic on the idea and was an agnostic catholic at 8. At 13 my mother decided the Catholic Church wasn't exciting enough and we joined a born again Christian Church, I was 13. I said the special password prayer you need to say to let Jesus know you want in to heaven. Literally, this was the argument and justification, say this prayer and you won't burn in hell, you'll go to heaven. What 13 year old that still trusts his mother wouldn't do that? I did it... I was an agnostic Born-again Christian. I talked to Jesus at night before bed, and I tried to get my father on the proper path as well. I was tortured over the thought of him going to hell.
As I learned about science I leaned towards being an agnostic deist. This process lasted several years and I happily with any type of theistic belief. I was living with a non-practicing Jewish father who I thought of as very "Jewish" and now know him as someone who believes in Spinoza's God or Einstein's deistic leanings. When I was about 20 I looked up atheism for the first time on the internet, I found Jake who helped me think myself out of my deism. I was able to call myself an agnostic atheist less than a week later. For the first time I was able to call myself an atheist without thinking I was evil because of the word that my mother brainwashed me about, that was 14 years ago. It was at that point I decided to spend my life correcting the wrongs of religion.
Mom, if you're reading this... keep in mind, your completely ridiculous religion helped cause our family breakup. Religion kills families. My efforts come in large part because of how religion was forced on me as a child, but also because of all the other people who have told me about their upbringings, some of whom can use the word "Cult" to describe how they were brought up. I was about 14 when you started praying for me to want you in my life, it's been 20 years, where is that getting you?