For me, it wasn't. My family has been in New York city for well over 100 years... Irish heritage. From an early age i didn't buy the story of Christ, let alone the catholic thing.
I remember asking my grandmother - if Jesus knew he was god, then why is any aspect of the story impressive?
The best she could do was to tell me "its just important to believe" which of course just doesn't last. But she never raised her voice or made me feel unaccepted in anyway. I was about 10 at the time, and never gave the god question much thought until i was 23 or so. I was irreligious but believed there must be something... then i met a woman who commented "unless god means a timeless, disembodied creator of the universe, then you're just playing word games". Ive been an atheist since.
Despite the religiosity of my mother, and her mother, i didnt get much guff for my questions. And i never felt in anyway disadvantaged for not believing.
I'm privileged to be an atheist in NYC... its really not a big deal in my experience.
Whenever the subject comes up, i freely state my disbelief. My biggest interest is how anyone can believe, and as far as ive been able to figure, its a combination of wish thinking, tradition, lack of consideration, or fear of death.
I'd enjoy hearing about other people's experiences.
After many years of "not really believing", then holding out hope, and going to church, then "not really believing"....I finally opened my eyes to the incredibly unbelievable nonsense and decided that "I'm an Atheist".
While growing up my family "always" went to church on Sunday, there wasn't a lot of religious pressure in the house, or during the week. It was just kind of "assumed" that prayer worked. God is alive. Jesus was resurrected, blah, blah, blah. We weren't active members of the congregation.
So yeah there were those admonishments, but not much else.
When I married and we had babies, we went down the christian road. I mean, we have to save their little souls, right? My wife claimed to be a believer..... But she was little more than indoctrinated if you ask me. She picked our church. Went through all of the rituals to join......then she was the 1st to quit. After all of that we went to several other churches , to find the one that "fit us" ......MADNESS!
One day after we had not went to church for a while, she says: " I want to try the catholic church. It looks like a beautiful religion"
I replied: " You just go ahead and go for it" I knew I was done forever at that point.
Brought up as atheist. It’s nothing to be atheist in the UK but now I live in the Midwest, I just shut my mouth and avoid god topics. The other day at work I was sick and got touched by a woman’s hand who then started praying over me. Ugh. It feels creepy to me.
Breaking away from childhood religious training is a very admirable thing, requiring intelligence, awareness, and courage.
The fact that many Christian Churches set forth a set of ridiculous and unbelievable lies and invoke fear and guilt to make you believe those lies—that in no way is proof one way or the other of the God question. There are some very deep and overwhelming mysteries concerning existence and the nature of reality.
In the face of these staggering mysteries, my response is total bewilderment. I do not presume to label myself.
I was brought up Seventh Day Adventist, which is some no-joke, hardcore, Revelations-based BS. My one Aunt even pulled strings to get me and my sisters a scholarship to a private SDA school although we were poor. So, even though I was always inquisitive and picked up on the flaws in logic and the inconsistencies, it was a long process to admit to myself that it was all a lie. "Coming out" to family and friends has not been easy, either. But the freedom and healing I've experienced is well worth it.
I'm agnostic not athiest. My family and friends for the most part, don't know. They do know that I left the church I was raised in. Difficult isn't a strong enough word for that. I have PTSD from the experience. I'm glad to be on this side of it but it wasn't easy to get here.
I’m not sure you “become” an Atheist so much as you just kind of wake up to the lies floating around you that are built on what at best is a really bad history book. I am not sure I ever swallowed the whole praying and thanking malarkey, since it was obviously kind of a useless pastime (people still died, food was bought at the store by money earned by working, Santa didn’t bring toys). I tend to question everything and search for logic, and there was none to be found in any religious practice I could find.
For me, it was agonizing. It still is. It has been hard to let go of eternity and the fact that there is no god who loves me beyond comprehension and invites me to foreverness. The fact that I will not see my parents again just about stopped my heart. That is still a tough one. After 70 years of belief, it is very hard.
It was for the first year or so... The realization that I had been living a lie that was told to and pushed unto me by the people I loved and trusted most in the world was a huge upheaval. Shock turned to anger, which turned to disdain, which turned to pity, which turned to grief, which turned to acceptance... eventually. I'm still rather bitter about wasting so much time and energy and emotion forcing myself to believe such utter nonsense for so very long. I have no way of knowing this, but I feel I'd be much farther along in life if I had never been taught to believe in magic invisible creatures instead of being taught they were just fun (and some not so fun) ideas and nothing more.
Not for me it wasn't. As soon as I understood what the word 'atheist' meant, I
knew I was one.
I was raised catholic, forced to attend mass every Sunday, forced to go through some of the sacraments, and forced to follow the dictates of the church.
That lasted until I was about 13, and figured out how to make it look like I'd been to mass, while I spent the collection money on breakfast at the Dunkin' Donuts across the street.
I'd always known everything I had been hearing seemed false. The older I got, the more I knew it was all bullshit. There are members of my family that didn't, and still don't, accept that I reject all gods and religion. I don't talk to them anymore.
I don't miss them either. They can take their judgment and shove it.
I've been completely comfortable embracing my natural default. I was born an atheist. We're ALL born atheists. Everything else has to be taught.
Btw, I've become a pretty staunch anti-theist as well. Seems only logical that
I would. All religion is dangerous and is a threat to humanity.
Naah.. Learnt to speak and my words allegedly were, "I don't believe in all this God crap." Big disappointment to my family, fortunately. Some of us are just born not believing in all this God crap and that's just how it is. I truly feel sorry for people who have a weakness or predisposition towards religion. Who needs that monkey on your back? Life's hard enough as it is without religion's layer of nonsense and guilt wrapped around you.
We are all born Atheist, we are trained at an early age to believe in the B.S. handed us by our parents as they were trained by theirs and so on. But even as a youngster I never believed it.
The real question should be 'was becoming religious difficult?' History has shown us, yes, it is very difficult, and often deadly.
It was easy when I became an atheist after being a very devout Christian. I’ve always been doubting. I was raised as a Catholic all my life and left Catholicism at 13 and became non denominational. I questioned and became angry at an invisible entity many times when I still had faith in a sky daddy and I lost so many loved ones. The last straw was when my favorite cat ended up getting hit by a car and I found him at 5 am on my way to work. I renounced any god and have been super anti theist since.
No, as a matter of fact the conversion was quite easy. No getting dressed up to go listen to some hypocrite drone on for an hour. No dunking involved. I get to sleep in every Sunday. (To be honest I was never all that much of a believer to begin with. I quit going to church at 16.)
Not at all. I was lucky though. The most attempted doctornation that I went through was at school. Every Wednesday we had to walk to church and do a bible school type situation. It was/is bullshit, but I made it through it. My family only went to church for weddings and funerals (and my baptism, fuckers), so it wasn't a transformation for me, it was a realization.