What components of your life had you come to your religious convictions or lack thereof?
I started questioning shortly after I learned to read. (I'm pretty sure my Southern Baptist parents would have kept me illiterate if they could go back and do it again.) Anyway, I began reading my way through the children's section of the library, got to the non-fiction, and hey! There were all these mythology books, with OTHER creation and flood stories - who was to say that our version was the truth if they weren't true? And don't get me started on the science books.
I kept asking "bad" questions at home and in Sunday School, and kept having my mouth washed out with soap and getting spankings or being sent to the pastor's office (sorta like the principal's office). None of the adults ever actually answered my questions, which drove me nuts!
As I got older, the misogyny, sex-negative attitudes, and hypocrisy became onerous. But I studied really hard, trying to find something that made sense, and kept searching, thinking that I was defective for not feeling the rapturous faith that everybody else seemed to have. The only thing that came anywhere close was making music, and at least there was lots of that in the church. I was completely surrounded by evangelicals in my large extended family and everyone we socialized with, so at that time I couldn't conceive of being anything BUT a Christian.
My first husband became a youth minister around the same time I took a secretarial job at the main office of a fundamentalist denomination. (I was questioned about the tenets of Calivinism in the interview!) Those two experiences gave me a real view behind the curtain, which did NOT help with trying to find faith.
Finally, after divorcing the youth minister, I was sitting in the young adult Sunday School class one morning. One of the guys started talking about his trip to Disney World, and said that it made him finally understand the verse in Revelation that says "the stones shall speak." The animatronics are the stones, so it's the end times right now, according to him!
I burst out laughing at the silliness. When I calmed down, I realized that nobody else was laughing. They all took it completely seriously. I picked up my things and walked out, realizing I didn't believe any of the BS and I couldn't hide it any more.
My parents were/are not religious people, so I really wasn't raised with religion. We went to church when we visited my grandmother, but other than that.... I went to Sunday school for a while as a kid because I wanted to (my best friend was Catholic and went to Catholic school, so I got curious what it was all about) and then in Jr. High and early high school I attended a couple of different youth groups at friends churches, and while I never quite "got" the religion part, I liked the social aspects. Then, as a sophomore in high school (so 16 maybe?) I went to a youth group bowling and pizza party with a girl from my math class, and after bowling/pizza the buses took us all out to some house in the country where a bunch of the parents witnessed to us (Baptist church) and terrified me into being "saved". One of the scariest experiences of my life - in some house, no clue where, no way to get home - and this was in the late 1980's so no cell phones then. I HAD to "accept Jesus" because otherwise I wasn't sure I'd ever see my parents again. That was the moment that I gave up on organized religion/church. I tried paganism for a while in college but ultimately decided that I just don't believe in invisible people who live in the sky, and I'd rather be responsible for my own life, mistakes, successes, all of it.
I was born into a family of agnostics who had a poor time in the last war, my mother was a welder in the east end, on the dockfront ,my father was a spitfire pilot, later all around the theatre of war as communications officer - my wider family were all part of the war effort and when i was born post war they were tired and messed up. The house they lived in was bombed the women on the barrage balloon at the end of their garden were machine gunned and daylight raiders flew down the Thames to machine gun the open factories They were too tired to embrace the peace had seen too much they couldn't unsee. I don't think I woke up I was always awake to the misery that can be caused and no amount of being told there was a loving sky god up there would have made me believe in one .
When I was a kid and I was in Catholic school and was told that god killed all the first born of Egypt. Innocent kids that did nothing wrong. I was the first born of my family and wondered would he kill me for something that has nothing to do with me. I was eight years old. That did not make sense to me.
no one ever made me sleep walk through it my parents were agnostic; and meeting religious people who were trying to convert me didnt work - I learned to read at a very early age and was captivated by good story - christian stories were rubbish. No hook no real explanations of how things happened -doh!
I was very, very young when I saw the illogic of heaven - that one person's heaven was clearly another's hell. Having always been an analytic thinker, it wasn't long after that that the foolish contradictions of religious assertions allowed me to reject any possibility of religion b e ing v a lid.