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To those who were raised in a religious household, what made you abandon your family's beliefs?

GrimothyPles 4 Jan 27

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I moved out of my parents house, and away from religion. It wasn't until I had some very painful things happen to me that I thought I needed god. I really got serious about finding the truth about god, and dug into the Bible. The more I studied, the more farce I found. I immediately stopped believing the things I found not to be true, and the more I studied, the less I believed. Today I'm an atheist.


When I went into the Military I was exposed to many beliefs. The most shocking was many people did not care about God at all. I realized that many beliefs coflicted with one another. They could not all be right and were as convinced as I was that their path was the correct one.

If there was one true religion, the majority of people had to be wrong. As highly unlikely as it was (almost impossible) I came to terms that it at least could be possible I was wrong. I was convinced that all the answers were in the bible and actually became more religious. I had nothing to fear "The truth would set me free", that It eventually did. Free from religion.


I would say family values of equality and critical thinking. After my siblings and I went to college there was basically an exodus where we all quit in a pretty short period of time. Basically started by my oldest brother who really didn’t fit in at BYU. All of us including my parents left the church.

Myah Level 6 Jan 27, 2018

Between the ages of 3 and 12 I lived in a household that consisted only of me, my parents, and my father's aunt (I have no siblings). My parents were church-goers, but (luckily for me) far from fanatical: they went once or twice a month (taking me with them, of course). Only my great-aunt was insufferably religious, but not in an evangelical way, more in a strict Presbyterian sort of way — no games, whistling or excessive noise allowed on Sundays, for instance. I think it was she who started me thinking this whole religion thing wasn't all that great.

Then there was Sunday school, which I utterly disliked. It was on Sunday afternoon, so if it was one of those Sundays that I'd been to church in the morning, I'd lost pretty much the whole day. And it involved learning by heart some bible verses and bits of the shorter catechism, which made even less sense than the bible.

My great-aunt died when I was 12. I think by that time I was well on the way to being an atheist, and when I found out that Sunday school, unlike day school, wasn't actually compulsory, I simply stopped going. Church itself I didn't mind so much, and I can even remember one sunny, frosty Christmas morning that I practically dragged my parents there. But I was already on what my mother would have seen as the slippery slope away from faith. After a number of months of futile attempts at prayer, following the guide at the back of my hymn-book, and after reading Fred Hoyle's The Nature of the Universe, I decided that Christianity was not for me.

My mother was very unhappy about it, and always hoped I would 'return to the fold'. My father never expressed an opinion at any stage, as far as I can recall.

It's interesting how similar a lot of the stories are sometimes. The media always seems to depict un-believers losing their faith due to some extreme life event or the "the world sucks so there is no god" story but like myself it seems like as soon as someone opens their minds to anything outside of their initial indoctrination, as well as just reading their own books objectively it becomes a gradual departure. I first left Christianity to explore other faiths, then stopped believing in god altogether, became an atheistic-satanist, now i just walk through life with the mind that even if there are entities that could be described as supernatural, that doesn't make them divine or god in any way, they are just higher evolved beings, much like we are to animals and animals are to single-celled organisms. but that's just my take. thanks for replying.


Getting a divorce and seeing my entire church turn on me, reading the Bible in the original Greek and Hebrew and realizing that 98% if what I'd been taught wasn't even in the Bible, the Facebook hate memes posted by childhood evangelical friends during President Obama's terms, and especially during the last election. I felt ashamed and sick I'd ever been a part of that group.

I get it I had to divorce uncle Sam they really made me realize whst factions would hate if I was myself

I left my church before my faith for similar reasons. my family on my father's side were all ministers/evangelists and because my mother came from a family with a dark history, they shunned their marriage and treated my sister and i like the black sheep, i read the entire bible twice by the time i was 13, found so many inconsistencies between the bible, what my church taught, not to mention how the interpretation changed from church to church, even within the same sect. then i saw the world and heaven and hell right here, and decided it was time to become my own diety. i still think jesus/yeshua was a cool character that taught alot of universal truths, but so was the devil lol.


Learning what they were asking me to do gaslight others and keep secrets of helping slave owners and other abuses of power for their faction because it was gods will whst we were doing it took me nine years of wars 14 if you count cyber to figure I couldnt help if they were fascist and pretending it was a democracy or freedom

  1. The science and mathematics I learned in school.
  2. The fact that the minister at our church was a liar.
BD66 Level 7 Jan 27, 2018

The people of that belief system that thought it was a fantastic idea to terrorize young children into fearing an invisible being while also condoning molestation and rape of said children,
I abandoned my religious beliefs from childhood because I learned who the real monsters are. I abandoned my familys beliefs because nobody was outraged when curtain inexcusable acts came to light.. oh and they where batshit crazy

Kodi Level 4 Jan 27, 2018

I was complaining in third grade that the school didn't have any cool books. My dad said, "read the bible, It's full of cool stuff." I took his advice and read it cover to cover. That's when I knew that it was all lies.


My religious family was demonically possessed by their god/religion. We needed an Exorist. They walked religion, talked religion, always went to religious functions. it was rammed so far down my throat that I almost gagged to death. They actually turned me against the very philosophy they were trying to convert me into believing.


In high school, I began to question certain doctrines. For example, as a Catholic I was taught that unbaptized babies that die won't go to heaven but would go to Purgatory instead. I failed to see how a newborn child, without sin, was punished because no one baptized him/her. Here's another - eating meat on Friday was a sin. Until the 1960s when that was changed and it was OK to eat meat vs. fish on Fridays. I recall as a adolescent forgetting it was Friday and eating a hot dog then running home to my mother crying because I was going to hell. There were many more things I questioned. This sort of crap made no sense to me later. The other issue was seeing the hypocrisy of so many parishioners. Shoplifting/stealing, lying, cheating on their spouses, then acting sanctimonious during Sunday Mass. Oh, and then there was the parish priest who was sleeping with a high school student. Need I say more?

I thought they cut them some slack and sent them to Limbo instead

I was raised strict Lutheran and also got told that babies who died w/o getting baptized went to the flames of eternal hell .... got told that hundred of millions of Chinese would burn in hell for eternity because christian missionaries never got into China. Made me sick. I am healthier since I became atheist.

I was taught the whole fish on Friday scenario was merely a way of adding more income from the people. Most of the area where Jesus was born was filled with lots of water sites. In order for the fishing captians to make a decent living, the Catholic chruch set Firday as an eat fish day. It was purely an economical task and had nothing to do with religion.

You're right, it was limbo. I had forgotten about that one .


realizing God is a A$$hole


I was allowed to read the "proper" (not children's) Bible at a young age. It didn't tally with the things I saw around me, that was the catalyst.


For me it was realizing that someone who could have raped and murdered people were able to be so easily "forgiven" and given a place in Heaven just like the person who lived a good, charitable life.
I found that to seem unfair. I was in College at the time.


Not one certain thing. It pretty much never made sense to me. I remember being around 8 years old and asking "How do we know the bible isn't a story like Cinderella?" Parents only came back with "you gotta have faith". When I was 12ish I asked "why do we think people had to come from a magical God? It could be as simple as a little bit of liquid water was on the right rock in our solar system" eventually in middle school I learned what atheist meant and was like "oh! That's me!" When I told my parents it was in passing. "Oh, I don't believe that, I'm an atheist" which I admit was an unfair shock to them but they weren't hard on me. Just a big pill to swallow really.

?? What happened next?

@birdingnut lol sorry tapped the submit button by accident.


Understanding hypocrisy and actually reading the bible did it for me. Of course, learning science didn't hurt either.


I read the bible.


I’ve always been lucky.

Tomas Level 7 Jan 27, 2018

Science and common sense. Also a resistance to dogmatic group think.


Hmmm... i wish we would of had something religious in our family to put some fear in my dad to keep him in check... he was such an asshole to us kids. He didnt want kids .. he wanted brats to do anything he wanted. Im sorry to say this but us little guys needed a father not a boss.


My childhood religious training was harsh and punitive. I often felt afraid to go to sleep, fearing that "god" would kill me in my sleep and I would wake up in "hell". I was repeatedly told that I was a bad person. I felt guilty and ashamed of myself. I was often told that every illness and every crisis was a punishment from god. So, I became atheist.

SKH78 Level 8 Jan 27, 2018

My mouth was washed out with soap when my 3 year old tongue said " gawd " taking the LARD name in vain but religious and racial bigotry turned me away from parental faiths. ...I was 5 and sided with my Black Kindergarten Teacher Miss BETTY HYDE on top of my love for my Jehovah Witness Great Aunt Mable .....regardless of popular scorn towards JWs, I refused to accept Santa Claus bribes Easter bunny boy laid eggs on dogshit lawns and vaginal virgin birthing alleged baby gods born in dirty donkey stables. ..little pigs and kittens deserved better and so did I ....Atheist Einstein was my hero until Atheist Walt Disney died when I was 12. ...then I had 2 heros to stand with against McCarthyism


It actually began as a quest for a better understanding of God. I read The Bible, cover to cover. Twice. Then I read a paraphrased version of same that my eldest sister had, called "The Way." I asked questions about God and Christianity.

The more I learned, the less sense it all made, and the less sense it all made, the more pointed my questions became. The answers to those questions were very unsatisfying, such as, "The Lord works in mysterious ways," or, "God is above logic." Sometimes my questions would be ignored, sometimes I was told, "We should not ask such things," and one apparently troublesome question got me in trouble, "But how do we know Mary was a virgin?"

During about the same time period, my late teens and early adulthood, my appreciation and understanding of science began to grow. As a boy I had always had an interest, but with an immature understanding of its significance. I had a chemistry set, a geology set, and a weather station. Meteorology, in particular, garnered a lot of interest. I expanded my weather station beyond its out-of-the-box capabilities and built an outdoor enclosure for most of the instruments.

Years later, pondering college, I strongly considered studying meteorology. Instead, I decided on a Physics major and Chemistry minor. It did not go well (a story for a different time,) so I redeclared for Computer Information Systems. By then, though, I was firmly atheist. I mention it because it was the growing interest in and increasing understanding of science that sealed the deal.

Religion and science are not polar opposites, as so many are led to believe. However, they directly oppose each other in one critical respect -- religion, Christianity in particular, discourages knowledge unless it is "knowledge of God and his will." Science encourages knowledge -- and, in fact, the scientific method prescribes a methodology for obtaining knowledge.

When I was told that "worldly knowledge is evil" is when the point was driven home. The Church does not like questions that challenge its teachings. Why? Because they either have no answer or because the only possible answer would produce a contradiction.

It is dishonest. The teachings are lies.

Science doesn't mind questions, but rather encourages them. Finding a contradiction is applauded because it is an opportunity to learn. If you want to know how something is known to science, you get an answer to your question, not someone telling you, "We should not ask such things." If you ask a question for which there is no good answer, you will get a response such as, "that is a good question," or, "no-one has figured that out just yet," or something similar. You won't get an answer like, "The Big Bang works in mysterious ways."

All of this led to my complete and utter rejection of all things religious. My family, of course, was mortified that I rejected God. To this day, someone will occasionally try to pull me back into the fold.

Yeah. Whatever. Good luck with that.


I always had a nagging feeling that the events written about, in the bible, seemed fantastical.
Even as a very young child, I was desirous of solid, provable facts.
I read about ancient mythology, the occult, and different religions.
As I got older, I started to realize that religion was a man made and enforced idea.
There may have been an evolutionary need/use for it, but I very much believe that we are passed that.

Just as we are still carrying around hunter-gatherer bodies in a technologically rich time, we are stuck lugging around archaic mindsets.


I don't consider myself as the abandoner, but rather the abandonee. My journey started with the death of my Dad when I was 8 years old. "God took him", was what they said to me. My Dad was my world, and this being in the sky that never did anything good for me, took one of the only people who ever had. I started reading the bible and I had an epiphany, when I realized that it was like listening to my 80 year old grandma with dementia. There were total inconsistencies, and nothing made much sense to my world. I was not forced to go to church after my Dad's death, but I was forced to watch TV preachers. If anything can turn a child into an agnostic, it's the 700 club.
I started reading other religious texts in college, and I learned that organized religions were pretty much the same... Love those that are the same as you, and hate those who are not. I'm not much of a hater, I just can't hate someone because they believe in something I do not. I would say I wasn't built that way, but since I don't believe I was built at all... Paganism gave me an out, but it was temporary because it insisted I believe in more than one god. It was difficult enough to think there was one sky daddy up there sending punishment to me, and taking those I loved away. I couldn't handle several no matter how nicely they were portrayed.
Two books influenced my current belief, Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett, and Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. Both basically say people created gods, and the gods only way to remain viable is to have believers. When belief stops, gods die. In other words you all are serial killers and don't even know it. 🙂


I tried hard to find an idea of god that made sense to me, I never did.

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