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I was born to young couple who were the first generation to leave the farm and try to make a life in the city. They had known each other since they were babies. They attended the same little church that all their parents had attended and most of their grandparents. I was the eldest of the grandchildren on both sides of the family. I was good at being spoiled, even if I say so myself. I was raised in the domination called The Church of Christ. No instrumental music, no dancing, tattoos and premarital sex meant certain Doom. Communion every week, tent meetings, prayer meetings, song singings, vbs, the bus Ministry, and whatever else they could dream up, I was in the middle of it. Yet, internally I had questions as a child, I had opinions as an early teen, and decisions shortly thereafter. Though in some ways I'm sure I'm the disappointment, the black sheep, I am still well-loved by my family and not pressured to the return to the fold. I told my father once. " as long as I don't subscribe to those ideas (meaning Christianity) I really don't have any business being there." he agreed.

hankster 9 Feb 14

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Thanks for that post. I was a member of that church too. I graduated from their university. I was even a minister. The more I studied the more doubts I had. They still to this day believe they are the only ones going to heaven. I took the time to learn to read the new testament in greek. After a while I couldn't accept that the bible was the word of god. Two of the main things that bothered me was the issue of slavery and women as being less than men. The bible has been promoting slavery and the abuse of women from it's inception. The bible is the main source that is used in politics to make laws that affect everyone. It still puzzles me that many women still choose a book to live by that makes them second class to men. Few of us would join any organization that we could never be equal in. It would be against our self interests. Just my thoughts.

there must be a less than, so I can be the more than, mimicking my god.


Thanks for sharing. I agree with HeathenFarmer, you are fortunate to have an understanding family. I feel fortunate that my immediate family didn't shun me (unlike my friends and community) but they still are uncomfortable with the fact that I'm an atheist, and think that I'm just going through a phase. Lol

When I was a kid they let the priests and nuns indoctrinate me and my siblings (CCD classes, Catholic school, church) and made us go through all the rituals -- dropping us at church (though they usually didn't attend themselves). But they didn't talk to us about god much. Since I became an unbeliever, they mention god fairly often around me. Cracks me up. 😀

I do feel lucky regarding my family especially after reading some of the troubling stories on this site. God comes up plenty between them and I usually keep my mouth shut. it seems like if anybody's nervous about it it's them not me. I think they just really don't know what to think. outwardly they seem to accept it, inwardly I think they're holding out hope the Prodigal will come home.


You are blessed to have an understanding family with that background in religion, many other atheists that come from a fundamentalist background find themselves shunned and disowned by their's. Thank you, for sharing.

I try not to take anything like that for granted. some of the stories I've read on here just hurt my heart. thanks for your comment.


My atheism is not welcome in my sister's and parent's families. It's simply not mentioned.

My nephew just now said that he found his last school mass enlightening because of the Ash Wednesday message "from dust you came, so shall you return". I'm sure he's heard it many times before. But he's at the teen age in which he is more impressionable (e.g. music, movies, book, sports heroes, religion, etc.). And this is the first time that message sunk in.

And I said that the saying is true but not in the Catholic sense. I tried to explain quickly about stardust. (But ran out of time for we had arrived at his soccer training.)

Before he got out, I told him that I was an atheist. And he took it as if it was a joke. (I kid a lot.) My sister did ask me never to talk to her children about my atheism. And I agreed except for when they bring up the subject of religion themselves (I replied to her in a whisper which I "know" she heard.)

My sister and her husband are quite religious - although non-practicing. They are holding on to the belief that they'll meet passed loved ones in heaven.

And that comfort is not all bad. And that is why I can't deny their children that belief.

I'm just hoping that they, and in their own time like for many of us atheists, will come to the realisation that religion is false hope and that it's better to live in the now rather than for heaven.

as long as folks are happy and not causing their neighbor misery I don't try to contest their faith myself.


Welcome! From someone with a southern baptist upbringing...glad you survived...and I hope with some semblance of sanity!


My college roommate was raised as a catholic and attended a catholic school; nuns brandishing rulers and all. When she asked the nun "where in the bible does it say that it's wrong for two people who are going to marry tomorrow to sleep together tonight?" the nun, instead of answering, (since she couldn't do so), sent her to the bishop. In his vast (hah!) Wisdom, his answer to her question was to kick her out of the school. NO RATIONAL THINKING ALLOWED!!!

best thing that could have happened, or at least pretty good.


True. Good decision.

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