Posts filed under ‘~Guest’
I would like to share with the d-C readers, the primary reasons why I de-converted and why I no longer have to consider what some mysterious, mythical, and hideously confusing god feels about me.
- Watching my religious mother and both aunts die of cancer, while begging Jesus/god to save them, and he did not. Not only that but I also worked in the pediatric ward of a cancer hospital in Houston and watched entire churches praying for god to save babies from cancer, and he did not.
- Knowing that between 1900 and 1999, more than 180 million “good” Christians and Jews died in wars begging, pleading and praying to god to spare their lives. And their imaginary god did not. I participated as a co-leader in a therapy program of former religious Jews (many of whom are now atheists) whose entire families were murdered by Nazis in WWII, who asked the same question – “where was god? Many came to the conclusion, that instead of believing a god was going to save and protect them from “evil,” they should have been preparing to save their own lives. Many had tremendous guilt and anger at being lied to since believing those lies resulted in false sense of security (god’s love, god’s protection, blah, blah, blah), which resulted in entire families going to the gas chamber because of their delusions…
Hi everyone! My name is Shai, I am 23 years old, I live in a city near Tel-Aviv, Israel, and I am an atheist. As an atheist, I lack the belief in a god, gods, or any other supreme/supernatural being. I believe that everyone on the planet earth are godless creatures that were not created by anything and that the origin of life and its evolution are the product of purely natural processes.
Now that I’ve firmly depicted my worldview, I want to share with d-C’s readers why and how I adopted this rather unusual worldview. (if you lived in Israel, you’d know that it’s quite unusual, although, as far as I know, not illegal, to be an atheist)
I was born and raised in Israel. Since I read that this blog is mainly about Christian de-conversion, my story is probably going to be a bit alien to you. My atheism owes itself to 3 major factors: My personality, my upbringing, and some atheist asshole who sent me some websites about critical thinking and atheism.
First of all, let me tell you a bit about religion in Israel. Israel is defined as a “Jewish democratic state”. Although I bet it sounds to any American/Anglo-Saxon reader to be some sort of cynical euphemism for “Jewish Theocracy” – it’s not entirely true. Israel, on the whole, is a fairly secular nation. But that’s not because Jews are a jolly good bunch who know that personal freedom should trump religious dogma at all costs. First of all, we have organizations here in Israel that are entirely dedicated to removing religious impositions upon Israeli citizens…
The most influential event for me in my de-conversion was actually talking to a Christian pastor.
I was visiting my brother in Kentucky, and prior to going to see Pirates 3 Saturday night, we all went to watch him perform at his megachurch where he plays the drums. As we were getting ready to leave, some of the people in my party were chatting with friends they knew, and while this was going on, the lady pastor there somehow caught wind of my parents’ recent divorce. She took advantage of this and she immediately started asking me very prodding, personal questions.
I tried to defuse them with stuff like “I’m handling it” but she wouldn’t let up. Finally, thinking it would satisfy her, I was frank about my reactions to the whole situation. She then started crying, and gave me a hug (freakin’ awkward) then asked me if I was trusting Christ. At the time I was somewhat of an agnostic Christian loosely clinging to emerging church theology but I really hadn’t used any form of faith in dealing with that particular situation. This quickly devolved into an attempt on my part to defend my faith-position on the fly to someone who was extremely well-versed in apologetics and well-practiced in religious debate (contrast this to me who only ever had to defend a Christian faith to people and was now finding himself unwittingly on the other end of the shotgun!)…
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”–Carl Sagan
“I hate men base in deeds but wise in words”–Pacuvius
Dear Family and Friends,
I think it’s necessary to put on paper where I stand with the Mormon Church. The 11th Article of Faith says that “we claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
According to the dictates of my own conscience, I have determined I can no longer believe in the Mormon Church. Let me put this in plain terms. Over the years, I have observed situations, and uncovered many facts about the church that have brought me to the inescapable conclusion that the church is not led by true and living prophets…
My Early Years – Growing up, I was a typical American kid. I had a brother and a sister, a loving mom and dad, and we were taught to believe in Christianity, America’s status quo faith. Mom and dad were not religious fanatics, but they were mild fundamentalists who believed that Christianity was the only way and that no one could have the highest morality without belief in the Christian God. I swallowed this philosophy hook, line, and sinker from day one, though I didn’t become a baptized believer until my eighteenth birthday.
I was converted for the same reason that many others were — I was at a time in my life when I needed emotional and psychological support. I had fought my own battles with depression growing up, but when Christianity came along, that was the end of my singing the blues! Finding something to believe in is a big part of the psychological make up of the individual. I had also just fallen out of a relationship with a girl and this made me begin to “look upward” for help like I’d never done before. I was a party-goer, by and large, but I knew that someday, I would have to give up my selfish life and become a part of what I was taught God told me to do — to be baptized and live as a Christian. I remember how it felt to start looking for answers in the bible and pray like I never had before. I was a changed man at my conversion one cold February morning in 1994. What I felt Christ did for me was all too apparent in my mind. I decided to live for him since he gave so much for me, and I was so thankful that I had escaped the eternal flames of Hell that awaited me …
“Oh God, you are my God, and I will ever serve you…”
I grew up singing all the lame-ass church songs that you know are lame at the time, but you are too afraid of eternal condemnation to even whisper a critical comment about them. I grew up with church leaders who were bitchy and judgmental and used the only place they can criticize others without it being a sin to pick on kids in youth group. I have been to summer camps, winter camps, mission trips, water-ski trips, watermelon seed spitting contests, paint-balling, pizza parties, pool bashes, and bible jeopardy extravaganzas galore. When I was in 4th grade, I made sure to memorize as many Bible verses as possible so I could get the prize of a giant strawberry lip-smacker or fun-size Butterfinger. I wore dresses, which I hated, to church. I tried to fake sick to get out of church at least once a month. I had done all that a young evangelical can do between the ages of 1 and 21…everything that is, except think for myself.
I was pretty brainwashed until I was 18. My best friend and I secretly hated church and would goof off all we could and make fun of everyone because we thought we were cooler…but essentially I was under the spell. I was terrified of sin and anyone who sinned. I was freaked out by homosexuals or homeless people. I thought that divorced women were bad, that non-Christians who rode their bikes on Sunday instead of going to church, deserved an eternal pit of fire. I do not believe I was inherently judgmental, I was just overexposed to the church and God…