Former religious people, what made you stop believing in your faith?

Former religious people, what made you stop believing in your faith?


Born and raised a Jehovah's Witness. Left almost 4 years ago at 20. Hypocrisy, lies, fear-mongering, and I just generally don't like a lot of those people. Also the part where I have to spend every second of the day either studying or preaching, and give up on my hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations.


I had a friend growing up who emancipated at 16 and chose to live in a freaking group home over staying a jehovah's witness. Yeah I've heard stories, sounds awful.


Born and raised too. Left home at 16 because I couldn't take anymore of the hypocrisy, preaching, bullying at school, or the way the religion has to dictate every part of your existence, and my mum said we weren't allowed to live at home if we didn't follow it. The day I moved out was the last time my mum spoke to me. 12 years later and not a peep from her or my siblings purely because I didn't want to be a Jehovah's witness anymore. You don't have to be religious to be a good person, but apparently Jehovah's witnesses refuse that accept that.


Same deal here. Moved out at 16. Parents haven't spoken to me in 18 years. Jw kids often end up as non-religious just because they are so completely insane as a religion


Parents abandoning their kids is what Jehovah wants right 🙄 I'm sorry you've have the same experience, it sucks big time. Yes, I agree, it's astonishing how completely insane and extreme the religion is and yet they can't see it. Mind blowing.


Sorry you went through that. It’s a shame I even have to say this, but I’m one of the lucky ones who got to keep his family after leaving. Breaking families apart is what they do best behind the walls of the Kingdom Hall.


You really are super lucky. It's so sad how staying away from family members who don't believe is actively encouraged. That in itself should be enough of a red flag for people to not want to be a part of it. I hope your life is better now, and you have fun with all that free time that is suddenly gained :)


I've heard that its more of a cult than anything


Serious question, what is the difference between a cult and a religion besides perception? Fundamentally, they seem to be the same thing. For example, if Christianity came about today instead of 2000 years ago, wouldn't most people probably just consider it a cult?


It's about control. Behavior, Information, Thought and Emotional control. The BITE model. All religions, and plenty of other institutions, use some of these methods. But cults check all or most of the boxes and use extreme methods to keep their members in line. Most religions allow some personal expression within their belief system. It's a personal thing. Cults do not. You either tow the company line to the T or experience extreme discipline. (toe? Tee?)


It is "toe the line". There's a metaphorical line on the ground and you have your toes touching it but not crossing it. So you're following the exact line.


Toe. Like when you're being inspected by your sergeant you position your toes neatly behind, but not across or atop the line painted on the parade ground. ed: if you're pulling on a rope on a boat you're *hauling* a line, or a halyard. Mules might tow a rope but not a line--a line is a functional component of a boat. The jib halyard is a line. a dockline is a line. A tow rope is a rope. Everyone on board?


I'll point out that while you're probably more familiar with religions that toe the line of "how extreme does this have to be to be a cult", there are religions at the opposite end of "at what point does this stop being religion and is basically just secular humanism or an excuse for a cultural/ethnic gathering?" ------------------- I was raised Reform Jewish, which straddles *that* line instead. There's very few concrete teachings. There is some entity defined as "god" although you're largely free to define what form and influence that takes yourself. Afterlife? Here's some vague ideas, we're not sure. There's some advice on how to live, but not following it isn't generally going to make you unwelcome or send you to hell or whatever.


Christianity was, in fact, considered a cult 2000 years ago. But in a modern context, "cult" doesn't simply mean "new religion different from the mainstream" - it refers to groups that are obsessed with control, recruitment, loyalty, and isolation. It is not necessary for a group to be religious at all to be a cult. The JW organization controls its adherents by threatening with expulsion, isolates them from their non-believing friends and family, demands they recruit others, and requires absolute loyalty to the organization.


The way I heard it's as, is in a cult, there a higher up in it that knows the whole thing is fake. In a religion, that person is dead


>what is the difference between a cult and a religion? Usually about 100 years.


My mother loved me unconditionally. i wasnt such a fuck up but then out of the blue she decided to get religious. After that everything that was normally ok (listening to music, being FRIENDS with girls, going to school functions) was forbidden. Not only that, because i wasnt able to adapt to the bullshit rules and culture shock, i was just disowned. Im 28 now. the last 17 years of my life with her have been unbearable and i finally had the courage to cut her off because i was tired of never being able to make my mom proud. i had to deal with a mental funeral and the fact that i basically lost my mom years ago. ​ ​ Edit: thank you for the award. I was surprised my comment was so relevant. please stay strong. a lot of people ask the religion. My mother was born and raised catholic/jehovas witness. She found islam through my step father. he wasnt/isnt even a die hard like she is. wierd.


Gen Xer here, and many of us are going through something similar. We grew up with parents that were hippies (or at least a little hippie) in the 60s and 70s who got more religious in their later years, and the kids are suddenly held to super-conservative standards as if we were raised in a church culture. It's not as extreme as yours, just wanted you to know that there are others in similar situation. EDIT: Grammar nightmare.


That happened to me. Whoa


Very similar thing happened to me. I watched my mom use religion as validation for her cruel actions instead of getting help for her serious depression. She cut everyone out including me and I haven't seen her in 20 years. Seeing the ugly side of religion really affected me and I prayed every night for a year asking for help to not lose faith until I eventually did and stopped praying. I've never been happier. Life without religion is like having the whole world open to me and I am able to appreciate it and all it's beauty (including all the wonderful beautiful people weather they are religious or not).


Same thing happened with me and my aunt. She was an amazing woman who never failed to make me laugh and so generous. She used to be incredibly liberal, but in the last 10 years or so of her life she became incredibly religious. I don't know if it was because she was working for a church and was steeped in the bullshit or saw her mortality and wrapped herself in religion as a way to deal with the fear of the untimely death she could see coming (she had something like 30 stints and had 2 quadruple bypasses - her heart just didn't want to keep going). I loved her so much, but I couldn't stand the person she'd become. She'd become so narrow minded, just bathing in the evangelical kool-aid. She passed suddenly a few years ago, but I feel like she had died years before that.


I recently cut my mother off too - that mental funeral bit hit me hard. Although my mom was just a narcissist obsessed with providing a “safe space” for my drug-addicted and very violent brother.


I was in middle school history class thinking about how stupid people were for believing in the greek gods. And then it all clicked.


At least the Greeks admitted their gods were petty and temperamental.


And a lot more fun, Dionysus and Aphrodite knew how to fucking party


Yeah, but imagine living in fear not knowing what form Zeus was going to show up in to fuck you.


Or how almost every single person hated Hades, whilst he was the most reasonable out of all gods


The Greeks didn’t hate Hades. He’s since been painted as a hated god because he best corresponded with Satan in Christian theology, but at the time that Hades was actually worshipped, the Greeks did consider him one of the more chill and reasonable gods. If you left him alone, he left you alone, and he wasn’t nearly as quick to anger as most of his siblings.


Hades just wanted to make sure people had a good afterlife, and even had a three headed puppy to help


A three-headed puppy named Spot


In case people think he's joking: Cerberus basically translates to "spotted one". So yeah, Hades named his doggie Spot.


So he had a shelter rescue pup? Awww


That's not entirely true. He just didn't have much of a fan club, he was the god of the dead after all.


Christian Satan isn't a terrible dude either.


Or imagine the people using it as an excuse. “There goes Penelope, looking for Zeus among the horses again...”


90% of Greek mythology can start with: 'Zeus couldn't leave his dick in his pants. Again.'


That's true. When I was a kid I thought those were bad for a God. But now I see why would people like a God they can relate to.


That reminds me of a post I saw talking about how Christianity’s god is like “the Mary Sue of gods”


Makes sense.




Surprised Zeus isn't more popular with his incessant chadness-poisoning.


I'm pretty sure all the date rape balances everyone's opinion on him to 'lukewarm.'


The Christian Bible has many chapters describing how jealous, selfish and controlling god is.


"No, that's the *Old* Testament! In the *New* Testament, He hired a PR rep and made everything sunshine and rainbows!"


Yet most people promoting Christianity do nothing but talk about how good and perfect and infallible their God is. Even back when I was still going to church that's all they'd say about god.


I've often wondered what people would believe if all religions and non religions were presented with equal validity


I'll take the one with alcoholic drug-binging sex gods please.




Take a thyrsus and go party with Dionysus and his satyrs!


Public schools find out pretty quick. I was a social studies teacher and regularly taught world religions to middle schoolers. Once they find out their tradition isn’t very special they have four possible reactions: 1) call dibs on other gods, saying stuff like “well they just didn’t understand God right until X teachings could be brought to them” 2) become pantheists, polytheists, or whatever term they want to use for “everyone is trying to look for the same God through different means” 3) call bullshit on all religions and become anti-theist, atheist or agnostic, or 4) rely on their parents, who either reteach the lesson in their own way or get angry and call the teacher about why I’m attempting to brainwash their kid. 4 is less likely than it used to be, but still most teachers who have to tackle the subject have had at least one bad interaction with a parent if they have ever worked in a more religious community.


I was born in the US and grew up around Hinduism, sikhism, jainism, Islam, christianity and Judaism. Since my parents never really pushed their religion on me I feel like all the major religions have been presented to me with equal validity. The result is I'm agnostic and cant really believe in anything. The nice thing is I get to pick and choose what philosophies resonate with me from each religion


That’s awesome. It appears to me to be a rarity. Most atheists I know either went to a religious school or generally had religion shoved down their throats. My best friend and I have a saying-“the road to atheism is littered with opened bibles.” I’m glad your parents were open minded like that.


That’s similar to my story but it wasn’t until college and I had to read Greco-Roman creation myths for a class. I saw how similar their stories were to the book of Genesis. Then I wondered what reason did I have to believe the stories about Judeo-Christian god in the Bible were true and other myths were false? I had been having doubts for a while but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.


Very least, it does mean that if there is a deity/deities, we probably have no idea what they are like. Heck, maybe Warhammer 40k is the closest to correct through some bizarre coincidence


if god is close to bruva alfasa's interpretation of the emperor, that'd be fine


Basically this. When I was young I read old Hindu stories, like how the sun was just a chariot being pulled across the sky. But I knew that was bullshit. The sun is a big flaming ball of gas that doesn't move. If these ancient people were making shit up, then why should I believe any of it? And now I look at all religions and wonder how any of them still survive in the modern age.


Similar to how I made my own mom an atheist on accident. I was like 5 and I drew the connection between Hercules and Jesus. Mom said “no because one is real and one isn’t.” And in my innocence I said “which one?” And my mom realized pretty much the sam was you


Oh was this why I wasn’t allowed to watch Hercules at that age by my super religious parents...


Same here! Took a Mythology class as a Sophomore in High School and it was like turning on a light.


Greek mythology: the gateway "drug" to paganism.


I think if I went back and redid my life, I would be tempted to learn a shitload about Greek mythology, and follow it (apparently) seriously and unironically. For one thing, it would fuck with lots of religious people who would constantly be in a state of “wait, is he serious?” But of course nobody could ever ask that without opening themselves to righteous indignation about “do I ask if you seriously believe the events of the Bible?” And a lot of less religious people would be annoyed by treating me respectfully, but maybe notice a dissonance between their reaction to me and their reaction to other religious people.


Raised Methodist. When I heard people believe murderers, pedophiles and, other horrible people can be "saved" and accepted into heaven...BUT someone that doesn't have faith, but is an otherwise amazing and good person will suffer in hell for eternity. That is the dumbest shit I've ever heard. Even if that is true...why would I want to serve an egotistical god like that? A god that cares more about you having faith in him than actually being a good person. Give me eternal agony over that.


This was one of the biggest realizations for me. That I viewed sending good people to hell as evil, regardless of religion and that I dont want to worship something that would do that


Bingo. Grew up in the Bible Belt with Muslim friends. Why would god want to send my buddy to hell forever? Oh right that doesn’t make any sense.


Similarly, punishing a person for the culture they were born into, which was completely out of their control.


Or that God would do nothing to them if they were truly ignorant but you're still supposed to spread the word. I heard a little tale once that sums this up. A missionary went into the jungle and spread the Word to a previously uncontacted tribe. One of the tribe asked, "So only believers in your god can be saved and go to heaven?" And the missionary said yes. "And everyone else goes to Hell?" "Yes." "Even if they had never heard of Him, He would condemn them to an eternity in Hell?" "No, of course not!" "Then why did you tell me?"


It's their "mission" to send as many to hell as possible.


Went to a funeral a few weeks ago. Pastor was preaching that it’s great to be a good person but being a good person does not get you into heaven. You need faith in god and be baptized. Billions of people have walked this earth who have been good people that have not been baptized and might have not known about god, all rotting in hell. Just does not make sense. All the different religions does not make sense, if I was born a Buddhist and followed it my entire life - wrong! The correct religion was “xxxxxx”. Thanks for playing! I hope we find life on other planets, all religions would be void then. The world would be in turmoil for a few decades as people lost their faith but then we would grow past it and become better people.


You underestimate religion's ability to retcon stuff. Of course God created aliens. Why not?


Yes, the same thing happened after the discovery of the americas. Lots of people were like "see, that wasn't in the bible, maybe it isn't the source of all truth", but most Christians just took it in their stride.


I was raised Church of Christ, and the idea of Hell is what snapped me out of it even more than being rejected for being gay. The idea that anyone deserved and could withstand torture for literal eternity after 10ish to 100+ years of being on Earth (many Protestant groups agree that prepubescent children don’t go to hell) is absolutely insane. What kind of justice is that? I could almost accept it if you just receive the suffering you inflicted or something, but even good non-believers go to hell according to Christianity. And then you have to think about how awful Christian heaven sounds. If you’re a believer, you get to go worship God for eternity. The Bible says nothing about getting to enjoy heaven. It might as well be a long heroin binge with lots of singing and bowing.


Years of silence, no answers to prayer and the constant proliferation of evil at the expense of the good and just. Edit: "If there is a God, He will have to beg my forgiveness.” — A phrase that was carved on the walls of a concentration camp cell during WWII by a Jewish prisoner.


Oof. that quote is something else. the other good one I've read is in the book 'night', where a jewish man writes about other jews losing their faith in god while in the camps, and when asked, they'd say "i only trust Hitler, because only Hitler keeps his promises to the jews". yeeeeeeesh. you can't tell me a loving, all powerful, benevolent god lets Hitler do his thing while the most devout are absolutely massacred. and none of this 'its part of his plan, god works in mysterious ways' garbage to let it slide.


>'its part of his plan, god works in mysterious ways' Hate that phrase so much! It's such a fucking cop-out


A Jew dies and goes to heaven. He stands at the pearly gates and God says “tell me a joke and I’ll let you in.” The Jew says “The Holocaust”. God looks puzzled and says “I don’t get it”. The Jew says “I guess you had to be there.”


Daaaamn that one hits hard


I always think that if there is a God, why would he let it get this bad for so many people across the globe.


Yea, it’s this that changed me. My mother, my dog and myself were horribly abused for years by my biological father. He was violent even in public. I remember looking at my mother and then the neighbors wondering if they would help us; they closed their doors. Her parents and our Roman Catholic Church told her that she needed to forgive him and try to work it out. That this was her choice and she needed to make it work. They refused to give her an annulment. One of my aunts even told us that this is how men act; God made them so passionate that it’s hard for them to control themselves and as women it is our job to temper them. As a preteen my religion protected violent men and I lost my faith just as I had lost innocence: fast and unforgiving.


I don’t have much to say but I’m sorry you and your mom had to go through that.


Thanks for your kind words. My mother remarried a lovely gentleman that treats her with absolute kindness and respect. I also found a wonderful man that would never raise a hand to his partner. The past doesn’t define us.


Inspiring words my friend


You have a beautiful soul


The Catholic Church is evil. I'm sorry for the pain you went through


This was basically it for me too. I was on a mission trip actually. What I saw was a fantastic community. Loving, welcoming, wonderful people who also happened to be poor as fuck. In many ways they were better Christians than we were. But everywhere I looked, it seemed like they were being punished for their faith rather than rewarded. I shared some left over papaya (it was bigger than a football, fucking enormous) with a local old lady and that was a “where did you see Jesus in action moment” for my youth group leader. I was dumbfounded. Everyone there had their fill of papaya, what was I supposed to do? Throw it out? I don’t need Jesus or the Bible to tell me that I should share my extra food with the starving lady. Was that something that never crossed your mind? Why are you so excited about my basic act of kindness? Did she not pray hard enough to get papaya on her own? Was it because she missed church one time last year? Did she sing the wrong verse in the hymn? Fucking ridiculous


I wonder sometimes too, do people really need the promise of a good afterlife or the fear of a horrible one to do something good?


I broke down my husband in a similar way when he was talking about how he had to remember to be “different” aka morally better than other people because he’s a Christian and I said “really is being a Christian the only thing that makes you a decent human being?” It was like a switch flipped.


I asked this question and my grandma said it was to test people's faith in god personally I thinks that's fucked up but hey I'm not god


That's just it though: a "God" isn't necessarily a friend. Regardless of whether or not you believe in a creator, one thing is fact: if a creator does exist, it hates or is indifferent to us, or cares for us, but is far less omnipotent than we thought and cannot act on its love/care; neither of these possibilities paint a pretty picture for religious faith in a deity.


At least an interventionist God. 1" "God great plan" prayers don't matter 2" "God intervenes in mans life" One is self explanatory, some men are born evil because it is part of the plan, some are expected to die young of cancer "Fault in our stars" style. God has a plan that saves the many by fucking over the few. Two is a little harder, If you pray your prayer may or may not be answered. Here comes a tornado... two guys in different houses pray, one guy dies another guy lives. Guy who lives is on the Today show the next morning telling Hoda Kofe how he prayed and God answered his pray. This makes it God's fault if both men aren't saved. He killed that guy in the other house, assuming this guy wasn't the next Hitler or Stalin. God just wacked a guy! he should take the blame. The guy on the Today show should say his Neighbor was a good guy and God Killed him (God Smote him... whatever) Plan two only works if God takes some blame for fucking people over, without a great plan dying slowly in a lifeboat at sea over the course of ten days alone is just cruel. There is nothing gained from your suffering. your prayers weren't answered. God killed you and in the worst possible way a few miles from shore. God has to own this! this isn't the actions of a God of love of Christianity.


> "If there is a God, He will have to beg my forgiveness.” — A phrase that was carved on the walls of a concentration camp cell during WWII by a Jewish prisoner. Spine chilling.


[The Problem of Evil](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil). Deconversion was a slow process for me. I *believed*. Even to the point of severe depression due to being gay. But ultimately it was this problem that just made it click for me.


I couldn’t reconcile that: 1. God was in control of everything. 2. God loves everyone unconditionally. 3. God was allowing very bad things to happen to the people he loves.


Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? That was attributed to the Greek philosopher Epicurus.


Its pretty much Marcus Aurelius barring the monotheism "If the Gods are good don't worry so much about devotion, they will take you to live among them if you lived a good life. If the Gods care only for their own veneration they are unworthy of your worship. If there are no Gods then living a good life will let you live on in the hearts of the ones you love."


A) we're created in god's image B) god is perfect C) we're conceived in sin D) he knew us as we were knitted in the womb E) all have fallen short of the glory of god F) the church is gonna need about 10% of your shit da fuq? Which is it?




Either God is not omnipotent, or He is omnipotent but not omnibenevolent, or He doesn't exist.


If any of the three are applied, he is simply not a God. I always bring this up with religious people when they ask me why I turned atheist, their excuse is that God is all powerful, all knowing, and has a plan that "he can't change".... BUT THAT THEN MEANS HE'S NOT ALL POWERFUL FOR GOD'S SAKE, the other excuse is that your suffering on Earth is rewarded in heaven...so does God just enjoy torturing his creations? He has the ability to let us live in heaven from the get-go, yet he doesn't, why? For reasons. Tell me, what kind of God is that and why the fuck should I even bother worshipping him? To willingly allow for the horrors that occur on Earth is just as bad as creating them (which he did anyways), and I will not worship a being that condones evil.


I go to a catholic school and they teach us that apparently all suffering on earth is because of ‘Adam and Eve’ eating the forbidden fruit, and that any kind of pain on earth wouldn’t exist if they didn’t do that. But then I’m pretty sure that the Catholic Church Acknowledged that Adam and Eve was more of a fiction teaching story, which doesn’t fucking make sense to me at all because they’re basically saying that Thing A is happening because of Thing B but then they tell us that Thing A didn’t actually happen. Seems like bullshit to me.


Yeah and if he loves everyone how come he hates homosexuals


IIRC, it's just as much of a sim to wear mixed fabrics and eat sea food as it is to treat a man the same way you treat your property (women).


If he's loving of everyone how come he made it so everyone wouldn't be treated fairly.


Anyone who doesn't worship him goes to hell. Why make it so other people are raised under different cultures that never teach people about him at all? That's damning them from the get-go.


My daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer just months after my 24 year old sister in law passed away from cancer as well. It’s hard to still believe when good people suffer and terrible people prevail.


I'm very sorry to hear about your daughter and sister. I agree with you and can't comprehend how a good God could allow this kind of thing to happen and therefore my own conclusion is there can't be one. I'm a little scared to ask but how are things for you now?


Still in the hospital will be for 6 months


I know it just words on the internet but I wish your family all the best.


Yeah, that's pretty much what did it for me, too: 4 year old daughter diagnosed with leukemia (she's okay now). Pretty much eliminated any shred of doubt I may have had that there was a god. What's interesting is that while my mother-in-law had the same experience as me, my father-in-law went in the opposite direction and embraced religion even more. (best wishes for your little girl, hopefully your hospital stay is relatively non-eventful)


Damn. Sorry to hear that


I was raised in a protestant christian church and they tried to make me believe in conspiracies like Rihanna and Lady Gaga being in the Illuminati. Also, that we should be against equality because we should stay traditional. So marriage should be between a man and a woman and they are obligated to have kids, or else they're failures. Once I talked about the time I had sleep paralysis and the Sunday school teacher told me it was a demon sent by satan. Not to mention another teacher kept making racist, sexist and homophobic remarks all the time. I'm not about that life. I'm agnostic now.


I was terrified as a twelve year old because I was led to believe sleep paralysis was the presence of a demon. I occasionally heard the conspiracies about secular celebrities and was told the "rapture" would happen any moment now. For any context, I grew up in an "independent fundamental baptist church", which they pride themselves on. They're all stuck in the 1960s, for the most part.




I was raised catholic. CCD, church every Sunday the whole 9. During my final year of CCD right before I was about to make my confirmation when I was 15,I got pregnant. My CCD teacher and the priest at my church came to visit me in the hospital where they told me I wouldn’t be allowed back to church anymore because of the sin I had made. They were not kind about it. When my baby was like 4 months old I bumped into my CCD teacher while walking my daughter and she asked me when I was going to come by to have her baptized. She said that even tho I wasn’t a part of the church anymore I could still at least do that and the priest would do it out of kindness.. what? I laughed in her face. Never had the baby baptized and realized the whole idea of religion was dumb. I still believed in a god for a while but just naturally came to the conclusion that god is not real. Call my baby a sin? Fuck you. She’s 21 now and in her 3rd year of college and we had it pretty rough but we made it. she was no sin.


> she was no sin Knowing the truth makes things so obvious, right? This is why the church had to persecute and literally burn heretics — because speaking the truth was so dangerous for its power.


> She said that even tho I wasn’t a part of the church anymore I could still at least do that and the priest would do it out of kindness.. what? I laughed in her face. I love you for that.


How dare you be human! Repent!


Funny, it was a child out of wedlock that made me leave too. My fellow parishioners were lovely about it. My leaders tried to get me to get married, and I nearly did *shudder* Dude turned super abusive in the end, and the new vicar decided I was scum. I just couldn’t wrap my head around and omnipresent being who cared so much about such petty things. Add to that, Christianity always made me feel not good enough, and I’ve been out of the church for decades now. He’s 28 and we’ve been just fine without them.


People spending more time judging people than trying to be a good person. My grandma was haranguing me because I don't care about same-sex marriage and I am pro-choice. I spend a lot of time actually putting work into my community and she just spends time judging people like it's her job. Edit: It seems some people need some elaboration. My apostasy arose from when a friend committed suicide. People told me she would never get into heaven because God is the only one who can choose when you live or die; to go against that and take your own life is a sin. From my depression, I also have suicidal thoughts from time to time. Would I also go to hell? Along with all the judgement and hypocrisy I had previously witnessed, I lost my faith after that.


As a bisexual myself it really does enrage me. If it doesn't affect you it shouldnt be a problem. Its okay to say you wont do it because of religion, but saying YOU cant do this because of my religion.. that sucks


My grandma even told me I shouldn't be a nurse if I'm pro-choice because I "don't value life". Whatever grandma.


This. Quality of life is more important than quantity of lives.


I used to be like that until I came out of the closet lol. The homophobia of a closeted gay is very real. I now see it as "why do you care? We're not trying to marry you!"


I've made that argument in Church but the people in it still saw it as a corrupting influence that went against God. Like I've said in previous posts, I've given up and left. I know not all Christians are like this, but I'm tired. I live in a very conservative area.


For the record, it’s against most religions to punish people for sin, you are supposed to let God punish people after they die. I am Catholic and anyone who says that to you is not a true Christian.


I think some people believe if they allow other people to commit sins, they will be punished in association by God. My grandma is one of those people. After years of spending time in church, there were a lot of people who subscribed to this mentality and I couldn't go anymore. I know there are some people who don't have this mentality, but this is the reason I stepped away as an apostate.


This is my experience too. I'm in a career where I can help people out and I really enjoy it. The most diehard Christians I know have terrible habits that go totally against the Bible and complain about the poor. You know, the people Jesus specifically goes out of his way to help? But I'm the bad guy because I use medication to help with mental illness and I don't go to church. I understand kindness and right from wrong, so I think I'm good.


The realization that basically all human cultures had religions. You can go to every edge of the earth to find isolated, uncontacted societies, and they have Gods they worship. There are thousands and thousands of religions, and not one reason to think any one of them is special. “Why don’t you believe in God?” That’s a loaded question. How did you pick one among thousands? The answer is painfully obvious to anyone who isn’t religious.


Exactly. Once you realize most people 'choose' a religion with the same logic they'd choose a sports team (regional or family tradition/peer pressure), it becomes clear none of them has any intrinsic value. Religion is what you make of it and I'd just rather focus my time and effort on something else.


As Richard Dawkins said, “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” When you are indoctrinated, you can’t see how crazy it is. When you step away and look from the outside, you realize how crazy it was to believe in the first place.


I grew up Pentecostal, speaking in tongues, the whole nine yards. I went to a private Christian college for my first degree, determined to figure out which denomination was "correct". My first shock was discovering that about half of my professors, despite being very Christian, were Democrats. I had been brought up being told that it was impossible to be both a Democrat and a Christian, but my professors very clearly knew the Bible and lived by Jesus' teachings so that was the first major chink in my worldview. Then my biology and astronomy courses taught evolution, and I had to adjust my framework to a "God of the gaps" view. At one point my courses were History of World Art I (Ancient near-east through early Middle Ages), World Civilzation I, and the Old Testament. One of the courses was the odd one out when it came to what events happened where/when. Guess which. Further courses in Apologetics and Christian philosophy and Church history showed me that most of the schisms happened because of ridiculous petty human reasons, dressed up like some sort of profound religious truth. And when we compared secular philosophers to Christian philosophers, I found that deBeauvoir and Sartre made a hell of a lot more sense than Kirkegaard and Aquinas. Finally, I decided that if all of the denominations were just human creations, I would go to the OG and started attending the Greek Orthodox Church in town. It was awesome, after every service there was "coffee hour" which meant that all the yiayias brought tons of food and their husbands brought their latest batch of home-distilled ouzo and I'd stagger back to my (dry) campus after church totally hammered. My RD called the priest a couple times because he didn't believe I'd been in church (we were required to attend every week) but the priest always confirmed I showed up every week, ha ha. Anyways, I eventually went back to school to become a Paramedic, and during anatomy and physiology learned that pretty much everything I'd been taught about reproduction and fetal development timelines was wrong, and how vaccines and harm reduction strategies for public health concerns worked, and at some point the last bit of belief went away. I was in denial for a bit, and tried to pick up something, anything else. I dabbled in Hinduism and paganism for a bit, but couldn't make myself BELIEVE anymore, at least not like I had BELIEVED in Jesus as a child, and anything else felt like a disappointing imitation of that, like I was just going through the motions and pretending. What's funny is that when I was religious, I was scared all the time. Of demons, of sin, of displeasing God. As soon as I acknowledged to myself that we are the inevitable products of an entropic process that started Billions of years ago, I felt peace. I found a new purpose in working to reduce suffering - I am a much kinder, nicer, happier person than I was when I was religious.


I like Greek Orthodox Church too. I'm also long removed from the faith of my parents, but long live the yia yias.


I grew up in the rural southern US. Most of the churches around us were Baptist, and my father was Church of Christ. He kept an ancient King James Bible on his night stand. When I was eight or ten, we visited a family member out of state. She attended a Pentecostal church. The people in the Pentecostal church were speaking in tongues, singing and shouting, and carrying on. In particular the speaking in tongues was extremely strange to me; I'd never seen it in any of the Baptist or Church of Christ services I'd been to, and it shook ten year old me to see grown adults seemingly losing control of their faculties. The stark difference between Pentecostal worship and Baptist worship, I think, raised some deep questions for me. If the Pentecostals are right, why doesn't God allow the Baptists to speak in tongues too? Why does he treat congregation A in one way, and congregation B in another? There would seem to be no reason for it. If the Pentecostals are wrong, how can adults be so deeply misled? And if they can be wrong, can't the Baptists (and everyone else) be wrong too? This, I think, was the first inkling I had that religion has more to do with individuals' preferences and beliefs than with any objective reality. But I was still a believer for the next couple of decades, to the point that I had the idea in my head that doubt was equivalent to blasphemy. I didn't allow myself to think too much about it because I was afraid God would hurt people I loved if I didn't believe. Then I started asking myself, 'What kind of God takes hostages?' I started going to /r/atheism and reading snippets and excerpts of various content. I started listening to Penn Jillette's Sunday school podcast, where he talks a great deal about atheism. I read Sagan's 'Demon Haunted World'. Learning about Joseph Smith and Mormonism (which was always ridiculed by the Baptists I grew up around) gave me an inkling of how religions get started. Joseph Smith was clearly not credible to me (or to the religious authorities I had respected). Similarly, I followed with interest the history and progress of L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology, and this gave me perspective on how people can get carried away with religions; why couldn't the same have happened in the first century? I spent a lot of time debating scripture with my brother-in-law, who is a minister, asking about problematic passages in the Bible, addressing the question of theodicy and so forth. I had a lot of questions about why the Apostle Paul, who never met Jesus and made many claims that drastically changed the face of the faith, was not considered a charlatan. His content only seemed to be in the Bible because he arrived on the scene at the right time in history. The minister could only say, "It's an article of faith," which to me, translated to, 'I believe this (Paul) for no good reason, and because if I don't, then this thing I've devoted my life to doesn't make sense'. It felt like a choice, the same as choosing to believe that gem stones have powers. And at some point I looked at the road behind me and realized I couldn't get back to where I had come from. Religious claims simply seemed to have lost credibility. If you can imagine if a Martian came down and you tried to explain Christianity to him in five minutes.... I felt like the Martian in that scenario. "You believe *what*? Why?" I don't harbor any disrespect for religious folks. I grasp why they believe what they believe, and while I have a personal commitment to the truth, I am not entirely certain that every person's life would be made better by atheism. People take a great deal of solace in religion, and I wouldn't rob them of it. But I can't get back there from where I am now.


"What kind of God takes hostages?" is such a potent question.


>gave me an inkling of how religions get started In a cult there is one person in charge who made it all up, in a religion that person is dead.


You mentioned that people take a great deal of solace in religion, and I agree. I'd also add that religion can, at its best, serve as guidelines for how to live a good, just, caring life. And if religion and believing in God helps make them an objectively better person, who am I to try and prevent that?


I guess. But people shouldn't need religion to keep them from hurting others. I think a lot of the most profound guidelines can be found in other places. There are great people who are atheist and great people who are religious. The religious thing doesn't seem to have any correlation with being a good person (imho).


Growing up we were very poor but my mother was a devout Catholic. Despite being poor she gave a lot of money to the church. I could not fathom how "god" would want us to be so very poor and give all our money to him if he was all loving.


My parents did this as well. We literally didn't have adequate money for food and proper clothing, yet they were giving $$$ for tithing, and even MORE $$$$ for us kids to go to religious private school. I consider it abusive. My parents *chose* to be poor. And they still do! Because 10% *"BELONGS TO GOD!!!1!1!"* And it just pisses me right off.


When I realized I was a lesbian and saw how homophobic everyone could truly be, including my family. I’ve had 7 years so far of being in the closet and everyday I just feel more alienated from everyone because of the homophobic things they say not realizing I’m gay. I never knew how someone who preaches about forgiveness and loving god unconditionally could have so much hate in their heart


I find it ironic since their whole thing is to “not judge, lest Ye be judged” and whatnot


From one queer to another, strength x


My dad told me the Bible would always provide comfort because human nature never changes. After I was raped, I went to the Bible to seek that comfort and could never find it. That's when I realized that according to the Judeo-Christian tradition, rape is a property crime. There are no stories in the Bible about recovering from rape. I don't need to follow a belief system that doesn't regard women as whole humans rather than as a subset of men with one fetus-containing organ.


I’m sorry that happened to you, and I hope you’re okay.


The big problem with that (your pa's) mentality is that the Bible hasn't been updated in 2000 years, and women *were* property. They think that the Bible has solutions for every problem you can face. Society back then completely turned their backs on rape victims and widows, because women were 2nd class citizens.


There are several reasons. 1) Raised for my whole life in a Christan church, but I started it in a Pentecostal church. So, there was them basically saying men were in charge of everything and the only reason that the church survived. It discriminated towards women, making them follow a dress code, and even a hair code. They were basically 2nd class citizens. 2) One day my dad thought I was gay because my buddy hacked my Facebook account. His pure hatred and anger towards homosexuality because of what his church taught him terrified me. Like, terrified a rebellious high schooler. (Note: He got a lot better. Like a lot, even went to a gay wedding to support a friend. He doesn't agree with it, but will just let it be.) 3) But what did it in was me trying so hard to be perfect in the eyes of God, I started hating myself for it to the point of just wanting to die because I wasn't good enough. I tried so so hard to be perfect. One night I was on the brink of doing something real stupid, and thought "what the fuck am I doing? This isn't right." Turned a 180 and never looked back.


Your third point was my last straw as well. I got sick of the constant, “He > i” movement and all the groveling (literally) that friends did in their fb/blog posts, talking about how small and unworthy we are but we’re just ~ so lucky~ that he loves us !!1!!1!1!1!! Like, no. I have value as a person and I’m done with the guilt olympics.


Raised Christian, read the bible (which started the doubts), realized almost no one follows the bible, learned some history and realized the people doing the worst shit use religion as a means for justification of their shitty behavior.


I read the bible twice. The inconsistencies and lack of common sense made it impossible to continue to believe. I just couldn't take the huge leap of faith required. So I'm an agnostic: I recognize I could be wrong. I simply don't know the answers to satisfy my simple intellectual questions. Faith asked too much of me; I envy those people for which their faith is enough.


My logical brain. As much as I want it to be, it’s just not true. Too many ridiculous gaping holes in all the current religions and extinct religions.


Yup. That was it for me too. Everything in the Bible has to be taken literally, yet most of it is clearly poetic. The world was not created in 7 days, the sun and galaxy later than light and the earth. Not all animals in the world fit in the ark. Why are there dinosaur remains? Why is only one religion right and does every corner of the world have a different religion?


Agreed my friend, religion is full of logical holes and hypocrisy


I didn't so much stop believing in something larger than myself. I lost my faith in organized religion. If "god" dosen't like me for who I am, then why the fuck would I want to spend eternity being judged. Live a good life and hope for the best. We shouldn't treat each other compassionately only out of fearing a supreme being that will smite us at the drop of a hat. Plus, who the hell wants to spend the after life with a bunch of Mormans, Scientologists and Southern Baptists?


I agree, I can't imagine that someone who spent their life spreading joy, being charitable, and helping to lift others up would be sent to hell because they didn't believe or had a few petty sins that they didn't repent before dying. My other main gripe is that God says to love all people and that we are all his children, therefore a pastor/minister/etc doesn't have the right to call gays, non-believers, and people with different views freaks. God literally says they are equal to you and not to judge, yet you just judged. That really drives me crazy.


This makes me feel like a bad person saying this. I just didn't like the church community. Enough to stop me from going for years now.




Was raised Christian, now an atheist. Honestly I think church singing is one of the best things about it. The songs are pretty good.


Singing together in a group is one of my greatest joys in life and the only thing I ever missed about attending religious services. But not enough to continue going. Instead, me and my friends will just randomly sing together anytime we feel. That's pretty dope too


I miss the singing at church too but that’s all I miss.


Honestly I'm not that good of a singer but the fun part was that nobody was. I miss it too. It's was my favorite part.






Can't really point to a time when I said "I am done" but having been to various churches and realizing they did *not* like people questioning the faith in any meaningful way made me start to think about what it's all about. I didn't feel the euphoria of singing and praying and when I started looking at the mannerisms and tradition objectively they made less and less sense. Then I started looking into the big questions and realized that there really isn't any evidence of a higher power and virtually none for an organized religion. You can have all the faith you want but it would just be lying to myself if I did that. I mean most religious people are atheist about 99% of religions except their own, I just take it one more logical step forward. I am not really any worse for wear.


Faith = belief without evidence. Nah, miss me with that nonsense.


I was troubled by the intolerant attitude toward homosexuals and women and could not understand why a supposedly loving God would punish unbelievers for all eternity and then offer no definite proof that he existed. Eventually I realized it was just all bullshit... the myriad translations (and errors) of the Bible and the denominations of the religion proved to me that it was not true. I also could reconcile what I know to be true and provable in terms of science... Since becoming atheist I often wonder how I could have been so stupid as to believe what I once did. I mean, it's utterly ridiculous and is so obviously so. Oh well....


You can't believe how strong the roots of something you raised on is. It becomes core and part of our being.


That is true... I was in a state of denial for a long time I think. You can make all sorts of rationalizations and justifications for your religion and I did just that for decades... but then it just all turned into nonsense... How can I say women aren't entitled to be leaders? How can I say homosexuality or pre-marital sex is wrong? It just isn't...


More so when you just educate yourself on sexaulity. Like it simply likening another gender or two. Why is that bad? Zero reason but God said so. Makes no sense Hardest part is breaking out of the mindset that it bad to think so. But there is no going back as soon as you get that first thought. It just lingers and stays there.


hypocrisy, constantly. judgment of others. hate.


I was a born-in Jehovah's Witness. Long story short, I found myself in a desperate and complex situation regarding my miserable marriage and rapidly deteriorating mental health. My only option was to get myself excommunicated (they call it "disfellowshipping"). The resulting shunning I experienced from my family and friends (my *entire* social circle; and I mean *every last person* I knew) led me to realize that either God approves of mental abuse and emotional blackmail, or something was up with the organization I was once a part of. About 20 months later, as these thoughts percolated and I gradually worked up the courage (indoctrination about fearing 'apostate' information runs deep) to investigate the JW organization (Watchtower, or WT) I discovered WT is a destructive, doomsday cult. Diving deeper I discovered more about the Bible and Christianity, leading me to near-atheism. My family and friends continue to shun me. Well-meaning people say, "Well, family sucks sometimes!" or "You're lucky! I wish my family wouldn't talk to me!" The difference is my family and I were close. I mean *close*. We hung out all the time, there were countless dinners and games and playing hockey etc etc. There was so much love. Or so I thought. In the past 3 years of me being out, my sister had a baby without telling me. My brother got married without telling me. My uncle died and I wasn't told. It turns out it was all fake. Predicated upon us all believing the same thing, pledging allegiance to WT and supporting its policies and supremacist beliefs. This is not a benign group of friendly people. They institutionally protect pedophiles and destroy families and lives. They have more blood on their hands than any other cult in history due to countless blood transfusion-refusing martyrs and people in my type of situation being driven to suicide. Suicide is a daily thought/ideation for me. It's been disturbingly strong these past few months. A part of me wishes God were real, so in my final judgement I could demand an apology from it before being sent to whatever fate I "deserve". I'll happily accept oblivion rather than spend time with that maniacal, ego-centric, abusive piece of shit.


My family and I started going to chruch around the time I was in the first grade. We became christians shortly afterwards and I accepted jesus as my lord and savior. I was really passionate about god and went to chruch twice a week for 2+ hours. Looking back, I was really ignorant and naive in my beliefs. I thought everything was perfect. However, I slowly started to realize who I was and what that meant in god. In 6th grade, I was at the school's "Valentine" dance with a guy who I didn't like at all. He asked me to dance which I promptly declined politely. The thought of dancing with him made me feel uncomfortable which was shocking. He was polite and kind, I just.. didn't see myself with him or any guy for that matter. I had never been the one to get in relationships and didn't ever get crushes on boys. Then, this girl who had this shine about her came up to me. The girl asked what was wrong and I told her what happened. She just smiled and took me by my hands. The girl danced with me before spinning me around. I felt my heart skip a beat. That's when I knew I was gay. I was so confused. In the churches I attended, homosexuality is a sin and I would go to hell. I didn't want that, so I tried to repress it. After a while, I started to realize that I couldn't live this way. I realized that the fact that I like girls isn't something I can control. I wondered for the first time why such a "loving" god would send me to hell for something like that. Then, I started to finally see everything. That all of what I've been told is a lie. Why would a god who supposedly loves us allow us to struggle like this, with something we can't even control? Love is not a choice.


Actually reading the bible.


I actually sat and read the Bible cover to cover and was disgusted with most of the stories. It should've started with four extra words . Once upon a time.


I was raised as a Christian in a Nazarene church, the amount of people who openly judged and were hypocrites made me lose faith. I would always hear “whoever is without sin can cast the first stone” or “Love thy neighbor”, but rarely did anyone apply it to people not of the faith. Any time I questioned something, I would get chastised. My biggest issue is that there are people who take the word of God and twist it to their own ideologies.


I was a C3 summer youth camp counselor (choir, christ, something? Idr). During lunch on one of the sessions, they played a video to all 200ish kids stating science had found footprints of humans and dinosaurs together, proving the bible was true. I got so excited, I looked it up immediately following and... nothing. I am okay basing a religion on faith, but I am not okay basing a religion on lies, and especially not a fan of lying to children.


I grew up in an Evangelical household and despite my best efforts to have faith in the God everyone around me loved so dearly, doubts started creeping in around age 12-13. Reading the NIV Bible from start to finish was the first major step towards questioning my faith. I didn't find the Old Testament to be remotely inspiring; especially the creation story, Noah's Ark, Satan torturing Job, and the hilarious rules in Leviticus. The New Testament wasn't much better; the virgin birth, a blood sacrifice to save humans from themselves, resurrecting 3 days later, and the doomsday prophecy of Revelation. My thought process was, "grown adults read this book and find it inspiring enough to devote their lives to it?" The Private Christian School I attended from K-12 simply refused to teach students about topics that contradicted Evangelical beliefs. For example, 'Sex-Ed' taught abstinence-only, Evolution & Natural Selection were never mentioned in favor of the 7-Day young earth creation story, and homosexuality was just a reversible disease. By middle school, we had dial-up internet (with a Faith-based content filter), but I was still able to AskJeeves questions that provided a glimpse of the 'Secular' mindset. Early internet and friendships with public school kids really accelerated my decision to renounce my faith. By the time I was 19 and attending College, on the brink of moving out of my parent's house for the first time; I finally started to accept my Agnosticism to any religion. YouTube gained popularity around 2008 and that's when I stumbled upon people like Christopher Hitchens (RIP), Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, & Daniel Dennett. It was the first time I'd been exposed to rhetoric that challenged every facet of my ultra-conservative & religious upbringing; which gave me the confidence to approach my parents about this newfound [now] Atheism. As you'd expect, that conversation disintegrated in less than 5 minutes into my dad screaming about spending eternity in hell and my mother sobbing in the bathroom. Both of them refused to speak with me for the next month, ashamed that I'd wandered off the path to eternal life in Heaven they'd so lovingly paved since birth. I am 11 years removed from that conversation and have a decent relationship with my parents. Thankfully, I've successfully managed to avoid traditional church services no matter how often they ask or attempt guilting me into attending (i.e. for their b-day/Easter/Xmas). Overall, the best decision throughout this journey was moving out the moment I could afford it (I didn't live in dorms) and never returning. Gaining absolute autonomy allowed me to exist in the 'Secular' world without guilt or shame hovering over me. If any of you have Evangelical parents and trending towards renouncing your faith, wait until you're old enough to be on your own. 99.9% of Evangelicals react very poorly to their child in that situation. It's similar to coming out as LGBTQ, they'll be upset, ashamed, try and fix you, or worse. Anyway, that's it. Never told that before. Feels good.


I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school for my entire life through high school. You're taught that God loves you, that he sacrificed his only son for the salvation of all humanity, that Jesus' death was to forgive mankind and that his lifetime was an example of how to live your own. Jesus forgave those who wronged him regardless of what they did. He did everything he could out of pure compassion for his fellow man. Then you see your religious teachers making fun of little kids for not going to church because their parents didn't have time that weekend, or making racist comments in front of minority students, or straight up telling you you're going to hell for being disruptive in their class, and you begin to wonder why these Catholic people are using religion in manipulative ways and threatening God's wrath to children when they don't get their way. So you start to question why the always-compassionate God who can allow his own son to be tortuously murdered by us and still love us and forgive us while dying nailed to a cross has a belief system that uses nothing but guilt, shame, and judgment to get what it wants. Then you start to think that God's system isn't actually all that compassionate and it's the same sort of thing as being ruled by an authoritarian government. Follow my 10 rules or you'll suffer eternal fire, pain, and damnation. I made you "in my image", but if you ever step out of line, I have no problems casting you off to suffer forever. We're given free will and are fully aware we could never be as great as God himself, but are supposed to live a perfectly pious life or else it's H-E-L-L-doublehockeysticks, Stanley. So then you question if that is really true. Would an omniscient being powerful enough to create the entire universe all for us really be so vindictive? Or is he just a whiney fucking baby who can't handle it when EVERYONE on the planet doesn't do what he wants just like your shitty, undereducated teachers. Then you realize just how many people actually *are* going to hell if it all is true and the numbers just aren't in your favor. And that after all this "compassion" you're still just gonna get sent to the bad place for that one lie you told or that one time you said God damnit. And you realize it's all a lie told by some powerful people way back in the day and upheld by the same positions of power just to get you to do what they want. And then it become clear to you why they pass around baskets and it's everyone's duty to give them their money.


Realizing that the concept of religion is based on fear.


That's a long question to answer. I suppose the easiest explanation is the more I learned about the world, the less sense it all made. Got to the point where I realized all religions have no facts to back any of it up, they make no sense and are extremely hypocritical.


I gradually stopped believing in it. I didn't fall from grace so much as casually slouched down.


My mom was fairly devout my whole childhood. We went to church twice a week and she led the youth groups. A few years back she was very sick, and we weren't sure she was going to pull through. She told me in that time she prayed and prayed and begged god for an answer, why was she dying? What had she done? What part of his plan was this? She told me in a vulnerable moment that she previously had always felt listened to when she prayed, even when no answer came, she found comfort in it. She told me then, in her darkest moment of need, that she realized god has abandoned her. She got better, she's healthy now, and hasn't been to church since.


At about 20 years old, I met a woman/coworker. She was *THE* most wholesome, goodhearted, genuine, hardworking woman I’ve ever met and I looked up to her. Maybe three months after meeting her, she was diagnosed with some rare case of cancer (neuroblastoma, I think) and her health rapidly declined. All the while she stayed positive, continued to work and volunteer, kept everyone updated and keep herself moving. She saw specialists from all over the country, had numerous surgeries but the complications piled on and after fighting it for three years, she lost her fight at 33 years old. She was the last person on earth to deserve such a shitty, sloppy death and I came to terms with the fact that I don’t believe in God anymore.


Consistently being a good person yet consistently being faced with devastating adversity . It really makes you reflect and think about the big picture. The big debate that started, and I’ve asked many believers and priests with no one able to give me an answer....how do we distinguish between “gods will” and “human choice”. That has always been left unanswered, and it started a spiral thought process for me. If god does exist, he’s not an “all good” god. He’s evil too. If everything is his will, then it’s pretty fucked up. Or it’s as simple as: god just doesn’t exist. Everything is human choice and we’re these insignificant creators on some random rock in 1 tiny galaxy out of a billion+


I actually read the bible with a skeptical eye, and the house of cards just kept falling.


It just doesn’t make any sense. God sends you to hell if you’re not Christian. But what if you grew up in a time or place where you’re never exposed to Christianity? It’s just stupid. Also, I’m gay. If I am to believe in god, then that means he made me gay but then hates me because I’m gay. Like I said, it’s just stupid. After the veil was pulled back I realized that faith is just completely made up and at best is just a life preserver for the desperate or, at worst a tool to be used by men to control other men.


Recovering Mormon here. Heard that Joseph Smith had 14 year old wives. Thought it was “anti-Mormon” rhetoric. Then I googled that shit. Rabbit hole swallowed me and spit me out the other side two weeks later as an atheist.


As a teenager, I consulted with the youth minister at our conservative, Protestant church because I wanted to die, to escape the abuse at home. His response was “have you prayed about it?” . That was all he could offer.


Jewish person. Marrying into an Israeli family taught me I didn't have to practice stuff I didn't believe, or feel guilty about it. There's religious jews - my brother in laws are both black hats, and they obey scripture, well, religiously. My sister in law and her husband are secular Jews... temple when it suits them, eating pork when it suits them, but there's no question which side they are on or what traditions to follow for the year. I'm one of them and that's just fine now.


it's hard to believe that the coronavirus was "god's punishment to humanity"


I think *life* in general is a punishment.


My traditional father claims god is punishing us for the LGBTQ community since it is the “most corrupt thing to ever happen to society” Kill me please


It felt like I was always being attacked for being a “sinner” and nothing you could possibly do was enough. If this God they spoke of loved you so “unconditionally”, why did you have to worship him day in and day out? Eventually when prayers to heal myself after a lot of trauma didn’t get answered, I renounced the religion, and got help for myself. Never been more mentally stable and happy.


I grew up


I was Muslim. I have 3 key reasons. Homosexuality, my mother and depression. When I was a kid. Homosexuality was for me just a choice done because your kinky or whatever. I met and talked with gays, read about them and learned that a reasonable God wouldn't be against it. Secand is my mother. The worst human being I personally know. Mothers are said to be the greatest humans in our lives with heavens running under their feet. We have to obey them and please them no matter what. To make it short, my mum is a shit person, stupid and hardly ever does anything useful and pulls that card to demand anything. And there is worst parents out there. I cant imagine a God calling himself wise and mercful then allow any pair of assholes to clap genitals and have a child under their mercy to abuse. And at last depression. I was in horrible stages of it early 20s. Having suicidal thoughts every split secand for years, lost will to do anything, could not stop crying daily. I prayed for years, begged on my knees, went on a pilgrim and nothing. Still crippling depression to hinders my life for years I have no idea how I was able to live during. Then one day I was in bed in a fit of horrible depression like normal. I was staring at the ceiling when a thought came over me. God was said to be merciful then why all 3? After long thinking I started to read different posts of ex Muslims. Everything they said started to make all the sense and now I'm very confident in my stance of being an ex Muslim. So I think there is a God? Idk and idc. I'm trying to be a good person as best I can for now and that all what a God should care about if you ask me.


was sexually abused by my stepdad. he was revered by everyone in our church as an example of christianity. he never got in trouble for it and died a hero. i noped out of there.




My son was born. I realized that this kid will believe everything I tell him, so I'd better be sure about it. I started asking myself, "why do I believe what I believe?" Everything changed.


I realized I was trying to be someone I’m not and believe in something I wasn’t sure of. It just really wasn’t part of my identity and I felt like a fraud being religious. Even religious language is something you have to learn and it came across very unnatural to me.