I’m a 16 year old living in North Carolina with a twin brother. I had gone to church since I was born and was baptized. My dad’s parents are Lutheran Christian so my family decided to follow that denomination of Christianity — my mother was raised Catholic but she always thought Catholicism was idiotic. My family was never the most religious people in the world, and by that I mean that we didn’t go to church often. My mom worked night shifts at the hospital and my dad doesn’t go out much. We still celebrated all the main Christian holidays but I still felt ignorant whenever I went to Church because I had not learned all of the Bible stories.
Lutherans begin teaching their Confirmation class to children starting in 5th grade (age 10 approx.), so my parents made me go. There, the other students and pastor made me feel inferior because I did not know most of the stories that I was supposed to, most of them being taught in Sunday school which my parents never took me to. I did the bare minimum required to be confirmed into the Church, which I accomplished in 8th grade: I was 13 or 14 years old at that point. I felt spiritually empowered, but I still had the though in the back of my mind that I did not really know God and that his conception was just way over my head. I’d always felt these doubts and I thought that I could become a better Christian if I just helped people and did charitable things (that is one of the only good things about religion).
My brother around age 14 or 15 began to realize that astronomy and physics were his passion and that he wanted to pursue one of those fields as a career. I noticed him reading and watching many videos about atheism, which I was not opposed to either. One day he came to me and told me that he was an atheist, and I actually was very interested. We have much the same thoughts sometimes so it did not surprise me since I was having similar thoughts, he was just a few milestones ahead of me, in terms of thinking.
When he told me he was atheist, I began thinking about religion too and decided that I was a deist. I remained that way for a few months, but I began thinking again and started watching videos made by TheAmazingAtheist on YouTube and, memorably, a debate between Dawkins and Lennox (a professor at a Christian university). This began to sway my opinion using reason, not words, which really opened my mind to the possibility that maybe there is no supreme being. I decided that I am a complete atheist. Six months later, I discovered Pastafarianism and became a member.
So I honestly have four people to thank for opening my eyes to atheism – Richard Dawkins, Terroja Kincaid (TheAmazingAtheist), Bobby Henderson (prophet of the FSM), and my brother. R’Amen to you all.
I apologize for the lengthy rambling, but I suppose every converted atheist has a story.
Jared, North Carolina