My name is Drew and I was raised to be a Christian.
I was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, basically the belt buckle to the American Bible Belt.
My parents were never really HUGE into going to church and religion was never just shoveled down my throat, at least compared to most other Americans.
I grew up going to church maybe every few months, and my grandparents are all Christian. So Christianity and religion were and are always around me.
I went to elementary school, just like any other child. I always thought god was just watching me and listening to my every word, and when I first heard a cuss word and said to myself I got scared and prayed.
I was just taught to be scared of God, but somehow it would pay off. At least that's what I thought.
A lot of my closest friends were strong Christians and were raised in the church. I guess that they had some factoring into my elementary school head.
Well middle school went by and I just never really thought about God. I didn't care.
I still went to church some, and my friend invited me to go to his church on Wednesdays, so I went for awhile.
I still never really paid much attention to them.
Well 9th grade came around and I had my first real girlfriend. She was such a strongly raised Christian that she wouldn't or couldn't date anyone who was not. I never really thought about it, but I just figured I was Christian because my family was. I didn't really care.
So we dated for a few months, broke up, done and gone. but that was really the first time I really thought about Christianity and religion and God. I really thought about this stuff.
After 9th grade, I went on to 10th. By the way, I was and have always been an honors student. I'm not stupid and I try not to be ignorant.
I am in 10th grade now, so I can't say I'm very well experienced at life, but I think about everything now.
I just start thinking to myself about life and the world around me. I'm becoming more knowledgeable and logical as the days go by.
So in my first semester of 10th grade, I am done questioning religion, wondering if it can be true or not. I proclaimed to myself that I was from now on to be an atheist.
I told my friends, and they basically accepted it. I was done with religion, done with God. It just seemed idiotic to me.
Well weeks and months go by and nothing much has changed. I still celebrate Christmas with my family because, who doesn't enjoy getting gifts?
My immediate family don't really acknowledge that I don't believe in God. My sister said I should say the prayers, knowing that I don't agree at all.
And things like this go on and on to this day.
Every other day I get made fun of by my friends for not believing what they believe, but I think they secretly wish they had the guts to go out and do what I did.
I never talk about religion with my friends because they get angry or just don't acknowledge me when I try to talk about it. They just want to be ignorant about being wrong.
And I feel like an outcast for being one of the only people I know for not believing.
But I don't care. I am tired of getting made fun of, but it'll never stop. So I just accept their ignorance.
I have never read Richard Dawkin's books, but I do plan to sometime soon.
I made the choice to become Atheist myself, not from the help of others.
And I plan to keep true to my choice.