My name is Jose Lopez I am 20 years old first of all I want to thank you and the community of atheists for making me feel like I am not alone.
So my story is similar to many that you have heard before. I was raised catholic by Mexican parents. My parents raised me very well but I grew up insecure because of “God”. I always felt like I was doing something wrong I grew up scared that “el diablo” was going to take me into hell and torture me for all eternity. I was up to about the age of twelve very devout to my faith. I prayed every night and believed that God was always there with me. In my 7th grade something happened that made me question the all loving, all knowing, all powerful God. One day my mom received a call from my cousin in Mexico, he was crying and asking where my dad was.
My mother told him he was at work and why his voice sounded like he was crying. He said that his dad (my dads brother) had been in an accident and that he had died. At the moment my mom dropped the phone i picked it up and asked him what was going on. I immediately started to cry. The reason this was such an awakening moment was because of HOW the accident happened and what my uncle was doing. My uncle was in a parade the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. He was a very active member of the church in our town. So yeah during the parade it started to rain, he and my grandmother were sitting in the bed of the pickup truck with a statue of the virgin parading the bumpy and unpaved roads of our ranch (in Mexico ranches are really another word for small towns). When it started to rain he leaned on the gate of the bed of the pickup truck to take his jacket off to cover my grandma so she wouldn't get wet, the gate opened and he fell off the truck hitting his head on a rock, killing him almost instantly. For days I was quiet thinking to myself why an all loving God would let such a great man die while he was worshiping him. The thing that bugged the hell out of me was the fact that he wasn't a drunk who died because he crashed into a pole or something, it bugged me that he was in a parade venerating “our mother” of Guadalupe. One would think that she would at least protect him while he was worshiping her. So that was the first time i questioned it. I went on to high school and I discovered the Heavy Metal genre of music. I always felt guilty for listening to it because I thought i would go to hell.
In 10th grade I had my biology class. This is when things changed for me. Our teacher Mr. Rochard Higgins would have very deep conversations with us about religion and how there was really no need for God to explain how our world came to be. That he believed in a God. but he said that when he spoke of God he referred to the unseen energy around us. NOT an old man who lives in the sky who just chills and gives us natural disasters when ever the hell he feels like it.
That was really eye opening to me. He said that his idea of God was that energy that was needed to start the Big Bang. That made a lot more sense to me than a guy who grants wishes …BUT ONLY SOME OF THE TIME…So yeah I began to analyze things and to ask my very religious mom some questions and as always she would tell me “don't question it, it's what we taught you since you were little and it's what you'll beleive.” Bless that wonderful lady its not her fault she was brainwashed all her life so i really don't blame her. But of course I continued questioning it. The thing that is different about my mom and my dad is that my mom is very well educated while my dad isn't because sadly he grew up very poor in Mexico and having 13 siblings that made it real hard for him to get to secondary school.
My mom believes in evolution while my dad I doubt he even knows what it is. So yeah I read some philosophy books that made me see that if there really is a God, that he simply doesn't give a rats ass about us. what kind of all loving God gives us such natural disasters, and what kind of all loving God gives little babies leukemia. I have not read any of the books by Mr. Dawkins not because I don't want to but because I guess I'm lazy but I have watched every youtube video about him and I've watched him documentary on the “greatest show on earth.” This helped me clarify a lot of things and helped me put things in place that I didn't have before. I want to thank all the scientists that are working on finding out more things about evolution so we can have an even more solid foundation so we can unite and work together to get rid of God once and for all.
Sorry if my writing jumps around a bit, Spanish is my first language so yeah.