Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(674)

Jan 30, 2013

Hello Richard,

Yes, I am one of those, who after a lifetime of change, has been able to think for myself and to make a decision to leave the Catholic religion…This change took about 35+ years, alcoholism and skepticism of not only the Catholic religion but all religions and god himself…In the olden days, we had Nuns teaching Catechism to prepare us for First Communion and then Confirmation…In our community, this was a way of life; we were all Catholics and were not allowed to actually play with nor congregate with anyone that we knew who was not a Catholics – it was a sin…We were always called “sinners” even though we were just kids and not sinners at all…We were dragged through the Catholic teaching that kept us underfoot, and I know now that we were hostages and our lives were not about to go anywhere…I remember what a profound impact their teaching made on me, a 7 or 8 year old girl, and more than once, after catechism, I ran home to my mother in tears…I was frightened of those huge pictures the Nuns exhibited depicting the devil, hell and unbaptized people and general sinners burning in hell…There was much scary, fearful talk coming from the Nuns and that also made a negative impression…I lived in fear…Later on in my teens, I began to question things and learned nothing enlightening from other Catholics that would ease the burden of these memories…In mid life, I questioned myself about my believes and thought if I look into other beliefs, I might change to start another, better thinking and believing journey…Nothing helped, but I did realize along the way that I never did wholly believe what I was taught throughout childhood…Not because I was frightened at the time, but that it did not make sense to me…I never did pick up a book about Atheism, but continued to be aware how I felt and really believed in what I believed…Within the last 10 years II therefore, abandoned everything religious and felt this freedom I never thought I would feel…Then Richard, I picked up your book “The god Delusion” and I couldn't put it down because the things I was reading were the very things I questioned during my life…I realized that we are on the same lifeline because what you have written has compounded my thoughts and am no longer alone…I have found all religions are toxic to the mind and heart…I have been released totally from being a Catholic hostage and give you and your colleges thanks for the support…

Beverly Guardino

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