Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(692)

Jan 30, 2013

From the day I was born, until this day I have never belonged to a religion, however I attended a Church of England Primary school as a child, and was brought up reading the bible in school, being told to live my life with accordance to what Jesus taught us and to live not in sin but in the vision of Jesus.

As a child I prayed, sang hymns, attended church with the school, this was a normal way of life as far as I was concerned though I always did feel put out of place by the others at the shcool because they also attended the church on Sundays with their families whereas I didn't.
Then it came time for me to move onto Secondary school where I was in classes with people from all different religions that I had never heard of. We didn't pray or read the bible, didn't sign hymns, It felt strange, but it was exciting in its own way and I became doubtful of what I had been taught from the age of five by my teachers.

I questioned my parents and discovered that my Dad was an Atheist, my mum was a Catholic, but had been since she was a child and hadn't been a practising catholic since she left school over thirty years ago, she lost her belief. Apparently when I was born they decided to not christen or Baptise me as they felt my religion was my decision to make when I grew older (If only more people thought this way.)

I became open minded about the existence of a God, drinking in every word my Religious Education teachers would spill, reading everything about religion that I could, trying to make my mind up, but by the time I left school at 16 I hadn't really been able to come to a conclusion.

My religious relatives would tell me of how I would one day find God and I would ask them how they could be so sure there was a God, their answer was that they just knew.

It was around the age of Eighteen that I became Atheist – finally deciding what I beleived in and what I couldn't believe in, yet I didn't want to let anyone know because most of my family are religious, so I kept my beliefs secret, calling myself open-minded and undecided.

Just before I turned 20 I read The God Delusion and, to put it plainly, I came out as an Atheist and I have never felt better, none of my family disowned me as I thought they would, infact they have been great about it. If there was one thing I could say to Richard Dawkins it would be Thank you so much, your work is so very important to a lot of people.

Thank you.

Hayley S.

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