Hello. My name is Joe and I am 22 year old undergraduate student from Eastern Kentucky University in the states. I was raised in a radical form of the protestant religion for my formative years but I’ve self identified as an atheist since I was 20. I’ve only recently been inspired to come out after tapping in to the growing wealth of atheist literature including the infamous four horsemen. It was a random enough discovery via searching for "atheism" one day on YouTube. I was very relieved to find that I was not alone in the world, and enthralled to find that I may be part of a growing social movement.
The deconversion process took many years for me. I left my home church because of an interpersonal conflict with the leadership of our music program with which I was very involved. There was a point in the beginning where I told myself that I would go back someday, as a safety measure to stave off the fiery threat of hell. But that waned over time as I sought and found knowledge. I searched out other religions. I self identified as a Buddhist for a year or so and somewhere along the line made the leap to agnosticism. It was somewhere around that point that I realized that; if you can just switch up faiths, if you can just pick and choose what the nature of the universe is then its probably not true anyways. And I became an atheist. I dared not reveal any of this to my family, but that changed over time with increased study.
Today I am quite passionate about irreligion. I have been studying a great deal, even neglecting my school work at times. When it comes down to it, I do care about the world, but more than that I care about my little sister. She is a freshman at the University of Louisville studying biology for a pre med track. Some time after coming out I made up my mind that if I could accomplish anything with my life, it would be to make a difference in hers. I’ve always thought of myself as a relatively bright (hah, bright) individual, but she is so much smarter then I am. Seeing her suffer from religion is like watching a family member slowly decay from Alzheimer’s. They are so blissfully unaware of their condition and it tears at me. It rips my heart in two to see people that I love dedicate their lives to a mythology. I’m not sure what to do. But I am trying, and I am studying. With every fiber of my being I hope that it is not an affliction that is beyond cure, because if it is then I am doomed to spend my life battling in futility for the ones that I love. But I can’t help thinking that even if it is futile, it remains a worthy cause. More so than any other I can muster at present.