I'm interested in people's “de-conversion” from religion because it is something I would hope for everyone. While visiting the “Convert's Corner” at RichardDawkins.net, I felt compelled to add my story. There's not too much drama in it, but if you're interested, here it is:
I was raised Catholic. My father is quite religious, and my mother basically just joined the church when they married. Thus, as their progeny I was to be raised Catholic. I was baptized, had my first communion, was brought to church every Sunday. Because I went to public school I had to attend CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes once a week. I resisted going to mass and CCD more and more. I really thought that it was something that I should have the right to chose to do or not do. At first church and CCD was just boring, and I didn't want to sit through it. Soon, I started to pull away for other reasons. I heard bible readings that I didn't agree with.
During college I really started to firm up my atheism. It wasn't a completely smooth transition. I was full of doubt. I was fearful at first. What if there really IS a god, and I end up in hell forever, suffereing for eternity if I don't believe (talk about child abuse)? I even looked at the world around me and almost gave in to the idea that it just may be so “well-designed” that it coudn't have come about by evolution.
I'm happy to say that with a good science education, a lot of great books and a healthy dose of critical thinking, I am a full-blown atheist! I love the free, clear and enlightened feeling of athesim. My only wish now is to help others to escape from relgion so they can understand and experience it for themselves. The world is amazing, and being religion-free makes me able to enjoy it all the more. I am so grateful for people like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, because they really help me firm up my athesim and still provide inspiration even to the staunch atheist in me!