First I would ask that none of my personal information gets posted except for my first name.
I started out in a southern baptist family. It was all about just filing your pew for sunday and singing god awful hymns. Then it went on to home churches, because the “True Christians” (TM) didn't like the mainstream churches. Where I remember being taught about my sin. About the sin that I had inherited from Adam.
Everything I was raised in was done in a complete influence from the Bible. Everything! I was not allowed to listen to music with distortion, which is the basis for rock music. I remember being 7 years old during christmas and not being allowed to open my presents before my father would ask, “Why are we opening these presents?” and the reply is always JESUS! In my life Jesus encompassed everything. He was part of everything that I came across, I remember being so weirded out when I met a child who was not christian. It was like they were an alien. I didn't get it.
I was baptized after I was sent to a Jesus Camp. I was on fire for christ. I remember holding my hands up, while worshiping with my eyes closed. I remember the feeling.
My parents divorced when I was 17. Me and my twin brother moved out a week after. I think I was agnostic after that day. If god was so powerful….. why couldn't he keep my parents together? My god fearing praising parents? They indoctrinated their children to the best of their abilities, they had been religiously married for 17 years…
No, this is not an angry at my parents convert story. My parents are now remarried and happier then ever. This was only the first crack in the ceiling of my faith.
I guess I should mention certain things about my life when I was younger. I'm gay. I emailed my youth pastor about me looking up gay things on the internet, because I felt beyond guilt. If you know fundies, you know that being gay is equivalent to being Dawkins himself. At the age of 14 I was suicidal because of my homosexuality. I was sent to a christian shrink, who tried to convert me into an “ex gay”. This was painful. I was treated like a cripple. My emotions, my loves. were wrong, were……. disgusting. There is no way to describe how I felt at that point as a young teen, trying to understand myself. Religion destroyed me as a young person, it degraded me and made me hate myself.
I moved out, and I was an agnostic. Because I mean really? Can you know? I was ignorant, I knew nothing about evolution, other faiths.
My twin brother lent me some books. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris, God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens, and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.
I understood these books. I felt them so much more than I thought I could. They reaffirmed what I was thinking before that. I realized that god was made by man, and it became so obvious. Humans are wicked, genius, kind, cruel and every other adjective under the sun. I realized that my sexual preference, did not hurt anybody. The exact opposite actually., Me and my partner bring love to each others lives, and that is human. That is being who we are, and that is being good to others.
In closing, human beings had to concoct a way for us to be here. Religion was created for that. Human kind is the most amazing most evolved section of life on this earth. Be who you are, and never let anyone deny that for you. You only get one life, live it to the fullest.
Thank You Mr. Dawkins, you are one of the people who have helped me live my life to the fullest, and cherish every minute of it. This is one of the skirmishes that we are going to win. We are going to rid ourselves of this faith we are going to rid ourselves of this GOD DELUSION.