To whomever may be reading this,
My father who was a devout Catholic has always tried to influence the rest of the family to his beliefs through conservative tactics while my mother who was more of a liberal wanted us to find our own way (similar to the way Unitarian Universalists want you to). Despite their differences, both of my parents strongly agreed that they should send their children to Catholic schools. My mother thought that since the schools offered a better education that it was well worth sending her children there. I was taught all about the bible and the many things people thought Jesus said. I still understand the material today. But sometime around 7th grade I finally thought that I should “question my faith” like the priests and the nuns have always told me. It was quite easy to see behind the vail of delusion with a basic understanding of science. It was then that I decided to dump my religion and become an atheist.
I finally decided about a month after I began the “questioning” to sit down my parents and tell them that I was an atheist (now keep in mind this was when I was about 12). I brought them into the dining room of our house and I told them the news. Without missing a beat my father flipped over his chair and he said (I think in the calmest tone possible), “WHO DID THIS TO YOU!?!? WHO IS BRAINWASHING YOU!?!?” (he continues but that is for my own reflection). My mother ended up silencing him and then went on to explain that she was proud of me because I have been going to religious schools my whole life and I remained untouched by their brain washing. That particular event though was the beginning of the end for my parents.
Some how all of the students that I have been going to school with found out right away about my “questioning” and its result. I was an outsider for all the way through junior high school (I even went to Catholic high school for a year). The kids were horrible, there were all radical with their beliefs. They would remind me that Jesus loves me and I didn’t love him back he would condemn me to hell (they made him sound like such a pleasant guy (and yes I do know that they are COMPLETELY misunderstanding him, I mean I did read the damn book)).
I am 16 now going on 17 and I have always had faith in science. I am planning on going to college to study genetics. If I haven’t been reading the various scientific books that are out there then I probably wouldn’t be here today. It may seem ironic to say this but the many books put out by Richard Dawkins (and other scientists) have given me hope for a brighter tomorrow. My past has been so dark and depressing that if I didn’t have the background knowledge to defend my beliefs I probably would have been driven to suicide! So thank you Mr. Dawkins for furthering my understanding of the universe!
Best of Fishes,
Michael Tynski IV