The Bible has converted more people than the God Delusion, Converts, Thu, Feb 07 2013 #(1863)

Feb 7, 2013

Dr. Dawkins,

I wish I could say that reading your books is what converted me from Christianity, but that isn’t the case. I think the reality is two parts.

First, while both of my parents are Christian, neither of them were very dogmatic, and I never felt like religion was forced upon me from an early age, nor was I drawn to it. However, when I was about 4 years old, a new television series about the universe, Cosmos, was being aired. Our family watched it every night. While, admittedly, I had very limited understanding of much of the series, I picked up just enough to be curious about the origins of the universe.

Flash forward to when I was 10 years old, and my parents finally succumbed to Midwestern peer pressure and enrolled me in Sunday School like a proper Christian child. I was fascinated by it from the start because it was so new. At the time, I didn’t see it as indoctrination disguised as fun, singing, crafts, and friendships. I dived in full speed. However, even though I was enthralled with Sunday school, I never really took to church.

When I entered High School, my parents gave me the choice of attending church with them, or attending morning Bible study. I read the bible religiously (pun intended) nearly every day in preparation for my Sunday morning Bible study group. However, after a year of the program I discovered two things.

First, the adult leading the study group picked sections of the Bible the were essentially positive, i.e. Jesus healing the sick, rejecting temptation, or feeding the masses. Second, that the Bible not only contradicted history and science, but also itself.

In hindsight, the contradictions were not really the problem. You can easily explain those away by claiming God intended for the passages to be parables rather than historical account. The scarier aspect is that the instructor was cheery picking versus that young people like myself would have positive associations with, while pretending like all of the war, rape, and murders in the Bible never existed.

The end result for me, ended up being a positive one. My enthusiasm for reading the bible and therefore discovering its contradictions and discrepancies coupled with my realization that the church was attempting to indoctrinate people to join its ranks is what let me discover that it all, was in fact, bullshit.

In conclusion, as much as I loved Dr. Dawkin’s books, it was the Bible and Sunday school which pointed me down the path of rationalism. The God Delusion just gave me tools to be able to discuss it.

Timothy Faust

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