I grew up the son of a fundamentalist christian preacher. We were taught to take a literal interpretation of the bible. It wasn’t until very recently that I have been able to liberate myself from the guilt and shame in the back of my mind that I always thought was my conscience, but now I recognize to be the result of a lifetime of indoctrination. I haven’t really believed in a personal God since high school, but I never gave up perhaps the hope that it was true. We were taught to make a distinction between micro and macro evolution and were in fact taught that the earth was 6000 years old and that man had walked with dinosaurs. I feel ashamed that I believed this for so long despite the evidence to the contrary… but such can be the power of indoctrination. In some ways I thought I could do the things I knew to be sinful because I was saved anyway and I rationalized my actions and told myself that I would get my shit together and become a good christian someday in the future. It wasn’t until I started reading some of Professor Dawkins’ work and watching his debates as well as those of Christopher Hitchens that I realized how truly improbable my belief system was. I do feel much freer and liberated now. I feel as if I now have free reign to live my life as I see fit without the fear of reprisal from a celestial being. My friends question why I’m not depressed to find out I will not live for eternity, and my response is that I’m happy to realize that my life is no longer part of a cosmic practice for the real thing. I do want to encourage those who have serious doubts to read up on the marvelous progress scientists like Mr. Dawkins have made in explaining our place in the universe. Letting go of the fallacy that faith is a virtue feels truer to me than any part of christianity ever did.