John Gibson, Converts, #(2086)

Sep 30, 2014

I’ve been an atheist for a couple of years now. I started off as a Christian, praying to Jesus and all that. But then I found out that the Jews don’t believe Jesus was the messiah. So I jumped from Christianity to Judaism, I really began to go deep into Judaism. I listened to lectures by rabbis, I became extremely pro – Israel and I came to despise Palestinians, I even began to support homophobic attitudes because god was against the gay community I even began to believe that women should only wear certain types of clothes. and also that masturbation is wrong. So I was thinking and expressing myself religiously but at the same time I couldn’t stop masturbating and I even couldn’t stop watching adult movies, that’s an addiction I’ve suffered from for a while. So when I did these “sinful” things I would pray to god and ask for forgiveness, if I allowed bad thoughts in to my head I would hit myself. 

I’ve always been very solitary and have always avoided socialising, I suffer from extreme anxiety in social situations. Over time I began to suffer from clinical depression, I went through cognitive behavioural therapy which helped a lot and I’ve been on anti-depressants ever since. At the same time I began reading Sigmund Freud to help understand my brain functions and why I think the way I do, especially my anxiety around sex and socialising with women. What Freud brought my attention to was phylogenetics through Darwin and Lamarck. I was still religious, I avoided reading Freud’s criticism on religion but I accepted some aspects of evolution. I gradually began to see the effect that religion was having on my psychology, my therapist helped me to work through these conflicting thoughts and I began to read Freud’s criticism of religion especially “Moses and Monotheism”, then I watched a David Attenborough documentary about fossils and evolution but I was still struggling leaving religion, I still held on to it. This struggle went on for a while, but I eventually got a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species and read that, I read Professor Dawkins’ The God Delusion which helped me a lot as well as Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great. 

I was at last free from religion, it took a while for it to happen but it was great when it did. Looking back I felt horrified by the racist, homophobic and sexist attitudes I held. 

The reason I’m writing this today is that even though I’ve been an atheist for numerous years I have every so often been dragged back to religion. These episodes didn’t last long I was eventually able to break the spell and return back to rational thought and science. But just recently I went back to religion, I’ve always had a problem expressing myself and being confident in the things I say. I was expressing my atheist thoughts on Facebook for all to see, I began to feel a lack of confidence in my convictions and I felt ashamed. So I closed my account and went back to reading the bible praying and believing nonsense again but I didn’t see it as such, maybe I did but I was blind to it. But then I asked myself what am I doing, I don’t believe this, so I tried going back to atheism but I left again and started reading about different religions, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism. But this didn’t work so I felt so frustrated so depressed with myself. Why did I leave atheism, why did I leave science! The sense of shame was immense and I began to feel depressed. 

But then I was able to pick myself up, I went back to reading Professor Dawkins’ The Extended Phenotype, which I had began before I was sucked back in to religion. I have been able to stick with rational thought and science since. I love science, I love Dawkins’ work and of course Darwin’s brilliant work. I’ve started leaving comments on the different articles on Dawkins.net. I feel great I feel such passion for atheism and science. I should be very proud to be an atheist.

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