John Barlow, Converts, #(2010)

Jan 14, 2015

For me, changing from theist to Atheist was a very gradual process. Even though I wasn’t born into an extremely religious family, I still managed to be brainwashed into believing the Christian fairytale. I went to a primary school that seemed to care more about whether we were singing “We are climbing Jesus’ ladder” than our maths and English skills. We were taught Christianity as if it were fact to which I now hold with great resentment. I can remember many times when religion was brought into the classroom but I cannot recall a single science lesson until I went to high school. Had I have known then what I do now, I would have retained my right NOT to prayer before we went to lunch. Back then, I didn’t even know there was such an option not to believe and when I was first introduced to it, I was very intolerant towards it as you would expect. Throughout the years, my thoughts and beliefs began to evolve and I, at one point, would be considered a believer, but wouldn’t put myself into any specific category. Over more years, I started to think that if there was a God, then it would most likely be a Deist God, and became more agnostic. To be honest, I started to despise organized religion even when I still believed in God. So, in a way, I’ve been an Anti-theist longer than an Atheist. It was difficult because I was becoming the kind of person who is always presented, at best, as the delinquent with the slingshot, at worst, the Devil trying to trick people. It was only a couple of months ago when I thought about it and came to officially consider myself an Atheist. What also helped me to stop thinking of atheism in a bad way was watching videos of your debates on Youtube. They have also helped me to understand that I do not have to respect someone’s religion at all, despite what they say. That I have the right to openly disagree with them. Before I realized that I had been stopped on the street a couple of times by Mormons who would even try to follow me home if I tried to get away. If this should happen to me again, this time I’ll be sure to challenge them. I’d also like to take the importunity to say thank you.

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