I remember telling my dad at 14 or so. I did not come from a religious family so he was a little bummed but not distraught or anything. This has helped me be free-spirited in all of my thoughts.

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Yes, yes exactly. Religion is shoved down your throat consistently in ways you can not probably even imagine.

That is an awesome story!!!  I'm glad you have the guts to speak out about the truth of what went on in your heart and mind.  Some people find these thoughts scary, but one thing is for sure, after you open up your mind and understand what a good and honest thing free thought is, there is NO WAY to ever go back to the way it was.  Religion knows that, and in some cases does whatever it can to protect its hold on people.  I love that you share your thoughts on this!!  Well done! 

I to a much lesser degree know how you feel.  I'm from the south, (bible belt) and having the view I do, comes with its own set of problems, like being socially unacceptable, and even accosted and threatened with violence on one very rare occasion.  Nothing like the struggle the people of Iran have.  Historically, they are a very intelligent culturally rich and philosophical people.  Hopefully, they can overcome their forced religion and return to their more historically enlightened selves.  I happen to believe that MOST cultures were progressive until religion choked the life out of them. 

It was about three weeks ago...and I am 27.
Wow Misty, what had you been doing up until 3 weeks ago?
As a child I was always skeptical about religion. Around 1965, while in the fourth or fifth grade, I saw a very colorful animated depiction of Evolution, possibly by Walt Disney Productions. I recall the animated show had little or no talking. I thought it was a great show and it made more sense about the origins of life than anything else I had ever heard. At that time I had my first big idea, one which would affect me the rest of my life. I thought that if this evolution was the correct answer, then everything in the Bible must be wrong.  The majority of people in the world are born with a natural tendency to conform to social norms, without question, while some of us are born with a natural tendency to be skeptical and analytical.
Wow, very cool story Shane. Your story illustrates the importance of a scientific education from a very young age. The more educated one is about the realities of nature, the universe, and the world - the higher the chance that they will live their life with rationality and logic.
I was brought up in the Catholic church.  I think my parents, and EVERYONE at church knew I wasn't buying ANY of it.  My mother has always been very supportive of my inquisitive nature, and I was encouraged to find my own answers.  I think in some ways my father is proud, that I have had the determination to think for myself.  Not always an easy thing for a female living in the bible belt.  My parents NEVER tried to force me to believe as they do.  I was exposed to it, given the information, and openly given the free will to make my own decision as to whether or not I accepted it.  I have been very lucky in that aspect.  I think that is probably the greatest gift a parent could give their child. I can't say that I have been so lucky in the social circle, and their opinion of my non belief.  I'm not in their face with it, but I will tell them if I am asked.  I think it's getting better though!  I don't get the negative reactions that I used to when I'm asked about what "church" I'm affiliated with.
I am proud of you too. I can tell that you faced tough obstacles on your quest and you were fortunate to have parents who never forced down your throat the religion like others may have - but your nature of investigation and "not believing just to believe" is what set you free. Your story of free thought and determination is an inspiration.

Thanks Kelly and everyone for the nice words! I live on the west coast - in southern California so I am sure the bible south is much more of a tough life when it comes to religious freaks as southern California in which even though we are more to the right politically (in Orange County) and in which people may call themselves Christians - they are pretty much all secular and not the type of religious right wing freaks that I can imagine in the south...so I am not trying to disparage the types of difficulties that you may go through or live with in the south - just that in Iran, it takes even more extreme forms. In addition, I find Christians for the most part be peaceful and not want to kill you - they may want to be ignorant and force religion down your throat (which is bad enough) and focus on issues such as abortion and birth control (which is horrible as it is a women's right) - but I find Christianity overall to be much more benign than Islam. And Kelly, you are so on point with your assessment on cultures...the one and only good thing about this regime in Iran is that it has allowed the Iranian people to see what Islam truly is. Under the Shah - the people inside of Iran could not be so anti-Islamic as they are today. Once this regime goes  - I truly believe, Islam has no future inside of a free and democratic Iran.


And Misty Dawn Sparkman, wow, only 3-weeks. What made you change at that age?? I am your age too..would be interested in your story since the change you discuss happened for you so recently..

Not really sure but I always hated church and stopped going when I was 13.

Not much time ago...just a bit new...


Hair Cutting Shears

I began to think atheist in 1954, with the addition of "under 'god'™" in the pledge.  I announced a couple of years later at age 12.




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