Heh, oh jeeze. Stuck going to church until you're 18, huh? My family went to mass ... every ... single ... week. It was so freaking mind-numbing. I came out of the closet when I was 14 or so, but I was still stuck going to mass regularly, for a couple years after that.
I take it your father is a bit more religious then, if he stuck that into the divorce papers?
Another source you might like is the media put out by the Atheist Community of Austin. They do a public access show called The Atheist Experience (http://www.atheist-experience.com/), which is a call-in show for public education and public awareness. Of course it often turns into a flaming argument with some callers. The archive on the site goes back to 2004.
Yeah, so many Catholics in Illinois. We didn't have many Baptists in the Chicago area that I was ever aware of, though. Although, we have so many Baptists of various sorts around here.
I was raised Catholic, too, although I never really believed. I was even an altar boy for several years, simply to have something to do during the monotony of mass. At least I never had any of the problems with the priests, that we're hearing so much about now, because I was an ugly child.
That's cool that you're starting to look around and explore your atheistic views, then. Have you done much reading on the subject? I could recommend a few books, although I don't know how much time you have for that sort of thing, with school, and how easily you could get to the library to check them out ... or even if the libraries near you would have them. I buy all of my books on Amazon, so availability is easier.
For that matter, how safe would it be for you to read books about skepticism and atheism around your parents? Since you're still living with them, I assume, that's a consideration. How religious are they?
Hello Cyndi and welcome to this world of rationality, truth and peace.
Common sense, helped by science, leads to freethinking wisdom, free from primitive superstition as you have been finding out.
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Welcome. Are you a recent deconvert from Christianity of some sort? Still trying to make sense of the whole idea of atheism? Figuring out what you do now?
I'm originally from the north side of the state, up in the suburbs of Chicago. Fairly relaxed up there, from what I remember. Southern Illinois might be much different. I know the smaller towns are a bit more psycho-religious, even in a relatively liberal state like Illinois.