I am a college-educated married mother of one daughter. My degrees are in accounting and forestry, but I am currently unemployed due to recurrent bouts of depression. This gives me lots of time to surf the internet. My first experience with religion was in the catholic church, thought we were never very devout. My mother only converted to marry my dad when she was sixteen. It was the 1940's and Catholics couldn't marry outside their faith. She raised us catholic until she had a disagreement with our parish priest. That ended our church attendance. When I was in 8th grade we were moved into a private school because my mom didn't want us to be bussed across town during Louisville's first years of court-ordered bussing. The school was run by an Assembly of God church with very fundamentalist teachings. We had to have daily bible classes and a weekly assembly. Their type of church was totally foreign and confusing to me, but I was a very gullible and trusting child so I swallowed their teachings for several years. I actually graduated from that school and considered myself "saved" for some years afterwards. Luckily I went on to college and came in contact with many views of life and religion and slowly came to my own conclusions. I realized that most of what that church taught me was wrong. It took me til my mid twenties to conclude there was probably no god and to my thirties to say I was agnostic. I finally came to the conclusion that I was an atheist just recently.
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LifeLongLearner, welcome to the Atheist Nexus group. You will find very interesting, and freethinking people here who are not afraid to ask questions and think different thoughts. There are many different groups, forums and blogs that will add to your explorations of others, and you have the freedom to explore and experiment with your own thoughts. I am glad you are in this environment.
Welcome "neighbor" (me, Indiana)! Yes, it's not easy being a Bible belt atheist. A.N. is a good refuge. I'm not sure if there is a "forestry" group, but there is "godless in the garden", "food", and several others of that genre. Enjoy your stay.
Well done, and thanks for telling us your story. It is good to have you join us. Welcome to this cheerful friendly Internet community of rationality and peace, common sense and freethinking evidence-based wisdom.