I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1989 to a mixed up family of nondenominational and Lutheran Christians.

I'd never understood religion, and for the most part, the concept of God frightened me. This stranger I'd never met with fantastical powers to destroy and create, was watching me and everyone else at all times? Pointing a fat, accusing finger with a scornful brow and threats of fire if I was naughty?

I still remember my first question that caused my aunt's ears to perk and her eyes to burn with fervid scorn, looking down into my wide, nine year old eyes and scowling with contempt that I should ask such a question. Surely the devil was whispering in this child's ear!

I had asked, very innocently, why God was always so mean to people. Why he didn't just make it all better?

I was in conflict with what I'd been taught by my aunt. All at once I heard God was merciful, all loving, all powerful, forgiving...on and on and on. Than I would hear stories of plagues, and divine punishment, hell and, the oddest of which for me, this almighty, loving FATHER commanding his creations to kill and slaughter their own kind even their children. Than there was the things I'd see on a day to day basis, "examples" of this benevolent god's mercy. Killers, rapists, hurricanes, tornadoes, poverty, famine, disease. The huge contradiction has always been the prime reason I couldn't grasp this faith.

I will never think that this nine year old's question was out of line or without reason. After all I'd been told I needed a reasonable answer as to why I should believe in this god much less love and praise him instead of feel horror and a hatred akin to how one would hate a tyrant.

If I believed in God now, I'd live in fear. His past deeds, told in the bible, are enough to look at this so called merciful God as if he was one of Hitler or Charles Manson's great mentors. The behavior is certainly similar.

How was this nine year old's question answered? With more nonsensical gibberish of course. That God had a plan for us all, and that some people, usually sinners, had to be sacrificed for the good of all. Not everyone could have perfect lives could they?

To which, once again I asked why not? Response? Some reference to "original sin." If God is omnipotent, infallible and omniscient than wouldn't he know this free will and fruit he dangled in front of humans was the wrong plan to go by? If he knew all this would happen, than he is not as benevolent as those around me had claimed.

I eventually came to a conclusion, before my entry into atheism, that this Christian God figure was cruel, hateful and harboring a child-like jealousy. None of the conversations with my aunt convinced me of anything otherwise.

This was the first of the contradictions in the Christian religion that caused my head to slowly pull from the ass that it had been inserted into when it had been filled with the Christian jibberish my family had spewed upon me.

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Comment by Seth Brown on February 17, 2010 at 6:25pm
The question that always got me into trouble was "How did Noah live to be so old?" I actually had a youth pastor who explained how the air quality back then made it much easier to live a long time which is why I should lead a clean lifestyle. Applying that logic to my own life I've decided that the air pollution along with alcohol, bong smoke, mexican food, and childhood vaccines should limit me to a lowly 300 year lifespan.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on February 17, 2010 at 3:49pm
As a child I asked many of the same questions and was favored with looks that would give a grizzly bear pause, particularly from my ultra Italian catholic aunts. I don't know how many times I heard "I will pray for your soul". I guess I was the devil's spawn.



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