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I was "raised" in the baptist church but we didn't attend "religiously" (pun intended). My uncle however was president of the southern baptist conference for a while and my aunt is a devout baptist. She went ballistic one day when I mentioned that human beings were animals too. She wouldn't hear it. I knew then that a serious discussion about religion, or the lack thereof, would be impossible with her.
I dabbled in other religions. I even visited a few Hari Krishna temples. Each time I would look at these faiths and tell myself "these people are nuts". During one "Satsong" a hari krishna priest told us that the Sun was closer to the Earth than the Moon. The logic was that during a battle two gods fell in to an ocean of milk and it splashed on to the Sun but didn't touch the Moon. Ergo the Sun is closer. Typical religious logic.
I guess it was the sciences that made things start to make sense to me. I couldn't find it in religion.
Terry, I quit Catholicism for agnosticism fifty years ago, and quit agnosticism for atheism two years ago. Now retired, I have time to visit atheist sites.
I do volunteer work with a man who's trying to leave Catholicism (but failing) and he recently teased me with "Once a Catholic, always a Catholic." I told him I had heard that about priests but not about Catholics.
He repeated his tease and I wanted to tease him back. I watched his working style and saw something I had forgotten. I teased him with "Once a Catholic, always helpless."
Catholicism, and probably other religions, survive because they teach kids to be helpless, which supports your point: religion can be hard to leave. And harder for clergy. I think FFRF, one of whose founders had been clergy, has a "Clergy Project" that helps practicing clergy to leave.
While I was in Catholic schools, I heard many attacks on apostates and heretics. In almost 2,000 years, Catholicism developed serious skill in bullying children.
No, not really. It actually came quite easily for me. My parents were always loving and supportive of my decisions, a rarity I know.
I was thinking more of those who grew up in strict religious environments or were part of the clergy. Apostasy has to be extremely difficult for them.
Terry, did you find apostasy difficult?
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