I was raised from birth to be Christian. My father and my brother are/were preachers. There is a long line of preachers in my family. I was born into the mess they call religion. I like to say that I was brainwashed from birth but eventually shook it off myself.

When looking back on my life and trying to pinpoint exactly when I decided that I wasn't a Christian like the rest of my family, I have to say that I remember starting to question things around the age of seven. By ten I was becoming more independent and could not stand to sit through Sunday School. I kept my feelings to myself as I had for many years already. At about 13 I let it rip. I was then in Youth Group. I'm sure you know what that is. I was forced by my family to be part of a competition team for bible debates. This required a vast amount of knowledge of the bible. This is where they really screwed up in their efforts to continue brainwashing me.

I read the bible. I could tell you just about anything you wanted to know. The more I read, the more I was concrete that I did not believe. My questions got broader and there were no real answers. I remember once instance of being told by my grandmother and other family members that I WILL NOT ask questions and cause doubt in others. They banned me from Youth Group for a few weeks and basically isolated me in order to teach me a lesson. I was shunned by the other kids because I was clear that I was not buying into that bullshit any longer. This led me to leaving home as a teenager and beginning my life on my own. I am still black sheeped and have learned to live with it. I have raised my sons to be agnostic and have taught them how to debate the issues well. This further pisses my family off...those who still talk to me that is.

My mom still thinks it's a phase and prays daily. She is pretty much my only family outside of my children of course. I don't have a lot of friends because it seems that everyone believes in God/Jesus and they can't have friends who don't. Too much conflict I guess. Other people having religion does not bother me. I can even support them in their beliefs, go ahead, whatever makes you happy. But they do not return the support when it comes to my lack of belief in their God.

It is nice to finally find a place where people share the same views that I do. It is lonely here in Texas.

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Comment by Fred W. Hill on November 7, 2010 at 8:24pm
Hi, Kristi, my dad's very religious and racist elder brother lives near Waco. I attended a few family reunions there back in the '90s and my cousins even took me over to check out the remains of David Koresh's compound. At that time I hadn't come out as an atheist to my family, nor did I personally know anyone else who was an admitted atheist, but fortunately I've since become friends with many openly avowed atheists in Jacksonville, FL, so I don't feel quite so alone over here. And by now most of my family know I'm an atheist but haven't made too big a deal about it, although I'm not sure how that particular uncle would react if I directly told him I don't believe in god.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on June 10, 2009 at 8:52pm
Comment by Billy Deaton on June 10, 2009 at 8:05pm
welcome kristy
Comment by GJurls on February 26, 2009 at 8:28pm
The audio book "Letting Go of God" by Julia Sweeney is a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing the DVD, too. She is a doll. Also can't go wrong with Harris or Dawkins. I enjoyed the Christopher Hitchens book, too.
Comment by unholyroller on February 9, 2009 at 8:48pm
I could also recommend "The End of Faith" by Sam Harris. Dang, girl....no wonder you're an unbeliever! I, too, started asking questions at a very young age. Very quickly learned that getting slapped up side the head was not a good way to start the day. By 12, I looked upon the whole religion thing with complete and utter contempt, but stayed pretty much in the closet until I was around 30.

Texas is just Baja Oklahoma when it comes to the fundie attitude. My sympathies. We have a pretty cool bunch here in OKC, though. Kudos for raising little heathens. Their IQ is automatically 50 points higher than average for being raised able think for themselves.

Next time someone says they will keep praying for you, ask them how that's been workin out for them so far.
Comment by Kristy on February 9, 2009 at 7:55pm
I recommend a book called Farewell to God by Charles Templeton. For those with a religious upbringing it is very helpful.
Comment by GJurls on February 9, 2009 at 7:42pm
It's amazing how we are taught that even to doubt is a sin - talk about a good way to stifle thought. I always had questions without good answers and realized when I was 17 that there were no good answers. So, I just gave it all up, but it did cause a lot of inner turmoil.

My family never asks about what I think - maybe they don't want to know.
Comment by Kristy on February 9, 2009 at 6:31pm
Thanks so much for the support.
Comment by Father Nature on February 9, 2009 at 12:44pm
Interesting how some of us just know, from an early age, in spite of the indoctrination, that religion is bogus. I just chalk it up to higher intelligence. It's unfortunate that your family doesn't accept your choice but you'll get plenty of support here at AN.
Comment by skye AKA rembrandt on February 9, 2009 at 12:12pm
wow thats how its is for me to so im happy to have this site... you can get support from me to yay supportings fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun later

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