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.