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DesktopWeb FormText   atheist origin storySat, 04 Oct 2008 04:08:47 GMT # 

haven't seen 'Religulous' yet (liked the trailer), but in honor of its release, here's my atheist backstory. since atheists are distrusted more than terrorists (wtf), i'm a villian. some people refer to admitting you're an atheist as 'coming out' ... that's gay. not that i have anything against hot lesbians ... but atheists need a new term, how about 'waking up' or 'becoming rational'? using gay nomenclature isnt going to help atheists become public. my parents believe in god, of course, and they took me to church when i was a kid ... especially after we moved to Texas. i can't remember any of that. my only real memory is that after church we would come home and watch professional wrestling. anyway, i used to believe in god because it was pushed on me. i became a skeptic the instant we learned about mythology in school. the whole concept of there being a ton of gods that we dont believe in anymore really connected. i remember asking in class if there would be a textbook in so many years making fun of the god we believe in. that was a bad idea, and i got verbally berated by the teacher. anyway, i didnt even know at this point that you could not believe in all gods. at least i got involved in enough sports that we stopped going to church. later on, in middle school, i had a hippie science teacher that taught us both evolution and creationism. it was pretty much the most confusing 2 weeks of my life. now that i was already a skeptic i asked the teacher about their not being a god at all. bad idea, he was a deeply religious science teacher, so he had somehow come up with some early 'intelligent design' ideas and verbally berated me in class. science was my favorite class, but that jackass actually made me cry a little. shortly after, i made an all-star baseball team with a catholic head coach. so we were praying all the time, and at one very odd meeting he sold us on accepting jesus. well, i went for it. one of the few times peer pressure got to me. couple weeks later he gave a bible to each player that did. this made me take a step back, i wasnt sure what i had done ... so i studied. first, i ignored the new testament, i wanted the original material, so i bought the old testament. then i bought a book on the black arts ... satanism. i read them both and categorized both as fiction. at this time, i had written a report on Thomas Jefferson and was finally exposed to the concept of atheism. and i liked it. so in middle school, in my room, i rejected : being saved by jesus, all gods, the devil, heaven, hell, etc... the thing is i still lived in TX, so i couldn't tell this to anyone. again with the gay nomenclature, i adoped the 'dont ask, dont tell' policy of being atheist. because if i told just about any of my friends, then i would be quickly visited by somebody wanting to convert me back. cannot tell you how many endless arguments i had. not to mention how many people thought being atheist meant i worshipped the devil ... no joke. college finally came, and we were surrounded by all sorts of religious beliefs, and that is when i could finally be openly atheist. the football team still said the lords prayer, and sometimes i would say it to be part of the team, but most of the time i remained silent and just respected the others. i had tried that on my high school football team, and one of the coaches praying next to me noticed i wasnt saying it ... yep, verbal berating followed by being paddled. how fucked up is that? i got spanked for not saying the lords prayer. don't remember much of childhood ... but all the verbal beatings are still there ... bastards. and the coach that paddled me ... i'm still pissed off enough to kick his ass. but college was real interesting because the computer science and philosophy tracks worked together. your professor would teach you about logical proofs and then turn around and explain circular arguments in philosophy. that gave me the tools such that i wanted to go back and argue with all the people who tried to convert me in the past. of course at some point it becomes impossible to argue against blind faith and you might as well try to reason with a brick wall. at least i came up with my own reasons. college also introduced me to the concept of being agnostic. i gave that a shot for a while, but gave up on that too. the religious people seemed to use the indecisiveness as a way to reaffirm that they could be right, so i went back to being full on atheist. at some point, i told my parents, but that didnt go well ... so now we just dont talk about it. it would have been so much easier to just believe in god and blend in ... thankfully, i tend to prefer the paths of most resistance as well as following reason ... doesn't make sense when those paths are the same.