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Why I am an Atheist Minimize

When we get together at our social functions--if we even happen to talk about atheism--a common question is "How did you come to be an atheist?" We've decided to dedicate a section of our site to answering this question.

Atheists are not bound by a doctrine of any kind. Our relationship to one another is merely incidental. As a consequence, these answers come from individuals--our members--and, as such, they are are personal responses and do not necessarily represent this group, or any other atheists at all!

If you want to know the personal motivation for why we don't believe in gods, then this is a great place to start. Of course, we'd love for you to join us at a meetup!

If you're a member of our organization and would like to share your story, please submit it to chris@metroplexatheists.org. Keep it clean and we'll probably publish it. Keep it foul and we'll read it aloud at our next meeting, but it won't go online until we have an age-verification mechanism ;-)

    






Dave Minimize

Our first submission is a video narrated by long-time-rarely-seen member Dave, or rather a computer-generated voice reading text that Dave wrote...

    






Shelly Minimize

God And The Tooth Fairy

I am an atheist. I have been an atheist since I was about 5 years old. That was around the time that I lost my first tooth and received a visit from the tooth fairy, which really freaked me out. A little flying thing would come into my room at night and take my tooth and leave money. The questions started: How does it get into my room, Mom? Why does it want MY tooth? Will I feel it take the tooth? Does it glow? Mom realized that I wasn’t buying the whole tooth fairy thing and told me it was just pretend. Somehow that made me feel a lot better to know that mom was taking my tooth and giving me money.

Being somewhat inquisitive, the next day I asked her, with tears streaming down my face, if other things were pretend, like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or God. My mother said that the Bunny and Santa were pretend, but that God was real. That was probably the time when I first started doubting.

Now that I am older, I have done a lot of searching. For a long time I was afraid to not believe, even though deep down I didn’t. Recently though, I have finally really looked at my own values and some of the values that the Bible puts forth and have found them incompatible, particularly for women.

I feel that self-esteem is very important for young women. I have noticed that women tend to lose their self-esteem when they become teen-agers. This carries on into adulthood and is very destructive. I think part of the root cause in America is Christianity. The Bible treats women as secondary. We are to obey our husbands.

. . .the head of every women is the man . . . (1 Cor. 11:3)

What is really scary about this is that this verse is being used even to this day. The Southern Baptist Convention met in Salt Lake City, Utah this year and this verse was so important, the members of the convention used it to uphold the notion that women must obey their husbands.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel that I have a good head on my shoulders. I am smart and can do things on my own. Why do I need to have a husband tell me every thing to do?

I am married. I have been for seven years. We have a relationship built upon mutual acceptance. There are things that he does better than I do. Likewise, there are things that I am better at. We encourage each other to do things that we wouldn’t accomplish otherwise. I do not allow a Bible or any other set of written-down rules to dictate how I should live my married life.

Which brings me to the question I hear the most when people find out that I am an atheist –"what is your moral base?" Well, I must ask the same question back –"what is YOUR moral base?" If you state the Bible, then you really need to follow ALL of it and not just the parts with which you agree. I know right from wrong because my parents taught me to use my head. Christians do not need to consult the bible every time they need to make a moral decision. They do it through deliberate thought, just like me.

I am happier now that god has gone the way of the tooth fairy.

©1998 by Shelly

    






Angel Minimize

I was born a young lassy in what I consider one of the most religious states in the south, Oklahoma. I do not exaggerate when i say this, there is a church on every corner. Needless to say, I was brought up a Christian. I did not grow up in a typical Christian family. My parents told me that god was real, but never in my 31 years of life did I ever see them in a church other then funerals and later in life my wedding. They didn't even go to church on the major church days like Christmas and Mothers Day. They sent me (just me btw not my younger sister) to church with my Grandma on Sundays. My Grandmother and I would go every Sunday to our very Pentecostal church. This was a normal event until I was in jr high. I remained a Christian all through high school bouncing back n forth between Pentecostal and Baptist churches.

As the years went by my husband and I were very involved in our church. We were the bus drivers, youth leaders, and whatever the preacher did not have paid staff to do. Which was a lot of not fun, life consuming crap! We, still being Christians got tired of "doing gods work" decided not to continue going to that particular church.

Which kind of not on purpose lead to just not going to church at all.

I still considered myself a Christian, but didn't feel that I HAD to go to a building to have faith in god. This is how I lived my life for many years until... My hubby said something to me that made me just about have a heart attack. One night in bed right before we went to sleep, he rolled over and asks me. "Can we talk about the possibility that there is no god?" Like I said I almost died, but all I could do was cry and say no. He learned that night that maybe he should not talk about his skepticism with me and did not bring it up again until 2 or 3 years later.

He just said to me one day that he was an atheist. I remember thinking, well that's cool for him to be an atheist, but I would continue to believe in god. I had no ill will towards him and listened to him talk about things that were not consistent in the bible and what not. It didn't take me very long to come to the same conclusion that god did not exist. I no longer wanted to associate with religion of any type. I have to admit it was scary telling my friends and (most of my family) about me being an atheist, but it was something I felt I had to do. It has been a bumpy road, but I am much happier with my life knowing that I am doing my best to be the best woman, mother, wife, friend, sister and daughter that I can be. I no longer have that imaginary boogieman telling me what is right and wrong, and now I can start living and stop being ashamed of the person that I am. Which is a wonderful, atheist, moral woman!

    






Anonymous Testimony Minimize

I am an atheist because I worship Satan.  NO! Of course not, but you'd be surprised how many times I get asked that silly question.

    






Jeremy Minimize

A friend just asked about my de-conversion. It isn't an adult intellectual tale with decades of reading and struggle. Since it doesn't fit the cliche, I thought it worthy of limited publication.

My life as a Christian consisted of singing "He's got the whole world in his hands..." and imagining everything being there, even cars driving around and his arms being the freeways and his fingers being the little neighborhood streets. I didn't know about thoroughfares, major collectors, and secondary collectors at the time, but perhaps these could have been included in a more sophisticated vision. I also remember something about Jesus knocking on the door to your heart, and you have to let him in. I probably didn't know about the problem with argument by metaphor at the time, and perhaps neither did the adults.

My Sunday school teacher said that Christians came from Jews. My family had Jewish friends, so I asked him why there were still Jews. Perhaps he had a good answer, but it didn’t make a memorable impression. I started staying with Mom for the adult service instead.

It seems that the Santa myth is obligatory in any American de-conversion story. Unlike my father-in-law who became an atheist once Santa was revealed, I never felt betrayed. I still like the story and the discovery of it being a story. I heard talk on both sides of the Santa controversy and simply rejected him. My older sister believed in Santa much longer than I. To my knowledge she has never actually recanted. She also continues to profess belief in Jesus.

We moved to Denton for Mom's education. While life in Corpus Christi, TX circled around outdoor life and other social scenes, I learned that north Texas is all about church. We never joined one.

When spending weekends with friends, my sister enjoyed accompanying them to their various churches. I tried to do the same. I sometimes found myself in shoddy buildings where we had to stack the chairs after a service. There were guitars instead of organs and they had grape juice in little plastic cups on a tray. A Sunday school teacher assured the shocked class that I would of course be bringing my own sword (bible) next time. And every interaction was based on the assumption there would of course be a next time.

Each church was different and they all had names on their signs. I became aware of sects. I asked some friends what religion they were. Christian. Yes, but what kind? They didn’t know. They had never read the marquee at the entrance.

I discussed doubt with my mom. She recalled a retreat, where as a child she confided her own doubt to a minister. He comforted her with the opinion that (1) doubt is not a bad thing and (2) it can bring you closer to God. (An Episcopalian line, if I’ve ever heard one.) I came to agree with the first part.

I told an out-of-state cousin that I didn’t believe in God. She told me that she had a friend who didn’t believe in God. Like me, the friend had lost a parent. My cousin concluded that this was the reason for my non-belief. This seemed silly. I wasn’t angry with God. I just didn’t believe.

This ends the story of my rejection of theism. I’ll leave my teenage interest in “energy” and my adult journey to a naturalistic worldview to another story.

 Jeremy

    







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