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After more than 15 years struggling to be a fundamentalist Christian,
I finally (and with much trepidation) made my break from Christianity
about a month ago. After years of being in and out of church and struggling
to believe the hopelessly illogical dogma of mainstream fundamentalism,
the loss of my faith hit me suddenly, like a bolt out of the blue. I've
been reading the response letters from Christians, and it seems they
have many misconceptions about us "apostates".
For instance, many of them believe that it was the people that drove
us away from the faith, that somehow the church let us down, and we're
just leaving out of spite or resentment. For some that may be the case.
But for me (and I'd wager most of us), the people were, by and large,
very loving and sincere, if a bit closed-minded. For most of us, our
faith was far too precious to be abandoned on the basis of politics or
disagreements. For most of us, the battle was entirely within ourselves.
It was a pitched battle between our faith and our reason, and eventually
our reason just refused to be suppressed any longer, no matter what the
Many of them believe that we just flippantly "chose" to walk
away from our faith. They don't realize that for so many of us, it was
the hardest and most terrifying thing we've ever done. We prayed for
guidance. We agonized over it, we tried for years to stifle our intelligence
and our reason, told ourselves we were wrong, that the Devil was trying
to deceive us, that our thoughts are not God's thoughts nor his ways
our ways, tortured ourselves with guilt and fear for even entertaining
such ideas as this, quivered in terror that we might be wrong and burn
forever in Hell as a result. But in the end, not even threats of eternal
torment could force us to love a God as petty, sadistic and tyranical
as the one put forth by mainstream Christianity. A God who calls Himself "good",
while he orders babies and children murdered, women raped, animals tortured.
Who, though knowing all and having all power, sits idly by while humans
suffer and die horribly by the millions every day of starvation, disease,
war and natural disasters. Who sets forth arbitrary laws and rules and
punishes all who disobey (or even fail to believe) by roasting them alive
in a slow fire for all eternity, (though it makes him really sad) and
justifies all this purely on the basis of his power. How does this make
him "good"? What then is his definition of "good"?
Does his might alone make him right? How does this make him any different
than Hitler or Attilla the Hun? By this definition, the cruelest human
tyrant that ever lived was an angel by comparison, even the devil himself
Many of them believe we weren't "genuine" converts, that our
profession of faith was somehow superficial and insincere, that we weren't "really
saved" and that's why our faith did not persist. But, if my conversion
was insincere, then I can't fathom what sincere conversion is. See if
this sounds familiar. I was converted when I came to believe that I was
a sinner separated from God, who could not pay the debt of my own sin,
and that Christ had come to die in my place on the cross to restore me
to God. When the realization of this hit me, it was like I had been hit
in the forehead with a bolt of lightning. I believed it and accepted
it with all my heart, and I asked Jesus that very moment, with every
ounce of sincerity in my body, to come into my heart and save me and
cleanse me and purify me and sanctify me and keep me from temptation.
At that moment I had the same conversion experience that so many other
Christians have had, and that so many cling to so desperately in the
final death throes of their faith. It was a genuine transcendant experience.
I felt I was in the very loving embrace of God, like a newborn baby in
its mothers arms. Completely safe, completely secure, not a doubt, not
a worry, not a single fear. I wept at the beauty of it all. How much
more sincere can one be? Must one weep tears of blood? And yet now, in
the face of the irrationality of this belief system, not even an experience
as powerful as this can continue to convince me of its truth. Because
you see, it wasn't long before that pure, loving, wonderful experience
was trampled upon by the jaugernaut of Christian dogma and guilt. I went
from loving God with all my heart, to trembling in fear of him. From
security and safety, to constant worry that I might screw up and lose
my salvation. From joy and bliss to guilt and self-condemnation. From
loving my neighbor to sitting in judgement of him. And in over 15 years
of church going and bible reading and pastoral counseling and listening
to advice from Christian friends, and fervent, heartfelt prayer, often
accompanied with tears, I can tell you that I never had more than 10
minutes of real peace, nor did I become one shred holier or less prone
to sin than I was on the day of my conversion. There is not a scripture
that hasn't been spouted to me, not an explanation or an apologetic I
haven't heard and sincerely listened to at least a hundred times. And
yet, in the end there was only one conclusion I could come to without
completely assassinating my reason. And I have come to it.
Many of them believe we are out to "convert" them, or take
them away from the faith. I personally have no such desire, and I don't
think you do either. If a person is truly happy as a Christian, and if
it truly fills a void in their psyche, I would never want to jeopardize
that for them. Faith is a very precious thing. Lord knows I tried to
hang on to my own. But it's so good to know that for those who are in
Christianity and who know deep down inside that they just can't believe
it anymore, there are others of like mind out there. They don't have
to make the journey alone.
that have seen the light! I found your site recently, and have been enjoying
it immensely. I, too, am an ex-fundie. Your stories mimic my own. now
my family considers me an outcast because of my stance. They cannot even
consider that I have never been closer to my god than I ever felt, and
am guilt free. I no longer worry that jesus may return in clouds of glory
during a moment that I am masturbating or cussing at an asshole motorist
on the road, and would therefor not have enough time to repent of my 'sins'
and would be left behind by a righteous god to suffer in the tribulation...
bah blah blah.
Anyway, thank you for a truly excellent web site.
Brothers! Whoops, old habit. Actually I have had this same belief of the
total foolishness of it all for some time, Its nice to find a site that
enumerates the rebottle to this farce. At some point we will try to include
your site in our links at 4kidssites.com so children will have access
to truth, wisdom and debunkery. Send us a banner ad to top the religious
page if you will, no sence in not pissing off someone since it serves
the greater good.
and Russ, I want to thank you for saving me from isolation! You have provided
a great service! I╩want to╩express how greatful I am that you embarked
on this quest! Questioning my Catholic upbringing has cast me into the
"freak" zone among some of my friends. They can't understand why or how
I would have the balls to oppose "God"! I usually respond to their inquiries
by stating that, of all the questions I have posed to the religion, none
of the answers are acceptable. Big Fuckin' Surprise! As you can tell,
I too am an "agnostic, ex-catholic" and I want to thank you for setting
up this site. Too many Catholics are "cradle-catholics" who have never
questioned their belefs out of good old fashioned catholic guilt and fear.
I ask them not to abandon their faith, but understand mine no longer exists
in their God. Again, thank you. I'm so glad I found you!
A former cradle catholic
I was a kid, I remember my grandparents taking me to their Roman Catholic
church when I would stay at their house. I never really got into the motions
though. I even remember rejecting Jesus as God to one of my friends.
I really didn't get religion in my life until I was 12 years old. My
mother and I began attending her boyfriend's church, the Church of God
(Anderson, Indiana) and I was completely converted. I began to make Christianity
my life long pursuit and even felt like God was calling me to be a minister.
Over the next couple years I became aquanited with another branch of
the same denomination which was more dogmatic in their rules, including
forcing certain clothes to be worn. I began to believe that this was the
on true religion and left my origianl church.
My flirtation with that denomination did not last long and I "backslid"
until my senior year of high school, when I began to try to get right
with God. I tried my original church again and found that didn't work.
I then got involved with an independent Pentecostal church and began attending
By this time I was throughly beating myself up because I believed I was
a horrible sinner because I masturbated and was bored during private prayer.
I left that church feeling like I could not live up to their high standards.
By this time I was deep in depression and contemplating suicide nightly.
Out of desperation I began going to Christian chat rooms begging them
to give me answers as to what I should do. They more often than not either
did not answer my question to my satisfaction or they would ridicule me
claiming I was an Athiest there to start trouble.
I came across your website by accident one night while I was browsing
through Yahoo. I decided to take a look at it although I am still not
sure why I did. I found it extremely enlightening and decided to read
the works of Bertrand Russel as suggested. I cannot tell you how much
of a relief it was to my emotions when my mind realized that Christianity
is not logical at all. I haven't turned back since.
I am now an Agnostic and a Freethinker. I have devoted my life to the
study of science, philosophy, and logic. I want to thank you so much for
helping me through your web site find what I otherwise probably wouldn't
have. I am happier than I ever have been and it is because I lost my religion.
you guys!!! I am a current recovering Southern Baptist!!!! I was effectively
brainwashed for many years by the "establishment" of organized religion.
I escaped into the broad world of conscious thought and observance/enlightenment!!!
I teach my children to think about what and who they believe in; and to
be educated about the wonderful world of religion. Your site is wonderful
and I must say...all too true!!!!! I thank you for the opportunity to
read and giggle a bit about something so present in my former life. Take
a child in Wales I used to go to church twice each Sunday - I wasn't forced
but went out of habit. Since I've grown up and devoted a little thought
to it I've realised that religion is the biggest 'con' ever. My wife who
is Irish:so she was brainwashed also, is now of the same opinion as me.
One only has to read the old testament which is always being quoted by
these pastors to know that it is full of contradictory prose. God is supposed
to be loving and yet in one of the chapters it states that God directed
the Israelites to destroy one of the opposing tribes - and 20,000 people
were destroyed,man,woman and child!!I'll look up the chapter some time
quote chapter and verse. And wasn't it Abraham who was going to sacrifice
his child for his God. And don't Christians each week go to church and
eat the body and drink the blood of Christ - that is cannibalism and a
throwback to the times of primitive man. I hope you are not Jewish but
they are led to believe thaat they are the chosen race of God and judging
by the way they are treating the Palestinians they may be carrying out
the prophecies of the old testament. If this was 2000years ago they would
have destroyed every one of them by now. Keep up your sensible work
guys! I'm 44, was a devout "born-again" from around 16 until about 30.
I used to feel like such a fool to have believed this garbage. But now
I use it to deliver the truth. I get a big kick out of watching the reaction
of acquaintances when I quote bible verses better than they do but use
them to illustrate the folly of Christianity. (I only do this when they
start it.) There are a significant number of sites like yours on the net,
but this is one of the better ones I've seen. Sometimes I think it would
have been great if this kind of information and media was around when
I was younger, but I didn't need help leaving the church. I went cold
turkey and never looked back. There were incidents that led up to it but
at some point I matured, got wise and said "this is stupid". I woke up
the next morning "born again-again" and never had an ounce of doubt. My
strongest personal argument against religion is after looking back on
my life, I've had some really good fortune, and I've had some pretty bad
times. I would imagine in that regard my life's pretty average, which
is to say good. But what is interesting to me is that I had a fair share
of both good and bad life experiences regardless of whether I was a Christian
or not. As a matter of fact, I'd say my life has been better A.G. (after
god). Not because it's all been sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Rather my
expectations of life and other people are realistic. So what I came to
believe is that there is really just one "religion", or one law of life:
Shit happens. No fate, no "grand plan", nothing. Just what you make of
it. Now I'm sure Christians would consider this a hollow life, but I feel
just the opposite - very fulfilled because my life is good because I made
it that way, by myself through hard work. "I do unto others as...." not
because it is written in a book but because it makes since. In fact, I
find it ironic that much of the bible contains good guidance. If someone
filtered out all mythical stories and the threats of eternal damnation,
and published the rest as a how-to book, it wouldn't be so bad.
The other big kick I get is talking about the "rapture". I actually knew
some people who thought this past new years would be the end. I always
ask people talking about this if I can have their personal possessions
after they've left. I really can be quite annoying to the believers, but
only when they bother me. Again ironic, as so many "Christian" actions
are, I have respect for anyone's religion and believe in their right to
practice it, while they would burn me at the stake for not believing their
version. What love for their fellow man. "Welcome to our kingdom, and
enjoy with us everlasting peace. However, if you choose not to join us,
we'll kill you." Man I just get heated up when I start thinking about
all the crap the Christians have caused. It seems endless.
Anyway, great site and I have it bookmarked. A couple of suggestions.
Is there any way you can start getting a feel for some actual numbers
of people out there who don't believe in this junk? I'm really tired of
hearing 95% of all Americans believe in a god. Obviously that number is
propaganda supported by the political right wing, but no one has ever
contested it. I'd be willing to bet there are a lot more non-believers.
Add that number to those who robotically say they do believe but practice
it none, and you're over 50%. People are afraid to stand up and denounce
religion because our whole society and government is based on it (separation
of church and state??? HA!). But slowly and surely I see people getting
fed up with the religious intrusion into our lives. If not believing could
ever become as fashionable as believing, look out. Man would I love to
live long enough to see that. And one last thing, if you are not already
aware of it, there is another great site you could link to. It's www.evolvefish.com
and they have some super products for that discerning atheist on your
Best wishes and good luck,
off, I feel I should state that I am only 19, and not what you could call
"heavily-educated in religious topics". I was raised, strictly, on lutheran
practices, and for quite some time, I guess as a blind child, believed
all I was told. I went through baptism, as well as confirmation, still
believing everything I was told. It wasn't until 3 years ago when I found
a loop hole that no one would answer, or contradict... and instead of
answers or help, I received condemnation, and the joy of being ignored
by EVERYONE in my church going congregation who have heard of my simple
statement, that still lies unanswered after so long. My logic, in comparison
to the things I have already read on your webpage, is some what unstructured,
has no reference to the bible, and is merely a group of things that I
cannot, as one person, answer. I was hoping you could support, via reference
only, if these are 'possibly' correct or incorrect, being that my church
has basically excommunicated me, and hardcore atheists that I know and
speak with, ignore me, thinking that i'm trying to pop a hidden relgious
'you're going to hell' meaning behind my questions, but I assure you,
my statements are sincere... Enough of the explanation of my standings,
I'll just list the things I would like you to clarify if possible.
According to you writtings, god does indeed create evil according to
the bible. One thing I have been stuck with thinking about for the past
3 years is that god did indeed create satan. God, being all knowing, all
seeing, etc. etc. knew prior to satan's creation that satan would turn
against his instructions as an angel? I mentioned this to my 'sunday school
class' of 2 people of my age, the rest 6 graders (this was when i was
16 and a sophmore in highschool, very small church)... I was pretty much
kicked out of class, and was no longer allowed to ask such blasphemis
questions of such utter rediculousness. Is there logic behind my statement?
God says we are to be as much like him as possible... I see this impossible
being that, even according to his book, we are born directly into that
which we are supose to avoid. What is the point of giving us human nature
if it is wrong, and will send us to hell anyway? (like I said, very unstructured
arguments, but definetly in need of explanation, heh)
I had plenty more of my own theories, but they were answered in your
articles... These╩two may very well have been answered also, but being
that these subjects has effected me so personally, I would appreciate
a personal response (even if just a link to an article containing the
information would be great).
I appreciate your time in reading this, and would also like to thank
you for creating a webpage that actually contains the things I've been
thinking for so long, but never had proof, or reference to╩receive╩comfort
My name is Kristin and I live in Dallas, Texas. I am twenty years old
and have grown up in a very strict Southern Baptist home. I've been on
my own now for several months and have since decided to quit going to
church. This choice was a difficult one for me and I had to do a lot of
soul searching. What provoked all of this "soul searching" was something
my Sunday school class was studying. We were reading through a book that
talks about other religions and basically how it was either our way or
the highway. I asked the hypothetical question, "What about the twelve
year old boy who is of the age of accountability as far right and wrong
goes, who lives on the other side of the world and has been raised Muslim
by his family. One day he meets a Christian missionary who attempts to
introduce him to Jesus and he rejects the offer since it goes against
everything he has ever been taught to believe. What is his destiny? Will
he be sent to hell if he is not "saved"?" I was told then that God is
big enough to take care of that situation. I said that was not a good
enough answer for me and that I would not accept that. I said I would
not worship a god who would send that little boy to hell. That is unfair,
unloving, and unjust. The exact opposite of what I had been taught that
God was. This is what made me start questioning several things I had been
taught. I been looking through old notes from sermons I had written down
and was astonished that I had blindly let these people put the ideas in
my head that God and the Bible were "absolute truth". I began doing some
thinking on my own and my closest family and friends began telling me
that I was rebelling against God or that I was "backslidden". I have become
an outcast amongst people who said they would always love me and who preach
never ending forgiveness. I have been hurt by these people who still mean
so much to me, but over all I am much happier of the person I have become.
I am no longer narrow-minded, judgmental, or unaccepting of people. I
have become more kind and loving of others that I interact with simply
because I don't carry the attitude that if they don't believe the same
way I do that they will go to hell or that it is my duty to bombard and
offend them with my believes by trying to witness to them. I let people
be who they are and accept them for that. I stumbled upon your web sight
because it has been difficult basically changing my life and feeling as
if I have been doing it alone. Like I said before, most of my family and
friends are Southern Baptist or are believers. I am not exactly sure where
I stand on the existence of God. What I do know is that I do not agree
and no longer choose to believe all of the things that I have been raised
to believe. I have found your web sight very comforting knowing that there
are others who have experienced something similar to what I am going through.
If you time to write back that would be great and if you don't that is
okay too. I know you are very busy. I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate
your work on this web sight very much.
post this letter on your website(but not my e-mail adress please; I don't
want to hear from crazy baptists everywhere.) Here's my story: I was sixteen
and had an uncle who's going through his preacher apprenticeship(read:assistant
minister.) He'd been "born again" for years and kept after me religiously
(if you'll pardon the pun) to get "saved". Now, this was in Missouri where
my mother and I had to go each summer to visit these relatives. So I went
to my uncle's church a few times and the preacher really hit me hard with
that old saw "don't wait; get saved now; tommorrow may be too late". So,
I went up to altar call and got "saved". But guess what the preacher told
me when I asked to be baptized? He refused because " son, you're not a
member of this church and a church has to baptize you into their church
when you become a member." So, I asked my uncle to intervene and he also
refused to do so. Luckily for me, this was the best blessing I ever received
from the christian church because now they don't have my name on file
as a christian. But isn't it nice how the baptist church can tout all
this alleged "bible-believing" this and that crap and ignore a basic commandment
of their alleged godling? Now I'm Pagan and HAPPY!! No more feeling like
the last kid chosen on the playground because the preacher wouldn't baptise
me. My mother is still upset and convinced that it was that preacher that
turned me off to christianity. And to some extent that's true. But the
actual truth is that I read the bible cover-to-cover about ten times and
THAT is what turned me off to it. I fail to see how any of it can be believed
by sane, rational beings. That's why you always hear mass-murderers claiming
that god(that jehovah guy) told them to do it; you never hear of any other
gods issuing those orders. Why? Most other gods have a purpose to their
existence beyond worrying whether or not we're masturbating, and if so,
what condo in hell is up for time-share to put us in. Yes, thank you "Brother
Paul" for your apostasy in failing to baptise me; you saved me a lifetime
of guilt, grief, and wasted time(so, you see uncle, I have been "saved"--from
Just wanting to say that ive been an ex-godfreak for about 7 years now,
once my parents let me go on my own ways, just saying that i think your
site is the truth and i hope you and your site helps many others find
the way to the truth.
Losingmyreligion often reader,
you for making a wonderful set of pages...I am a 22 year old who was "saved"
at 7, through all my issues, ranging from mild teen angst to the contimplation
of suicide I turned towards the bible for answers, I never found the answers
I was looking for and much more found many unanswerable questions.
I saw churches cast aside non-belivers and discredit them to their faces
(not to mention worse behind their back) Then at 17 I decided that churches
were the problem, I bounced from Southern Baptist to Methodist and to
the charmingly all emcompassing non-denomonational. Now at 22 I have seen
the problem isn't within the church it's the gaping flaws in the mythology.
The loving god who has no problem casting me into eternal damnation, the
loving god who not only lets, but insists you kill in his name. The god
who within the many different sects claiming to be christians cannot keep
the same story.
I started my new atheist belief structure two weeks ago with, of all
things an interview with Simpson's Creator Matt Groening, unfortunately
I do not have access to the article anymore so I can't quote what he had
said but it got me thinking. For two weeks I have been battling my own
mind, fearful of letting my new thoughts out, because in this, the weakest
time it would be easy to take the simple road back to fearing a loving
god. But as I always had stated that "god works in mysterious ways"
I found tonight that so does the Invisible Pink Unicorn or Athesim in
the discovery of your page. Looking back I see my short letter has become
a little more extensive than I had intended. So I will wrap it up, in
my increasing debt, college student, chronic migrane life that could not
be unshackled by belief I finally feel free and I owe a thank you to you
for being there in my time of need.
If it is possible to get a template for the tracts rather than a set
of them could you please send that (via Email or Snail mail) I would like
to spread the word but do not want to tax your funds. Thank you for allowing
me to share and for finally being able to have that "god given"
right of freedom,
My "testimony" is very interesting, though you have probably
heard stranger things (like a man fitting three tennis balls in his mouth
or something). Where to start.. well, the past two years I have attended
Oral Roberts University. I don't know what you know about ORU... but let's
put it this way... Oral Roberts, for a living, went around the world "healing"
people in the name of Jesus. My freshman year at this University I would
often have slight panic attacks about Christianity. I would think, "If
God has a destiny for my life then i'm a puppet.Thinking this right now
and walking down the hallway.. and tripping over a roller skate... I have
no free will. This is truly a "divine comedy"... and for that
matter a "divine tragedy" and everything in between.. and God
is the puppetmaster"...it was really upsetting, as you can imagine.
Then, this past school year, I finally realized the truth.(The amazing
thing about all of my beliefs is that i came to them by drawing conclusions
from Christian speakers). My turning point was after a missionary from
the "10/40 window" spoke in chapel... he said "1 in 10
people in Nepal will ever see a Christian. 1 in 100 people in Nepal will
ever talk to a Christian. 1 in 1000 people in Nepal will ever become a
Christian."... i then realized that 999 people out of 1000 , in Nepal,
will burn in hell for absolutely no reason... and Jimmy Swaggart, Oral
Roberts, and Pat Robertson (the horrible televangelists that they all
are) will all go to heaven??? This was the blow to my house of cards that
i called "a faith".
So now... after investing 2 years and 20,000 dollars toward a "good,
Christian" education... i find myself horribly ashamed of my former
ignorance. I love your website. I have atheist friends, but it's good
to know that there are people out there, like myself, who found themselves
leaving their "cornerstone" behind. I'm really fortunate to
have stumbled upon this website... maybe it was god. ;)
Sincerely yours, this is
I first want to say thank you for creating such a wonderful site for nonbelievers!
I have been visiting quite often. I have even included a link to you site
in my website.
In a world dominated by mostly Christians, it is a breathe of fresh air
to know that I am not alone in this world - that others as well have left
their religion. Yes, it was hard at first - my family and friends thought
I was being "controlled by the devil" and other such nonsense.
I want to thank you again for your wonderful site, and I hope it helps
others out there, who like myself, do not feel the need to follow the
herd of "sheep" to be content in life!
Thanks so much,
The last few lines of your testimonial sum my thoughts it so well:
"Intellectual honesty and openness bring a peace and a happiness
that is not dependent on weekly reinforcement or group hysteria to maintain.
That's what works for me."
I am a 22 year old recent college grad living in Houston, TX with my boyfriend.
Despite being surrounded by blind faith my whole life (and getting my
college education from conservative Texas A&M University), I have
always been agnostic, primarily because I just didn't buy what my mom
(and the ridiculous church services) had always tried to sell me on...which
is why I write...My mother, divorced and alone (I'm an only child) is
a fanatical, Pop-Christian. She constantly tells me how "blessed"
she is or how Jesus helped her that week by keeping her car running, or
how God works miracles by helping her little dog lose weight...but i digress...She
constantly hints to me that I have big problems coming for me if I don't
gain faith, but I see right through all of it.
My mother is so miserable. She is filled with blind faith, and yet still
tries to push her views on me, someone who is obviously awake, thinking,
and much happier than she has ever been. My main question to myself these
days is how do I show her that by letting go of all of the nonsense, she
could be truly happy? Without offending her and the entire family of course.
It's damn near impossible. So thus far, I suffer in silence.
I feel I am lucky to be one among the 5% of non-believers in America.
But at the same time, it's awfully lonely at the top. It's great to know
I have like minds in Texas. Viva-la-rationality!