5:4 Stories of De-Conversion

My pursuit of truth

Nicholas - Island of Barbados

Being born in a country, where the majority of citizens are Christians or at least profess some form of Christianity (one guy went so far as to say he isn't a Christian but he believes god sent his son for us), where most babies, at least as recent as the 80s and 90s were "christened", being a Christian was as unasked a state as water being wet.

I grew up in a typical home, parents believed in god but not really big on church attendance, at least not in the earlier part of my life. My mother made a point of sending me off to Sunday school and the primary school I attended was attached to a church (physically for a long time, then in name afterwards, though church was still in throwing distance), reading writing and religious rhetoric were the "r's" of my youth. I became a teenager and attended church (same church as primary school) because it was the "thing to do", it's what good boys and girls did and I wanted to be a good boy, plus some of friends went as well.

The whole being a christian and Jesus only really started having any real meaning for me around the time of Y2K, being a person at the time that tried to be analytical about my work (a Computer technician) but still thought "spirituality" was an actual "thing" that my logic couldn't and shouldn't be able to get around, I thought the world was going to end for sure (as you may have discerned, I didn't really read a lot of the bible then, just the bits about love and salvation and the stuff in primary school, being fed by ravens and killing giants, stuff like that) and I spent that new year's eve in silent terror waiting for the proverbial trumpet to sound and voice to boom. I remember praying that if I survived I would turn my life around and attend more church, don't cuss so much and no more jerking off, I took the lack of calamity as a "sign" and lived a life of illusory piousness. A few years later in college (I went to a technical institution then had a job and was employed before I attended college, to clear up any confusion), between my mother going full "Jehovah's witness" and I thinking my life had a hole that religion somehow could fill, I started my regimen of bible reading and TBN watching. I fell for the usual emotional sucker punches of pleas for "heart opening" and the concept of "god sadness" with the occasional mild reminder of post-death torment. I was a born again believer, with cross pendants around my neck and gospel rock in my ears, I became the socially acceptable "rebel" christian, the ones that wear cargo pants instead of slacks. I met a young lady in college and I wanted to be with her, so I attended her church and I embraced everyone with open arms (well I would have but they have a "side-hug" policy) I felt that Jesus would empower my life and I would be that "shining light" those who were without Jesus so desperately needed.

I kept it up for a good few years but reality has greater stamina than I and is more persistent. There was no real big break moment, just a series of unsatisfied questions, death by a thousand cuts as it were. It started simply enough with things like Cain's wife, Lot's incest, Abraham's son, foreskins, Job (ooh don't get me started...), Goliath. Then when deeper thought was applied, what about the ramifications of actions: global flood, sun standing still, genocide, tower of Babel, anyone who lived where the isrealites wanted to move-in, foreskins (I mean seriously?!?), menstrual cycles, and so on..., after a while I noticed the same rhetoric cropping up, same weak explanations and lame excuses. The fateful decision I made was to seek the real truth out, I heard unbelievers and heretics had negative things to say of the bible, so even if I could find evidence to shut them up maybe I could quell my own growing doubts about it. It's only when I took the time to read the books the folks at church didn't want me to read (ironically included the bible itself), did I get that much needed change in perspective. In digging I thought I would uncover the truth but instead I found a catacomb of lies, a whole lot of "editing" and a history of "questioners" being "silenced". I read about the staggering number (approx 33000) of christian denominations, each and every one of them with a story they swear is the "real deal", they can't all be right can they? I asked myself. I couldn't attend church much less encourage people to attend in good conscience, knowing what I found, all the bumper stickers and sappy slogans in the world couldn't justify the horrors inflicted upon people who just wanted to mind their own business and live their lives. I couldn't go through with the charade, being a hypocrite bothered me more than the thought of going to hell, so I left (or more accurately I stopped attending church), I stopped being a christian and a believer in god (judeo-christian god) around the time I realized that the evidence for either of they're existence was no better than any other religion's flavour of deity.

Well de-converting was a side-effect of my pursuit of "truth" really, being an atheist wasn't a goal but just the state I'm currently in, I am unconvinced of the existence of "super-natural" characters. I do try to research as much as I can on things I used to take for granted, I also try to learn as much about world and sciences as I can. Sure I flirted with the notions of ultra-afrocentrisim and intelligent design but a study of history pokes holes in the former and a study of biology makes the latter, for lack of a better term "laughable". I'm not sure why a reference to an allegedly glorious past or a hidden entity is even important, if I want to be a genius then it doesn't matter if all before me were dummies, if I want to have a meaning and purpose to my life, I don't need an invisible conductor to provide it. I find the "need to believe" is redundant, knowledge seems more useful and ignorance isn't always fatal.

That character and those stories are like a pacifier and diapers, useful to those who need that sort of thing, all (over a certain age, at least) went through a stage where those things might have been necessary but one must grow away from such things. It's not healthy to have crutches when your legs work just fine.

All things considered, I'm glad I'm no longer part of the herd (yes, that's what it looks like from the outside), sure there are those who will shun me but if that is the price of mental clarity and a clear conscience, I pay it gladly. I feel empowered now, I have the means to solve problems and the ability to learn new things and by extension my mind, is a fantastic tool and a deadly weapon. It's a freedom that believers look beyond the grave to have, well I have it right now.