Introduce yourself to the group, tell us your story. We all have our own unique way at arriving at truth, what is yours?
My story starts with a fascination of mythology. In the town I grew up in Oklahoma, religion was a big deal. I was taken to a Baptist church where I had trouble with being damned to hell no matter what I did. Then in 5th grade, in our little school library, I found a series of books called "Mythology Around The World." It discussed mythology from different areas of the world: Egyptian, Norse, Greek, Roman, Chinese, India and lots more. I became entranced by the thought that at one time people believed their gods were real. So I asked the question, "What if all gods are just mythology?" I was not allowed back to Sunday school for that question. I visited my friend's Catechism Classes and got introduced to the Catholic beliefs. I continued my journey looking for the truth. I joined a Methodist church, which was not as bad as the Baptist church, but still no answer to my question. I was in Desert Storm when I lost any faith I had. So I was an atheist in the foxhole. Critical thinking classes in college cemented the idea for me. Now when asked I prefer the term Humanist because no one understands what it means and I get to explain my lack of faith to them. My wife worries about discrimination a lot more than I do. She tells me I need to keep it quiet but I do not roll that way. I am listed on the Secular Therapist website as the only secular counselor in West Texas. I see many religious people and inform them on the first session that I do not subscribe to any religious beliefs for counseling and prefer evidence based treatments. So far, no issues. I know it was a lot to read but thank you for doing so.
Thank you for sharing your journey. I am glad you found a place to fit in here. I really appreciate seeing your willingness to be open about the hurt you have had. I am going to share my story as well.
I was always a skeptical child. I never quite understood that adults really actually believed in religion. There is a weird blurry line as a kid between reality and fiction. You KNOW spiderman isnt real, but if someone says it, you'll get upset. For me, jesus and God fell into that blurry category, but I didnt understand that for grown ups, it wasnt blury, it was real to them. As I got older and understood more, it seemed rediculous to still be claiming santa, the toothfariy, God, and spiderman were all real. I simply outgrew the idea. I didnt have a word for not believing in God until I went to college and took a philosophy course. That's when I learned how hard life could be for an atheist. In trying to talk about ideas that I had never had the vocabulary or knowledge to have a proper conversation about, people got very aggressive and agitated. I started seeing all the ways people had inserted religion in to everyday life and it really made me feel isolated. But this group has has really given me that sense of community that I had a hard time finding in college!