My experience/struggle with christianity, thoughts on religion+ ponderings?

A place for atheists and agnostics to talk about their reboots.

Has religion negatively impacted your life?

  1. yes

    9 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. no

    9 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. _jeremy_

    _jeremy_ Fapstronaut

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    Hello all. I posted this on my reboot journal "under 20" but I thought it would be great to post it here as well, so this is a copy and paste of something I wrote on that forum. I hope you find this thought provoking, I'm going to be posting more on sundays, maybe other days. this post wasn't very focused, but my next ones will be.
    It's sunday everyone... I've decided I'm going to take sundays (maybe other days as well) as my day to discuss/rant about my experience with religion. Last year I finally decided and became comfortable as an atheist, it was a big step for me. So today, as it is my first post, I am going to telling the story of what religion did to me during childhood, and up into my teenage years, to where I currently am. Might be a bit lengthy, I'm doing this so if anyone finds my insights on atheism comforting or interesting, they have a backstory to begin with. So from a young age I went to church, sunday school and things like that. My family was back and forth form a lutheran church (slightly more traditional) and an Assembly of God (evangelical)(very cult-like and has some radical practices and beliefs, I'll touch more on that.) I had a very intense love for "jesus" when I was a kid, I thought hell was a scary place and I would even try to make my friends believe in god because I was scared they would go to hell. A really good kid, passionate about religion as I'd been taught. I'll talk more later about what they teach and stuff like that. Around 11 years old I think, I began to be exposed to more swearing and mature things, causing some internal struggle. 11 years old, 6th grade I remember, all my guy friends were talking about taking girls to this dance, and that was when I began thinking about my sexuality, I just did not get it. This is where a period of real self loathing began, praying every night with all of my heart that I would like girls like my friends did, to fix this. This was before I even looked up anything about homosexuality on the internet. Looking back, that's one thing that really makes me confident in my unbelief. I had such a love and so much faith in jesus christ, and I prayed for months. the bible does say pray like a child. Yet always, I only felt worse. Next came me looking on the internet, this helped immensely. I learned gay people are not monsters, yet this created more conflict as it still didn't fit what I was told my whole life by parents and other people I loved, I really thought the god of the universe was disgusted by my feelings. Later, I think 7th grade, when was just 12, I started watching porn, my friends had been talking about it. Some of my friends showed me straight porn, it wasn't traumatizing or anything, I thought it was cool I guess. That made me curious about gay porn, so of course I found some. I was ashamed, would try to watch straight porn, but still go back to gay porn. I would cry after watching, then pray. honestly porn didnt start causing problems in my life until like 2 years after i found it. Ok fast forward, 8th grade year barely 14, I've become a little bit more comfortable with myself. I make some hints to my father one day about it, mostly because I have a lot of trust for my parents, they were great loving people. He then asked me about my sexuality bc of my hints, and I tell him. This creates a huge, terrible scenario. In the next few weeks I would be prayed over by some individuals from our church, taken to "christian counseling" (not a certified counselor), extremely stressful. Was sat down at a table with parents on either side of me forced to watch "Ex gay testimonies" people saying jesus cured them. This was extremely hard for a child, so when I would cry or be scared and nervous to be around them bc of this treatment, they would say "homosexuality causes anxiety and depression" not realizing they were making me sad and nervous, not homosexuality. This destroyed me for a while. To avoid confusion, I was living with a parent and step parent, my other biological parent and step parent lived in another state. I then packed up and moved to my other parents house. I was allowed to go bc they thought I was leaving so I could get away from my friend group, I told them I was willing to change and moving was the next step. Don't forget, these are sane, loving people, who did these terrible things out of fear. They were terrified if they didn't fix me I'd have an eternity of punishment, and they thought I'd become a sex addict or drug addict because they thought being gay led to that. So I move away, my other parent is supportive, i go to a counselor, tell them this stuff, we go to court and my other parent now has custody. I avoid talking to parent #1 for like a year, i feel bad about that now. During this period of time i grew and became very comfortable with myself, had a boyfriend when I was 16 actually (two years later, im getting ahead of myself, lets take it back a bit.) my parents in the new place I was in went to catholic church, and expected me to go with them, but they didn't make it such a huge part of their life. It was also during this time i realized i wouldnt have had to come out to the parents i was living with before, bc being gay does not have to be a big part of your identity and its not a big deal. This story gets a little bit crazy now. The new parents I was living with got pretty bad pretty quick. This part is kind of not believable, sounds like something from a movie. One was a sociopath, the other, a brain doctor with a phd who knew about their spouses condition, and did not diagnose them because they could control them, literally make them do whatever. This household was insane. Very controlling person, the step parent (phd doctor). For some reason, about a year in, although I was an extremely good student and child, had a job, paid hundreds of dollars a month for all my car and phone bills etc. never once went to a party, literally never misstepped and was very quiet at home. this step parent started to blame every problem on me. soon i was being threatened things would be taken away, i would lose stuff, I was sick of it. While that was happening i had begun talking to my "previous parents" again. long story short, I moved back in with them as the toxic environment was driving me insane. They think i have "become straight "again"" and I'm playing along with their game. I literally have no choice except to do that until I am 18 and can be free of their authority. I have plans for my future, it's gonna be pretty good. but yeah im living back in the first place again, doing extremely well at the moment except i feel shitty for lying to my parents, but there's not much else I can do unless I want alot of shit to go down for no reason. I feel bad also bc when I move out and date guys and practice other things in my life, I know it's going to make my parents, one in particular, so extremely sad. This wasn't that much about religion i guess, it was just my life story, my next posts will be more focused. But i have so much to say about atheism and religion and why I stayed christian so long bc of fear of hell... so many things. Stay tuned for next time when I talk more in depth about what these people believe, why I think christianity/almost all religions are harmful, and much more. Btw im wrapping up day 5 no pmo, hasn't been a struggle yet. love you people
     
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    zilean and DudeAlex like this.
  3. What's up? Calvinist in the house? I hope all is well with you.
     
  4. muhagg

    muhagg Fapstronaut

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