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the_internet_clown

Deconverted. I stopped believing what I was raised to at 12-14


Drukpa-Kunley

:) was trying to think of a better word. Thanks. Where were you raised, if you don’t mind me asking? I was raised with no religion (UK for me), but reading some of the posts here I realize that I might be in the minority… curious if that’s true


the_internet_clown

Atlantic Canada


Drukpa-Kunley

Is religion dominant there? From what I understand of Canada it’s quite progressive, no?


the_internet_clown

People in my experience don’t really bring up religion in day to day life so it’s really hard to determine that


karlosi01

Lucky to be born in place where atheism is not only without stigma but a norm


Drukpa-Kunley

Same here. It’s easy to take for granted. Where you live, is there a stigma for being religious then?


karlosi01

I am certainly not aware of one


Neo-6

Where


karlosi01

Czech republic. Central Europe between Germany and Poland


TwinklingAndMellow

I'm Polish, and have heard jokes that the best thing that could happen to us is to be occupied by the Czechs. We would then get atheism and beer.


BOLTRONAUT

I wasn't raised anything. My father was Catholic, my mother became a JW when I was very young, but they never pushed me towards any religion or any gawd. Around the age of 14 I decided the whole concept of organized religion and a higher power was bullshit, and I've never looked back. My father passed away recently as a Catholic, my mother is still a JW, and my brother married an evangelical Christian and he seems to be into that now. Thankfully everyone in my family has always been respectful of other's beliefs, so it's never been a problem.


Drukpa-Kunley

Thanks for sharing. That’s quite the range. Based in the US I’m guessing?


Aerumvorax

I was raised in a "technically" christian family and left the church as soon as I was able. Around here pretty much no-one except the odd religious nutcase gives a rats ass about other peoples religious beliefs so not too much stigma. I guess if I went to a sunday church and announced that I'm an atheist I would get at least odd looks, but it's not really something that I go spreading around unlike some unmentioned religious cults. Religion is more commonly conversed and debated while drunk and generally people end up agreeing about disagreeing with each other. Doesn't really matter what their religious stance is, a drunken debate is something that often sparks conflict. Rarely directly physical conflict since people generally accept that others are not exactly same, but it's still common enough to mention about.


Drukpa-Kunley

So your family continue to go to church? I feel like there’s a difference in the UK… many people are ‘technically Christian’ (C of E,) but they wouldn’t go to church and it plays no real role in their lives


Aerumvorax

My mother goes to church for her job related things. My dad I think goes to church if they ask him to perform. Basically both are about the church like whatever. I haven't delved too deep into their religious stances because it's not really my business. They do know that I left the church though. I do have noticed though that even though the religion and legislation is legally claimed to be separate from each other, there's a LOT of HIGHLY religiously colored laws still in effect and enforced. The legislators even acknowledge that the system sucks and needs to be repaired but they can't seem to be getting anywhere with it. Same shit year after another for at least the last 15 years and probably way longer. Everyone agrees that something needs to be done but nothing that gets suggested is good enough for even half of the legislators. What is considered family and in what situations is a great example of just one of the problems I'm talking about. At the moment the system basically pimps anyone living with another person to be a pair no matter the sex (they did a legislative change to accommodate LGBQT+ community but it kind of ended backfiring hard). Want to share a rent with a another person? Congratulations for your open marriage, you're now considered a single entity in the system which basically means less income and more taxes. I guess it's a positive that they didn't include polyamory in that legislation.


EAKuntz

My mum wasn't particularly religious but I had a lot of christian friends. School was pretty christian too, morning prayers, bible stories in assemblies etc. I stopped believing after seeing the Ethiopian famine on the news that lead to Live Aid, I guess I'd have been 6 or 7. Whenever I asked teachers or adults at church why god would let this happen, they obviously couldn't give a rational answer, lol! I still went to church and religious youth groups, I just found the religious aspects weird. I did find people talking about their faith kind of fascinating though, these were adults that were so sure of their beliefs when it was obviously all bullshit!


Drukpa-Kunley

How about now? Still surrounded by it?


_Oudeis

Neither. I guess my (Australian) family were nominal or cultural Christians (Anglican). I was sent to Sunday School as a kid but there was no talk of religion at home and no church outside of weddings and funerals. When you're a kid you kind of accept what grown-ups tell you is fact, but in high school you start to realise they're full of shit.


Drukpa-Kunley

Huh. So they don’t practice, but sent you to Sunday school… have you ever asked them about their reasoning? (I never went to Sunday school so I really don’t understand what happens there)


_Oudeis

It was the 70s, so I think they just did it because of social tradition more than anything else - or to get us out of their hair for a few hours. It would be interesting to talk to my parents about it - they've never professed any spiritual beliefs, and I doubt they have strong opinions on the matter. Sunday School is just mild religious indoctrination for kids. I remember learning about Bible stories and characters like Moses, but I remember the playground better :)


Drukpa-Kunley

That makes sense. I wonder how many more generations until most of those social habits have died…


Larnievc

I went to a C of E school so got taught bits but it never really meant more to me than the Greek myths. I knew about dinosaurs so Adam and Eve and such did not make any sense.


Drukpa-Kunley

:) I do feel like the RE classes did a good job at undermining the CofE


Larnievc

It's the same as how reading the Bible is a great way to make people stop believing in God.


Drukpa-Kunley

Am I right in thinking you’re based in the US? I never understood how a country which has separation of church and state written into their constitution still manages to get the two so mixed up


apex_flux_34

I was raised by believers who didn’t go to church or push religion on me. I realized I was an atheist around age 17 when I began to critically and honestly examine my beliefs.


Drukpa-Kunley

Did you ever consider other religions or belief systems?


apex_flux_34

Nothing supernatural. I was and still am convinced that the existence of a god… any god… doesn’t match up to the facts of reality. It is very clear that god(s) are a man made concept. Furthermore, faith in the way it’s used to support religious belief is an extremely negative thing. It’s the “virus” that bad ideas and untrue claims are smuggled in to unsuspecting minds with.


Drukpa-Kunley

Where do you sit on non-abrahamic interpretation in which ‘god’ essentially equates to universe.. Taoism, Advaita Vedānta, etc?


apex_flux_34

No reason to have two names. “Universe” is good enough. If someone wants to call that god, ok I guess? I don’t see the point.


Glorwen_79

We never really spoke about religion in our family when I grew up, only went to church at special occations, us children could join sunday school if we wanted, my oldest sister went and stayed for some sundays, my second older sister loved it and I the youngest sister went for one or two sundays and then it was neh this is boring and stupid. Now the oldest is maybe there is a god and maybe not, the second oldest is a firm believer and I am outspoken atheist. Funny part is that both of my second oldest children are most likely atheist. Her oldest son is an outspoken atheist and his sister said at the age of ten: I do not want to believe in god! She is now soon to be 13.


MzzMolly

I was the default, atheist, as everyone is. I was not raised with religion.


Safari_Eyes

I was raised a Mormon, starting in the Midwest, with a decade of my childhood in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Mormon Central) I wasn't given any choice in that, forced into attendance every Sunday, plus participation in any and all activities. I left shortly after reaching adulthood. Atheism took longer, but once I left religion I did a *lot* of reading.


Drukpa-Kunley

That’s a big shift.. can I ask how your family and friends have responded?


Safari_Eyes

Various ways, as you might expect. I started the fade by moving 1,000 miles away from the family to get away from forced religion. It's easy to completely avoid talking about religion when you're 1,000 miles away. In the 30 years since, about half the family have left the church - Mom and most of my sisters. Most of my brothers are still in, raising large families of their own.


295Phoenix

De-converted at 15-16. Since I was raised as a Catholic, I came out as an anti-Catholic and used anti-Catholic arguments, didn't come out as an atheist at the time.


Drukpa-Kunley

How was that received?


295Phoenix

Lots of anger between mom and I (Dad was always the more reasonable one), eventually, she was just like, if you get confirmed I won't ask you to go to church again. I accepted since Confirmation means positively nothing, but I would've kept fighting indefinitely if it was about Baptism since that's when you're put on the papal rolls as a member but sadly I was already baptized as an infant so that ship already sailed. But anyways, haven't gone into church ever since, no exceptions.


glitterlok

> Were you raised atheist or did you convert? I was raised by Christian parents in the hopes that I too would be a Christian. I don’t feel like “convert” is quite the right word. I didn’t move from one set of beliefs to a different one. I just recognized that I wasn’t convinced of the set of beliefs my parents adhere to. > Also, how much stigma have you experienced as a result of your choice? None.


Drukpa-Kunley

Yeah… I realized it wasn’t the right word after posting. :) can I ask, did your parents and family support your rejection?


glitterlok

> can I ask, did your parents and family support your rejection? What do you mean by “support?” My parents are still Christian, and they wish I was one as well. But I’m an adult person. There’s really no meaningful room for “support” or “not support” in terms of whether or not I am convinced that a god exists in our relationship. They know I’m not convinced. I know they wish I was. That’s really all there is to it.


Deipnoseophist

Was raised Christian, was very Christian myself until about 27 when it all just came apart for me and I now consider myself atheist, anti-theist even. My family is all still Christina, my mother especially, most of them don’t know about my change. I think my parents suspect but we just don’t talk about it. They send me Christian YouTube links and other random shit from time to time but I just don’t engage with those messages at all.


Drukpa-Kunley

Is it something you’d prefer they didn’t find out about? (Sorry- quite personal. No need to answer if not comfortable discussing)


FlyingSquid

No one raised me to be an atheist and I didn't convert. I simply never started believing in any gods. It wasn't taught to me, that's just how I was.


Drukpa-Kunley

Have you ever explored some religions?


FlyingSquid

I've studied world religions, yes. They never convinced me their gods existed.


[deleted]

I was raised catholic and then seeked out on my own and got brainwashed some more. I got rebaptized and was in fear of every little commandment so I tried following Jewish law too. I was so mentally fucked but I kept asking logical questions which nobody had reasonable answers for. I also found out that the freemasons run organized religions and I don’t trust them turds one bit. I eventually broke free from the spell and it took years of decompression. I still don’t know what I believe but I damn sure don’t believe in some made up gods created by tyrants and secret societies.


cryswing14

I was raised Baptist in Texas and chose to go to a Christian college. I started questioning my beliefs because I slowly started realizing that the Bible causes racism, sexism and homophobia. Took a lot of mental gymnastics to try to keep believing Christianity was a good thing; my fear of hell was very strong. Anyway by 44 I decided atheism was the most logical and loving choice. My mom has been totally accepting and told me she’s actually been quietly questioning things for years. I haven’t told many people mostly because the first few I told were appalled. I was shocked at how well my mom took it


Protowhale

Raised by devout Christians, expected to spend every Sunday in church and every Thursday in church activities. Lots of God talk at home. I don’t generally tell people that I’m an atheist because I’ve gotten too many negative reactions just from saying I don’t go to church.


purgruv

Was raised without religion, and only realised my personal atheism at ages 8, 13, and 32.


Santa_on_a_stick

Deconverted a "few" times. Went to a much more insane church, then to a much more "accepting" church, then to a "personal relationship with god that doesn't fit any church", to now. Turns out, none of them solve any of the problems, and even the most accepting churches are still terrible. The stigma from those who remained in the church was pretty bad, but I also didn't want to spend time with them, and still don't. The people in my life now are all different, and all much better. I'm lucky enough to live in a large city, and have options for community.


Drukpa-Kunley

Still, I imagine that was difficult.


Dutchchatham2

I was raised Catholic. However, when I tried to truly examine what I believed, I realized I could no longer believe. So, I didn't choose anything, I just became unconvinced. I have never been very open or vocal about my lack of belief. So no real negative repercussions.


LashaKokaiaIsADooD

I wasn't raised religiously by anyone except the "less important" Grandma (who is very religious), but I was religious until about 2016-2017. then I de-converted, but I still held a silly belief that Santa Claus existed Independent of Christianity. I became a true and full Atheist by 2018. Grandma still says that it is "unfortunate you were raised an Atheist" and for some reason my non-Christian Dad still defends her and says she tolerates my Atheism. the same Grandma also once said Gay people are disabled (or something similar), then Dad apparently convinced her to not view it that way, before she again said that Gay people are disabled.


MpVpRb

My father was atheist, my mother was religious, but not fundie. She gently and politely suggested that I go to church, but accepted my decision to reject religion


GrumpyOldMan59

To answer the second part of your question, I lived in the buckle of the bible belt up in the mountains of North Carolina. I was firmly closeted as an atheist. People meeting you for the first time opened with "Who's your preacher?" The entire week orbited around church attendance and activities. I saw more lying, gossip, and back biting there than anywhere else I have ever lived. This was about 25 years ago and I highly doubt it has changed.


Beardic_Knowledge

I was raised catholic in a fairly progressive area outside of Detroit. I considered my church extended family, including the clergy who baptized me, gave me first communion and other sacraments. I got lifelong friends from the religious education classes I took once a week from kindergarten til high school (confirmation). Around when I turned 16 just before my confirmation, we had special lessons to help walk us through what the sacrament of confirmation meant and it felt like a lot of pressure for a teenager who didn't even have his license yet. We were all told that if we weren't feeling it we were allowed to put it off a year or two, and they had examples of older kids I knew who had done just that no problem. My issue was that my grandma, an old school Irish Catholic (tm) told me how proud of me she was that I wouldn't burn in hell. So I went through with it. By this time I already held doubts but felt like I couldn't talk to my parents about them but my best friend also in the confirmation group also had doubts but we went through with the ceremony. On the day when the Cardinal daubed the holy chrisolm on my forehead, I felt like I could fly. My heart was racing and I could barely breathe. I could FEEL the holy spirit within me. And I was happy. That year was the worst pollen season and combined with the cottonwood in our area, I didn't have a good time. The year after and my little brother got confirmed into the faith, and smelling the chrisolm on his head reminded me of all that pollen. It wasn't the holy spirit I felt 2 years prior: I was allergic to the perfume in the oil. By the time I was in college I had actual good reasons to leave the church and I had exactly one argument with my dad about it and he leaves me alone about it now pretty much and we still have a loving relationship. TLDR: it was never the holy spirit, it was the allergies that made me feel special at my holy confirmation.


Professional_Band178

I was raised in a strict Roman Catholic home but I never believed a word of it. I only went along because I was punished severely if I questioned my parents. Stopped going to church in college. Finally left the church formally when the pedophile scandal broke publicly. I'm humanist and occasionally take part in events at the UU church.


Silocin20

Evangelical/Fundie. Went liberal for about 20 years. Started my deconversion 3 years ago after I accidentally found out about my Social Anxiety.


Drukpa-Kunley

There is clearly a lot more to this story. Can I ask, how did the anxiety feed into the Deconversion? And how have you found the transition?


Silocin20

There is, but once I found out I seriously started doubting more than I ever had. At first I was still "spiritual" and all and not quite ready to give up on gods. So I was looking into paganism, then in early 2020 I looked up atheist on youtube and from there it's been a rabbit hole of information. YouTube has really showed me what atheists are really like, and how they go about from day to day without a god. It's been great freeing myself from the indoctrination.


gulfpapa99

Raised Catholic, quit 56 years ago, never looked back, no regrets.


Atmosphere-Strong

Stopped believing at 10. Raising my kid non religious.


Ya-te-veo

I was raised christian, I was born in New York but Grew up in Texas, I was never very religious but I didn't become full atheist until I was 15 and by then I was already familiar with how people felt about them so I haven't experienced any stigmas because nobody knows. The worst thing that has happened is my brother who is also atheist has major depressive disorder because his experiences with religion weren't very good. Long story short his biggest issue is that now he feels people won't appreciate him for who he is and he has to keep up a religious guise.


Shotosavage

Convert and living in secret lol


nogpob

My mum is atheist, dad believes in something but doesn't participate in organised religion. I lived with my mum. I used to sing in a church choir cos I enjoyed singing, but gave up any godly beliefs before that. I remember saying something about God to my mum when I was maybe 10 years old, and she replied by laughing and saying "there's no such thing as god", and briefly explaining how it was nonsense in a world with such cruelty and suffering. Made sense to me.


nuublarg

I wasnt raised as anything. I was a natural atheist. Then I feel prey to evangelizing, and I deconverted 5 years ago.


AutomaticDoor75

I began to doubt the existence of a god or the supernatural around fourth grade, and considered myself an atheist by age 16. I was raised in a very mild Episcopalian tradition.


No-Communication-887

I was surrounded by mormons and raised Christian but, when my parents became agnostic, which I had already been for some time, I ended up being raised to just be critical in my thinking and to ask questions.