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How did you become non-religious?

Aug 23 2004
on becoming non-religious

don't know if I can pinpoint exactly when I realized I was an atheist. I am pretty sure that I was an atheist by the time I was a senior in high school.

I was raised in the Catholic Church. I achieved all of my requisite sacraments, right on schedule, up to and including Confirmation. Though I was never especially devout or pious, I suppose I believed the dogma as did all kids my age.

I know a lot of theist would love to hear about some dramatic event in my life that - through the shear impact of it - turned me away from the path of righteousness. It would certainly be more comfortable for the theists to have something other than rational thought to blame my fall from grace. But the fact is, there was no epic event that caused me to lose my faith. It was such a gradual thing that I can't even call it an epiphany when I one day realized I no longer believed in the existence of any god.

As a catholic child, I spent a few hours every Saturday morning in catechism (the Catholic version of Sunday School) learning all about God, Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the Bible. catechism was ( as best I can recall) around 3 hours long and taught by tough nuns. We actually took tests and received a grade for it just like any school. As a bright child I pretty much soaked up all of it without trying too hard. The stories were interesting, exciting and even amazing.

Later on, in high school, we were taught about various mythologies. I remember the teacher making her obligatory assertions that mythology was a pagan belief unlike the true Christian faith in God. As proof, she pointed out many of the really far fetched and unbelievable things that supposedly happened in these mythologies. I remember comparing them - with an open mind - to some of the miracles of Christ and some of the biblical stories. Somehow, I couldn't see any fundamental difference in credibility in the parting of the Red Sea and the antics of Zeus and Hera.

I also seem to recall at an early age wondering about the Noah's Ark story and how Noah managed to fit two of each species in his arc along with enough food to support them for several months. Even at my young age, I remember thinking how impossible that idea was.

As time went on, I questioned more and more. I realized that there wasn't one shred of proof in the existence of God other than the Bible. The Bible was written by men just as the Iliad, the Odyssey and other works of mythology. Believers would profess their faith while pointing to the Bible as their proof, then ridicule mythology as foolishness when mythology had just as credible of evidence of it's truth as did Christianity.

This, of course, lead to the studying of how Christianity became the dominant believe of the western world and my transition to disbelief was complete.

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