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How did you become non-religious?

Author/DatePost
Henry_J._Czekalinski
Aug 23 2004
on becoming non-religious

I came up during the late 40's, 50's and early 60's at a time when the Roman Catholic church was much more powerful in people's lives than it is today. Even being beaten silly at age seven by our "pastor" for poking a hole in his asphalt parking lot didn't dissuade me from becoming an altar boy and even--at age 13--entering the seminary. I left the seminary at 20, academically head and shoulders above my public school-educated peers, but socially, emotionally and psychologically still 13--a situation that created innumerable problems for me as you can imagine. At least by that time, religion had become irrelevant to me. It wasn't until about 20 years ago, when I discovered the thinking of the late Joseph Campbell, mythologist and professor of comparative religion that I realized how we were snookered by our teachers into believing the insidious nonsense they were spewing without any reference to humanist or secularist counterpoint--ideas that went back thousands of years--and were well known to our teachers, but conveniently denied to us, their students. So it was Joseph Campbell, thank god, who made me an atheist.

Henry_J._Czekalinski
Aug 23 2004
on becoming non-religious

Upon rereading my e-mail, I fear that some readers may misinterpret my reference to Joseph Campbell. Campbell, himself a recovered Catholic, was probably the least religious, but most spiritual, thinker I have ever read who through his life-long study of mythology came to the conclusion that a true understanding of "god" resulted in an inner transformation from our animal nature to our human nature. There is no god out there; "god" is within each of us. So, I should probably add "I recommend Joseph Campbell to anyone who seeks to understand what it means to be truly human; without the crutch of religious claptrap." - Hank

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