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How did you become non-religious?

Mar 27 2010
I couldn't help it!

I was baptized the day I was born, as a Catholic. The reason for the baptism was because it was questionable whether I was going to survive: I had a low birth weight though I was carried to term.

Until I was 10, when my father and mother divorced, though the Catholic church was just down the street -- 2 blocks away -- it was something we never attended. Then when my mother sent us to the Catholic church for services -- and then to Catholic school on Sundays -- she began exploring other religions including Santeria and Jehovah's Witnesses, before getting into Pentecostal and "nondenominational (whatever that means)" religions -- an offshoot of Baptist.

I explored religion as well. And still, nothing made sense to me. What did make sense was the fact that I observed a high correlation between religion and behavioral and physical disabilities. The more profound the religion, the deeper the problems were with that person. It seems that religion is quite well-crafted by whoever created it, and that a deity exists but so does its antithesis, and if one does not believe in such deity then he will be confronted by the antithesis. I therefore conclude that religion is created, not by faith, but by fear, guilt, shame, and dogma.

Churches even seem to go as far as to control a person's sexuality, and I believe that is outright wrong. I also find a profound amount of hypocrisy among those who practice religion.

I am an ordained minister and have an honorary doctoral degree of divinity through Universal life Church, a nonreligious church group in Modesto, California. The reason I became an ordained minister is so that I would have better access to institutions such as prisons, jails, hospitals, and nursing homes, in order to be able to cater to nonreligious persons in those categories. It is nice to know that nonbelievers make up only about 1% of the prison population. This means we are doing something right!

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