Mostly trying to relate.

  • @[email protected]
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    696 months ago

    My parents didn’t think I was religious enough so I was forced to go to Catholic school. Thus became even more atheist. Also, religious people are the most hateful and dishonest people on the planet based on my experience.

    • BarqsHasBite
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      6 months ago

      Such as easy thing to do when you have God on your side huh.

  • @[email protected]
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    6 months ago

    The hypocrisy of the religious. Hands down the biggest reason.

    The exclusivity, in the negative sense.

    The constant premise that there is something wrong with you if you don’t conform or otherwise fit the mold, or bend a knee to those thought of as superiors. Dissent is not allowed.

    Pray problems away instead of actually doing something about them. Like school shootings.

    The toss in all the rest of the BS like fighting other religions, wars in god’s name, god gave me (the win, the victory, saved my life but it wasn’t the surgeons, spared my house in the tornado but not the neighbor’s, my Mercedes, whatever) but not you because you’re gay or support LGBTQ, liberal, atheist, etc.

    There really is so much to despise about people who using religion as a shield for their shitty beliefs and actions.

  • @[email protected]
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    6 months ago

    I moved out on my own and started asking the questions that I had previously been told not to ask at church.

    Turns out there’s a reason you’re not supposed to ask those.

    • @[email protected]
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      66 months ago

      Your sweet aunt René well deck you in the fuckin’ face!

      Few things will get an adult to hit a kid as quickly as that kid questioning their religion. This, from people who insist “God is love”

  • @[email protected]
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    426 months ago

    First drop of doubt for me began at a Wednesday youth service. Not only was I such a strong believer that I went to church in the middle of the week, I drove myself because I was the only one in my family who wanted to go. The youth minister was giving a class on cults and the more he spoke the more it sounded like my entire life was being part of a cult. Following that thread led to me finally admitting to myself that I don’t believe anymore about 6 years later. It was a long road with lots of doubt and denial but that one sermon on how to identify a cult woke me tf up.

    • @[email protected]
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      246 months ago

      The first thing was how the catholic church handled the sex abuse allegations.

      The second thing was how they taught that the Bible was “the literal word of God”, then changed church doctrine away from the Bible whenever it suited them.

      The third thing was how, when my son died at 15, everyone was ok with that being “part of God’s plan”. What the fuck kind of God has a plan that requires 15 year olds to die?

      By now, it all just seems like so much insanity.

    • @[email protected]
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      106 months ago

      That’s actually hilarious. By all accounts, religions are definitionally cults. Though colloquially we tend to define cults as ‘dangerous’, even though there are many cults which are arguably more tame than some ‘religions’.

      • @[email protected]
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        86 months ago

        That was basically the answer he gave me when I asked what separated us from a cult. He must have forgotten all the evil done in the Christian God’s name because Christianity also has a history of being dangerous.

  • @[email protected]
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    6 months ago

    I was in 5th grade, and I had filled a notebook with questions about the bible and how passages in it contradicted modern science, as well as a bunch of passages from the bible that directly contradicted eachother. My parents took me to a bunch of different christian “scholars” and pastors and none could answer a single question in my notebook, other than “have faith.” It was then that I realized there was probably no god and the bible was a bunch of bullshit. And maybe there is a god, I am not against the idea, but I have still not to this day ever seen or heard empirical evidence that would lead me to believe there is one. Telling your kids they will burn in hell for eternity if they don’t believe in a mystical being is pretty fucked up. I had serious nightmares growing up about what would happen to me in hell. Talk about brainwashing.

    • @[email protected]
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      136 months ago

      It is literally child abuse. I was also terrified of hell before I realized it was all bullshit.

  • @[email protected]
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    326 months ago

    Of the things that kept me a Christian, least important to me was the historicity of the Bible, even though, to this day, I still have a high regard for the Bible as a historical document.

    The second most important was the evidence of the effect of God in the lives of the people around me at church.

    But the most important, beyond anything else, was the subjective experience of “the Spirit”. I wasn’t pentacostal, but I was all-in as a Christian; It sounds so woo-woo, but I don’t know if most people are aware how convincing a truly “spiritual” experience is, even most Christians, since most Christians seem to be cessationist about the most basic interactions with the Spirit (not just healing, prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc.), even if their theology says otherwise. For example, whenever I had a big decision to make or something I was anxious about, I would find a place where nobody could hear me, sing a few hymns, read a few Bible verses picked totally at random, and pray-- not about my decision, just prayer in worship of God-- and without ever actually addressing my issue, within a short time, I almost always had a profound peace about which choice to make, even when that decision went against my insecurities, my rational thought, my will, my perceived abilities, or all of the above. I didn’t know or even care the degree to which praying for “stuff” affects the outside world, but I knew prayer affected me and made me a better person.

    There are even little “tests” you can contrive out of the Bible to experience “the Spirit”. There’s a verse, 1 Corinthians 12:3, that says that nobody can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Spirit. (Obviously, anyone can say the literal words, but to actually mean it is harder.) Anyway, I know some Christians who take this literally, and taught me to pray the words “Jesus is Lord”, and when I did, something deep inside always responded, “Amen!”. Romans 8:16 could be used the same way, i.e. “I am a child of God”. Really, any Bible verse or anything I knew with 100% certainty would elicit the same response. But trying the same experiment with any other phrase would only leave me feeling gross inside.

    Anyway, I started to have doubts in the mid 2010s. First was the realization that other people’s testimony of their spiritual experiences wasn’t terribly reliable. For example, I once went to a prayer meeting while visiting friends in a rural, less educated town, and, while for the most part I had a good time, I was rather culture-shocked by the fast and loose way the Christians there used (and meant) the word “miracle” to describe positive but entirely mundane life events. Like I’m glad your brother-in-law saw an incremental improvement in his cancer this week, but, I mean, the rain falls on the just and unjust alike; it seems more superstitious than spiritual that you credit his improvement entirely on last week’s prayer meeting. But whatever, it’s a small thing and it doesn’t really matter.

    But then I noticed a similar trend in the Christians I looked up to. This isn’t a spiritual example, but my church was politically mixed, and while I didn’t care too much that my friends were supporting this candidate or the other, there was a definite uptick in cognitive dissonance from the 2015 political realignments, leading to people convincing themselves of viewpoints they didn’t even remember they disagreed with just last week. The ability to rewrite history en masse with no knowledge it was ever rewritten was something I’d never experienced so viscerally prior to that. (I get that people have a tendency to believe whatever they want to believe, but I’d never seen it at this scale and to people so mentally stable and intelligent.) I finally started to understand how so many secular Bible historians could agree that the early disciples of Jesus genuinely believed they witnessed Christ die and rise again yet completely discount the story as inaccurate. Mass hallucinations don’t work that way, I always thought.

    Then it happened to me too. Now, I recognize that any impression or feeling or answer to prayer from the Spirit is going to be, in many ways, ambiguous. With the exception of those moments of profound peace, you kinda just get a pretty good idea of what you “heard” from the Spirit and accept that there’s always the chance you misunderstood. But it was the former, moments of profound peace, that caused me, for example, to turn down work that would’ve pulled me away from my congregation at home to another town further away, despite already being out of a job at the time. This was a bad move, financially, and eventually I ran out of money and got evicted. Now, the Bible doesn’t make that many concrete, single-variable, testable promises about what’s supposed to happen to a Christian walking with God, but one of the one’s that’s strongly implied is that if you “seek first the kingdom of God”, your basic needs will be provided (Matthew 6:31-33). I get that there are going to be exceptions to this, and I’m not trying to imply a prosperity Gospel, but I don’t live in a third world country and I wasn’t being persecuted and there was no reason to be struggling financially in my position short of irresponsibility. I was genuinely “seeking first the kingdom”, and the result was personal failure. And whether or not I’ve taken the Bible too far to contrive a promise that isn’t actually there doesn’t really matter, because the Spirit said it was a promise, or so I thought. Clearly, I misunderstood.

    The problem is, if I misunderstood the most obvious, unambiguous things that the Spirit told me, nothing is trustworthy.

    The other problem is that I had been noticing that it didn’t seem like I was spiritually growing as much, despite staying out of sin and following the Bible to the capacity I was able. Christianity clearly had made me a better person from the moment I converted from atheism until several years after, but it seemed like whatever character flaws I still had after five to ten years were just “stuck” in place, and, in fact, this seems to be the normal Christian experience. My pastor mentioned to me a book he had been reading-- I wish I could remember an author or title-- that mentioned that the average Christian is good for about seven years, and then they become a warm body for the rest of their lives. He meant it as an admonishment to continue walking with God, but seeing as I thought I was walking with God, I looked around the church and was horrified to slowly realize that this characterization matched my experience of the Church. It’s still the same God; He didn’t change. So what changed? Some of the best people I ever knew I knew from church, but they still had rough edges that were never addressed. If anything, the congregation was just getting more cult-like and rigid (“rigid” in a religious way, not in any actual adherence to the Bible) over time.

    Eventually, I found myself overwhelmed with doubts. I started running little spiritual experiments. Once, I was taking a shower, and I started doing the “Jesus is Lord” experiment, except that I found that with a little mental gymnastics, I could coax the same response from random objects; like, I could say “shampoo”, and something inside would say, “Amen”.

    After that, the idea that “the Spirit” was all in my head seemed more plausible than the existence of God. So that was basically the end for me.

    • @[email protected]
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      -26 months ago

      Well that was wild. I think the best thing to remember from this is that religion is not going to give you “advice” like a friend would. The Bible doesn’t know whether you should get a different job. It’s not logical, it’s emotional.

      If a loved one dies or you have to make a tough moral decision, that’s where it can help. Same with any philosophy. You wouldn’t ask Immanuel Kant some boring question, so why ask God? No He doesn’t care about your football game. Sorry.

  • @[email protected]
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    316 months ago

    I was a Christian until I was 18. One day I was reflecting on how Jihadist’s will blow themselves up because they’re totally convinced they’re right.

    I asked myself if I would do the same, but ended up saying “I don’t believe that much”, which promoted me to ask myself “then why believe at all?”.

    Since then I’ve totally deconverted and I’m now anti-theist. I resent that I was indoctrinated, and I see religion as the main culprit for most of the problems in the world.

  • talizorah
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    306 months ago

    I was raised a specific way with Christianity at the core of it. My mom was Catholic but didn’t really practice, my dad’s side had a history of church leadership, but it skipped a generation. Both of them went to a revival right before having kids. By the time I was born and aware, they were very dedicated members of a local Baptist church.

    I wasn’t allowed to read comics, watch most TV, listen to most music. I couldn’t watch most movies, we didn’t have cable, we didn’t have internet, so I was stuck thinking this is just the way it was.

    Even inside the church, I wasn’t allowed to play with certain kids, talk to certain adults. I wasn’t allowed to talk with girls… A lot of stuff I wasn’t allowed or supposed to do.

    I was ADHD and an Aspie, but my family didn’t really like that kind of medicine so I never took anything. High expectations to meet, and constant disappointment in my failure to meet them.

    Nonetheless, I believed the Bible, in God, in Jesus. I listened to the teachings and stories. I learned what I was supposed to be as a Christian: good, kind, caring, putting others first, denying yourself, etc. and I thought that was great. It made me very understanding of others, listening to them and meeting them where they were. It made me generous and kind, offering help with no hope for reward or return. I didn’t mind that I never got my way, was always wanting more… That didn’t matter, my reward would come later, just like the Bible said.

    ~

    Enter Obama. While I was excited about the advent of a new president but wasn’t yet old enough to vote, politics started to creep into religion. People blamed him and Democrats for everything, while reverting to scriptures and other doctrines to say why. After a soul searching moment related to the legalization of gay marriage, I realized that what the government did wasn’t at all pertinent or related to the church.

    The pastor I had at the time navigated this issue with finesse and grace. He called on our church members to follow the basics: the Bible applies to Christians, not non believers. And believers or not, we should treat everyone with kindness and love. Needless to say, he got subtly pressured to leave over the next year or so. I appreciate him a lot for speaking up and asking for love in a time of growing hatred. Last I heard he became a sports coach for a high school, living the example of showing love by doing, not saying.

    ~

    After that, with Trump on the horizon… My church devolved into the cesspool of trying to reunite religious law with common law. They wanted to outlaw gays because “the Bible says so”. They wanted to stop abortion because “the Bible says so”. They wanted to get rid of all the immigrants… Because the Bible said so? No, beyond those two points the Bible and Jesus were left behind, and instead the hatred started to pour out of these people. There was no love, it was only hatred and spite and fear. Trusting in God meant voting Republican. Doing his will was reduced to wearing red hats and saying “Lets Go Brandon”. Spending money on improving the nation and it’s inhabitants was socialism, the very enemy of the American people…

    And it was at that point I realized that the religion I was taught as a kid, of love and kindness to all mankind at your own expense… Was gone. You didn’t need religion to be a good person and to help others. Religion was being used like a crowbar in the gears of our democracy. And it seemed to be used similarly everywhere else, too.

    I had better access to the internet, interacted with more people, and found that my suffering as a kid came from a denial of science by my parents, and holding me to restrictions in the name of faith that did nothing but damage my growth.

    ~

    I like Jesus, the concepts, the teachings, the story. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone who claimed to live in his name acted to his example? But nobody really does. I’ve been spending more time attempting to deprogram myself from religion and faith recently, because I’m pretty sure a day will come where that classic scenario would happen: someone will hold a gun to my head and ask if I believe. But it’s not going to be some godless terrorist bent on eradicating the “good news”. It’ll be some proud American patriot with Fox News pouring from his headphones, following his Republican Party’s call to action, killing those who don’t believe in what he does because he’s been told that’s the only way he’s getting heaven on earth.

    And despite whatever I may think, that day I’ll gladly say I no longer believe.

    • @[email protected]
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      116 months ago

      You pretty much nailed it. The teachings of Jesus are pretty great. Most important law there is? Love God and your Neighbor (okay I combined them but that’s what Jesus meant anyways). Jesus lived that way. You’d find him hanging out with the rejects of society, the ill, the prostitutes, etc. He wanted to raise the floor of society. He also was for separation of church and state. “Hey Jesus, you’ve got this new kingdom thing going on, do we have to pay taxes to the king anymore?” “Yes, give your king what’s his, and give to God what’s his.”

      But somehow these days it’s all about how you can word the Bible to help further your hatred. “Hey this one passage says if a man lays with a guy (boy? We aren’t 100% on that translation), he should be stoned, so that means we should hate the gays!”. Nope. Go back and read what Jesus was all about. Love your neighbor. Most important thing!

      I can’t really proudly call myself Christian, because I don’t really fit the current model of that. I barely attend church, I don’t hate any group. In fact I find all lifestyles fascinating and valuable. I accept all religions too. Your Buddhist? Cool. Tell me about it. Muslim? Awesome. You guys have some cool thoughts on giving to the poor (2% of your assets! Imagine if billionaires did that!). If Christianity is the correct religion, and Jesus is the only way into heaven, why can’t he talk to these people after death and decide then? I find it hard to say the Jesus recorded in the Bible would be like “you were good to everyone and a light in this world, but… You were Jewish so off to hell with you for all eternity!”

      It’s nice to live this way accepting everyone. I think the only reason I accept that I am still Christian is because I think this is how Christians should be anyways. It’s not about hate, despite what the current thinking is. I guess historically it’s always been used that way though.

  • @[email protected]
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    266 months ago

    Took a couple decades.

    At 13 I realized one’s religion - and therefore whether they live in paradise or suffer for all eternity - depends almost entirely on the place of birth.

    Why would God do it that way? There is only one correct religion and thousands of false ones? I would need to be very lucky to have been born into a culture that spoon fed me the one correct religion while discouraging all the others. What were the odds of me not going to hell?

    From around 18 on it was religious people’s behavior and politics. Why do religion’s “morals” support irresponsible and hateful legislation?

    Mid to late 20s I got into philosophy and realized “because God” is never the simplest answer.

    Where did the universe come from? God made it of course.

    But where did God come from? He was always there.

    Then why couldn’t the universe just be the thing that was always there? Or at least the conditions that allowed for the universe to come into existence?

    Adding God into the mix only complicates the answer and makes it less likely to be true compared to whatever our current best, simplest hypothesis is.

  • Actual
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    256 months ago

    Here’s a couple silly reasons why:

    • I kept asking for supernatural things to happen, or to win something like a small school lottery. The fact nothing happened, let alone a clear punishment, did disappoint me.

    • When I discovered that Santa was fake was when my faith started to really crumble.

    • Sometimes listening to the Pastors speak gives me a nice sensation on the back of my neck. I later discovered ASMR. I sometimes still listen to old religious people speak, but I’m not actually paying attention.

    Here’s the real reasons why:

    • Finding too many things I disagreed with or did not understand from the text.

    • Having a religious preacher fail to explain them to me.

    • Discovering other religions exist.

    • Learning what a cult is and making 1:1 comparisons to most religious entities.

    • Discovering how shitty the real world is.

    • Science (like, all of it)

    • History (also, all of it)

    • Discovering philosophy

  • @[email protected]
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    6 months ago

    Haha, mostly been a lurker on lemmy

    TLDR: i did rational thinking due to my scepticisms and stopped believing.

    I was born into a middle-class Hindu family in South India. Being from south we werent much religious to begin with. But my mother side of family was tad bit more religious than my fathers side of family. Usually during temple festivals, prior to the main day they would have “parayanas” or like preaching equivalent. Its basically retelling of stories from ramayana or bhagavad gitas and other literature. This guy who will tell the stories does good job at that, in the sense that his aim is to tell us the morals and the leasons we need to learn from it and to not take the story in literal sense. Those were good, those stories did help me have a strong moral compass growing up and instilled a good sense of religion.

    When i hit puberty i was still religious, not overly but somewhat in the middle between the level of religion of my father and mother. My mother being slightly more religious and still following “andhavishwas” (read blind belief) which were stuff that people tell you to do or not do. Many of those stuffs do not make any sense, some example which i could think are

    • to not go out at sandhya (dusk) time when the ritual lamp is lit
    • to not have a bath at dusk time
    • to not shake your legs when sitting on chairs or beds.
    • to not eat anything with oil in food if there was a death in the family (not just close family but extended one too) for the next 18 days
    • to not get out of house unless for emergencies if there was a death in the family (same) for the next 7 days.
    • to not apply oil to hair while looking at mirror

    And other countless many more stuff which differ from region to region. No one really followed most of this stuff but stuff like this is probably something most Hindu’s probably heard if they have atleast an elder in their family or extended family. Many of this stuff even though not strictly enforced is really annoying cause you get that stare or long advice like why it should be followed from your elder or your mother(in my case). Do understand that its not just these i listed but many many stuff which effects even day to day quality of life. Seeing my christian neighbour and friend not having such restriction on till how much time they were allowed to play outside and lousy me who had to drag my ass inside my home before dusk was always something which bothered me but it was not even a reson to forsake hinduism entirely. But i did try to find rational answers to why those were not permitted, why i should not do something because someone told someone and that someone said the same to their next generation and so on. I did find the reason for some of them eventually before i was 13 or something, for the examples listed if anyone is still reading and curious (or else skip to next para),

    • I believe the ritual lamp litting thing comes from early age practice of humans lighting fire to keep animals or other things out (Hindus believe lighting lamp will clear out negative energy)
    • once early humans have lit fire at dusk they stop going ut for resource and wind up with the day, they wont bath since most often ponds or water bodies will often be a little farther from their settlements and its a risk going out to bath at night. That might explain the restriction to not bath at night time.
    • for point 3, early hindus used to keep jars, baranis (a type of ritual jar) specifically underneath bed or below tables. Shaking your legs would probably hit those jars and it may have been something made up to protect those jars.
    • for point 4 and 5, i think it was safety practice. In early days a death in the family would mean they have had disease. And since early village hindus life was centered around temples, preventing people from family which recent death would prevent spread of disease. And avoiding oil food comes from this same belief as often oily food are avoided when one is sick. As for the oil on hair in front of mirror, i seriously have zero clue.

    Reasoning with my mother over these stuffs was like reasoning with a brick lol. These stuffs never really did affect my stand on religion though, only just snags which made me question stuffs which elders say. When i was 16-17 is when i started doubting my religion. Hinduism sure is the oldest religion and many stuffs in hindusim are borrowed by other other religion like atma and jeeva and tree of life (notice atma and jeeva sounding similar to adam and eve) and the story of manu rishi who took the advice from a fish that the world is going to be flooded and who built a boat. These and many other stories or their equivalent being found in other religion made me think at that time that possibly other religions might have cultural exchanges with Hinduism at some point and may have based their religion of them. As i was a Hindu then I respected other religion,but this realisation made me a bit at unease because at that time it bothered me that not much people were talking about it, but the similarities were many. This made me again look for other similarities, i read about the mahabharatha epic again and the ramayana, this is when thesame rational side i had when i was debunking those “andhavishwas” kicked in.

    How the hell could any of those stories be true, an epic on that scale would leave evidences that not even a million year could cover up. And the timelines, those are way off. There is no way we did have that much advancement in the early age and still be a monacrchy based rule . Someone really took their creative lberty and created a fantastic epic story to teach the importance of Truth and morals. And someone took that story and made it a religion refined over thousands of years and still refined even today.

    As a lot of these stuffs made me sceptic i began to really see them as stories and fables just something to teach morals and values. I realised most of the limitation that were sett on my life were self bound.

    Any last sense of religion i had was lost when i was 20 years old seeing the bullshits happening around the world, even on my locality. Politicians and many so called “peoples leaders” down in north India and other parts doing genocides and atrocities that i would do anything to dissociate myself from them on any similarity i have with them. People destroying mosques, cow vigilantism in north, mob lynching, caste bullshit. None of these are lessons from Hinduism but these people are hiding in its cover and associating how they live and what they do with them, inspiring and conditioning childrens to grow up believing it is what hinduism is. If there ever was a god, that god is dead.

    I stopped believing in Hinduism as a religion with that and consider myself an atheists (i have a atheist friend who claim i am not a true atheists, but i dont want to dwell on proper term which best describes me). But i do still believe on some of the morals and lesson in truth it had given me and thats all i keep from Hinduism. Never prayed, lit a lamp, or went to a temple ever since then.

  • Xariphon
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    176 months ago

    Survived eight years of Catholic school and read the Bible cover to cover. Between the flagrant hypocrisy and neglect in the school system and seeing the contradictions and bullshit in the book with my own eyes (and how nobody in the church even remotely tried to live up to the good parts), I just couldn’t anymore.

    Then I read about the Bible and its history, from the Council of Nicea to the confession letters from later translators. I saw that it’s essentially a multilingual game of telephone weighted with politics, salesmanship, cultural eradication, and so forth, and it really became laughable to me that any thinking person could possibly ever take it seriously again.

    It becomes easy to dismiss the rest when you realize they’re pretty much all telling the same fairytales.

  • @[email protected]
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    166 months ago

    Grew up Lutheran, with a mom who is very strong in her faith. Felt a connction my self for a while but always struggled with skepticism. Always dealt with self-image issues growing up, and the idea of sin turned much of that to into self-hatred. Sure, sins are forgiven, but you are still supposed to try and avoid them, but I always felt at odds with what I felt was just part of who I was (don’t really want to go into it, but not anything gender/orientation related).

    Eventually, learned to love myself more, but this started the rift for me. The other thing is something I’ve always been unable to shake: of all the religions in this world, who is to say one is the “real” one? Everyone has their own image of what “God” is.

    Much further reflection and family conflict later, that got expanded to the understanding that religion in general is just one of many ways we try to frame or understand things that are otherwise difficult to. Things like Purpose, Creation, our place in the grand vastness and chaos of the universe.

    Nowadays, when it comes to spiritualism I align more to a sort of naturalistic pantheism. Instead of prayer, I meditate, and focus on celebrating life and wondering at the beauty of it all.

    This got long and I’m not sure it makes much sense, but I tried. Not great at translating concepts/ideas into words.