So, I thought that I would share my de-conversion story in brief. I know, I know, every atheist puts this same damn post on their blogs. Oh well, it's not like anyone but myself is reading this. Besides, it's cathartic. Maybe this is our glossolalia.
Anyway, I was born in Orange County, CA. When I was 9 we moved to Muncie, Indiana. My parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc., are Roman Catholic. I'm Catholic on both sides of my family.
For the majority of my life, this defined who I was. I was an altar boy from 2nd grade through 10th (insert jokes here about insertions). I loved my church. Still do. Say what you will about Catholic dogma but our churches are gorgeous. All my life I wanted to be a priest. When I was 12, I actually told my mom my goal in life was to be a martyr. Wild, huh? What country did I grow up in?
In high school, I was trying to pick a college and ultimately came down to two choices. Go to the local public university or get a theology degree at a small Catholic university in preparation for the seminary. It was a major crossroads for me. I believe I have chosen correctly.
When I was in college I found a book that changed my life. This book is the Principia Discordia. It's an amazing, amazing book. You see, I'm a reader. I read everything. Especially religious material. When I first got a big kids library card, I started checking out everything I could from the religion section. My parents are liberal Catholics and indulged my whims. I checked out a Koran, as incoherent as the Bible, the Vedas, I always did love Fantasy novels, hell, I even read Dianetics, tripe. I've also read different versions of the Bible, NIV, KJV, the American Revised. I've read collections of the gnostic Gospels as well, Gospel of Thomas may be the most effective gospel of them all. The Principia Discordia talked about the world in an entirely new and dynamic way. It talked about creation versus destruction being the good versus the bad. This is opposed to the religious notion of order versus disorder. It's a hippie book, yeah, but I loved it.
So, I began to question things. Everything. And, I began to realize something. I was afraid of dying. I was terrified of the idea of non-existence. I worried about asteroids and alien attacks. I had nightmares about Jason and Freddy. I couldn't think of not being. So, what did I do? I grasped on to those world views that gave me an out.
It was really my letting go of that innate fear of death that set me free. It allowed me to question things I once took for granted. That is exactly what I did.
So now, instead of holding on to a fear of death, I hold on to a love of life. I hold on to a love of rational thinking. I take nothing for granted, not morality, metaphysics, ethics or aesthetics. I take joy and comfort in asking myself why I believe the things I do, and I constantly question. I think that religion fears questioning. Christ said that you can not come to me unless you become like a child. I think the world has a remained as a child for far too long.
So, that's my story. Just thought I'd get that out there.