I didn’t grow up religious. That’s not to say we were an atheist home, we weren’t. My parents believe in God, but we never went to church outside of Easter and Christmas, and while my sister and I were baptized Lutheran and attended parochial school, there was never any sense that we were a “religious” family. I come from Catholic stock however, as my paternal grandfather’s parents and maternal grandmother’s parents were all Catholic, and very Catholic straight back through their family trees. The former came from Hungary, the latter from Quebec (and they got there from France). My paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather were not Catholic, so neither of my parents were raised that way. I don’t know what background my mother had, but my dad was raised Methodist like his mother. After a Lutheran grammar school, I went to a Catholic high school, mostly because the public schools in Chicago are pretty shit, and my parents wanted me to get a good education and that meant private school, and private school meant Catholic school. It was while I was there though, that I finally started looking long and hard at everything I was being taught in Theology class. That’s when it hit me.
“Wait a minute, this doesn’t make any sense.”
I got the feeling I was being taught the myth of Santa Claus rather than some omnipotent, omniscient proto-spiritual being that was responsible for life itself. I also found the idea of both murder and using birth control being behaviors that will send you to hell to be absolutely laughable. I never voiced these opinions out loud, because I believe it’s possible to think the idea of God totally barmy without being disrespectful to people who disagree. In a school where everyone is religious to some degree, you don’t want to be the one person going, “HAHA, you’re all nuts!” I’ve been an atheist for almost 17 years now, and I honestly don’t regret the path I took to get there. If anything, the more time that has elapsed for me since then, the more comfortable I am with my opinion on the issue. I understand that not everyone thinks like I do, and thus I’m going to come across people in my daily life, whether on the Internet or off it, that don’t agree….but that’s fine. The world would be a boring place if everyone thought the same, all the time, about everything.