My History With Religion

I recently had a commenter ask me what my past with Christianity was, and what my reasons were for calling myself atheist, so I thought it would be fun to write up my history from childhood to now, in terms of my beliefs. It should be interesting for me, and I hope for you as well.

Here goes!

When I was young, elementary school, my family attended church every Sunday, a Roman Catholic church. We were also put through Sunday school. I found it very boring and apart from singing and being told Jesus loves me I dont’ remember much.

At 11 years old I went to the BEST summer camp EVER! It was a week long, and I was with my sister and a group of other kids who were all older than me which I thought was wicked.  The camp was a trail ride on horses. We carried our clothes and toothbrushes in saddle bags, and we stopped at a different camp site every night in Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba.

It was a Christian camp, and we sang Christian songs around the campfire at night. I loved those songs. At that age I loved singing, so it was awesome to have an excuse to sing every evening. I know that when I got home from that camp I considered myself a born-again Christian, but I don’t specifically recall what I learned about Christianity while at that camp other than that I shouldn’t say “I swear to God”.

After I got home from camp I started wanting to go to church, and I joined the youth group. Between my sister and I we got our family to start attending church on a regular basis, and the whole family started making friends at church so we became a part of the church community.

In junior high I went through confirmation at church, which involved learning more about the Bible and confirming my faith in god.

When I got a little older I began to get bored with church. I found it too ceremonial and repetitive and I started thinking what’s so special at church? Why can’t I just read the Bible and pray on my own time? After struggling with it for awhile I wrote a long letter to my mom explaining why I didn’t want to attend church anymore. But I didn’t stop believing in god, and I would pray all the time.

I was that way about my faith all throughout highschool and into university. A few years ago I started going to a Bible study. My sister was still very religious, and she was going to this weekly study, and it was put on by good friends of mine, so I went along with her. I went every Monday for probably about two years, so I learned a lot about the Bible. My faith was strong. I truly believed.

I’m not really sure what the turning point was. I don’t think there was really a moment or an event that made me start doubting my faith. I guess it was the Bible studies that made me really have to look at what it was I believed. The more I learned the more I realized that most of what we were being taught were things like “even though _____, Jesus loves you”. It was all about coming up with reasons why our beliefs were true even though there was no evidence to support it.

I began paying closer attention to the lessons and thinking more critically about them. I noticed how we would skip over certain chapters of the Bible, and excuses were given for that like “there’s a lot of confusion over this section, so we just won’t worry about it”. Well isn’t the Bible the word of god? Why is it such a puzzle?

I just kind of kept these doubts to myself. I kept going to Bible study, although not as regularly, because I enjoyed the company. But once I began questioning what I believed I started getting so sick of the Bible study lessons. They had nothing to do with real life, it was all just about affirming that this fantasy world of god and the Bible were valid.

In October 2008 the movie Religulous came out, and I was interested to see what a movie critical of had to say. What I really took from the movie was a sense that it was okay for me to question my beliefs. It was okay for me to think critically. I saw that blind faith was not a virtue.

After that  I began reading about religion and atheism and science, and I realized that I didn’t believe in any gods anymore. Learning about different sciences is really important to me now. I see how amazing our world and our universe is and how insane it is that we’re even here. There’s no need for a god to explain our existence, and I think that believing in god limits what you can allow yourself to learn about ” life, the universe, and everything” (Douglas Adams).

I’ve never been happier and I’ve never been more secure with myself. I have a newfound passion for life. This is my one life. When I’m dead, I’m gone forever, so I’m going to make the most of this life. I’m excited to learn every day and I want to share my passion for knowledge with as many people as possible.

So that’s that! My “spiritual” journey through life. Questions welcome 🙂


5 Responses to “My History With Religion”

  1. 1 William Carlton May 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    You mentioned being married. Is or was your husband religious? Did your experience bring you closer or further from his point of view?

  2. 2 linzeebinzee May 27, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    My husband was never religious. I don’t want to speak for him, but I think he would have called himself agnostic. I think he believed in an afterlife but he never pretended to have any answers. When I was a Christian myself I never tried to convert him, but then when I started getting excited about science and realizing that there was no reason to believe in a god I started sharing that with him. I think I turned him atheist!

    I wouldn’t say it brought us closer or further apart, we’ve always been really open with each other and we communicate really well. But it did make the topic of belief easier to talk about I guess because we’re at the same place with our beliefs…or rather our lack thereof.

  3. 3 Mr. Binzee May 27, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    My wife (the blogger) shared this topic with me so I thought I should comment. I went to church off and on as a child and attended bible study in my elementary school. I never felt any connection to those things or to “god” mostly because it all seemed very hard to believe. Men living hundreds of years, talking snakes, turning water to wine, etc. It contradicted what I knew at a very young age about history and what was physically possible. I was lied to about Santa, how is God different?

    Think about it….both Santa Claus and God love children, punish us if we are bad, reward us if we are good, and have all sorts of wicked special powers. Santa has flying reindeer and the ability to go down a few billion chimneys on one night, while god can simultaneously hear millions of people whispering to him inaudibly and answer them too! Oh, he can also walk on water. Ultimately, it would be great if they existed, but they do not. I find it odd that when we mature we find it so easy to ditch Santa but we have no qualms about talking to the mystery man in the clouds.

    Anyways, when I met my wife in high school I knew she was religious but it was not an issue to me. I liked who she was, and if Christianity was important to her I would respect that and perhaps we could learn from eachother, which we have! I am open minded and am always willing to have my theories challenged. I did worry that I would not be accepted by her family and that I would have to go to lame youth groups but I was willing to do so for love! I was young, I did not consider the consequences of our faith differences too much, I just wanted to be with her!

    It was difficult and scary to come to terms with the absence of a god and an afterlife. I struggled with the fear of the nothingness that will prevail when I die. I struggled with finding a purpose to not only my life but our existence at all.

    I have always had a great love for the Earth and its beauty, and I have always felt that I am a part of it, an equal with the plants and the animals, the rocks and the oceans. I despise the Christian view that we are somehow at the top of the hierarchy, the preferred species, and that we should rape the Earth because we are only here for a short time anyway. If anything, we are its caretakers, not its master (we are doing a piss poor job). This has always felt good to me, it has always seemed right. As my wife says, we only have once kick at the can and I intend to make it a meaningful one, full of love and responsibility to my family, community, and planet. To quote a well known song: “we’re here for a good time, not a long time, so have a good time, the sun don’t shine everyday”. We waste so much precious time worrying over these inane subjects and shedding blood over ludicrous theology – at some point I hope our species will grow up!

  4. 4 linzeebinzee May 27, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Love you honey! (Apologies to everyone else for my mushiness)

  5. 5 Mom December 31, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Oh my gosh Mr. Binzee and Lindsay! I just read this whole thread for the first time. I knew we were kindred spirits…this just confirms it once again! Lindsay, you’re a lucky woman. And I’m lucky to have such a thoughtful, caring, son-in-law!

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