Atheist Life Hacks: How To Go To Church

Atheist Life Hacks: How To Go To Church March 28, 2018

The first time, I was four. It was a little chapel preschool and all my friends were there. I vaguely recall a chilling haunt that swirled around me, sitting under giant wooden crosses with near-naked men hanging from them. I didn’t ask about them, and no one told me about them as we repeated the golden rule, practised sharing and the alphabet and napped in the coloured sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows.

Me in my white dress and red sash, getting ready to sing songs about Jesus. Also pictured here is my cousin, who is a scientist now and also has a blog: BrainGeek On Beauty

In second grade, my mom dressed me up in a puffy lace dress, cotton stockings and little black mary janes. My thick, blonde hair was blow-dried to perfection and a velvet red sash wrapped around my waist. I had a gold garland twisted around a wire halo attached to my head, and I stood next to my best friend, Tiffany Chang, and belted out “The First Noel” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” to a congregation of proud parents stuffed in pews. I remember standing next to Lucas as he wet himself, crying that the dead man scared him. His tiny 7-year-old finger pointed to the 10-foot crucifix on the wall next to us, upon which there hung a dead or dying Christ, blood dripping from the wounds of his thorny crown.

“Lucas, that is our Lord and Saviour!” My teacher scolded him under her breath. When he wouldn’t stop crying, she ushered him into the cloak room during a particularly terrible rendition of “Oh, Holy Night!”. I turned and looked at the puddle on the carpet next to me, then up at bloody Jesus on the wall. Lucas was right. He was scary. After the concert was over, I gave Lucas a pat on the back and told him I was scared too, and these adults were crazy.

About a year later, I found myself sporting a little brown dress, with a little brown hat and a brown sash that went up over my shoulder, trudging into a different church. It was my first Brownies meeting, and I was looking forward to learning some of the skills my Mom had told me I would learn. The leader of our group asked us quietly to sit “criss-cross applesauce” on the floor in a circle. I sat next to Tiffany, again. We smiled at each other, excited about the adventures we would have with this club.

“Okay, girls. Let’s bow our heads for opening prayer.” The leader commanded.

What’s prayer? I thought. I bowed my head, anyway.

“Dear God, thank you for…” The leader started. I opened one eye to peek, and saw Tiffany looking at me, confused. Her family was Buddhist.

“Who’s God?” I interrupted.

The leader looked at me, horrified. I was asked to leave. I did. I didn’t go back.

My cousins were Baptized in the Catholic church down the street from me. I was scooted down the aisle and ushered into a pew. I slid to the end and stopped right next to a painting larger than myself, of a crying woman, clasping her hands, her head covered in a blue hood. There was the dead man again, hanging from a cross, bloody and emaciated, nailed to the back of every pew. I couldn’t look away; he was everywhere.

Solemn music began, and two round, bald men in white robes, one in a golden hat that looked almost like a dunce cap, made their way down the aisle. Decorated incense burners swung from chains in their hands, while in their other hands, the men clasped a copy of the same book. I noticed the same book in the back of the pew in front of me and picked it up. “The Holy Bible”. I’d never heard of it. I picked up the one next to it. “The Holy Bible”. The one next to that was the same, and the one after.

All this room for books and they only have one?

My curiosity was interrupted suddenly by my cousin crying. He was about five years old and being held down near the altar. The men in robes began speaking in sing-songy voices and chanting. I could feel my heart begin to pound. What are they going to do to my cousin? The music finally stopped, and my little cousin was presented to these old men. He was screaming at the top of his lungs. Tears fell from my own eyes, as my Aunt held my cousin out, while he struggled, as though offering him to these men. She leaned him toward what looked like a birdbath, and the strange-dressed men pooled water in their hands and poured it on my cousin’s head as he shrieked in terror.

“What are they doing to him, Mom?” I tugged on my Mom’s sleeve.

“Shhh… it’s just water, Co. Don’t worry.” She replied, putting her arm around me.

I heard the men chant about a father and a son and a ghost. I squeezed my eyes shut, and put my little fingers in my ears. I didn’t want to hear or see any of this anymore.

Finally, we were allowed to leave. After my family and I were buckled into our car, I spoke up.

“I thought there was no such thing as ghosts, Mom?” Every time I’d ever had a bad dream about ghosts or monsters or witches, my Mom would insist, there was no such thing.

“There isn’t, honey. Unfortunately, not everyone knows that.”

“But they are grown-ups, Mom!”

“I know, dolly. I know.”

When my Great Aunt Mary died, we all piled into the Holy Rosary Cathedral in downtown Vancouver. The walls were adorned with wooden and brass crucifixes and golden sconces, stained glass windows and priceless art depicting horrific scenes of death and torture and desperation.

The room filled with the smokey smell of incense again, as the priest trudged down the aisle to the altar. When he finally stood at the front of the room, he reminded us that we were here to see off Mary, and then began to ramble about things that had nothing to do with her.

I was a teenager at this point, and I understood what was going on, and who the dead man was, and what was meant by the “Holy Ghost”, but it didn’t make this scene any less terrifying. He described a war between good and evil that sent me home with nightmares, not because I believed it, but because I was one of four people in the entire room who did not; because I’d lived my entire life up until this point without this stuff. I felt awful for my Aunty Mary. She was a powerful woman, who had travelled the world on her own and taken care of herself her whole life. She lived to 104 and walked all the way to the end. She deserved to be celebrated. This… this scene ended an incredible life with gore and horror and disgust. I never wanted to get out of a place so fast.

Just a few years ago, I attended a wedding in the same Catholic church I saw my cousin get baptised in. My son was almost two, and I was worried about exposing him to the horrific, scarring imagery that clung to the walls of the facility. He appeared sleepy, however, so I took the chance. He lay in my arms in the pew as my friend’s stunning wife walked down the aisle. She met him at the altar. Expecting them to turn towards each other and take each other’s hands, I was a little taken aback when I saw them kneel. There she was, in this gorgeous white gown, kneeling with my friend in submission to an imaginary power. I’d never seen anything so sad.

My little boy’s eyes opened and glanced around the room. His face began to fill with terror, and just as my friend and his wife began to pray and give themselves over to God, my little boy burst into tears. Godless Dad scooped him up in his arms and left the room as I watched, in utter disgust as these two beautiful people began their amazing lives together on their knees.

When it was all over, I made my way outside where Godless Dad and my little man were playing in the grass and said, “That was the most demeaning thing I have ever seen.”

Godless Dad nodded, “Yup.” and we headed to our car.

Your room of solace is decorated with bloody carcasses. Your sanctuary is immersed in gore. Your inspiration comes from meeting in a building that celebrates death and listening to a man tell stories of desperation, violence and pain. Your funerals are about death rather than life; your weddings are about submission. Your songs are lies; you only stock the shelves with one book and your rituals are nothing a child should be forced to take part in.

Your faith is depressing. It’s dragging you down. If only you knew how free you could be without it.

What did church feel like for you when you were young?

This post has been refreshed from an old one written on godlessmom.com.

Image: Credit goes to my Dad! Not to be reused without permission.

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  • Tawreos

    My memories of church are all of boredom. We were baptist, so we didn’t get the bloody guy on the cross which might have made things interesting. I remember always finding something to play with that would help me get through the boring talky parts. I liked the music and since all my friends were in the same church it wasn’t too bad. I think when I figured out that the talky part was the “important” part is when I began my pulling away. Nothing good and important could ever come from something so boring. Sometimes, looking back, I have to wonder if I ever believed in any of it or if I was just going along with the crowd and telling people what they wanted and expected to hear from me.

  • This is so similar to what most people tell me about growing up going to church – mainly that it was boring. They also say that they really didn’t understand why they were there at all at the time. I’m very lucky to have been brought up without that.

  • I grew up in a nominally Catholic family, and was taught the Catholic faith. I don’t remember ever feeling this way, but…

    I’m a diagnosed borderline psychopath. I often miss stuff like that because my mind just doesn’t work the same way. Your explanation of how you felt made a lot of sense. I wonder how many religious folks have had the same experiences and ‘papered’ over them to avoid the cognitive dissonance.

  • Jennny

    Boredom, tell me about it! I spent decades in children’s evangelism till I deconverted 3yrs ago. For about 5yrs before that, I became more and more uneasy about the product I was putting out there. A baptist, I moved to my UK village 10yrs ago and we felt ‘led’ to join the parish church, CofE. The Liturgy was so antiquated, and, as this is Wales, services were bilingual, even though there was a prior service all in welsh, so those at this one were mainly monolingual english speakers. I ran kids clubs and children came in good numbers, but I was increasingly unhappy that I was then supposed to get these kids and their parents along on Sundays. Some came but never stayed more than a few weeks..the Sunday School leader was great, but she had to fight to be allowed to take these small kids out for their own age-appropriate session whilst parents sat through 80-90mins of long ancient rituals partly in a foreign language. The vicar said kids would come to love the liturgy if they stayed for half the service. One of several final straws was that there was no physical space for a creche, but I turned a back corner of the sanctuary into a baby/play area. I craft, so put in some interesting wall art, toys, cushions etc and a church warden’s child said to me, ‘This is lovely’ and leaned in confidentially and whispered, ‘church boring, this corner, really nice’.
    Wayne Borean’s comment has just shown up…cognitive dissonance in spades for me. I felt I couldn’t share these misgivings with anyone, but just jesus-d on (to use Captain Cassidy’s phrase) But it was the elephant in the room. I was selling an out-of-date, irrelevant, and I finally admitted, totally bogus product that bored the pants off anyone attempting to be part of it

  • That’s an interesting thought. I bet there are loads of believers who felt similar to me but just buried it.

  • Pofarmer

    We were MethoPresbycristoterians. Church was where you went to learn morals. I’m not sure I ever believed the supernatural tales. It was a fun place though. A small country church. Most of the community and my friends and neighbors were there.

    Your faith is depressing. It’s dragging you down. If only you knew how free you could be without it.

    I’m an athiest now, for a few years. My three boys went to Catholic school through 8th grade because of my wife. They all identify as atheists, although my wife is in denial about it. Anyway, going back, one of the main things I notice about Catholic Mass is how damned depressing it is if you really listen to it. We are all terrible sinners worthy of hell, and only Jesus can save us. And Maybe Mary, Mary is very important.

  • Clancy

    I’m a cradle atheist, but my wife is a progressive mainline Protestant. We attended church on Easter and Christmas, bringing our daughter along once she was born. At five, she asked if we could go to church every week. She was baptized at her own request at six. After getting BA and MA degrees in unrelated fields, she decided to go to seminary, and is now a solo minister in a small rural church. I’ve never hidden my beliefs, and she has never tried to convert me. She’s science-believing, LGBT-affirming, feminist, universalist, progressive Christian. I don’t understand how these things happen. She has told me that the most Jesus-y anecdote she has shared in a sermon was something I did.

  • Brian Curtis

    Oppressive boredom is good training for your later years in school–and later, in work. I’m only half-kidding.

  • It’s my understanding that it takes a lot to leave all of that behind so I have much respect for you because you were able to. I am always fascinated by the experiences of people who grew up religious and how they felt about being in church and that sort of thing, so thanks for your comment!

  • Yes, it was so depressing when I went to my Aunt’s funeral – just gloomy and sad and not because she had passed.

  • Well, she sounds great! It sounds like you did a wonderful job raising her. People often ask me what I would do if my kids turned out religious and I just say that I would love them just the same like parents are supposed to do.

  • Yes, there is a truth there.

  • Clancy

    Exactly. She’s very civilized. I know she says grace before every meal. To herself. The only reason I can tell is that she told me, so I understand the two-second pause before she digs in.

  • That would be my guess. Several here have mentioned the issue, so I suspect it is fairly widespread.

    Except for folks like me

  • Mark Caesar

    Thanks for sharing your story, Godless Mom.
    My family weren’t devout believers, we didn’t attend church often, but when we did I would listen to the tales told by the preacher man and ask some questions afterwards. I was actually interested in church, not for religious reasons but more for the challenge of asking questions that would stump the preacher man. It wasn’t long before my family was discouraged from attending church because of my questions, I think they were actually grateful to me.
    One thing I remember hating was the wooden pews, they had to be the most uncomfortable seats I have ever experienced.
    I am so thankful I was born with a skeptical mind and never really indoctrinated into a religion, it wasn’t hard to reason my way out of religion.

  • Jim Jones

    Yes, always boring. But I went to a 3 day (day only) bible camp because there was no TV back then. It was mildly entertaining and one incident is stuck in my mind.

    Later, I went to a full on, night time Billy Graham revival when he was in full control of his powers and had all the support stuff like George Beverley Shea.

    I still never heard even one basic fact to make me think any of it was true. Ever.

  • quinsha

    Raised as Catholic. It still was boring.

  • quinsha

    What I always hated was the picture of Jesus opening up his chest to show his heart.

  • Jennny

    Thanks, I was fortunate in a way that the ancient church was declared unsound at the time I knew I didn’t believe any more and we had to move out to a hall where there was no space for kids work. The vicar had got more and more authoritarian and several of the most dedicated volunteers left as she was so rude. We’d all fallen over backwards to get on with her, feeling as I did then, god’s work was more important than one personality. She then announced we would move back into the church, but some of us said the chemicals used in the dry rot treatment were bad for asthma sufferers and other allergies, so that got me out…and I’m told she’s down to 10 congregants. It’s a small village, and the 2 other churches are down to a handful of elderly too…so no one has expected me to return to x-tian work and assume, like some of them, the vicar’s lack of people-skills plus allergies has made us stay away…

  • Jennny

    …and to add, we had a great team of such talented people for a small village for kids work. One wrote puppet plays and poetry, a performance artist enacted them with the kids, a talented musician wrote and led x-tian songs, a couple of great crafters did lovely craftwork with the kids etc. we led services in the local school – permitted in the UK. Other churches trying to start kids work came to observe and usually commented that they didn’t have such creative talent …, so that became one reason I began to have doubts…if god wanted us to do kids evangelism, if he wanted converts and had brought this team together, why then decimate it so completely by sending us this vicar and not finding us alternative accomodation for our successful kids project….and anyway as I said before…sunday church was boring beyond words, if I’d been a heathen outsider, I certainly wouldn’t think services had anything to offer other than mind-numbing boredom.

  • Thank you for sharing, and I am enjoying the comments. I was raised Soutgern Baptist, and as a child I only found the music interesting while the rest of the time I spent trying to quell the spirit crushing boredom. For a short time we had children’s church which was fun with songs and activities. When they quit having children’s church one pastor had a segment of the service where children were called forward for a short story and that was mildly interesting. But mostly I associated church service with BOREDOM.

    When I was in college I went to a Catholic church with my friend and,was struck by how creepy, old, and stinky the church and imagery were. Even the priest seemed distant and creepy.

    My kids are teens and atheists and think church is weird, boring ,unnecessary, and ridiculous.

  • Andrew

    my most vivid memories is witnessing the blatant hypocrisy coming from the pulpit as the preacher and all of the church staff/leaders etc did completely the opposite of what they preached. As a small kid, it was so obvious, sadly my folks felt the opposite and there was a lifelong and constant battle between myself and brother against my parents who were fully drinking the kool-aid. They claimed we had no money for things but gave away 10% of their income to the church…….hmmm. didn’t sit well and still doesn’t.

  • Nigel Nobbs-Potterton

    Not my real name!

    But I remember a sung Mass each Sunday, getting up and down, kneeling, standing and sitting for about 50 minutes – and I also remember the sermon.

    I would day dream most of the time and THEN would hear the hymn that come very near the end – sometimes to my daydreaming surprise and with my intense joy: Free at last!

  • Luminya

    We spent hours and hours in church, twice on Sunday and several days during the week. It was very very boring but I knew damned well never to take my eyes off the preacher or I would be beaten (slapped in church, to be continued when we got home). I learned to daydream very well. Whenever we got home from church we ate and then had to go to bed for Sunday afternoon (if we didn’t we got beaten…seeing a pattern here?). After we got up from the nap we ate and then had to go back to church. I also wanted to mention that I was bullied by the other children at the church as well. When I finally left home Sunday was still the worst day of the week to me, it took a long time for that to change.

  • skenl

    I loved church as a child. It was filled with beautiful stained glass windows. I loved sitting there (alone, when I had the chance), gazing about at the images and recalling the stories they told. It was United Church of Canada, so it wasn’t macabre! I remember looking at the main stained glass image above the altar, a reproduction of Millais’ Light of the World. I gazed in awe, wondering if Christ would indeed enter my life when I asked him to. Indeed he did. Overall, I found church and Sunday School to be a place of learning, love, and peace. I still love it.

  • Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong – I’ve seen some beautiful churches in my time. There’s one just down the street I often snap photos of because it’s so pretty.

  • I’m so sorry you had to experience that but I’m so glad you got out!

  • It sounds very dull!

  • Pippy Longstocking

    This was my first time going to church: When I was about 9, while visiting my father and his new (3rd?) wife, she took all of his and her children to a Catholic church. Like the author, I saw this, beaten, bruised, mostly naked man, with a crown of thorns sticking harshly into his head, all while hanging from big pieces of wood, with nails stuck in his hands. I remember how horrified I felt and wanted to cry, but held back because I knew I’d get in big trouble. My newest step-mother was unkind to all of my father’s daughters. I watched everyone in front of me dip their fingers into water and do, ‘the sign of the cross’, and find a seat. As church started, some fat old white men in really fancy golden clothes, walked down the isles while swinging lanterns lit with smelly smoke. Suddenly I started feeling sick and frightened. I sat quietly but didn’t say a word. My vision started to narrow, I tried to breath but couldn’t. The fear too over. Next thing I knew, I was sliding down the wooden seat and onto the floor. My eyes were open, I could see everything, but I was paralyzed. Someone picked me up and we all went home. That was the first time I fainted, thankfully they never took me to church again. To all our delight, instead of going to church with the evil step mom on our visits, dad replaced it with trips to Hot Springs and stepmother stayed home 🙂

  • Pippy Longstocking

    Smart kids!

  • adriancrutch

    …I was spared the “word” of God…since I didn’t understand Latin…lol…but I also went to a friends church…I think it was Methodist…where the woman running the show made fun out of me because I didn’t know their “songs”…lol…so I spent little time in churches…thank GOD!!!…LOL

  • Yes, lucky you!

  • Nice! It is so strange to go to church when you’ve not been brought up with it, isn’t it?

  • Pippy Longstocking

    You are SO lucky you don’t know the songs, they stick into my head like annoying little fleas stuck to a dog. With great annoyance, sometimes I find myself singing them.

  • Obscurely

    Is this how your blog normally engages Christians? with ridicule of ‘straw men’ like conservative Roman Catholic piety? why not build bridges of dialogue with religious folks instead of burning them? I guess it’s just another sign of our stove-piped preaching-to-the-choir culture … *sighhhhhh*

  • 1, My blog is not for Christians, it’s for atheists.

    2. I have written this piece about my own personal experiences and how they made me feel. Would you rather I lie?

  • Featherfoot

    Your blog may be for atheists, but honestly, I thought this post was written to Christians, too. For most of it, you’re recounting your experiences, which can really be for both groups. But in your last three paragraphs, you have phrases like, “Your sanctuary is immersed in gore.” “Your songs are lies.” “Your faith is depressing.” It’s the only place I see that you address your audience directly. I assume the “you/your” in these sentences refers to Christians, which makes it look like Christians are your intended audience for this piece.

  • Obscurely

    Featherfoot’s reply to you makes exactly the response I wanted to make … whether you intended to address Christians with the rhetorical “you/your” polemics, Christians of course are going to occasionally peruse blogs with ‘clickbait’ from atheists like “How To Go To Church” … and many of them are going to be confirmed in their admittedly often shallow dismissal of atheists by posts like this one, which they will rightly read as caustically dismissive and disrespectful of not just religion but religious persons …

  • Obscurely

    Just the response I was thinking of making, see my separate reply above …

  • I am addressing those who attend the facilities I describe in my post, and I am addressing them in this post for the benefit of the atheists reading.

  • For the most part, I am. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I address individuals of any faith with the same respect I would atheists even if they don’t afford me the same respect. But in this piece, I was expressing how being in church makes me feel. I won’t lie about that. I won’t adjust the truth for a post to make Christians feel more comfortable reading it.

  • LeekSoup

    I grew up in church and enjoyed it. I was one of the kids who stuck with it during my teenage years. The church youth group was my main social circle. I enjoyed talking about big theological issues and discussing what the Bible really said etc.

    It’s weird, now, as an adult who finally worked out that it didn’t work, to go along and see it from outside the bubble. I went to church with family on Easter Sunday. There was a baptism with an intense testimony beforehand. It was interesting to hear someone at the start of a journey that I feel I’ve completed. They have found finding faith a great help. I wondered how long it would take them to work out that religion doesn’t work. It took me long enough, maybe they never will.

  • LeekSoup

    “Is this how your blog normally portrays Christians?”

    Why don’t you read more of the blog to find out?

  • I’ve heard from a few atheists who say they enjoyed it. To be honest, I think if I was part of the church community, I may have as well. I like social stuff like that, though, nothing to do with the belief.

  • LeekSoup

    Oh, I really believed. Now I really don’t.

    If I hadn’t believed it would have been awful.

  • Obscurely

    I’m planning on it — so you think this post was a deviation from the blog’s normal respect for Christians?

  • Obscurely

    Fair enough — I was doing the same thing in my comment, expressing how your post made me feel as a progressive Christian who probably shares a lot of your politics and ethics …

  • Melody

    I went to a cult called the Plymouth Brethren. They come in various versions, with the worst ones living pretty much totally isolated from other, so called ‘worldly,’ people. Ours was somewhere in the middle, I guess. I went to an ordinary Protestant elementary school but we weren’t allowed to join some of the activities and most people did marry within the same church and this was very much expected. Some people got shunned and they would be treated like they no longer existed.

    One of the things I clearly remember from my childhood – I was maybe something like 6 or 7, maybe younger, I don’t really remember the age – is that, because in the Plymouth Brethren all men are seen as priests/preachers, but women are not, I noticed that men had power and the women were supposed to be silent. Because my mother often did not attend services, I would sit with my father and brother in the men’s section, and I would look at all the other women and girls in the women’s section and I distinctly remember noticing that: they were not allowed to do anything but sing (and clean, serve coffee, and look after the kids) when the men held all the power and could pray, preach, and decide on the songs. And pray for and serve the Communion itself.

    I looked at the women with a sense of horror and pity and wondered why they accepted this treatment: why they let this all happen, why they didn’t fight it. I still don’t have an answer to that one. For years, I’ve had discussions with my dad over this coming up with Biblical arguments against it, but I also had to acknowledge that the Bible does mention women being silent, having a different role and so on. No wonder since it’s hardly a modern and progressive book.

    It was a relief when I became an atheist and I no longer had to care about anything the Bible said. Not about women, not about LGBTQ+ people, not about anyone or anything. It’s an old ancient book that relates ideas from that time; it has no relevance other than that. As a little peek into the ideas and beliefs of some people quite some time ago.

  • I can see how it might have made you feel put off. Not my intention. I’m glad you commented and let me know.

  • That would be relieving. Tons of respect for being able to find your way out of that and freeing yourself from this misogynistic belief system!

  • Yeah, the church my family attended the longest was a tiny Reformed church that met in rented classrooms or small conference rooms. We were KJV-only, Scottish Psalmody-only (no man-written hymns), no choir, no instruments. Very austere. The singing was nice but the sermons were hours of boredom. My (university-educated,Greek- and Hebrew-studying) dad later said that the pastor preached at a grad school level and that the sermons were indeed not accessible to the average churchgoer. No wonder I could never figure out what the hell the pastor was trying to get at. Also, I was elementary-school-aged and this was a Family-Integrated church, so a separate childrens’ church was not an option. At least the pastor had a really nice voice to listen to, and he himself was very personable.

  • Pippy Longstocking

    “Some people got shunned and they would be treated like they no longer existed”.
    My husband beat me, covering my body in bruises from my neck to my waist, for not cooking dinner to his liking. When I told the pastor and his wife, he verbally blasted me, stating that, “if he doesn’t like your cooking, maybe you should take cooking lessons”. She sat there quiet as a mouse. I was too stunned by his answer that I didn’t say what I thought and left.

    About a month later, I went to visit and confide in a church friend about the beating and the minister’s reaction. I knocked on her door, she looked out the window and I waved, but she wouldn’t come to the door. It was that moment of rejection from the church “friends” that I knew I never wanted to be in a church again. Rejection was a painful reality, but ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. I never trusted Christians again.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is nice to hear men tell their thoughtful perspective.

  • Pippy Longstocking

    This is an Atheist site and I have absolutely NO desire to have any communication with you or any Christian, especially male ones. They cannot be trusted. Not one of you.

    It shows your lack of respect to Atheists when you come here and tell us how to behave or what she SHOULD do.

    I do not trust ANY person who supports an organization that treats ANY human as if they don’t deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Christianity is the largest, organised and LEGAL, hate group in the world. Dialogue with a Christian~~no thank you.

    Evil is as evil does.

  • Obscurely

    So what’s the next step — round up all Christians into concentration camps? or revoke their citizenship? I’m deeply sorry you’ve had such uniformly negative experiences with Christians, but it was inevitable you’d eventually meet one online who may disagree with what atheists say, but would defend to the death their/your right to say it! (to quote the great Voltaire)

  • TheBoomer

    I grew up Catholic and endured 12 years of Catholic indoctrination in schools. I did appreciate my parents’ good intentions and my high school was academically superior to most of the local public schools, so that was a positive. I went along with the whole thing, never believing in any of it. The imagery you speak of never freaked me out, but I did always find it morose. When we learned about saints, much emphasis was placed on martyrdom. The worse the death, the holier the saint, in the eyes of my religion teachers. I questioned “miracles” regularly, as they seemed more like coincidences than anything else. In high school, we had a refreshing religion teacher who actually wanted us to question things. He didn’t try to talk us out of our questions, and encouraged free thought and discussion. I still wonder if the administration knew he was being that radical in his approach. Anyway, even though I declared that I do not believe, I still attend church with my husband, and I will always do so because I’m upholding a promise to him. I sit there making grocery lists in my head, dreaming up new recipes to try, and to simply reflect on my life.It’s my alone time, even though I’m surrounded by other people.

  • Your husband is very lucky to have you!

  • TheBoomer

    Thank you. I think your husband is also lucky to have such an honest, thoughtful mate.

  • ❤️