I've never been a religious person. I have aunts and uncles who are quite pious (or so they tell everyone). Suffice it to say that religion has disappointed me more than once, though I see no point in denigrating someone else's religious beliefs provided they're not hurting anyone.
After Redditor PM_ME_YOUR_WIRING asked the online community, "What ruined religion for you?" people came forward to share their stories. They're rather eye-opening and provide excellent insight into why people don't take to religion at all––or abandon it altogether.
"That people would try..."
That people would try to force their religion onto me and make me feel like I was a bad person if I didn't have the same beliefs as them.
"I was told..."
I was told that dinosaur bones were planted in the ground by Satan to trick us into believing in evolution.
"Learning that my mom..."
Learning that my mom got alienated and bullied after she tried creating a single moms club at our church.
"My parents told me..."
My parents told me at a young age that I would go to hell for asking the question "how do we know god is real." They could have simply said to read the Bible or something like that. But instead they told me that I would go to hell, I guess it was the idea behind "blind faith."
My infant brother's death. I was very little when he died at 3 days old, but it always bothered me being taught that Jesus was the only man that ever lived without sin. I thought "what could this helpless little baby have done that was a sin? He never even cried?" When I asked my very catholic grandmother about it she told me to watch what I say because I was being blasphemous.
"Being kicked out of Christian school..."
Being kicked out of Christian school prior to the third grade because my Mom bought the wrong edition of the Bible.
Scientology ruined my religion for me.
I'm an actor, and they hired me to do some instructional/education video for them and paid decent. I know they're kinda kooky, but I thought "Hey, I've worked for crazier people in this industry" so I met with them on their super secret 'Gold Base' in Southern California.
I shot there for several days, and got to know the staff/volunteers who have dedicated their entire life to serving Scientology. I learned a lot about their religion, as I've been genuinely curious about all faiths.
I remember driving home after my final day on set, and thinking to myself "How can such normal, nice people believe in something so obviously false? I mean, their founder, who has been historically documented as a scoundrel and a crook, literally wrote a book, got a huge influence of people, and then convinced them that it was the one true way to live!"
Being a fully practicing Mormon at the time, you can imagine my shock when I immediately realized that's the exact same thing people say about my religion.
"They would judge you..."
How hypocritical the people in church were. They would judge you and condemn you for drinking as a teenager yet I would see the pastor and all the deacons out drunk and driving home at friends houses whose parents went to the church.
"When I came to the realization..."
When I came to the realization that trusted authorities did hurt children- really really hurt and damage children- and gaslight the communities that literally supported the church through personal sacrifice and sincere generosity- it was the absolute definition of disgrace and I am in agony that it was ever even tolerated.
I couldn't figure out the difference between the abuse and manipulation of my family and that of my religion. Looking at it critically, I realized it's just abuse all the way down.
Just lost interest. Currently i have no reason to believe, and no reason not to believe. God may or may not have created the Universe, it doesn't affect me. Just continue to live life day by day.
I am atheist, but don't have a problem with people believing in god. Prayer is good for the most part, and religion gives comfort to billions of people.
However, the moment it is organized and taught as facts and forced on others or used to feel better than others, it becomes dangerous and often evil. The hypocracy to use religiin to justify anything more than trying to share faith calmly and peacefully makes me angry.
I wish that people could truly be spiritual without ever being bastards about it.
Getting deeply involved in the church after a rough patch in my life. Started to work in the office, and quickly realized how it was all about money.
"I've developed many other issues..."
On Sundays I'd get to see other kids in Sunday School. I wasn't supposed to ask to go to their houses, but if I asked my parents in front of them or their parents sometimes they'd feel obligated to allow it. If they said no, I knew what was waiting for me when we got in the minivan in the church parking lot. But it was worth the small chance to be somewhere else with someone else for a few hours.
Seeing kindness preached, and seeing how much they appeared to agree and live by Christian ideals from 9-12 every Sunday, and then experiencing such an opposite the second the church couldn't see it.
That ruined religion for me. Not right then, but as I grew and I learned that true kindness comes without theistic intervention. It comes without reason, or expectation. Without reward.
I've developed many other issues with many religions, but I respect all those who follow their religions peacefully. Christians included.
"There is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving any of it away to imaginary beings."
"I will say to those of you..."
Man, there are A LOT of individuals in this thread that have been totally scarred and burned by religion in some sort or another. Sorry that there are so many hurting people in here.
I guess that is why it's so important for those who profess a specific faith to live out the faith that they are following. Not just offer lip service to their beliefs but to truly live it out in their daily lives. The moment that you aren't vertically aligned to an outsider (or someone following that same religion) it is going to immediately put that religion in a negative light.
I will say to those of you who have been burned to keep in mind that this entire world, every single person alive at this moment, is going to screw up. We're all imperfect humans trying to make it through life together and nobody is exempt from sinning and messing up. It doesn't matter if you're the Pope, a priest, a minister, a rabbi or any other sort of religious leader. They're all fallen creatures bound to mess up. That's why extending grace is so important but it by NO MEANS excuses those in a position of power and influence from abusing another person. Ever.
"They care more about their image..."
My parents. They're hypocritical, manipulative, abusive, gas lighting people. They care more about their image in church rather than the well being of their children. I don't hate that I grew up in a christian family nor do i regret on being a christian BUT i know hate going to church because people their especially the old ones are all the same. Self righteous hypocrites.
"Being told by the youth pastor..."
Being told by the youth pastor that science is right when it comes to science and evolution, but that I should ignore it and "learn to believe" anyway.
"I was raised Catholic..."
This question is a day old and probably nobody will see my answer, but I read most of the top comments and I'm baffled that nobody mentioned my reason to leave religion: the fact that most of them classifies women as inferior compared to men.
I was raised Catholic and I never understood why we couldn't have priestesses, or women in positions of power within the church. They were always answering to men one way or another. And of course all the religious mumbo jumbo about Eve being the first sinner, that women are essentially filthy because they menstruate, they must always obey their husbands, etc etc etc. Or the fact that God is always presented as a man even though it's genderless , or how convenient was that Jesus was a guy.
All of this started to get to me when I was becoming a teen, and it was my form of teenage rebellion - I didn't get drunk or did drugs or anything like that, I was actually a good girl. But if I caught a whiff of any rule being enforced on me "because you're a girl/woman", I'd rebel against it, however necessary. When I finished school, I never went back to church. I can't believe in anything that will affirm I'm less simply because of something I had no control over, this case my sex.
Christianity makes you paranoid, it forces the belief that there is this devil who will send you to hell for eternal suffering if you sin which i consider anti freedom. So imagine if you accidentally sin and are now forced to live with the idea that you will be in eternal pain when you die. This just makes your brain feel oppressed like you are forced to do what the god demands you to do, like that you dont matter and that you will soon die and suffer infinitely.
"Two people are on their death bed..."
I didn't grow up religious, so I never really believed in god. When I learned the word agnostic, I started describing myself that way. I now now that a better term would have been an agnostic atheist. Around the age of 20 I got a chance to spend some time with a religious family for a few days. On one of the long car rides they brought up religion and hit me with the following gem.
Two people are on their death bed with only a few minutes left to live. One was a doctor, traveled around the entire world saving lives, establishing clinics and doing many good deeds. The other is a murderer. They are both given a chance to accept Jesus into in their final moments. The murderer does so, but the doctor doesn't. The doctor goes to hell. The murderer goes to heaven.
Shorty after that trip, I bought "The God Delusion" by Dawkins and have since started to just identify as an atheist.
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