Critics of religion say that religion is outdated, harmful to individuals, and society at large. Others view religion as anti-science. Still others have expressed reservations about many religions' views toward women and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

There are many other reasons of course, but these are several examples of religious practices that have contributed to many peoples' decision to leave religion altogether.

People shared their stories with us after Redditor ItchyPage asked the online community,

"What ruined religion for you?"

"I confronted my youth group..."

"So many things but the final straw for me was my church asking a homeless man to leave and not come back. He would sit and listen to the sermons never bothered anyone and always sat in the very back. I confronted my youth group leader and she defended the preacher."


I hear stuff like this all the time and it’s so infuriating.

"Learning that the Catholic Church..."

"Learning that the Catholic Church ran womens homes where they kidnapped babies, sold the ones that didn't die and used their mothers as forced labour."


Ireland has a very sordid history where the Catholic Church is concerned.

"And then I get there."

"A couple of friends of mine "invited" me to a summer camp when I was in middle school. The first warning sign I noticed was the packing list included a Bible, but I brushed it off because the camp brochure had horseback riding, water slides, and a bunch of stuff that seemed cool."

"And then I get there. And one of the first things we had to do was line up and "deposit" our money in a camp account. Why? So during our twice daily church services we could write "donation" slips that would take money out of our account and "give" to the camp."

"You get the idea. It was full on, 100%, a super conservatice religious Christian summer camp that just happened to have fun stuff in between the ridiculous religious nonsense."

Fun stuff like "bands" coming in to sing religious smash hits like "My Daddy Aint a Monkey". No. I'm not lying. That was the name of the song."

"Thank God I was there with another guy who my "friends" convinced to attend camp with us. I eventually confronted them about their lie and they admitted that had done it because they knew I wasn't a believer and did it to "save me.""

"I told them that I didn't care what their reasons were, if they were my friends they wouldn't have lied. And if they believed so strongly about it, would they really lie, etc."

"Left camp bewildered and more than a little betrayed. As the years went on and I continued to see the complete lack of integrity and regard for honesty amongst religious people, I was still disappointed, but not surprised."


Sadly, there are other, similar camps around the country.

"Even as a young teenager..."

"Being raised in a Mormon (LDS) church and forced to attend every boring meeting and gathering for 18 years."

"Even as a young teenager I somehow saw through the coercion tactics. Giving me assignments because “god wanted me to do it” when really it was the old white men that saw I didn’t want to be there and thought giving me an assignment would help."

"Or, at “testimony meetings” every month. You’re supposed to speak from your heart about your belief to the congregation. Toddlers would be forced to go up and their mothers would whisper in their ear what to say and they would repeat it. I thought this was insane because obviously they’re not speaking their own words."

"I could go on..."


This is the same religion that believed in the Salamander Letter, sooo...

"How agonizingly long..."

"How agonizingly long and tedious Mass was as a Roman Catholic kid. Stand up - sing. Sit down. Then kneel. Then stand again. Sing again. Sit down. Stand up. Kneel and pray. Then 30 minutes of droning from the robed guy at the front. Then stand up and sing. Sit down. Stand up. WTF please make this end."


I know myself. I would have been so bored. Can't stand it.

"When I was 12..."

"When I was 12 my father pulled me aside and said "Son, you are old enough to decide about religion. I wanted to give you a chance to experience religion. If you want to keep going to Church, you can, but its also Ok if you don't want to go anymore."

"I said "OK I don't want to go anymore."

"My father said "Ok, me too."

"And that was that."


Your dad seemed like an amazing guy. Props to him.

"Really toxic people..."

"Really toxic people at my church growing up. Seeing people only go to church to make connections and gossip rather than actually worship and do good for others."


I knew so many people growing up who called themselves Christian but didn't actually read let alone follow the Bible.

"Seeing how people use religion..."

"Seeing how people use religion as an excuse to be crappy people around the world. So many people just bend their interpretation of a religion to fit what ever they want."


If I have to boil my experience down to a simple concept it's this. There's much more nuance but overall you're using a book that will give you a passage to justify whatever you want to do.

Ask your friends about their experiences with religion. You might hear some stories that will surprise you.

Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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