Religion Personal Religious Affiliation, Then and Now

AeryFairy

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The Catholicism topic sparked my curiosity... I'm wondering what faith/religion people were raised into, and what they believe now. I'm not looking for a debate or anything like that, if anyone was wondering ;)

I was raised 'Church of England', although this mainly just meant I was christened. We didn't go to church with any kind of regularity, and I was never forced into anything by my parents. I stopped going to church altogether when I was about 9. I looked into other religions and faiths, finding some resonance with paganism and Buddhism, but by the time I was in college I had realised that I was definitely an atheist, which is still where I stand today.
 

Lord Snot

Parsley Provider
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I was raised pretty much athiest. We went to church occasionally, I don't know why, and I remember taking communion at least once cos I was SO EXCITED I was drinking wine. I used to go to a church hall for a youth group in the evenings but I don't remember there being a religious element to it, we just played games and hung out.

We knew the Vicar well enough for him to write me and my brother recommendations to get into a Church of England secondary school, but I think that was because of my nan who was casually religious.

Christianity made little sense to me when I really learned what it was, so I was athiest for some time until I went to a Hindu temple. I found the core beliefs very sensible and I was inadvertently following most of the main things anyway (not drinking, eating meat or taking drugs). I thought if everyone followed the actual spirit of the religion it would be a very nice world to live in. It was complicated by my utter blind devotion to one of the members who was the first man I ever felt a sexual attraction to, besides a few celebrity crushes, and I fell in love with who he appeared to be. Over time I learned he was a very different person and quite bitter and screwed up, not somebody I could have been happy with. And that was the problem with a lot of the members of the temple, they appeared very happy and joyful which really attracted me to the religion but once you scratch the surface you see they are just like everyone else with their own agendas, being ruled by their egos and acting selfishly instead of out of any co-operative desire to please God. The meditation aspect also helped me, I am now much better at relaxing and focusing on something I don't particularly enjoy for long periods of time without my mind wandering too much. I still do that when I feel the need, too.

The way I was treated by some of the people there really put me off it, as well as finding out more about the leader of this particular sect of Hinduism. Basically that he was a misogynist and probably a racist too. I couldn't consider myself a part of the organisation after that, although I continued working there because I loved the cows, many of the people, and I felt like the farm was doing very good work. I still do, and I would support the farm financially if I am ever in a position to do so. I also still follow the parts that make sense to me. I also love Krishna, though more as a sort of favourite character in a book than an actual deity. He feels like an imaginary friend I had as a child or something, someone who is with me and real to me but I know is not actually real. If that makes any sense. There is a lot to learn from the religious texts and I do still read them, but as more of a philosophical exercise than as a guide to how to live my life. I maintain that if people followed the essence of the Vedas, the world would be peaceful and happier. Most of the bad elements are cultural rather than in the religious texts, like the subjugation of women. The Vedas elevate the female higher than the male, culture pushes her to the bottom under a guise of protecting her from things she's too weak to resist herself.

Having been through it all I have a much better understanding and respect for religious people. I am deeply ashamed of being one of those athiests who would mock people for their "imaginary man in the sky" - one of the popular phrases I despise. I hate that it is socially acceptable to mock, disrespect and ridicule religious people even though I no longer consider myself one. Individual beliefs can be dangerous and should be challenged but individuals who believe in a deity/deities should not be mocked. I think having been a believer (or fooling myself that I was) for some time, I am now more secure in my atheism and more accepting of religion at the same time, so I feel no need to be like a defensive omni and react harshly to religious people, even those trying to preach to me.

I'm glad Aery said this wasn't a debate thread and I won't engage if someone tries to get me into one over this, I find it saddening and frustrating to discuss religion usually. But that has been my path :)
 

Cerebellion

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I was raised Southern Baptist, but currently am not practicing any sort of religion. A year in seminary cured me of that ****. I wouldn't call myself an atheist, I'd say I don't really give a damn either way, anymore. The existence of a god has no bearing on my life, so I let it be.
 

cornsail

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My parents belonged to Ananda Marga when I was a young kid, but it's more a set of practices than a belief system. By the time I was like 10 they stopped identifying with it. So I would say I wasn't raised as any religion and I'm still not religious. I also wouldn't really call myself an "atheist" except in the sense that I'm not a theist per se.
 

beancounter

The Fire That Burns Within
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Mother was Episcopal, but rarely went to church ("holiday christain"). My father was Jewish.

They divorced when I was 2, and I think my father just assumed my mother would raise me Protestant, so he never talked about religion. My only expossure to Judiasm was during Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when I visited my Aunt.

So, this lack of expsore to religion allowed me the freedom to think for myself, and I came to the conclusion that deities don't exist.
 

Limes

Dances With Reptiles
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I was raised atheist, sort of, if I fully understand the meaning. My parents never talked about religion at all, nothing about the existence or non existence of deity. In grade school I knew one family that went to church but that's all I knew until high school when I started hearing about paganism. Since then I've identified as solitary, non-practicing pagan.
 

RabbitLuvr

I love rabbits.
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My family is Catholic but I'm not. I don't even know if I was baptized or not, but I certainly didn't go through confirmation or whatever it is.
The only times I've been in a church have been for weddings and funerals, and my family increasingly has funeral services at the funeral home instead of a church. Some of my family goes to midnight mass on Christmas Eve, but I've never gone. My grandma watches mass on tv.

I'm atheist now. Though I think I have been one all along.
 

Chryssie

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I was raised Lutheran and my mother was quite devout even though she was raised Methodist and converted when she married my father. We went to Sunday School and church every Sunday and my siblings and I went through Confirmation, first communion, the whole bit. When I left home, I pretty much stopped going to church. My first husband was brought up strict Catholic and he didn't care anything about church but we went on Christmas Eve with his parents. I did get my sons baptized Catholic for their benefit but we never went to church other than once a year. I now consider myself agnostic but more atheist than believer. My siblings are all pretty religious and I get lectured at times.
 

kibbleforlola

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I was raised Seventh-Day Adventist. It was...interesting. I consider myself agnostic now, I think there is a deity about as many days as I think their isn't one. But mostly, I just plain don't care. So much of my young life was based on "faith-vs.-works" theology, that I've decided that you can't really be a good person if you are only doing it because you are afraid of going to hell, or worse, not being like "those people". What's wrong with being nice just for the sake of being nice?

Anyway, any questions about SDA's (because like Mormonism of JW's, it seems to draw a lot of questions), feel free to ask.
 

Rosie1

I don't know what to put here.
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Brought up Presbyterian - did the whole sunday school/church and then later that day went to Youth Group, then high school was Senior Highs.
It was mostly 5th grade to around 9th/10th that I was "involved" with it. Communion, Youth group charities and trips, other things. There wasn't ever a time I didn't feel out of place.
After 9th grade, I pretty much stopped going, except for things like Easter service, or Christmas Eve.
I think I've always been agnostic, with atheist leanings. Buddhism has always interested me, and that's what I tell people now - that I'm Buddhist.
 
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Josh James xVx

Ah Pook is here
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As far as I know, nobody in my family had attended a church for five generations when I was born, so I had this peculiar and rare life where I was raised as a human being with no fancy labels or weird beliefs attached.

And wouldn't you know it, since I was never brain washed or indoctrinated as a child, I never joined any religion. I entertained the idea of theology or a higher purpose or some such, and decided that humans have to give ourselves one, and base our morality on empathy, so I became a Secular Humanist and remain one. I also feel that superstition and dogma have done far more harm than good in this world, and that it's time for that age to begin its inevitable death - which it already apparently has if polls are any indication.
 

SummerRain

I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
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I would say I was raised atheist. I don't know if my parents see it like that, but my parents told me God didn't exist, heaven didn't exist and it was just a nice story, same with bible stories. They never said, I don't know maybe he does, they always said God doesn't exist. I'd never been to a church service until recently for a christening in my Fiances family, although I have been to lots of other holy temples with the school - church, gurdwara, hindu temple, mosque, etc.

I think I'm the only person I know whose been raised like this. Most people I know were raised somewhere between antagonistically and christian.

I'm still atheist!
 
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Scorpius

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I was raised and baptized in the Greek Orthodox church, went to Catholic high school and some college, now I'm a loud and proud Atheist!
 
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mlp

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I was raised Lutheran. My mother insisted that I go to Sunday School, Bible School, confirmation classes and church services until I was confirmed, at which point she figured she could no longer be held responsible for the state of my soul. Since the Sunday I was confirmed, I have not been to a church service other than funerals.

I am an agnostic atheist (or is it atheistic agnostic?), and was for most of the years I was attending said Sunday School, Bible School, confirmation classes and church services.
 

FortyTwo

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My mother is quite spiritual - it doesn't leak through too much in her daily life, but she does believe in fate, an afterlife, and all that. And my father seems to have a bit of Christianity in him.

But my entire life, I've never been subjected to religion. It's always been "you can believe whatever you want" and "whatever makes sense to you". So I'm glad for that. As for me, I'm an atheist, though agnosticism is the only true scientific standpoint, to be honest.
 
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Moll Flanders

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I was raised Catholic and had a Catholic/ Christian education until my late teens although my parents weren't religious. I don't have any religious beliefs now but I have been to mass with my Catholic friend and I have attended Pagan and Muslim religious ceremonies with friends.
 
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Sidhariel

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My parents are both non-believers, though my mother dabbled in Buddhism for a while but that was just a phase.

I've always been different, I was fascinated by the rosary of my Catholic grandmother and used to draw pictures of the baby Jesus in his crib all the time when I was little. I also said I wanted to be a nun when I was only 6 years old.

Well, I haven't exactly become Catholic, I am a Wiccan now. I have always been very spiritual, and also as a child saw things others couldn't see which I could only explain with the books I read about spirituality.

All in all, I guess this shows you don't have to be raised with a religion to believe in one ;)
 
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