From ‘Sunday Christian’ to Freethinker
I was born in the Bronx in 1936 into a Christian family. Mother was a “Sunday Christian” who thought it was important to carry on the Christian tradition of her family and her Fundamentalist mother who lived with us. Dad attended church occasionally at the insistence of my mother. I suspect he was an unbeliever …
I Rejected God Because God ‘Rejected’ Me
My involvement with religion began and ended at a very young age. I am seventy years old now, and while my memory is hazy on some of the details, the essence and psychological impact of my early religious experience is still vividly with me. It took me many years, however, to come to a deeper …
My Journey to Unbelief
My earliest memory of learning about God was when my parents took me to Child Evangelism classes taught by two neighbors. I remember that the “flannel board” was used extensively, and, since the time was during World War II and materials were in short supply, the class cut out words and letters from newspaper headlines …
Why I Don’t Believe—an Examination of Atheist Logic
I cannot be a part of worshipping a god with strong psychopathic traits.
An Evolution of Doubt
Discovering that the universe is unauthored … and that life without a higher meaning is enough.
My Theological Quest Ends in Secular Humanism
How an eclectic ecumenical minister’s theological quest ended in secular humanism.
Through My Own Looking Glass
I’ve forsaken religious certainty—but not without being wistful about it.
A Devil on My Shoulder
“Religion happened to me by accident of birth, like the birthmark on my shoulder.”
Thoughts on Leaving Church
“… Thinking too deeply about the concept of God, much less coming out as an atheist at church, will forever change your relationship with those around you.”
Atheist in a Foxhole (Or Rather, an Unarmored Toyota)
What a journey—from Lutheran to fundamentalist to atheist . . . to atheist minister!
A Life of Love, Religion, and Science
“I grew out of my childhood belief in Santa Claus and his North Pole toy factory—why not God and his heaven?”
The Light of Doubt
Philosophy and science overcame the strictures of my small-town religion.
A Dead Fox and Other Revelations
Sometimes life finds a forceful way to remind us that ultimately, we’re all roadkill.
Why I Am an Atheist Jew
Looking back on a life in which there’s never really been room for God . . . or need.
Why I Retired from Religion
Growing up without fundamentalism equipped this Texan to resist its dubious appeals.
Why I Am Not a Primitive Baptist
Surrounded by sexual abuse, this Primitive Baptist found her church as near to hell as she would ever get.
Jump-Starting a Brain Frozen in the Cold War
Society tried to bully me out of thinking for myself. Eventually it failed.
Why I Am Not a Catholic: Sundays with Estelle
“Naturally, my mother saw to it that her religiosity was duly forced upon her unsuspecting children.”
Why I Am Not a Believer
Because I was born an atheist, I was spared the indoctrination (brainwashing, child abuse) that produces helpless followers of one’s parents’ religion.
Why I Am Not a Catholic
A flash of insight—there is no God!—compels a years-long, but ultimately successful, search for answers.
Why I Am Not a Jehovah’s Witness
This Witness’s break from the family faith occurred, believe it or not, because of Romper Room.
Why I Am Not a Mystic
There were attractive—even seductive—features to the mysticism my parents inculcated in me.
Why I Am Not an Episcopalian
Only after converting to a vivid Christianity could one thinker come to realize how unconvincing it all was.
Why I Am Not a Gutless Atheist
Shedding the last vestige of religious belief—and embracing atheism—made me free.
Why I Am Not a Progressive Christian
“I quickly discovered that most ordinary Christians have little interest in what elite liberal seminaries are teaching their future ministers.”
Why I Am Not a ‘Yes’ Man
“Surrounded by family members firmly devoted to their beliefs can make freethought a lonely journey.”
Why I Am Not a Trappistine Nun
“The days were filled with prayer, work, meditation, reading, and then more prayer and more work.”
Why I Am Not a Catholic
“By the time I was ten or eleven, I’d figured out that church was theater.”
Why I Am Not a Krishna Devotee
“Unlike the Southern Baptists, the devotees of Krishna danced, sang, made noise, and it was a holy thing.”
Why I Am Not a Presbyterian
“Finally, I asked, ‘Can an all-powerful God make a rock so big he can’t move it?’ Success at last; I was kicked out of Sunday school.”
Why I Am Not a Catholic
“. . . It wasn’t as if God was down to his last apple and the angels were going hungry; Adam and Eve had been surely just ‘breaking a rule,’ not really causing any harm.”
Commonalities between Homosexuality and Atheism
“I have met many gays and lesbians who have cited Christianity’s general tendency to deprecate homosexuality as their reason for leaving the religion of their upbringing.”
Why I Am Not a Fundamentalist Christian
One man’s kindness started a strident fundamentalist on the road toward humanism.
Why I Am Not a Muslim
Teaching an ever-changing population of young Muslim immigrant girls was sometimes an unsettling experience.
Why I Am Not a Member . . . of Anything
For one unbeliever, independence is more important than claiming the label of “atheist.”
Leaving Unholy Mother Church
I’m more than an ex-Catholic; I’m an ardent anti-Catholic. Holy Mother Church should be ashamed.
No God, Know Peace: Introduction
In the April/May 2013 issue, FREE INQUIRY invited readers to submit autobiographical essays describing the life-stance odysseys that had led them to their present positions of secular humanism or atheism.
Why I Am Not a Born-again Christian
I had a fairly normal childhood. Most weeks I attended Sunday school, sorting through crayon nubs to color pictures of farm animals, children, and disciples all clustered around Jesus with looks of adoration.
Why I Am Not an Observant Jew
I was fifteen years old (I am now eighty-nine) when I discarded the myth that there exists somewhere an entity that created the universe and, by the way, also the human species.
Why I Am Not an Agnostic
Since, by derivation, atheism means “without God” and agnosticism “without knowledge (of God),” there is really no difference in meaning between the two terms—so why not choose the one that has the less dogmatic tone?