Is there anyone that was an atheist who is now religious?

(73 Posts)

I know plenty of people who are religious from upbringing, and plenty of people who are atheist despite a religious upbringing however I don't believe I know anyone who is now religious with an atheist upbringing.

I know some whose family were religious but they lost faith and have regained etc but is there anyone who had a completely atheist upbringing who is now religious? If so, what changed?

I am agnostic.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 20:17:49

I have always been agnostic but I think I might be loosing that and turning atheist.

hermioneweasley Sat 05-Oct-13 20:19:23

I do hope not. My big fear after drugs is the DCs getting religion. DS is very much a militant atheist at the moment - he even refused to go into a coffee shop called "heaven" today grin

Filee what has made that change?

I am more of an atheist agnostic (if there is such a thing!) but I have always argued that I see no evidence of a higher deity but then I also cannot prove there is no god iyswim!

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 20:31:07

I think as I get older I have got less... Dreamy?

I think my eternity is in my children and that religion/god etc is just one giant cop-out to avoid the realities that we are responsible for the awful state we have put this planet in.

CoteDAzur Sat 05-Oct-13 20:35:12

OP - What exactly do you mean by "atheist upbringing"?

Ours has amounted to not teaching them of the religious myths. We never had to tell them not to believe. Unsurprisingly, children who are never told about gods and religions tend not to believe the whole thing when they find out about it all at a later age, ime.

BrawToken Sat 05-Oct-13 23:09:07

Good question?

Im not really sure - I had a mixed upbringing as one side v atheist and the other agnostic but hopeful. I guess I mean atheist upbringing to mean no contact with religion ie no church even at Christmas.

I thought it unlikely but wondered whether some may have had a spiritual awakening ala Saul/Paul or if someone might've been brought to a faith through a relationship etc?

BlueSkyandRain Sun 06-Oct-13 20:08:19

I wasn't brought up as an atheist, and as a child I was more agnostic than anything, but we never went to church. My dm never spoke about beliefs of any sort as far as I remember. My df did chat about it sometimes, he was agnostic. I became a christian when I was 21. It probably looked a bit Saul/Paul-like to my mates at uni; although my decision was something I'd considered for a while. Ime it's not unusual though; I can think of quite a few friends who became christians whose parents weren't.

What led you to that at uni?

niminypiminy Sun 06-Oct-13 21:48:33

I was brought up as an atheist, and am now a Christian. I've always been drawn to Christianity. Various things, mostly (looking back) peer pressure kept me in the atheist fold during my twenties and thirties. But by my forties I was self-confident enough not to care that my family, friends and work colleagues would think I was mad or stupid for being a Christian, and came out of the closet.

There are quite a few of Christian children of atheist families about.

Neitheronethingortheother Sun 06-Oct-13 21:54:43

Me too. My dad is atheist. My mam a non practicing catholic. I grew up thinking that people who believed in God were weak even though my Dad discouraged that kind of thinking. I converted to mormonism 8 years ago.

SunshineMMum Sun 06-Oct-13 22:38:04

Mum lost her faith when her Mum died when I was four and Dad is a strident atheist. I distinctly remember saying prayers to a God I didn't believe in until a kind of awakening at 18. I was confirmed at age 41 and although I have currently left the Church, my faith is still intact.

Neither, my family weren't religious at all not staunchly atheist but they certainly disapprove of my conversion to 'Mormonism' around 15yrs ago now.
Hope you enjoyed conference.

fizzoclock Mon 07-Oct-13 10:53:38

I think it's more common than you think. I guess as an atheist/agnostic you might have met so many Christians? I'm a Christian and church goer and I know quite a number of atheist-Christian conversions. My own father for one, the minister at my old church, a pair of doctors at my current church etc.
C S Lewis is a famous atheist-Christian convert. He went to church at boarding school but decided he was definitely an atheist at 15. He found his Christian faith in his early 30s. Surprised by Joy is his autobiography if you're interested.

No I know lots of Christians grin

I'm interested in what made a change if from complete atheism, not relapsed iyswim.

(Dh's family are very involved with the church)

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Tue 08-Oct-13 05:24:59

Yes I was an atheist until I was about 14 or 15, when I first heard about the prophesies made about Jesus in the Old Testament. They are just so detailed, and so completely fulfilled by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, that i couldn't deny their truth any longer, and if Jesus really was the Son of God then God himself must exist too! And my faith grew from there really.
However I would describe myself as being in relationship with God, rather than being 'religious'. Religion is more about traditions and rules etc, whereas my faith is more about the heart.

1919 Tue 08-Oct-13 06:50:53

HomeisWhereTheHeartIs That's a strange logic/ line of reasoning to understand.

I'm an atheist and have been for as long as I can remember. My parents never really mentioned religion although I was 'exposed' to christian worship in school. I've always valued reason, critical thinking and truth over blind faith (and all faith is blind) and as I have not yet found sufficient evidence to support belief in a God, I will not accept it as truth. I am agnostic in this respect but I do think that it's reasonable to claim that the existence of a God is more implausible than it is plausible.
Whilst I admire some of the traditions of Christianity and find this element of religion attractive, I cannot forsee a time where I would not require evidence to believe such an extraordinary claim.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Oct-13 09:36:35

Home - So, you believe because two ancient books agree? Now why didn't i think of that before smile

There is a third book in that series - more recent, also very detailed. Why aren't you Muslim? (Sorry, not meaning to be prying but very curious)

TheArticFunky Tue 08-Oct-13 09:59:36

I was an atheist. I told people I was agnostic because it felt like the polite thing to do. Telling a person with faith that you don't believe a word of it feels like you are dismissing their beliefs.

I'm no longer an Atheist. I have faith now. I keep it to myself because I don't really want to have to explain my beliefs to everyone. Dh (Atheist) believes that religious people are very weak - I have had enough disagreements with him about it I don't want to have to defend myself to others. Besides I think that faith is a deeply personal thing.

1919 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:13:33

TheArticFunky - I understand your desire to keep your beliefs to yourself however I cannot see the problem with outwardly disagreeing or dismissing religious beliefs in the same way that one might disagree with taste in music or clothing. I do not think that we should be so wary of causing offense that religious, ethical and moral beliefs are considered taboo and not discussed thoroughly.

madhairday Tue 08-Oct-13 12:30:29

Not me but know loads of people who this applies to. My dad was very staunchly atheist and is now a vicar grin, I have a friend who was atheist and thought Christians were the biggest losers out, feeble minded, ignorant, all of it, and she is now also a vicar. It's much more common than you may think.

I was brought up in a Christian home after my mum and dad became Christians, but decided for myself as a teenager after going through an agnostic phase.

MrsWolowitz Tue 08-Oct-13 12:39:37

My DH wasn't brought up in a Christian household and had no contact with the church. He became a Christian at 31.

My Grandpa became a Christian at 60! He was incredibly intelligent (think maths professor with an IQ in the top 5% of the country), he was nobody's fool and had was very weirdly wise.He had lived a wild, quite 'hedonistic' life and suddenly became a Christian. We were all shock and baffled but he ended up becoming a preacher and maintained his brilliant humour and down-to-earth nature. He was an inspiration to many, church- goers and people who aren't churchy at all.

It's through seeing his passion and logic and quiet peacefulness that I became a Christian. I'm not going to come back to this thread as I'm too scared if anyone picking apart the above post as he died not long ago and I would be too sensitive to read any [ hmm] posts about his Christian faith.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Wed 09-Oct-13 09:49:14

Have tried to reply but it disappeared. Sorry if I'm repeating myself.
Basically learning about the Messianic prophesies was the beginning of a gradual journey from atheism to faith. They (along with other things) helped me to form an answer to the question - "who is Jesus - mad, bad or the Son of God?"
So I came to faith through Jesus, and THEN came in to a relationship with God the Father. However I know lots of people believe in first God, and only later do they start to think and learn about Jesus.

Home - why was reading the prophesies different from reading another religious text for you? What made you believe that particular one?

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Wed 09-Oct-13 20:53:44

Well (not that I have made a study of other religious texts!) but the gospels and other sources from the same period give such a lot of detail, and the Scriptures are fulfilled so completely that the more I looked into it, I found it harder and harder to dismiss them. (Read the book of Isaiah chapter 53, for example).
What made you post, OP?

Just interested to hear stories and I'm kinda sick of being an agnostic - would like to be sure in myself either way but think I'd need some kind of out of body experience to convince me.

What made you start reading the gospels in the first place?

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Thu 10-Oct-13 05:35:14

I went to a school with a very strong Christian ethos (controversial I know! Ha ha) and started asking questions of some of the Christian teachers. A book called The Case for Christ was recommended to me,(which much better explains about prophesy, legitimacy of gospel writings etc than I can hope to - well worth a read), and very gradually my heart began to open to the idea of God, and very gradually I began to pray, and began to recognise God's presence in my life and in the world.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/0310209307 (Not sure how to link to the book?)
Since then I've done an Alpha course, and attended a series of talks called Just10 that really helped with any initial questions/struggles I had. The church I now go to is full of people, like myself, who came to Christ as a teen/adult rather than having been brought up in a Christian home, and everyone's story is different.
I suppose no matter how much people list their reasons for their faith, it still requires that 'leap', but for me it's been the best decision I have ever made. Having a relationship with God makes me feel complete, assured and cherished. But most importantly for me I feel as though I know the 'Truth' about the important questions we ever ask in life.
Maybe have a read of the book of John, chapter 4. Sounds like it might be relevant to you.

somewherewest Thu 10-Oct-13 19:55:34

I was an atheist in my teens and early twenties and was more or less brought up one. My parents were both vocal atheists, but I also spent much of my childhood living with other relatives, who were more agnostic/indifferent. The only remotely religious influence in my family was my very mildly Catholic grandmother. In hindsight I imbibed atheism fairly uncritically from my mother before going off to a very self-consciously left-liberal university where it was intellectually fashionable, so I didn't really question it until well into my twenties. It would take an essay pretty much to explain why I became a Christian, but I've always found the assumption that atheism is an inherently open-minded, questioning position a bit mystifying, as that wasn't my experience at all. I can think of other atheists/agnostics who've become Christians, some quite late in life. Basically people who are naturally questioning are more likely to depart from the beliefs they were raised with, whether those beliefs are atheist, Christian, Jewish, whatever. Naturally unquestioning people will stay put.

somewherewest Thu 10-Oct-13 20:00:06

One think I should add is that I was always fascinated by religious belief on an intellectual level, even in my most militantly atheist phase. I think I always wrestled with the fact that atheism is fairly emotionally/aesthetically threadbare. Doing a history degree & PhD also helped - its impossible to understand anything about the history and cultures of Europe without some grasp of Christianity.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 11-Oct-13 00:42:47

1919, what do you mean when you say all faith is blind?

madhairday Fri 11-Oct-13 10:47:54

That's really interesting, somewherewest. I see myself as a questioning person and did indeed do my best to depart from the faith I was brought up in from quite little, indeed to the extent of doing a theology degree at a normal uni, which would test anyone's faith to the nth degree wink - however, God kept pulling me back, however much I tried to pull away and find my own way, and in the end I found that I could be both questioning and have faith. They are not mutually exclusive at all.

niminypiminy Fri 11-Oct-13 15:06:07

I think I would agree with you, somewherewest, that the idea that atheists are somehow more open-minded and questioning than believers doesn't match my experience. My experience is that a lot of the things that atheists say and think about religion are received ideas -- I know, because I have parroted them myself in my time. My experience is that becoming a Christian involved a long period of questioning, of emotional, and spiritual and intellectual exploration, and critically re-examining quite a lot of the things I'd been presented with as 'truths'.

Cuddledup Sat 12-Oct-13 08:00:04

Have been following this thread with interest. I've come across this interesting blog www.conversiondiary.com by Jennifer Fulwiler. She's gone from being devout atheist to fiesty catholic mother of 6. Any interview with her on youtube is really interesting. This is a film of her daily life www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vu0QPSGXLQ

Strictly speaking every religious person was atheist to start with. We are not born Christian or Muslim. I know that's not the group the OP meant though.

The next group will be young people who were not pushed into following a particular religion from an early age. They can be considered neutral until they look into it later and decide. It's quite likely that at least some will become religious.

The last group would be people who have thought long and hard and decided to declare themselves atheist. It must be relatively rare for them to become religious later.

After all, if you normally make your decisions based on faith then to change religion all that is required is to wake up one morning and 'feel' that god wants you to be muslim, Jewish or Methodist. But if someone arrives at atheism through thinking clearly about known facts then to backtrack they need to change the facts or stop thinking clearly.

Btw don't want to take this off topic, but anyone convinced by the alleged prophesies made about Jesus in the Old Testament might want to read them for themselves - as opposed to listening reverently while someone else reads them.

Actually read the passages and also the bits before and after for context.

If there were any that clearly stated something that came about later than they'd be displayed in 6ft high gold letters on the Vatican and on the door of every church in the world.

What we're talking about here is along the lines of:

"And the lion smote the other lion thrice"

"yep that's clearly referring to the 2nd world war. Either that or West Ham winning the cup"

CoteDAzur Sat 12-Oct-13 13:10:59

"Strictly speaking every religious person was atheist to start with. We are not born Christian or Muslim"

Except if you are Muslim, in which case you believe that everyone was born Muslim (before their culture or circumstances perverted their natural state). That is why converts call themselves "reverts".

CoteDAzur Sat 12-Oct-13 13:13:18

"critically re-examining quite a lot of the things I'd been presented with as 'truths'"

Like what? I'm curious.

Are we talking about truths like "Earth is round" (fact) or "Wear a coat in winter lest you get cold" (wisdom) or what?

CoteDAzur Sat 12-Oct-13 13:17:35

"atheism is fairly emotionally/aesthetically threadbare"

Like chemistry and physics, you mean?

And so? I don't expect my emotional & aesthetic proof for a Creator who now expects worship from us?". Imho, the answer is "No, there is no such proof, therefore I cannot believe your God hypothesis".

Why would you expect your emotional needs to be satisfied from such a question? Go hug the DC for that smile

blueshoes Sat 12-Oct-13 14:27:39

I think some people are naturally more spiritual than others. I have almost no spiritual bone. Whilst I was brought up protestant, I struggled to figure out what the big deal was. I tried to make myself feel guilty for my sins but heck, I was birdhappy and could not keep it up.

I gave up. I almost never think of God now. I think of all the bad things that happen in the world and if there is a God, where is he/she in all this?

On the other hand, some people even if brought up atheists might feel there is some greater order or something missing in their lives. Therefore, when they find religion, it is like a key turned in a lock. I imagine they would be your converts.

Religion has a way of finding people when they are down in their lives or they meet some adversity. The window of spirituality opens then. If it gives them answers or comfort, then that is not a bad thing.

Cote, "reverts" makes me laugh, but they are serious aren't they. Some Christians talk as though we are born Christian, but they mostly don't insist on it if asked to spell out how that works.

If I was truly born muslim then the pork sizzling on the stove right now is probably a terrible sin! mmm I can't wait.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Sat 12-Oct-13 22:37:46

BackOnly When i read the OT (for myself) I found lots of things to be very accurate. Psalm 22 describes Jesus on the cross and his treatment by the Romans for example: "they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment."

Rosieres Sun 13-Oct-13 08:54:13

Responding to the OP, I wasn't brought up in church, my father was a maths professor so I lived and breathed critical/logical argument from the earliest days, and in my teens I would say I straddled the agnostic/atheist boundary. If I was honest I would say "agnostic" as I genuinely didn't know if there was a God, if I wanted to appear a bit edgy and cool I would say "atheist".

But I had a very close friend who was a Christian and, as folk in their late teens will do with their close friends, we talked about all sorts of things, including the purpose of life and whether there was anything more to it that just what we saw in front of us. I recognised that my agnostic/atheist perspective was woefully inadequate on addressing questions which I saw were vitally important in how I was going to live my life and how I viewed the world. It also wasn't a purely academic question - in the sixth form I was in I noticed that the small number of committed Christians (my friend included) had a qualitative difference to them - less petty, more open-hearted and open-minded, seemed to be a bit more "together" in themselves, a quality of being at peace with things relative to the rest of us. And the particular Christians I knew weren't judgemental, quite the reverse - they seemed to move easily between the different cliques that the college tended to divide itself up into and were very accepting of the diversity of people there.

So I decided to take a chance and see if the Christian faith could work for me, which I did when I went off to university. I saw it as an experiment (I was doing a science degree, after all) that if it worked I would have gained something very precious, and if it didn't then I would lose nothing, except for a bit of time while I tried to work it out. And over 20 years later I am still here, as committed as ever. Having completed my psychology BSc I later went on to study theology in a secular university context, so I believe I can say that I have thoroughly thought through what I believe. With my background and experience I do find it a bit trying when people on internet forums say "Christians believe what they believe because they do so unquestioningly, they uncritically accept what they are told". Absolutely not in my case.

I was pleased when I heard Prof. Alister McGrath speaking a few years ago about his journey to faith. He had been a committed atheist, and was a very serious scientist, studying for a DPhil in Molecular Biophysics at Oxford. But he began to see that Christian narratives about how the world is gave answers to his questions that were stronger than the other narratives that he had come across, including those from scientific materialism. He looked into Christianity with the sceptical mind of a trained scientist and found a coherent explanation of the world and how to live a meaningful life, and he converted to Christianity because the explanations it offered he found more compelling than any others. While I am not as bright as Prof. McGrath, I could very much empathise with how he had found faith.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs at least you were able to produce one. Most people who talk about OT prophecies can't. They just 'know' they are in there somewhere.

Trouble is that the guys who wrote the Jesus story knew about Psalms too so it would be just as fair to call it a quote.

There are other reasons to dismiss it though. Most of it describes a scene that hasn't happened. At least I don't recall many dogs and bulls at the crucifixion. If it was meant to convey the information that later on Jesus would be crucified then it did a really poor job. It doesn't mention nails or a cross and sounds more like someone stabbed by highwayman, but I 'think' it's someone saying "I'm having a really bad time, everyone has turned against me" rather than real bulls. A bit like 'the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune'.

If it's a prophesy then surely it should say so. Otherwise what was the point?. Bearing in mind that god would have had to break his own rule about interfering to make some guy write that bit. Others here have explained why god doesn't just turn up and tell us things directly, but he supposedly told that guy directly.

There are other passages that at a stretch predict a messiah would come and he did. There are long lists of people who turned up and said "Yeah that's me on page 221. Worship me". From Simon Magus to Sun Myung Moon (moonies).

Regardless of the existence of god we can all agree on the existence of people who would read a bit in the OT and then claim it's a prophecy they are fulfilling.

Also of course the idea of god providing proof of his existence goes against one of the central beliefs of christianity. Christians will tell you that God is meant to be found through faith. If god left evidence then he removes the possibility of faith and wrecks his own plan.

Earthymama Sun 13-Oct-13 10:19:34

I was atheist at 21 after a Christian upbringing. My political views pretty much meant I no longer felt at home in the Church, then I questioned my faith and realised it was habit. It had been fantastic when I was younger though.

Now I am a Pagan, who loves the Earth and all its Wonders and who has discovered Science and doesn't care that scientists mock me!!

It is all good as long as your Faith doesn't tell you you are better than people who don't share it.

In that case, stop being so silly and get over yourself.

madhairday Sun 13-Oct-13 14:14:39

Very interesting and encouraging account Rosieres.

What happened when you first went into the 'experiment' out of interest? Was it a merely cerebral exercise which turned into something more or was there something that spoke to your emotions in it early on as well?

I love Prof McGrath's story too, resonant of CS Lewis.

Rosieres Sun 13-Oct-13 16:10:00

madhairday - I recognised that a strict proof of God's existence or non-existence was probably something that I wouldn't be able to find (far greater minds then mine had been searching for such proof for centuries without a 100% indubitable answer either way). I recognised that what would constitute proof for me would come from trying to live as a Christian, and not just do the intellectual heavy lifting, and see what happened.

In a way I was a bit of a coward, because while the friends who inspired me had been in the town I grew up in, I decided I would throw myself into it and see what happened when I started at university. I figured that if I found nothing in faith and walked away from it all I could easily just go and find a different group of people to hang out with, and my Christian friends from back home who I very much valued wouldn't know and wouldn't feel let down in any way be me rejecting what was precious to them. So it was a full on phenomenological experiment, going to church, reading books, spending time with Christians, asking questions, etc. but with an easy way out if I felt it wasn't working. I felt that you could only test the hypothesis of faith by actually trying to do it - proof of the pudding is in the eating and all that, and that I wouldn't really understand what faith was by keeping it at arms length. If there was a chance that I could find something more in life, an extra dimension that seemed to be there in the lives of some of the Christians I knew, then it was a risk worth taking.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 13-Oct-13 20:35:26

This is a really interesting thread OP. Thanks for starting it. I love reading about the beliefs others hold, be they about god or about other people. Fascinating.smile

SatinSandals Sun 13-Oct-13 20:45:14

I know lots of people. My father for a start, he started to go to church when he was an adult and got confirmed when he was over 50 yrs. I know a vicar who took himself off to church as a teenager to find out what it was all about.
I find it bizarre that people should just follow their parent's beliefs. You can bring them up a certain way, but they get the same free choice as everyone else.

SatinSandals Sun 13-Oct-13 20:46:06

I probably know more who were brought up Christian and are atheist.

tuffie Thu 17-Oct-13 21:57:06

I too love reading about people's journeys to - or away from - faith.
I have been backwards and forwards many times! But in the end, my faith drew me firmly back as I realised I had always been so much more at peace and happier, during the periods of my life when I was part of the church community, read the bible, and prayed.

I think people should be allowed to change back and forth as often as they like, but am always a bit puzzled how that works.

Consider that the only way to believe in god is through faith. There is no evidence (many religious people say that having evidence would spoil it) so it's a feeling inside that says god is real and wants you to do this, this, that and not do this or that.

To believe you surely must believe god put that voice there for you. So what happens when you change to another set of beliefs or none at all. Isn't that admitting that the first 'sureness' was incorrect and therefore couldn't have been from god at all? Why then would someone trust the next feeling they had. Knowing that in a few months they could have abandoned that one too.

SatinSandals Fri 18-Oct-13 19:21:42

How can you have 'sureness' about it? I can be sure of something one day and unsure the next.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 18-Oct-13 19:48:15

Back, I don't really know how I would feel if my faith disappeared suddenly. And given that it appeared suddenly, I am well aware that this is a possibilty.

I have had one time when I felt as though god wasn't there. I missed that connection and thought and moaned a bit about it. But I got on with things and eventually normal service was resumed, albeit in a slightly embarrassing way.blush

I hope that if I were to lose my faith completely I would accept it and get on with my life, only with a better understanding of myself and other people. Sometimes I think it wouldn't be a completely bad thing, as, for me, accepting the existence of a god is a big thing and I do devote a fair bit of time thinking about what god is and what it all means.shock. If I were to lose my faith, I would definitely have more free time.grin

Dione, Now there's a reason I should use in future. "atheists have more free time" smile

/makes a note

SatinSandals I don't get it either. I've had long debates about the inner voice that tell you something is true and how on earth you can distinguish from the inner voice that tells you it's ok to eat both cream cakes.

SalmonellaDeGhoul Mon 21-Oct-13 12:58:59

I was brought up by easygoing Catholics, we went to Mass but religion was rarely discussed.

Aged 17-18 , I rejected a lot of the ideas and started to demand "proof" of God before I would believe in him or an afterlife.

I gradually came back to believing in some sort of spiritual afterlife. I don't call myself religious because I don't follow any particular set of beliefs but I and other people I trust and know to be mentally sound have had experiences which can't be explained rationally but are enough for me to feel that there is something. I don't know if there's "someone" in charge of that "something." I am inclined to think there is.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 21-Oct-13 19:17:55

A reason for what Back?

Dione I was just kidding about using 'having more free time' as a reason for people to give up religion. smile

Abra1d Tue 22-Oct-13 11:45:31

My atheist son (child of semi-practising Catholic and a Presbyterian) has announced he is now an agnostic--mainly because he can't stand the hectoring tone of the atheists in his Philosophy classes.

He has changed what he believes? or just the label?

Abra1d Tue 22-Oct-13 16:15:03

Mainly the label!

fifi669 Thu 24-Oct-13 19:13:23

My dad is a firm atheist and my mum isn't bothered either way. As children I was the only one of the 4 if us to have faith. My older brother used to enjoy constantly taking the piss and the more than occasional shove etc. in his 20s he found God and is now a committed catholic

fifi669 Thu 24-Oct-13 19:13:52

My dad is a firm atheist and my mum isn't bothered either way. As children I was the only one of the 4 if us to have faith. My older brother used to enjoy constantly taking the piss and the more than occasional shove etc. in his 20s he found God and is now a committed catholic

fifi669 Thu 24-Oct-13 19:13:52

My dad is a firm atheist and my mum isn't bothered either way. As children I was the only one of the 4 if us to have faith. My older brother used to enjoy constantly taking the piss and the more than occasional shove etc. in his 20s he found God and is now a committed catholic

fifi669 Thu 24-Oct-13 19:13:52

My dad is a firm atheist and my mum isn't bothered either way. As children I was the only one of the 4 if us to have faith. My older brother used to enjoy constantly taking the piss and the more than occasional shove etc. in his 20s he found God and is now a committed catholic

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 24-Oct-13 22:26:24

Back, the religious aspect is the least time consuming for me.

It's the rest of it that takes up time and headspace.thlshock I think I do the mass thing precisely because it brings my mind back to the Human condition. And that is sooo much easier for me to get my head around.

mypavlova Fri 25-Oct-13 17:55:50

My dad was atheist, mom non-practicing Catholic who insisted we receive religious education despite her non-practice.
I ended up a practicing Catholic eventually by a very circuitous path.

fluffyduckie Sun 27-Oct-13 19:13:04

My parents, pretty much all my family, and almost all my friends growing up didn't believe in God. They still don't and my new (ish - about 3 years) status as a "Bible Basher" perplexes them somewhat.

LaLaLeni Sun 27-Oct-13 19:44:16

I grew up with an outspoken atheist father but going to a Methodist, then Baptist church with my mother. Whilst going through a hard time at home I got baptised aged 17 but quickly realised I actually didn't believe in god, even though I was desperate to.

I'm now an atheist and finally happy that this is right for me; religion was about belonging to a surrogate family whilst my own was in disarray.

I've also studied theology and still heard nothing to make me think that there is a higher power. I find my atheism really freeing rather than depressing (as most friends seem to imagine it must be).

HoneyandRum Fri 06-Dec-13 23:26:57

I was raised with no faith and therefore was not baptized. I didn't believe in God but I did always want to pursue truth. I had a breakthrough experience where I experienced a tangible love outside myself, noone else was present. I began to believe and have never stopped. I chose to become Catholic and have been now for over 25 years.

Still practicing, no regrets.

expatinscotland Fri 06-Dec-13 23:33:24

I know two people who were brought up not atheist, but nothing, really, who became Jewish.

LittleBabyPigsus Sun 08-Dec-13 23:11:12

I was brought up in an atheist/agnostic household, became a Christian as an adult. I was introduced to it via friends as until then I was only aware of 'cultural Christian' stuff and not what Christians actually believe IYSWIM.

I don't see why people worry about their children becoming religious - as long as they're not in a cult or are some kind of scary fundamentalist preacher, what's the harm? I wouldn't care if my kids became atheists.

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