posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 03:13 AM
I will give you an answer, but it's not theoretical as in "what would it take" but practical as in "what did it take" for me to stop believing in
"God" as such is commonly understood in the majority of the US.
My Mom was and still is a practicing Episcopalian. My Dad was a Protestant, who converted to Episcopalian when he married my Mom. However, Dad was
also a Philosophy major who later wound up with his PhD and teaching Philosophy at University.
As a kid growing up, my parents took me to church regularly. My parents also sent me to visit my grandparents in the summers who also took me to
My main question for my church at that time was "if the Jews were God's chosen people, then why aren't we all Jewish?" which none of my Sunday
school teachers ever answered satisfactorily (I later learned about the history and divisions and politics of the church). Common conversation in my
house or on our weekend bike rides revolved around ethical issues such as "you are in a mine and it collapses - only one person can get out - do you
get out or do you let your best friend get out?" And this involved hours of debate about the answer, and why we chose what we chose, and how that
choice could be right or wrong or how we could understand the choice if someone made the alternative choice from the one that we made ourselves. We
also took a trip to England during which time my Mom told me the story of Henry VIII which completely confused me. How could he go to so much trouble
to declare himself holy head of the church and divorce his wife and marry Anne Boleyn, and then just a few years later declare her guilty and have her
beheaded and go on to marry and kill several others?
THEN, my faith in Christianity was already in serious distress, but what came next was the end. Whenever I would go to visit my Grandma in Virginia,
she would take me to church with her, and she would record the service for the "shut-in's" who could not get to church and would take the
recordings around to them later. She would quiz me on the apostles names and so on, and take me to Sunday School. I felt good when I earned her
praise, she was the best and most respected person I knew. My Aunts and my Dad clearly had the utmost respect for her. Grandpa had died of cancer
when I was very little, and she was the matriarch of the family.
When I was in 7th grade, after I returned home from spending the summer with her, my parents came knocking on my door one night to have a family talk.
I thought I was in trouble for figuring out that I could get X rated movies on our (very early) cable box by sticking a magnet in the keyhole.
Instead, they needed to tell me that my Grandma had just been brutally murdered by her next door neighbor. He had previously done some handy work for
her and his phone was out so he had come next door to ask to use the phone and she made the mistake of asking after his family. He choked her with
her typewriter ribbon, slit her throat, and then brutalized her body. There are more gruesome details, but I've supplied enough already and don't
want to expose my family further. At any rate... My family lived in fear that he was coming after us next for several months because he had left my
Grandma's residence with her purse and her car, and several letters from us were in her purse. Eventually, they discovered him in a different state
and were able to apprehend him and bring him back to VA for trial. After many years of appeals, he finally received the death penalty. I will never
forget my father sending me a letter where he talked about cleaning his mother's blood from the floor so they could sell her house. My father has
told me he has been able to forgive. My aunt is a born-again Christian, and her comments make it clear she has not been able to forgive. I have left
Christianity for a mixture of what makes sense to me, cross between many beliefs, mostly centering around love, self-discovery, and non-violence.