Thursday, March 31, 2005

My Deconversion?

Dear Internet Diary,
My Kindergarten graduation dress 1974

What made you an atheist?

My deconversion story could take a couple of hours to tell, so I want to get down to the root of it all : curiosity, independence, and education. That's the formula to the Chemical X that not even 6 or 7 days a week of an Evangelical Church could beat. Add a mom and dad who carry this chemical X and you get what you see here.

You get a 6 year-old who goes to a Christian Kindergarten, feels bothered by something Teacher said (Mommy? Did God really make the world out of clay?), and takes it right home to discuss with Mom and Dad. Horrified Mom and Dad discuss the matter, explain things to 6 year-old, and soon a pattern emerges where 6 year-old "goes to school" twice a day, just to experience that great horrified reaction form Mom and Dad.

What kinds of families find discussions on religious, philosophical and scientific issues a common everyday thing, as common as homework and chores? I certainly thought that every kid's dad took out a handkerchief and a marble to explain gravity, or grabbed a flashlight to discuss Plato's Shadow people. I thought every kid's Mom took her to the library twice a week, discussed the oppression of women in the Bible, and played classical music records on her console, loudly, as she did housework. I'm sorry to find out that isn't true.

It wasn't for my own parents. I don't think there was a lot of discussion in their Christian homes. Christian sometimes in the strict sense, mostly in the cultural sense. I think my family started out really trying to take christanity seriously, much more seriously than their own families. But their independent spirits, from having to take care of themselves mostly in their not idealized 50's families, won out. Independence was a golden word in my household, and was a compliment given with more pride than "good girl."

So that's why I am an atheist. That's why I never was a Christian at all.

Thanks for listening, diary.

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