Religious moments from childhood?

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Religious moments from childhood?
Fri, 04-17-2009 - 12:03pm

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone!

Now for my first "real" post, I guess :) I know from reading that the people on this board come from many different backgrounds; grew up in a strict religious household, grew up in a somewhat religious household, had an event happen that prompted them to give up get the idea! There are many more circumstances that I could not possibly list here. Whatever our background, though, I'm sure we all have a weird/funny story to tell about religious experiences as a child. I'll kick things off with my list:

1) I used to love sleeping over at my cousins' house. Their mom is my mom's sister, but the family chose to follow my uncle's religion (Baptist). Every night before bed, there would be a reading from the bible and sometimes one from a religious magazine. The kids were EXPECTED to attend church on Sunday no matter what. No exceptions! When I slept over I thought it was kind of odd, but to each their own I guess...

2) When I was 14-16, I taught Sunday School to 3-year olds. I loved it, but as I recall, most of our time was spent playing with toys (i.e. I brought in a tub of water and some floating toys when we were talking about Noah's Ark) or eating snacks. Hey, we all had fun, and what are 3 year olds going to learn anyway?

3) The aunt from the same family as before ALWAYS sends out greeting cards with religious verses in them. It's sort of a joke between my father and I that when we see a card, we say "Oh, that one must be from Aunt __ and Uncle __!".

Anyone else have any funny stories?



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Registered: 01-27-2006
Fri, 04-17-2009 - 12:44pm
I have this very conservative (read pshycho) Aunt and Uncle in Michigan. Every couple of years it's the end of the world. Eye Roll Smiley Pictures, Images and Photos Anyway, one of the last times the world was coming to an end, they sent out letters to all the family inviting them to live on their farm with them. They would do subsistence farming. The funny part is us crazies in California (you know, the heathens) didn't get an invitation. lol.

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Registered: 08-23-1997
Fri, 04-17-2009 - 5:29pm
This one happened yesterday so it's not from my childhood but, it's from my child who is not so young, she's 16. But I digress. She is a junior in high school and we were visiting colleges this week to see where she might want to go. One of the colleges we visited is a Catholic college founded by friars. About 40 friars live on campus and some of them are professors. My kids are Godless heathens and don't know much about religion, so we saw one of the friars walking across the student union and he was wearing a white robe. My dd says "Is that one of those friar guys?'" So I said yeah and she said "He looks like a Jedi." LOL!
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Registered: 08-15-2008
Fri, 04-17-2009 - 9:03pm

I don't remember a lot about my childhood religious experiences. All I remember is begging them not to take me and being forced to sit still and quiet for an hour and a half while some guy with a speech impediment went babbling so fast I couldn't understand him.

Then when I was ages 14/15/16 I REALLY got into church. I got Baptized and got excited about every Sunday... UNTIL one day the preacher was reading from the old testament and I just thought, "OMG! GOD IS A DICK!" I went home, read the verse over and over and over again. Then realized either A) God is Evil or B) God does not exist. As time has progressed I have become certain God does not exist is the correct answer.

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Registered: 08-15-2008
Fri, 04-17-2009 - 9:05pm
Great story.

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Registered: 10-02-2007
Sat, 04-18-2009 - 3:21am

How about an embarassing moment? My picture is in a Christian teens' mag.

When I was in high school, at the height of my Jesus Fangirl stage, I was subscribed to a magazine called (iirc) Teen Quest. I think it was a Focus on the Family publication. They had a contest of some kind where you were to send in a picture of yourself standing by your mailbox as if in anticipation of receiving your next TQ. I sent one in, and although I didn't win, they published my picture the month before announcing the winners. I guess it was like a, "hey kids, there's still time to enter" kinda thing, but I was a bit ticked that they already knew I wasn't a winner. They sent me a bunch of extra copies of the magazine so I could show off or whatever. I remember there was a picture of Steven Curtis Chapman on the front cover of that issue.

When I was younger than that, all I really remember about going to church is that I was forced to wear "girl shoes" that hurt my feet, and I had a lot of arguments with my mother about them. To this day my toes are misshapen and I blame my mother and those damn shoes.

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Registered: 03-23-2004
Sat, 04-18-2009 - 3:57am

We had to go to mass every Sunday until I got about 14/15 at which point my dad said we were old enough to decide if we wanted to go or not. (I think he just got tried of my bringing up the parts that didn't jive.)

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Registered: 05-12-2006
Sat, 04-18-2009 - 8:10pm

I was not raised in a religious household.

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Registered: 08-06-2006
Sat, 04-18-2009 - 11:36pm
LOL...Oh rock!
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Registered: 12-20-2003
Sun, 04-19-2009 - 3:59am

My family background is Irish Catholic. It seems that most of my relatives in Ireland either grew up to be terrorists or priests (sometimes both), but I never learned about the terrorism pasts until their wakes (the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish wake is that there is one less drunk at the wake).

My family went through their religious war back in the 1960's when my dad's brother married a Jewish woman, and they raised their son Jewish (our last name begins with "O'"). I was not allowed to see that cousin for several years before we all realized that it was BS. After that there has not been any problems about religion even though I'm an atheist and some cousins became born-again Christians (they have since gone back to Catholicism). Although we do rib one cousin who married an Irish Protestant, calling her "Scotish".

I was tight with the 40 1st and 2nd cousins that grew up in town with me. I am actually tighter with some 2nd cousins than I am with my own siblings (my best man was a 2nd cousin once removed), but my generation has had a major diaspora (at least I am in the same county). Of my immediate family, my 3 siblings are still Catholic, but none have raised an issue with me being an atheist. I have no idea if my parents are still Catholic, I know that they are burned out on religion and dabbled with agnosticism (in early grade school my family went to Sunday mass, then we became CE Catholics, and then it was "Who cares?). I never got grief from any relative for being atheist, some ribbing, but that is common on all matters among my relatives (see "Brothers McMullin" for examples of Irish ribbing).

In Kindergarten, I do remember my teacher mentioning that "under God" should not be un the Pledge of Allegiance because of Separation of Church and State (this was in 1967), although she did admonish me for saying "one flags, under Knucklehead, indivisible" because it was disrespectful.

I quit believing in a diety around 5 or 6, a couple of years later I stopped believing in Santa Claus (I saw evidence of St. Nick, although it was manufactured). My parents did send my to CCD, where I still can see the scars on my knuckles from a ruler after asking nuns how did we know that there was a God? The explanation of "Because I said so" was not convincing.

I did attend the public schools in my town, just outside New York City. The town population was 40% Catholic, 40% Jewish, and 20% other (Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.) Being close to the Big Apple, there were a lot of kids who had parents who worked in the United Nations or foreign companies, and went to my schools. When school kids asked about religion, it wasn't to condemn but to learn. I had learned about religious discrimination in school through books (Inquisition, Nazis, Leo Frank, Thirty Year's War, separation of India and Pakistan, Crusades), but never experienced it personally until I went up for Eagle in Boy Scouts. Not only was I turned down but the BSA said I was to be kicked out. My Scoutmaster, District Commissioners, and the pastor of the Presbyterian Church that sponsored my troop wrote letters to support me, but to no avail.

In college (a Merchant Marine school) I did come across with some people who were less intolerant than I was used to. I did learn that there was a chance that I would not get the Navy's Merchant Marine Reserve Commission because of my atheism, so I did not apply for it. When I shipped out, the crew members I worked with were an eclectic bunch, and the ports were relatively cosmopolitan, so religion was rarely an issue. When working on land as a computer programmer, I found that only 20% of the IT staff for any company I worked for were Christian (all these companies were around NYC).

It wasn't until I got on the internet and listening to politicians that I learned about how disliked atheists are in this country.

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Registered: 03-23-2004
Sun, 04-19-2009 - 6:51am
Wow. I'm still laughing at the statue thing.