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I figured that I owe most of the people that read this a little bit of background information on me. So I’m going to write a little three blog series of my story, similar to what Dan Barker does at the beginning of his book Godless (which is really good).
I spent the first 18 years of my life living in Little Rock, Arkansas. I lived a fairly normal life. I did not grow up in a single parent home, I had friends, and I was very active in my church for the majority of my life. I was one of those people who was at the church pretty much every time there was something going on at the building. I always went to Sunday school when I was a child. I believed whole heartedly that the bible was the inspired word of god and the entire thing was 100% true and all of the events in it actually happened at some point in history. I always knew my memory verse every week in class. I participated in bible bowl for a few years and memorized the answers to all of the questions, and could probably still answer most of those questions years later.
In junior high through high school I was always very active in my church’s youth group. I was one of the few people my age that remained active during the last couple years of high school. I went on mission trips to Mexico and Jamaica and helped out with service projects in inner city Little Rock every summer. My Christian resume was padded quite well.
I guess where I’m going with this is to answer the possible question that I was never a real Christian. I was a real Christian in every sense of the word. I truly believed everything that the bible and the ministers told me. My view of atheists during this time was that they were some of the worst people in the world. They probably did not believe in god because they wanted to live their lives without rules and without consequences to their actions. I was sure that they knew that there was a god but they must have become angry with him at some point or thought they were better than him, so they were telling themselves that he did not exist.
My worldview was completely different in those days than it is now. I’m ashamed to say that I was a Bush supporter and a staunch Republican, though this was probably because I wasn’t thinking for myself. I was able to somehow rationalize the inherent irrationality of religion and the Christian God. It wasn’t until I went to Oklahoma Christian University that I started to actually delve into rationally studying the claims of Christianity. I still find it a bit ironic that I had to go to a Christian university to become an atheist.
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