What ruined religion for you?

  1. At the hospital with my family sitting around my terminally ill aunt. A reverend was called in to say a prayer and do whatever the pre death ritual was. The man arrived and waited outside the room a bit not coming in. My cousin and I made eye contact with him and my cousin asked if he would come in. The man made an odd face and then rubbed his fingers together making the “money gesture”. Whatever little bit of faith I still had whooshed away at that moment.

  2. So many things but the final straw for me was my church asking a homeless man to leave and not come back. He would sit and listen to the sermons never bothered anyone and always sat in the very back. I confronted my youth group leader and she defended the preacher.

  3. I hear stuff like this all the time and it’s so infuriating, like what the fuck. Doesn’t the bible, doesn’t YOUR GOD, teach you to be kind and loving and selfless, to love people no matter what?

  4. When I was in youth group I asked the leader if it's okay to kill in war. And he said it is and god understands that it is sometimes necessary in life to go to war. I then asked what if there is war for the wrong reasons. And he said war is pretty much always in the right and god understands that it's different than just "normal" killing.

  5. When I was sexually assaulted by another boy and I spoke to my pastor because I was afraid to tell my family. He asked me what I did to make the other kid have impure thoughts and tried to make it out to be my fault. That was the exact moment I lost what little faith I had to begin with.

  6. I was surprised to have to scroll this far to find the weird sex stuff. Mine was a child molester that was a youth group volunteer, he molested several children, all boys, and the church decided that they wouldn't do anything except say he couldn't work with kids anymore. I distinctly remember them talking about it during a service, and I looked back at the guy sitting in the pews and he was smirking. Fucking disgust is all I feel when someone talks about their religion.

  7. That's terrible. I am so sorry that happened to you. I hope you have been able to seek help/ talk about it to someone more sympathetic since then.

  8. This 13 year old kid got exposed for being gay and was bullied into suicide by his family for it. I remember during summers they would send him to a special camp to cure his gayness. I was really good friends with his little sister and she would always say how embarrassing it was to have a gay brother and would hope he would become straight. He ended up hanging himself at 13 or 14.It happend in middle school and I can't pretend like I was friends with him,but his story always stuck with me.

  9. what really killed religion for me isn’t just how paper thin there arguments for or against anything are but overall if you look at Christianity’s history it always involves some level of violence and persecution.

  10. A couple of friends of mine "invited" me to a summer camp when I was in middle school. The first warning sign I noticed was the packing list included a Bible, but I brushed it off because the camp brochure had horseback riding, water slides, and a bunch of stuff that seemed cool.

  11. Hey, did this summer camp happen to be up in the Adirondack mountains near Saratoga springs? Cause I feel like I went to the same Christian summer camp.

  12. How agonizingly long and tedious Mass was as a Roman Catholic kid. Stand up - sing. Sit down. Then kneel. Then stand again. Sing again. Sit down. Stand up. Kneel and pray. Then 30 minutes of droning from the robed guy at the front. Then stand up and sing. Sit down. Stand up. WTF please make this end.

  13. Really toxic people at my church growing up. Seeing people only go to church to make connections and gossip rather than actually worship and do good for others

  14. I knew so many people growing up who called themselves Christian but didn't actually read let alone follow the Bible. They just cherry-picked a few quotes that appeared to justify whatever they wanted to do.

  15. I was like 15 and playing an instrument in the “worship band” for the most popular “youth group” in the area (which is a verrry Christian area). At one point the pastor dude was praying and the musicians were behind him waiting to play when he was done. The whole room (200+) had their heads bowed as dude was praying. Then his prayer went into the whole “here’s what you pray if you want to become a Christian right now” yada yada yada.. then at the end he says

  16. Catholic highschool is very popular in the area that I am from. No one wants send their kids to the public schools around here.

  17. Same here, went to private secondary (high) school and I don't think I know a single person in my class that isn't at least an agnostic atheist. After taking a scriptures class and actually reading what's in the bible, there's no way I'm believing that.

  18. If I have to boil my experience down to a simple concept it's this. There's much more nuance but overall you're using a book that will give you a passage to justify whatever you want to do.

  19. "I never met a single priest who could tell me about heaven, but they all knew every square inch of hell, they should, they built it"

  20. It sounds similar to what I was raised to believe but not to that extreme. I think some people go overboard.

  21. When I was 6 years old, the pastor gave a letter to my aunt to give to my mom saying that we were not donating enough money to the church. So we stopped going, and I have never been to church since.

  22. Something like this happened to my friend's grandma. The church wrote her a letter basically saying they knew how much money she was making and that she should be giving more to the church. Her was response was, screw you guys, I'm moving to Mexico.

  23. When I was in middle school my church got a new pastor and he created this whole chart showing what everyone should be donating each week/month based on your household’s income. Except that’s as far as it went, nothing in there about altering based on situation. We were a family of 5 surviving in an upper-middle class area on one income, so it was like “wow $80k? You should be donating hundreds of dollars each month,” even though we live in an expensive place with my dad trying to raise 3 kids and let my mom be stay-at-home. Needless to say when my parents saw that they were both like alright, $15/week it is!

  24. My parents paid to send me to what was basically night school for Catholic kids so I could have my first communion at 8 and later confirmation at 14. When I was 12, my class teacher passed around donation envelopes for me to take home, and I said, “no thanks, we don’t need these because we don’t attend church.”

  25. I was taken to a megachurch once for a christmas thing and the very first thing I saw upon entering was a life size bronze statue of the Pastor. All I could think was, isn't this a false idol?

  26. If you read the bible... jesus trashed a temple for being the base of loan sharks, I think he'd go full domestic terrorist against megachurches

  27. A friend of mine got me to tag along to mass one day in college. I was raised with the somber deathmarch that is roman catholicism. My friend walked me into what looked like a reclaimed and refurbished warehouse, huge and full of people. 2 bands, a stage, not an altar.

  28. Oh yea. There's a Megachurch here in Plano that had a Halloween party one year cause my mom offered th idea to little me. The price was like $50 per person. Immediate nope from her.

  29. Worse, those elaborate props and videos were just distract everybody from where the bulk of the money was really going.

  30. I was 15. My father had been diagnosed with ALS. I had gone to a youth group thing with a Christian friend of mine and they had a circle of teenagers going around talking about things going on in their lives and relating it to God. When it was my turn, I shared that my father was dying and I didn't understand why him, I was angry and I said something along the lines of I doubted there was a God if this was happening. Basically a normal thing to say when you're young and you have a sick relative.

  31. Eyyy my brother in law did the same thing after abandoning a child. Couldn’t stop talking about god and about how everyone around him is a sinner, when he was doing meth and beating woman and child. Now he has triplets with another methed out girl who already had a kid where they also beat eachother. His whole schtick is being a real alpha man and his life is so pathetically ruined because “I don’t wear condoms, they don’t feel good” fucking loser

  32. The non-answers to all my questions as a kid. "You just have to have faith" is a dumb way to respond to an inquisitive mind.

  33. When I was a kid I asked my grandmother where God came from and she smacked me across the face and said "we don't ask questions like that". I was just being honestly curious because I wanted to understand and her reaction shocked me. That's where it all started for me.

  34. Yep, same. I remember we had a section in elementary school about the Greek or Roman gods and I was like, wait hold on there’s other gods?? It was explained that, oh no it was a long time ago and they just didn’t understand how the world worked so they made those gods up as explanations. Well, that led into a lot of questions about how we know God is real then, and basically ended in “have to have faith”.

  35. This is kind of how I felt. Like I believed in God, but it never felt natural to fully conform to the whole faith—the only part that made sense (some times) was the idea of a caring creator. But eventually all the other things became too hard to fight and I just gave up, realized that my remaining faith was mostly based on fear of hell/not having a god that has my back. This process took years, of course.

  36. Oof are you me? Cause this is exactly how I felt growing up. I would always try to scrunch my eyes closed during church service desperate to hear him talking to me but never did and was confused when other people said they did.

  37. When the pastor started ranting about the evils of women, saying that Satan walks among us in the body of every female and men must take measures against them. It was later enforced in my mind when I met his very timid granddaughter in high school. She fully believed she was cursed from birth and showed serious signs of abuse.

  38. For me it was when everyone found out tons of priests were fucking little kids and the church protected them instead of punishing them and reporting it to the police.

  39. Yes, the treatment of women and the inherent shame we're made to feel for simply being born female was a major part of why I left religion. The general shaming, the intolerance for LGBT folks, the direct contradiction of measurable science, and the history of using religion as a big old MLM scheme, all wrapped up in the guise of "we're doing this out of love" completely pushed me away. Full disclosure I was raised in the southern US as an evangelical fundamentalist independent Baptist (you know, those guys who think Southern Baptists are too liberal).

  40. This kind of thinking just means that the men who came up with them are sexual degenerates, creeps, rapists, etc. who just want to fuck every woman they encounter and who believe their victims “women”, are at fault. I’m their minds “ it’s the women’s fault they have the urge to fuck them”.

  41. Some people believe that being religious makes them better than non religious. When I left the church I was persona non grata, none of the members will even look at me now. Oh well.

  42. Those pamphlets were the worst. Our district manager was a member of the church near us and after service let out, he would come and get food and “check up on us.” He also added to their newsletter that members would get a discount on food so we had to give them a discount too.

  43. I worked at an Uno's that would get frequented by a group that came from a local church. My father had stories of them from when he worked at the same location a decade prior to me, and I assumed they were a thing of the past until I saw them first hand. They were the worst, most miserable, most demanding, most inconsiderate bastards I have ever come across.

  44. Jane Elliott brown/blue eye experiment: Intelligence, she told the children, was determined by melanin. The more melanin, the darker the person’s eyes — and the smarter the person.

  45. “You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”

  46. I used to hear “all morality stems from God’s word. You can’t be moral if you don’t read the Bible” which I thought was weird given that there’s a whole popular story in the Bible about how that just isn’t the case (the good samaritan). Anyways, I finally read it, like all of it, not just the sparknotes parts and decided “God” was kind of a piece of shit, and that most of the book doesn’t present what I would call good morality. Like God telling his people to go down in the valley, kill all the men and rape the women so their kids will be Jews or all the rules for selling your daughters into slavery. Shits pretty fucked. Then I started thinking about why the fuck would this all powerful being who made everything give half a shit if we worshipped him?

  47. The fact that if you're not in my religion, you're kinda fucked in the afterlife. I didn't choose my religion, so what makes me so special?

  48. This is it. When I was in the third grade, my best friend was Indian and Hindu. My aunt said she would pray for him and his heathen family, and that was enough for me to turn away from religion early. It was only reinforced with time

  49. My mother telling me Santa wasn’t real by saying “do you REALLY believe that there is a magic man that files to all the houses worldwide in one night on a sleigh?” I had always been skeptical anyways but that solidified it. I then wondered at what age she would tell me God isn’t real.

  50. Funny I am super gullible but moved from Japan, where my parents said they’re ‘superstitious,’ to the Southern Bible Belt, I had questions. My 4th grade teacher’s husband was a pastor so I asked if I could write him a letter to ask questions. The amount of deflections and really short answers probably made me question an adult’s integrity for the first time.

  51. I went to a catholic high school in northern Illinois in the late 90s. My family never attended church in all my life. Mom was lapsed Catholic, dad was Jewish/Unitarian/undecided. For whatever reasons, they felt this was a better option than the public high schools.

  52. Lol I was just going to say was this Lepek? Went to the same school. He was a dick. Service hours were a bunch of BS.

  53. That's such a mundane reason to be kicked out of Christian school. You'd think reasons are damn this student was misbehaving or not paying any attention but no wrong Bible. 😂

  54. Shame and embracing suffering are at the forefront of Christianity. You're a peice of shit and can't do anything without God. You were born into sin.

  55. Intolerance in general as well. Seems like the framework of most religions is intolerance of some kind for outsiders or ‘sinners’. Just leave people the fuck alone who don’t want any part of it.

  56. The fact that when I told my mother I wanted to adopt my children because I dislike the miscommunication of a child learning to speak, she told me that I physically NEEDED to have babies. That if I didn't, my body would fail me before I get to 40 and I would die. She literally told me this. And then later, when I confronted her about it in front of my father, she completely denied it.

  57. Being told that being sexually abused as a child was a good thing as God needed to teach me a lesson on hubris and ego. I should accept it as a lesson and be better so I wouldn't fall into the clutches of the devil.

  58. My brother is a registered sex offender and was convicted of possession of child pornography, and he sexually abused me when I was younger. He became a Christian at one point, and apparently now believes everything that happens is "god's will". So it was god's will for me to be sexually abused and the children he watched getting abused...?

  59. That was not easy to read, man. No child deserves that. I'm very upset that happened to you. I really hope you found justice and peace.

  60. It quickly became evident that many people who call themselves religious, only do so to feel morally superior to others around them, and then use that superiority to try to control everything they can.

  61. THIS. I like to say that Jesus was a carpenter, who gave his followers a hammer to build with. They took the hammer and started hitting other people with it.

  62. former catholic, current atheist here. i am fortunate enough to not have had any severely traumatic experiences involving the church. but, i grew up in the church and i used to love to sing the hymns. as i got older i started to realize what the words i was singing meant. i really didn’t like how some of the hymns/songs called us as people “nothing” compared to god. i don’t really agree with devaluing and trivializing ourselves and our problems as part of worship. that is what really did it.

  63. It reminds me of that church that was telling people to donate their stimulus checks to the church. People were literally starving to death and these bastards wanted their last pennies.

  64. Went to church with a friend for the first time in fucking years awhile ago and told myself I was gonna be open to it and as long they didn’t start bashing LGBT n shit I wouldn’t complain. Less than 5 minutes In and they started on it.

  65. Exactly! There have been 10,000+ religions throughout time and the right one is whichever one you belong to. Seems so ridiculous.

  66. When I was a child, there were a few popes in the late 1970s or so, and they were broadcasting the selection process (white or black smoke from the chimneys), I asked my mom who could become pope. She said that, technically, any Catholic could be named pope, and that God would tell the cardinals who that person should be. I was very excited that they could choose me. They didn't, sadly.

  67. This. Also being told, at my Catholic girls high school, that the reason only men can be priests is because men are made in the image of god and women are not. Pfft.

  68. I was told i couldn’t be a priest because the alter has to stay pure and since girls bleed, we were impure. I thought about it then asked if boys with bleeding injuries could be priests. Mom just stared at me.

  69. The idea that you’re created by an Omniscient God, and they give you free will, but with chastise you for using that exact free will is kinda bullshit.

  70. It's even worse because he created the universe knowing exactly how things would play out. He created you the way you are knowing you'd do things he doesn't like and he'd get an excuse to punish you for them.

  71. I was raised Catholic and I always felt uneasy about the environment. Then I learned I had a great aunt living in a Magdalene laundry, then the priest who buried my father attacked me two weeks later (he came off the worst of that encounter) and I immediately left that so called “church”. What I have learned since about it would curl your liver. I’m a volunteer now with the survivor network.

  72. My old landlords switched churches because it hired a female pastor. They talked about her with the same wild scared eyes as when they talked about "the blacks", it was bizzare.

  73. There’s a short period of time where most of the religion started. Everything prior is mythology and everything after is a cult. Hmm, how convenient.

  74. I remember an adult telling me about how a burning bush talked to someone. I was like... that's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard. You don't SERIOUSLY believe that shit, do you? Spoiler alert, they did.

  75. I remember having to listen to a Bible story where god was a dick. People worshiped a false god, got challenged, asked for proof of 'real' god, converted when given proof and then god killed em all for being sinners. Kinda just said to myself "do I want to worship a god like that?".

  76. When I asked if I would see my life-long dog who just got hit by a train in heaven my pastor told me no- animals don’t go to heaven. I asked if my piece of heaven would be filled with those I love then how could my dog not be there with me? He said heaven is only for praising god. It got me thinking of who all would be there. All the racists and asshats who treated me like shit already and decided there is no way I want to go to that place and continue to have to interact with all those awful people.

  77. Yeah I remember the moment I realized the God character wasn’t good. At my church they read Bible stories to kids during the service in another room. When they read about the garden of Eden, I never understood why God punished them for something he knew they would do.

  78. I remember being confused at “believing without seeing” for religion but “not believing until seeing” for science. only one made sense

  79. For me it was helplessly watching my infant child suffer in constant pain from a genetic disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa (look it up if you want to cry), and losing her after 9 months. No amount of prayer makes any difference. No one is listening. What was "the plan" for her? And why would I live for a god that chose to allow my child to suffer and die? My faith died with her.

  80. I once had a best friend who had a massive heart attack at age 26, and he had to go into a medically induced coma. I found out at work and was obviously upset. My boss pats me on the shoulder and says “this is gods will” and walked away. Like dude, STFU Edit: he is better now

  81. I'm atheist, raised Christian. What always got me was, we were promised heaven as a reward for living a good life. So if Christians believe that, shouldn't death be more of a celebration than something to mourn? Time on earth is essentially a tryout for heaven, right?

  82. I never got this part and for some reason I always got the anwer "he knows what he is doing and why he is doing it". Like fucking bone cancer in children. Wtf can be the reason for that?

  83. Uncle (a pastor) the morning that the stock market crashed in 2008 ish. I remember being like 15 years old and hearing him say oh I hope Tithe is really good because the church just lost a lot of money. You cannot find God in a building.

  84. I came here to say exactly this. It’s heartbreaking to have so many use religion as their excuse to be outwardly cruel to others.

  85. Only God has the right to judge, yet religious people are the most judgemental people you can meet. Anybody who has a different view to them.

  86. Weirdly was the opposite for me. I was raised religious and it seemed everyone at church was super nice and looked out for each other. Even the kids were all nice (as opposed to at school where I was bullied). I remember from a fairly young age having serious doubts about the existence of God and the truth of the Bible, but (from my very narrow perspective) it seemed that religion made people nicer so I sort of went along with it.

  87. As a kid, someone explaining to me that my dog that just died wouldn't be in heaven. I'd never see him again. Because dogs can't accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. So he was going to hell.

  88. Are you telling me a children's movie lied to me when they said all dogs go to heaven?? Consider my jimmies rustled.

  89. I was told they had no soul therefore would not go to heaven. Really great thing to tell a 10 year old who just lost their dog.

  90. "Few religions are definite about the size of Heaven, but on the planet Earth the Book of Revelation (ch. XXI, v.16) gives it as a cube 12,000 furlongs on a side. This is somewhat less than 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic feet. Even allowing that the Heavenly Host and other essential services take up at least two thirds of this space, this leaves about one million cubic feet of space for each human occupant- assuming that every creature that could be called ‘human’ is allowed in, and the the human race eventually totals a thousand times the numbers of humans alive up until now. This is such a generous amount of space that it suggests that room has also been provided for some alien races or - a happy thought - that pets are allowed."

  91. I had this same shit happen as a little kid. Well I fucking clapped back asking where does God keep his horses then? God is in this book. It says he has horses. Where are they if not in heaven? If horses why not dogs?

  92. Was invited by an ex gf to go to church with her. Before the pastor's talk, we broke off into groups of maybe 10 to discuss the topic of the day.

  93. Almost everything. Like I get the fact that some people manage to keep their lives stable practising it, but then there is a limit to things which I am always annoyed by. I'm not old enough that I can overrule adults in my family, I just have to shut up and see the shit show take place and I can't say anything about it when I know that what's happening is so wrong.

  94. The fact that people are so at ease with the fact that they are so lucky to be born in just the right religion aka the correct one. Being born in right region, right country, right times, right family. Wow, that cannot be coincidence that my church of 7 people in rural Alabama got this book of ancient people from middle east right!(not that number of believers matter).

  95. I think this is the core of the matter. A lot of answers here relate to the ills religions have carried out, but I don’t think that’s even relevant in the discussion of their veracity. Really all you have to consider is there are thousands of religions through space and time, and all of them claim to be the sole true religion. Followers of a religion have absolutely no issue thinking those other religions are fake and man made. All atheism is, is knowing that the same feelings apply to all of them. No religion has ever had any evidence that puts it above all the others in terms of being true, and the vast majority of people believe in a religion that they grew up with, and the few that didn’t only joined one because of a relationship with a person who is religious.

  96. My wife works for a "lay-led" Unitarian Universalist church with no pastor figure. So, a lot like you describe... except not. Every lay sermon I ever heard there was thoughtful and thought-provoking, informative, salient to our challenging lives, and above all compassionate.

  97. I think horrific abuses committed by religious people and enabled by religious organizations took the shine right off that apple.

  98. I do not want a God that allows people to suffer. Why make a creation just for the large majority to suffer in some way? I used to believe the “God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers” bullshit, but honestly fuck that.

  99. I was raised mormon and was told the story of Joseph smith peering into a hat using magic rocks and deciphering a book when I was a teen.That pretty much did it for me.

  100. “Just believe it. Don’t expect anyone to actually support any of these claims. Asking questions ist verboten.”

  101. I was 6 years old in a Saudi elementary school. There was this one Christian Bosnian kid whose dad was a butcher, he was incredibly kind and often gave me delicious smoked meat sandwiches.

  102. The bible just never made any sense to me. It contradicts itself repeatedly and the god it presents sounds incredibly narcissistic and insecure. Creating the whole world and people in your image so they can worship you? Dude. You're God. Why do you need people to worship you?

  103. Don't forget, after God created people, he realized "oops I think this was a mistake because it isn't going how I planned" and then genocided everyone with a flood and now everyone is a descendent of Noah.

  104. The realization that someone like Hitler could commit all those atrocities and still get into heaven as long as he “accepts Jesus Christ as his lord and savior”, but a non believer who is a good and decent person who helps others and basically lives a “Christian” life is condemned to hell for eternity.

  105. When I realized the Bible wasn't written by God/Jesus and it was written by man and was written like 200 years after Jesus's death. Like I can't even 100% trust the word of a good friend who heard something from someone else in 2022, let alone some game telephone from 2000 years ago.

  106. Having been raised/brainwashed Christian it was a long road to uncovering the truth.. through that process you realize how easy the general population is to being manipulated.. how easy it is to perpetuate a lie as most people believe or are inclined to believe vs. disbelieve something they are told… All Christians think Islam is fake made up religion and vice versa yet neither have the ability to look in the mirror…. Lies told over ions of time to manipulate the populations whether religious or politically motivated continue to this day… Look at the “big lie”… Millions of republicans actually believe the election was stolen… crazy how easy it is to perpetuate a lie to a large group of people.. a person can be very smart.. a group of people can be very stupid.. realizing religion is the ultimate big lie ruined the concept for me..

  107. Pastor telling me that my multiple friends that had committed suicide within a few months of each other all were in hell since they took their own lives. Went to him for counseling to help deal with the pain of losing friends and very first thing I was told, "well they're in hell now"

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