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Free From the Matrix

By Being Human ~

Life sure is an interesting road. A few years ago I would have thought that coming to this site was an act of Satan. Now, I have never felt more free. I'm really thankful for all of the help on exchristian.net, and other atheist websites. A show that has really helped me is the Atheist Experience. They give wonderful answers to really stupid christian arguments. With that being said, here's my story.

I would like to say that my family is really wonderful. I wouldn't trade anything in the world for them. However, like most of us, we came from families with religious backgrounds. I was raised Catholic. Luckily, my family isn't crazy fundamentalist, but I still got enough religious bullshit. I went through the whole works: Sunday school, first communion, and confirmation.

Everything was going great. I went to church, prayed, said the rosary once and a while. I suffer from OCD and anxiety, and doing these things helped make me feel better. To be honest, I never gave too much thought on the dogma of religion. I was just your typical teenager, only caring about what your average teenager cared about, which included: video games, writing, and looking at girls. Unfortunately, I was too shy to actually ask any girls out in high school. I think this could have been part of my anxiety. I was pretty shy around everyone. This seemed to double when I tried talking to attractive women.

This is when the trouble started. Near the end of high school I started masturbating a lot. I always masturbated, but I didn't know what it was until high school. I can thank religious upbringing for my lack of sexual knowledge. The first few times of masturbating were awesome. Unfortunately, this is when I started becoming more religious. I would say the rosary practically everyday, and I began looking up core teachings of the Catholic Faith. Then, all hell broke loose and the guilt hit me like an avalanche.

All religions look down upon masturbating, but the Catholic Church takes it to the next level. The Catholic Church believes that masturbating is a mortal sin, and mortal sins send you straight to Hell. If you didn't grow up religious, I envy you greatly. After finding this out, I still masturbated. However, the guilt was too much. I would beat myself up so much about this “evil act”. I tried to stop myself from masturbating and all lustful thoughts. Jesus teaches that lust is the same as committing adultery. I took this very seriously. I would stop masturbating for very long stretches of time. Way too long for a guy with raging hormones. I used to hate myself for masturbating. I believe anyone who teaches that this is a sin should be thrown in jail. No one deserves to go through this much torment.

I'm extremely glad I didn't become a priest. It's bad enough that Christianity demonizes sex, but Catholic priests are supposed to be celibate. This is the most cruel thing you can do to someone. A couple years later, I entered college. I became a lot more confident and started talking with everyone. This is where everyone is supposed to get laid, right? Well, not for me. I was horrible with women. Some people are naturally shy, but I think a large part has to do with my religious upbringing. I used to think that sex should be saved for marriage. I lost so many opportunities thanks to the wonderful world of Christianity. Now, I'm not saying that it's good to have sex with every person you meet, but I think waiting for marriage is bullshit. If it's your choice to wait, then fine, but I don't think anyone should base this choice off a book written 2,000 years ago.

Now comes the later years of college. I get a little bit better at talking with women. Now, I even think of entering the priesthood. I thought I felt a calling from God, so I gave it a thought. I also mentioned to one of the priests that I like to write. I told him my books were about demons and supernatural creatures. He didn't seem to like this. I actually threw those stories out because I thought my dorm might become demon infested. I laugh now when I think of this, but it's extremely sad that I used to think like this at all.

I'm extremely glad I didn't become a priest. It's bad enough that Christianity demonizes sex, but Catholic priests are supposed to be celibate. This is the most cruel thing you can do to someone.

During last year, I started thinking more about religion than ever. At first I was just upset with the Catholic Church. So, I began to look at other churches. I looked up the reasons why people believe in God. After dropping all religion, I became more of a deist, or agnostic. I wanted to hold onto a faith in a high power so badly, so I just stuck with one of these two. Now, I am proud to say that I am an atheist.

I'm still trying to recover from religious dogma. Even now, I still have fears that I will go to Hell. This feeling is tough to shake, but I say to myself, “If someone needs to put that much fear in me to believe, then I would rather not believe in it.” I'm still trying to recover from the sexual repression. It's gotten easier. I no longer suffer from so much guilt from masturbating. I now think of myself as a better human being. I think part of my horrible self image dealt with original sin. This teaches that we are broken sinners. Getting rid of everything is a difficult task, but one that I am proud to take on. I now know that I can lead a much better life without religion. Thanks to atheism, I now know that I can reach my fullest potential.

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