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Atheist Needle in a Hay Stack of Christians

By Jasiel ~

OK. Here we go. I am really not sure how long this is going to be, but I guess I’ll go with the flow. So here’s my testimonial:

Needle In A HaystackImage by t_buchtele via Flickr
My name is Jasiel (pronounced J.C.L). I am 18, and I am an Atheist. I live in Central Florida and I’m surrounded by TONS of Christians. The reason why I became an Atheist was because I started to have doubts (not surprising).

I was VERY active in my church youth group. I played the drums in the youth band and prayed over the group every now and then. But one day my pastor said something that literally sent a shiver down my spine. He said because we weren’t spreading the Word enough, “Billions of people die and get sent to hell.” Now of course I was like “Oh, my god I need to start going out and sharing the word quickly before so many people go to hell.” Then it dawned on me… "Isn’t it cruel for a God who created man because he was lonely to send so many of them to burn in hell? Millions of them didn’t even get to hear about you." And then another question popped into my head: If God was so great and if he could do miracles, why can’t he just convert the non-believers himself? I asked my pastor that same exact question, and of course he said “Because Satan dwells among us.” So when a human being converts another to Christianity, does that mean that we are more powerful than “God?"

My doubts were starting to scare me because I felt as if I was the only one thinking these thoughts in a church over 3,000 members strong. I also felt scared because I knew I was on to something. I knew that I was slowly discovering that something was a little fishy about this Christianity stuff. I was on a hill in a car stuck in neutral. My friends and my youth pastor would push me up the hill (mission trips, youth retreats and such) but then I would come rolling back down to earth after we came back.

I was still unsure whether or not I was an Atheist. The one event that finalized my decision was -- and don’t make fun of me -- was when I got rejected by a girl I really liked. We talked every day, for the whole day, 6 months straight and she said I could start dating her in May (yeah…I know…odd). We hung out a lot at the movies and different restaurants. I’m from Trinidad and I’m dark skinned. The girl I was talking to was white and her ENTIRE family was white/country/conservative. Her family knew about me because I visited her house a couple of times. They were nice to me but I knew it was a cover. Then the moment came when we got into our very first fight (cute I know….not). It was about something stupid, but it was purely MY fault. I apologized over and over again. Her family seized the opportunity and convinced the one girl I truly liked that I was a cruel person. They also got it into her head that she should work on her relationship with GOD first. REALLY??? She’s super Christian, home-schooled, country, and conservative. I’m pretty sure she needed to get away from God for a while. But anyways, she told me basically what her family told her to tell me and she finally said the statement that made me cringe. “I feel like I need to build a better relationship with God before I start dating someone.” I was distraught and angry. I immediately went into a depression. During this time, I thought, and thought some more. I realized how easy it was to convince a Christian to do what you want them to do, as long as you use God in your persuasion. For some odd reason, that made me think of the Bible, and how old it was, and how it could have been changed and tampered with to keep rule over society.

Then came the dreaded day that I told my parents I was a “non-believer.” I wasn’t actually planning to tell them at all. But when the moment came, I had to. This happened in June. We were finished with our family meeting, and my brother started arguing and ranting on and on about me trying out for the College drum line when I should be more focused on school instead. Now I was REALLY pissed off and started using the phrase “Jesus Christ” a lot. THEN my parents AND my brother got REALLY pissed off and started yelling at me because of my “blasphemy.” They literally had me in tears. I felt outnumbered and helpless. I could do nothing but cry. I sat down on the chair, looked up at my parents, and with my face dripping with tears I stuttered “Mom... Dad... I don’t believe in God anymore.” The anger on my parents face disappeared and turned to shock. After a long pause my dad said “Jasiel, that’s a big statement you just made.” I said “Yes, I know.” It was the only thing I could say because I was still in shock. My hands were shaking and my lips were trembling. I went straight to my room and buried my face in my pillow. I thought it was over until my parents came into my room. My mom said “Jasiel, tonight is the night that you accepted Satan into your life.” Then my brother blurted out from his room “You are a reject!” And in my anger and frustration I said “no I’m not!” And right after I said that, my dad said “Yes you are.”

You guys have no idea about the amount of anger that built up within me after he said that. I’m being rejected because I thought outside of the box? No. That was unfair. I took a deep breath and started screaming “GET OUT OF MY ROOM!” over and over again until I felt light headed and could cry no more. After all of that, you know what my mother said? She said “look, Satan has already possessed him.”

The days that followed were painful, my mom always asked me “Where are your atheist friends?” and “I have to get away from you or else something bad will happen to me.” My brother, who was and currently is very involved in church, started poking fun at me and arguing with me about how Christianity is right and I was stupid.

Things have died down since this whole drama happened. Actually it hasn’t. Instead of verbally hurting me, my parents are mentally hurting me. They force me to dress up and go to church with a bible. I have to sit with them and read the passage the pastor is preaching on. When everyone stands up to read aloud the bible verse, I must stand up and read aloud too. They think forcing me to go to church is going to convert me back to that cult? I think not. At every church service I feel so much anger. I feel anger towards God and anger towards the pastor who is shoving stories and falseness down 2,999 peoples’ throats. A wave of anger moves through my body when the congregation says “amen” after the pastor goes on a charismatic rant ending with “Jesus”. A wave of anger rushes through me when I see the people in front of me putting their hands in the air, praising an invisible god. And lastly, a wave of anger and sadness storms through me when I see young children, ages five to 10, go up and “confess that Jesus is their Lord and Savior.”

So here I am: I’m a 18 year old kid, an Atheist surrounded by Christians, forced to live a life of hypocrisy, and I am desperate to get out and find a new life.

I really didn’t think my testimony would be this long. I hope it was worth reading.