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Giving up my beliefs

By AJ ~

I'd like to start by introducing myself. My name is AJ, and I'm 16 years old. I guess that's kind of young for me to be making decisions, but I've been thinking about this decision for almost my entire life.

My faith story begins when I was born. My parents were both raised in some form of Christianity--my mother, Catholic, my father, Methodist. They remain devout to this day.

Most kids raised in the church are, as I feel, brainwashed. I remember thinking around the time I was 10 "that doesn't make sense" and "why do we get heaven when other people don't, just because their parents raised them to follow another religion?"
"How does God love people, but then most people go to Hell for all eternity just because they don't believe what I believe?"

I was VERY confused, and in my earlier teen years (13-15) I found myself very depressed. Of course, I had family problems at home; my dad is extremely bipolar, and was an abusive alcoholic my entire childhood until I was 9, then when I was 12 we discovered he never stopped his addiction and had been hiding beer from us.

I wallowed in self-pity for a couple years, which I am ashamed of. I started doing drugs, self-harming, and got addicted to painkillers, which I eventually was able to break.

But I digress. Enough of my life's story. While my peers were basking in the "light that is Jesus," I was still confused and even more depressed. I felt my life had no meaning, I attempted suicide a few times. And then I came to a shocking realization.

Not sure if I should break this to my parents though.My faith is a lie! Well, not an all-out lie, but it was something I didn't want to be part of. It seemed judgmental and wrong to take pleasure in the fact that I am going to be "saved" while most of the world is going to burn in hell forever. I couldn't live with that on my shoulders, and I couldn't see how everyone else could. Guess that's why Christians flit around and try to convert everybody.

I felt like such a douchebag and duped for believing all this... garbage! Adam and Eve, the "Great Flood" that never happened. Seemingly every other Bible story. There's no proof! I can't damn others over a matter of blind faith. And that blind faith was coming from conflicting evidence; there's such a horde of contradictions in the Bible.

It took me months to break my beliefs, but when I finally did, it was nothing short of a relief. To me, it was less discovering that Santa Claus doesn't exist, and more like believing he doesn't exist and then finding him in my chimney on Christmas Eve. It was exhilarating!

I've dabbled in other religions recently, particularly buddhism, and I'm trying to find a belief/nonbelief system I can stick with, something that makes me feel right and is backed by something other than my own opinion and bias.

Not sure if I should break this to my parents though.