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Escaping the Brainwash

By Lauren D ~

I can proudly say that I escaped the Christian brainwashing that I endured for over 25 years. My parents were religious, especially my father who tried converted everyone in path to become a born again Christian. Going to church every Sunday was boring and always left me feeling like a guilty sinner. As much as I hated church and all the strict rules, I tried my very best to follow the “straight and narrow path” that God had for me. My main motivation to be a good Christian and go to church was the fear of hell. And boy was it scary!

The foundation of my faith first started to crack when I took a Philosophy course in college. My teacher was an atheist and he provoked the class with some great questions that really had me thinking if Christianity was wrong. I went home after school and asked my Dad some of the tough questions I was facing and he always had an answer. Most of his answers included verses from the bible and minimal logic. After the semester ended I brushed all my questions under the rug and decided that I would just have faith and move forward.

It’s ironic that the Bible calls Jesus the truth, when in fact it he couldn’t be further from it.Three years passes and I was once again forced to reconsider my faith in Christianity. During this time I got back together with one of my ex-boyfriends, who happens to be Jewish. He doesn’t practice much, he eats pork and never attends synagogue unless it’s a holiday. Nevertheless, he was very proud to be Jewish. As the relationship progressed we would talk about how to raise our children if we got married. He demanded that we raise them Jewish. Obviously I was very scared that my children would go to hell. I tried converting him in the past and I realized that there was no use. I just didn’t understand how the Jews didn’t see Jesus as the truth. What about Isaiah 53? What about all the other foreshadowing in the Old Testament? I always wondered why they couldn’t catch on. I immediately went to my computer and googled a bunch of stuff. I soon realized that the bible started making less and less sense to me. I came to the shocking realization that there were many mistranslations/misinterpretations in the bible. Then I started to wonder what else I was misinformed about. I googled again, this time for 2 days straight. I read stories from, read blogs, watched youtube debates with guys like Dawkins, Harris etc. At the end of the week I called my two brothers to tell them that I was no longer a Christian. At first I was scared to make this bold claim but then I felt freedom and a deep sense of peace and happiness that Christianity could never bring.

Since then I have also helped one of my brothers de-convert and he has never been happier. I’m lucky enough to have a family that semi-respects my decision and doesn’t disown me. I am hoping that one day the rest of them come around, although I highly doubt it. I currently call myself Agnostic. For some reason don’t like to call myself an Atheist. I worry that some people might judge me. I also seem to associate the word “Atheist” with the word “hell” and I don’t like that feeling it gives me. I know that might sound funny and just plain stupid, but it’s true. I hate admitting this but sometimes I still get scared. There is still about 5% left of me that still fears hell. I know that hell doesn’t exist but I have a hard time shaking that feeling because of the deep brainwashing that I underwent. It’s only been 4 months since my de-conversion. I’m sure it will take some time to settle into my new beliefs.

Overall, my new beliefs (or lack thereof) have brought me great happiness that is hard to describe. I no longer feel the guilt and shame for meaningless things such as not reading my bible enough. I don’t waste my time praying and going to boring church services. And I no longer waste my time waiting for God to answer my prayers and guide my life. I’ve come to realize that I am in control of my own life, not some imaginary guy in the sky. De-converting has changed my life for the better. I finally feel like I have found truth. It’s ironic that the Bible calls Jesus the truth, when in fact it he couldn’t be further from it.