I was never raised religious. For most of my youth, the concept of A Big Daddy In the Sky ™ never even existed to me. At my public primary school I was in a class called “morals”, the alternative to catholic teaching class. There was 4-5 kids in there… We were taken out of the classroom and put in another to talk about inane things I don’t remember to this day. Mostly topics about general public behaviour. The big line they would tell us though is that we are learning everything they’re learning in catholic class without the jesus part. That would make me laugh later in my life, but as a child I just didn’t think about it. Jesus was some naked dude on a cross. I had a vague idea that he was something about Christmas time… But since that it has the vague name of “Noël” in french, I didn’t see the connection. Noël’s mascot was Santa, and was about turkey dinner, a pretty tree and new Nintendo games. Especially new Nintendo games.
There was only a couple events in my young times that I remember coming into contact with the religious, besides a boring as hell wedding and christening. One time was in 5th grade, when a substitute teacher asked us to pray before class. I gave her a blank stare and said “But I’m in morals class! I don’t pray, it’s not on my school curriculum!” and the teacher answered “But you don’t have to be in catholic class to pray. Just do it and you’ll see God will be happy.” I don’t think she realized that the concept completely escaped my mind. So I closed my eyes really hard realized I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I opened my eyes and saw the other kids where mumbling over their folded hands. It didn’t look like a healthy practice so my mind started wandering off. After a couple minutes or so the teacher said prayer time was over and smiled at me. I smiled back. I was a couple minutes closer to going back home to play Zelda on SNES and I was not scolded for daydreaming in class. Excellent.
The next one was on the last days of class before Christmas vacation. I think it was on the same school year or the next. The school decided to take us to church. Yet again I objected, saying I was no supposed to go to church. Every other year, I stayed behind and did christmas time artcraft instead. Teacher said I was going. So I went. It was some sort of christmas time play with the priest dressed up as some dude called Saint Nicholas. He sternly spoke down to us saying that in his time children were not getting video games at christmas and instead were getting fruits an- oh wait, I stopped listening there. Screw that guy. I never told my parents. It looked trivial and I didn’t wanna scare them off into buying me fruits.
Up until that point I never considered myself an atheist. I was just nothing. Religion was not a care in my brain. Later on I would think about all that happened to me and I would be aghast at this happening in a public school but that wasn’t here nor now. Highschool went on with nothing happening besides me getting beat up like any other nerd.
The day I started calling myself an atheist was sometime in the year I turned 18. It was rather silly, but it was thanks to a person I met online, a girl my age who was running a Mega Man X fansite I was helping with. Then one day I started wondering she put God before everyone else in the site credits. It didn’t make sense to me that one would put God before her parents, sibblings and friends. She started explaining to me that God was a jealous but loving God and that he went before everyone else… Even those you love. I genuinely started wondering about that. What do I know about God? I don’t know anything, never bothered to learn. Am I wasting my life? What if I die tomorrow, was I going to the great barbecue? So I asked her to teach me what she knew. She gladly spoke to me about praying, the ten commandments and most interestingly that accepting Jesus as your personal savior would automatically wash away all the wrongs you did in your life… It didn’t make much sense to me. But it looked convenient, considering I fucking cuss a lot. I also pointed out that the Adam and Eve thing looked a bit silly and that, as an amateur astronomer, I sorta knew the Earth was pretty old. She denied it all, speaking about the young earth, Noah and that Darwin didn’t know jack according to the Bible. I knew the Noah story of course, I wasn’t that much of an idiot and I knew it came from the Bible, but it was just that… A story. Therefore I asked her “What proves that your God is the One True God? Why aren’t you a buddhist?” she meekly told me to read the Bible, and that all would be made Holy Clear and I would see the Light…
So I went to the library and borrowed a Bible. I then proceeded to read the full thing from cover to cover over a couple weeks…
And today I’m an atheist! Thank you, Bible!