How did I become an atheist? I grew up in a traditional Protestant family; went to Sunday school weekly. I could just never buy the silly stories I was fed every week. A talking, burning bush? A world-wide flood? (they hadn’t even discovered the western hemisphere yet!) A virgin birth? Wine to water or walking on water? By the time I was a teen, I was very skeptical. Then I was introduced to R.W. Emerson. His essays and his ties to transcendentalism showed me that I wasn’t the only one uncomfortable with traditional Christianity (too bad I’d never heard of Robert Green-Ingersoll until just a few years ago). Well, then I went off to college to study biology, archaeology, paleontology and the like. I added some courses on the Bible and the Humanities for good measure. That darn critical thinking just pounded those last nails into the coffin of my Christian upbringing.
I met and married a very secular guy (outdoors, with a J.P.) and now we have 3 little secular humanist tots. I discuss religion with them but steer them toward the path of science and constant questioning. Will they run off and join a cult someday, or worse–becomes Mormons?? Maybe…”god”, I hope not.