I grew up in a pretty strict Catholic family. I had to go to church every weekend and did the whole First Communion and Confirmation things.
As I got into my teenage years, the whole thing just faded away for me…I don’t think anything necessarily “ruined” it for me, but I just realized that it wasn’t going to play a part in my life whatsoever.
But that’s just my story.
AskReddit users went on the record about what ruined religion for them.
“Someone telling me that it was God’s plan for my unborn daughter to lose her life after her mother was pushed down stairs by an openly racist man.
If that’s what faith in a religion gets me, then I’m out.”
2. Yeah, okay…
“The arrogance in believing “god” works like Santa Claus just started sounding ridiculous to me around the age of 16. “I got a new job – THANK GOD”
“I almost got into a car accident – must have been god looking out for me.”
But this deity ignores genocide, starvation, and cancer in children but waves a wand to give you a .25 hourly raise. And this is allllll part of the plan too.
3. Ruined itself.
“Religion ruined religion.
So many rules.
Like why can’t I just be a nice person and not do harm? Why do I have to go to a building every Sunday and listen someone drone on while surrounded by a bunch of fakes?
Why do we shun those that make mistakes? Or reject those that don’t believe exactly what we do? Why can’t we embrace the differences and just say “it’s ok we don’t believe the same, we both do good and don’t hurt others – team religion!”
But nooooo. We kill in the name of God, because of differences, enforce rules that are almost impossible to keep in modern society and then act like we are following those rules even when we aren’t.
It’s all just gross.”
4. Don’t believe anymore.
“I was fully committed Southern Baptist and filled in at times teaching my adult Sunday class.
I then read The End of Faith and The God Delusion. Then I had a realization that all of medicine and biology is based on evolution. I prayed for God to make himself real to me and really wanted to believe. Now I realize every evidence of God I saw in 40 years of church was just confirmation bias and placebo effect.
Can’t tell my family I’m atheist it would kill them. Still go to church to see and make friends.
Edit to follow up: I wouldn’t be ostracized. But I would cause them unnecessary pain since they would think I’m going to hell don’t feel like putting them through that. I’m not wanting to be on everyone’s prayer list.
Funny thing is I like the typical USA Christian way of life.
In my experience it works. In my extended family everyone is fairly happy and out of 10 marriages we have no divorces and my kids 20+ cousins are all doing great. I don’t think casual s*x, drugs, or excessive drinking is a good way to live.
I’m not sad, just not able to believe anymore.”
“The hypocrisy, the hate, the shame that’s directed towards humanity.
My last experience was with a fairly middle-road church- I went to the high a school aged youth group service with some classmates. The services started with singing worship (cringe just saying that), and everyone around me was sobbing with their hands held in the air, swaying, singing to a song about how we are so unworthy of love.
And I was like… holy sh*t, what is WRONG with all of you?! I barely survived the rest of the evening.
Never went back.”
6. Time to question this.
“Learning about original sin in church school when I was 9.
I couldn’t get over the unfairness of it, and that started me questioning the whole religion thing.”
7. God’s plan?
“That God’s plan involved the trauma my family endured over the years.
It’s all part of God’s plan?
Well, that plan sucks, so I’m out!”
8. The depths of HELL.
“The idea of Hell.
I was brought up mainly in Asia. Most my friends and their parents were irreligious, some would go temple but no one took it seriously, it was more about respect for your elders. Learning that all the good people in my life who had heard the “gospel” but didn’t follow it were destined for an ENTIRETY of suffering was abhorrent to me.
It is inherently evil to think that most the world just because they do not believe what you believe is destined to an INFINITE amount of harm.
The logic of it never felt right to me. I had a mother who was sent to convent school in Ireland so Catholicism was rammed down my neck with an iron rod.
At school when we had to write our own accounts what happened to Jesus in Religious Education about when Jesus was resurrected, at the age of 12 I already knew that wasn’t possible so I wrote a story about a big con Jesus had with the women who opened his tomb. My school teacher called my mother and told her.
When I got home she screamed like a banshee at me for hours saying I was ungrateful for what Jesus had sacrificed for us but I was thinking well he was God, he knew everything and is all powerful so actually his sacrifice is meaningless.
One life as a human doesn’t make you great, we have billions of humans life. All human life has more meaning than an infinitely powerful eternal being pretending to be a human for one life. It’s like an instagram influencer showing up for good pics at a BLM march.”
“That my church kicked out someone gay.
That my church was so racist that they campaigned to get a black African priest removed, and when Jesus get removed, half the church left in protest.”
10. That’s bad.
“When I was 5 years years old, after we walked out of a prayer, a beggar approached my mom asking for $5 for food.
As my mom reached into her purse and about to hand him the money, she asked the man if he was muslim, he said yes.
She asked him if he was Sunni or Shia, he answered wrong and she put away the money.”
The idea that one religion is right and all others are wrong, the idea that so many people suffer on a daily basis but “God loves us”, the idea that we must love each other but religion teaches you to hate those who aren’t like you.
And above all else, the idea that some invisible, all powerful being exist somewhere in the sky. I stopped believing when I was 13.”
12. A lot to deal with.
“Overbearing people while I was exploring.
I have a Jehovah’s Witness grandma, Wiccan mom, atheist dad, and a solid set of gay Christian friends. Everyone stuck their noses in and I just said “f*ck it, there’s something out there and as long as it doesn’t kill me, I’m chill.”
Just… kinda respect the world and go with the flow.”
13. Saw it in a new light.
“I think it was probably reading the Epic of Gilgamesh in a high school literature class.
It showed me the Bible was qualitatively no different from other ancient writings.
The alleged sacredness was not in the text itself.”
14. See you in Hell.
“Being told that every good non-christian person will go to hell.
I decided then and there that I’ll happily burn next to Gandhi and buddhist monks.”
“Scientology ruined my religion for me.
I’m an actor, and they hired me to do some instructional/education video for them and paid decent. I know they’re kinda kooky, but I thought “Hey, I’ve worked for crazier people in this industry” so I met with them on their super secret ‘Gold Base’ in Southern California.
I shot there for several days, and got to know the staff/volunteers who have dedicated their entire life to serving Scientology. I learned a lot about their religion, as I’ve been genuinely curious about all faiths.
I remember driving home after my final day on set, and thinking to myself “How can such normal, nice people believe in something so obviously false? I mean, their founder, who has been historically documented as a scoundrel and a crook, literally wrote a book, got a huge influence of people, and then convinced them that it was the one true way to live!”
Being a fully practicing Mormon at the time, you can imagine my shock when I immediately realized that’s the exact same thing people say about my religion.
How do you feel about this?
Does religion play a role in your life?
Or maybe it used to but not anymore?
Talk to us in the comments and tell us what you think.