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Thread: Questionnaire for Ex-Christians

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Age
    36
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    237
    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Was raised in the periphery of the Anglican Church and went ocasionally, Mother is Anglican (although to know her you'd swear she is a witch too, goes to shamanistic retreats etc) but believed in religious choice. At 10 I wanted to "belong", I went to various temples and denomination churches and by 12 picked the most comfortable atmosphere - the Anglican church that gave services in Latin that I had visited a few times per year with mom since I was little. In hindsight there was pressure from many peers who were preachy born-again christian types ("I want to be your friend, but when you die you'll burn in hell cause you're a heathen" type of kids who parroted what they heard), I didn't think Heathenry was so bad...

    2. How old were you when you left for something else? 3. Why?

    By 17 I was realizing that I was questioning the faith and doubting the translations of the bible as it seemed to lean towards political propoganda... looked to alternatives

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    Gnosticism (easy translation from the Christian background)

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    Nope - still searching and growing, now definitly a polythist ... Still respect the tenents of other religions, but willing to define my own truths and lack of conformatiy

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    no kids! But I am a "godsmother" and will expose the little tyrants to various faiths at the request of their Catholic mother (my dearest friend) - so that they may make up their ow minds when they are ready.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    nobody flinched - friends knew almost before I admitted it all to myself. Parents are ok as long as I am happy, and periodically use it to shock the extended family (VERY conservative Christians)

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    Not really - but I'm not trying to hide it. I don't express much publicly - I try to come across as neutral for work reasons

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    Yes - my path is about seeking and with that I am satisfied. I love to learn and to grow.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    I have friends who respect my path and are on very different ones themselves. They often participate in my celebration rituals simply to share the spirit, love and friendship. I share in theirs as well. It's actually a pretty nausiatingly "warm and fuzzy" supportive group - but we've helped each other through alot and they are like family to me.
    "Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."
    Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway



  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Novelty Ohio USA
    Age
    50
    Posts
    7,358
    Here are my responses to your questions.

    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    My parents took me to the local Presbyterian church when I was a kid. I went to Sunday school there. We stopped going (except for at Christmas) when I was about 8 years old.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    My older brother started looking at other religions when he was starting his teens so that paved the way for me a bit. I first learned that there were real Pagans when I was about 12 or 13, and decided I wanted to be a Wiccan when I was about 14. (My older brother ended up becoming a Mormon.)

    3. Why?

    I had a hard time with the whole concept of being automatically condemned to hell unless you followed what other people told you were supposed to be God's set of rules. I also had psychic experiences from an early age -- and growing up in the country, with lots of animals, trees, and nature around the old Pagan myths made more sense to me than the Christian Bible ever did.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?


    I started off by reading everything I could find on occult topics: ESP, psychic stuff, ghosts, witches, magic, spells, even UFOs and monsters. I saved magazines with articles (like an issue of the old OMNI magazine that had a feature article on Erica Jong's book "Witches" which was new at that time) and saved up my allowance to buy books on occult topics when I could get the chance. I also borrowed a lot of books on the topic from the public library.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    I've been working mostly as a solitary Wiccan now since I was 14 or 15 -- and I'm 42 now!

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)


    My spouse and the kids celebrate the sabbats with me in a very general way. When the boys are older, and if they show an interest in religious topics, I'll discuss it more in depth with them. They are free to choose their own religious path of course! (I've told them that many times.)

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?


    I told a few of my friends in high school when I was about 16 (didn't tell anyone before that) and didn't tell my parents and siblings until I was living away from home and going to university. My mom was taking university courses herself at the time and signed up for a comparative religion course shortly after I told her. She borrowed a bunch of my books, talked with me about it a lot, and did her major project for the course on Wicca.

    All my friends after high school know I'm Wiccan. I haven't had problems with family or friends around the topic at all.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    I sometimes wear a pentacle necklace but it's usually tucked inside my shirt. If the topic of religion comes up I'll sometimes volunteer that I'm Wiccan but sometimes (depending on the situation) I'll not mention it at all.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?


    I have worked with some wonderful covens in the past but am currently solitary (we've moved around a bit.) Now that we're settled (hopefully for good) I hope to find some people to work with again. I miss my past coven-mates!

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    I've met a few people in the area since we've moved here, but so far nothing has really clicked with regard to working with any of them. But I remain optimistic!

    Ben Gruagach
    MysticWicks forum guide in "Paths: Wicca", "Books" and "History"
    author of The Wiccan Mystic: Exploring a Magickal Spiritual Path
    visit my website at http://www.witchgrotto.com
    read my LiveJournal blog
    find me on Facebook

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    NY State
    Posts
    7,071
    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Episcopalian

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    At some point in Middle School... 12ish?

    3. Why?
    Christianity does not make logical sense.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    Atheism... I don't think it's something you really pursue.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    I'd just call myself non-religious.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    My partner is an atheist, so it's very likely, yes.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    My friends and father are mostly non-religious and my mother is a methodist, so she's not terribly hardcore about anything. No one had problems with it, basically.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    Yes.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    I'm fine where I am.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals? I do not worship nor conduct rituals.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    156
    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Christian View Post
    I made this up myself, asking the things about which I am curious:
    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Assembly of God. And I have good memories of my church, my pastor gave me my first Bible cause I didnt have one. My parents weren't religious.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    13.

    3. Why?

    Because I began growing my own mind and certain things didnt make sense. For one, the most important, I couldnt see how God would create all these diverse people, in different locations of the world, with all their beauty, to send them to hell for not believing a certain way. Even children of the 'age of accountability.' I couldnt fathom the "Good and loving God" doing that. In addition, I kept hearing, "You dont get into heaven just for being a good person." Then I thought to myself, "why not?"

    As I got older and began investigating certain things, certain things didnt add up. Like Judas dying two different ways, for example. So how could the good book be infallbiable with a man dying two different ways? So I began to get on the path, find what was for me.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    Buddhism. I fell in love with the Buddha! Now what he did made sense, and all the wisdom he gave. Like what he said to his disciples in his last breath. To save yourselves, which is what im working on. We ultimately save ourselves, but not from hellfire and damnation, just good old simple ignorance.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    Not totally. The Buddhism is still strong on my path, and I still do meditation. I have my buddhas on my altar but Ive incorporated Hinduism in it too, as my deities are Kali, Shiva and Saraswati. Some things are difficult to resolve like atman and anatman, but Im working on it. The two paths do actually 'blend' for me even though they appear to be opposed but they're really not. Like the deities are in Tibetan buddhism and the like, so its just a matter now of it all being my 'own path' not really following anything specificially laid out in a religious way.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    No, I will allow them to choose their own path. Its not for me to decide, but any questions they have im always there for them to go to.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    My parents are deceased, my sister thinks im weird, my true friends accept my ways and all my idiocyncraties.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    Not really, only because its complicated and my path isnt open for debate. I tend to feel its a personal thing and keep it to myself.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    Im completely satisfied.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    Not really. Im in a group but we do our own rituals and work, separately.
    It is good to have an end to journey toward;
    but it is the journey that matters, in the end.

    - Ursula K. Le Guin.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    VA
    Age
    28
    Posts
    494
    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Baptist.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    8 x3

    3. Why?
    My first clue I was in the wrong religion was when my relatives told me gay and bisexual people were demons and doomed for hell. Since I knew I was bi at age 5, and totally not an evil soul-sucking demon, I thought ''those people are dead wrong!'' o_O

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    Probably Wicca, just because it was the most popular at the time and easiest to learn about.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    Somewhat. I took alot of what I learned from it and mixed with other things, but my core belief isn't wiccan.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    I'll let my kids pick their own paths when they're old enough, until then I'll try to teach them everything I know so..

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    My mom pretty much disowned me for a little while and so it's a big secret to the rest of my extended family. My friends thought it was pretty cool. lol

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    I'm pretty guarded when it comes to the public, because I have been disowned and kicked out of places for what I believe.. So I'm careful.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    I pretty much believe in what I feel/experience, but I'm always open.. So in a way I am satisfied and in a way I want to learn more.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    No, never. Alot of the people I knew in person think witchcraft is "stupid" or "weak." That's pretty judgemental, huh?
    Last edited by meowmeow; November 30th, 2009 at 07:53 PM.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    17,513
    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    None, I wasn't raised Christian, or in any religion really.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    If you mean when I started to explore spiritual paths, I guess about 16 or 17, after I joined a Charmed board, and found the Wiccan section and started asking questions and exploring the links they had.

    3. Why?
    It seemed quite cool.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    I guess Wicca would be, and, I was quite 1/2 assed about it, I liked reading about it, I loved reading about magic, but, I only really did one, or maybe more, rituals for the Sabbats, but, I kept telling myself, "I'll celebrate the next Sabbat properly" and so on and so on. I wasn't a very good Wiccan at all.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    No, right now, I have no path, I guess, I'd just say I'm a spiritual person, who likes learning about different religions, ancient and modern, and wants to learn more about magic. I explored many different paths, from Wicca, to the Hellenic religion, to Sumerian reconstructionism, etc, right now, I quite like learning about Tibetan Buddhism and Gnosticism, whether or not, it'll lead to anything more, I have no idea.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    First tell me my own path before I raise any kids in it!, but, if I had them, I'd let them make their own minds up, I don't think I'd raise them in it, but, I wouldn't fill their minds so they're more easily led to something (e.g. I wouldn't make it seem like there are/is God/Gods, but, I wouldn't say they're aren't either, kids should be able to come up with their own opinions, without their parents influence).

    Although, I'm gay, so, it's doubtful I'd have kids.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    They don't know, all my parents know is I like learning about different religions.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    No, but, I think your religion, or even your lack of a religion, shouldn't be displayed publically, by that, I mean, you should be secure enough in it, that you don't go "I worship so and so or I do this, I practice magic, God(s) don't exist, etc".

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    I guess, for now, I'm happy, but, I'd like to see if there's a specific path out there for me, although, I am happy with where I am now too.


    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    No.

  7. #47
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    Jul 2005
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    17,513
    Quote Originally Posted by BryonMorrigan View Post
    I felt that the Bible was the most boring book in the world, the stories and beliefs were stupid, "God" and "Jesus" seemed completely fake to me, and everyone associated with the church was unbelievably idiotic. (If you think I'm arrogant now about being smarter than everyone else, you should have met me at age 14!)
    I know I wasn't raised Christian, but, I've always found the Christian Mythos to have some really quite cool elements - demons, Angels, God(s), magic (some may call it miracles, but, since I also come from a Jewish POV (due to part of my heritage), there isn't a difference between magic and miracles), and, in Catholic folklore and legend, you have the Stregoni Benefici, Vampires on the side of the Catholic Church, etc.

    IMO, the Christian Mythos is one of the great Mythos out there.


    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    Already do. Three wonderful girls. They have their own altars to their favorite goddesses in their rooms. (Though my oldest is all about Kemeticism. At 7, she knows more about Egyptian religion than me.)
    Do you mind if I ask, but, did you give them to freedom to choose what to believe, or not believe?.



    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    Yes, unless I am worried about anti-Pagan backlash, particularly where my kids are concerned. (There are a lot of mean, hateful people in the world.)
    What do you mean by publically?.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    23

    Post

    Okie doke. I'll play along.


    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Roman Catholicism.




    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    I was roughly 27 at the time.




    3. Why?

    My father had died quite suddenly of pancreatic cancer at age 51. I was searching for answers on why and wasn't getting any clear cut answers. I was also struggling with the grieving process and the Church was not helping with the ubiquitous "He's returned home" and "It's for the best".




    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    I read everything I came across regarding the grieving practices of any culture I could find. Finally came across Dia de Los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead. It made sense and I set up one that year for him. I've set up an altar every year since then. In studying altars trying to get ideas for mine, I came across information regarding Paganism, which made even more sense.





    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    Basically. It's been refined a lot (my Father died 12 years ago) and now it's more elemental based with a LOT of work with my familiar.





    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)


    If I ever have any, I will encourage the child to read up on all of them, then decide for themselves. I attended Catholic parochial school from Pre-School to 5th grade. I attended Mass 6 days a week and I would not want that for my child.




    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    Mom was freaked out, but came to accept it. Most of my friends do not know.




    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    No. I feel my Path is between me and Deity, and it's really no ones biz but my own.




    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    Completely satisfied, although, I still add books on other religions to my constantly growing library as I consider it important to look at issues from all angles. All roads may lead to Rome, but there are a thousand ways to get ther
    e.





    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?


    Yes. One of my best friends is working to become a Shaman with her Cherokee tribe. She and I often discuss the similarities and differences between our respective Paths.


    HTH!

  9. #49
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    177
    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Mormonism. Born, bred, raised, and married into.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    Haven't completley left, but I start questioning around the age of 14-15. I remember getting books from the library and having to hide them because my mother didn't like them. One time, I was gone on vacation and she found them and told me I was never allowed to read them again. My parents also blocked "occult/satanist" websites. That sort of shut me down for awhile, and I went back on the Mormon path.

    I eventually ended up going to a Mormon college, meeting a wonderful Mormon man, and marrying in the Mormon temple. Even with all that, I still had that little nagging in me that there was more and I was just doing what I was doing because I was raised in it. So, I told my husband about my interest in religions and spirituality, and to my shock, he said, "whatever makes you happy". From then on, I've been reading, researching, searching and trying to find myself.


    3. Why?

    I've "left" for more cultural reasons, and a couple doctrinal reasons. More of the excluding people, and rigid rules then anything else. My wonderful sister helped me on this path (inadvertently). If the LDS Church couldn't accept someone as lovely and beautiful and kind and caring as my little sister, then why should I stay?

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    I was 15, so.....Wicca. Yes, I was the typical fluffy then, but quickly understood that wasn't what it was. It was squelched for awhile, but my interests have always been in Paganism, Buddhism and Christianity (Mormonism).

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)

    Currently, I'm attending a UU fellowship and feel I've finally found my community and religious home. I'm still very eclectic with beliefs ranging across the board.


    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)

    More then likely, I'll have them come to the UU fellowship with me and let them choose their own path.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    My parents really don't know too much, though one my best friends (my sister) does, and she has been very supportive of me.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?

    Where I live, yes, but I'm not pushy and if people ask, I'll answer, but I'm not going around announcing it publicly.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    I'm always seeking, but I've feel I've found a home with the UU's at the time.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    Yes, I have my UU fellowship.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    (My sisters shop)

    People are of different spiritual temperaments and therefore will approach Deity in different ways





  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    St. Augustine, Florida
    Age
    43
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    1,588
    Quote Originally Posted by David19 View Post
    IMO, the Christian Mythos is one of the great Mythos out there.
    It's boring as hell to me. Buncha wussies wandering around in the desert, trying to get Yahweh to fight their battles for them. Give me the Iliad any day of the week.

    Quote Originally Posted by David19 View Post
    Do you mind if I ask, but, did you give them to freedom to choose what to believe, or not believe?.
    They have freedom, which is why my one daughter is all about Kemeticism. (I've been thinking about building an altar to Serapis, to kinda bring all of the Greco-Roman and Egyptian stuff together...) They know that most people don't believe in the Gods or magick, and frankly, they pity them. I don't see them, as they are being raised in a very Liberal, very Polytheist, household, that they will suddenly become Bible-thumpin' Fundies any more than they'll become racist or homophobic. Just as children will not likely become racist, sexist, or homophobic unless they are _taught_ that by their parents, I sincerely doubt that my children will suddenly become Exclusivists. (*)

    Quote Originally Posted by David19 View Post
    What do you mean by publically?.
    I took it to mean the standard pentacle-wearing-Wiccan kind of publically, myself. I tend to wear necklaces like this one, from Greek Jewelry Shop:



    ...but of course, most people don't "get" it, so it's not the same as wearing a pentacle. If I'm talking to a halfway intelligent person about my family and our beliefs, then I might discuss it with them. But if it's a case of local preachers showing up on my doorstep, trying to get me to go to their church (Yes, this has happened multiple times now...) then I'm not gonna be like, "Begone SWINE! I worship the gods of Olympus, not your Gallilean zombie!" I feel that might be counter-productive to the well-being of my children. (It's a small town, and people can be cruel.)


    ________________________________________________________

    (*) For those not following our other discussions, "Exclusivism" is the idea that there is only one "true" religion, and that other religions are false. I believe this ideology to be no better than racism, sexism, or homophobia.
    Last edited by BryonMorrigan; December 1st, 2009 at 10:28 AM.
    ________________________________________________________________________

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