Look at this! Jesus Saves (three times the charm!), Christ for Today! and the three different dates I was baptized (yes I spelled it wrong) in 1981. I was so terrified of burning in hell that I was baptized three times in one year!
The other day I was sitting in the church I frequent several times a month. Only this is the local UU Church (Unitarian Universalist), and I go there to bring together fellow atheists and humanists to broaden our horizons and build a community of like-minded freethinkers. When I was at church last Sunday, I was given a sticker and I thought it would be perfect on my old bible, to represent who I had become:
Don't Believe in God? Join the club.
Looks good, doesn't it? It feels good too. When I was a kid, writing "Jesus Saves" on everything, I was desperate for acceptance. I didn't get it at home so it was easy to look to an invisible friend to find someone to love me. But not long after I was baptized the third time in the Church of Christ, I saw the people of that church for the hypocrites they were and I walked away. And on reflection all the churches I had been to were the same. I was done with organized religion.
I was harshly punished by my parents for refusing to go back to church but I'm so glad I stuck to my guns. It took me about 16 to 19 more years to get away from Woo and on to Reality. And I still have plenty more to learn and understand.
I'm so glad my mom saved my bible and gave it back to me. She knows I'm a happy atheist now so she almost didn't. But looking at it, I see how far I've come through the years, from scared and desperate indoctrinated child to happy, loving atheist/humanist/skeptic/freethinker woman. It's been an interesting journey. I've learned so much, and look forward to even more.