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Your #oneATHEIST Stories: Unfiltered

We want to thank you for your participation in our first official community-building campaign. You are #oneATHEIST of many but together we can make the world stand up and notice that atheists can be good people. Second, we had planned to release all stories in one blog post but in only 5 days we received far too many. Some are succinct, others have more detail. Either way, you will find at least #oneATHEIST in this wonderful community whose story you connect with. All stories are unedited.

If you haven't shared your story yet, we'd like to read it AND share it:

Share Your Story

1. I spent my whole childhood being taken from church to church while at the same time traveling the world and seeing the many different cultures and people and religions and non-religions and just life and human interactions. Religion never sat right with me, but I went thru the steps. I learned my Bible, got baptized, became a worship team leader. I loved the music, but I never understood the God of the Christian Bible. I've always been scientifically minded and asked far too many questions that no one could answer. Then I read the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins... and from there the spiral down the wonderful rabbit hole of skepticism and atheism just filled all those little holes in my brain and made me know how I wanted to live my life. I say it loud and proud, to the annoyance of many. Welcome to the world of B.A.A. where I won't let you sleep by following the sheep until you're educated and woke by this Bisexual Autistic Athiest.... and then I go baaaaaaa like a sheep. Hehe. #oneAtheist <3

-Nate from the United States Follow on Twitter: @zombosk8r

2. The atheist community is boundless in generosity and goodness. I’ve been a part of this community for a long time and have witnessed so much support, love, and kindness. I’m proud to be a part of it.

-KC from the United States

Follow on Twitter: @ge_kaitlyn

3. From my point of view, Atheists are individuals who are tired of being force-fed fairy tales of religion and only want Freedom From Religion. Atheists are people who choose right from wrong without having to fear the wrath of an imaginary God. Atheists care more for society as a whole because our actions have no hidden agenda. They are done from the genuine kindness of our hearts.

-Aaron from the United States

Follow on Twitter: @Gordonav02

4. I’m from Saudi Arabia I left Islam 5 years ago,I was born a Muslim but I've been feeling that Islam is just a man-made religion. Quran is filled with hatred for women.-Punishment for disobedient women-Beating them-Used them as sex slaves Started doubting when I learned of the violent misogynist nature of Islamic principles and left when I was convinced it was logically flawed too. Islam is the Enemy of Women. -Fatmah from Saudi Arabia

Follow on Twitter: ‪@Olivia0lai

5. I live in Texas and feel that there isn't enough atheist information for my mind to absorb. I am atheist. I support your views.

-April from the United States

6. I had the luxury of being raised in a non-theist family. However, being an atheist only says that I don't believe in the supernatural. It says nothing else about me. My religion is Humanism and my beliefs generally are guided by science. At age 85, I continue to enroll in college classes. My crowning life experience was to be the object of a landmark US Supreme Court case, brought by my mother, Vashti Cromwell McCollum, which declared sectarian religion has no place in US public schools (333US203).

-Dr. James from the United States

7. I came into the community in 2012. I was basically a nobody with a new worldview that I was exploring. I've had bad experiences and good experiences. I've been able to help others in ways I never thought possible. The community is awesome and would t trade it for any other.

-Godless Engineer from the United States

Follow on Twitter: @GodlessEngineer

8. Thus Spake Billy, or, How I Found God. When I was a tad in the late 1930s, my family lived in Apartment 2G at 1454 University Avenue in the Bronx. This unremarkable street number identified a five-story brick pile sandwiched between University and Ogden Avenues where they diverge just south of the Washington Bridge. In the next apartment, 2H, lived the Harrises. Their son Billy, about 5 years old like me, was my bosom buddy. Billy had a mischievous streak. When he was quarantined with the measles, he dug through the plaster of the wall behind his bed, knowing that my bedroom was adjacent. He had never heard of Edmond Dantès but was nearly as resourceful. Sadly, he found a structural brick wall under the two or three inches of plaster that had yielded to his table knife, and had to give up. (I saw the gaping hole, which was hidden behind his bedstead, long after the fact. His illness saved him from condign (punishment.)It was Billy, too, who conceived the hilarious idea of bombing Ching Lee. Our apartment had a balcony, accessible through the kitchen window. It was an easy climb over a low parapet to the roof of the one-story building next door, whose tar and gravel covered a Chinese restaurant. Billy thought it would be clever to drop the gravel bits through the open skylights onto the diners below. It did seem to me a stroke of genius, and we tried it a couple of times – until the manager figured out what was happening and had a brief but firm talk with my father. As you can see, Billy was a bright boy; I was always eager to learn from him.One bright spring day in 1939, Billy and I took our pails and shovels and headed for the small park (long since obliterated by the interchange between the Cross Bronx and Major Deegan Expressways) on the brow of the hill that runs down to the Harlem River. We settled under a big, spreading tree and began digging. Our ostensible purpose was to get worms for fishing. Though we had no fishing plans in mind, the worms were an attractive goal in themselves. We had made quite a mess of the grass and were beginning to dig deeper when Billy opined that what we were doing was probably wrong. I had had the same thought, but said, “Well, no one is watching us.”“God is watching us,” replied Billy. This was a new one on me. “Who is God?” I asked.“He’s a big man up in the sky and he punishes people who do wrong things.”“That’s okay, then,” I said, “He can’t see us through the tree.”“Oh, God can see right through trees,” Billy explained. “He can see everything.”Now I was puzzled. There was this guy I had never heard of, living up in the sky with the ability to see through things. I had only recently been introduced to Superman and his X-ray vision, but I thought that was all fiction. Though we went right on digging, the matter didn’t leave my mind. That evening at dinner I asked my father, who knew everything, “Billy told me about God this afternoon. Who’s God?” My father put his fork down and explained. “In olden times, people knew very little about how the world worked,” he said. “Many things frightened them – lightning and thunder, floods, earthquakes, volcanos, disease, famine, and so on. They thought powerful folks – sort of super-kings called gods – controlled these things and used them to show they were angry.“ Those people of olden times knew it’s important to make nice to those who can hurt you, so they did everything they could think of to please these gods. They begged – called it praying – made sacrifices, and all kinds of other things.“Pretty soon, they decided that the gods had rulers and servants, just as they did. They had a king, so there was a king of the gods. They had servants, so there were gods who obeyed the more important gods. “After a while, some people decided that the king of the gods was so powerful he didn’t need servant gods, and they invented God. “Nowadays, we understand a lot of things the people in the old days didn’t. We know why there are thunderstorms and earthquakes, and we can even cure many diseases. So people who understand these things don’t believe in God anymore. But there are still lots of ignorant and superstitious people who don’t understand how the world works, and they still believe in God. It makes them feel good. If they explain a thunderstorm or a sickness by saying ‘God is angry,’ they think they understand what is happening, and maybe even please God by praying and making the thunderstorm or the sickness go away.”That made sense. “Does Billy believe in God?” I asked. “Maybe he does,” my father said. “If you argue with him about it, you might hurt his feelings. It’s best not to talk about God to him. Remember how mad he got when you told him he can’t catch very well? Besides, it’s a good thing that some people believe in God. Some people would do all kinds of bad things if they didn’t think God would get mad at them.”“But Billy didn’t stop digging when he thought God was watching him,” I replied. My father laughed. “You’ll see a lot of that as you grow up,” he said. Since then, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my father’s explanation. I’ve met plenty of people who are neither stupid nor ignorant, but who nevertheless believe in God – sometimes a God with a very detailed and not very nice history. Others smarter than I have devised various explanations of how it can be that a smart, informed person can believe in God. However correct they may be, I am well aware of the remarkable human ability to compartmentalize. Someone like Francis Collins can think very critically and creatively about the nature and evolution of DNA, and still accept the flimsiest of arguments to support his deep desire to believe in a very specific God.By and large, my father had it right.

-Lawrence from the United States

9. I am the President of the Atheists In Kenya Society. This year, our society (AIK) paid tuition fees for a student from a poor background in Kenya, enabling him to join high school. We continue supporting members of our community who are adversely affected by the Corona Virus pandemic. We raised awareness about the Mubarak Bala case with Nigerian Human Rights groups.

-Harrison from Kenya

Follow on Twitter: @harrisonmumia

We hope you liked reading the first 9 stories as much as we did. If you'd like to share yours, please submit here. If you'd like to participate in other ways please check out the #oneATHEIST page and take the pledge, donate (we have new a donation page that we feel is more transparent), buy yourself some swag, or become a member and help us remain sustainable.

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