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Monday, July 23, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

I feel a connection with you guys

A letter from Michelle N

I have enjoyed reading this site for months now. I'm not good with computers and mine is an antique.

I left the faith a few years ago. The main reason was the hell doctrine. My mother took me to a Lutheran church as a child (pretty laid back,no fire and brimstone). My dad would drop us off and go get a coffee. My mother had faith but was not fanatical: more of a "Sunday Christian." It was the warnings of hell by an elderly women at a friend's youth group that scared the shit out of me. I tried to feel close to god, but was convinced He hated me. I was also convinced at age 22 that I had somehow committed the Unpardonable Sin. I practically had a nervous breakdown, just waiting to die and face my unchangeable fate.

Every night was spent weeping for all the people who were destined for hell. I started to realize that being a Christian meant shutting off the part of the brain that feels compassion. How could anyone accept their loved ones -- or anyone for that matter -- going to hell for all eternity? I didn't believe that even the most evil of us deserved that.

Humans are scared,fragile creatures, and none of us asked to be thrown into this world. If we screw up it's God's fault and the responsibility lies with Him. I went from having library of books by apologists, to books by John Shelby Spong (whom I still admire), to books by atheists.

I now consider myself an agnostic, leaning toward atheism. At 27, I'm glad to be free of the mental hopscotch that goes with religion, and I am pretty vocal about it, which alienates people. But it helps weed out the sheep. Besides, I feel a connection with you guys that i really can't get any where else.

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