Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why I Am An Atheist #13: Nancy

Boston Atheists members Nancy writes:

My parents were raised in Jewish households, but they were not religious and in fact met while members of the Socialist party, working in Washington D.C.  They never mentioned religion or God to me at all. When I was 8 years old, a friend told me about God: he was a man in the sky, he made the world and everything on it.  I was astonished!  How could that be up the sky--and my parents never told me!

My mother gave me what I thought was a great answer:  "some people believe that's true, but your father and I do not."  Of course, that's all I needed to hear at that age, and I took it for granted that they were right.  I grew up just not thinking about God, in spite of having friends who believed, reading about God in literature and taking a class in college on the Bible.

When I was much younger (I am a baby boomer), I wanted to believe in God, probably because I thought it would be comforting, and maybe also because I thought I'd like to experience the mystical and spiritual (which I found instead through smoking pot all through college!).....But I was never successful in convincing myself and long ago gave up.

I do find that lots of people are shocked when I use the word "atheist"....they seem to be okay with "agnostic."  I wonder whether "agnostics" are just afraid to admit that they really, really don't believe in God.


This post is part of a series, in which members of the Boston secular community explain how they came to the decision to identify as atheists. To read more posts in the series, click here. To submit your own story, email