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  • Earliest Memories of Religion

    I don't think I've seen this discussed here before, and it may be something we can tackle without unnecessary bickering. None of us were born religious, Bible in hand and preaching out of the womb. Yet we were likely all exposed to religion of some sort at an early age. So what are your earliest memories of religion and what do you recall thinking of it at the time?

    For myself, I've never been religious, though I grew up being taken to church and have vague memories of Sunday School and the occasional weekend Youth Group camp organized by the church. But it never caught on with me. Church was just something I put up with, and I was rewarded with ice-cream on the way home if I behaved. I was never exposed to the fundamentalist variety of religion threatening me with hellfire if I disbelieved, so the religious ideas I was exposed to always seemed like something I could take or leave. My earliest specific memory of religion is sitting in the back of the family car, aged about 4 I think, on the way home after church thinking about the concept of this invisible person who was watching everything I did and judging me. It seemed possible, but I just didn't see any reason to think it was really true, and I found myself wondering if adults really believed any of what they were saying about God or if it was all just some kind of elaborate fiction.

    Even then, religion seemed more of a habit or tradition than something deeply ingrained in the way I or anyone else thought about the world. The moral teachings from Sunday school, for example, always seemed to be easily detachable from the Christian parables in which they were presented. From that point on, God was in the 'maybe, but doesn't seem necessary' box for me, and I never came across anything to make me believe. The older I got, the more fascinated I was by how strongly so many people believed in these ideas that still seemed to be without any rational basis.

    Anyway, that's me. Maybe you could share below your earliest memory of religion.
    "I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything" - Han Solo

  • #2
    I was straight up indoctrinated. Brainwashed. Every other denomination was a cult or wrong or deceived and wevrg other religion was satanic and evil beyond compare. Our leaders were infallible and everything they said was supposedly on par with the gospels themselves. Eventually, my family left these cult and were plain old evangelical-with-Pentecostal-leanings.

    From as early as I can remember. It wasn’t all bad but it was twisted. Definitely a cult, looking back on it. There was certainly zero question of the earth being 6k years old and everything in the Bible was historically and factually accurate. No hint of irony when told other tales with talking animals and magic events and spells were false.

    I was raised with absolutely no prejudice or spite for anyone. And anyone who thought differently was simply deceived and incorrect. Although I didn’t really know what homosexuality was, when I did learn of it, I had absolutely no feelings of it being disgusting or bad—it was just like someone who listened to pop or rock music or played cards or danced. Just lost and deceived like the other 99.999% of the population who didn’t agree with our beliefs.

    Lol!!!!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ewok Death Cult View Post
      So what are your earliest memories of religion ...


      Originally posted by Ewok Death Cult
      ... and what do you recall thinking of it at the time?
      Neat-o! Do it again!
      Science can take a hike.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ewok Death Cult View Post
        I don't think I've seen this discussed here before, and it may be something we can tackle without unnecessary bickering. None of us were born religious, Bible in hand and preaching out of the womb. Yet we were likely all exposed to religion of some sort at an early age. So what are your earliest memories of religion and what do you recall thinking of it at the time?
        There are two answers to this question, because for me, I don't remember which actually came first.

        I grew up in a Baha'i household. One of my earliest memories is of getting my own prayer book, and drawing a picture of God in it. I remember my parents pointing to the picture and asking me about it, but they were entirely supportive.

        The second answer is of the Baha'i gatherings. The religion has a 19 day calendar, and every 19 days, we'd meet at the house of one of the local members. I remember those gatherings (each called a Feast) as warm and comforting. I also remember being excited about attending them.

        All my impressions of that religion were positive at the time.
        [Christians] love their neighbours; they judge justly, and they never do to others what they would not wish to happen to themselves; they appeal to those who injure them, and try to win them as friends; they are eager to do good to their enemies; they are gentle and easy to be entreated...

        Comment


        • #5
          My earliest recollection was a religious class in primary school (legal in those days). As the minister was giving his class I happened to glance out the window and saw a few people walking by. In that moment I realised that people go about their lives as if God did not exist. Everything I have learned since leads me to conclude God/s and the supernatural do not exist.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ewok Death Cult View Post
            ........... aged about 4 I think,.................... I found myself wondering if adults really believed any of what they were saying about God.........
            Sorry, but I don't put much stock in a four year old questioning the sincerity of the beliefs of C.S. Lewis, Thomas Aquinas, Soren Kierkegaard, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, G.K. Chesterton, Flannery O'Connor, Simone Weil, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoffer, J.R.R. Tolkien, William F. Buckley or even Jimmy Carter.
            “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
            ― G.K. Chesterton

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Stiggywiggy View Post
              Sorry, but I don't put much stock in a four year old questioning the sincerity of the beliefs of C.S. Lewis, Thomas Aquinas, Soren Kierkegaard, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, G.K. Chesterton, Flannery O'Connor, Simone Weil, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoffer, J.R.R. Tolkien, William F. Buckley or even Jimmy Carter.
              I'm not asking you to. That's not what this thread is about.
              "I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything" - Han Solo

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ewok Death Cult View Post
                I don't think I've seen this discussed here before, and it may be something we can tackle without unnecessary bickering. None of us were born religious, Bible in hand and preaching out of the womb. Yet we were likely all exposed to religion of some sort at an early age. So what are your earliest memories of religion and what do you recall thinking of it at the time?

                For myself, I've never been religious, though I grew up being taken to church and have vague memories of Sunday School and the occasional weekend Youth Group camp organized by the church. But it never caught on with me. Church was just something I put up with, and I was rewarded with ice-cream on the way home if I behaved. I was never exposed to the fundamentalist variety of religion threatening me with hellfire if I disbelieved, so the religious ideas I was exposed to always seemed like something I could take or leave. My earliest specific memory of religion is sitting in the back of the family car, aged about 4 I think, on the way home after church thinking about the concept of this invisible person who was watching everything I did and judging me. It seemed possible, but I just didn't see any reason to think it was really true, and I found myself wondering if adults really believed any of what they were saying about God or if it was all just some kind of elaborate fiction.

                Even then, religion seemed more of a habit or tradition than something deeply ingrained in the way I or anyone else thought about the world. The moral teachings from Sunday school, for example, always seemed to be easily detachable from the Christian parables in which they were presented. From that point on, God was in the 'maybe, but doesn't seem necessary' box for me, and I never came across anything to make me believe. The older I got, the more fascinated I was by how strongly so many people believed in these ideas that still seemed to be without any rational basis.

                Anyway, that's me. Maybe you could share below your earliest memory of religion.
                My earliest memories were of love children, with flowers in their hair, loving mother nature and worshipping her with plant based psychodelics. It was groovy man.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stiggywiggy View Post

                  Sorry, but I don't put much stock in a four year old questioning the sincerity of the beliefs of C.S. Lewis, Thomas Aquinas, Soren Kierkegaard, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, G.K. Chesterton, Flannery O'Connor, Simone Weil, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoffer, J.R.R. Tolkien, William F. Buckley or even Jimmy Carter.
                  Those four year olds, they are so wise in the ways of atheist arguments.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ewok Death Cult View Post
                    I don't think I've seen this discussed here before, and it may be something we can tackle without unnecessary bickering. None of us were born religious, Bible in hand and preaching out of the womb. Yet we were likely all exposed to religion of some sort at an early age. So what are your earliest memories of religion and what do you recall thinking of it at the time?

                    For myself, I've never been religious, though I grew up being taken to church and have vague memories of Sunday School and the occasional weekend Youth Group camp organized by the church. But it never caught on with me. Church was just something I put up with, and I was rewarded with ice-cream on the way home if I behaved. I was never exposed to the fundamentalist variety of religion threatening me with hellfire if I disbelieved, so the religious ideas I was exposed to always seemed like something I could take or leave. My earliest specific memory of religion is sitting in the back of the family car, aged about 4 I think, on the way home after church thinking about the concept of this invisible person who was watching everything I did and judging me. It seemed possible, but I just didn't see any reason to think it was really true, and I found myself wondering if adults really believed any of what they were saying about God or if it was all just some kind of elaborate fiction.

                    Even then, religion seemed more of a habit or tradition than something deeply ingrained in the way I or anyone else thought about the world. The moral teachings from Sunday school, for example, always seemed to be easily detachable from the Christian parables in which they were presented. From that point on, God was in the 'maybe, but doesn't seem necessary' box for me, and I never came across anything to make me believe. The older I got, the more fascinated I was by how strongly so many people believed in these ideas that still seemed to be without any rational basis.

                    Anyway, that's me. Maybe you could share below your earliest memory of religion.
                    This part was interesting...

                    My earliest specific memory of religion is sitting in the back of the family car, aged about 4 I think, on the way home after church thinking about the concept of this invisible person who was watching everything I did and judging me. It seemed possible, but I just didn't see any reason to think it was really true, and I found myself wondering if adults really believed any of what they were saying about God or if it was all just some kind of elaborate fiction.

                    Such deep thoughts for a 4 year older. Yes, you present a vindactive god. A hateful, spiteful god. Like a lion just waiting to pounce. A god waiting for you to die rather than a God willing to die for you.

                    The older I got, the more fascinated I was by how strongly so many people believed in these ideas that still seemed to be without any rational basis.

                    One thing about God is that God is love....
                    It seems strange that a loving God isn't rational to you. It seems as if it's the non-loving you that is irrational ....until I read Romans 1:18-30

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Interesting thread.

                      My earliest memories of religion are attending Sunday school and church, and reading the Bible with my mother. I was raised as a liberal Methodist. I remember finding church terribly boring.
                      "There is no singular thing in nature that is more useful to man than a man who lives according to the guidance of reason."
                      ~ Spinoza

                      Formerly Occam

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ewok Death Cult View Post
                        I don't think I've seen this discussed here before, and it may be something we can tackle without unnecessary bickering. None of us were born religious, Bible in hand and preaching out of the womb. Yet we were likely all exposed to religion of some sort at an early age. So what are your earliest memories of religion and what do you recall thinking of it at the time?

                        For myself, I've never been religious, though I grew up being taken to church and have vague memories of Sunday School and the occasional weekend Youth Group camp organized by the church. But it never caught on with me. Church was just something I put up with, and I was rewarded with ice-cream on the way home if I behaved. I was never exposed to the fundamentalist variety of religion threatening me with hellfire if I disbelieved, so the religious ideas I was exposed to always seemed like something I could take or leave. My earliest specific memory of religion is sitting in the back of the family car, aged about 4 I think, on the way home after church thinking about the concept of this invisible person who was watching everything I did and judging me. It seemed possible, but I just didn't see any reason to think it was really true, and I found myself wondering if adults really believed any of what they were saying about God or if it was all just some kind of elaborate fiction.

                        Even then, religion seemed more of a habit or tradition than something deeply ingrained in the way I or anyone else thought about the world. The moral teachings from Sunday school, for example, always seemed to be easily detachable from the Christian parables in which they were presented. From that point on, God was in the 'maybe, but doesn't seem necessary' box for me, and I never came across anything to make me believe. The older I got, the more fascinated I was by how strongly so many people believed in these ideas that still seemed to be without any rational basis.

                        Anyway, that's me. Maybe you could share below your earliest memory of religion.
                        My earliest memories of religion were that it was something other people did. A bit later, I found out that some of them expected that everyone, including my family, should do it too.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zaphod View Post
                          I was straight up indoctrinated. Brainwashed. Every other denomination was a cult or wrong or deceived and wevrg other religion was satanic and evil beyond compare. Our leaders were infallible and everything they said was supposedly on par with the gospels themselves. Eventually, my family left these cult and were plain old evangelical-with-Pentecostal-leanings.

                          From as early as I can remember. It wasn’t all bad but it was twisted. Definitely a cult, looking back on it. There was certainly zero question of the earth being 6k years old and everything in the Bible was historically and factually accurate. No hint of irony when told other tales with talking animals and magic events and spells were false.

                          I was raised with absolutely no prejudice or spite for anyone. And anyone who thought differently was simply deceived and incorrect. Although I didn’t really know what homosexuality was, when I did learn of it, I had absolutely no feelings of it being disgusting or bad—it was just like someone who listened to pop or rock music or played cards or danced. Just lost and deceived like the other 99.999% of the population who didn’t agree with our beliefs.

                          Lol!!!!!!
                          There was certainly zero question of the earth being 6k years old and everything in the Bible was historically and factually accurate. No hint of irony when told other tales with talking animals and magic events and spells were false.

                          I find it ironic how post like the above can exist...kinda hypocritical....especially when a dinosaur bone is dug out of rock and dirt that is said to be 65+ MY's old and still contains soft biomaterial that didn't decay or beome fossilized...considering all that time. (that's just one of many examples) It seems to me it is you who is closed minded and biased and have never really looked into the science presented by the YE
                          YEC's. There is reason as to why Christians believe the bible is historically and factually accurate. We could discuss Isaiah 53. We could discuss those recorded in historical books that actually saw Jesus after the resurrection.

                          I understand what you meant by talking animals..snake, donkey, as well as magic event..miracles...but spells? What's that about?



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was told about God at Infant school when about 6 or 7. It didn't have much impact on my life as my family were not believers and churchgoers. A little while later but while still at school, a lot of my friends were saying things like, religion has caused more wars than anything else and they wouldn't say the Lords Prayer in assembly. The deputy headmistress noticed this and gave a little speech saying, you may not believe now, but you wait till you lose someone close to you, then you'll realise there's something more to life. I was a little annoyed with her because I thought, well, that doesn't follow at all and, is that what you chose to convince us to say the Lords Prayer again? I've been waiting for that convincing reason ever since.
                            My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we *can* suppose. JBS Haldane.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Elijah View Post

                              My earliest memories were of love children, with flowers in their hair, loving mother nature and worshipping her with plant based psychodelics. It was groovy man.
                              I was somewhere between 7 and 10 when that era was happening.
                              It doesn't require your belief to be true. Arguing about it won't make what you want true.
                              Jesus said that he is the truth.

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