And on the first day, I was atheist

This is the story of my not so spiritual journey. Let us begin with my upbringing. I was raised in what can be described as an agnostic theist environment. For those unfamiliar with the term, its when you believe in god(s), but don’t feel you can know for sure of the existence of said deity. My mother was brought up learning about several different flavors of Christian belief (Lutheran, Catholic, Evangelical), while my father was raised in a southern baptist environment. Neither of them clung to faith, but fell more in the camp of “spiritual, but not religious”.

Suffice it to say that from a religious standpoint, I wasn’t pushed in any particular direction growing up. As I matured into a young adult, curiosity led me to question what this god thing was all about. I asked a friend who worked at a local church (non-clerical) if he could procure a bible. He thoughtfully obliged and I began to read from it periodically. Shortly thereafter, I worked up the courage to attend my first services at a local Methodist church. It was a relaxed service (casual attire) where I met lots of friendly and welcoming people. At this point I was still non-committal to a place of worship, but it provided me the push I needed to really dig into scripture study.

During my studies from the bible, I began to wonder if I needed to find a more permanent spiritual home. After some research, I happened upon Mormon.org. A few in-home lessons with the missionaries later, I was making arrangements to be baptized. During my time spent as a member, I held a few leadership positions.

Even as a member of the LDS (Mormon) church, I was still curious about different belief systems. I began to study a bit from the texts of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Like Christianity, they all have good elements, but they also share a common thread of negativity I didn’t agree with.

In future posts, I’ll address the more nuanced positions I have toward some of these different beliefs. In closing, I’ll leave a brief remark as to why I’m an atheist. I’m an atheist because I know my morals don’t rely upon a fear of retribution or punishment. I’m an atheist because the evidence is overwhelmingly opposed to the existence of a creator. And lastly, I’m an atheist because we’re all born that way.

Unabashedly,

Joshua Brown