30 Things That Shook People’s Faith In Religion, As Shared In This Online Group
There are certain things that, if we value peace and quiet, we don’t talk about. Namely the holy trinity of topics which are musical taste, politics, and religion. But here we are, talking about religion.
But instead of preaching, the lovely people of Reddit are sharing stories of experiences that made them drastically rethink the whole concept of faith, losing it in the process.
In particular, this thread has been going viral lately after someone asked folks to share what exactly ruined religion for people, and getting over 48,600 upvotes with nearly 39,000 comments along the way.
So, sit back, relax, and read through the frustration that is losing one’s religion in our curated list of the best answers below. And while you’re at it, poke that upvote button, comment your own opinions and stories and whatnot, and consider checking out any other question from Reddit that we’ve discussed here.
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As a kid, it was boring. As a teen, it brought nothing into my life. As an adult, it's hard to ignore all the corruption, greed, sexual improprieties and contradiction.
Ultimately, if there was a god, this is the best it can do? I'm not impressed.
So many things but the final straw for me was my church asking a homeless man to leave and not come back. He would sit and listen to the sermons never bothered anyone and always sat in the very back. I confronted my youth group leader and she defended the preacher.
When I was 6 years old, the pastor gave a letter to my aunt to give to my mom saying that we were not donating enough money to the church. So we stopped going, and I have never been to church since.
The expectations for women to be subservient to men and have no further aspirations than “wife and mother”.
I worked at a restaurant near a church on Sundays. Rudest bunch of people ever.
It quickly became evident that many people who call themselves religious, only do so to feel morally superior to others around them, and then use that superiority to try to control everything they can.
As a kid, someone explaining to me that my dog that just passed away wouldn't be in heaven. I'd never see him again. Because dogs can't accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. So he was going to hell.
Pretty much done with it after that.
Being told it was gods plan after my mother suffered through chemotherapy, and still passed away. I have no interest in a god who’s plan includes cancer
When I realized the Bible wasn't written by God/Jesus and it was written by man and was written like 200 years after Jesus's death. Like I can't even 100% trust the word of a good friend who heard something from someone else in 2022, let alone some game telephone from 2000 years ago.
There’s a short period of time where most of the religion started. Everything prior is mythology and everything after is a cult. Hmm, how convenient.
Going to a megachurch.
They received over 1 mil in donations every weekend and spent it on elaborate props and videos rather than helping the community in any meaningful way.
I was 6 years old in a Saudi elementary school. There was this one Christian Bosnian kid whose dad was a butcher, he was incredibly kind and often gave me delicious smoked meat sandwiches.
The thought of him going to Hell as a non-Muslim was illogical, and made me question religion for the first time.
The non-answers to all my questions as a kid. "You just have to have faith" is a dumb way to respond to an inquisitive mind.
I started caring about what is actually true.
All the contradictions of every religion melt away when you can simply acknowledge all religions are man-made.
My dad had cancer for 10 years and then he passed away when I was 14 years old. I thought I was having a good heart to heart with my small group leader about it.
She asked if my dad was "a man of God" because she wanted to make sure he isn't "burning in Hell"
Who the f**k says that to a grieving child? So completely insensitive. It took me several months to fully realize the weight of that conversation with her before I left religion altogether.
My mother. She instilled some serious shame into me under the guise of God. Some things she said:
-Not allowed to believe in Santa because that takes credit away from God. Santa was actually a hand of Satan trying to corrupt me
-Not allowed to believe in the Easter Bunny because it was also a hand of Satan trying to corrupt me away from Jesus.
-I wasn't allowed to feel pride in my accomplishments because it's a sin
-I was a d**khead because my dad got me fully vaccinated as a child and that is against God's plan
-Hollywood is operated by Satan so I wasn't allowed to watch movies or shows (especially Disney)
-Harry Potter was an absolute no because witchcraft is an affront to God
-Scientists should not be trusted under any circumstances
-My rare genetic condition was part of God's plan and I'd understand some day
-Not allowed to say "damn" because it's an affront to God
That combined with her regular, not religious abuse has left me struggling a lot with my religiosity.
Sermons alternated between asking for money, telling us LGBT people were bad, or telling us we were all worthless sinners without God.
Left church every Sunday feeling like s**t. One week, I just decided I'm not going back.
I don't miss it.
I was like 15 and playing an instrument in the “worship band” for the most popular “youth group” in the area (which is a verrry Christian area). At one point the pastor dude was praying and the musicians were behind him waiting to play when he was done. The whole room (200+) had their heads bowed as dude was praying. Then his prayer went into the whole “here’s what you pray if you want to become a Christian right now” yada yada yada.. then at the end he says
“Ok everyone keep your heads bowed, eyes closed. Now if you just prayed that prayer with me I want you to look up - everyone else keep your heads bowed- but if you just now gave your life to Jesus look up at me or raise your hand so I can see you”
I’m behind him, and facing the crowd who have their eyes closed so I decide it’s safe to take a peek. I discreetly look up and notice that exactly ZERO people in the crowd are looking up at him. Every single person still has their head bowed, eyes closed. (Which is fine, I mean maybe they were all already Christians?) However, as I’m looking at nobody responding, Mr Pastor starts saying “ok I see you there”, “oh I see another over there, Amen” “and you back there, praise god”. “Yes I see you over there, amen come find me afterwards”. It was perplexing to see him lie to so many people like that. And this wasn’t some nobody youth pastor, he was like quite legit having written books and being mentioned in national articles and stuff
TLDR; an acclaimed youth pastor tried to make it seem like his prayer had converted several people, when I could clearly see it had not
The fact that there are multiple but I was taught that only ONE is correct
The fact that if you're not in my religion, you're kinda f**ked in the afterlife. I didn't choose my religion, so what makes me so special?
My parents pulling an exorcist on me. On their own. Screaming at me that I wasn’t their son but that there was a demon inside of me...
And more but that is the main thing tbh that has made me more an ant-theist than just an atheist
Honestly having to go to church as a little kid. Felt like an endurance test every Sunday to just get through it. Like, dude I’m 6 I wanna play with my action figures or be outside or game. I don’t wanna fight the fidgets in the pew listening to adults breathy sing to tired hymns while I just want it to end so I can go be a kid on the weekend. Then as I got older all the obvious reasons you see everywhere, the contradictions, violence, stupidity etc
There was never an answer.
I wanted to believe desperately.
I wanted to and I begged God to allow me to be doubtless. I tried and tried and tried to make it work. To make it fit.
I asked questions. I wondered. I pondered. I just got to a point where there were no more answers. No one had an answer that made sense.
Nothing that the next person couldn’t alter or contradict. Nothing that was ‘set’ or ‘fixed.’ It was all up in the air and I just needed more faith.
I tried. I really did. But my mind just won’t allow it anymore.
Being told I was going to rot in hell every time I made a simple mistake
former catholic, current atheist here. i am fortunate enough to not have had any severely traumatic experiences involving the church. but, i grew up in the church and i used to love to sing the hymns. as i got older i started to realize what the words i was singing meant. i really didn’t like how some of the hymns/songs called us as people “nothing” compared to god. i don’t really agree with devaluing and trivializing ourselves and our problems as part of worship. that is what really did it.