I thought a lot as a child. I used to love the TMNT cartoons, but after the show was over I would mull it over in my mind and try making up new plots and stories. In the process I’d be testing the internal consistency and believability of the premises of the show. For instance, why would a turtle become part human after coming in contact with a human after touching radioactive goo? If it came into contact with a rat, would it become part turtle and part rat? And did any of this make any sense at all? I decided it didn’t — which was disappointing in a way since I liked my fantasies to at least have some consistency with reality even if they were not really realistic.
I applied this type of thinking also to The Little Mermaid, to Santa Clause, and then to the claims I heard in church 3 times a week. I questioned a lot in my head, but when I turned to questioning religion I mostly assumed I must just not be old enough to understand. I wasn’t really encouraged to question things so I kept the questioning to myself. I would come out in my college years as an atheist, partly due to new learning and partly due to the cumulative effect of years of suppressed questioning. At that point in my life the questioning came to a head, and I discovered that the world made more sense without the mythical overlay.
How relieved I was to find out that there were others with the same skeptical outlook, who would not be shocked when I told them I doubted that there was a super-person in the sky who directed the universe and my life. So now, I’m proud to be playing a part to let people like me know there is a community for atheists in my town.