I am a senior (age 74 at this writing) and only recently admitted to myself that I am an atheist. I was brought up in a conservative (aka fundamentalist) Presbyterian church but went to a “liberal” Presbyterian college (The College of Wooster) where I was introduced to a more scholarly approach to scriptures. From there I earned a Masters in Religious Education at Union Theological Seminary. While I understood that the stories in the Bible (particularly the “Old Testament”) were just that – stories, it never occurred to me to actually reject the entire thesis of the Christian faith.
The son of recent German immigrants, I was born in Western Canada in 1956. My mother grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home where guilt and shame were generously dispensed by her mother and later also by her grandfather. My father was a skeptic and nominal Lutheran who found it hard to stomach Christian hypocrisy and thus only attended church on occasion. Sadly though he grew up in a home with little emotional support and little love. My parents fought constantly about pretty much everything but especially about religion. My younger brother, now an ordained minister with The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, and I grew up in a home with fighting, yelling, physical abuse and parents who had poor parenting skills.