So, there I was, fifteen or so years old, and I had decided that the religion I had been raised with was clearly nonsense. It’s a fairly common teenage experience, I suspect. You see things from the other side, you know the adults have been lying to you about whatContinue Reading

I was thirteen or fourteen when I learned about abortion at religious summer camp. The camp was connected to Lake Sawyer and followed the same general Chickian doctrine, but in a lot of ways it was like every other summer camp. There were crafts and altar calls and junk foodContinue Reading

Here’s what happened to me during the year I was twelve: I started junior high. The other kids hated me. I hit puberty. We moved to a completely different part of the country. My family stayed with some friends of my parents for a couple of months. I went toContinue Reading

When I was twelve, we left Orange County, California and moved to King County, Washington. Where we lived was like this: go to Kent, and then start driving east. Go up the hill. Keep driving. Pass Lake Meridian. Keep driving. Pass a bunch of housing developments. Keep driving. Keep driving.Continue Reading

When you’re raised in the church, one of the things you pick up on is this idea that you are eventually going to be expected to “witness” to people. Some churches are bigger on this than others. I was done with the church by the time I was old enoughContinue Reading

Between the ages of 10 and 12, I was mentally committed to the church, to being a Christian, but there were still things that troubled me. I was worried about how you could know it was all true. How could I know God really existed? How could I know JesusContinue Reading

When I was in kindergarten, the teacher had us write stories. It was the first time I had ever done such a thing. It was a revelation. A mind-blowing, life-changing moment. Until then, it had never occurred to me that stories had to be written down before they could beContinue Reading

Kids (and kids in church) like to tell stories with weird superstitions and urban legends and dark rumors and wacky conspiracy theories. I remember being highly skeptical of this stuff. It seemed to me that kids were kind of gullible. I didn’t want to be gullible. So if some kidContinue Reading

When I was a kid, church seemed pretty much like school. Adults made me go. People told me stories and showed me pictures. Sometimes they asked questions about the stories they told me, and if they asked questions it was important to tell them the right answer. Church was differentContinue Reading