In my earlier post, I explained that I had been a heavy churchgoer for approximately 4 and a half years (throughout most of high school).
My fallout with church began at the beginning of my senior year in H.S. It started with the youth pastor making a passing comment that my group of friends and I had clearly fallen with God. Obviously the statement was quite shocking to me, because hadn't we been the most dedicated group of youth in the church?
Any time the youth pastor made a new youth class, my group of friends and I were there, eagerly learning. Every choir concert we attended, we did the plays, we did everything there. Hell, I pretty much lived at church.
How could we be fallen from God?
It dawned on me then, that because we were a loud, spunky group of kids (and weren't really friends with the pastor's children and nieces and nephews that were near our age), that we weren't well liked.
And then, because my church's population had grown so large in size (we were considered a mega-church), we had moved from our current location to a brand new plot of land that had buildings built specifically for our church.
Instead of calling it "Community CHURCH of Happiness (made up name)" It was now called, "Community of Happiness."
What? Wasn't this place supposed to be a church? Why did we suddenly delete the name church out of our CHURCH'S name?
And suddenly, the amount that people were donating to the church (like a mass sum of money not individual donations) was now posted at the bottom of the sermon paper each Sunday.
As if that weren't enough, at the end of each sermon, the pastor would tell everyone how much money the church had gotten each week and that we needed to give more.
That's the part that pissed me off the most (although you would think the part about being told I'd fallen from God would piss me off). I was mad that people were giving what they could and it wasn't enough.
One Sunday morning, while standing in the kindergarten room (because remember? I taught Sunday School) I remember standing in the middle of the classroom and suddenly realizing that I couldn't teach them anymore, because I didn't believe in any of the bullshit about Jesus or God.
It was like being hit with a ton of bricks all at once, the realization was so sudden and eye opening.
That was the last Sunday I attended church.
It's been 12 years since.