My father was Jewish, my mother was catholic. Or vice versa, I don’t remember. Neither of them practiced their religion religiously. However, I was exposed to both religions. My father wanted me to read the Bible, the Old Testament. My mother pushed the New Testament. I thought the older books were more interesting and exciting, but the God character was a mean and vindictive son of a bitch. The New Testament wasn’t as exciting as the Old Testament, and the God character there was all peace and love.
I asked my parents how, if God wrote the Bible, he was depicted very differently in the two testaments. They hemmed and hawed a bit, but then said that, like everything else, God evolved. That confused me too, because these religions, along with many of the others I was exposed to, denounced and ridiculed evolution. God created us in his own image
By the time I reached high school, I came to the conclusion that God was created by humans, and not vice versa, as my parents claimed. And most of the stories in both the Old and New Testaments were stories written by human beings, not by some omnipotent, omnipresent, supernatural being. And the Bible and its stories had about as much credibility as those written about the Greek and Roman gods. That was when I realized that this whole religion thing, regardless of which specific religion you’re talking about, is all based upon manmade mythology.
So I stopped believing in the existence of God. I was labeled an atheist, a label I embraced.
Some have insisted that atheism is a religion, and because I’m a practicing atheist, I am practicing a religion. But atheists don’t “practice” atheism. We are atheists solely because we deny the existence of a supernatural god. There are no books that we are expected to read and to hold holy. There’s no dogma that we must adhere to or rituals that we must perform. No services that we must attend. I don’t proselytize about atheism or attempt to persuade others to believe as I do.
Atheism has only one tenet: God does not exist. Period. End of story. So for those of you who insist that atheism is a religion, I guess I would simply say that I do not practice that religion.