An Atheist fondly remembers childhood church experiences

My parents had agreed that my sister and I wouldn’t go to church unless we asked.

I finally got curious about church in grade 5, I pondered Elvis Presley’s declaration that church was where he got his style of performance from.

At that time, in the mid 1970s, a Southern Bapist Church came to New Westminster, BC Canada, just down the street from my elementary school. Sir Richard McBride.

That church sent a runner to wave colour paper and offer prizes to the child who could bring the most number of other kids.

I didn;t care about prizes, but I did get my sister and best pal Kay to come with me.

It was exciting. That minister in sleek black pants and a crisp white shirt with a small black tie – a bow or a bolo. that’s blurry – I remember his gingery mustache and crew cut.


But he hollered and jumped around, waved his arms and there were colour lights and it was all very high theatre.

I had directed my class plays at the assemblies, and was in the choir.


Anyway, I wasn;’t allowed back there because they had handed out a comic book with the Adam and Eve story – Spoiler: they start out all white and end up black. Applegate.


My Mom, then did some research for a month going to different other ones and for 2 years we went to the Knox Presbyterian Church, which is still actually there.

That flashy one didn’t last the year, this is Canada and colder climatic yield cooler temperaments. Doing that all hollering in a small airless hot tiny wooden shack church – dehydration goes to explain a lot.

Anyway, for two years I enjoyed the weather through the stain glassed windows and imagined that is what people did for movies and entertainment – community togetherness back in the day.

I liked going to sunday school and challenging the teacher to explain the difference between what I was taught monday to friday to this – and found that they knew far less about what they were teaching than the teachers at school. Sometimes they could answer the question.


I have a strong memory of a christmas evening service where we sang and someone from out of town had the audacity to clap after the 4 cute kids sang and for the first time ever, we were applauded in the church.

in fact, as one of the few girls, I got to play the lead in all the plays at church, while at school. as the tallest girl – no boy would play opposite me – so I ended up directing usually there

but mostly how that congregation send me and my sister to a summer camp – it was a church one, but it was fun too.



so. I am not an atheist because someone at church hurt me. no one did. they were all nice people from my experience of them



I am not a theist because I rely on reason and am quite capable of making my own moral decisions.


Something that people who accept lists and ignore contradictions, are not able to do.

Gotbots are biological expression of the appeal to authority fallacy


while Glandbots are biological expression of primal physicality



anyway, all I really wanted to say is that when I think of my church experience, I had fun going there.


I will even admit to one time, in my 20s, when I was at a loss in the early 1990s, I did go back.


Just the once, because I wanted to see a particular thing – the table in the round sunday school room.


It was never clear to me, but one of the sunday school teachers taught us how to use a rotor and other power tools – and this one time, we got to carve our names in the table.


the minister was very kind and accommodating and we did have a chat and he helped me to see that the job I had tried to make myself take – selling Kirby Vacuum Cleaners door to door – really was not for me.


hmm. vaugely recall going to a community anniversary event with my Mom.


Now, I just park behind it in the secret free and not time limited parking near the Royal Columbian hospital.


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7 Responses to An Atheist fondly remembers childhood church experiences

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