I had an awesome childhood; I was definitely spoiled compared to most other kids. Not in the sense that I was given whatever I wanted, because that certainly wasn’t the case. Everyone called my father frugal, but that’s just a nice way of saying he was cheap. I was spoiled because I was lucky enough to be born into a loving, stable family. My parents didn’t drink or do drugs. I wasn’t ever abused emotionally or physically. They spent time with me every single day and gave me all the attention in the world. In addition to having an easy home life, I had two wonderful sets of grandparents. Everywhere I went, people loved me and spent time with me. I was living in a bubble.
My father was an Electronic Engineer who designed circuit boards for a living. I’m not going to publish his actual salary, but I netted more income at the age of 24 than the highest paid year of his career. Somehow, he still managed to send my sister and me to a Christian, private school. I was genuinely happy, which shows that love and compassion go a lot further than money.
We were members of First Baptist Church of New Kensington while it was under the leadership of Pastor Clunas. Unlike other atheists, I didn’t have a bad experience with my fellow Christians. Quite the opposite, actually. I would never take back the time I spent in the church. I remember having great fellowship with everyone and took a lot from the sermons.
It wasn’t until 7th grade that the bubble started to pop. The people in our class started to act differently and I found myself able to fit in less and less. I don’t hold this against Christianity, the actions and behavior of Christians during their adolescent years doesn’t represent the religion as a whole. Besides, I was just as immature and annoying as any of my peers.
However, there was an adult who left a lasting, negative impression of Christianity on me. Mrs. Nadeau, an older woman who had started that year as an English teacher. She was also wife to one of the school’s pastors. She loved to tell us how important her role in society was because of her husband. During one of her many self-absorbed stories, she told us about how pastors and their families go to a special, privileged place in heaven. That kind of nonsense isn’t even in the Bible. Fortunately, there’s a special place reserved for people like her here on Earth: the loony bin, the cook fringe, or whatever you want to call delusional people who refuse to accept reality.