Name: Chad Matise
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Organization affiliation: New Orleans Secular Humanist Association, American Atheists
Label: Atheist & Secular Humanist
Former Religious Affiliation: Catholic, Methodist
I was baptized when I was a baby at a Catholic church. Besides that I rarely went to church. I considered my dad and mom non-practicing Catholics, at that time. When I did go to church it was with my grandmother. So, I just believed because that is what I was told and never thought to question it.
When I was ten my mom and dad decided to get divorced. My mom remarried and I have two brothers. My dad also remarried and I have two more brothers. I have the two best step-parents I think I could ever have. So my life changed big time when I was about twelve. My step-mom was a practicing Methodist. From not going to church I was now getting up early every Sunday and going to church. Now for a twelve year old that was hard (I did not like getting up early). We went to a Methodist church sometimes I listened to the ministers and sometimes I fell asleep. But I still believed; I had no reason not to. My step-mom taught me The Lord’s Pray and I said it every night. I started to pray at night too, for the usual things a fourteen year old prays for. Help on test in school, for the other school kids not to pick one me, for that girl in my class to like me and for my family to get rich. So when I failed the test and the kids still picked on me and that girl did not want anything to do with me and my family never got rich. I thought maybe I should not be praying for things that I wanted, so I prayed for other people. Like for peace, to help the homeless and hungry, to stop all the evil in the world. When God did nothing that is when I started to question my beliefs. So I started to ask God to show me a sign that he was there and listening to me and nothing happened.
But I still believed because that was what I was told even though in science class I learned that that Sun was a yellow dwarf star and that rain is from evaporated water. Not God and angles pouring water form barrels in the sky. Then I was taught the theory of evolution and that everything evolved over 4.5 billion years. So to me religion did not make sense. So for the next ten years I did not believe, but was not sure. Only, until I was twenty-six when my best friend suddenly died, it was the hardest thing in my life so far. I realized that I will never see him again, because I believed there was no heaven. So I started to do research on all religions to find my own answers. To be honest I wanted to find the answers and evidence FOR religion but could not found any. I read stuff on both sides and also lessened to people on both sides on the internet and in person. I even read stuff out of the Bible; there is some going stuff in there. Like the golden rule, treat others as you would like to be treated. For being the word of God there is a lot of bad stuff like murder, rape, incest, torture and hate in there too. Even stuff that is taught to be good but if you truly understand the story it is not so good I am talking about the story of Noah’s Ark and that is just one. My skepticism did not stop at God. I ask for evidence for everything now. I don’t believe in a lot of superstitious things but what I do believe in is living the life you have in front of you, it’s all you have and it is short. Be a good person and family will always be there.
“Searching for atheism is not what led me to be an atheist, searching for the truth is what led me to be an atheist.”Tagged with: 1982 • American Atheists • atheism • Atheist • catholic • Chad Matise • Louisiana • Methodist • New Orleans • New Orleans Secular Humanist Association • Secular Humanist