I never remember being a “christian” or really believing in any the stories and tales that were taught during Sunday school. I only remember not having my stream of questions answered, or legitimate evidence provided for anything they said. Church always seemed like a way for adults to talk with their friends, because that’s why people showed up an hour early and stayed for at least another after the service, right?
On the other hand, I often remember what Ricky Gervais would talk about when his mother eventually told him that she was using God as a baby sitter so he would behave. Even though she didn’t believe, it was easy for her to come home from work and know that they wouldn’t be burning the house down. That’s what religion seemed like in my younger years, not what could now be classified as a crusade on intelligence.
When someone asks me, “What’s it like to not believe?”, I don’t have an answer besides, “Well, what’s it like to not believe in Thor?” I haven’t believed in things like religion; I don’t know what it’s like. Even with Santa I never really believed, but thought it was just something. (Because I figured out that it was impossible to visit every house, even with timezones.) So, it’s always seemed weird when people can believe in things they’ve never seen or even witnessed.
Anyway you put it, I’m glad to be an “out” atheist. It doesn’t feel like a badge of superiority, but a badge of humbleness. Yes, we don’t know everything, but we are trying, and that’s all you can ask for.