You may have wondered why I call myself a born-again atheist. I was an avowed atheist during my high school and college years. When I moved up to Johannesburg from Durban, around 1987, I became entranced with a Hindu religious group, joined and practiced their form of religion for nearly twenty years. It was easy to become ensnared, as I had moved away from family, was basically living on my own, and this organization provided comfort, friendship, solace, and a sense of belonging.
During my formative years in Durban, being an atheist was a way to rebel against the establishment. My atheist beliefs back then, was based, not on a sound understanding of religious beliefs (dogma) or the human psychological condition, but on basic scientific principles. Creation was scientifically impossible; evolution was more logical. Noah was a fairy-tale: you cannot build a boat large enough to hold all the various species of plant and animal life on earth. If you had the power to turn water into wine, then you could just as easily turn a donkey into a Rolls Royce (if you don’t see where I’m leading with this, then your mind is clouded with irrational religious thoughts). Also, it was quite thrilling to argue with my peers and elders, at that young age about religion with what in hindsight, amounted to an immature level of knowledge on the subject.
Back in Johannesburg, during the last few years of my re-acquaintance with religion, I began to see more clearly; the practices and behaviours of the priests and even the congregations, became increasingly puzzling, illogical, erratic, disturbing and downright crazy. I began to see how priests could mesmerize and mislead their followers; how gullible these people could be. I slowly began withdrawing from the clutches of these delusional people. I started reading more about comparative religion, esoterica, history, the sciences and whatever I could find that would make me understand how I came to be so mislead.
Therefore I now prefer to be known as a re-born atheist. I now understand the strange hold religions have on people and why they will even give up their lives for it. I’m just so glad I was able to get out in time, and strengthen myself to live free of superstition and the fear of the unknown.I fervently hope that some day, you will all join me in clear and rational thought, and true freedom.