My story? Well... I was raised Roman Catholic and it never really worked for me as a child. I was always asking who created God, since God was said to have created everything. It just didn't add up to my little brain.
Of course, having gone to Catholic school my whole life, the sacraments were just another part of our academics... communion was grade two, reconciliation was grade four, confirmation was grade six. It was literally put right into the curriculum. So, I was confirmed when I was 11 without really understanding what it was or what it meant. Once I got a little bit older, around 13 or 14, I really started to stand my ground on my lack of belief; my parents understood and were supportive of my choice and that was the end of my church-going days (except for weddings, funerals, etc.) The older I've gotten, the stronger my belief that there isn't a god has become.
I often think how nice, easy, and clean it would be to believe in god. I hate the feeling that when you're dead, you're dead. I hate thinking that when loved ones pass, I'll never see them again and they're just dead and gone forever. It would be so much nicer to believe in a higher being taking care of us, a planned life for everyone and a reason for everything, and a life after death where everything is perfect and everyone is reunited... but I don't.
My parents have both turned away from the church in later years; they both still identify as Christian but are no longer comfortable supporting the Catholic church in light of the abuse, molestation, thievery, fraud, hypocrisy, etc. that has come to light. The priest that ran their childhood church and who performed their marriage ceremony was convicted of child molestation a number of years ago; I think that put the last nail in the coffin for them both. He ended up dying in jail.
Like I said, my husband and I are both atheists. He grew up without religion in his life and he's looked into it and read about it a great deal, but it just doesn't fit with him either. While we're both quite uncomfortable with religion of any sort being pushed into the mainstream and forced upon people without their informed consent, such as Christian charities that will only provide help if "the word" accompanies it, we're both very accepting and tolerant of others' personal beliefs and hope the same respect will be given to us in return.
Nice to be here and thanks for the warm welcome.