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Tom Y.

Assistant Organizer

Chairman of the Board, At-large Board Member


Springfield, IL

Member since:

December 22, 2012

How long have you been conscious that you no longer believe in gods? Has the realization altered things in your life?

Not having perceived any difference between Santa and god, it must have been when I was about seven years old. The Santa part did have a lot of appeal, except for the creepy "knows when you've been bad or good." God, not so much.

What led you to abandon your faith in the prevailing mythologies of the culture? Was it a sudden realization? Triggered by an event? Or did you just gradually evolve to this position without realizing it until it was done?

My father, in particular, taught me to be skeptical of outlandish claims and to call them out. I became an acclaimed critic of corners and hallways in our schools, having had the opportunity to view them up close for hours. At reunions, people were astounded to learn I'd been one of their classmates.

What belief system were you raised in?

I was reared by an atheist and an agnostic. They couldn't decide which religion not to bring me up in, so I had a lot of immunity to the god virus.


Though not a native of this northern bible belt, I have been here since the last century. I feel an urgent need to end the view that belief without evidence is a virtue and an acceptable way to learn about the world. Faith must be marginalized.

What Tom Y. is saying about this Meetup Group

Welcoming, congenial, and stimulating.

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