We are all born atheist. A fortunate few go through their whole lives never having believed in a super-natural being or phenomena.
I was not so fortunate. I was raised Lutheran and taught to believe in heaven and hell, god and the devil, original sin, prayer, divine intervention, and constant supervision by an all-seeing being judging not only my actions but my innermost thoughts as well.
I was also taught that god allows bad things to happen to test my faith, but that I would never be given more than I could handle. Bad things happen because the devil is at work in my life, but if I pray hard enough, anything is possible- if I have faith.
To this day, I find myself occassionally struggling with various fading remnants of my childhood indoctrination.
* I've found myself wishing, waiting, and hoping for someone to come to my rescue.
* If too many good things happen, I wonder how bad things will get in order to even it out.
* I find myself holding back from enjoying the really big things in life because I don't want anyone to know how much they mean to me, that way they won't be taken away from me.
* If I tell someone that I hope they are having a great day, I sometimes worry if that will jynx it for them. Then if they actually have a bad day, it is somehow my fault.
Some of these thoughts seem to be holdovers of the "Lutheran Guilt" that is taught so thoroughly and even made fun of in regional jokes. The reality is an ongoing battle with the idea that good is bad and bad is good.
Having reasoned my way to being an atheist, with no doubts lingering in my mind, I find myself frustrated with the emotional taint left behind by almost 25 years of indoctrination.