Journeys to Humanism: Finding an Ideology that Checks Every Box The Humanist

Journeys to Humanism,’s regular series, features real stories from humanists in our community. From heartwarming narratives of growth, to more difficult journeys, our readers open up about their experiences coming to humanism.

Jamie Jarrin

I grew up in a typical conservative household and was raised with the standard set of Christian values one often finds in America. My parents would teach me prayers to say every night before bed and I did my fair share of churchgoing until I became a teen.

It was around my early teenage years that I began to question Christianity and religiosity as a whole. As a millennial, growing up in the age of the internet likely helped me on my journey of discovering different worldviews. Upon examination of the beliefs and values instilled in me since I was a kid, cracks in the conservative religious way of thinking formed immediately. I couldn’t justify the idea of a magical man in the sky that created all of existence. I couldn’t fathom how one could take seriously the fantastical stories in the Bible that defy all logic. I couldn’t stand the absurd actions and values purported to be in the text of a supposedly moral god. I could go on and on.

Regardless of my endless gripes with religion, a fundamental problem superseded them all for me. What makes one religion more valid than any other? And furthermore, how can any society impose religion on its people when the very nature of religion is steeped in an unverifiable faith? To me, it seemed that one’s particular faith had a lot to do with one’s upbringing and the influence of people around them.

In the absence of religious indoctrination (well-intentioned or otherwise), all that’s left is what we understand about the world: we’re all just striving for a life of happiness in the finite time we have to experience it.

I tried my best to explain my views to my religious parents. The question I still get from them to this day is: “Do you still believe in good and evil?” This is a question that assumes “good” and “evil” only exist in the context of how a religion would define them, as opposed to how a HUMAN would. To them, it was as if I suddenly had no moral compass at all. I again tried to explain my perspective, only for it to fall on deaf ears. While my parents didn’t shun me, they still continually make comments to me like “pray for this person” or “I know you’re not religious, but…” and proceed to speak as if I am. They still pressure me to go to church with them, knowing full well I am not interested.

My journey out of religion coincided with my development of a progressive worldview. I realized that my idea of what “good” means has nothing to do with what a religion decrees and everything to do with what would give us a safe, happy, and fulfilled life. To me this means ensuring that people’s basic needs are met, which gives individuals the ability to freely pursue whatever gives them happiness. Being surrounded by people with a deeply rooted conservative way of thinking, I felt alone.

I eventually found friends with similar views, most of which I met gaming online through Xbox. There is a palpable sense of catharsis when we swap stories of our religious, conservative parents imposing their values on us. Or when we vent about the hypocritical nature of those who want to impose their religion in a nation that is supposed to value a separation of church and state. It’s a comfort knowing that there are people out there who have similar experiences and perspectives.

Observing the flawed views and countless injustices in society spurred me to be an advocate for change. To start, I sought out a way to accurately describe my views. After some searching online, I discovered humanism. Upon learning about humanism’s stances on issues and its fundamental worldview, I was excited to have found an ideology that checks every box for me. Now I am a member of the AHA and am excited to continue advocating for humanism!

The post Journeys to Humanism: Finding an Ideology that Checks Every Box appeared first on

Striving for a life of happiness in the finite time we have to experience it.
The post Journeys to Humanism: Finding an Ideology that Checks Every Box appeared first on