I would simply like to tell my story to someone. Someone that is like minded. I will try not to write too terribly much because I believe everyone's time is important.
I was born and raised in the central areas of Oklahoma. There I was raised by devout Christians and really no other religious contact. The range in my family (grandparents, to parents, to grandparents) was liberal Christian to heavily conservative Christians. I was also the second child of three in my family and the research nut. I remember reading my Bible a lot and enjoying the little stories. Yet somewhere between the ages of 8 and 12 I began finding discrepancies that I didn't understand. I remember talking to my family and the church members about my questions and never getting answers that satisfied me. This sent me on a slow drift away from organized religion and I began to heavily research other religions.
I grew and around the ages of 17 to 18 ceased going to church all together, but as things would happen I was also heading for a drastic emotional collapse. I had been holding onto a lot of depression for years and in my freshman year of college that depression ruptured the tight little container I held it in. At this point I fell back into Christian groups on campus. I now look back and know that I was trying to find emotional acceptance from people. Looking for people to help comfort me and accept me how I was. I dropped out of college after my freshman year and continued on with my life. World religions became a hobby of mine and I studied them with zeal. I was also looking for answers for the holes and contradictions I was finding.
Eventually I moved to Kansas City, MO. My girlfriend here is an Atheist who was once a Christian. She showed me her research that she had done many years ago and had saved. Already by this point I had thrown off most of my beliefs in Christianity, but it was comical what I would tell people when they would ask me "well what are you" (speaking in a theological sense) I would tell them "an evolutionary monotheist with Christian tendencies." It usually confused most and they would go on their way. Anyway my research went on for understanding and I thought I would find it somewhere between all the religious texts. I studied with Jehovah's witnesses, Catholics, Buddhists, Wiccans, Pagans, and so much more just to find a happy medium somewhere. Finally I gave up on the religious texts. While all of them had some good teachings they all had a lot of contradictions, plus they were getting too expensive on my wallet. So I went on believing in evolution and a Creator not really caring about some ultimate answer, not worrying about the grand teaching, and just enjoying nature like I had before but without the burden of anything else.
I am now 25 and it wasn't until a week ago that I finally had an answer for people. A coworker of mine was discussing religion and I was listening and just smiling and nodding, enjoying the discussion. Then out of the blue I get asked directly "So what do you believe in?" I paused, not really sure how to explain to people what I am. SO I told them hold on and pulled up "theists" on Wikipedia. I was skimming over all the different things that fell under theists and I stumbled across the subheading of Deist. I read over it. Then read over it again and was 98% happy with the explanation of a Deist and my beliefs. So I turned around and smiled and said "I am an evolutionary Deist."
Today I found the Deism website and have been reading a lot of the articles on it. It really put a finger down on the things I've seen wrong with a lot of texts. It was like connecting all the dots in my head to open up the picture I've been trying to see for so long. I have probably only gotten through a third of all the articles and my brain is now tired. I'll continue again tomorrow.