Answer on @Quora by Sam Morningstar to What was your first step on the road to atheism?
Answer by Sam Morningstar:
Comparitive religious studies and asking my mother what happened to our Native American ancestors that either never "heard the word" [of Jesus] or decided they didn't want to "believe" in what the missionaries were selling.
She hemmed and hawed on the first one, and was a typical fundamentalist on the second question (e.g. anyone that hears the word has to accept it in their MORTAL existence or they burn for eternity). Of course, this is at the heart of colonialism and the aggressive nature of Abrahamic faiths combining in a perfect storm. After that point, about age 14 or 15 I decided to stop going to church. Initially, my parents grounded me for a whole week until I could "choose" to go to church on Sunday morning.
Well, that went on for a few months until they realized they weren't going to win that battle. Instead they quit pestering me and I read comparitive religious books voraciously. Then, I eased into Uniterianism and agnosticism…then I began reading atheist writings.