And I don't think I'm alone in this by any stretch of the imagination.
Like many people in the 1950s I was raised as a Scientific Creationist. What does that mean? It means I worshipped not only God and Jesus but I also worshipped in some ways people like Nicola Tesla, Thomas Edison etc. who brought civilization through electricity to the world starting here in the U.S. and in Europe.
However, then I reached college age and took a course in Social Science which taught Evolution and because I was always sort of telepathic I was horrified that most of the college students in my class believed in Evolution over creationism. Now, Today this might seem silly but then it was like a bomb went off inside of me. I couldn't deal with this paradox that I experienced through these college students. What this took me to was a place where I realized I didn't have to believe in Creationism and I didn't have to believe in Evolution either that each were theories and not absolute like adherents of both ideas want to make you believe.
So, I stopped believing absolutely in Creationism and I stopped fully believing in evolution and I went forward to see what life would teach me whether either or both of these ideas were correct.
I suppose in many states where people went to private religious colleges I wouldn't have had to come to this realization in order to move forward usefully in my life. However, I grew up in southern California where city and state colleges and the UC system were all pretty open about what one could believe and think then in the late 1960s. Before the Free Speech movement at UC Berkeley though this wasn't true until this change happened in the early to middle 1960s. So, there was a wave of change that swept through California city and state and UC Colleges and universities at that time. So, I was a part of this change as it rippled through campuses statewide and nationwide and worldwide to a greater or lesser degree at this time.
As a direct result I started to question everything I had been taught in church and by using logic and reason and intuition began to see the problems and "old Wives tales" that I had been taught and which ideas were useful and which ideas were not useful unless you were extremely ignorant which I was not.
I began to move in collegiate circles where EVERTHING was questioned mercilously which helped me move forwards in life too.
Philosophy is the key to truth I realized and not religion. Religion is based upon what you tell children so they won't jump off cliffs and die when their mother, father, sisters or brothers die in their desire to be with those relatives or friends.
However, the truth of life is actually something quite different than the fairy tales we tell each other to keep each other alive on a daily basis.
So, religion is the way we deal with the traumas of life but it actually doesn't have much to do with truth at all. It has to do with Traumatic events and what we tell ourselves to survive those traumatic events when others don't survive.
So, Religion is useful in trying to stay alive and not kill everyone in your life that you don't like.
However, Truth is found through philosophy and not through any one religion.
So, I studied comparative religion and realized that all religions are basiically saying the exact same thing.
This changed my view of all religions on earth to the usefulness of religions in general.
However, everyone who is intelligent enough and who has the time to do research and study will likely come to similar conclusions that I did if they have enough time to process all this information.
Unfortunately, most people are struggling just to make enough money to survive and so stay completely traumatized and in need of their religions around the world in order to survive even one more day of their lives.
So, this is why I say "The religion I was raised in was the best and the worst thing that ever happened to me."