For the sake of younger people it's important to state the importance of formal religious education in their lives. Getting an excellent background in the religion their parents have chosen provides the only sure way of making an informed choice about lifelong theological beliefs. Religion is no laughing matter to parents, and a lot of children for that matter. Developing an understanding of what their chosen religion really entails and means makes any sort of encroachment upon it by third parties or agencies absolutely impossible, and gives a moral foundation upon which to grow and excel at everything else in the world.
I took everything I learned about religion as proof there could be no God. The righteous condemnation of the Protestant denomination I rejected turned my stomach. Now, approaching the age of forty and very secure in my concepts of life and reality, I have never been so certain of anything as the truth that no God would want me to lie about what I can and can't accept in spiritual morality.
The path of atheism and skepticism I followed for 15 years was difficult, but not as difficult as admitting I think I was wrong about it. I do believe in the existence of what most people would call God. My concepts and definitions would never fit with standard religious approval, and that's something religions don't forget or take lightly. There's not much to be done about that.
I wrote this because here in South Louisiana the sparse number of writers may sometimes give my words a weight they weren't meant to have. Dark humor concerning subjects of religious sensitivity is not alien to my efforts. So, young adults and older folk, please understand I'm not poking fun at you or your religion specifically. It's the raw nerves of society that amuse me much more.