Coming from Haiti my mother and family pushed education on me as an absolute premium. Education or knowledge was precious because it was paid for, it gave the pupil social status, and was essential for survival in Haiti. My mother paid for tutors to hammer in lessons. We were instructed through rote memory. I've received countless beatings in order to finish in the top 3 of the class.
Now in the United States my mom told me learning could make me nuts. Yahweh denied Adam and Eve access to the Tree of Life after they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. I remember the exact spot that I stood as I read this ridiculous, sobering, and anti-intellectual opening salvo to what would become the tome that lead to my apostasy not only of Christianity but to religion altogether.
I have been sad in the past as a Christian and I have been sad as an atheist. People sometimes say that religion gives one hope and that atheists lack this and thus will be surly. I disagree with this but I think I know why people say these things. My sadness in regards to religion comes from the frustration of knowing more than my peers. My sadness comes from the behavior of the religious. I am indeed melancholy when I recognize the motivation behind the recent anti-homosexual movements in America and the Uganda.
It is upsetting to have people tell me that I didn't try Christianity properly. I believe I suffered what is essentially a mental breakdown when I succumbed to the realization that people don't care about peace, that people are only concerned about their circumstances, and that gods are indifferent. I was told to pray to the Holy Spirit. I did that. I was asked to read the Qur'an. I did that. I was told to speak to innumerable leaders or doctors of different strands for faiths. I did that.
I found the Bible to be ridiculous. I found the agents of god to be psychopaths. I found Yahweh to be a murderous zealot. I found Nehemiah to be a crazy fundamentalist. I found plenty of racism in the Bible. I understood genocide because I have read and seen plenty on the Holocaust. I lived through the era of the massacres of Rwanda and political anarchy in Haiti. I know from history that the Europeans stole America from the natives and brought slaves from Africa. I am well aware the Nuremberg Trials excuse of "just following orders" that the Nazi officers used. All these evil motifs played out as I read the Bible.
stages of grief. There was a time when I wanted to vindicate god from Yahweh and the Bible from obvious human corruption. I really, truly wanted (and still want to) avoid Armageddon by telling all peaceful, truth-seeking people of the harm in religion. All these noble goals drove me to be sad and bitter. But this dark period was just before I accepted that I was an atheist. I still get sad now as a non-believer but for very normal and understanding reasons. I suspect that believers get sad at about the same rate.
I have gone through what my mother had warned me about. My mother knows significantly less than me in some areas and she gives me signs that she prefers it that way. She is not alone in this blissful state of ignorance. Most of the religious people I have met cleave to ignorance. Those who have some idea of the problems in their religion play word games and mental gymnastics with concepts.
This gives me a bleak outlook for the future of humanity. In other words, it makes me sad.