I am a third maybe fourth generation atheist, never been indoctrinated in to believing in god spirits ghosts devil ..
It was just never the subject.
I must have been like 5 years old when we were playing in the street and did what kids do. make a lot of noise in the process
Suddenly the door of the house across the street opened and an old woman stood there waving this black book at us and screaming we all would burn in hell and that god would punish us for our sins ..
To be honest we thought she must be a witch shouting magic spells at us coming from this book at us and she scared the living daylights out of us, but mainly me ..
I could not sleep and was scared to go outside and finally my dad asked me what what scared me so much and I started to cry and told him what happened..
It was one of the few times I saw my father angry, first I thought it was because of me, but he was mad at the old lady of who I now know was a member of the "black stocking" church, the most fanatic christian denomination we ever had in the Netherlands.(now almost gone)
He went to her house and spoke his mind to her and from that moment on she never shouted at us again.
And when he got home he and my mom explained to me what religion was but that it was only in other people's minds and I did not have to be afraid of them ...
Ok, that was something I could understand but it still took weeks before I have enough courage to pass her house again..
That was my first experience with religion ...
My father never told me what he had said to her, but when I asked my mom a few years after his passing if she knew what is was , she looked at me with a grin and said , " he told her he would go to the police if she did not stop"
And you know, even in that time , late 50's in the Netherlands the police would have taken care of it, all the people were the same in the eye of the law, religious and non religious made no difference ..
Our new post war constitution took care of that and still is a guarantee of separation between church and state, no religious party, no church leader ever challenged that because they understand the importance of this article in our constitution..