I asked you guys to send me your stories of atheism a few weeks back and the stories continue to roll in. If you missed the earlier stories they are here:
and if you would like to submit your own click here.
This came in from Chase and I found it so interesting. To read about what actually goes on in someone’s mind who’s discovering that there is little truth to what they’ve been told to believe, is so fascinating. This takes some serious bravery:
I’m 26, and have been a really devout Christian all my life until about 6 months ago. Was a youth group leader, attended a Bible study every week, etc. Read the Bible cover to cover. It all started about 8 months ago, when an idea became a splinter in my mind. Only about 1/3 of the people on the planet right now are Christians. Out of those, only about 1/3 or so of them actually make God the center of their lives… the rest just seem to ignore any of the rules that are inconvenient to them. So that means that only 1/3 of 1/3 are going to make it. And the other 89% of the planet is screwed! I found this unacceptable and kept asking people that I respected about it. “What kind of plan has an 89% failure rate?? If you were God and had all his powers, couldn’t you convince more than just 11% of the world to take you seriously?” Nobody could answer the question to my satisfaction. Including the 5 people I asked at the Fellowship of Christian Magicians convention I attended in Indiana [they invited me to perform my juggling routine there]. On August 2nd, I got in my car for the 11 hour drive home. I prayed for 3 hours, basically telling God that I needed an answer to this one, or it was a deal breaker. In short, at 3:00 AM on August 3rd, I walked out of the car an atheist. Since then, it’s been really weird. It’s like 50% of my identity has been taken away, and I’ve gotta figure out what to fill it with again. But it’s also SOOOO awesome not having to care about other people’s beliefs anymore. For the first time, I can TRULY accept them for who they already are, and not have any hidden agendas in my relationships. **Update: 9 months without the Christian god**
Life is finally starting to feel normal again. I’ve made the turning point, and now I honestly feel more out of place in Christian settings than secular ones. I still listen to Christian radio sometimes, but I don’t feel anything anymore. It’s kind of like listening to Christmas songs about Santa Claus; they’re still fun, but my mind doesn’t even begin to take any of it seriously anymore. Of course I still stand out a bit in the atheist crowd, (I probably will for the rest of my life,) but they are now the ones I can relate to the most. Watching them live life as if this world is all we have has reinvented logic for me. I have come to care about my own life and how other people treat me much more than before. Jesus taught to turn the other cheek when people wrong me, but I’ve found that to accomplish absolutely nothing. No, the correct course of action is to hold the other person accountable, and ask them to make it right. Anything less than this only hurts you and encourages the bully. Since I’ve started doing this, my relationships have greatly improved across the board. The lack of shame in my life is unbelievable. The fact that I can sit here and enjoy life without having any kind of Grand Mission is an overwhelming breath of fresh air. If I’m honest about it, it’s very unlikely that anything I do will truly matter in 100 years. The same way the life of my great grandfather 100 years ago has so little influence on me now (I know absolutely nothing about him.) I am simply one in 7 billion, and the world really wouldn’t stop to notice for very long if I were to drop dead right now. Nobody cares what I do or what I think, and that kind of new freedom is exhilarating! I’ve also started dating a lovely woman who I met at a meeting with my city’s local atheist organization. She is helping me to discover just how irrational and incompatible a lot of Christian teachings are when it comes to relationships. Our only rule is to be entirely honest with each other, and to be honest we have made everything else up as we went and so far it has worked flawlessly. I am completely happy, have more free time than ever, and for the first time no longer feel ashamed to simply be myself and stop obsessing over changing everything! **Update: 12 months without the Christian god* I still listen to Christian radio stations in my car from time to time, because I find it to be therapeutic. It’s fascinating to hear an idea from a sermon or song that I used to agree with, and to work it out in my mind exactly where the holes are in the logic. It used to be very engaging to do this. But now, that sort of thing just feels completely foreign. All of it just seems so… stupid. How could I ever have believed any of this? How did it take me so long to work it all out? And then, even worse, I realize how many of the people around me are still there. Still living lives full of false hope, and living as slaves to a master who never cares and is never pleased. It makes me want to do something. So I’ve started trying to take at least a small leadership role in Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics. Particularly, I want to have something in place for people who are just now starting to question their Christian upbringing. CAA made that transition a wonderful experience for me, and I want more people to have that. As for the future, I might try to create some kind of safe haven for students who are questioning their faith. Of course I won’t bring any of this into my classroom, but after school hours I’d love to just be a friendly ear to listen to those sort of things. Schools have teachers who are safe for LGBT students to talk to, so why shouldn’t I be there for students who are considering atheism? The school is largely Christian, so I will have to be careful here. But it’s definitely something I’d eventually like to pursue.
This story, featuring the ever-amusing lie that dinosaurs are satan’s little trick, was sent to me from Doodle:
I was raised in the hell fire Southern Baptist tradition, which should say enough right there. But bigot-Jesus lost the battle for my heart and mind early on. It was that morning when we were greeted after service by a friend of my great grandparents. He stopped to make nice and asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. “A paleontologist!” He might’ve asked me to explain what, exactly that was, or not, I don’t recall, but I remembered he laughed and said, “as long as you know that dinosaurs bones are a trick of the devil to confuse your mind and test your faith.” Well, I was raised to respect my elders but that remark set off a shit storm in my little 4 year old mind; something to the effect of, “Are you lying to me or are you really that fucking stupid?!!?” First, no snakes, and now this shit?! FAIL The sham of all religions is that they convince us to seek god outside of ourselves.
If my readers ever want to send a note to the submitters of these stories privately, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and providing the submitter was not anonymous, I will forward the message on.
Also if you missed the previous story submissions, they are here:
and if you would like to submit your own click here.
Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow, to all you incredible, awesome atheist moms!