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Coming Out Stories Share the story of your path to Atheism.

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  #1  
Old 17th November 2014, 02:07 PM
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Hi I am a 38yo ex-christian. I was raised in a fundamentalist baptist household and both my grandfathers were ministers and my uncles and aunts were missionaries. Anyone who has been heavily involved in a Christian church would probably guess what my childhood was like - lots of church activities, Sunday school, youth groups and plenty on indoctrination. For most of my childhood and teenage years I mostly beleived everything in the bible was true and that Jesus was coming back any day.

The problem I had was that I never 'felt' anything like the Holy Spirit in me (which is what I was being told all the time was happening). I grew up thinking there was something very wrong with me because I didn't fit the mould of the other church kids. There were a lot of things in scripture that didn't really make sense to me and when I shared this with anyone in the church I was told to pray more. I figured that god didn't reveal himself to me because he didn't really like me and that I must be bad somehow. I also had completely different interests to the other church kids (horror movies, non-christian alternative music, gay freinds etc).

So anyway fast forward several years and I finally decided to leave the church. I was in my mid 20s and had some bad relationship experiences with church goers. I came to the realisation that most church guys were trying to find a wife and I didn't want to be a wife just yet (and I'm sure at least one of the guys I dated was gay). Also my bible study leader kept trying to talk me into having sex with him on the quiet which was all kinds of wrong given that he was married and quite senior to me and in a leadership role. Anyway so I left the church but kept the beliefs that went along with Christianity.

A few years later I met the man that was to be my husband and he turns out to be a catholic. This caused problems with my family because Catholics were basically heathens. This was really the first inkling that maybe this religion wasn't all it was cracked up to be if they could not look past doctrine to see the real person. We got married in a Catholic Church (just to piss off my family more than anything) and lived a mostly secular life with the occasional church attendance for Christmas and christenings etc.

At this stage I pushed my beliefs to the back of my mind. While I wasn't attending a church I still considered myself a Christian and just thought I was still a 'bad' person for not Reading the bible and doing what I was meant to do. The thing that changed everything was having my son 2 years ago.

I was always a pretty rational and logical person but never really applied this to religion. When my son was born it forced me to actually take stock of my beliefs and consider what I was going to teach him about the world. I knew I didn't want him to have all the guilt I grew up with but I didn't want to teach him the wrong thing. So I started reading books about religion to gain an understanding of how religions work from an Academic perspective. This also led me to books by Richard Dawkins, Christopher hitchens and dan barker. It wasn't long after this I let go of my belief and came to the realisation that it is likely that there is no God and that the God of the bible is not a deity I would want to worship anyway (if he existed). I have found this experience amazingly freeing and not because I know I don't have to answer to anyone but because I am ok as I am and there is nothing fundamentally wrong with me for supporting gay rights, getting tattoos and being a vegetarian- things many Christians believe make you a bad person in gods eyes.

I haven't come out to my family yet and there are a lot of complications that might prevent me doing so for a while. While I havent directly told my husband I am an atheist I am sure he has pretty much guessed based on some recent conversations. He has even admitted to me that doesn't believe in any religion or the bible and that he thinks there is probably a god but that there isn't any way to know either way (but I'm working on him!).

Sorry this post is so long, thanks for reading all the way through. Also thanks for the kind messages on my welcome thread.
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  #2  
Old 17th November 2014, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: My story



Thanks for sharing.
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The Nizkor Project- Logical Fallacies

Atheist: n; A person to be pitied in that he is unable to believe things for which there is no evidence, and who has thus deprived himself of a convenient means of feeling superior to others.
—Chaz Bufe, The American Heretic’s Dictionary
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Old 17th November 2014, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: My story

Thanks for sharing,not only with the active members but also the lurkers who are questioning their faith.
It may help them come to grips with their own situation.
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Old 17th November 2014, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: My story

Thanks for sharing that VG, it was an excellent read.
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bruce1937 said View Post
Thanks for sharing,not only with the active members but also the lurkers who are questioning their faith.
It may help them come to grips with their own situation.
+1.

When I gently suggested your posting here, I had in mind that your story might have both resonated with and inspired others, including lurkers.

Happy to say, it looks like that guess was pretty much bang-on correct. Again, thanks for it.
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Old 17th November 2014, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: My story

Thank you. Good story. Religion never ceases to amaze me in its ability to screw-up lives. Congrats for getting out in time. Go easy on the 'coming out'. I think it will need patience and care. Read up on other peoples' experience.

Hey Vego, I think you would enjoy reading Charles Cornwall's book, advertised on the AFA web site.
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Old 17th November 2014, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: My story

thanks for sharing, and yes I agree having kids really does make you 'take stock' of your beliefs..
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Old 17th November 2014, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: My story

Thank you for the kind responses. There are a few things I did not mention in my post regarding my childhood and the ill effects religion had on me. When I look back now I can see that many of the other children and teens were probably going through similar struggles.

If you question belief in a fundamentalist church you are basically told that the devil is working in your mind to steer you from the truth and turn you toward evil. I was first told this when I was 9 years old. It messes you up.

The entire concept of telling a little child that there is an entity called satan who is tempting you constantly makes you think you are evil for giving in. I was no different to any other kid. Sometimes I messed up and sometimes I was selfish. The difference is that when you are told that God hates it when you sin you become ashamed of yourself for no real reason. It screws up your self worth and makes you think you are evil.

The main thing that really led me to abandon my belief was thinking about the whole concept of god and heaven and hell. If you think about it for long enough it really doesn't make any sense at all.

Again thanks for reading and thanks for the forum. This is quite cathartic!
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Old 17th November 2014, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: My story

Welcome vegegirl, nice to be clear of the mess isn't it.
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Old 17th November 2014, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: My story

good you freed yours brain.
keep working on the husbands
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Old 17th November 2014, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: My story

Great post, Vegegirl. Thanks.
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