Thanks for the note. I just wrote an article about how to survive as an atheist in Christian America. It is definitely very Christian-y around here. I live in Indiana, and on my drive to Ohio, there are many billboards that say weird things like "America, Bless God," and harsh things like "Hell is hot." And there are huge crosses along the interstate. I read that 80% of Americans consider themselves Christians. That's a lot of people. Where are you from? Could you imagine billboards like that there?! It's nice to make your acquaintance. Kim
Welcome to TA! I personally was never indoctrinated as a child so I can't relate to your story explicitly. I can recall every time I was exposed to religion as a child for it to not make any sense and I couldn't see any appeal in it. As an adult, I see religion less as a quaint tradition and more as a threat to humanity.
But I do really enjoy reading stories from people that have 'Taken the Blue Pill' and their experience in becoming enlightened.
Thanks for the note. I have been so surprised by the welcome. I have never been in an online community before. I think I like it. I think it is funny that you like to read stories of people coming out of the Matrix. I will tell you, it is exactly like that. Exactly. I can see how it would be fascinating to read about. I am an intelligent, college educated person, and I never suspected that it was all a farce. Hardly once in my 18 years as an evangelical Christian did I doubt. Actually, I am going to share a prose poem I wrote about my experience. It says it all in a nutshell. Not to be corny and send you a poem, but it is more like a statement. See if it helps you understand what it is like.
She, I, sat in the pew, red cushioned, in the dim sanctuary. The man, robed, led her through the distress of causing a death, benefiting from a death. A cross’s shadow cast across the front wall and broke at the corner. The choir, sang, dissonant, of sin--the tragedy of sin. Hot tears painted her cheeks, she assumed a kind of baptism--a kind of regeneration.
In the beginning there was light and it illuminated her mind, like she knew the essence of the universe, like she was experiencing spirits, or the Spirit, and it infused her. One night, she sat on the floor, trudging through a concordance looking for verses that would guide and save. She felt empowered, capable of conjuring god. She pressed her forehead to the cool page, child pose, not a doubt, not a doubt anywhere.
Twenty years into the future she would let other books invade her like roots invade soil. Philosophers, free thinkers, atheists, and other rogue teachers led her down forbidden paths, and then one day the roots just cracked up through the concrete. One morning, with her head still on the pillow, her eyes jerked open wide and filled with light (the sunshine from the window) and tectonic plates shifted inside of her, like bones and sinews pulling apart. The movement was an earthquake of such magnitude that many beliefs just died, and she lay under the comforter and grieved.
She eventually pulled herself up and out the door to a vast park, where the trees were just watery illusions because her eyes only saw multitudes of friends, mentors, who belived in sin and salvation and had drawn her in, blind to all the newly obvious questions, the obvious misalignments, and mistakes. As each name passed across her lips, her newborn reasoning slipped further into certainty. The grass under her prickled, as she sat in the shade, each blade no longer a concept from the mind of god, but just grass, like she was now just herself, not a soldier, not a sheep, not child of god.
That was very poetic Kim.
One thing, to draw another metaphor from The Matrix, is life outside isn't as comfy as inside. I can see the appeal in believing there's an all powerful friend that's got your back, there's a safety net, when you lose a loved one that they're in paradise looking over you, etc... But I also feel that's the 'easy' way. It's the envy of a sober man for the bliss a drunkard has. It'd be intellectually dishonest for me to follow that route.
But there's definitely more beauty, in my opinion, in knowing you only have one ride on our insignificant little speck of dust in the vastness of the universe. You appreciate things more. There's no second chances or do-overs. Seeing the vast connected web of life in the world and knowing if time were rolled back a couple hundred million years and replayed, things would be completely different biologically. It makes you really appreciate that you even exist to begin with. It makes life fulfilling and gives meaning. You're only limited by yourself once you shed superstition and fear.
I don't fear death because of fear of non-existance, or going to hell (I always find it humorous when christians say athiests worship satan and don't understand we don't believe in that superstition either). I fear death because of what my passing will do to my family and friends, that there is so much left for me to get done, so much more to learn and see.
I hope that your transition is beautiful and you find your life more fulfilling. I hope you find support from those you care about. Something like this will definitely show you who really loves you and who doesn't unfortunately.
Welcome to hell … erm … I mean Think Atheist! }:-D>