I've visited many times but finally decided to join up.

 

I've been an atheist for about thirty years. I went through a period of time when I was in my twenties where I decided to get serious about my religion, so I started attending church regularly, studying the bible carefully, and thinking about god and praying. The more I read, the more I prayed, the more I studied, the more I thought, the less I believed. Finally, one day, I said, "No more."

 

By the way, did you know that the Church of Christ has a procedure that's kind of like excommunication? I've long since lost the letter they sent me. It said, in essence, "We can't see you or socialize with you or accept you unless you repent, so please stay away from us until you do." That might sound like a pretty good offer, but some of those people I never saw again were my friends, or at least I thought they were.

 

I've been out to a greater or lesser extent the whole time. I don't put atheism in anyone's face but if you ask me what I believe I'm gonna tell you that I'm an atheist. And if you ask me why I'll tell you -- if you can take it. Because at some point I'm gonna tell you that I think it was a bunch stuff somebody made up. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, you name it. And if you suggest it's just a phase I'll show you my tattoo.

 

I do draw the line on atheist bumper stickers, though. My car can't fight back and I don't want it vandalized. There are some unchristlike christians around here. I mean, unless Jesus was kind of a thug.

 

I like to communicate with like minded people, and with open minded people of any belief. I have no desire to deconvert anyone. But because I well remember how difficult and frightening deconversion is, and how difficult those coming out conversations with family and friends can be, I want to offer what little I've learned in thirty years to those now going through it. I want people to know that it feels great on the other side of that stuff. I'm free, I'm out, and it's OK!

Tags: deconversion, free, out, tattoo

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Hi and welcome.

I just joined up myself, still almost a bit freaked out about these stories from people who can't really be accepted because of non-belief. Where I'm from non-belief is the norm, religious people are the ones viewed as a bit strange.
Many T|A members are from the United States.  There are many regions, the midwest in particular, that are very religious.  You would be the town pariah for expressing disbelief in a god and in countless small towns, the entire town's social structure can revolve around church activities. 
Yeah, I've sort of always known or been told that's the case, but it's still almost a bit creepy with all these first hand accounts to confirm it. At least it's the united states - I mean it could be worse, still parts of the world where people would literally have to fear for their lives with good reason if they were to express their non-belief.
This is true.  The religiousity in the U.S. rarely rises to the homicidal level, relatively speaking (thank God!).  And I agree that it IS creepy.  But, when you grow up with these creepy rituals and beliefs, it becomes the norm, sadly.
Welcome to TA Lee, wow 30 years I bet you have a virtual plethora of experience. I look forward to your future posts. I will be glad when I reach a point where I can be more public about it.
Hello and Welcome to T/A. It's great that you joined and I look forward to your future posts.

Hi Lee and Welcome - I got my 30 years as an Atheist on my CV too. Sometimes I laugh at myself for still being so militant towards religion. Then I just look around me. It's seems to be getting more fundamental each year. My aim is to stop it from being taught in schools as "truth". Eventually that will filter into less of it in politics. Easy peazy!!

I agree  re the bumper stickers. Some of them can use crime to do their gods work.

Welcome, Lee - I would offer you a glass of Kool Aid but...
Beer will be fine. :)
Welcome! :)

Hello and Welcome.

 

Thanks for sharing a bit about your experience, I look forward to reading more of your posts.

At least you, Lee, were free to leave the insanity of religion behind.  But what about the unfortunate ministers and priests who underwent the same enlightenment as you (and there are MANY of them) but must continue to pretend their religiosity because it is their only means of making a living?  To paraphrase the standard teacher put-down: "Those who can think, those who can't preach."

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