My story is not one of becoming an atheist or turning away from religion as a recent event. From a very early age, I smelled a rat but was unsure of what exactly was going on. I was sure that my parents, and all the other adults, wouldn’t lie to me. That was nonsense; it had to be. Why would there be this huge conspiracy to confuse one little kid? So I worked arduously over the next several years attempting to convince myself that I had surely made a mistake and there was some reason I was simply not getting it. This is not uncommon; many people face this same quandary as they struggle not to feel different than their friends and family. So even though I became sure of incredulity of theistic claims, I continued to go along with the scheme. Worse than that, as I grew up I found that I had a particular skill for convincing people to see things the way I wanted them to.
This is where my story goes south.
I spent several years easing the doubts of people and bringing them back to the faith. Despite the fact that I felt strongly that it was all BS, I guess it somehow made me feel like less of an outcast. It’s despicable and not the proudest time in my life, but I was scared and confused so I clung to familiarity.
So now, here I sit, firm and open in my beliefs or lack of beliefs and I have the guilt that religious people typically harbor because they have angered their sky god. Where do I go from here?