Coming Out Godless: What's Your Story?

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Coming Out Godless: What's Your Story?

We all come from different backgrounds & have different reasons for identifying ourselves as atheist or agnostic.

Whatever your story is, we'd like to hear it. Please share & encourage others who are considering "coming out"!

Members: 322
Latest Activity: Nov 28

How to tell your Religious Parents you are Atheist

Discussion Forum

Coming out to my catholic parents

Started by Colleen. Last reply by Roberta Upton Cross Oct 29. 19 Replies

Who else is hiding?

Started by Johnny Walker. Last reply by Kel Oct 16. 1 Reply

It was pretty much like this.

Started by Lewal. Last reply by Lewal Feb 26, 2013. 2 Replies

Being an 'out' Atheist at work.

Started by Zombie Atheist. Last reply by Jens Schwaiger Oct 10, 2012. 6 Replies

How committed are you to your atheism?

Started by Anachro1. Last reply by Ken Hughes Mar 1, 2012. 29 Replies

Your god contradicts all I live for.

Started by Sebastian Torren G.. Last reply by Suzanne Olson-Hyde Oct 12, 2011. 2 Replies

Here I Am

Started by Kat Humble. Last reply by Kat Humble Sep 20, 2011. 4 Replies

Another Brit - religion as a dangerous habit.

Started by Helen Pluckrose. Last reply by Steve Sep 4, 2011. 3 Replies

How I Lost My Faith in One Month's Time

Started by Kim. Last reply by Jack Frost May 30, 2011. 28 Replies

I DON'T recommend "coming out" if you're ...

Started by Sadly 'M' iCantSay. Last reply by Patrick Earley Apr 18, 2011. 49 Replies

Where do I go from here?

Started by Kevin Marks. Last reply by LovelyGirl Apr 10, 2011. 3 Replies

i don't think i'll be a christian much longer...

Started by S.S.. Last reply by MikeTheInfidel Mar 27, 2011. 15 Replies

From Bible-literalist Fundie to Outspoken Atheist

Started by MikeTheInfidel. Last reply by MikeTheInfidel Mar 27, 2011. 3 Replies

Sharing my story for the very first time

Started by Ingrid S. Last reply by Ingrid S Mar 27, 2011. 2 Replies

Losing My Religion

Started by Wesafc. Last reply by Wesafc Mar 22, 2011. 2 Replies

Ireland deeply religous?... nope... hi, i'm Atheist.

Started by Gavin Mills. Last reply by Ken Hughes Mar 21, 2011. 4 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by Kel on October 15, 2014 at 8:24pm

I have always been logical, pragmatic, and skeptical. Even as a child, I had doubts. During my latter years of high school and early years in college, I investigated those doubts more closely and gave much thought to why I believed what I did. I realized it had more to do with how I was raised than because I came to my own decision. Even when I believed in god, I was never as devout as everyone around me.

I loved Christmas because I got to spend time with my family more than because of Jesus. I never believed that only people of my religion could go to heaven, I simply thought if you were a good person, that was all that mattered. I discovered early on that prayer did not change things, taking actions changed things. Already, I felt that not all of the religious doctrine was 100% correct.

At a young age, an older sibling told me that homosexuality was a sin. I believed them. But then I had friends that were gay and realized that they weren't bad people and didn't choose to be gay. I disliked how my church seemed to emphasize preparing to be a mother for young teenage women, rather than the importance of receiving an education. Many church members dismissed certain science. At no point, was I completely convinced that my religion was infallible.

At first, I dismissed this as the people in my religion were not perfect, and that ultimately, humans affected the direction of religion. Perhaps, they only interpreted god in ways convenient to them. I began to try and rationalize my belief in god, telling myself things like the earth was more likely a result of a higher power than a mathematical impossibility. Even to myself, my words rang hollow. I was at first afraid to admit I no longer believed in god. Perhaps I was afraid of the uncertainty, or maybe it was because I knew how negatively atheists were received. Perhaps it was a combination of many things.

It continued to educate myself and see the disparity of how I handled questions of god versus anything else. Why should my logical and analytical reasoning stop at god? Why shouldn't I have doubts and question my own beliefs? It occurred to me that the reason people believed in god was a result of how you were raised, cultural acceptance, believing what you want to believe, fear of the unknown, fear of death, the need to find reason/solace, etc. But those things had nothing to do with discovering truth.

I am not even sure when exactly I 'became' atheist. For me, it was a progression of being Christian to being a non-denomination spiritualist, to being an agnostic Christian/humanist, to being an agnostic Atheist. I actually don't feel the need to label myself. I am a person who simply does not believe in the supernatural.

Many of my college friends knew of my agnosticism/atheism. Many were themselves. But I kept it from my family. They knew I wasn't participating in church except the odd weekend here and there when I'd begrudgingly go with my family on visits home. But they knew I was not as active in the church.

I have dropped hints here and there about my secular viewpoints, but questions about my beliefs never arose. Finally, I graduated and moved back home until I could find a job and get on my own two feet. On Sundays, I expressed a disinterest in joining my family at church. I sometimes make comments about my opinions.

My mother finally asked me if I believed in it anymore. I hedged uncomfortably and said I didn't know, even though I am confident in my own position on the matter. Later, she asked if I believed in god. I decided not to lie. She expressed her sadness, and even now, I wonder if I should have just lied to make everyone happy even if pretending made me unhappy. I 'came out' just today. I hope this doesn't negatively affect my relationships with my family members. I'm hoping to hear from others like me who are in this same predicament.

Comment by Iam Sk Kumar on August 6, 2014 at 2:05pm
I was born skeptic in nature. I was never a True believer. I always ask the question 'why' to whatever people say to me.

One day, at the time of 10years, I tried to kill a sparrow in a nest with a stone in the name of 'hunting'. At that time one of my cousin was keep on asking me questions basically consisting of lots of 'whys'. His intention was to imitate me.

One of his question was "why are we created on this earth by the God". I said that there were no gods.

And I stick to that till.

End of the story.
Comment by John Karpf on July 9, 2013 at 7:14am

I was raised in a Baptist family. I was the oldest of 5 and I spent most of my childhood in church. I was President of the Young People's and I spent every Wednesday evening at prayer meeting. The pastor of our church took me under his wing and so I occasionally delivered the Sunday Evening sermon. By the time I was 15 I had read the Bible through 8 times. As I studied for the sermons, the pastor introduced me to books he had gotten in seminary that were the equivalent of a musician's fake-book, but for sermons. Title, context and references all neatly wrapped up. All you had to do was throw in some banter and you had it done. This introduced me to the idea of interpretation. I was amazed that there was more than one way to look at the things I had read and re-read. This spurred some of my own interpretations and the subsequent uncomfortable questions. I started asking everyone whose opinion I regarded highly about my ideas and as my questions got tougher their answers and patience waned. Eventually my lack of understanding was chalked up to my reading scripture with a 'carnal' mind instead of a spiritual mind. That was too much for me. Secretly I went to church and even took communion with a horrible secret. I was sure that it was all a bunch of bullshit. I was reeling inside trying to figure out how to run my life when everything I had been taught up until then about the state of the universe and everyone in it was a lie. How was I to act? What would happen to me when I died? At 16 I was a mess and I confided my atheism to my 13 year old brother.
My family was poor so I had been working full time since I was thirteen. I worked 8 hours on weekdays and ten hours on weekends, 7 days a week.
The morning after I told my brother my secret I was YELLED out of bed. My mother was screaming at me; "John are you an atheist?" I was tired and groggy and I said; "Yes.". My mother was shocked and she said; "Why?" I replied; "I just don't think it's real." She yelled at me to get my ass to work and we would talk about it later. So I worked, went to school and then stopped at home, before my 2nd shift. When I walked into the house my parents were waiting for me and they told me they had decided that they had to remove the rotten apple to save the barrel. I was kicked out of the house at the 16, with nothing but the clothes on my back.
I went to work and a co-worker told me that he had a room for rent. So I rented a room and managed to hitchhike to school and work until I could get a license and car. I had no idea how to set up a household from scratch. I was so afraid of how much my electric bill would be that I read by candle light the first month. My first electric bill was $7.30. What a relief.
I was working 60+ hours a week all through high school so I could afford electricity and pots and pans and clothes and a car. I graduated from high school and eventually graduated from college, got married and had kids and one day my parents decided that they were mistaken and wanted to meet my family. I had forgiven them years earlier for the sake of my own sanity so I let them to see their grandkids. When they were in their 70's they actually apologized for using violence on us as kids (they beat us kids with their fists - no 'rod sparing' in this Christian family) and for kicking me out of the house with nothing. They missed out on knowing my family for years because of their stupid religion. My parents died as believers and they died convinced that they would see their loved one's again. I hope it comforted them. My reward for their unkindness and stupidity was freedom my mind, heart, intellect and spirit for which I have never looked back.

Comment by CJoe on July 30, 2012 at 12:12pm

Honk honk! ;)

Comment by Christian AWOL on July 29, 2012 at 6:56pm

Hello! I am an ex-seminarian, ex-christian, ex-prayer monkey, ex-jesus devotee, and ex-all the rest of it. I was raised by Christian parents in a Christian family and now, thanks in large part to the internet brain, I have escaped. All the truly well meaning religious dogma of my past thirty years on this orb has snapped. I have to say I am both amazed and a little saddened about how easy it seems to have been to let go of all that religious baggage. There was no trauma, no being shaken to my soul, no existential panic, just freedom and relief. I'm sure everyone here knows what I'm talking about. Please honk if you love not knowing and doubt!!

Comment by bob on October 4, 2011 at 2:24am

I am writing about the 12 months I spent in the holyland and would appreciate any feedback.

Many thanks

Bob

http://atheistintheholyland.blogspot.com/

Comment by Danni Tuttle on October 1, 2011 at 5:42pm

The religion I left was Pentecost. My dad was actually the preacher of the church. As a child, I always tried to live as I was told. The life changer came when I was 14. I was sexually assaulted by a man in my parents church. When members of the congregation found out, I was told that it was my fault, that I was going to hell for this. I was a sheltered child-- had not even experienced my first real kiss-- yet I was the one being punished. In that moment, I realized that even if there was a God, if these people were his "disciples", I wanted nothing to do with any of them. 

 

Since that time, I have opened my mind to the fact that there is another way of life. I do not have to be ruled an invisible man in the sky, or by people who blindly follow this invisible man.

I am 22 now, and that sheltered, ignorant little girl is gone. I have learned to think for myself, and I have found an inner strength I would not have found had I continued to follow blindly.

 

Thank you, thinkatheist people for giving me a place to come and feel welcomed for what I believe, rather than shunned for it.

Comment by Joey Hunt on July 26, 2011 at 12:18am

I use to belive that there was god and place for all people after death.

I use to lead my life in what I thought was what "God" want me to do. Then some personal things happen to me then I realize if there was a "God"  what was his point.

Then I lead my life in the way I want it and before I know it, my life became a lot better and I became a better person for it.

Comment by CJoe on April 13, 2011 at 12:21pm
Thanks for sharing, Samuel. You do have an interesting story. It must be frustrating not to be able to reveal who you really are for fear of being turned on!
Comment by Doubting Thomas on April 13, 2011 at 11:45am

My deconversion is a bit epic. I was a Christian before I became an atheist, from the very start. My mum is more of the believer than my dad and that has always been the case, even though she accepts the fact I am an atheist she very well wants me to be the opposite, my father however doesn’t care which of the two I am provided I am not an extreme atheist or Christian. His opinion is the religious world should never take credence over the real world.

            The first time I came to know God doesn’t act out is the idea given to us that give God 10% and you get more, I came to the conclusion as a kid if I do this cycle long enough I would be rich easy! Didn’t take me long after that (about 8 times in a row) to get the idea the system is you give to the church and get nothing back. From then on the money I was given to give to the church went to my pocket. LOL

            Later in my younger brother’s death when I was about 14 came to me as a blow not deserving, I kinda accepted the idea I/we have a body guard called God and it looked he let one slip by him. I asked my mom why he had to die and she answered ‘it was time’ and ‘God wanted to be reunited with him’ but it was far from satisfactory. I found from that moment on death is cruel and God’s part in it was even more cruel like the man with the gun. My world concept based on what I understood was a protector lead me to conclude God as a protector was a poorly held.

            The only reason that came to me as to why I was not experiencing the power of the awesome being was I wasn’t too good of a believer so I believed more and more till I became a fanatic, I was so taken by the whole thing I thought everyone in our church was good and good-looking and would go to heaven with that oneness feeling. It went as far as is the style of the church to marry people who go to the same church as us, I would prefer to interact with people who go to the same church as me. I even wanted to apply to be tutored to be a pastor, the whole thing thankfully sizzled out, I had more pressing problems when hormones came about.

            I had asthma as a child and my dad not as educated on how it works even to date, back then maybe because inhalers were not a commonly heard term (possibly inhalers didn’t exist back then) meant when I got an attack the only remedy was ventolin syrup, it was slow acting medicine and I had to wait for my father to get home then take me to hospital. To me asthma was like my personal Guantanamo bay with mock drowning. I felt as if every breath I took never fully reached my lungs so I had to struggle to send it in and it made me spiteful and when I learnt God was supposed to have assembled my DNA that made me hate him even more.

            My mother once told me once in between an attack when I felt like the world is coming to an end ‘don’t worry, God will heal you’, I vividly remember thinking 'you must be joking! He’s taking his time Eh? and why wait for a fire to start when he can cure me?’ I didn’t buy it one bit. I came to rely on a sure way of making life better and it was not praying but science, the science of medicine. Some time on I was taken to our pastor who so diligently told me he cured my asthma thanks to God, I gave him the benefit of doubt but an attack later on is more than enough proof to show nothing truly happened.

            When I went to high school I was a free thinker and thats when I first learnt about atheism, by then I didn’t pray that often, knew inertly they were quite inefficient as Christians said some faith some decision on god’s part and some work i need to do as ‘god helps those who help themselves’ meant praying was harder than doing it yourself. I went on and of call it agnostic where I wasn’t 100% sure God didn’t exist i kept asking what if I am wrong, I talked more and more if’s and the probability God existed diminished to negligible so and from then on I never prayed again or participate and agree on church stuff.

            I am an atheist to the core, frankly even if I am to consider minutely a God exists I have to consider ALL gods and that shows the irrelevancy in it so I conclude ‘evidence should lead to conclusion’ not ‘conclusion to evidence’ so if God exists his evidence should point to that and if he’s seriously hiding leads to the question how we even know he exists and why hide when people already know? The believers know don’t they? I am not going to entertain a jargon of logic or words as reason to believe more like a reason to debunk.

            However I am a closet atheist, my atheism is very confidential based on these facts:

1.         I live in Kenya and not only is atheism unheard of, it’s also common for Kenyan’s to alienate, beat up and kill people they don’t like as; gays, hookers, suspected witches and thieves.

2.         I am putting my money more on by family members exile based on the fact;

2.1.   I was called ‘Antichrist’ by friends, alienated and the shock factor is very real on a 10 out of 10 thinking I am crazy.

2.2.   I by accident and chain reaction that followed had my family know I am an atheist and the only person who was understanding is my father and we don’t get along. My mother, big brother and big sister all went berserk when they learnt it and to date my big bro has an ego trip to try and make a person not supported by God (me) through his sabotage feel the pain of no God help.

            I have however had some success, I have made plenty see lack of reason in church ways and they might with time morph into atheist. There are 2 success cases of which both agree and have shown to take into consideration logic of atheism however they’re still religious. The most probable however is my two younger brothers who I entail with the stupidity of the church and religion as soon as I digress into it and so far even though originality or opinion is lacking so I’d call them more like brothers of an atheist than atheists they might take into atheism at least however they don’t feel God is that scary dude who kills or a loving guy.

 

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Discussion Forum

Coming out to my catholic parents

Started by Colleen. Last reply by Roberta Upton Cross Oct 29. 19 Replies

Who else is hiding?

Started by Johnny Walker. Last reply by Kel Oct 16. 1 Reply

It was pretty much like this.

Started by Lewal. Last reply by Lewal Feb 26, 2013. 2 Replies

Blog Posts

How did that happen?

Posted by Belle Rose on December 19, 2014 at 4:36am 6 Comments

Pabst Blue Ribbon to the rescue!

Posted by Ed on December 15, 2014 at 9:33pm 0 Comments

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