I'm so SO grateful to everyone who welcomed me & posted their own thoughts. I thought I might respond with another blog post because of something Sagacious Hawk mentioned in the comments:

The first time I checked out an atheist book, God is Not Great by the late and great Hitchens, from the library I went to the self check-out, held it cover side down walking out the door so no one would see it, and casually hid it in my car during the ride home. And this was about 3 months after I decided I was an atheist.

I had a similar experience last week, although I decided to start with The God Delusion. Only the self checkout was, to my horror, not working. The librarian actually tsked & sighed (audibly) at me when I went to check it out. I mean, who even tsks anymore?!

I took The God Delusion home & operated under the delusion that if I put a couple magazines over it, the shiny silver cover would somehow magically disappear. Obviously, I am the smartest person in the world.

This lasted a day. Then my husband saw The Book (I am firmly in the Dawkins fan club, btw) & said, "So what, you're going full-blown atheist now?"

He's told me in the past that he's had nightmares in which I told him I'd stopped believing in God. Nightmares.

So, you know, no pressure or anything. I'm probably going to have to deal with this at some point.

But I can't get that phrase "going full-blown atheist" out of my mind. It carries a mildly sinister connotation to it that, in my heart of hearts, I actually identify with. (Probably because I'm a noob and still angry with religion and religious people.)

Like someone who contracts a disease that takes its victim in stages, I feel skepticism blossoming throughout my mind, demanding to be felt and recognized with an ever-increasing urgency. But unlike a disease, this is most definitely not a bad thing. I'm feeling something vastly more profound than any conversion or Holy Spirit baptism I felt in the past.

I'm reminded of a worship song that I used to sing (and thought that if I sang it loud enough, maybe raised my hands, it would actually feel true) that goes, "I am free to run/I am free to dance/I am free to live for you/I am free". 

I know I'm going to face many challenges as I figure out my life apart from faith. I know that I'm going to have to gently break it to my husband that he's no longer married to a zealot. But for right now, I'm singing that song again. And this time I'm singing it to myself and for myself.

And it's kind of amazing.

Views: 648

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on July 3, 2013 at 2:21pm

Well done Kamela on your new found FREEDOM. You have freed yourself from a lifetime of serfdom and as time passes you will see more clearly how subtle but powerful a delusion faith actually is. If all believers would just suspend their faith long enough to genuinely consider its “Truth” we would all be better off. The fear that doubt instils can be very scary and confusing. You have conquered that and that takes honesty and bravery. Your world is about to become more beautiful. 

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on July 3, 2013 at 2:23pm

Glad you found Hitchens......

Comment by Emperor Milos on July 3, 2013 at 2:24pm

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on July 3, 2013 at 3:19pm

But I can't get that phrase "going full-blown atheist" out of my mind.

Richard Dawkins considers himself to be a 6.9 on his own scale of theistic probability. He is short of a "full blown" atheist, which is a 7. I doubt you'll find many scientists going beyond 99.9% certainty on most things: that's the wiggle room to change your mind should new evidence come to light.

So, no. To get to "full blown", you'd have to move to the opposite end of the Dawkins' scale. That's for those who are a 1, who number in the billions. Your husband is one of them, I presume.

Comment by Sagacious Hawk on July 3, 2013 at 3:45pm

Is it terrible that when you said "full blown atheist" the first thing I thought of was an inflated condom? o.O

Comment by Ward Cressin on July 3, 2013 at 4:10pm

^^^ lol

As for your husband, Kamela, if he makes any sort of snarky/negative comment again ask him if he objects to you having ethics rather than wishy-washy morals. Ask him if he objects to you being more considerate of people's beliefs than believers are of others - even when we are being critical of those beliefs. (After all we aren't the ones advocating killing others over their belief or lack thereof.) I could add more but lunch is ready. Take care - don't take any shit.

 

Comment by matt.clerke on July 3, 2013 at 6:59pm

I'm feeling something vastly more profound than any conversion or Holy Spirit baptism I felt in the past.

Welcome to reality.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on July 3, 2013 at 7:08pm

There a many special interest groups on this site and I suspect you might like to join this one first......here :-)

Comment by SteveInCO on July 3, 2013 at 9:13pm

As women we have to make a decision that we are OK to be ourselves, for ourselves, and to put aside the opinions and wishes others want to inflict upon us.

It's not just women who have to make this decision (though in many cultures women are explicity expected to be subservient, and in many others lip service is paid to independence but it's still an implicit expectation).  Most people conform for the sake of conforming.  A few rebel for the sake of rebelling; they automatically oppose the norm not because the norm is wrong but because it is the norm.  A very few pick and choose what makes sense to them.

Comment by Kevin Napolillo on July 3, 2013 at 9:48pm

held it cover side down walking out the door so no one would see it, and casually hid it in my car during the ride home

Living in the Bible Belt, I'd hide specific books in my car in fear it would get vandalized. But if I'm reading in public, I awkwardly and uncomfortably hold it straight up so the cover is easily viewable. And every so often I'll glance up and make eye contact longer than I should with the person sitting opposite of me, nose deep in whatever theist literature they have. It's a great ice breaker.

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