So, I wrote a blog... ya know, The Fallacy of Faith. I posted it to my myspace. Most of my buddies on that site are family and friends... and they're probably 90% Christian. I thought it was a daring move. I mean, I forget who my friends are. It completely went over my head that my little brother's fiance is on there. Ugh.

They're both "on fire" for God right now; all caught up in this Reformist Church or some-such-shit. Ever heard of Calvinsim? It's a branch of that. Of ALL things... of ALL denominations... why, GOD!!! why Calvinsim??? They believe in predestination, which just casts a shadow of arrogance over them all because they are convinced that THEY, of course, are chosen.

So, she read my blog. And she commented. I shouldn't expect her to just roll over when she reads my argumentatively sound piece, but... I guess I did expect a little flicker to sort of, like... flicker... in her head... anyone's head. Like, "Hmmm... this makes sense... " But of course, that old indoctrination successfully terminates any doubts from forming. And she posts some link to some site that is all like, "Why these contradictions are not ACTUALLY contradictions". Isn't that called rationalization? A contradiction is a contradiction no matter how you f-ing twist it.

I just really wish my intelligent little sis-in-law would be as damn inquisitive as I am. I mean, it all came in time. I didn't even WANT to think about this Christianity stuff as not being real. But now, I just want to plant those seeds of doubt! I just want to plant that nagging question that always sprouts up; no matter what sort of "weed killer" is used against it, it survives. I just want those lame, brush-aside answers to not be good enough.

Well, I don't want to be an outcast. This is hard. This is really hard. I was the good little Christian daughter; they put all their holy hope in me. And now? Well, I'm the black sheep. That's never been me. I mean, I can't lie to myself or them, but... this is tough. I'm a disappointment. All my sincerity is lost on them; all of what makes me who I am is nothing. This rift of religion is already putting a wedge between me and them... and I can't go back. It's done. As Jesus said, dying on the cross, "It is finished." He's dead and so is my faith in him.

What now?

Views: 29

Comment by MikeTheInfidel on March 8, 2009 at 12:17am
Coming out atheist isn't easy. I still haven't done it myself. But I get the feeling that most people you care about didn't notice any change in you at all. You should gently remind them that if they feel differently about you it's not you that changed when they found out - it's their opinion of you.

It is really, really hard, but I think if someone really cares about you they'll keep caring about you no matter what.

It's a weird thing, really; when someone is gay, it's almost inevitable that they'll come out eventually, because they would have to stay single forever otherwise (or pretend to be straight). But when you're an atheist, you don't really have to come out. It takes a lot of guts to do it, so I think that's a good sign that you should be okay.

Coming out atheist is only as important as you make it. If you want to be totally open and honest with people, then do it; otherwise, if you think it'd hurt your relationship, you might not want to do it. But since you let the cat out of the bag... I think you've got your work cut out for you.

Here's hoping that everything goes relatively smoothly for you.

-- Mike
Comment by AtypicalAtheist on March 8, 2009 at 12:21am
I've heard this story a thousand times. Son or daughter is a religious person, becomes an atheist, and then is shunned by the parents. I don't know why this happens, but it doesn't always happen because many parents are very accepting and tolerating. I guess this has to do with how religious the parents (or family or friends) are to begin with. Also location might play a role, in some parts of the country for instance people are more or less religious.

Solution? Take it slow and don't give them a reason to say "A ha! See, I knew atheism messed him/her up! She made such and such mistake and thus atheism is the cause!"

Be perfect.
Comment by Katie on March 8, 2009 at 10:06am
I was sort of secular/agnostic for quite some time, and it took a while to muster up the courage to really confront the hypothesis that god exists. Once I did, by reading a lot (Harris/Dawkins/Hitchens/Dennett), and by researching religions and talking with friends who shared my views, there was no turning back. My family is mostly secular/agnostic, so my atheism didn't shock, scare, or offend anyone. However, a couple of my close friends are Catholic. They are educated, intelligent, open-minded people, and it's hard for me to understand their ability to ignore reason. I don't generally talk about religion with friends because it can get awkward (at best) very quickly. But sometimes people insist on asking questions and having a conversation, and I don't turn away.

The most important point I made to them was that I'm under no obligation to respect their beliefs or their religion. I respect them as people, and I respect their RIGHT to believe whatever they want. But to me, they are simply supporting a hypothesis (god -- the Christian god in particular -- exists). I told them that they take their faith personally, so any attack on the hypothesis they feel is an attack on them. People are used to the idea that religions are something to be respected. I try to show them that myth-belief does not deserve a special status, and that my atheism is not an affront to them personally. People who feel threatened by your atheism, or by your arguments, need to recognize that it's THEIR problem. And they could solve the problem forever by having the courage to examine their own baseless beliefs.

You have a lot of guts. Intellectual honesty can result in loneliness sometimes, but you're being true to yourself, like "that Polonius guy" said (to quote Cher Horowitz).
Comment by davesnothome on March 12, 2009 at 1:20am
Your journey is so ironic to me, we have the resentfulness, condescension, and sympathy of the same people. There is no other way you characterize their opinions and actions than to call it ostracization; both of us have been pushed to the perimeter of the family(s). There is definitely some extremely negative connotations associated with the label "atheist" that have raised the hackles on this side of the family; reason is an evil ugly beast and it's name is Atheist.
Obviously I'm having no more success than you are but logic and truth should win the day, right?
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on March 14, 2009 at 4:41am
Well, at least you have a good excuse! If they believe in pre-destination, then the fact that you are is just another leg on your journey or something you need to experience, right?
Funny thing about Calvinists... no one is responsible for their own actions.
Try telling her that god must be leading you down this path. See what that does to her poor little head.

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