This is my introduction the group. I'm surrounded by conservative Christians here in the bible belt. Perhaps I'm more surrounded than most in this area because we homeschool. It's becoming more and more suffocating. I'm in the closet in so many ways in order to be as acceptable to as many people as I can be. Why?

Two reasons, one for my business, I'm an independent contractor of a certain kind of art. Two for my kids, I want them accepted and not shunned. One of my kids is gay and in the closet as well. This has exaterbated my dissatisfaction with conservative Christians and closet living. I want my child to be able to live a safe and happy life outside the closet.

My parents raised me Seventh Day Adventist. I was very religious and earnest for a long while. I was raised preaching and singing.

In my fifth grade their ongoing interpersonal problems lead them to pretty much leave me entirely on my own. The freedom of seeing the entire world rather than being protected from it was intoxicating. I've never looked back.

I became convinced that most people are sheep. They go to church because their parents took them to church. They never have to think. They never have to make hard decisions. Okay these are broad statements and not 100% true but people here should know what I mean.

The uniqueness of people, rituals and things interest me. Thinking outside the box interests me. I don't call myself an Atheist although I don't believe in God. I'd say I'm more of a free thinker or perhaps an Agnostic. I have found some Atheist sites to be extremly angry and bitter. I don't find those sort of sites to be where I want to spend my energy.

Anyway, if God exists, he, she or it can let me know it. If not, that's fine. The vengeful angry God so many adhere too, doesn't interest me at all. Speaking of anger (you bet I have some), I've been very angry since the early death of my father who believed and trusted in God. So if God should exist I have some serious questions for him, her or it.

Most of the time I'm very happy with the is-ness of things. I don't need an afterlife to be happy. I don't need a mystical explanation for everything. Life is a wonderful, messy and at times, terrible thing. It's all we KNOW we have. I try to enjoy as much of it as I can. Another thing I got from Dad's death is to do things NOW. I won't say I live each day as if it were my last but I try to remember this could be my last and make some decisions based on that.

Personally, I believe that the energy we are must be out there somewhere when we die. I'd like to think my father is out there in some lovely kumbaya cosmic consciousness smiling at, and understanding me. I don't believe that of course. I just wish I did. So that's just a little about me. I'm glad to be here.

Views: 2

Comment by Jin-oh Choi on April 19, 2009 at 3:29am
Thankyou for sharing and welcome to Think Atheist.
Comment by Bleacheddecay on April 19, 2009 at 11:35am
Actually Nelson, I miss wrote. I should have said, I'd like to believe. I'd like to believe that the energy of our former selves joins a cosmic consciousness. I've love to think our former loved ones can be watching use tolerantly and fondly. That would be really great. I don't believe that though.

The pure energy of our animation though, that wouldn't be a mystical thing. That would be more of a scientific thing. We know energy doesn't just poof and go away. We know it can change form. We know it can also lose momentum and dissipate too. So the whole, what happens to the energy that is our being, (rather than the shell casing that are our bodies), is an interesting question I like to think about at times. I think something must happen with it. I'd like to know what.

No I don't believe our consciousness survives us. I just wish I could believe that because it would be very cool. It would be cosmic. It would also lend itself well to a reincarnation belief system. I've never been into that though.
Comment by Bleacheddecay on April 19, 2009 at 11:35am
Thank you Jin-oh Choi!
Comment by Gaytor on April 19, 2009 at 12:05pm
I think of the mid-west and I think that many... many people are in your position. As a consultant I don't wear my beliefs on my sleeve either in public. I'd never deny it, I enjoy discussing it, but to live life like a Dawkins in the business world doesn't work. Much as it wouldn't work for me to do business with someone who wanted to pray before we make a deal. So I understand your reticence to come out, even though it has to be unhealthy for both you and your son.
Don't worry about the hardcore atheists who want to pigeon hole your view of the world. It's a black and white view of the world not unlike religionists. Not unlike religionists it fails as it seeks to answer the unknowable. It's a statement of knowledge while in it's absence. Many have softened what an atheist is to suit their argument that no other non-believers exist. For those that care, they have an agenda to get you in their camp, even if it's simply to bolster their position. Non-belief is not defined by a set of doctrines. Life is not linear or black and white, you are not here for someone else's agenda so you get to believe as you wish. That's is the essence of Freethought.
Welcome
Comment by Bleacheddecay on April 19, 2009 at 12:33pm
Thanks for the welcome!

I'm actually in the closet for this and many other reasons. I'm just not a mainstream person. LOL.

Growing up I found it helpful to figure out what others wanted me to be and to become that. It was a survival thing. It worked well one on one. Around the time of my high school graduation I found myself in a room full of people who all saw me as different things. That's when I began to develop my own me-ness and integrate.

I want both my children to be able to live out lives without fear. I realize that I've constructed an "in" life. It never used to bother me but now with a gay child it really chafes. So for my child's sake I'm ready to be more out so my kids can be.
Comment by l roberson on April 19, 2009 at 2:17pm
I totally understand where you are coming from..bible belt, surrounded by christians, who, in my opinion, spew hate daily. A pastor came in during the election and actually was hoping that people were more racist than they were admitting so Obama wouldn't win.. What? Really? Anyway, I was raised in the church, baptist to be exact. Even taught sunday school and bible school, or, as I like to call it now, Brainwashing School. My brother is gay and left the state in order to be able to be himself and, hopefully, live without being in fear of people knowing who he was. I have 2 close friends of my children and myself that I worry about. They live in a small community, are gay, and I know there are people that would hurt them if they knew. One is more open, but the other is trying to keep his job..the people he works with openly talk negatively about gay people. So..trust me..I GET IT! I'm new here, too, btw.
Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on April 19, 2009 at 3:42pm
I understand where you're comin' from when you say you'd like to believe that our conscience is out there when we die. I struggled with that for a long time after my father killed himself. Here I am listenin' to my family sayin' he's in a better place, knowin' full well what they really believe, just tryin' to ease my mind.

I know it is probably silly of me but even to this day, bein' that I've been an atheist the mass majority of my life, I still go outside at night & look to the stars & talk to him. Hopin' that he's out there listenin'. Sometimes I swear I can feel him, but that is what wishful thinkin' can do to anyone. Especially to the religious types. Faith can really play with your mind. As far as they are concerned, I couldn't possibly feel him since he's in hell. Another reason I know that faith is a crock. If I can feel it & they feel the same way when it comes to their god, it must be bollocks.
Comment by Bleacheddecay on April 19, 2009 at 8:10pm
Nelson,

Yes, we are on the same page. I can wish for things that I don't believe though.
Comment by Bleacheddecay on April 19, 2009 at 8:12pm
Rev. James Thomas Hicks D.D.

Grief can do so many things to us. One of the many things that traditional schools do not teach us, which is essential to living is how to grieve. It's another thing I've made a study of.

Whatever makes you feel peace or closer to the person you miss is a good thing in my book providing of course it's not hurting anyone. I think it's lovely that you can feel so close under the stars.

Why do you use the title Rev? I'm curious.
Comment by Bleacheddecay on April 19, 2009 at 8:18pm
Thanks so much!

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