Let me explain a few things, right off the bat:

  • I recently became convinced (again) that my so-called Christian faith was a crumbling edifice just last week at a Bible study, of all things.
  • Even though I've always been too weak to stick with atheism as a worldview in the past, I think, in my own mind, it's the only thing that really makes sense.
  • Because I have a church job, and it's a pretty significant portion of my income, I am unable at this time to "come out of the closet" about my atheism.  But I'm hoping using this blog as a bit of a release will help me build up to a time when I can be more honest.
  • Meanwhile, on the family front, even though she has some problems with church hypocrisy and whatnot, I believe my wife will continue to remain a Christian.  I can't see her ever deserting her faith.  So at the moment, I'm not admitting anything to her on this front, either.  Once again, I hope to build up to it.
  • What we will do about bringing up our daughters, vis a vis atheism and Christianity, I really don't know.  I'm taking baby steps at the moment.

For a long time, I've kept a "secret" journal at, of all things, a Mormon journal site.  On that site, I've been pretty forthright with myself about all my private exploring of religion and lack thereof.  But I think I need to get some of my ideas out in the open, and I think this blog will be an opportunity to do that.  Because I'm still "in the closet," I'm sticking with my pseudonym for the time being.  Obviously, A.T. Heist is not my real name.  But it'll do for now.  I guess, if you want to address me in comments and whatnot, you can call me "A.T."  Or whatever...it's up to you.

One thing I'd like to explore just a bit in this first post, now that I've gotten all of the above out of the way, is the irony that I lost my faith after a Bible study.  Well, maybe it isn't so ironic.  I imagine lots of atheists who used to be religious started off by questioning that ancient book that's supposed to be the Ultimate Authority.  In the past, the several times I've questioned my faith (at least 9 times in the past three years, by my reckoning), it usually comes after reading the Bible, and realizing how absurd the whole thing is.  But like many people, I've spent years sort of partitioning my mind into the stuff I accept on a daily basis as fact, and the stuff that is part of my religion--stuff I'm supposed to talk about as if it's fact, or at least "spiritual truth."  It's only when I'm absolutely honest with myself that I just have to admit, it's all just a bit too ridiculous, isn't it?  (And by "a bit," I mean "completely.)  This loving God who created everything is so vain that he wants people to worship him. And not only that, he wants them to worship him by believing in things that are completely unbelievable.  And even more amazing, if we don't figure out exactly which set of ridiculous things we should believe, the result will be everlasting torment.  Or if you like the slightly more liberal Christian version, everlasting separation from the God we supposedly chose to deny, a separation which will be like torment in comparison to the blissful existence we can expect if we choose to be with him forever.  OMG, as we say in the online biz.  WTF?

Anyway, I'll try to share more of my thoughts in future posts, and perhaps work out some idea of how I may someday be able to "come out of the closet" regarding my atheism.  Thanks for reading.

Views: 211

Tags: atheist, noob

Comment by SteveInCO on September 10, 2013 at 8:19pm
  • Meanwhile, on the family front, even though she has some problems with church hypocrisy and whatnot, I believe my wife will continue to remain a Christian.  I can't see her ever deserting her faith.  So at the moment, I'm not admitting anything to her on this front, either.  Once again, I hope to build up to it.
  • What we will do about bringing up our daughters, vis a vis atheism and Christianity, I really don't know.  I'm taking baby steps at the moment.

I wouldn't worry about the latter, given the former... chances are pretty high that she'll divorce you as soon as she finds out you are one of "them" (meaning "us").  If you live in some bible belt states you will NEVER be awarded custody, because you are one of "them"

Comment by Melvinotis on September 10, 2013 at 9:47pm

You have just dipped your toe into a deep pool of information. As you learn more, you might find yourself going through different emotions; anger at those who use the religious systems for their own gain, fear about the exposure that your children have to crazy, unsupportable ideas, etc. You may want to bang your head against the wall when you run across those who try to perform mental gymnastics to try to fit facts into their pre-supposed views of how things are.

Since you work for the church, now is the time to start building your bridges to other employment. Make connections, plant the seeds that will give you opportunities in the future when the time is right. Working for a company whose values you do not share can be withering.

Looking for new opportunities while you are still employed is far more preferable than the other route. 

Good to have your here, welcome to TA.

Comment by A. T. Heist on September 11, 2013 at 9:27am

@SteveInCO: if I really thought my wife would divorce me, I would happily pretend to be a Christian. Just as I work a part-time retail job that I hate, in order to help provide for my family.  I would suffer with a religion I don't believe, to stay married and be with my kids.  If it came to choosing between coming out as an atheist and keeping my wife and kids, I would choose the latter in a heartbeat.

Comment by H3xx on September 11, 2013 at 12:38pm

Albert Turing Heist Is a pretty awesome name, so from now on, I'll call you Albert. Welcome to TA, and don't worry. The best way to become an atheist is to read the bible. It's the way many of us here became atheists in the first place. You're in good company now.

Comment by Mo Trauen on September 11, 2013 at 12:52pm

A true Christian is bound to become an atheist sooner or later.  Because if you truly value decency and honesty, they will lead you to atheism.

Comment by Tim Tam on September 12, 2013 at 4:35am

Actually the better part of 96% of my school are atheists or irreligious in belief. Now believe it or not my school is a private Anglican school! It was for some time that I actually questioned  why this was the case; what caused such a large proportion of my cohort to be irreligious or Atheist students, especially in a private school system?

Long story short, it came down to demographics, family upbringing and school scripture that saw this over-representation. Ironically, a lot of my friends became profusely anti-theistic like myself because of the preaching of Christianity

Comment by Thomas Blood on September 12, 2013 at 10:08pm

AT

I feel your pain, having hidden my slow slide out of the faith and into atheism from friends and family. I too worked at a church - as the pastor. I am now separated and getting divorced after nearly thirty years of marriage, but not directly do to my change in religious orientation. ( A long story not relevant here.)  Have you heard of the "Clergy Project" ? You can Google it- I don't have the URL. If you are employed in the church, you may qualify as a client. I have not made use of their services (left pastoring a few years ago) but many clergy out there are atheists in the pulpit, and are, for one reason or another,  trapped for the time being. It might be a great resource for you. There is nothing inherently wrong with staying in the closet to protect the relationship you have with your wife and children. There is no good or evil here. Only actions and consequences. Take your time. Think things through and don't let the emotions of the moment propel you into an irrevocable decision you'll regret. None of us out here in the blog-o-sphere have to live with whatever course of action you eventually choose to take.

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