To be honest there is only one thing I truly miss about my years as a christian and that is the community that existed. There were people there for you no matter what time of day. There was always some event planned that you could attend and some of them could be a lot of fun. I felt like I belonged to a big family and most of my best friends came from my involvement in the church. I now feel like I have been taken from a city of friends and family and shipped off to the desert to live a lonely and mundane existence. Most of my once best friends from my days of Christianity now want little to nothing to do with me. I have no sense of a real social community and have no events to go to. I try to gain some sense of fellowship and community though this site and facebook, but neither can compare to what I had. I just miss it and I often feel lonely and deserted. 

Views: 35

Comment by Yahweh on February 8, 2011 at 8:57pm
You are lying to yourself if you call them friends. just because you change your belief they don't want anything to do with you. What kind of friend is that? I don't know what your definition of friends is, but I don't think true friends would do that to each other. Abandoning you when you quit being in their club.  Besides, now they show their true colors to you.
Comment by Mr Good Without God on February 8, 2011 at 9:11pm
I really don't think that I am lying to myself. These people would have laid down their life for me. Many of them helped me in more ways than one. I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for some of them. The thing you are forgetting is that they are still Christians and believe that their God should come before anything else, even friendship. God tells you to cut out things that are against him... so they have to cut me out.

From a secular point of view that might sound harsh, but to them, it is required of them. I think it is beyond stupid, but I do not for one second question the sincerity of the friendships we shared.

That aside, my post did talk about friendship a bit, but even more so is my lack of feeling any real community as a whole now that I am outside outside of Christianity.
Comment by Andrew Hall on February 8, 2011 at 9:41pm
Nice post. I think many atheists wish they had a local social group for support. I do.
Comment by James on February 8, 2011 at 9:50pm
Personally, I don't miss that aspect one bit. And even if I did wish to replace it with something, one could easily join any one of a myriad of groups, volunteer work or pick up a hobby. Have you looked on meetup.com to see if there are any local Atheist/freethinker groups in your area? I wouldn't sweet it that much and would research other options if you feel a need to fill that 'void'.
Comment by Mr Good Without God on February 8, 2011 at 10:35pm
The thing is, I have no idea how to meet new people and make new friends. I live in a bad area for that I guess. I live hours away from any real city and the only real social activities in my area are religious in nature. I really don't have any friends in the area anymore since becoming an atheist. So I am kind of screwed...
Comment by April on February 9, 2011 at 11:36am
I feel the exact same way.  I never did really belong to a church and participate in their activities, because even in my "christian" youth my family wasn't very religious, and pretty much only went to church on holidays.  However, back then I lived in a big city and had a lot of friends from school, and I didn't identify as atheist so that wasn't a problem.  Everything has changed now though, since I went to college in a small town.  Everyone in this town participates in christian events, and I don't really have any good friends and am always a bit envious seeing the sense of community they seem to have.  Luckily for me, I'm getting a job in a much bigger city in a few months, and already know of many atheist groups in the area that I will be living.  I'm pretty excited.  I guess all you can do is save money and move if you are truly unhappy.  It's taken me a while, but I'm happy to finally be able to go somewhere a little less conservative.
Comment by Cathleen Sessions on February 9, 2011 at 4:29pm

What I miss about being 'religious' is all superficial.  I was very High Church Episcopalian.  I liked the theater of it all.  The smells and bells.  The church music and the pagentry of it all.  It satisfied something in me.  Needless to say, when I stopped believing I gave it all up, because I couldn't sit there or kneel or pray or sing and feel like a hypocrit. 

 

I miss some of the people too, but I have made new friends and created a 'family' of like minded people around me.  No pagentry but good food, coffee and talk.  About football, books, cosmology and practically anything else.

Comment by Mr Good Without God on February 9, 2011 at 7:46pm

James,

Sadly my area really doesn't have anything like book or car clubs, I really only have one real friend from work and he is always busy (and happens to have played a large part in my atheism), and I don't think there are any real environmental or advocacy groups. Like I said, the only real things that go on around here are pretty much church sponsored and if not church, then right wing super conservative sponsored with religious undertones. :-/

Comment by Mr Good Without God on February 9, 2011 at 7:48pm

Cathleen,

I am really glad you have been able to make new friends... for me this has proven to be really difficult. There were a few new people I met who I got along with great until they found out I was an atheist... 

Comment by Mr Good Without God on February 9, 2011 at 7:49pm

Becky & April,

 

Thanks... it is always nice to know that one isn't alone... :)

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