And as with any break with a deeply held belief, admitting to one's self that, "It is all over," can be a life shattering event, full of guilt. It is natural for some to attempt to maintain the status quo, put it off.
It is easy to sit back and judge. However, these people are leaving the only life they have known for years. It is not done easily or lightly. If keeping a job that provides food, clothing, and shelter for me and my family requires faking it for a time, then so be it. Heck, it is not like the flock is living in the light of truth as it is.
I agree. Also, is there really a clear point in time when faith must be considered lost? Or rather, would there not be a fuzzy area in which nothing is clear enough to make life-changing decisions?
That first moment I realized I was an atheist was a bit scary. Actually, my first thought was, "Oh my god, I'm going to hell!" Then I laughed very hard at myself and went to get the laundry out of the dryer. After that, I had no guilt, just some scars and issues to deal with. That took a few more years and is another story entirely.