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Community => Life As An Atheist => Topic started by: Asherah on April 06, 2012, 09:10:15 PM

Title: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 06, 2012, 09:10:15 PM
So, my departure from Christianity is very recent. I just stopped tithing this month and I've not gone to church for the last three weeks. So, my mom asked what service I was going to for Easter and I just had to tell her that I'm not going. And, she asked why, and I told her that I didn't believe in any of it. She asked why and I told her a bit about my reasons. I feel really shitty. I just hate being the one who's fallen off the wagon. I'd rather be normal and believe like everyone else. I'm just really really sad and on the verge of tears. I hate how things have turned out for me. I wish I was a Christian. I wish I could believe. Just posting this hoping for some encouragement.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Tank on April 06, 2012, 09:19:45 PM
So, my departure from Christianity is very recent. I just stopped tithing this month and I've not gone to church for the last three weeks. So, my mom asked what service I was going to for Easter and I just had to tell her that I'm not going. And, she asked why, and I told her that I didn't believe in any of it. She asked why and I told her a bit about my reasons. I feel really shitty. I just hate being the one who's fallen off the wagon. I'd rather be normal and believe like everyone else. I'm just really really sad and on the verge of tears. I hate how things have turned out for me. I wish I was a Christian. I wish I could believe. Just posting this hoping for some encouragement.

Thanks.
Mixed feeling for you after reading this. On the one hand I'm delighted that you have found your way out from under the comfort blanket, but that has left you feeling so bereft. All I can say is that having never been a believer; welcome to my world, although you have obviously had a difficult journey getting here. 

((hugs))
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 06, 2012, 09:46:01 PM
Thanks, Tank  :)
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Ali on April 06, 2012, 10:01:22 PM
I'm sorry you're feeling so down. I think it's perfectly fine to mourn for something that you used to have that brought you comfort and companionship.  I do want to tell you though that being a non-believer doesn't come with any rules except those that you set for yourself.  So for example, I am doing Passover tonight and tomorrow night with my ILs, even though I am an atheist (and so is my husband) because it's family time, and it's important to them, and it's part of the cultural traditions that hubby grew up with.  Then I'll be having Easter dinner with my parents on Sunday and watching T open his Easter basket and find eggs.  I'm not going to church with them, but only because I don't want to.  I can still do the fun things that I enjoy with my family.  So can you, if you want.  If you want to go to church with your family, go.  Who does it hurt?  If you don't want to go, don't, maybe have dinner with them instead.  The point is, you get to choose what you give up and what you don't.  Whatever you choose is fine.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: DeterminedJuliet on April 06, 2012, 10:02:13 PM
I've been there. It can be unsettling, but give yourself some time. And you certainly shouldn't feel badly. You don't "owe" your beliefs to anyone and you're only being honest - there's nothing to feel bad about. It's normal to feel a bit lost/guilty about leaving the church, but I' sure, in time, you'll feel liberated.  :)
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: AnimatedDirt on April 06, 2012, 10:10:16 PM
I'm sorry you're feeling so down. I think it's perfectly fine to mourn for something that you used to have that brought you comfort and companionship.  I do want to tell you though that being a non-believer doesn't come with any rules except those that you set for yourself.  So for example, I am doing Passover tonight and tomorrow night with my ILs, even though I am an atheist (and so is my husband) because it's family time, and it's important to them, and it's part of the cultural traditions that hubby grew up with.  Then I'll be having Easter dinner with my parents on Sunday and watching T open his Easter basket and find eggs.  I'm not going to church with them, but only because I don't want to.  I can still do the fun things that I enjoy with my family.  So can you, if you want.  If you want to go to church with your family, go.  Who does it hurt?  If you don't want to go, don't, maybe have dinner with them instead.  The point is, you get to choose what you give up and what you don't.  Whatever you choose is fine.

Good advice.

I'd say that while you are still in the early "stage" of disbelief, don't purposely avoid family time simply because that time might involve church or the like.  You can disbelieve while you still grieve that you've fallen off the wagon.  You'll soon be more confident in your stand, and more comfortable with your place within the family as time goes on.  Hopefully my words are understood.   
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Traveler on April 06, 2012, 10:33:03 PM
(((Asherah)))
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: xSilverPhinx on April 06, 2012, 11:52:57 PM
Give yourself some time, you've just left Christianity, but it will get better, whatever you choose to do. :) I've never been a Christian, so I can't really say I know what you're going through, but I know a few people who have decribed the grief they felt to be more or less what you're feeling now.

I guess I speak for everybody here when I say that we're all very supportive of you. Keep us posted :)
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Amicale on April 07, 2012, 02:45:29 AM
*hugs Asherah*

I understand, I've been there before. It's hard to believe for so long, and then to become a nonbeliever. It's even harder when your family and friends don't know yet. In many ways, you're mourning the loss... not just of your beliefs, but a 'relationship', in a sense. You believed you had a relationship with God. I assume you believed he was your 'heavenly father', or perhaps at least a friend. In a way, it's like going through a breakup or a death. It's really rough on you, and I totally get that. Just know that it does take time, and it will get better over time.

Also, don't feel like you have to do everything at once. Like Ali said, what you do is up to you. Celebrate holidays the best way you know how to, or would like to. I'm proud of you, though. If you really felt like you needed to tell your mom what was on your mind and your heart... I know it wasn't easy to do so, but you did it anyways. That's tough, but getting something off your chest may make you feel better, in the long run.

Finally, you know your family and friends and who might be supportive among those people, so try and seek them out... but we're here, too. :) You're not alone. *hugs again*

P.S. - please check for a PM from me.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 07, 2012, 03:23:36 AM
Thanks so much for all the replies. Knowing that I can choose what I want to do and not do does take some pressure off. I decided to go to church on Sunday after all. But, not because I believe in it, obviously, but because my husband would like to go. Also, there's some kind of comfort that I get from going back. But, that'll be the last visit until....Christmas maybe....ha! I'm looking forward to this grief wearing off. After each bout of sadness I go through, I feel a little stronger on the other side. I'm glad that you all care to hear what's going on with me. I will keep you all updated. Thanks again.  :)
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: history_geek on April 07, 2012, 04:10:22 AM
Like xSilverPhinx, I've never been a believer either, and I agree with her. Hiljaa hyvä tulee/Slow is good (or "the best (outcome) is achieved slowly", which might be a more accurate translation), as they say.

Also, considering your last post, I think another important thing is that you do things as you feel comfortable. I think AnimatedDirt also put things quite nicely.

Kyllä se siitä lähtee (the general meaning of this saying is to encourage someone who has started something, and that things will now move along).

Also, I might not post/speak a lot, but if need be I can be one hell of a listener ;D
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Too Few Lions on April 07, 2012, 10:22:29 AM
what great advice from everybody, hope you're feeling ok Asherah. Like everyone's already said, take your time over it and go at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Hopefully you'll come to realise that life can be just as good for you as a non-Christian, and possibly even better.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asmodean on April 07, 2012, 11:51:24 AM
All I can say is that having never been a believer; welcome to my world
It is and it is not though. I think there is often some difference between the ex-theist's and the never-theist's world. For one, we can not miss that which we never had.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Tank on April 07, 2012, 11:56:21 AM
All I can say is that having never been a believer; welcome to my world
It is and it is not though. I think there is often some difference between the ex-theist's and the never-theist's world. For one, we can not miss that which we never had.
Oh I agree. An ex-theist and a never-theist must have very different perceptions of the atheist world. For the former it is often a big change in outlook and un-learning process while for the never-theist it's more like 'What you worried about? This is always the way it's been.'

EDIT: I like the term never-theist I can see myself using that a lot.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: OldGit on April 07, 2012, 12:20:48 PM
Yup, you finally reach the moment when you have to come out of the closet.  It's not easy, it feels insecure and scary and exposed.  But you're doing the right thing and the dust will settle down soon enough.

We're here for you.  All the best, Asherah.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Sweetdeath on April 07, 2012, 01:16:04 PM
I love the term never-theist as well. :D

Never been a believer either, except having to sit down and listen to my dad rant about how great Jesus is, I can't feel as you feel .

Well, none of us can, because we aren't you. We aren't Ray from the Dc universe, shrinking ourselves down to explore your brain through the ear canal. :)

I suppose my thoughts are basically to take things slow. If you try to yank away, you might have a bad time. Maybe compare this to an ex-addict of gambling or smoking. You may associate church with fond memories. But know there is so much more to life than routinely going to a stale building with a bunch of judgy people whom tell you how to think.

I don't know. Like I said, I can't understand your feelings exactly, but if you're serious. HAF has a pretty good support system.

Also, I feel like Asmo will get you cold turkey. I think he's the most hard core never theist of us all. :D
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asmodean on April 07, 2012, 01:23:27 PM
EDIT: I like the term never-theist I can see myself using that a lot.
Yes, sort of proud of it meself  :D
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Amicale on April 07, 2012, 01:42:01 PM
EDIT: I like the term never-theist I can see myself using that a lot.
Yes, sort of proud of it meself  :D

:) I like the term for you guys. Seems to fit well!

Ex-theist is fine for me.

The Living After Faith podcast, as well as The Thinking Atheist podcast have both helped me more than I can tell you, as the guys who run each respective show were hardcore Christians and walked away from it. Hearing their experiences, and the experiences of their callers, has been a huge help to me. Just wanted to toss these out there. I won't link to their sites here on HAF, as they're other online communities, but listening to these two shows over the last year or two has helped a lot heal, really. First and foremost, the "you're not alone" feeling hit me hard. :)
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Stevil on April 07, 2012, 08:24:30 PM
I just hate being the one who's fallen off the wagon.
Off the wagon of make believe?
Surely you are too old to play make believe.

I'd rather be normal
Hang on, atheist's aren't normal?
There are at least a couple of normal atheists on this forum.
In my country at least 1/3 of people are atheists that's well over 1 million, there are bound to be a few normal ones.


PS. Just because you don't believe in the Christian god nor Jesus it doesn't mean the Easter Bunny can't drop off some yummy chocolate Easter eggs.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Tank on April 07, 2012, 08:37:13 PM
I just hate being the one who's fallen off the wagon.
Off the wagon of make believe?
Surely you are too old to play make believe.
Nobody is too old to play make believe!
You just change the story line  ;D

Tank - You receive a warning for a blatant derail! - Tank

Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Amicale on April 07, 2012, 09:07:47 PM
I just hate being the one who's fallen off the wagon.
Off the wagon of make believe?
Surely you are too old to play make believe.
Nobody is too old to play make believe!
You just change the story line  ;D

Tank - You receive a warning for a blatant derail! - Tank

 :D He's so good he warns himself!

Anyhow, Asherah, I hope that this weekend goes as well for you as possible. I'll be thinking of you! *hugs*

Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 07, 2012, 09:50:27 PM
I'd rather be normal
Hang on, atheist's aren't normal?
There are at least a couple of normal atheists on this forum.
In my country at least 1/3 of people are atheists that's well over 1 million, there are bound to be a few normal ones.

Well....when I said "normal" I meant in my world. Most of the people around me are Chrisitian. I was using normal to describe what most people do or believe around me.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Stevil on April 07, 2012, 10:03:40 PM
Well....when I said "normal" I meant in my world. Most of the people around me are Chrisitian. I was using normal to describe what most people do or believe around me.
Just because you live in a cultish society, it doesn't mean that cultish behaviour is normal.

What's normal anyways?
"normal" is boring, dare to be different.
You are a unique and special individual like the rest of us, just be yourself.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: xSilverPhinx on April 07, 2012, 11:47:54 PM
IMo the desire for community is completely normal. Perceptions may change however.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Sweetdeath on April 08, 2012, 12:40:55 AM
I'd rather be normal
Hang on, atheist's aren't normal?
There are at least a couple of normal atheists on this forum.
In my country at least 1/3 of people are atheists that's well over 1 million, there are bound to be a few normal ones.

Well....when I said "normal" I meant in my world. Most of the people around me are Chrisitian. I was using normal to describe what most people do or believe around me.


Pity them because they're  brain washed. :(
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Whitney on April 08, 2012, 01:30:10 AM
I think leaving religions puts many people in the grief stages where they must come to terms with a loss.  Hopefully your family is being supportive by not giving you a hard time about it.  If you need someone to talk to in person see if there is a Recovering from Religion group near you; they don't push people attending towards any certain path it's just a place where it's safe to be honest about how you feel about religion. http://recoveringfromreligion.org/

Personally I can just wish you the best because my situation was different so I have no real advice.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 08, 2012, 02:25:35 AM
Well....when I said "normal" I meant in my world. Most of the people around me are Chrisitian. I was using normal to describe what most people do or believe around me.
Just because you live in a cultish society, it doesn't mean that cultish behaviour is normal.

What's normal anyways?
"normal" is boring, dare to be different.
You are a unique and special individual like the rest of us, just be yourself.

I will be different! Today I feel a lot better about me! I'm not down in the dumps anymore. I feel more settled with who I am. And, I just try to think about how I would want my kids to live and I would want them to be authentic. I wouldn't want them to live a certain way because that's what's expected of them. I would want them to live by their convictions. So, I'm going to do that.

The only really really scarey thing is how to tell my kids what I think. They still believe in Jesus. My daughter reminds us to pray at dinner and she's only three. I feel really sad for them. But, also, glad that they will have a chance to live a secular life and have a mom (and dad) who will support them in whichever way they may choose to go.

So, going to church tomorrow. I have to say that being there is somewhat of a comfort, but it also gets under my skin. All the delusional people worshiping Jesus. That's sounds so mean to say, but that's what I see. And, I do feel sad for them. And, I feel angry that this myth has been around for so long and at that people just swallow it without much thought about the truth of the claims made by the religion.

My family is having lunch tomorrow afternoon and I found out that a friend, whom I invited, asked to bring one of her friends. And......she's an atheist! Not that we'll talk about it or anything, but it's nice to know I'm really not going to be the only unbeliever there!
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 08, 2012, 02:27:48 AM
Anyhow, Asherah, I hope that this weekend goes as well for you as possible. I'll be thinking of you! *hugs*



Thanks!
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 08, 2012, 02:30:49 AM
Yup, you finally reach the moment when you have to come out of the closet.  It's not easy, it feels insecure and scary and exposed.  But you're doing the right thing and the dust will settle down soon enough.

We're here for you.  All the best, Asherah.

Thanks OldGit. It's comforting to know that things will settle down. My mom wants to talk more with me about why I don't believe. So, that'll be an interesting conversation. She's pretty smart and interesting to talk to. She used to be really convincing when she would talk about why she believes. But, not anymore. Still, it'll be a good conversation when it happens.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Firebird on April 08, 2012, 02:31:27 AM
I'm glad to hear that this little community has given you some of the support you need. It was easy for me to become an atheist, considering that most of my family consists of non-believers. It is a much more difficult thing to proclaim your beliefs in your situation. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you, but I have so much respect and admiration for people such as yourself who stand up for your beliefs, as difficult as it may be in that environment. Just remember that you are not alone.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 08, 2012, 02:35:20 AM
I think leaving religions puts many people in the grief stages where they must come to terms with a loss.  Hopefully your family is being supportive by not giving you a hard time about it.  If you need someone to talk to in person see if there is a Recovering from Religion group near you; they don't push people attending towards any certain path it's just a place where it's safe to be honest about how you feel about religion. http://recoveringfromreligion.org/

Personally I can just wish you the best because my situation was different so I have no real advice.

Cool, Whitney. Thanks for the link. My family isn't going to be supportive of it, but they aren't going to be nasty or anything. They'll probably want to take my kids to church and evangelize them. And, they'll want to have an ongoing conversation with me about my reasons for unbelief. And, they'll probably give a book here and there to read or talk about some experience they've had. They'll continue to try to bring me back in a gentle kind way. They are really great parents and I love them dearly. And, the rest of my family will be disappointed as well, and some will want to talk. But, i don't have any mean people to deal with. So, I'm pretty lucky. However, I do have very strong Christians to be around and that'll be hard until I can become more confident in who I am.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 08, 2012, 02:37:58 AM
I'm glad to hear that this little community has given you some of the support you need. It was easy for me to become an atheist, considering that most of my family consists of non-believers. It is a much more difficult thing to proclaim your beliefs in your situation. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you, but I have so much respect and admiration for people such as yourself who stand up for your beliefs, as difficult as it may be in that environment. Just remember that you are not alone.

Thanks for the kind words, Firebird. I can't imagine a situation like yours either. Actually growing up without religion........that would be pretty cool.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Firebird on April 08, 2012, 03:04:48 AM
I'm glad to hear that this little community has given you some of the support you need. It was easy for me to become an atheist, considering that most of my family consists of non-believers. It is a much more difficult thing to proclaim your beliefs in your situation. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you, but I have so much respect and admiration for people such as yourself who stand up for your beliefs, as difficult as it may be in that environment. Just remember that you are not alone.

Thanks for the kind words, Firebird. I can't imagine a situation like yours either. Actually growing up without religion........that would be pretty cool.

Well, funny story; i did grow up with it. I was raised reform Jewish and got bar mizvah'd and all that. But I began to sense when I was around 10 or 11 that I didn't actually believe all that god stuff, because who really could? Turned out my father definitely didn't believe and my mom mostly didn't either, nor my grandmother. Yet for some reason, we were going to temple anyway. Culturally jewish, I guess. My father had even converted because he felt more comfortable being jewish. It made sense in our little world. By the time I got to college, though, I was't even very culturally jewish anymore.

I only recently realized how weird it really is. My wife is a secular atheist too (technically Muslim but never in practice), and she just couldn't understand how you could not believe and still consider going to temple and participating in a seder as important. And I realized I really couldn't either. Yet I still think of myself as jewish in some way. It's embedded in my identity in some way, to a point.

The only time this caused conflict was recently, when my mother insisted we should do a seder, even though we hadn't done a real one in years. For some reason, she thought it important to share this tradition with my wife, who was secretly very uncomfortable with the idea. Fortunately my father and brother convinced her it wasn't worth the hassle. My mother has a weird relationship with religion. But that's a story for another time.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Sweetdeath on April 08, 2012, 03:07:03 AM
If your kids are young, it will be easier to.break  them out of the brain washing dellusion state.

Remember, you are their parent, and no one should be dragging them to church. Let them.be children for pete's sake!! :(
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: xSilverPhinx on April 08, 2012, 03:22:59 AM
Glad to hear that things are a bit better for you today :)

Out of curiousity, how long have you been a true believer, comfortable until you started to seriously question your belief?
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Recusant on April 08, 2012, 04:30:09 AM
I hope you have/had a fine time in church, and a good Easter.  ;)  As somebody who attended church as an atheist for years and years when I was much younger (and still does, when the occasion arises) I'd say that you made the right choice. There's nothing at all wrong with being with your family in the place that they want to be, and want you to be with them. Personally, besides reciting the creed, the only thing that I can't bring myself to do is accept the eucharist. I feel that doing so would be disrespectful of myself and of the sacrament. That may be the case for you, too: If you're used to the dance, then stepping gracefully to one side when the time comes can be done without fuss. (Let the pew file out, then kneel or sit in your spot till they return; stepping out to let them file back in and taking your place again.)

Don't let them (lovingly) bully you into talking about your falling away from belief unless you're feeling up to it, though. Sure, they love you and want to bring you back to Jesus, but if they're as nice as you say, then they should be willing to respect your wishes when (and if) you say, "I'm not ready to talk with you about this. Please give me some time to come to terms."
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 09, 2012, 04:18:01 AM
I'm glad to hear that this little community has given you some of the support you need. It was easy for me to become an atheist, considering that most of my family consists of non-believers. It is a much more difficult thing to proclaim your beliefs in your situation. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you, but I have so much respect and admiration for people such as yourself who stand up for your beliefs, as difficult as it may be in that environment. Just remember that you are not alone.

Thanks for the kind words, Firebird. I can't imagine a situation like yours either. Actually growing up without religion........that would be pretty cool.

Well, funny story; i did grow up with it. I was raised reform Jewish and got bar mizvah'd and all that. But I began to sense when I was around 10 or 11 that I didn't actually believe all that god stuff, because who really could? Turned out my father definitely didn't believe and my mom mostly didn't either, nor my grandmother. Yet for some reason, we were going to temple anyway. Culturally jewish, I guess. My father had even converted because he felt more comfortable being jewish. It made sense in our little world. By the time I got to college, though, I was't even very culturally jewish anymore.

I only recently realized how weird it really is. My wife is a secular atheist too (technically Muslim but never in practice), and she just couldn't understand how you could not believe and still consider going to temple and participating in a seder as important. And I realized I really couldn't either. Yet I still think of myself as jewish in some way. It's embedded in my identity in some way, to a point.

The only time this caused conflict was recently, when my mother insisted we should do a seder, even though we hadn't done a real one in years. For some reason, she thought it important to share this tradition with my wife, who was secretly very uncomfortable with the idea. Fortunately my father and brother convinced her it wasn't worth the hassle. My mother has a weird relationship with religion. But that's a story for another time.

Ah, okay. Interesting story you have. Your disbelief started so young, good for you! I think it is really cool when a kid can see through the myths. Sounds like you haven't had to deal with any religious zealots, so that makes things easier for living out your convictions.

I just had a friend invite me to a Passover seder Saturday night. I had never even  heard of the word until last week! I told her I didn't want to come, though. There was going to be a guy there talking about the parallels between Passover and Jesus and I couldn't bear sitting through it all.

Thanks for sharing your story. :)
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 09, 2012, 04:27:24 AM
If your kids are young, it will be easier to.break  them out of the brain washing dellusion state.

Remember, you are their parent, and no one should be dragging them to church. Let them.be children for pete's sake!! :(

So true!!

Glad to hear that things are a bit better for you today

Out of curiousity, how long have you been a true believer, comfortable until you started to seriously question your belief?

10 years of being a devout Christian before I starting questioning.

I hope you have/had a fine time in church, and a good Easter.  Wink  As somebody who attended church as an atheist for years and years when I was much younger (and still does, when the occasion arises) I'd say that you made the right choice. There's nothing at all wrong with being with your family in the place that they want to be, and want you to be with them. Personally, besides reciting the creed, the only thing that I can't bring myself to do is accept the eucharist. I feel that doing so would be disrespectful of myself and of the sacrament. That may be the case for you, too: If you're used to the dance, then stepping gracefully to one side when the time comes can be done without fuss. (Let the pew file out, then kneel or sit in your spot till they return; stepping out to let them file back in and taking your place again.)

Don't let them (lovingly) bully you into talking about your falling away from belief unless you're feeling up to it, though. Sure, they love you and want to bring you back to Jesus, but if they're as nice as you say, then they should be willing to respect your wishes when (and if) you say, "I'm not ready to talk with you about this. Please give me some time to come to terms."

Thanks for the advice! Today went okay. I didn't stay in the service the whole time, though. I went and sat outside my kids' sunday school room and listened to what they were being taught.

My family was totally cool today. They didn't push any uncomfortable talking. We just had a good ole time :)
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 09, 2012, 04:31:45 AM
Last night I talked with my mom for about an hour and explained my unbelief. It went really well, actually. But, she was really sad for me. Apparently, she called my brother and told him. And, he texted me today and said that he wanted to talk to me. So, I just got off of the phone with him and GUESS WHAT?!!!?!?! He doesn't believe any of the Bible either!! He is more agnostic, though, than atheist. He said he has never told our mom because he didn't want to hurt her. He lives a state away, so it's easier to get away with. So, we had a really long talk about how ridiculous the bible is and we laughed at all the stupid shit in there. So, I guess I'm not alone after all! He said he wants to talk to me more often now that we have even more in common than we thought.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: xSilverPhinx on April 09, 2012, 04:39:41 AM
Last night I talked with my mom for about an hour and explained my unbelief. It went really well, actually. But, she was really sad for me. Apparently, she called my brother and told him. And, he texted me today and said that he wanted to talk to me. So, I just got off of the phone with him and GUESS WHAT?!!!?!?! He doesn't believe any of the Bible either!! He is more agnostic, though, than atheist. He said he has never told our mom because he didn't want to hurt her. He lives a state away, so it's easier to get away with. So, we had a really long talk about how ridiculous the bible is and we laughed at all the stupid shit in there. So, I guess I'm not alone after all! He said he wants to talk to me more often now that we have even more in common than we thought.  ;D ;D ;D

That's awesome ;D An ally :P
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Amicale on April 09, 2012, 04:41:17 AM
Last night I talked with my mom for about an hour and explained my unbelief. It went really well, actually. But, she was really sad for me. Apparently, she called my brother and told him. And, he texted me today and said that he wanted to talk to me. So, I just got off of the phone with him and GUESS WHAT?!!!?!?! He doesn't believe any of the Bible either!! He is more agnostic, though, than atheist. He said he has never told our mom because he didn't want to hurt her. He lives a state away, so it's easier to get away with. So, we had a really long talk about how ridiculous the bible is and we laughed at all the stupid shit in there. So, I guess I'm not alone after all! He said he wants to talk to me more often now that we have even more in common than we thought.  ;D ;D ;D

Very, very cool! :)

I know how great it feels to have an ally in the family!
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Sweetdeath on April 09, 2012, 04:46:57 AM
Last night I talked with my mom for about an hour and explained my unbelief. It went really well, actually. But, she was really sad for me. Apparently, she called my brother and told him. And, he texted me today and said that he wanted to talk to me. So, I just got off of the phone with him and GUESS WHAT?!!!?!?! He doesn't believe any of the Bible either!! He is more agnostic, though, than atheist. He said he has never told our mom because he didn't want to hurt her. He lives a state away, so it's easier to get away with. So, we had a really long talk about how ridiculous the bible is and we laughed at all the stupid shit in there. So, I guess I'm not alone after all! He said he wants to talk to me more often now that we have even more in common than we thought.  ;D ;D ;D

I'm sure your brother is very glad you broke the ice to your mom! Lol :)
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Tank on April 09, 2012, 09:06:32 AM
Last night I talked with my mom for about an hour and explained my unbelief. It went really well, actually. But, she was really sad for me. Apparently, she called my brother and told him. And, he texted me today and said that he wanted to talk to me. So, I just got off of the phone with him and GUESS WHAT?!!!?!?! He doesn't believe any of the Bible either!! He is more agnostic, though, than atheist. He said he has never told our mom because he didn't want to hurt her. He lives a state away, so it's easier to get away with. So, we had a really long talk about how ridiculous the bible is and we laughed at all the stupid shit in there. So, I guess I'm not alone after all! He said he wants to talk to me more often now that we have even more in common than we thought.  ;D ;D ;D

(http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/3057/yipeesh7.gif)

You know I bet there a milions of atheists like this where they're sitting next to other atheists in church all going through the motions because they don't want to be the first one to stand up  :D
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: OldGit on April 09, 2012, 11:07:49 AM
Quote from: Tank
You know I bet there a milions of atheists like this where they're sitting next to other atheists in church all going through the motions because they don't want to be the first one to stand up  :D

That's just what I was thinking.  So, if someone could just get the ball rolling ...
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Firebird on April 09, 2012, 02:31:20 PM
That's awesome Asherah. That should make things much easier for you.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Ali on April 09, 2012, 04:13:15 PM
That's awesome Asherah!  I remember how pleased I was when my brother told me that he doesn't believe in god either.  :)  My brother is kind of like yours though, he goes along with it more so as not to hurt our parents.  I'm still the wicked one.  LOL
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Tank on April 09, 2012, 05:14:35 PM
That's awesome Asherah!  I remember how pleased I was when my brother told me that he doesn't believe in god either.  :)  My brother is kind of like yours though, he goes along with it more so as not to hurt our parents.  I'm still the wicked one.  LOL
No change there then!

(http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/9922/rimshot.gif)
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 10, 2012, 02:46:52 AM
Thanks everyone!! I just had another neat thing happen. My husband just asked me today to send him a list of biblical contradictions. Since there are SO many, he wants 5 from OT and 5 from new. He's willing to consider leaving Christianity if the evidence is strong enough. And, this is where he wants to start. I'm pretty lucky, eh?!!  ;D
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 10, 2012, 02:48:57 AM
That's awesome Asherah!  I remember how pleased I was when my brother told me that he doesn't believe in god either.  :)  My brother is kind of like yours though, he goes along with it more so as not to hurt our parents.  I'm still the wicked one.  LOL

It's good to have someone like minded that's close to my heart.

You are brave to be the wicked unbeliever......bwahahahaha!!!!
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Stevil on April 10, 2012, 03:17:02 AM
Thanks everyone!! I just had another neat thing happen. My husband just asked me today to send him a list of biblical contradictions. Since there are SO many, he wants 5 from OT and 5 from new. He's willing to consider leaving Christianity if the evidence is strong enough. And, this is where he wants to start. I'm pretty lucky, eh?!!  ;D
Hmmm, is your husband really open to atheism?
I think you will find out by seeing if he is asking questions in order to understand or simply to debunk you. I am not sure how a person converts or deconverts.

I haven't read the bible. Only the first few pages (less than 10). No doubt there are many, many contradictions. Are you talking about contradictions with itself or contradictions with scientific knowledge?

No doubt, theists have an answer for it all.

Here are a couple that come to mind
Genesis 1:16
"And God made the lesser light to rule the night"
The moon, as we know is not a source of light. It is a baron piece of rock which reflects the sun's light.

Genesis 1:29
"I give you every seed-bearing plant and every fruit-bearing tree on the face of the earth to be yours for food."
We know that there are many plants which berries will make you sick or dead if consumed as food.

Others will probably provide other examples if you want them to, maybe you already know what you are going to present.

Anyway, good luck. Hopefully, even if he doesn't deconvert, at least he will respect you and your position.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Amicale on April 10, 2012, 03:44:41 AM
Thanks everyone!! I just had another neat thing happen. My husband just asked me today to send him a list of biblical contradictions. Since there are SO many, he wants 5 from OT and 5 from new. He's willing to consider leaving Christianity if the evidence is strong enough. And, this is where he wants to start. I'm pretty lucky, eh?!!  ;D

http://www.bigissueground.com/atheistground/ash-biblecontradictions.shtml is pretty interesting. The guy who put this together did his Masters degree in philosophy, if I recall correctly.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Sweetdeath on April 10, 2012, 06:30:17 AM
Well, hopefully your husband is actually open minded. Only 5 contradfictions? I would give him 20. There are plenty of them x_x....
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Beachdragon on April 10, 2012, 04:28:06 PM
I'm sorry I'm late on commenting on this.  I'm glad you found an ally in your brother!

As for how I feel, well, I was raised a strict Roman Catholic.  My mother's side were somewhat fanatical, but my mom was also very critical of the church (she had a doctorate in history and specialized in European history and religion, so she knew all the historical BS that the church did over the centries.).

Once I got to about my early 20s I decided I didn't need that stuff in my life so much.  Dated a few pagan guys (I didn't seek them out, it usually just worked out that way.)  Once I married and divorced my first husband (who was a little non denominational evangelical if you can imagine that) I decided I needed to really be a strict Agnostic.

My current husband is probably less of a believer than I am!   :D

I never told my folks about any of it.  It's my choice, I didn't need to tell them everything.  Once you are an adult you don't have to justify any of that stuff to your parents.  (And I don't think you really need to make a case for how you feel, even as a kid either.) 

Best of luck with your hubby.  :) 

I should add, I celebrate Easter and Christmas.  I prefer to look at the secular side and lean a little on the pagan perspective.  Both celebrations were originally celebrations of the changing seasons.  I like to look at it that way.  New life in spring and family and gathering with loved ones at Christmas.  And I think that it's ok to go to church once in a while.  I like the rituals and ceremony and the feeling of community.  I've often said, "This would be a lovely community, if it weren't for all the religious stuff."  haha.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 10, 2012, 08:33:35 PM
Thanks everyone!! I just had another neat thing happen. My husband just asked me today to send him a list of biblical contradictions. Since there are SO many, he wants 5 from OT and 5 from new. He's willing to consider leaving Christianity if the evidence is strong enough. And, this is where he wants to start. I'm pretty lucky, eh?!!  ;D
Hmmm, is your husband really open to atheism?
I think you will find out by seeing if he is asking questions in order to understand or simply to debunk you. I am not sure how a person converts or deconverts.

No, he doesn't want to debunk me. He's not that kind of a person. He really wants to see what I've been learning. I don't really care if my husband converts to atheism. I just want him to see the fallacy in believing the Bible is God's word. I want him to have freedom to think what he wants to think without a religion telling him what to think. I want to have fun and open conversations with him that don't involve all of the pain and tears that we've experienced in the past.....pain because of my de-conversion and just all the the changes we are going through. So, I just want him to be open to possibilities. That's enough for me. And, I'm so glad that he's showing promise.

I just wanted to clarify that I am an atheist with regard to the biblical god. But, in general, I'm probably more agnostic. I still have a lot of thinking to do. I'm currently reading Antony Flew's book There is no a God. So, I could possibly be swayed...not sure yet.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Stevil on April 10, 2012, 09:17:26 PM
I'm probably more agnostic.
People almost always get the distinction of atheist and agnostic confussed.
Atheism means lacking belief in god/s.
It doesn't not mean belief that there are no god/s, this stance would be hard atheism.

Most people here are weak atheist, meaning that we don't have a belief one way or another, we consider "no god" to be the default position but realise there is no evidence supporting any god theories, so until some strong evidence comes along we remain in the "no god" position.

I'm currently reading Antony Flew's book There is no a God. So, I could possibly be swayed...not sure yet.
deism?
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 10, 2012, 10:24:17 PM
I'm currently reading Antony Flew's book There is no a God. So, I could possibly be swayed...not sure yet.
deism?

Not sure yet. I'm in the beginning of it. But, in the back of the book he has a section on the Bible by NT Wright. I don't really get that though. From what I understand, he never accepted any religion. But, apparently, he thought Christianity was something to consider. That really baffles me because he's such an intelligent person and was an extremely prominent atheist for a long time before becoming a theist.
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Amicale on April 11, 2012, 12:16:41 AM


I just wanted to clarify that I am an atheist with regard to the biblical god. But, in general, I'm probably more agnostic. I still have a lot of thinking to do. I'm currently reading Antony Flew's book There is no a God. So, I could possibly be swayed...not sure yet.

You know, I think the best thing any of us can do, including me, you, your husband etc, is just to learn as much as we can, and learn to think critically and carefully. Give yourself time to explore and learn. And I know of course you're giving your husband that too, and that's great. But just don't fall into the trap of being really hasty to slot yourself into one position :) There's a lot to learn about, and consider, and talk about. That's one thing I love about HAF. A couple months ago here when I signed up, most people will recall I prettymuch considered myself an agnostic. Now I find myself leaning towards soft atheism -- I don't see any evidence for God, so I don't believe in God. If evidence came up, I'd definitely be open to examining it, though -- it'd be kinda silly not to. But with regards to the God that's described in the Bible, I certainly don't think much of the way that God's portrayed, and I'd never be able to worship that God ever again. If some kind of hands off, cosmic creator is out there (something more like deism) and we one day found some kind of proof for that, I'd be one of the first to say "hmm, OK, interesting, we learned something new" and just continue on with my life exactly as it is now.

That's one thing I like about skepticism in general -- you can be open to possible changes without being emotionally attached to your non-belief, and having to cling fiercely to it, like some cling to religion. Science is open to change. Our position on God is even technically open to change, if enough proof were presented. In the meantime, we can go about our life and try to enjoy it -- It just is what it is. :)
Title: Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
Post by: Asherah on April 11, 2012, 02:50:35 AM
I never told my folks about any of it.  It's my choice, I didn't need to tell them everything.  Once you are an adult you don't have to justify any of that stuff to your parents.  (And I don't think you really need to make a case for how you feel, even as a kid either.) 

I agree. I tell myself I don't need to justify anything to my parents. But, I still feel this intense need to. I want them to see my POV, even though that may never happen. But, it is so much easier to just take it easy and not have the feeling that I need to convince them of anything!!