Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Think I'm an Atheist Now

Everything is different.

My questioning and pushing the boundaries has led me completely out of religion altogether.

There's no god, no heaven, no hell. I don't even know anymore if there's a spiritual dimension at all. Is there anything transcendent? Is there a "divine" outside of humans? Is there an "energy" force of love and hate, or good and evil? Does it make sense to pray to "the universe"?

My favorite blogs these days are Friendly Atheist and Godless Girl.

I'm reading a very good book, Why I Am a Buddhist by Stephen T. Asma. It's worthwhile to note that Buddhists are atheists.

My biggest struggle at the moment isn't so much internal. While my evolution continues, I'm feeling fairly peaceful about it. But there's this external tension. It's how my current journey clashes with where my kids are. They're all gung-ho for Jesus, more than ever. And it's very tough to navigate.

I have already figured out that it would be a bit too scary and jarring for them if I was truthful about my own path. It will have to come with time, as they mature and are able to handle the dissonance.

Of course, I don't have any friends who've been where I am and could help me - as far as I know!


  1. As a mom who has gone through something very similar recently, I'd like to share with you how I handled my child's leaving the church.

    She is 8yo, and had been going to church since an infant. She was a huge part of the church. Everyone knew her, and adored her. She was part of the community there.

    When I became an atheist I was so torn over how I should handle her going to church. It tore me up for ages thinking about it.

    One day I sat her down and we discussed the bible, God, and Jesus. I asked her what she thought about talking snakes, and ark that held all the animals of the world, and other such things. She thought about it, and admitted that it did not truly make any sense. Then she asked me what I thought.

    I told her that they were all stories. Stories made up by people long before science. IT was their only way of making sense of the world at the time. Saying a God "did it" was a good explanation at that time. But now we know better, and those things are no more than ancient fairytales.

    We then watched some documentaries for kids about evolution, God, and science. She quite enjoyed it. And spending time together made it all the more wonderful.

    I then told her that she'd no longer be going to church. Of course she was upset because she had friends there, but I stood firm and said no more.

    I refused to allow the church to lie and corrupt her impressionable mind anymore. See, religion makes you stop asking questions. It atrophies the brain. And it takes all the natural beauty and awe out of life.

    I want my child to always ask questions. To look for deeper understandings in life other than just "God did it". That explanation leads to laziness and the loss of a naturally inquisitive mind. Kids yearn to learn things, and the church takes away that natural want to learn.

    I also hate the way that religious people do not see the value of life. Thinking that they will go to heaven one day seems to take all the joy and awe away from this life. And it is really the only one we have. And I want her to enjoy it to the fullest. To appreciate each and every day, and to always find the beauty within this natural world.

    And another huge issue for me was that of morality. See, religious people are the LEAST moral people ever. They don't have to be accountable to anyone here, only to God. And if they repent to him, then all is forgiven. And that is so wrong. I want her to realize that SHE is responsible for her own actions, and accountable for them as well. There is no easy way out! And she cannot pray for someone to ease her conscious. Morality should come from within, not from being TOLD what God accepts and doesn't. Because, as anyone with an ounce of rationality can see, God is not exactly a great role model when it comes to morality.

    The church teaches so much intolerance and hate. I refused to allow her young mind to be polluted with all that horrible stuff. I want her to be free to make her own conclusions about people based on the facts, not on what the church says she should feel about a certain person, or group of people. She will not be led by biggots and blind sheep.

    Now she is a very happy and joyful child. We do so much more together, and we are both traveling down the path of knowledge, science, and reality together. It is amazing! And she appreciates things so much more, as do I. I have to honestly say that atheism brought us closer to one another than the church ever could. And to me, that is priceless! The sooner you remove your children from the clutches of the church, the better chance they have at appreciating life, being more tolerant, more self-aware, self-confident, and happy.

    I sincerely hope that this has helped you a bit. And I hope, for your children's sake, that you consider pulling them out of church. It is a corrupt place, and your children deserve so much better!

  2. Hey there, I hope you both continue to have an open mind, and haven't closed it to exploring. :)
    There is corruption everywhere, absolutely. But having come from an agnostic background myself, I've been a Christian for many years now and always keep up with knowledge. Your analysis regarding the 'goddidit' mentality isn't accurate though, as cause and effect has been obvious since time began.
    Hope you continue your journey in seeking. God bless you both. :)

  3. Dear writer,

    I'm certain it has struck you that those who tell you to continue in prayer and worship nearly always follow up that plea with a threat. Telling you to fear the "judgement of god on your life" or invariably some variation thereof. They perpetuate this illusion of a god that is kind and loving, all knowing, and all powerful... but will cast you into hell. Everyone seems to have their own version of how to avoid it, too.

    Please do not let yourself be bullied into being miserable any more than the pressures of your current situation have already forced you to withstand.

    The blogs/sites I've listed below may help you. The first, whose name is startling at first glance, is run by a young man who was brought up in a very strict, rigid pentecostal environment. His knowledge of the bible is impressive, to say the least. The remainder you've probably seen, and are definitely recommended for coming away from religion as scar-free as possible. You may also look into/read Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion".

    I know what you're going through, and it's not easy. You will be happier, healthier and a better person/mother once you're free of this burden!

    With love,

    A friend