I just read, and really want to recommend, a post by David Madison on John Loftus' "Debunking Christianity" called The Christian Dark Ages -- Then and Now. Among the interesting insights here is the fact that during the 500 year period between the fall of the Roman empire and the end of the Dark Ages, a great deal of the knowledge accumulated by the Greeks and the Romans was literally erased and written over, and had to be re-learned hundreds of years later. The result of their following the advice to take no care for worldly things, because their Father in Heaven would take care of them (advice from Matthew 6 in the Sermon on the Mount), is that the world population plummeted: Millions of people starved to death. Villages disappeared and large cities became mere villages. The knowledge needed to sustain the population had simply been forgotten.
The "now" part of "then and now" is that belief in Satan and demon possession is on the rise. After more than 300 years of the age of Enlightenment, and 700 years of non-dark-ages preceding that, Americans especially are retreating into mythological beliefs in record numbers. Let's hope that the people who live in the real world continue to improve society's conditions despite the rejection of reason by so many.
I have another blog that I've recently re-titled "Be Ready Always to Give an Answer," where all of my posts for the last few years reside. For the most part they deal with things Christians believe, and why they're wrong. I renamed the blog in hopes that it will show up in Christians' search results.
Having done that, there are things I want to post about that don't fit the theme, and would detract from that blog and the audience I hope to gain. Since this blog was stuck here, I'll just use it.
Today's post should be titled: I'm sick of it!
I'm a closet atheist because I have a son who is a minister, and when he got a hint that I wasn't a believer the conversation didn't go well. I tested the waters and found them to be too uncomfortable. My wife is a believer. She has doubts, but those doubts freak her out. She also has a lot of social anxiety problems, and health problems on top of that, so normally I end up going to church by myself on Sunday morning, and then I go back if she goes on Sunday night. But this church we go to has too many people in too small of a space. It's still growing, and as far as I can tell they don't have a plan to relieve the overcrowding. (They did something about it a year ago, but they've already outgrown that.)
Sunday a week ago I went in and found a seat. Then someone else came in and had to sit next to me. Normally I just read a book on my phone during the sermon, but that doesn't work if I have a neighbor. Anyway, being uncomfortable with the crowd (I guess I have social anxiety, too), I left after the Lord's Supper. Then yesterday I showed up, went in, and couldn't find a place to sit that wasn't next to someone. I'd like a space between myself and any non-family-member, please! I actually shook hands with one of the guys who takes roll (isn't it creepy that they do that?), but then I left. (And I was counted present!)
So that's two weeks in a row I've gone and not stayed. A week ago my wife wanted to go to a different church (a mainline Church of Christ as opposed to our usual Non-Institutional Church of Christ) in the afternoon. Yesterday she didn't want to go at all.
But what I'm sick over is how stressed this makes me. I don't believe a word of this, yet two weeks in a row I've been horribly stressed over the issue. If my wife were to decide to permanently go to a mainline church, I would only go when she did, and most importantly, I would not place membership there. If they bothered to put my name in the directory, it would have an asterisk beside it for "non-member." It might result in some argument with her about it before all is said and done, but in the end it would be done. And since our minister son and his wife always goes to the church we're at now when they're in town (even when they staying with his wife's parents, who go to another congregation of the same denomination!), I wouldn't have to worry about them ever finding out the people at the new church know I'm a non-believer.
But this is just stupid. I'm getting to the point that being in the closet is unbearable, but I'm not ready to face the consequences when it comes to our son.