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Ellwood

Regular Member
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    166
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113 Excellent

About Ellwood

  • Rank
    Thinker
  • Birthday 01/03/1956

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    South Carolina, USA
  • Interests
    History, Kayaking, Cycling, Sailing, Anthropology
  • More About Me
    Deconverted in early 2012. Father of 3 adult children. Two are still Christian, in fact one is an Ordained Presbyterian Minister. My youngest child is an Atheist! Yes! Need the support and community this site provides. My wife is still a Christian. My life often has many complicated moments. But then I am sure the rest of you have those moments also.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    None, free at last
  1. Welcome Aiyana. I think most of us here completely understand how you feel after such conversations. Now 2 years into my deconversion I VERY carefully consider whether or not to go into details with someone when they want to discuss my atheism. I am completely "out" but I have rarely come away from any discussions with christian friends who just "want to see where I am at" with a feeling that it was worth my while. No matter how gracious, kind, accommodating we may be that response you got of "pride" in your words is very common. And like you, some of the people in my life who want to "talk" are long time, accomplished people, professionals, doctors, teachers, even pastors! No matter who they are - the response is the same. Personally I think I make more progress by just being a happy fulfilled successful father, husband, grandfather and in that way blow up their stereotype of an atheist. Maybe get them thinking.
  2. Hi Mick, Great post and congratulations on 8 years. I can really connect with 2 points you make. When I deconverted almost 2 years ago my wife also took that as a time to get in touch with her "inner fundy". Now she more regularly attends church, small groups, orders christian books and cds, and is seeking to be "holier than thou". The thou is me! And that is fine with me. Holy to me is not anything I aspire to. In addition we also have had some very intense moments over my deconversion but have continued to hang on and stay in love. These moments do come and go. With each one I wonder if we will get through it. In the end we do but I continue to be very amazed at this ugly thing called religion that separates loved ones, family and friends. Thanks for posting and letting us all know we are not alone in this.
  3. I have to echo xliar and also say you "youngsters" are to be commended for getting out so early in life. Go out there and make a difference! Believe in yourself! Don't let anyone knock you off course!
  4. Welcome Paradox! Don't beat yourself up so much for having believed this stuff for so long. Gosh - so young and you will go through life now with such clear focus and purpose! Good for you! I am saying this as a 58 year old who only deconverted 2 years ago. Now imagine how I feel about taking so long to figure this out! :-)
  5. Welcome xphish. Can't tell you how much I wish I had your situation. I am a member of the unequally yoked club here. Your stories have been fantastic to read. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it all down. Years from now you will be glad you can go back and read them yourself.
  6. Welcome! So appreciate your story and that you have joined us. I have a friend also pushing the "Christ-Judaism" stuff. I am not saying christianity but rather just "christ" because these types usually reject "historical" christianity as created by the man-made "church". In the end all as nutty as the rest. Stay free - don't bite. They try to play off your frustration with christianity like they offer something different. In the end it is all still - "wwwoooo". (fill in ghostly accent)
  7. From one sailor to another, now you are truly free to navigate your life to wherever you find the favorable winds! Welcome.
  8. Loved reading your story! So clear and personal. As a person 2 years into my deconverted life I welcome you. Check out the thethinkingatheist dot com podcast called Secular Parenting with Dale McGowan He speaks directly to your question in portions of it. Dale is also author of a book in that subject. Very good. Best wishes. My father was a conservative Baptist minister. Fortunately both my parents passed away before I went through this and my kids were full grown too. But I have had to deal with a VERY believing wife who, like your husband, does not care to open that "sceptic" drawer and find Santa's suit that daddy wears. If she did open it and see that she would apply apologetics to it. Daddy put it there so he would get credit from me for presents that Santa really brings. Or maybe Santa left his spare outfit in the house last Christmas and daddy is keeping it for him to pick up next Christmas. Anything but the obvious truthful reason. Best wishes again. Looking forward to hearing more of your journey.
  9. Great to have another New Englander join our gang. I am in the Providence RI area. You are to be commended for coming to this decision at such a young age and not waiting until age 56 like I did. Go get yourself a great life now! Enjoy!
  10. Good point LivingLife. To me, when the discussion turned angry, mean, crazy, etc. if was further evidence that there is no loving all accepting god who "dwells" within the xtian. At some point you have to call the xtians on this behavior and say your actions prove to me that this is all the result of human creation and it has human fingerprints all over it. And I would have to add that some of the human formula written into xtianity does say to treat the apostate in exactly the way I mentioned.
  11. I too want to express my hope that you and your wife will be able to achieve your goals by this process. I came out a year and a half ago as a 57 year old with a believing wife. I can offer this thought. It is possible if you do it "gently" and gradual that the party you are speaking to will then think that there is hope to work with you and prevent you from going where in fact you already have ended up. Long drawn out attempts to persuade you can then follow - emails, lunches, phone calls, etc. I used this approach early on. I then realized it was not the best one for me. It got rather tiring and only prolonged the inevitable moment when the full blown word is said - atheist. So I started to more firmly and clearly state what I believed, to mention I wanted to stay in relationship with that person but they must accept me the way I am. Fortunately my fundamentalist Baptist minister father has long ago died so I did not have to deal with parents. I can only imagine what you are and will be going through. But I think most of us here would say that for the sake of your sanity it must be done. "Here I stand, I can do no other!"
  12. RS, Sounds like you are in a similar situation with your wife as I am. Our timeline is also similar. My wife has often said during this that she struggles because I am not the xtian man she married. She is concerned that our marriage vows were to god and therefore I might break them. She recently texted me at work that she missed "her friend that she could share all the things in her life with" but added that she loved me. I took that to mean that she had some xtian experiences she felt she could not share. Like your situation, we have chosen to stay away from the religion topic. Her personality can also change in a flash to somber if I mention I will be spending some time with a non-believer. I don't let that bother me however. I have great non-believing friends I bike and kayak with. I try to balance that by always being willing to spend time with our old church friends whenever we are invited(she still attends, I do not). And that goes ok with them actually saying how much they miss me but not getting too weird about it. I just say thank you. My mother in law has even been helpful. She is not a believer(I feel). I encouraged her to work with her daughter to understand some better priorities in life and put religion in a better perspective. I also have a hunch that others spoke to her about accepting me. Perhaps they added - "and he will come back to god". Not sure. Recently all those types of lunches and emails, etc. have stopped. Guess my message has gotten through. I am who I am, and I like who I am. Thank you. Religion did surface last weekend when I changed the car radio station from the xtian station to an oldies. She stated that i must really not like Christian music. I replied as gently as I could, "why would I?". She left it at that and it was ok. I know at times I still have to send the signal that I am not going to reconvert and this lets her know to continue adjusting and it will be ok. To be clear, I listen to the xtian station with her in the car a goodly amount of time. And sometimes she changes it. I do regret the money that is still spent by her on xtian books, cds, "tithes", etc. But, hey, I was there once too. Could be worse. And it has been. I suspect that her adjusting was helped along by some very rational xtian friends of both of us who have encouraged her to realize I am still her faithful husband and to accept me the way I am. So far we have had almost 5 straight months of no religion freak outs. I certainly understand the dilemma you are living with RS. I do realize that this has caused a shift in our relationship. Time will tell. Perhaps guys like you and me are in untested territory somewhat, at least in our own communities and families. Thanks for sharing. It does me well to know I am not alone and I hope you feel the same way after your visits here.
  13. Not long after I told my wife of my deconversion, I explained to her that if I found evidence in conflict with my faith, I would accept the result of that evidence as leading closer to truth even if it lead me away from my faith. She replied that she would still side on faith even if it conflicted with evidence. This approach seems to be a fundamental difference between those of us who break free and those who remain religious. Is our search for truth? Or is it "presupposed" to always be a journey to deeper "faith" no matter what evidence is found to the contrary. I
  14. Welcome darthkoopa. Your search is valid and I urge you on in it. This is a perfect place for you to hang and share. Many of us including myself can relate to your situation with your wife also. Mine is a believer but I have come out to her and my 3 adult children. It gets to a point where you really have to or you go nuts. You pay the price but IMO I think it is worth it. My search had all the same paths you are taking. Science, YouTube, Netflix documentaries, many books. Have you watched Religulous yet? Have some fun and watch that. Welcome again.
  15. Fantastic read. You mentioned one of the first things to go was your belief in hell. I have had several discussions lately with practicing evangelical Christians where they too have dropped the hell element. Both a brother in law and my son in law within a week dropped that line on me as I was pointing out how hell says some things about god that they may not want to be so enthusiastic about. Well - they just drop the hell thing. Problem solved. NOT. IMO. I do see the evangelical community wrestling with the hell element lately. See the movie "Hellbound", Rob Bell of course, etc. I can only hope this is the beginning of a deconversion for them as it was for you. I challenged them with the question, "ok, no hell. So now what is the point?" Is there a heaven still? If not or if we all go to it then are we not now left with just a nice sweet formula for living a "good" life? If just a good life code is left then I am not sure it can be proven that a christian life without the hooks of heaven or hell can be proven to be any better than any other philosophy. So glad I don't have to support all this silly stuff anymore. BTW, I was on the production side of things in the mega churches and their rock bands. I don't miss that either.
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