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Jose last won the day on April 4 2013

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About Jose

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    If Jesus comes back, we'll kill him again.
  • Birthday 08/30/1974

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  • Gender
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    Jacksonville, FL
  • Interests
    Gaming, hanging out with and banging my wife, reading, writing, making stuff out of wood, being an asshole, drinking, lions, christians, and how to get those last two together in an arena somewhere without going to jail.
  • More About Me
    It will be ten years in August 2012 since my deconversion from Catholicism. I’m looking back at the last decade and thinking a lot about what’s gotten me to this place. Not Ex-Christian.net, although it certainly played a part many years ago, but everything… I guess this is just a retrospective.

    When I first deconverted, the most difficult transition for me was losing that rock-hard certainty. I had always been so very certain of my place in the universe and losing what I saw as my anchor was terrifying. I spent several weeks walking around in a dazed depression. I felt like I was adrift, all alone in the universe, completely at the mercy of random chance, and there was a very real sense of doom and dread that permeated my every thought. I was inconsolable and depressed; I immediately sought to regain my faith… without success. It was as if having seen behind the curtain, I could no longer enjoy the show. I was crushed, isolated, denying the reality of what I now knew to be true.

    About two months in, the feeling of horror began to metamorphose into anger. How dare my family and friends lie to me all this time? I confronted my parents with my atheism in a harsh and ugly way. I railed against them for lying to me, I accused them of knowing the truth and hiding it from me, I lashed out in every way possible, and subsequently, ten years later, I’m still putting my relationship with them back together. With the benefit of hindsight, I would have handled this much differently. I know now that they did, in fact, believe what they were telling me.

    As an aside - In the last year or so, my mother has confided in me that my crisis of faith in 2002 shook hers to the point of no return as well, since she was unable to get satisfactory answers to the questions I posed to her about her faith from anyone at the church she attended, up to and including a two-hour conversation with the bishop in this area. She no longer identifies as religious at all, but refuses to give up the concept of a wishy-washy, feel-good afterlife belief. She recognizes this as fear of non-existence, and readily admits that she will most likely simply cease to be, but still hopes and wishes for an afterlife. I guess I can’t blame her since she is almost seventy years old and she has to live with my dad, who she has not come out to about her loss of faith and who is still very, very religious.

    The blind rage brought about by the loss of my faith lasted about two years. I destroyed a significant number of friendships during that time and completely isolated myself from the religious people in my life.

    After the anger eventually fizzled, I was left with a severe drug addiction to opiates and benzodiazepines (Lortab and Ativan) as well as having gained almost 100 pounds in three years. I was melancholic for my faith and began asking god to make himself known to me if he was real… what a depressing sack of shit I was during this time in my life! I feel like I had to go through it to get where I’m at, but I don’t miss being mopey and stupid, crying for my imaginary friend and wanting to be a child again.

    My bout with depression lasted until about four years ago. I was cautiously optimistic about my life and capable of going a whole day without either ranting about god not being real or starting a religious argument with someone who didn’t deserve the utter scorn I heaped upon them. It was once I decided not to be depressed about what I now see was an adult version of Santa Claus anymore that my relationship of seventeen years with my wife-like girlfriend imploded due to some drug-abuse issues on her part which propelled her into a psychotic break on September 3, 2011. She refused treatment and when I started fearing for my safety in late November, I got the hell out of the relationship.

    During the time my girlfriend was basically going completely crazy, I had been confiding in a good friend of mine who was (and still is) a moderate christian. After the relationship with my crazy ex was well and truly dead, my friend and I discussed religion, politics, current events, music, and had a really great time with each other. We started dating in January… I lost about fifty pounds, started eating healthier, weaned myself off Ativan first, and then Lortab (been clean from Ativan since February and my last Lortab was in May). She convinced me that not all christians are insane and stupid. We got married in April in the courthouse (although she wanted to get married in a church, she thinks my lack of faith is more important than any beliefs she has, as I’m an activist type atheist and she’s a non-practicing, generic, brought-up-that-way-and-never-really-thought-about-it christian) and we’ve been having a great time.

    So there you have it, I was happy as a believer, and then went through what was basically the five stages of grief over the past decade. I’m sure some people do it faster, and some slower, the important part is recognizing that living by reason is ultimately more fulfilling. It makes me feel responsible for my life and the lives and happiness of those around me. I can’t place my problems on god anymore; I have to fix them myself. The responsibility feels good, honestly. I’m in control. I don’t know everything and I’m very rarely certain anymore, but my ignorance is easily remedied and doesn’t need a special set of rules to explain. I’m excited about living the one life I’m sure I have instead of hoping for paradise in one that will never come.

    I still identify as a weak atheist, because, well… shit, I don’t know for sure. It’s not like I have evidence that god definitely doesn’t exist, but I wouldn’t worship the god of the bible even if I knew for sure that he did. Since there’s no evidence for any kind of personal deity at all, I’m happy just living my life and loving the people who love me. I enjoy sunsets, the beach, and nature without thinking of it as “creation.” I love looking at my wife and thinking about our how great our life together is without it being a “blessing.” I like smoking a cigarette and drinking rum without feeling like I should go to confession. I like sleeping in on Sundays and still getting seated at a nice restaurant before the church crowd gets there.

    I still get angry at deliberate ignorance, but I’m getting better about keeping my emotions in check during arguments about religion or belief. I still lose the occasional friend who can’t handle the fact that I won’t let them make blanket, unsupported statements without calling them out on their bullshit, but it’s not just about religion anymore. I find myself a skeptic of just about everything now. Aliens, ghosts, homeopathy, whatever doesn’t have any evidence… I’ve found it is generally safe to disregard all such ridiculous things unless the belief is harmful.

    For the record, I do believe religion is harmful. I’m very tired of religious morality being legislated in the United States of America, but I also believe it’s getting better lately. There are enough stories about people supporting the separation of Church and State that I’m hopeful about the coming generation. I am cautiously optimistic about religion losing its stranglehold on the nation in my lifetime, but even if it takes a hundred years… I truly do believe that rationality and reason will win in the long run.

    If you're just going through your deconversion right now, or recently lost your faith, I hope this helps you in some way. It gets easier and eventually, you won't be able to imagine yourself any other way.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Absolutely not.

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  • TABA

  1. “She would have been a good woman,” The Misfit said, “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.” from A Good Man is Hard to Find, by Flannery O'Connor Probably one of my favorite quotes in the world.
  2. I know some guys who are working at pleasing god...
  3. Love Jesus or he'll fucking kill you. Is that what everyone else got out of that?
  4. Ladies and gentlemen... the enemy of reason.
  5. Don't care if you post it or not, it's going on my FB page right now.
  6. I was still told I was going through a phase. Hell, I'm 38 now and my parents still tell me that. If you're serious about rejecting Catholicism, you need to be removed from the Baptismal rolls or you're still being counted as Catholic. I wrote a letter to the diocese where I was baptised to get my it expunged and to remove myself from the roster of Catholics worldwide. If you want a copy of the letter I used, I can try to track it down on here somewhere (I posted it) or just send you a copy.
  7. I'm a bit late, but welcome to the forums. I'm an Ex-Catholic as well. I wish I had realized at confirmation what a load of bunk it was instead of at 28 years old. Good on yer!
  8. *sigh* Yes, I'm related to this person... Because God doesn't just answer PRAYERS... he answers SHARES.
  9. If you give god all the credit, he gets all the blame too. No matter what the game, no matter what the rules, all the rules apply to all the players.
  10. ********************* WARNING! PICTURES IN THUMBNAIL ARE GRAPHIC! *********************
  11. Another glorious example of people who didn't actually read the fucking book coming down with diarrhea of the mouth...
  12. Dear Jesus, Please note that you are in clear violation of the terms of the restraining order filed against you in 2002 and renewed each year when additional evidence fails to manifest. If you continue stalking me, I will be forced to take action, up to and including defending my private domain against your repeated incursions. I will use deadly force if necessary. Yours, Jose
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