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I'm A Phoney


Kyle
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First, I want to thank whoever is responsible for this site.

 

I'll explain my title in a bit. But my deconversion is very typical. I was raised in a Christian home. We attended a Methodist church, but the attitudes were more akin to the Southern Baptists. I have great parents, and I never endured any abuse in the typical sense.

 

However, church was a big part of life. Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesdays, special events, holidays all revolved around the church schedule. I was indoctrinated with the typical system of prayer and good works coupled with regular church attendance will get you to heaven. I really wasn't even taught much about grace. I was presented with hell and eternal damnation. So I got saved when I was about 7 years old.

 

The years passed and ended up going on a mission trip with some Baptist family members. That was the first time I was exposed to the true Southern Baptist belief system. I learned about grace, etc. When I returned, I was on fire. I joined the nearest comtemporary church and was back in the routine of church life.

 

After spending the next seven years in and out of different churches, I left my wife and daughter, and we eventually divorced. It was the most painful choice I ever made. I suffered. I missed my daughter, but I couldn't live with her mother. The pain and torment were excruciating. It was made worse by my mother who would rather see me miserable for the rest of my life than to go through the divorce.

 

That is when I started searching. Let me say at this point that I had been in true counseling for two years. I was trying to break free of the low self-esteem and people pleasing that had been instilled in me my whole life. I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin without worrying about what everyone else thought and/or said about me.

 

This search led me to atheism in 2007. I read the God Delusion and my eyes began to open. I kept questioning my old belief system and feeling the confusion of breaking with something I had known my whole life. I went through all the different emotions that I have read about in the other testimonials. But thankfully, my eyes were open. As I have adjusted to this life, I'm happier. The weight of guilt is not there. I have more time to devote to my family and things I enjoy rather than being in church every time the doors are open. I realize that morality and ethics have nothing to do with an imaginary god in the clouds. I have learned that good works should be done because they are the right things to do. I used to do good things out of guilt of fear. Life is much better now

 

My new wife and my brother are the only ones who know. That brings me to my title. I am a phoney, and I will remain one. I am currently an elected official. I serve a small community, but I have aspirations of serving in a very prominent national position. The power of the religious right is so strong in my local area that I fear that I cannot climb the political ladder as an open atheist.

 

Now I know some of you will say that I am doing this out of fear. Trust me, I would love to debate the Christians I hear everyday, but I can't. I have a higher pupose. I want our government to continue separation of church and state. We need atheists in office to temper the zealots that think they will run our country. We need reason, not faith, in office. We need advances in science that will not be squashed by the fear of progress as proposed by the religious right. We need our country and world to thrive in an age of reason rather than an era of mythology.

 

So I am a phoney. But I'm a phoney with a plan. When my political journey comes to an end, I have already settled on a title for my memoirs, "An atheist among us"

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed this site so far. I look forward to your comments.

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Welcome!

 

I am an advocate of atheists "coming out" because misunderstood and feared minorities remain ignored, or worse, until there is some solidarity and some hell raised.

 

I see reasonable exceptions to be minors who rely on religious parents for their survival, and people whose livelihood would be negatively impacted if they were openly atheist. Obviously, atheists won't get elected in America.

 

As long as you plan on being an honest politician, good luck in your career. ;)

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Welcome!

 

I am an advocate of atheists "coming out" because misunderstood and feared minorities remain ignored, or worse, until there is some solidarity and some hell raised.

 

I see reasonable exceptions to be minors who rely on religious parents for their survival, and people whose livelihood would be negatively impacted if they were openly atheist. Obviously, atheists won't get elected in America.

 

As long as you plan on being an honest politician, good luck in your career. ;)

 

Thank you. And yes, I am an honest politician, and I don't need the guilt of god to be honest. I also hold other positions that would be compromised if I "came out". I'm not a total phoney. I no longer go to church, and when people ask I tell them that my religious beliefs are a personal matter.

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Welcome, Kyle! For just a minute as I read your post, I thought I was reading something that I wrote!

I was trying to break free of the low self-esteem and people pleasing that had been instilled in me my whole life. I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin without worrying about what everyone else thought and/or said about me.

 

I’ve struggled with low self-esteem and people-pleasing as well.

 

And, even in the brief time since I admitted that I am an atheist, I am finding these things to be true.

 

As I have adjusted to this life, I'm happier. The weight of guilt is not there. I have more time to devote to my family and things I enjoy rather than being in church every time the doors are open. I realize that morality and ethics have nothing to do with an imaginary god in the clouds. I have learned that good works should be done because they are the right things to do. I used to do good things out of guilt of fear. Life is much better now.

 

I wish you much luck in your political journey, and assuming you don’t take too long to write your memoirs, I look forward to reading them someday!!!

 

Enjoy the site. I feel positive you will benefit and I also believe we will benefit from your contribution. :)

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Good on ya, Kyle! You are in a rough arena, so I wish you the best. There are none so unforgiving as the true believers, so keeping the disguise is smart for your profession. I just spent the evening with a very good friend who is a pastor and doing some really great things in Africa with creating entrepreneurs among the poor. So rather than do anything to upset his balance, I remain undercover and am happy with him in the good he is doing. Sometimes it is better for the sake of real "good" to not insist on a conflict.

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Welcome to the forums, Kyle.

 

My husband ran for political office in '04 (didn't win), and I pointed out to him that his being a Jewish Democrat in an almost exclusively Christian Republican district wasn't nearly the drawback to victory that the unearthing of the fact of his atheist wife would be. So I understand completely.

 

Thanks for this website go to WM Dave. He's certainly created something unique and much needed.

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Welcome, Kyle. I don't know exactly what your politics are, but I hope to vote for you one day, ignorant as I may be that I'm voting for the person whose post I'm replying to today. It's a little disconcerting that I vote only for people who (as far as I know) believe, without evidence, in a magical, supernatural sky-daddy to make critical decisions for me on national policy, but I have never even once had the opportunity to vote for an admitted atheist, so your posing as a xian should not jeopardize your chances of getting my vote. Blindly guessing, I'd say it's very likely that I would vote for you, recognizing you as the candidate who would not govern based on the religious based mandates of the biblegod, where your opponent likely would. Not to stereotype political differences between fundamentalist xians and atheists, but there is a pattern of differences and I am adamantly opposed to the agenda of the religious right.

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Yo Kyle - welcome.

 

Sounds like you're being as honest as you can be: when asked a deeply personal question, I do not believe it is lying or being hypocritical to draw a boundary between your public and personal life. "None of your freakin' business" would be a welcome change to the constant drivel of confessional politics. Wanting to serve the public good sounds pretty good to me, whether the person is a theist or atheist.

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Thank you. And yes, I am an honest politician, and I don't need the guilt of god to be honest. I also hold other positions that would be compromised if I "came out". I'm not a total phoney. I no longer go to church, and when people ask I tell them that my religious beliefs are a personal matter.

 

When a reporter asked Eisenhower what his religious beliefs were, he answered "I'm running for President. It's none of your business." Ironic that this was unremarkable in the 1950s but would be downright scandalous for most Americans today.

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I can certainly relate to the people pleasing and being a phony. However, I do believe in God, just not in a religious sense anymore. I guess my beliefs can be called deist. Welcome to the site!

My mom has no idea I have rejected Christianity and it will stay that way for awhile. My close friends and my brother and SIL all know. My brother is on the same mindset as me and my SIL is Wiccan so I can be myself with them plus my husband was never a Christian to begin with, his belief aligns with agnosticism but he's never said he was one. As far as my mom goes, it's nice that we are a military family and we live overseas and she is in Texas. She is a formidable woman so it's just easier for me to let her believe what she wants and me play along. I hate it and I am sure one day I will "come out" but for now it will just stay that way.

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I can certainly relate to the people pleasing and being a phony. However, I do believe in God, just not in a religious sense anymore. I guess my beliefs can be called deist. Welcome to the site!

My mom has no idea I have rejected Christianity and it will stay that way for awhile. My close friends and my brother and SIL all know. My brother is on the same mindset as me and my SIL is Wiccan so I can be myself with them plus my husband was never a Christian to begin with, his belief aligns with agnosticism but he's never said he was one. As far as my mom goes, it's nice that we are a military family and we live overseas and she is in Texas. She is a formidable woman so it's just easier for me to let her believe what she wants and me play along. I hate it and I am sure one day I will "come out" but for now it will just stay that way.

 

I literally worry about my mom's health if she were to know. She was raised in a Southern Baptist home. She has built her life around this fairy tale. I really think that the stress and worry for my soul would negatively affect her health.

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I literally worry about my mom's health if she were to know. She was raised in a Southern Baptist home. She has built her life around this fairy tale. I really think that the stress and worry for my soul would negatively affect her health.

 

I am sure my mom would, too and I think if she found out my SIL is a Wiccan she might have a heart attack. To her Wiccan=evil witches who are devil worshipers. My SIL is far from that. My mom is 62 and fighting cancer. So far she is clear but it hasn't even been a year since her surgery and chemo treatments. So it scares me that she will go sooner than later because I already lost my dad to cancer in 2002. I love my mom, I just don't agree with her beliefs anymore but just feel it's easier to put up a front for her sake.

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Kyle I bet you're not the only atheist among us as far as politicians go. I understand completely why you're in the closet; it's dangerous for us non-believers out here. "Good Christians" will stick it to you or your kids through work/business/school. Perhaps one day when you reach high office and have proven yourself you can then come out publically in a big way. I think I remember reading somewhere that's what happened in Sweden in the early 90s and after their Prime Minister "came out Godless" lots of Swedes came out Godless and now it's no big deal there.

 

Best wishes for your political success.

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Hey Kyle. You not alone in not revealing your atheisim to many. Only a very small handful of folks know about me, 3 to be in fact. One of those people is a good, life long friend who i told and was over joyed to hear that he too was having doubts and i helped him to deconvert. The other two, were two great friends of mine who are married. One is an aspiring preacher and he and his wife took it like i was trying to murder them with an axe. We still talk occasionaly, with me making the effort to contact them, but that is about it. We do not hang out anymore, he won't let me in his house, he doesn't come to visit me, etc. It is one of the saddest things i have had to go through. This is why i have refrained from telling anymore people, at least just yet. I live in the Bible Belt and all my family, including extended family are christian. Seeing how my best friend and his wife took it, i can't bare to lose everyone around me. But i do intend on telling the people closest to me sometime.

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If you take a look back in history, you will discover that almost every major world religion today(Christianity and/or other groups once considered a minority) started out being small and faced a great deal of opposition. But because they did not surrender in fear, look where it has got them now. So the same goes for us. I we continue to stand our ground against these bigots, then one day Athiests too will overcome.

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I read things like this thread, and marvel at how fortunate I have been with the whole "coming out" thing. Everyone I know is fully aware of the fact that that I'm an atheist. There are some distant relatives who probably don't know, but if they ever raise the issue I sure won't hide it from them. No one who has found out has stopped being a friend or relative. But then I'm not running for election to anything either. Different scenario for the time being at least. So I understand why in some cases it is best to keep it to yourself.

 

I'm going to have to look at that "Out Campaign" thingy.

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