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I Had It Easy...


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I had toyed with the idea of linking this to my Facebook account but I really felt this was not the best time. Being a new de-convert I’m not prepared to just tear down so many relationships and create so many hurt feelings just to make a statement, which is all it would really be. I instead will wait and address my atheism (wow I just said it) one on one when it comes up. I have bolded the cliff notes for those who are short on time.

 

 

Anyway, my story begins at birth. I was raised in the UCC which is a somewhat liberal church. Christened at birth, Sunday school every week, etc. At age 11 I began confirmation classes. This is where we started to learn more details about the bible and the stories within. Now don’t get me wrong, we never read the bible all the way through, nor did I even read any entire individual books. Rather it was an expansion of cherry picked passages and traditional bible stories. I also had to memorize and was able to site the listing of books in the bible (whoop-de-doo).

 

 

Don’t ask me how I can remember this, but I can distinctly recall it was at this time where I first began to question many of the bible stories. Many of them just didn’t feel right. It felt like there were pertinent details which should have been there and were not. It felt like something was missing. I also distinctly recall being taught the difference between a parable and a truly historical bible story. We were specifically told that Jesus used parables and you would know one was a parable because no names were used, but rather it would start like “a farmer does such and such”. Ok, I still don’t really get why ‘God’ doesn’t have the best possible real life examples that he has to resort to made up stories. Isn’t truth always better than fiction, especially when the truth would have represented quite well the actual people of the time? But I digress. The concept of a parable never felt right but it did at least make sense how you can tell the difference. Everything outside of a parable was supposed to be fact. Nevertheless, there were still stories like the tower of Babel which just felt like something was missing. Not to mention Adam and Eve, something just didn’t feel right which I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and this was at 11 years old. Original Sin and Jesus’ sacrifice just never made sense. I didn’t get why he had to die for me. What did I do wrong? I mean we all make mistakes but am I really that effed up I need someone to die for me? There are a lot of people in this world a lot more messed up than I am. Doesn’t matter, there’s a God right? How else did we get here? And we know we’ve got the right one because everyone else got it wrong. That’s what I was taught to believe anyway.

 

 

So I finished up confirmation/communion classes and moved into high school. I recall being really bummed that God never spoke to me. I mean, couldn’t I have been special like some other people were and get to hear his voice or be exposed to his word? I wanted to feel the special hand of God but it seemed like I was just not a chosen one. It was for this reason I essentially gave up prayer at an early age.

 

 

I continued to go to church regularly until I moved away to college. Once there my church attendance dropped to zero. There was so much to do, so many new people to meet. All the cool kids seemed to be the ones not interested in church service. This became a no-brainer. For two years I never attended a single church service. Fast forward to my sophomore year and I meet my future and current wife – a preacher’s daughter.

 

 

Once we started dating seriously I started going to church with her. At this point it still didn’t really have strong faith but I assumed there must be a god because I had always been told so. One otherwise insignificant day I happened to be thinking about God and faith and I felt like I was being watched. That moment became my mustard seed. I REALLY believed in God and I REALLY believed in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was for real saved, I was so happy!! I even made an alter call the next week. I still didn’t quite understand everything but it didn’t matter. I liked going to church and I was with Jesus.

 

 

A few years later we were now married and had moved to a new city. We’d never exactly “picked out” a church before. We had always gone to the ones our family and friends went to. It was due to this that we fell away from regular church service. In fact, we went to minimal service for over 7 years. Fast forward to a few months ago. We have a son who is now four and we joke that we’re raising him as a heathen because we don’t go to church. We really felt the calling to get back to church. “Which one?” we asked ourselves. Well, we had subscribed to the modern Christendom idea of simply believing in God the Father and Jesus as your Lord and Savior and the rest is following your conscience and “what you believe”. So I thought, how can I really say exactly what I do or don’t believe when I don’t even know what’s in the bible? So I committed to reading the bible. I even came up with my own plan. First, I felt it was important to read it in a modern translation so I wouldn’t get caught up on all the ‘thou’s and ‘begat’s; I didn’t want to miss the forest for the trees. I also wanted to read it twice. The first time would be read it all the way through rather quickly like a novel so I can pick up the main understanding and then I’d read it a second time to take notes and really digest it.

 

 

I got all the way through Genesis no problem. Exodus arrives and I start asking questions. In fact I recall the exact moment something stuck out as odd. It was the story of the ten plagues. I thought, ok, I am totally good with God being able to do literally anything, make miracles, give signs etc., but there’s a genuine issue I have here, and it’s with Pharaoh. I have never seen bona fide sorcery in my life. In fact I don’t believe in real sorcery. I’ve watched enough of those secrets of the magicians shows to know there is always some kind of explanation for every attempted act of magic or illusion. But that’s not what this story is saying. It says that Pharaoh’s staff literally turned into a snake. I’m not buying it. Further, it doesn’t seem like Pharaoh has free will since God keeps taking it away by hardening his heart. When exactly is man supposed to get his free will? Ah well, never mind, need to keep going; I’ve got a lot more to learn and this is just one story.

 

 

Leviticus through Judges. Damn, WTF is wrong with God? Are you really telling me all this crazy stuff is right here at the beginning of the bible, it’s been here in front of my nose the whole time and nobody knows about it? Why is God making all these laws on slavery? What is up with all the stoning? Doesn’t he love his people? Why is rape not just ok, but actually commanded? This God is a dick. What am I not getting? I must be misinterpreting all this. I thought God was all about love?

 

 

Samuel onward – these Israelites really are full of themselves. In fact at this point it’s becoming quite clear to me that there is heavy influence on many of these bible verses by the “royalty” within Israel. David, Solomon, this is all becoming too much. Too much narcissism. Too much propaganda. Where are the every day Mother Theresa’s of the bible? Didn’t God want to tell the stories of normal humble people who serve him and get rewarded? Why are there seemingly entire books of the bible which are just complete rants about how bad life is? It’s like some books were written by the ‘haves’ and some by the ‘have nots’. Further, why is there no talk about heaven or hell? It’s made quite clear in the OT that when you die you die. Why hasn’t god mentioned anything about the afterlife? Why are there so many of these and other questions I have about this book which is supposed to be perfect?

 

 

Wait…

 

 

Something is starting to make sense. It’s as if the idea of an afterlife hasn’t been ‘thought up’ yet. “Stop that kind of thinking”, I told myself. It can’t be true. This is THE Hole Bible. There must be sense to be made of it. So my Google searching goes rampant. I seek out answers for all of these questions on Christian websites, especially christianforums.com. For some reason people never seem to give a straight answer. Slavery is explained away as “Well, it wasn’t that bad back then. Slavery isn’t what we think of it today.” And I’m thinking “have you ready Exodus 1?” That tells quite clearly just how bad slavery was. Not just that, but why would they need laws about just how badly you can beat your slaves before you’re even punished if it wasn’t that bad? Another issue I had with apologetics was adultery, polygamy, and concubines. I did some searching to find out why God allowed it and nearly every answer was that God just “tolerated” it that he didn’t actually like it or condone it. I wanted to scream at my monitor and say “NO!! Right there in 2 Samuel 12:8 God clearly says he gave David his master’s wives and if he wanted more he could have had more. If it came from God it was clearly a blessing and was condoned. So the question remains, why does God do this??? This just doesn’t make sense. These people must have read the bible, why are they ignoring these passages and explaining away bad behavior by God’s chosen ones?

 

 

It was about this time I happened to mention to my wife that I doubted much of the bible. She says, “That’s ok, as long as you believe in Jesus you’re good.” My first thought was if the bible is this messed up, how can I just throw out the whole OT and assume everything in the NT is the perfect word of God. These a legal concept I learned about in my criminal law classes in college which is called ‘fruit from the poisonous tree’. The concept goes that any and all ‘evidence’ which originated from an illegal search is inadmissible in court. Now I’m not putting the bible on trial, but the concept holds – if certain pieces of the bible are ‘poisonous’, how are we to discern which other pieces may or may not have been poisoned as well? The most honest answer is there is no way to know and you must abandon the whole ‘tree’. I had to answer her. There was a long pause and I said a drawn out “well…..” and she knew exactly what that meant. It scared her to death. She then matter of factly said the most ironic thing I’ve ever heard, “I don’t know if I want you reading that book.”

 

 

About three fourths of the way through the OT I had actually also stumbled across some stuff on evolution during my other searches about the bible. “WOW” I thought, a lot has changed about what we know regarding our origins and evolution since I was in school. I found a lot of information regarding the different line of speciation ‘we’ had gone through. But wait, I though. How much of this is speculation? Just how much of it is reproductions, assumptions, filling in the holes, so to speak? Then I found Talk Origins. I found quite possibly the most earth shattering illustration I’ve ever seen – their lineup of every “human” skull going millions of years back. My God, I thought. These were real skulls, not just drawings or guestimated reproductions. Evolution is real. I guess I’ve always believed evolution is real, but I think if I recall correctly that I was raised to believe in something like the gap theory where dinosaurs and whatnot existed and then God added man later on as a special creation. That idea was indisputably blown out of the water. We really do in fact share a common ancestry with primates. Ok I thought, what does this mean?

 

 

I should probably tell you if you can’t already tell that I make a living as an analyst. I have an uncanny ability to sort through BS and get to the heart of the matter. This pisses my wife off to no end because she can’t pass a lie off for anything, but she loves me anywayJ. So, I thought, what does evolution mean for the bible? I went back and re-read parts of Genesis. Creation in 6 days? Bogus. Man naming the animals? Bogus. Forbidden fruit? Bogus. Noah’s ark? Bogus. 10 plagues? Bogus. Babel? Bogus. At this point I pretty much discarded everything written by Moses. It was fairy tales, no more. I skipped ahead and read some parts of the NT, specifically to find out what Jesus had to say about Adam and Eve, Moses, etc. I found several direct references to many things written by Moses, most especially the traced lineage to Adam. I quite clearly thought, shouldn’t ‘God’ know whether everything written by Moses was a fraud, and wouldn’t that have been a good time to point it out and make any necessary corrections? Shortly after, I did the following Google search “Reading the bible made me an atheist”. I was astounded at the results I got. I found this website and read several de-conversion stories. Now, contrasted with the apologetics, everything is truthful. Everything I read is from the heart. No more need to explain away uncomfortable passages. A few days later I stumbled onto whywontgodhealamputees.com. I read several of the chapters and finally someone knew exactly what I was talking about. The slavery. The genocide. The adultery. The Adam and Eve story. This guy was able to put into succinct punching words not just what had been troubling me for the past two months, but what had bothered me about other stories my whole life. The entire bible was a crock. It is a bunch of folklore written by primitive men and not at all the word of God. I noted the date for I would remember it the rest of my life; May 25, 2011 I became an atheist.

 

 

Out of principal I wanted to finish my quest to read the whole bible. I’m not a quitter and I need to be able to say I’ve read the whole thing because sooner or later I’m sure I’ll be discussing it with Christians. I finished out the Old Testament and got to the good stuff, the Gospels. Hmm, why is there so little actually written about Jesus? Why is it basically the same thing told over and over? Another thing I got caught up on was the “healings” of Jesus found in Matthew. One of them sounded really similar to mental illness and another sounded exactly like epilepsy. Today we know without a doubt that these things are illnesses, not evil spirits and demon possession. How can someone in their right mind believe that in 2011? To me this very thing, regardless of what else is in the bible should be the death knell for Christianity but I guess once you’re roped in you just gloss over the parts you don’t like (or just never read them).

 

 

Now I find myself trying to define myself. Decades of indoctrination have led me to hate the word atheist. I use it because for the time being I must, but I will either need time to adjust or to find a new word for myself. I may be a deist, I may be agnostic, I may be a pantheist. At this point I simply don’t know. The one thing I do know is that religion is a mind numbing drug which I want no part of. While I am angry at myself for not taking the time earlier to educate myself on that which I formerly professed to pledge my life to, there are things for which I am thankful. I think it is quite possible that had I read the whole bible while being closer to the church community I would not have been able to break away. The compartmentalization would have been too strong, and also I would not yet have known the love a father – a REAL father – has for his child. This quite frankly, was probably the single most convincing piece of the Old Testament – putting myself in the shoes of god as a father and wondering what I would have done. For if god is Omni benevolent, his love must be infinitely greater than anything I could even comprehend, which simply didn’t add up with what was written. It’s almost like it happened this way for a reason. I actually feel quite lucky compared to many of the members here and elsewhere. I cannot imagine the strength necessary to break away from the chains which hold a church attending fundamentalist so strongly to the religious community. I am fortunate that my circle of friends is largely secular. Even the ones who do go to church rarely speak of it outside Sunday mornings. Out of all the stories I have read on this website, my deconversion happened very quickly and I probably had it easier than any of you. For that I have a great deal of respect for all of you.

 

 

Thank you for reading!

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  • Moderator

Wow Freeasabird!! What a read!!:twitch:What a wonderful rational mind you have. I think you should write a book for us who have had a really hard time deconverting. I still can't say ath....hhh...iiii....est.....

 

I say I am a 'nonbeliever' right now.. Everything you went through - I went through - that's how I got here also.

 

Thank you so much for sharing your story and I hope to here more from you.......sincerely..........................

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you are officially a ex-C,,,,,

 

being in asia makes me easy to break from the chains too,,,,,,

 

welcome,,,,,,,,,,

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Welcome! Having an easier deconversion does lead to some guilty feelings after reading all the rest of the stories here, doesn't it? Yeah, me, too. :HaHa:

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Wow Freeasabird!! What a read!!:twitch:What a wonderful rational mind you have. I think you should write a book for us who have had a really hard time deconverting. I still can't say ath....hhh...iiii....est.....

 

I say I am a 'nonbeliever' right now.. Everything you went through - I went through - that's how I got here also.

 

Thank you so much for sharing your story and I hope to here more from you.......sincerely..........................

 

Thanks for the kind words. This is maybe the longest thing I've ever written about myself, so a book might be a stretch but a pamphlet may be in order :HaHa: .

 

I should also give some credit to evid3nc3 and prplfox for their truly awesome libraries of YouTube videos. Without those I may not have been able to make the transition so quickly. Special shout out to PaulHellenes as well for the recent find of "Science Saved My Soul". What a wonderful video.

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loved your whole ex-timony, this freudian slip made me giggle:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something is starting to make sense. It’s as if the idea of an afterlife hasn’t been ‘thought up’ yet. “Stop that kind of thinking”, I told myself. It can’t be true. This is THE Hole Bible. there must be sense to be made of it.

 

!

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Hi Free, welcome to (creepy music score) the daarkk side (creepy laughter) we haz you in our crutches now (bass drum roll)

 

Great testimony err I mean extimony. It really shows once again, the best resource for atheism is the babble itself. Few xians have read it critically as you have and cannot know really how much BS actually there is.

 

As for moses, the one thing I picked up on that convinced me that it was all a crock of shit and man made is when the Israelites demanded that moses speak to them and not god. That with the moses vernacular spoke in the third person with each law or set of laws preceded by " and the lard said unto moses..."

 

Reading chronologically, you are really immune to the new direction the NT is supposed to take and if you took notes, then even the NT can be clearly seen as man made.

 

Judaism may have been a good way to rule the folk, by the time the NT was written, one can clearly see the architect was Paul and not jesus or his alleged disciples. It was a hijack and invented by the Romans and Greeks when they combined pagan religion concepts and made a state religion. This way, the Roman empire would spread tactfully w/o the need for their own armies and their coffers would remain full. Only the elite were able to read the Latin version and that was the aristocracy of the time. The plebs were simply told what to believe and bought indulgences.

 

The whole thing is really all about control and money, the longest running ponzi scheme.

 

How is your wife taking this all?

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  • Super Moderator

Great story, but thanks for the Cliff Notes.

 

I also had it easy by comparison to many. As I studied the holey book the holes just got bigger. I was studying at Moody when it all just came together one evening - "This is bullshit."

 

Moved on, informed the people I felt I absolutely had to, didn't look back.

 

Welcome.

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How is your wife taking this all?

 

Thanks for asking. She's not read the whole bible through, but she knew enough about the misogyny and assorted other bits to question it's integrity from an early age. I kept her up to speed through my journey so she also now knows there's much more crap in there besides just that. I think she's going through denial which I'm trying to give her some time to work out. After I gave her my conclusion where I stand, she also said she didn't consider herself a Christian anymore either (that's how close we are, that she can dump her beliefs through vicarous knowledge), but then later she'd say she wants to send our son to parochial school when he starts school in a year. I am vehemently opposed to that so it will have to be a discussion we hash out later. She's not ready for it now. I know she tells me she doesn't believe, but there's clearly something she's holding onto and is unwilling to let go of. I think it would help clear any remaining doubt in her mind if she just read it herself, but she refuses to do so. If she persists with the parochial school thing (our 7 yr old niece goes to Catholic school) I may have to say she can't send him to private school until she reads the bible herself. She did start reading to try and follow along while I was early in my journey, but she quit before finishing Exodus. It's likely that she realizes to read it would decimate what little faith she clings to and she knows it, that's why she's keeping it at arms length.

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Welcome!

 

I also explore the Bible (original Tanach actually) with great interest! I don't really seriously read the OT - since there is a lot of christian falsifications there.

 

It is very interesting for me to explore the original book, the translator's mistakes :grin: plus those falcifications made by christians, and historical results of all that mess.

 

My personal favorites are magnificent masterpieces of Michelangelo - uncut David and Moses with horns :HaHa: on his head.

 

 

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Thanks for asking. She's not read the whole bible through, but she knew enough about the misogyny and assorted other bits to question it's integrity from an early age.

 

My situation with my wife was similar, she still has some residual beliefs but is not dogmatic. Oddly enough, when I was really a woo extraordinaire, she was the one calling out all the BS and hypocrisy in the church folk I refused to see.

 

When I told her I was now atheist, she sort of said, there has to be something. She stopped attending church the same time I did and has not been back. Being the bad influence and teacher I am triple damned for "turning" my whole family.

 

I guess hell has a special place reserved for me :HaHa:

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Yes you had it easy if you weren't born into it, your parents didn't drill it into your head, force you into Bible memorization classes, use threats of eternal damnation on you and make you attend church 3 times a week for at least several years of your young life. Fundamentalist Church sermons that were filled with hellfire, the rapture and damnation for the sinners. A "liberal" church doesn't count.

 

If you had none of the above, yes, you had it easy.

 

Even though I agree you did, thank you for posting your story and welcome to Ex-C!

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Welcome! What a great read! You made me laugh out loud numerous times. I think your humorous style would be excellent for a pamphlet. You'd be amazed how often people can be caused to think through laughter. :)

 

As for me, I don't mind that you had it easy. I wish everyone did. And I'm really glad you worked it out before your kid is old enough to get indoctrinated. You should definitely stick to your guns on the parochial school bit.

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I gotta toss my two cents in or toss my cookies:

 

ONE Mother Teresa in the history of this planet is enough. She was a fruit cake that believed we came closer to god by our suffering. So, she and her convent of whackos taught suffering in India where they already suffered. Those who came to her convent for care received a cot on the ground where they lay and suffered until they died, faster if their family did not care for them. Her sisterhood were not obligated to care for those who came to them for help, all they got was the cot, a place to lay and wait for death. None of the money Mommy Terry collected for the Catholic church went to care for anyone. It all went to the church. She was so whacked out she had the Vatican send an exorcist to perform an exorcism on her before she died so that she could go to god as purely of spirit as possible. Wouldn't want any of those nasty mental things to follow her to heaven, dontchaknow! She suffered through life suffering for god and she and her band of degenerates taught everyone else to suffer as much as they did, or more so. I may be able to find some spiritually minded persons that actually help someone and are Christians but I would have to look further than Mommy Terry!

 

Welcome to the forums.

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Thank you.

 

I love how you took the time to scrutinized the entirebible.

 

Your extimony means just as much to me as any of the other powerful,thought-provoking posts that I have read. I wish that I had experienced less misery and torment beforemy eventual deconversion. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on my worstenemy.

 

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Thanks everyone for all the wonderful comments and well wishes. It's a great community you have here.

 

Mother Teresa was probably a bad example, I know little to nothing about Catholicism or her. I was making a failed attempt to illustrate that I really expected to see god do more good things for everyday people in the bible, not just for the 'haves'.

 

I'm glad many of you enjoyed reading my story. When time permits I may try to work on expanding it into something bigger. I feel like a lot of niches are already filled out there on the web. 85% of what I wrote is really just my interpretation of the scriptures. Most Christians who haven't read the bible wouldn't understand anyway. I was totally the guy who would have said "yes I believe the bible is 100% accurate" followed by "no I haven't read it". This is the biggest stumbling block we have to get people to see the truth. They simply must put down Facebook, turn off the tv, open their bible starting at Genesis 1 and read.

 

I'm utterly fascinated as I read and learn that people hundreds of years ago like Jefferson didn't believe any of Jesus' supernatural stuff from the bible. If he and others of his day would have had the scientific understanding we have today, or for that matter were living today they wouldn't be called the four horsemen, it would be something else like the Magnificent Seven or Dirty Dozen.

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freeasabird - You might enjoy this site: www.evilbible.com It makes it very easy to get to those scriptures that detail god's genocidal side. Although, try as I might, I've never gotten one single Christian to answer me when I ask why god needs his followers to dash the heads of babies against rocks. You would think that would penetrate the lies, but it does not.

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I also found it pretty interesting to learn about how many of the founding fathers were deists.

 

I recently read a good bit of Thomas Paine's Age of Reason, and it was pretty intriguing. Even though he espouses deism, he puts forth some pretty good arguments against Christianity.

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I really enjoyed reading your "testimony"! I, too, deconverted by reading the Bible. I'd read it through several times before during my 35 years of Christianity, but when I read it that last time, with doubts swirling around in my head, I was astounded by all of the blatant contradictions and ridiculousness I found inside, and I couldn't understand how I'd never even noticed them all before!

 

This passage of yours really got to me:

 

Shortly after, I did the following Google search “Reading the bible made me an atheist”. I was astounded at the results I got. I found this website and read several de-conversion stories.

I remember when I did that, too. Specifically, when I found this site and the "Testimonies" forum, the relief I felt in realizing "I'm not alone!" was absolutely overwhelming. And reading what you wrote just brought all of those feelings back as fresh as when it happened over 2 years ago.

 

Welcome to the forum!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wanted to give a brief update for anyone who may be interested. On the topic of my wife's beliefs and parochial school, we may have had a small breakthrough recently. I realized my wife might actually just need some time to come to terms with the loss she was feeling. I think she knew the truth but just needed time to digest it so I gave her the space she needed by not talking about it. There was no rush as my son won't start school until next fall. Anyway, we were talking about something unrelated recently, I don't recall exactly what the conversation was but she said something to the effect of, "especially since now we don't believe in god". I stopped her and said "Whoa, WE don't believe in god?" She chuckled and brushed it off not wanting to talk about it. So it was a small breakthrough, she's definitely thinking about it 'offline' and coming to terms with it, just still not quite ready to discuss it formally. So, knowing my wife the way I do, this is very good news and a sign of better things to come.

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As far as parochial schools go, it could also depend on which flavor of school you are talking about. I send my daughters to an Episcopal school as it far and away the best school in the area academically, but it is pretty mild on the religious side of things. They do teach a little from the Bible, but as if it had been edited by Walt Disney. They are very accepting of other beliefs. my daughters are both atheists, and there are several other kids who are atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.

 

Respectfully,

Franciscan Monkey

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Wanted to give a brief update for anyone who may be interested. On the topic of my wife's beliefs and parochial school, we may have had a small breakthrough recently. I realized my wife might actually just need some time to come to terms with the loss she was feeling. I think she knew the truth but just needed time to digest it so I gave her the space she needed by not talking about it. There was no rush as my son won't start school until next fall. Anyway, we were talking about something unrelated recently, I don't recall exactly what the conversation was but she said something to the effect of, "especially since now we don't believe in god". I stopped her and said "Whoa, WE don't believe in god?" She chuckled and brushed it off not wanting to talk about it. So it was a small breakthrough, she's definitely thinking about it 'offline' and coming to terms with it, just still not quite ready to discuss it formally. So, knowing my wife the way I do, this is very good news and a sign of better things to come.

 

Good news but bear in mind she may still need to believe in "a god" of sorts. My wife does not attend church and is pretty disillusioned about it all but still from time to time will play some gospel CD's. I make no fuss about that.

 

Oddly enough, it was my wife that saw through the hypocrisy when I was still deep in dumbfuckistan. My deconversion when it came was radical and even for her was a huge adjustment. I wanted the kids to attend the xian school and she was totally opposed to it, praise the lard I listened to her :grin:

 

We discuss the stuff I discuss here and on other forums and she makes no theological comments.

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