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LifeCycle

Too Many Unanswerd Questions, Too Many Contradictions...

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Hi all... I'm glad I found this place. It's a great idea for a gathering place and I'm going to donate to it once I figure out how to do so without my wife knowing. =(

 

Since I couldn't find an introductions forum, I guess this is the next best place to tell my story... It all started when I was 8 years old... I had a desire to attend church so my mom and I started going. The only reason I really knew of church was through my grandparents. I don't know if that influenced me to want to go or not, but for some reason I wanted to attend. The following years through junior high and high school I was your typical Christian fanatic. I attended a public school but was faithful to my youth group on Wednesdays and Weekends. At the church I attended, they had a witness and evangelism program and I was the first youth to graduate from it. It was a great feeling but honestly, I don't feel I learned much.

 

Fast-forward some 17 years later and here I am, unable to believe any longer. It all started 2 years ago. I had questions... Questions nobody could answer... I've spoken to pastors and I've spoken to "theologians" and every time, I get the deer in the headlights response. I've spoken to friends who are believers and as much as I'm not comfortable saying that I contributed to them having less faith, I have. However, that was never my intent, I sincerely just sought comfort through someone being able to make sense of the problems I was coming up with...I would say that I know the bible very well and I definitely know the fundamental, mainstream teachings of the word very well and ultimately, all that has really done for me is equip me with tools to punch holes in its teachings.

 

I first went from belief-based salvation to an all-inclusive perspective and determined that hell was a myth and not really anywhere in scripture... From that point, when you believe that everyone is saved - no matter what they do or believe it causes you to be less critical of others and their beliefs. It actually made me more compassionate and accepting towards others. Ironic isn't it? After that, the next step was trying to validate all this Christian stuff and I simply kept coming up short. Discussing with other Christians - who, I felt had no idea what in the world they believed and why, only further fueled my desire to flee from it all. These people are simply products of their environment. Never did they make an honest attempt at seeking out truth... They're too comfortable in their lifestyle and it works for them. I needed validation, I needed more and it became very unnerving doing honest, sincere and truly objective investigating because I kept coming up short.

 

So, here I am... In the baby phase of realizing that much of my perspective of life, throughout most of my life has been a sham. However, I wouldn't want to call it a waste as there are certainly good memories and great knowledge I can take away from it all... It's just that, what I thought made sense of the universe no longer makes any sense to me. I was certain my entire life about what happens next... Now, I'm not... It's not very comforting and the idea that this may be all certainly makes me very, very uneasy. So, as we used to call new Christians "baby Christians." Here I am before you, a "baby unbeliever." Be gentle.

 

Sincerely,

LifeCycle

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Welcome, LifeCycle!

 

Based on the first paragraph of your post, I'm guessing that your wife is still a believer? Trust me when I tell you I understand the situation you're in. There are a number of us that are either still in that situation or have recently "come out" to our spouses about our lack of belief, so you're in good company here.

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Welcome! I'm a "baby unbeliever" too. :)

 

I think most christians just want the comfort of the lie over the truth that we can never really know what comes after death... or even worse, accepting what science would suggest, that nothing awaits us after death. Such an impossible to grasp idea leads to people willing to be able to believe anything over their life just "stopping".

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Don't worry you will find lots of advice here and you will find a much larger store of knowledge than you could of imagined.

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Welcome to the world of rationality, critical thinking, and most important - reality. I wasted over 25 years trying to follow the road of christianity only to find myself in front of a brick wall.

 

Ironically, I found this site through a facebook comment from a fundy who attacked this area so, naturally, I came in. I spent about 2 months quietly reading numerous essays and realized that I wasn't alone in my assessment of this thing the fundies push down our throats. When I first stumbled into here I was still a xtian but now I can say I'm no longer part of that cult.

 

So, if I may give a piece of advise - just take it slow, read alot of the stuff here, and then jump in with more comments or whatever.

 

Once more - welcome and good luck. I think you'll love it around here.

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Welcome, LifeCycle!

 

Based on the first paragraph of your post, I'm guessing that your wife is still a believer? Trust me when I tell you I understand the situation you're in. There are a number of us that are either still in that situation or have recently "come out" to our spouses about our lack of belief, so you're in good company here.

 

Yes, that is the case. To top it all off, on her side of the family I was the "religious cornerstone" I guess you could say... The one who says prayer at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners... Yeah, that's going to be interesting. I'm sure I can fake it for a time, but eesh, who wants to do that their entire life?

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Thanks all! The kind words are much appreciated.

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Welcome, LifeCycle!

 

Based on the first paragraph of your post, I'm guessing that your wife is still a believer? Trust me when I tell you I understand the situation you're in. There are a number of us that are either still in that situation or have recently "come out" to our spouses about our lack of belief, so you're in good company here.

 

Yes, that is the case. To top it all off, on her side of the family I was the "religious cornerstone" I guess you could say... The one who says prayer at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners... Yeah, that's going to be interesting. I'm sure I can fake it for a time, but eesh, who wants to do that their entire life?

 

Does your wife know yet? Forgive me if I'm being too nosy about it.

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Welcome, LifeCycle!

 

Based on the first paragraph of your post, I'm guessing that your wife is still a believer? Trust me when I tell you I understand the situation you're in. There are a number of us that are either still in that situation or have recently "come out" to our spouses about our lack of belief, so you're in good company here.

 

Yes, that is the case. To top it all off, on her side of the family I was the "religious cornerstone" I guess you could say... The one who says prayer at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners... Yeah, that's going to be interesting. I'm sure I can fake it for a time, but eesh, who wants to do that their entire life?

 

Does your wife know yet? Forgive me if I'm being too nosy about it.

 

No, she does not. She may have an idea... But I doubt it.

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Welcome, LifeCycle!

 

Based on the first paragraph of your post, I'm guessing that your wife is still a believer? Trust me when I tell you I understand the situation you're in. There are a number of us that are either still in that situation or have recently "come out" to our spouses about our lack of belief, so you're in good company here.

 

Yes, that is the case. To top it all off, on her side of the family I was the "religious cornerstone" I guess you could say... The one who says prayer at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners... Yeah, that's going to be interesting. I'm sure I can fake it for a time, but eesh, who wants to do that their entire life?

 

Does your wife know yet? Forgive me if I'm being too nosy about it.

 

No, she does not. She may have an idea... But I doubt it.

 

That's a tough spot to be in, to be sure.

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Yes, that is the case. To top it all off, on her side of the family I was the "religious cornerstone" I guess you could say... The one who says prayer at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners... Yeah, that's going to be interesting. I'm sure I can fake it for a time, but eesh, who wants to do that their entire life?

For some zany reason, what you shared about saying the prayers at holiday events brought to mind a very funny scene from a movie. Dunno if you ever caught 'Talledega Nights - the Ballad of Ricky Bobby' there's a scene where the Nascar driver (Will Ferrel) is praying over dinner. He begins with 'Ok dear, magical, baby Jesus, thank you for the bounty we are' etc. LOL

 

Maybe if you begin your prayer with that, it might be the LAST time you're asked to officiate over the 'blessed' food. ROFL

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That's a tough spot to be in, to be sure.

 

Indeed. I agonized over it for weeks, but i felt relief when I finally told my wife.

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...once I figure out how to do so without my wife knowing. =(

 

A believing spouse certainly makes deconverting more difficult, doesn't it? I've been there, and I feel for you. I think it's best to begin approaching the subject while it's still a sensitive issue for you, as it will be an even more sensitive issue for her. I waited too long to really get my wife up to speed on conclusions that I had been reaching, and I was not initially as considerate as I should have been. It hurt her feelings that I had been keeping it a secret. I don't know of an easy way to approach the subject, but unless you're planning to keep it a secret and pretend forever, early is better than late.

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Yes, that is the case. To top it all off, on her side of the family I was the "religious cornerstone" I guess you could say... The one who says prayer at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners... Yeah, that's going to be interesting. I'm sure I can fake it for a time, but eesh, who wants to do that their entire life?

For some zany reason, what you shared about saying the prayers at holiday events brought to mind a very funny scene from a movie. Dunno if you ever caught 'Talledega Nights - the Ballad of Ricky Bobby' there's a scene where the Nascar driver (Will Ferrel) is praying over dinner. He begins with 'Ok dear, magical, baby Jesus, thank you for the bounty we are' etc. LOL

 

Maybe if you begin your prayer with that, it might be the LAST time you're asked to officiate over the 'blessed' food. ROFL

 

LOL!!! I love that scene!!! I can watch it repeatedly. Dear, sweet baby Jesus.... LOL

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...once I figure out how to do so without my wife knowing. =(

 

A believing spouse certainly makes deconverting more difficult, doesn't it? I've been there, and I feel for you. I think it's best to begin approaching the subject while it's still a sensitive issue for you, as it will be an even more sensitive issue for her. I waited too long to really get my wife up to speed on conclusions that I had been reaching, and I was not initially as considerate as I should have been. It hurt her feelings that I had been keeping it a secret. I don't know of an easy way to approach the subject, but unless you're planning to keep it a secret and pretend forever, early is better than late.

 

Great advice, thanks.

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Welcome, LifeCycle. Questioning is what got every one of us in trouble. There just are no answers. Once I realized that I had to open my mind and allow myself to look for answers outside of my deeply held belief system (of 30 years), it was all over. I wasn't prepared for the answers I found. It is an uncomfortable feeling, as you said. But it is also very freeing. Now you don't have to live with the confusion and frustration of trying to believe things that don't make sense. You are free to question and to find your own answers.

 

I'm sorry that you are going through this alone right now. I hope your wife will be open to these changes in your life. There are many here in your situation who can understand and help you navigate through all of that.

 

From what I understand Oklahoma has a pretty well organized freethought/atheist population. I know Seth of The Thinking Atheist lives there and I've heard there are some good meetups. Also there's the annual Oklahoma Freethought Convention which just took place. The Thinking Atheist just posted one of the videos from that and will be uploading more soon. So if you do want to connect with others in your community you should be able to find some things to get involved in. I realize that right now that may be difficult with your wife and family not knowing about your transition, though.

 

Good luck to you on your journey. It can be difficult at times, but it is SO worth it.

 

2H

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Welcome, LifeCycle. Questioning is what got every one of us in trouble. There just are no answers. Once I realized that I had to open my mind and allow myself to look for answers outside of my deeply held belief system (of 30 years), it was all over. I wasn't prepared for the answers I found. It is an uncomfortable feeling, as you said. But it is also very freeing. Now you don't have to live with the confusion and frustration of trying to believe things that don't make sense. You are free to question and to find your own answers.

 

I'm sorry that you are going through this alone right now. I hope your wife will be open to these changes in your life. There are many here in your situation who can understand and help you navigate through all of that.

 

From what I understand Oklahoma has a pretty well organized freethought/atheist population. I know Seth of The Thinking Atheist lives there and I've heard there are some good meetups. Also there's the annual Oklahoma Freethought Convention which just took place. The Thinking Atheist just posted one of the videos from that and will be uploading more soon. So if you do want to connect with others in your community you should be able to find some things to get involved in. I realize that right now that may be difficult with your wife and family not knowing about your transition, though.

 

Good luck to you on your journey. It can be difficult at times, but it is SO worth it.

 

2H

It's amazing how one can learn so much from visiting various forums around here, ie: Oklahoma having a sizable number of freethinkers, et.al. I've always thought OK. was one of your typical redneck places where I would NEVER visit. I guess I'll have to reassess my views (again). Thanks.

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LOL!!! I love that scene!!! I can watch it repeatedly. Dear, sweet baby Jesus.... LOL

I have to give you a 2 minute penalty for leaving out 'magical'. ROFL

Or maybe I just added that to the tags eh? LOL

And since young people visit this site I'll refrain from discussing the other scene where he was french kissing that Borat guy. LOL

(But you're free to comment.. LOL)

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So yeah... I'm not really sure how to proceed with my wife or my mother or the rest of my family. Heck my mother has a book on Eschatology and believes in the Rapture and all of that. No way is she even prepared for that type of discussion.

 

Question: Have any of you gone through any form of depression due to your awakening? I mean, now you believe there is no heaven and that this is probably it. The deck that we are dealt - however unfair it is, is the deck we are dealt. Frankly, I'm pissed. I'm pissed that if this is it, this is all we've got. That injustice rules this world and that megalomaniacs control everything and greed and selfishness cause so much suffering. If there's anything that I want to believe, it's that somewhere down the line, the imbalance of this life is righted and scumbags who did everything in their power to attain riches or accolade, reap some kind of consequence.

 

I mean, what's the flippin point then? So, yeah, all of this makes me angry and I can see the onset of a varying state of depression set in. Ugh.

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I'd say that leaving religion is a good reason for a person to start trying to make the world a better place, rather than waiting for some magical afterlife to make it better. Sure, once person can't set it right, but if enough of us champion reason of faith, maybe we can make the world a better place.

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ugh, sorry for the typos, I meant "One person can't set it right" and "Reason over faith"

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So yeah... I'm not really sure how to proceed with my wife or my mother or the rest of my family. Heck my mother has a book on Eschatology and believes in the Rapture and all of that. No way is she even prepared for that type of discussion.

 

Question: Have any of you gone through any form of depression due to your awakening? I mean, now you believe there is no heaven and that this is probably it. The deck that we are dealt - however unfair it is, is the deck we are dealt. Frankly, I'm pissed. I'm pissed that if this is it, this is all we've got. That injustice rules this world and that megalomaniacs control everything and greed and selfishness cause so much suffering. If there's anything that I want to believe, it's that somewhere down the line, the imbalance of this life is righted and scumbags who did everything in their power to attain riches or accolade, reap some kind of consequence.

 

I mean, what's the flippin point then? So, yeah, all of this makes me angry and I can see the onset of a varying state of depression set in. Ugh.

 

Yep. There's a pretty good thread on the phases of deconversion pinned under Ex-Christian Life: http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/21830-phases-of-deconversion/

 

Some here are still spiritual and have various beliefs about consequences and afterlives. Feel free to share your struggles. We are here to support you.

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Yes, that is the case. To top it all off, on her side of the family I was the "religious cornerstone" I guess you could say... The one who says prayer at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners... Yeah, that's going to be interesting. I'm sure I can fake it for a time, but eesh, who wants to do that their entire life?

For some zany reason, what you shared about saying the prayers at holiday events brought to mind a very funny scene from a movie. Dunno if you ever caught 'Talledega Nights - the Ballad of Ricky Bobby' there's a scene where the Nascar driver (Will Ferrel) is praying over dinner. He begins with 'Ok dear, magical, baby Jesus, thank you for the bounty we are' etc. LOL

 

Maybe if you begin your prayer with that, it might be the LAST time you're asked to officiate over the 'blessed' food. ROFL

 

LOL!!! I love that scene!!! I can watch it repeatedly. Dear, sweet baby Jesus.... LOL

 

My favorite Thanksgiving prayer by Jimmy Stewart in "How the west was won"

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ugh, sorry for the typos, I meant "One person can't set it right" and "Reason over faith"

 

No worries. You'll have edit privileges before you know it.

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Question: Have any of you gone through any form of depression due to your awakening? I mean, now you believe there is no heaven and that this is probably it. The deck that we are dealt - however unfair it is, is the deck we are dealt. Frankly, I'm pissed. I'm pissed that if this is it, this is all we've got. That injustice rules this world and that megalomaniacs control everything and greed and selfishness cause so much suffering. If there's anything that I want to believe, it's that somewhere down the line, the imbalance of this life is righted and scumbags who did everything in their power to attain riches or accolade, reap some kind of consequence.

 

I mean, what's the flippin point then? So, yeah, all of this makes me angry and I can see the onset of a varying state of depression set in. Ugh.

 

To me, not believing was actually all rather freeing. It was a relief that I didn't have to believe that awful things were being done by awful people because a deity allows it all to happen as a part of some sick, twisted, indecipherable plan. Terrible things that happen to us aren't part of some punishment for our distant ancestors eating a piece of fruit, punishment for our own actions, or part of some sadistic "testing" of our faith being done by God. We no longer have to find "God's purpose" for our lives, but we can live and do what we like without wondering if taking a particular job, marrying a particular person, buying a particular car or going on a particular trip is going against his sick, twisted, indecipherable plan for us. It is a relief to not have to worry about spending eternity in Hell or kissing God's ass for eternity in Heaven. It is a relief that we don't have to put up with injustices simply because we accept that they are somehow God's will.

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