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My Bizarre Deconverted Life


Ellwood
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I thought it would be interesting to list the bizarre moments and items in my deconverted life.  Does anyone else feel like they live in a reverse universe of their earlier life?

 

Prior to my deconversion everything fit in my life.   I served at my nice comfortable hip church in a significant volunteer role, worked at my job of 29 years, and would return to my home with my christian wife of 35 years and was proud of my 3 christian children and 2 grandchildren.

 

Now:

 

My wife of 35 years is still a Christian and does not want to hear any reasons for deconversion even if they are valid evidence.

 

I came out as an atheist on Easter 2012 of all days.

  

My 29 year old son is in a fundamentalist seminary

 

My youngest daughter surprised me be telling me she is an atheist when I explained my deconversion to her.

 

My old church had a celebration day to glory in how much they had grown and the pastor, who knows of my deconversion, was disappointed that I did not attend because I ”had so much to do with its growth”.   Ugh!

 

He told me this during a recent lunch with just the 2 of us.  We agreed to not talk religion.  Still weird. 

 

I recently brought all my Christian books to the book recycling unit.

 

My car radio still has a memory button to the local Christian station, where I used to work many years ago.

 

I am a huge atheist podcast fan.

 

Half of my Internet Explorer bookmarks are certainly not what they used to be.

 

My Facebook page has hundreds of pictures of my old church life.   Should I keep or delete?

 

My Kindle history shows a severe shift in my reading in January 2012.   And I mean severe.

 

My father was a Baptist minister. 

 

My mother worked at the first company of its kind making christian films.  

 

Billy Graham used to be my hero.

 

I was the council chair of a church with 500 attenders and almost a million dollar budget.

 

I once gave my testimony to the entire population of the Maximum Security Prison when I was 20. 

 

I was a favorite AWANA (Christian youth program) council time speaker pushing the Bible as the book for the little kids to base their lives on.

 

The president of the company I work for was a youth in the church youth group in which I had volunteered.

 

I have a gay nephew.  Good.   He still considers himself a Christian.  Bad

 

I have another nephew who just had a child out of wedlock.   I don’t condemn him.  I celebrate the child.

 

I have a lesbian niece.   I emailed her how much I affirmed her life and wished her well.  That felt really cool!

 

I was a virgin when I got married.  Well, ok, barely.

 

My wife has a jesus fish on the back of our minivan.   When I was driving it recently I found myself driving “nicely” so I would not appear hypocritical of the Christian message.   Then I realized that was messed up.   The best thing I could do would be to drive like a nut!    “Look dear, that Christian is driving like an idiot!!   What a fake!”  

 

I was asked to attend a church service recently to celebrate the retirement of an employee I hired at that church when I was chairman.   I thought it best to not say a word but I did attend.

 

At that same service a mother of a young man I had worked with in the sound room asked me to pray for that son’s salvation.  Very bizarre moment.

 

My Sunday mornings are spent kayaking, sailing, reading, or having breakfast with a friend.

 

I spent this last Easter morning kayaking.

 

I came out as an atheist to one of the young men I had mentored.   He replied – “Oh good.   I am one also!   I just never dared to tell you.”  I continue to mentor him – differently.

 

I often have Christian friends say they are skeptics also.   Perhaps they think I will be impressed with that.   Not!   Have the courage to research that, come out to your whole community and I will be impressed.

 

90% of my Facebook friends are people from my Christian past.

 

My oldest daughter is married to the former youth pastor of one of our old churches.   I hired him for that church position.

 

I am concerned that my grandchildren will be taught about hell.

 

My son in law has a sister who is an Episcopal priest.

 

My son in law has a father who is a Presbyterian pastor.

 

My son believes in a young earth.

 

People send me daily Bible verses thinking I am still a Christian.

 

What should I do with the manger scene I kept in my office for display?   Give it away or throw it out?

 

I have concluded that it is pointless to spend time with Christian friends who derive income from religion even if they want to “just find out how you are doing”.    They always have a deeper agenda and their income speaks louder than me.

 

I observe Christians usually living an “atheist” life style.   They go to doctor, have insurance, use birth control, get therapy, get sick, wear seat belts, etc.   But still think god is in charge, guides them and watches over them.

 

I have tried to like beer but still prefer a chocolate shake.

 

What do I do with my old t-shirts with Christian messages on them?

 

Should I disconnect from the Christian college I graduated from and where I got a free education because my parents were employed there?    I produced its Christian broadcasts and even co-hosted the broadcasts with the college president.

 

I go about my day often wondering who has heard and who has not.

 

I sometimes feel like I am still evangelizing, just the thing I am pushing has changed.

 

I am now close friends with a person whom I had unfriended on Facebook years ago because of his annoying atheist

posts.

 

I don’t know what to do about a Christian friend who is a biology professor at a nearby state college who will not teach evolution but only assigns it as reading because he thinks it has too many issues to be validated by his teaching it in person. 

 

I wonder what will happen if my old Christian community discovers I post here and figure out my user name.    I have told some about the site but I think they don’t dare view it.   I suspect they must be afraid of atheist “cooties”.

 

Thanks for reading about my crazy life.   Was this entertaining?

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Very entertaining. What did you do when you were asked to pray for that guy?

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When asked to pray for the woman's son I acted very concerned. Did not say I would but rather asked her to send me his email address so I could write to him. She said she would. So far she hasn't. That was about 2 months ago. I think someone squealed on me. I would have sent him an email she would not have liked.

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I found quite a few of these rather relatable, even though we are at different stages in life and my wife has luckily deconverted with me. I too still find myself in that twilight zone between my former Christian life and my new ex-Christian one.

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I think a lot of us can relate to some of that.  The world seems like bizarro world for a while because things take a radical change and yet we're still surrounded with everything that made us who we were.  It can make things difficult to navigate for a while.

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Pictures on facebook.  Keep 'em  it'll show how you have grow. 

 

manger scene  give it away....someone will appreciate it and it has no meaning for you. 

 

Books.  Donate or give away.   Same with shirts. 

 

Just change the pre-sets already. 

 

Not a fan of beer either.   Not all atheists are lushes. 

 

College.   No opinion.  I don't really care about my secular college.  Drop it and move on. 

 

 

Just my $1.50.  

 

And yes entertaining. 

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So much of this rings so true, and I've only experienced the bonsai version of this kind of thing, since I wasn't really immersed in the culture like that. I've been an "out" atheist all my life, and I've seen this patten in a single conversation. (The following example actually happened, pretty much verbatim.Wendytwitch.gif No, I didn't believe it at the time, either.)

 

Random Lady: "Oh, thank you so much for your help, I can just tell God is working through you today!"

Me: "Thanks, but that's funny: I'm an atheist."

RL: *literally staggers backwards in shock* "... oh bless-your-heart. If you read the Bible -"

Me: "Actually I have, twice. In two different translations. Cover to cover. Have you?"

RL: "Well no, but..."

Me: "I'd really recommend it. Maybe you should, and then I'll be more than happy to discuss it with you." (Yeah, I've seen her in passing a couple times since, but she never brought religion up again.)

 

Observations:

1. Everyone assumes that you're Christian until something happens to prove otherwise.

2. There's usually complete stunned horror, on finding out that you are an atheist. (This is the part I find a bit offensive, since it implies that since being Christian makes you a good person, only Christians are good people. That's also why I feel the hair on my neck stand up when I hear stuff like "But they were such a Good, Christian family..." No, guys, bad things happen to anyone. Even good people. Christianity has nothing to do with it. Either being a good person, or keeping bad things from happening.) And, yes, I do tend to let this slide, because although it's offensive, I just remind myself that they're just trying to keep the cognitive dissonance down (this means that they're uncomfortable, and that there's cracks in the armour).

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I've been lurking for a few weeks, this is my first post. I had to say that yes, very entertaining and I do relate.

 

I'm a brand new atheist, finally admitted it to myself about a month ago and have so far told only a handful of my friends and family.

 

If I can add a few of my own:

 

I used to get such comfort from reading the Bible, now when I read the Bible all I can see is how horrific and abusive and primitive it is. How did I not see this before?!

 

My podcast listening has switched from all apologetics to all freethinking.

 

I was a missionary and a youth leader.

 

I was the strong Christian in my family and the believer in my marriage.

 

I avoided Dawkins and felt sorry for Hitchens now I can't read them fast enough along with Sagan, Dennett, Coyne and so many more.

 

You Tube is my friend.

 

I feel no guilt when I lie in bed on a Sunday morning and enjoy the feeling of having the whole day stretched out in front of me to do whatever I want to do.

 

People still tag me on Facebook in relation to Christian articles or events they think I'd be interested in...errr thanks but Hell NO!

 

I'm so glad I don't have to feel guilty about not bringing my children to Sunday School, or reading their Children's Bible with them every night, or praying with them or blah blah blah all the other things Christian parents love to mention that they do with their kids all the time. I never did it but I used to feel like such an evil failure, now I feel glad and proud that my children will NOT be indoctrinated and will instead learn to think for themselves.

 

I seek out Science shows on TV rather than avoiding them because it used to be so tiring to watch them through the God filter. I'm so angry that I've denied myself the wonders of science for all my life.

 

I get surprise flashbacks all the time and am so embarrassed at some of the things I said and did as a wacky Christian.

 

At church on Sunday they sang what used to be one of my favourite hymns, "Peace Perfect Peace". It stuck in my throat and I couldn't even sing along because it just sounds like an ode to willful ignorance and checking out. 

 

I'm looking forward to and dreading the next time my preacher wants to meet for coffee, I will have to "come out" to him and he's going to be floored. I was always the star pupil!

 

My mother has me on suicide watch, she can't understand how I can possibly go on living now that I don't believe in God anymore. I actually feel euphoric!

 

Just a snippet of my life from this past month...can't wait to see what happens next.

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Welcome to ex-C.  It's good to have you both.

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Claireann I can relate to most all of what you wrote. You even hit some things I missed like YouTube, documentaries and Dawkins Hitchens and gang!

 

Welcome to this new life. Wow only a month out. Been about a year and a half for me.

 

I have another crazy to add. My believing wife looks like she will be getting regular employment at a Christian school. The school is connected to the church I served leadership roles in for many years. I should be great lunch room conversation.

 

Another crazy is trying to decide which station to listen to in the car when we are together. She would want Christian all the time but knows that would not be fair. We have done well so far with a balance.

 

Keep sharing claireann. Tomorrow is Sunday! Yahoo! Nothing to do!!!

 

Thanks for all the other comments guys. Love this place!

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Elwood and claireann,

 Thanks to both of you for your posts and congrats on finding this group to help you out. You're both right where many of us have been. I was there in 2007. It's been a fascinating journey of growth and freedom since then. I am by far a better person now that I ever was as a christian.

 Please keep posting and asking questions.

 And Elwood, I threw all my old christian tapes and books in the trash eventually. Kept them for some months then tossed them. Almost all of my old christian "friends" are gone from my life now.

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