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My Deconversion: Unrequited "love" And Logic


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Hello all! It's good to see that there are other Ex-Christians like me out there.

 

For someone so steeped in a faith background as I, my deconversion happened via a surprisingly simple set of circumstances, though it took about five years. I am now twenty years old and have not believed for around three years, give or take.

 

First, I had many conversations with one particular atheist friend of mine since seventh grade. That we were able to parrot our parents like that at such a young age is a testament the simplicity of our arguments: it follows from the fallacious and simplistic nature of creationist reasoning that refutations are easy to make but not always listened to.

 

Second, I would continually look up arguments and counterarguments so that I would be prepared to speak to atheists. Interestingly, even now I remember the very instant that the evidence had mounted up so much that I could no longer believe in the "god" of the bible on a rational level.

 

I also had to divorce from the "god" idea emotionally. That "god" voice in my head kept telling me that my high school crush would most assuredly be my spouse one day. This happened systematically for each crush that I had. The same voice that I prayed to kept telling me things that were just not so. At the time, I just expected that somehow, (even though I hardly did anything about it) that girl would just come waltzing up and ask me out. In retrospect it's quite hilarious. But that's what happens when you mix teenage hormones with religion, I guess.

 

To this day I have never had a girlfriend. As a Christian, I thought Jesus would give me one. What a pimp :P.  jesus.gif

 

I have never been shy around women, and am relatively sure that I may have hurt some women's feelings by developing what I hoped would be platonic relationships, but what they wanted more out of. I might in fact say that forming such friendships has become habit. This is all due to the fact that any girl I would want to date would have to be an atheist, and my parents wouldn't have it. Not only do I not have financial independence, but I don't really have any freedoms, though my parents would tell you otherwise.

 

It is truly strange typing this; these days I try to avoid discussing anything to do with religion at all. As I once put it to someone, I feel as though I'm in a minefield. If I were to reveal publicly that I have lost my religion, I could easily see upwards of one hundred people being offended,especially my parents (who are both over 50 and firmly entrenched in their belief system). I'm sure many of these folks would take it on themselves to "bring me back into the fold". Of course this can never happen. If that scenario played out, I would likely be forced to put on a smile and pretend to return to the faith. So I think I've found the equilibrium in this game, for now. I still do "prayer/bible times" and go to church with my family. 

 

There are other reasons besides an unpleasant experience that I avoid revealing my mind on this subject. I am currently in college, and am not financially independent. I value my education very much and do not want to have it taken away. I am sure that my parents value my being religious more than my being educated, so it is likely they would cut off my funds so that I could "grow in Christ" or some such bull.

 

A third reason for not revealing this is my relationship with my father, which is a great help to me academically at times, as I am in intensive science and engineering courses. (It is a pitiable thing that so many intelligent people like him turn their brains completely off when they are called to defend archaic traditions.)

 

But these reasons would not be such a big deal if not for these final ones: my grandparents. I know that their children are young enough to get angry and argumentative with me with little impact to their health. The idea is that they'll have time to "get over" it. But I think knowing that I am an atheist would be a torturous thing for older people. At least with my grandparents, they've dealt with rebellious children before, and will pity me more than anything, and it will be taxing.

 

Of course when I say rebellious I am coming at things from their perspective. That's not what this is. The simple truth is that there is no "god" and this shouldn't be a big deal.

 

Well that's my story. I hope it wasn't too long, though I will be a hypocrite and hold you to a different standard: I'll have no chance of reading the replies if they aren't kinda short.

 

Thank you!

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Welcome, hiHat! You have written so beautifully. I understand your dilemmas about not coming out. You are a very thoughtful and considerate young man! You seem to have worked out your equilibrium which works for you, and I applaud your reasoning.

 

I have a background in art and humanities, so I always enjoy reading thought processes from the math/science types. Please continue to contribute your perspective here. I look forward to getting to know you.

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I too thought Jesus would provide me with a girlfriend in my late teens. In my twenties I realised that god helps those who helps themselves and I found and married my wife. Then last year at age 29 it became clear that everything god gave me was really stuff I worked for and earned myself. Shame on him for taking credit.

 

If I were you I would keep quiet and play along. Coming out now is going to cause too many problems. I'm not saying don't come out, just trying to make the point that the timing isn't ideal.

 

What's really helping me is reading about and meeting people like you. This community might not always have the answers, but at least they have sane and rational responses.

 

Good luck.

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