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Finally Broke The News...


new2me
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So far, I have only told a few people that I am an atheist - my husband, and a few of my friends who either were not Christian or not serious Christians.  All of those conversations went over very easily, especially because I had never really discussed my former faith with them in the past.

 

Then yesterday, I spent a long time on the phone with one of my Christian friends.  She and I have been friends for 20 years, and although we only talk about once a year it is a friendship that we can always pick right up where we left off.  In the past, we have provided spiritual support for each other and talked a lot about God.  She is probably the friend I've talked most with about my relationship with God - both during the times I was strong in my faith and when I was weak.  I always valued her as a friend who I could trust with anything I was feeling.  I knew that the topic would definitely come up in our conversation, and I was prepared for it, but not looking forward to it.

 

Our conversation started out fine, but eventually the spiritual questions bubbled to the surface.  When I told her that I didn't believe in God anymore, she just said "oh, come on."  She couldn't believe it.  But then the barrage started.  I heard all of the same old arguments - everything couldn't come from "nothing", the world is too "complex", it's mathematically impossible, Satan is just trying to confuse people, apologists like Ravi Zacharias and some other dude whose name I didn't recognize had "intelligent arguments" that atheists like Steven Hawking can't even refute, that if you don't believe in God then "right and wrong don't exist" etc.  I did challenge several of the things she said, but it was difficult because I had no desire to try to change her beliefs.  I challenged God's morality in the OT when he ordered his people to slaughter entire groups of people, including children.  She tried to play the context card, but I said that there was no context that would ever make sense to me where it would be okay to murder children.  She agreed that I had a lot of good questions and that she also had a lot of questions that she hopes to ask God someday.  She said that she was surprised that I have given up my faith but that she could understand where I'm coming from because she's heard these arguments from other people before.  I told her that I went through the same types of mental gymnastics she was doing in our conversation to try to make sense of the things God does in the Bible, but when I became an atheist, the world finally made sense to me for the first time ever.  She was really surprised by that, but she didn't argue that point.

 

The really great thing is that even though the conversation was uncomfortable, at no point were we actually arguing.  I know that she was saying the things she did because she had concerns for my immortal soul that she believes are real.  She only asked me to look into some of the apologetics authors she referenced before I committed to my atheism.  She told me that she still loves me and still wants to remain friends, and that this doesn't change her feelings towards me at all.  And I know that she means it.  She actually thanked me for trusting her enough to share all of this with her.  I told her that I always felt that I could be honest and real with her, and valued her friendship enough that I wanted to share this information with her.  Our conversation went on from there to more normal topics, and we ended the call on a very positive note.

 

My friend and I are similar in so many ways.  The arguments she presented to me are probably exactly what I would have said to a deconverting friend when I was still a Christian, and the excuses she makes for God's cruelty are the same things I used to tell myself.  I found myself wondering how the hell I ever escaped from the clutches of Christianity after talking to her.  But, knowing everything that I know now, there is absolutely no way I could slip back into that delusion.

 

Although I was really dreading that conversation, I'm glad it's done now and I know that we can move on from here.  I'll take that as my "one-year atheist anniversary" present!

 

But I still don't plan to tell my parents!  GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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Well, I hope your friends don't abandon you.  It's a shame that the cult messes with people and friendships and families that much.  I'm glad you were confident enough in yourself to not be shaken by her apologetics.  Isn't it wonderful to be free to think for yourself?

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I'm glad the conversation went well!! happydance.gif

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I'll ask the same question I ask every time someone argues with a non-believer.  Why can't you just do something to prove it?  Stop with your arguments, stop with your context, stop with your god of the gaps, just f-in prove it.  It can't be that hard to call on your god to do something natural.  Stop making excuses for your god, stop having to do shit for your god.  Let your god stand or fall on its own merits.

 

For some reason I'm still waiting.

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I'll ask the same question I ask every time someone argues with a non-believer.  Why can't you just do something to prove it?  Stop with your arguments, stop with your context, stop with your god of the gaps, just f-in prove it.  It can't be that hard to call on your god to do something natural.  Stop making excuses for your god, stop having to do shit for your god.  Let your god stand or fall on its own merits.

 

For some reason I'm still waiting.

Yeah, I totally get that.  But the point of my conversation with her was more about explaining why I am no longer a Christian vs. trying to show her that her beliefs are not reasonable.  Also, she never got combative with me during the discussion.  I would be more likely to take the approach you've described here with someone who takes an aggressive stance against me.

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