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My story started out when I was in the middle of second grade.  First, my family is not Christian nor do they hold any religious beliefs.  My mom moved to another part of town and at that point my dad wanted me to go to a Christian school so I would not get bullied by African Amercian kids (we are Chinese).  My dad believed that African Americans could not afford to pay the higher tuition and that somehow, Caucasians would not bully me. 

 

From second grade to eighth grade I went to a Lutheran school.  I believed in the storys that they told me, and most teachers welcomed me and were really nice and caring towards me.  I felt really welcomed.  In the fifth grade, my art teacher, of whom I was never comfortable around to begin with, was arrested for attempted molsetation.  Someone finished cutting his grass and went into his house for payment and caught him watching porn.  He asked the kid if he wanted to touch him. 

 

When it came to high school, I tried to enroll into a public school and that set my dad off.  Again, he wanted to keep me isolated from African Americans.  So, I enrolled into a Lutheran high school at appease my dad.  At this point I find that the Christian religion started wear off on me.  Again, most of the teachers were really nice, friendly, and caring.  I don't think I really had a negative experience except for the fact that when I was a sophmore, some seniors thought it would be fun to bully me and tell me how much they disliked Japan (again, I'm Chinese).  I just found that the daily repetition of going to a morning lecture about God and then off to a hour of theology class was getting old.  On a side note, while I was in high school, I met a guy who did cut grass for the grade school teacher that was arrested.  He didn't try anything on this guy but the guy told me when he went into the teacher's house for money, there would be porn scattered all over his house.  In my senior year, there were two African American students who enrolled to the school, so that ruined my dad's plan.  At least now, I was one of three minorities now!  I was buddies with one of them as well!  So much for isolation.  So I finished high school without any issues and off to college I went.

 

In college, I was finally glad to be free of the Christian religion.  I wouldn't say I stopped believeing, but I was glad to stop hearing the sermons.  There were a few times when a local church would try to recruit me.  We would have friendly conversations regarding faith and sometime later I would end up working with a born again Christian, who found God after getting ran over while jogging.  He would always asked me to go to church with him and I would always decline.  I noticed this is when my faith in God would go south.  I would have friendly conversations with the guy about faith and he took it to the extreme.  I would always play devil's advocate and try to see the non-Christian side of the argument and he would counter by saying, "How much faith do you have?"  One day he decided to ask me to go to a pay event at his church and I politely declined the offer.  He got mad and said, "Would you go if it were free?"  I tried avoiding him after that incident. 

 

I would later meet a woman while in college whom I would marry and she was a Christian.  She asked me to go to church with her and I did a few times.  My faith in the religion now was near zero but I thought, this may respark my faith and interest in God.  Turns out that I found that the services were really boring and that the message was the same every week.  Her family was Christian and while I visited with her family I would go to church with them.  I would always try to excuse myself and then finally one day she got mad at me.  I told her at that point I had been lying to myself about being a Christian.  She was upset about me letting her know but her family seemed pretty cool and said I was not obligated to go to church just because I was at their house.  Her family made me feel welcomed regardless of my faith and did not judge me.  My brother in law said he was cool with it too.

 

My wife was mad at me for not believing at first and we fought some.  She was pro-God all the way to the point of voting against gay marriage even though more than half of her friends were gay.  I didn't understand that.  She told me it was against God's wishes and that gay wasn't natural but I corrected her on that point.  Homosexuality has been observed in nature.

 

My wife tried to recruit one of her church friends to talk to me about God.  I invited him over a few times to have a one on one and he could not explain away the contridictions.  He tried his best to convince me to come back to the faith but I was not having it.  I told him we could remain friends, because he was friends with my wife.  I even went to some of my wife's church functions to socialize with them.  My wife and I agreed that we would remain our separate faiths or lack of and would not let that ruin our marriage.  I was cool with that and I let my wife continue to go to her church functions.

 

Later, my wife developed anxiety problems that she would try to pray away.  She was hospitalized many times for it and I watched her pray, asking God to help put an end to her troubles.  God did not answer.  In fact, God decided to test her faith for a year.  The last year of her life was miserable for her and me.  I was always worried if and when she would try tro hurt herself.  Finally, after a year of battling her troubles, God decided to end it all.  At her funeral, one of her family members said that God took her from me to save her from something worse.  I thought to myself, if you only saw what I saw, you would not have the nerve to say that.  I went through hell the last year of her life... 

 

That was about 10 years ago.  I am with someone who is agnostic and my life is much better now without God.  She just wants our kids baptized and that's it.  I told her that I wanted our kids to decide for themselves what to believe and not to force it upon them.  She agreed to that. 

 

Thanks for listening.  I tried to write this 10 years ago, I'm not sure why it took so long.

 

 

 

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Welcome, blau.  It doesn't sound like you were ever really sucked into Christianity too much.  It's too bad about your ex-wife though.  I'm glad to hear that things are better for you now.

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Welcome to Ex-c blau1976. Thanks for sharing your story. It also took me a long time to finally come out of the closet. When I found Ex-c, I was ecstatic because I knew that I was not alone in my doubts. I'm so sorry to hear about your dear wife. Some people cannot make it in this world living in anxiety. It's just too much. The pain is too great for some.  And people will  have the nerve to ask us why we question and doubt gods 'presence??? I had the same things said to me when my sister died....god 'took' her because of 'this and that' reason. Mental illness can be a terrible thing. I sincerely hope that you are starting to gain some peace with this. My heart goes out to anyone who has to face such difficulty and heartbreak.

 

It's sounds like things are getting better. Stay here with us and post all your concerns. Someone is always available to listen and answer. you never have to be alone again.

 

 

hug

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Thanks for the warm welcome. 

 

My main reason for deconversion was that I just lost interest.  I was bored at church, I was bored at church functions.  So why should I continue with this if I am getting nothing out of it?  I get bored with certain things and move on, why not religion?  I really don't understand the point in worshipping a God who may or may not exist. 

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I'm another one that wasn't raised in religion, but I didn't leave my rodeo with it unscathed either. I'm glad you shared your story with us, and I'm glad you're here. For whatever it's worth, I'm so sorry for your loss, sorry she didn't get the help she needed, and also sorry that people said those awful things at her funeral. It's pretty insulting when you think about it. 

 

It may have taken you awhile to get your story into words, but you did it, and that's all that matters.

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Welcome blau.  I deconverted almost 11 years ago and have only just in the past year started to get active about it.  It felt good for me to share my testimony here last September, as I'm sure it feels good for you to have finally gotten it all out.  Stick around; we need good hearted people here.

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Blau,

 

I'm sorry for the loss you suffered with your wife, and the awful things said at her funeral. Welcome to ExC, and as Margee said, you're not alone. That's the most relieving thing to find out. Whatever your deconversion experience, it's all important. It's really sad the things people will come out with sometimes. Trying to justify the Matrix, at the expense of other people. In this case, you, and your wife's honor.

I'm glad you're with someone who is more accepting of your beliefs or lack thereof, now.

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Welcome.

 

It amazes me how Christian beliefs can lead people to seek to add to the misery of bereavement.  Another example of the religion's love, mercy and consideration, I suppose.

 

I suspect you did not write this previously because you could not - for whatever reason, which may be confusion, anger or any combination of emotions - express these thoughts.  If that is correct, it's a good step that you now can do so.

 

All the best.

 

EDIT: just re-read this post and it was surprisingly illiterate.  Just tidied up the grammar.  Apologies if it seemed rather strange

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You and her family gave your wife empathy and non-judgemental love which surely made her too-short life more blissful. Sounds like the irrational ideas from the church distracted her from finding real answers. Sad indeed. Thanks for sharing.

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I suppose my story isn't complete without a highlights reel.  Even though I had it pretty good in terms of not having it shoved down my throat, I did have some tough times.

 

My mom and dad were very anti-Christian.  Once my older cousin jokingly said, "I need to give thanks to God for this dinner!"  My mom looked at him and said, "Who f-ing cooked this dinner???"  My dad once told me of a friend he helped out finanically, and the person said, "Thank God you helped me!"  My dad was like, "Did God just give you that loan?"  The person replied, "God allowed you to save up some money to give to me in this time of need!"  My dad said that he gave that person a piece of his mind. My dad was under the impression that if there was a God, that all we have to do is ask God to give us what we need.

 

My 6th grade gradeschool teacher was a jerk.  He was a music teacher and was buddies with my art teacher who was the child molestor.  They would teach music together and would always try and use the fear of God to get us to behave.  I remember them always yelling at us and punishing us.  I remember one time during pottery class, I made a bowl that had a really smooth surface.  I turned it in, and my art teacher was rubbing it in a way that really freaked me out.  He complimented on how smooth it was and gave me a really wierd look. 

 

I remember having a cool science teacher in high school. I was in either earth science or biology (he taught both), and my teacher was really good at separating science from faith.  I remember a student asking him about the difference bewteen what the science textbook said and what the bible said.  He gave a really cool answer and said, "Let me take off my science hat and put on my bible hat..."  Interesting answer coming from a religious man.  He was really cool guy and wanted all of us students to know what science was even though we were in a religious school.  He told us that while we were in his science class, we would learn evolution and not argue creationism.  If we wanted to argue that, we had theology class to do so in.  He was also one of the few teachers who gave a damn about us students, always pushing us to study hard to get into colllege.

 

My Trig teacher on the other hand...He was a homophobe like I have never met before.  I think if he was allowed to harm them legally, he would.  Now this takes place before the age of the internet (1993).  My teacher somehow started talking about homosexuals in math class.  How this got started, I don't know.  If I knew now what I knew then, I would have filed a complaint to the dean of students that he was wasting our class time and forcing his political BS on us.  He would argue with us about how bad homosexuals are and most of us students sided with homosexuals.  He said we were all wrong because he had printed up a list of "facts".  If we didn't have a copy of our "facts" then he didn't want to hear our side of the story.  I remember at one point I got mad because he went on his tangent when we were supposed to be taking a test.  He spent a good 20 minutes of of alotted 50 minutes to argue his BS.  On his non-crazy days he was cool and let us play chess with him after lecture.

 

In one of my theology classes in high school, I believe that our teacher was sexually repressed.  He would always talk about sex in class and how people had sex in biblical times.  I remember he made us watch a film that he recorded on cable about the bible.  The commericals were all 1-900 numbers!  After the story of Moses, some woman dressed in see-thru lingerie would pop up and say how lonely she was and that she wanted us to call her!!!  This was every commerical on this show, not just one random commerical!  His name was Lester, and we called him Lester the molester, even though he wasn't.

 

My other theology classes in high school were pretty cool.  I remember being in a believe class.  All we did was talk about what we believed and what we didn't believe.  My teacher was an older pastor and he was pretty nice and cool for being a pastor.  He was really open about our beliefs and encouraged us to express them without being persecuted.  The point of the class was to open everything up for debate and to throw our proof behind our beliefs.  We talked about everything from homosexuals to abortion to whether or not heaven existed.  Nothing was forbiddened in this class so as long as we respected each other.  We were a pretty tight group of students. 

 

So in college, my belief in Christianity started slipping.  I met many people who didn't believe in God.  They were really nice people.  I got to work along side with them and a few Christians who were really nice as well.  The most of us had decent debates without getting crazy with each other.  I was friends with one girl who was a die hard Christian and I always talked with her about God even though I knew I no longer believed.  I was also friends with three Mennonite sisters who were probably the most funny group of sisters I have met.  One of them would always talk to me about the history of certain curse words, like the "F" bomb.  She asked, "Have you ever wondered where the word f*** came from?"  There was an instance at work when some of us were discussing the physics of why we see certain colors.  I remember the color green was used.  Why is it that we see the color green?  Some ignorant girl shouted, "Because God said it was green!!!"  I questioned her as to why she was in school.  If that is your answer to everything, then why learn anything?  God says it is so, so there you have it!  End of discussion. 

 

When I met my wife, she started asking me to go to church.  I went a few times and always remembered looking at my watch every few minutes.  When I finally told her that I wasn't a Christian anymore, we had a few arguments that always ended up making her cry.  She would call her Grandmother and seek her advice on how to convert me.  I think her Grandmother sided with me and that I was entitled to whatever I believed in.  We would argue things like, if God was all knowing, then whatever I did, didn't matter because it was already already part of God's plan.  Speaking of which, my wife at the time was really anti-gun because one of her family members was killed by a gun.  She said that if I was to be killed by someone, then who was I to interfer with God's plan?  I told her no, and that whoever tried anything to hurt me will get a magazine full of bullets dumped into them.  God's plan be damned!!!  I was sorry that her family memeber was killed, but that wasn't because of the gun's will or God's will.  It was the will of the perpetrator.  I could never really get her to see that even though she ended up own her own gun before she passed.

 

Later my wife had a friend who was an expert in Christainity who came over to chat with me.  I though he was a prick, but I kept my cool and made it seemed that I was best buddies with him.  He would try to convince me that God's plan was for me to be in a relationship with him and not to follow some religion.  He said that even though we can't see God, everything points to him.  I told him I couldn't follow his logic.  He asked me what I thought created the universe.  I told him, I didn't care.  I don't stay up late at night wondering what the meaning of life was, who created me, why do things happen the way they do.  I just want to enjoy life.  He said that he once was able to get a gay guy to "Pray the gay away..."  I questioned him, why God would make him gay if it was wrong. Free will was the answer.  Free will for an all knowing God is not free will.  I don't think gay people would willing choose a life where they must contantly look behind their backs to see if anyone would persecute them.  I personally wouldn't.  He told me that heaven was a wonderful place and that I would miss out if I didn't end up there.  I told him I would be bored.  He asked how so?  Well, I am into martial arts.  I studied so I can protect myself from a violent encounter.  He said that I could practice martial arts in heaven.  But there would be no need!!!  I wouldn't have my collection of guns either if I was in heaven.  Again, I used them for defensive purposes only.  Target practice would be boring because we would all be perfect shots.  I would be able to hit my target on the other side of the globe with my eyes closed!!!   In heaven, all I would be is a robot following God around and telling him how wonderful he is. 

 

Somehow he asked me if I was depressed because I didn't have God in my life.  It was this moment I really wanted to hit him.  For some reason I found that question offensive.  Just becuase I don't have a God, I must somehow be flawed.  I must be living a horrible life because I don't have some sort of guidance from a spiritual being that I cannot see, feel, or hear.  Soon after I asked my wife's friend that his time was done.  He told me that his door was always open if I ever changed my mind.

 

At one point, my wife and I argued about respecting each other's beliefs.  Somehow I was wrong because I didn't let her shove her beliefs into me.  I was wrong for not going to church.  I was wrong for not listening to her friend.  Never once did I tell her to go to my church (I had none).  Never once did I tell her to try to imagine life without a God.  Our fighting finally ended when I told her she was just like all of the other Christians I have ever delt with.  Always trying to force people into their belief structure.  My wife and I came to an agreement not to let religion get in between us.  She went and did her thing and I would stay at home.  It worked out pretty well until she got diagnosed with anxiety.

 

I watched my wife suffer with anxiety and she was hopsitalized with being bi-polar.  I remember her being in the hospital and telling me she couldn't feel or hear God.  After a few trips to the hopsital, she saw a psychiatrist.  Things started to go south between us.  Her constant mood swings started to affect our relationship.  I had to wonder if we were going to survive staying married.  Her family tried to sweep her problems under the rugs, like she was making a big deal out of nothing.  They went to visit her in the hospital, but never acknowledged why she was there.  It was like a normal house visit for them.  It is a bad thing to say, but when my wife died, I felt some sort of relief from everything.  I knew deep down inside, that if things kept going the way it did, we would end up in divorce.  I tried to stay in touch with her family, but it was weird to be around them without my wife around.  I was really messed up for about two months but I snapped  out of it.  I knew I would end up in a bad place if I kept feeling sorry for myself. 

 

Towards the end of my college days, I took a two Eastern philosphy classes from a former Christian turned Buddhist.  He was a cool guy and always used logic in his classes.  It was funny to listen to him poke fun of Christianity.  He would say things about other religions having a trinity and then say, "Hmm, what other religion has a trinity?"  He would shake his head and move on.  He would talk about other religions having floods recorded in their history and then say, "Now where have I heard that before?"  At one point, a freshman girl walked out of his class because he said that in the whole of the universe, we are nothing.  She stormed out crying, "Jesus says that we are all special!"  Well, class ended early that day.  The one thing that I agreed with him was that something did create this universe.  Was it God?  He doesn't know.  He didn't deny the existance of God, but he said that he was open to interpretation.  We may never know.  He talked with me after the death of my wife and said that, there was nothing he could say or do to comfort me, but whatever I believed in, that I would find peace in it.  On a side note, the same teacher taught a class in the history of revolution.  Well, while discussing Lenin for some time, some intelligent student raised her voice and asked, "When are we going to talk about Paul McCartney?"  Some people...

 

One guy I worked with, pulled me aside and offered his condolences after learning that my wife had died.  He told me that for a God to take someone that young is just sickening.  Why would a all powerful God end someone's life that early?  Now mind you, he never asked if I was a Christian or not but he offered his opinion and I enjoyed his talk.

 

Which brings me here today.  My current partner, my fiancee of 8 years, has an agnostic approach to Christianity.  All she wants is that our kids get baptized.  It was her dad's wishes before he passed.  She sees that a lot of Christians are the most judgemental group of people.  In fact she has a liken to Buddhism even though she is not practicing.  My oldest son (6) asked me about God a few weeks ago because Grandma decided that she needed to get back into Christianity after being away for so long.  My wife kindly asked her mom not to bring up the subject again.  If I can think of anything more I will add to this.

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