Jerry

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Hello, My name is Jerry, I am a closet atheist, and recovering Christian. It isn't that I'm ashamed of being an atheist. I'm proud of myself for realizing the lies that I've been spoon fed over the years, and for coming out of the dark ages. I must remain closeted in fear of losing my family, friends, even my job. You see, my wife is a still a practicing, and enthusiastic, Christian. I must go through the actions and pretend to believe what she does in order to retain my family. As terrible, and deceitful, as that is, it's the life I've created for myself. 

 

I first began to question the very existance of a god several years ago. The whole god narative didn't match what I knew to be true from science classes, books, and common scientific theory. The more I learned about the world around me, its history and the history of mankind, through evolution, the more I realized the lies I had been told for almost forty years. I must admit however, it was difficult to give up on god. I was taught that we were nothing without him. I truly believed that without his "guiding hand" my life would spiral out of control. Regardless of my common sense, telling me that it was all a hoax, I was actually relunctant to step away. Then, one day I just stepped away, quit praying, stopped looking for his presence, basically just stopped believing. After two years of being free from religion, at least internally, I'm still fine..and a lot happier. I feel as if I can accomplish great things by myself, and feel free to relish in my achievements. Nothing is the work of an invisible man in the sky. However, it is the work of humanity. I'm glad that I escaped the hand of religion and the hatred it breeds. I am glad to be free from its sexist, abusive demeanor. I'm proud of being wise enough to decipher fact from fiction.

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Welcome Jerry! It's great that you found us. 

 

Timing of telling friends and family is tricky, and obviously varies a great deal from situation to situation. If it's not the right time,  it's not the right time. Living a lie is hard,  but,  as you know, there are real risks involved with coming out. At least you're free on the inside.

 

I think you'll find lots of people here who can relate. Dive right in.

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Hi, Jerry!

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Welcome Jerry

 

Like Disillusioned said the situation you are in can be tricky and discomforting and there is no one correct answer.

 

If you want advice or stories of how others came out fire away - you might get some nuggets that helps you with your situation.

 

Regards

 

Ryan

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Hi Jerry. Glad to have you here at Ex-c. Thanks for sharing some of your story. It is hard when living with believers. Lots of members on this site can relate and can probably help you with that.

 

Looking forward to hearing more from you! 

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2 hours ago, disillusioned said:

 

I think you'll find lots of people here who can relate. Dive right in.

 

DITTO!  Some of us were even employed by the Church when we came to the conclusion.  But there is other employment.  Family is often the hardest to come out to.  Looking at the testimonial section may be a big help.

WELCOME! 

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Greetings Jerry.

 

Your situation is indeed a tough one, but as others have said, there are others with similar situations that likely can offer some insights.

 

Might I add that there are a great many people (and preachers!) within religions that are there purely for social or financial reasons though they really don't actually believe in religion. It may make things easier if you internally look at it as a social function and not a belief system, which actually if you think about it, is more akin to the truth.

 

Personally, I prefer trying to be honest about how I stand, but indeed it gets tricky when others have an opposing view, especially when it involves spouses, children, and family. From what you say, I think it wise to be as quiet as a church mouse and just let it play out naturally.

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Jerry your story is similar to mine - 60 years a Christian, much of it in ministry. The way that I cope may not suit you but I offer it.

 

I do not call myself an atheist ('though I am). I am a non-theist. In another place on this site I drew attention to a book that I found very helpful: David Boulton's 'Godless for God's Sake'; this is all about non-theism. Basically, I do not believe in god, I say that I am not aware of any gods that I have (e.g. money, women, song!). But I can accept that other people have their gods which are created within their own imaginations (that is not a put-down) and which they find helpful, challenging, whatever. I am happy to acknowledge their gods which are in their lives. Of course I wish they were not so, but that's life. For example, in this way I am able to play the organ sometimes for my old church. OK it gets hairy sometimes because I fundamentally disagree with what is being said or sung, but I believe I am helping 'community' amongst a group of people who want to be together.

Non-theism (or nontheism) satisfies me very well. I commend it.

All the best in your pilgrimage.

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Thank you all for your support and kind words. I appreciate a community, albeit an online one, where I can share my story, read about others journeys and realizations and not be afraid of its risks. I have seen so many testimonials, that are in many ways very similar to mine, at this site. I never realized what a costly burden religion, especially Christianity, was to a person. I knew Christianity's ability to diminish ones self worth was terrible. However, I kind of thought that only a few select people, including myself, felt that way. After finding this site, I now know different. As far as my marriage is concerned, I've often heard my wife ridicule atheists, and religious people who were connected to them. She has even made the statement that she would NEVER "be with" someone that didn't believe in god. Or rather, her god...the Christian god. Obviously, I love my wife, and our two children, regardless of either of our beliefs. I've kind of drawn the conclusion that, for the time being, I'll just wait it out. Some day, perhaps, the timing will be right to come clean on my freedom from religion. Again, thank you to everyone for your support and kind words. I appreciate it more than I can show you on a screen. 

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Hey, welcome Jerry. It's not always easy breaking away from the indoctrination brought about by the evil that is religion. Best of luck on your journey. :)

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