Recovering From Religion — USA Secular Service Hotline

Wow, I think I’ll sign up to help!

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13 thoughts on “Recovering From Religion — USA Secular Service Hotline

  1. Check out Neil Carter’s Godless in Dixie blog. He went through much of what you are going through.

    Hugs to your wife. I hope she comes to see that you are the same person you’ve always been.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just realized that this is going on right now and it is not an old story I was reading ^_^. I’m going to absolutely follow you on this.

    I just have to say that I wish you the very best on this, to you and to your family. It is not easy, it is a very lonely road to some of us, but it is inspiring that you had the courage to finally come out.

    And I truly hope that your relationship with your wife doesn’t get affected. Maybe it is true that she would not have married you if you were an atheist when she meet you, but we are not the exact same person at every point in our lives. We change, we grow, all the time.

    You love her, and when you love a person strongly, that is something that your eyes and your actions reflect, and I hope that she don’t close her eyes to that. I believe it is perfectly possible for two persons who believe in different things to make a life together.

    Do you know why?, because every single person believes in a different thing, even when both call it the same. Gandhi said: “In reality, there are as many religions as there are individuals.” Or, as in our case, a lack of religion. It is just that everybody believes a different thing.

    You are a good person, and there is nothing wrong with you. Many believe that morality comes from the bible, I strongly disagree. Morality comes from within ourselves, and that is the reason even strong followers of the bible are not stoning people to death or holding slaves; because we know that is wrong no matter if the alleged word of god tells us that is right.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a lifelong atheist, I find stories like yours, Jerry DeWitt’s, Rich Lyons, and Theresa McBain’s heart rending yet inspirational. To have to leave your career, community, social circle, and possibly your family seems a high stocker price for simply what you have come to believe through your own journey of discovery. There is one more resource you may want to consider as you look to openly egress from your beliefs ministry: Dan Barker’s The Clergy Project (http://clergyproject.org/). Dan, an ex-minister himself, founded the project as part of the FFRF to assist with situations like yours. Best of luck to you and your family as you continue your journey, and if you’re ever in my town, I’ll buy you a tall cold one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My ex husband wanted to read the bible in one year. I didn’t want to commit to that, but I had the time, so I started reading it from the beginning, all the way through, like I never had before. It’s not like I was keeping it a secret or anything. But, I started to feel weird reading it. I had read all of Genesis as a child and most of Exodus, too. But I was a ten year old kid. Reading it as an adult is entirely different. The more I read, the stranger this feeling became. (I now recognize it as cognitive dissonance, but I didn’t know then.) Then it became something I didn’t want to talk about, so I never told my ex that I was reading it, too. I became Facebook friends with a lady I met in a writing group, and one of her friends and I became good friends, and it turned out they were atheists, and they posted things from time to time. It scared the crap out of me and I tried to pay more attention in church, but I felt like such a freak. Nothing clicked anymore. Nothing felt right. I don’t remember exactly when I realized I didn’t believe at all anymore. But I remember the feeling. Shock. Fear. It took me a long time to tell my then husband. He wanted to know why I hadn’t told him I was having doubts. “We could have prayed about it!” He took the kids to church without me. He started volunteering there even more than before. He and my then 13 year old son dove in head first. It was like he was trying to drive a wedge between us. That wasn’t it, but it felt like it. I now believe it was fear. We eventually divorced, but it wasn’t because of my being an atheist. That first year after realizing I didn’t believe was hard, though. It probably took a year for me to stop having the occasional panic attack that I was going to hell. Then I’d realize I didn’t believe in hell anymore, and reason with myself. It was hard to let go of a lifetime of indoctrination. I’m now 47. My son is 17 and very active in church. My daughter is 14. She goes to church with her friend on Wednesday nights, mostly for social reasons. She has asked me a lot of questions over the years about my lack of faith. Aren’t I afraid of going to hell, etc. Early on, she almost admitted that she didn’t really believe, then she backed up and said, “But, I want to be a Christian!” More recently she asked if I ever wished that I still believed. I answered that there have been a few rare occasions when I wish that I could believe that there was some invisible figure watching out for me and making sure I was okay. (I have anxiety issues.) But, I told her that my anxiety overall has decreased because I’m not constantly wondering how god will answer this prayer or that one, and I’m not worried about hell anymore. It helped a lot when I found a local atheist group and joined. They are huge and have lots of meetups available each month. Over the past 3 1/2 years or so I have made some really good friends and don’t feel like a freak anymore. I’d go so far as to say the past two years have been the happiest in my life. I hope you reach that point. It sounds like you and your wife have a great relationship. I know several people in my group are married to Christians and it works out for them.

    Liked by 2 people

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