That awkward moment…

That awkward moment when 1,500 people visit your blog in one day. Seriously.

I was featured by The Friendly Atheist, but I guess 1,495 of you already knew that.

I can’t believe how loving and encouraging you all have been. I mean, this is the internet…wtf? I’ve only had 2 haters. You guys are all so awesome. I’m overwhelmed. Dozens of anonymous internet strangers have filed me with hope by just empathizing.

You all rock.

Thank you.

(sent via mobile)

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37 thoughts on “That awkward moment…

  1. Stay strong. I’m still reading, but just know that you sound like a really good person.

    I’m more of a Spiritual Agnostic. Probably because of the hypocrisy I’ve seen from “good Christians”. I’ll take my chances with staying true to myself. What is needed in this society is compassion and ethical people. Not morals and dogma.

    I was raised United Methodist for what it’s worth. (With really great SECULAR minded pastors. Then the Fundies invaded In my college years. Soup kitchen and hiking in the Adirondacks weren’t “good enough” when asked if I went to church up at school. Oh, and attending mass at the Newman Center with friends either. I figured JC would be cool with it.;)

    Stay true to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are not alone….there are lots of us out there who have just found religion to have no basis at all in fact or reason. We may not all be pastors, but our numbers are legion and growing. You are doing great!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congrats on being featured. My blog has been slammed the last two days with visitors from your blog ever since you reblogged one of my posts. This post has helped me to understand why. I was thinking to myself “damn, for a guy who’s only been blogging since the middle of March, he sure gets a lot of traffic”. lol

    I was happy to read one of your comments there that you joined The Clergy Project. Many of us are still in the closet (in our community) for our own well being. I live in the most religious state in the U.S. My ex-husband (I was still married at the time) told my family (parents and siblings) a few years back. They were shocked at first but now think this is a passing phase.

    Funny thing is — they were never as devout as I was. I attended church every week and was quite involved. They weren’t and still aren’t. In fact, they’ve never read or studied the Bible. However, since my deconversion they talk a lot about god in my presence. As you may have gathered, my marriage didn’t survive. Believers need you to believe for their sake. I think death anxiety is one of the main reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It may sound incredibly cliched, but don’t ever forget that this life is a journey. I think you will find the atheist community to be quite welcoming and supportive.

    If you haven’t already, please visit The Clergy Project ( http://clergyproject.org/ ), as it has some awesome resources for former professional clergy who no longer believe. In addition, look into the stories of Ryan Bell, Jerry DeWitt and Dan Barker…all religious professionals who made a successful switch to atheism.

    Though we won’t pray for you, we are all pulling for you. Welcome to being (openly) true to your rational self.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just been referenced to your blog recently, and though I’m just one more voice in the crowd, I do want to add to the volume and send out all love and support for you. I know that words are not going to be sufficient to capture the full depth of the emotional turmoil you’re going through, but hang tough, you’re doing great.

    Just to add what insight I can, I believe taking an atheistic approach to life gives it so much more meaning, regardless of your individual faith. Whether you believe in heaven, hell, reincarnation, that we’re all brains in a jar, or none of the above, the only thing we can be entirely certain of is that we are alive here and now in this life, this reality. This is your one shot as you, and what you do in this life before it ends, the choices you make and the lessons you learn and the other lives you touch, is what will ultimately define who you are and what value your life had. What you believe happens afterward is irrelevant. The important thing is to go out and live this life that you have, make it count, and make it beautiful.

    From what I’ve read, you’re right on in that regard. Keep it up, and live well.

    Like

  6. I guess 1,495 of you already knew that.

    I do follow The Friendly Atheist, but I only get email notifications, so I don’t follow it as closely as my wordpress feed… I had to laugh at being one of the “5” who didn’t know until you pointed it out. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’ll get better, and you’ll soon feel better. Believe me, I (former Protestant, now 100% atheist) was able to escape about 45 years ago and never doubted. My wife, a roman-catholic, stepped finally out of Church last year. And believe it or not, we hadn’t much discussions, it was all on her own. My kids (daughter and son) stepped out a few years ago. And their boy e.g. girl friends are atheists too. And their friends are all more or less sceptics, non-believers, athiests, agnostics, and – believers.
    Oh yeah! Its possible to be a believer and share wonderful times with non-believers and the other way round too. My neighbors to the right are heavily roman-catholic, my neighbors to the left – wife = atheist, husband = methodist.
    And we are all best friends!
    OK – there’s a hook. We live in Germany. And here, at least most of us, take beliefs and believers and non-believers easier.
    I was born in the States, my wife is from Upper Bavaria, my neighbor from the left, the Methodist, is an african-american and former Special Forces Ranger. My neighbors to the right are native conservatives from the area where we live.
    And once again – yes, it works! We are all best friends! And I mean that! Best Friends! And despite how different we were and are!
    We celebrate our birthdays, we go on a regular basis nordic walking, or walk our dogs, or just get together for a nice evening. We bowl, we drink (and get drunk), we laugh, we help each other.
    We gather even at Christmas time and noone of us feels offended, because of Christmas, because we also take this time to reflect the past year and think about what to do the next year, and for us atheists it has nothing to do with Jesus, God or whatever. And the believers don’t feel offended either, because it is a matter of respect – in both ways.
    What I’m trying to say is, your deconversion is not the end, it is far more a new beginning. And what I read about those to whom you came out by now, they all look to me more open-minded than you probably expected.
    And if I understood you correctly in regards to your father, I assume he may be the one who would understand you at its best.

    You’re experiencing a new sight of life. I wish you and your family all the best.

    Please excuse if my English seems a bit harsh, but 45 years of only speaking German….;) And there is sooo much more to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry you have to go though this. Religion can be an ugly stubborn thing when you don’t have the same views as it. I’ve been a vegetarian for going on 7 years (I’m 20yrs) and when I told people I made the decision to go vegetarian for moral reasons my family insisted it was ‘just a phase’ and I’d be eating meat again in a few years. It was hard, and it hurt having people dismiss my options and feelings as invalid and I’m hurting that you’re going though that right now. People will learn to accept your beliefs and if some people don’t, you don’t need them in your life. I know you know this already, but your feelings are valid and we’re all rooting for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fellow atheist from Canada…This must be incredibly hard, but you’ve got to do what’s right for you and acknowledge your own beliefs or lack thereof. Bonne chance mon ami!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hugs my friend. I know how hard it is to come out as an atheist and to suddenly realize you no longer believe. That is exactly how it is for many of us former believers. It’s never one moment or experience that brings you to that point either. I’m still analyzing all the different things that lead me here…looking back I can see the things that pointed to this realization way back in my childhood. I’m 39 and I’ve only been identifying as atheist for not quite three years. I did go through a period where I considered myself a deist. I sincerely hope those around you that nothing about who you are has changed. Your character, your virtues and your flaws remain the same. I tell my kids all the time to look at how others act, not what they believe to determine if they are of good character. I hope all goes well for you. Just know you aren’t alone and that there are many of us that will support you all the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m also here from The Friendly Atheist. And I’m also not a hater. (Honestly, who has time or energy for that?)

    I can’t fully grasp what you’re going through, because I went through the process at age 12. Obviously I was a huge disappointment to my grandparents, but this is nowhere near the same thing as what you and your wife are going through.

    But I have had loved ones in my life drastically change, and even though I haven’t always liked or wanted the change, I did what I could to support them. I hope that your wife will find it within herself to be able to do the same thing. All of the responsibility does not fall on your shoulders. And I hope that she respects you enough to trust what you are saying to her.

    As a kid, I was promised that there is a god who loves me, and that I will meet my loved ones in heaven. Realizing that this might not be true was terrifying. I searched for a way to make myself believe again. I wanted to live in the world I was promised. I wanted my family to be proud of me. I couldn’t make it happen.

    With the benefit of distance, freeing myself of those teachings has also freed me to live my life the best way I can. It freed me from the obligation of lying to make people think I believed as they did. And, oddly, it forced me to consider my actions more carefully–I had been taught that god will forgive me if I ask for it, but I came to realize that life is not so simple, and I should not hurt people and rely on forgiveness later. For a 12 year old, this was a seriously annoying thing to understand.

    I hope that a similar path is open to you, and I hope you are able to find it. It is a wonderful thing to be honest and not have to remember a lie.

    I wish you and your family honesty, peace, and joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your courage is inspiring (and I never use that word). You’re facing your true self, and that takes tremendous courage. What caught my ear in a post you wrote is when you said that you can’t help this. I think that’s absolutely the case for me – I never chose to be an atheist, but accepted that that was what I’d truly believed all my life. Like when people discover and accept their sexual orientation; not “choose” it. You have help. You have friends. If it helps, here’s my story. https://dadofknucklehead.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/the-atheist-and-the-knucklehead-part-1/
    -Peter.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hey there,
    Just wanted to say thatI’m a gay atheist. I came out as gay at 17, and now at 26 I’m starting to be open about my (lack of) faith. While they aren’t totally the same, the similarities are overwhelming enough that I have had déjà vu time and time again. It’s been a long road, but I am loving my life, living in my own truth, and I see nothing but a bright future ahead for myself, in spite of being from a conservative Texan suburb. I’m not saying that to brag though, I can count my success as a result of the amazing people that filled my life after the other people I thought would never leave me did. I’m not gonna lie and say it was easy, but it really is true, that old (alleged) quote from Dr Suess: Those who matter won’t mind, and those who mind won’t matter. Never forget the power of your own mind, never forget the strength that lies in your own heart, and never forget the beauty of the stars which guide each night into the brightness of the day. Lots of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. dude it was easy for most of us. we just couldn’t buy into the mythology and fables and allegory and we realized it was really all about power. your world was rocked when you “awoke”.

    Like

  15. While I feel for you and what you are going through, it is such a relief to find people out there willing to share what they are going through. Thank you for that.

    I experienced a fair amount of grief when my eyes were opened. I wanted what I was taught to be true and was very sad that it was not. The realization that I most likely won’t see my loved ones in another life upset me more than the thought that I would go to hell. But as many so eloquently state, just because you want it to be true doesn’t make it true.

    If you haven’t already experienced this, be prepared for the “you are just mad at God because . Do you think you would have changed if hadn’t happened?” Personally I had to think long and hard about that. I had too many unanswered questions for too long. At some point I would have started researching and come to the same conclusion.

    Thank you again for sharing your journey. I found you through the Friendly Atheist as well and hope you continue to share your experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I can’t imagine how hard it must be coming out being someone in a leadership position. Coming out at all can be very difficult. I have now told my husband, 4 friends, and my mom. Each one gets a little bit easier. A little less scary, a little less apprehension over how the conversation will go. A little more confidence in the words you choose. I know it can feel like you’re alone in this, but you’re not! There are a lot of non-believers out there, many of them still hiding. As you come out more and publicly, you will begin to find them. I wish you the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Your story is very familiar as I went through the same process about four years ago, although I was not working in the ministry. It was a very difficult transition for me and my family. Reading about your wife and her reactions brings me back to those times. Our story is now a very happy one but it has been a journey for these last four years. Just hang in there and get involved with the clergy project if possible. I look forward to your posts and please know that we are here for support. Feel free to reach out if you feel it may benefit you. Cheers.

    Like

  18. Here are some of my favorite atheist songs. Hoping they bring you some strength and peace and joy as you move through this.

    Frank Turner–Glory Hallelujah

    Ziggy Marley–Love is My Religion

    Ok, this one is not strictly an atheist song, but it is helpful to me as it helps me to see that what once appealed to me (and sometimes still does) is the metaphor of religion, and that helps me to be more patient and less judgmental of believers’ views.
    Mason Jennings–I love you and Buddha too

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Good on you for having the guts to open up about it; I had a similarly lonely road to it. On the upside, being open about it once I came to the conclusion was easy enough, mostly because I can’t keep my mouth shut (eight years of rugby = extensive damage to the “restraint” area of your brain); it lost me a few friends and family members, but the ability to be completely honest about who you are and what you think is pretty damned freeing. And, when you no longer believe, evwry verse of “Jesus Can’t Play Rugby” becomes infinitely funnier!

    Like

  20. I don’t really have anything to say other than that I am happy that you are learning to deal with what must be some very complicated emotions. I couldn’t even begin to understand. I was never religious, never raised religious or around religion. The entire concept as anything more than “something that other people do” is alien to me. The concept of living it, utterly beyond my ability to fathom. But I understand change.

    I am happy for you. I am proud of you for taking what must be one of the biggest steps in your life, and doing it with dignity.

    Just be you. Just do you. And I hope that everything works out well for you and your family and friends.

    Like

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