Coming This Week

ChecklistI can’t thank all of you enough for the support you have shown me.  I’m trying to respond to all your comments but with Mother’s Day this past weekend I’ve been tied up with family get togethers.  This coming week I hope to respond to every comment that has been made in my coming out story, but I don’t know if I can promise that.

Many of you have decided to follow me here on WordPress and so, for you, let me give you a heads up on blogs I will be writing this week.

The Prequels:

Before I came out to people I knew, I had a couple of conversations with people I didn’t know about my impending loss of faith.  These conversations were pivotal to my…er…awakening…?  The first conversation I had was with the Clergy Project screener.  I’ll let you in the important parts of that phone call in the same format as I told you my coming out story.  The next conversation I had was with a universalist pastor in a Facebook group.  It kinda felt like he was giving me marriage counseling, but with God instead of my wife.  Both those conversations brought me further to where I am today.  I’ll either just screen shot on the Facebook messenger convo, or copy/past it in a post.

The Wife:

That'd be greeeeaaaat.

That’d be greeeeaaaat.

The love of my life, the center of my universe, the funniest & sexiest best friend I have ever known is still kinda…weird about this.  Tonight she gave me the whole “none of your friends think you’re an atheist” bullshit. Anyways, I plan on writing about her this week and I’ll probably be listening to you for advice, especially those of you who are still married to spouses who are theists.  I only ask if you guys could be respectful of her.  I imagine she’s having just as hard as a time as I am.  And I still love her, so if we can refrain from the whole “she needs to grow a pair” and “you’re just a big wuss” comments…that’d be greeeaaattt.

Processing Deconversion:

While I’ve received waves of support from you guys, I’ve had a few visitors that don’t seem to understand how upsetting deconversion is or Christians who don’t understand why deconversion was unavoidable and irreversible for me.  I’d like this blog to one day move from stories about me to a site dedicated to helping people process deconversion, either their own or their love one’s.  This is where your stories will make a difference, and so many of you have shared such intimate stories about your deconversion, I think together we can help people.  I really think we can.

Anyways, that’s what I got on the docket for this week.  Hope to hear from you too!

“John”

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11 thoughts on “Coming This Week

  1. Hey, I totally appreciate your struggles, having had to come out as both an atheist and gay in my time. Stay strong, and don’t ever apologise for thinking rationally or doubting what you’ve been taught to believe. I think one of the greatest crimes of the church is vilifying doubt and glorifying faith – no progress in the world was ever made except by people who doubted what they thought they knew. Anyway, I digress. I wanted to tell you to look up another ex-pastor on Facebook, who goes by the pseudonym Horus Gilgamesh. He writes Awkward Moments (not found in your average) Children’s Bible, drawing attention to the absurdity and horrificness of this book the world sets so much store by. He might be a really valuable resource for you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks a lot for having the courage to tell all of this. Your testimony gives great insight on how religious communities behave at the time when one of their members is leaving them. Even in a place where atheists are a large majority, we still see how people struggle to get out of their religious indoctrination, and they have the backing of society to do so. I can only imagine how it must be in a country where religion is a full part of the way of life and social integration. This is why your words are so touching, and almost made me cry several times.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just found your story through Friendly Atheist and wanted to voice my support for you and your wife. I’m a former evangelical who now identifies as agnostic (I don’t know really what to call myself… sort of like your “kinda an atheist”). I’m from a family of missionaries and pastors, and most of my family still thinks I’m just “mad at God” and that I’ll come around from my backslidden state. And that’s with me no longer attending church– they haven’t been privy to the real thoughts in my head, but I spare them to keep the peace.

    I wanted to express support for your wife, because as a woman, I know how difficult the whole idea must be to her. If the evangelical church does one thing well, it’s teaching us our place in relationship to our husbands. In our minds, so much of who we are hinges on this. When I was an evangelical, I considered myself fairly progressive in terms of feminism and yet I still acknowledged in my head and by my actions that I was to submit to my husband. Even when that submission meant years of abuse, I thought God would see and honor that obedience on my part. (But that’s a different story.) I can’t tell you how many sermons I heard from the pulpit about how the reason men were ineffectual as leaders was because their wives weren’t giving them respect or were usurping their spiritual authority, etc. So, she might be feeling on some unconscious level (maybe, just a thought) that this is somehow her fault. Add to that the horrible stereotypes surrounding the word “atheist,” and I’d be terrified and angry too in her position.

    The thing I try to do post-deconversion is put myself back into the mindset I would have had 10 years ago and think “How would I think/react if the me of today was telling this to the me of 10 years ago?” And I know how the me of today would sound to the me of a decade ago– like a backslidden Christian angry at God who needs to get things right. The me back then just wouldn’t understand, because that me hadn’t gone through the thought process the me of today has. In the same way, your wife and others haven’t been through your thought journey. They can’t jump from point A to point B in the same way you have. So, when talking to her, try to speak from a place the “old” you would understand. Remember that all of the things that seem false to you now seem just as true as they ever did to her, and think how the “old” you would respond to someone in your position. You are brave, and she sounds very brave too. Don’t rush anything. Consider counseling (not from a Christian counselor, obviously) if communication continues to be strained. When I first told a family member of my changing beliefs, I was incredibly emotional, and they mistook my emotions for a sign that I was just angry and frustrated at God and the church, when really it was just the overwhelming shift in my thinking that caused me to sob like a baby. Now a few years have passed, and I can talk about it without tears (with a smile on my face, even!), and it doesn’t seem as cataclysmic to them or to me. Getting through the initial fear and shock is the hardest part. Once you’re past that, it (usually, hopefully) gets easier. All the best to you.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Regarding your relationship with your wife….

    I realized I was an atheist 2.5 years ago after 40+ years of Christian identity. Came out to my wife 2 years ago. She has struggled with it. But she still loves me and we’re managing.

    I recommend a relatively new book called “In Faith and In Doubt” by Dale McGowan. He reviews what has worked and what hasn’t through the results of a survey and a variety of real-life, mixed-faith marriages. I found it helpful. Perhaps you will, too.

    The parts of your story you’ve shared so far break my heart. Please know above all else that you are not alone. I’m sure your connection with TCP will be hugely beneficial. I look forward to following your blog.

    Liked by 4 people

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