So most of what I write to you are the stressful things that are happening due to me slowly opening up about being an atheist. The response you guys have given me has been amazing! But I need to point out something very important:
I’m only writing about the interesting and relevant events surrounding my coming out!
What that means is there are multitudes of events that happen daily that I don’t write about, and most of these events are either neutral or even positive. I’m telling you this because many of you have commented on here or hit me up on Twitter (@pastornofaith) worried about me. Yes this is a stressful time, but you aren’t seeing some very positive things that are happening too (which is really my fault).
You’re not seeing:
- My wife and I joking while making dinner
- Me wrestling with me kids while my wife mocks me when they start winning (hey, dad’s gettin’ old)
- The parts of my job that I still do and I still love (hospital visits, music practice, etc.)
- Regular everyday arguments about who should take the trash out, etc.
Many of you have written that you are rooting for my wife and I to make it. Honestly, things are going pretty well. Yes, we have our times of trouble surrounding my loss of faith. And I put those times of trouble on display for you, partly so you can support me but also to help both atheists and Christians understand what it looks like in real life when a pastor loses his/her faith.
Which those two reasons are why I’m continuing this blog.
- I need support. I only have 2 atheist friends, only one of whom lives close, and I haven’t come out to either. You are helping me not doubt my doubt.
- Everyone needs to see this kind of story. For me knowing that people like Jerry Dewitt existed helped me come to terms with my slipping faith. Knowing that the Clergy Project existed, helped me to admit out loud that I was an atheist. Hearing that Richard Dawkins financially supported the Clergy Project, helped me to understand that there is a kindness to atheism that I would have never known otherwise.
I want every pastor in America (and Canada, and Australia,…) to know it’s ok if you become an atheist. Be honest with yourself. Stop killing yourself over something you don’t believe. Yes the journey is hard, but you need to walk it. So I’m documenting my story, and the toughest parts of it, in hopes that if I come out alive then so can they.
I know what its like to feel alone. Other pastors need to know that they aren’t.
And for many of you reading my story, you need to know that my story is somewhat typical. Except I seem to have one of the easiest stories out of anyone I’ve heard so far who belongs to the Clergy Project. Seriously. As troubling as some of you find my story, the Clergy Project, and other blogs I read, are full of people who are having a harder time than I am. There are some people who have it easier. I onc interacted with a guy on the Rational Doubt blog that said he came out to his wife and she responded with relief saying:
“Oh good, I gave up on those myths months ago.”
I’m a little jealous of that guy.
I’m sure things will get tougher for me as I head off into a new career direction, but I expect things to be relatively calm in my house until then. Thanks for sticking with me and thanks for reading. Most of all thanks for supporting me.
I’m not done blogging about this yet, so stay with me.