I’m in a slight calm right now. TBWSNBN hasn’t pushed in a couple of days, she even “liked” my wife’s post with a pic our kids (which angered me to the point of gaging). None of the job prospects have gotten back to me. And things are pretty normal around the church.
I’ve received a lot of support from you guys the last few days and I’m very grateful. One atheist blogger took the time to send me an email both to show support but also to point something out. If Christians stumble upon my blog they’re likely to write me off, not just because of the swearing but also the name calling. The blogger totally understands how therapeutic it is to just let all the anger out through posting. They even mentioned that it’s probably not that big of a deal. But based on their personal experience, I’m just giving Christians excuses not to take me seriously.
Hmmm, I think the blogger is right.
So much of what I write is really just for me to get support from you. Yes, that is totally selfish, but other than my wife, Mark, and now my sister, I don’t have people I talk to regularly about this. And my sister and Mark are the only other people who can completely support me. I think Mark is even a little bit envious (though not in a bad way) that I’m getting way more support in this journey than he got.
I think every person needs emotional validation, especially when facing life changing circumstances. You, my readers, have given me the courage to keep becoming more open about my atheism. I’ve been talking with my wife this past week about a plan to come completely out of the closet. Obviously this is not desirable for her, but I don’t want to pretend forever. I’m hoping that 6 months to a year after I step down from the church, I can then be completely openly secular. Realize, that before I wrote this blog, I never intended to be completely out. But with your support I believe there is actually great value in being openly secular, because as you did for me, I want to do publicly for those who are like me.
But I don’t want my blog to be just about me. The idea of actually engaging the Christian community with my “testimony” is something that I really want to do. I want to let cultural Christians know that it’s ok if you don’t believe anymore. It’s ok to be an atheist. I want Christians to see that those who know the bible the best, are leaving faith behind regularly. I want to change the dynamic and relationship between the Christian community and the atheist community. To do that, I might need to swear less.
Besides, I don’t want to embarrass the TCP or people like Linda LaScola who have been so kind in encouraging people to read my blog. So I might go back to edit some of the past posts to reduce the profanity. But for future blogs, I need to feel like I can still communicate with you EXACTLY how I feel. I had been using swear words precisely because of their offensive, provocative, and emotive qualities. I wanted you to feel the hate mixed with fear as it poured out of me. While writing many of those “raw” blog post I was feeling the emotions WHILE writing them. I was red faced, I was angry crying, I wanted to punch something, I was yelling. I don’t want my writing to miss any of that.
Looks like I’ll just need to be more creative in my writing.
Either way, thanks to all of you for your support during the last week. You all make me smile when I am in despair.