So I’ve been wavering back and forth on creating a public profile to completely “come out”. I shared some name suggestions and many of you gave feedback and gave some of your own suggestions. There was one name in particular that I’m drawn to, but most of you didn’t care for it: Accidental Atheist.
The two most common complaints I heard where:
- You’ll be seen as the evil horrible atheist who… eats babies, worships Satan, and whatnot.
- Why are you focusing on what you left behind? Don’t let your past define you.
But those are actually the two reasons why I like the term. If I’m going to come out publicly it’s not just going to be for my own good; I’d like to normalize atheism. I’d like to add to the growing presence of ex-Christians and ex-pastors who have come to the realization that the concept of God is implausible and unlikely (Agnostic/Atheist). I want to throw my hat in with the likes of Jerry DeWitt, Neil Carter, Hemant Mehta, and the entire Clergy Project. I’d like to elevate the profile of the Clergy Project. I want to reach out to people who feel as alone as I felt and let them know they can survive and start over. I want to identify as an atheist precisely because it’s a feared and confusing term. Partly to make people more comfortable with the term, but mostly to help those who “accidentally” find themselves in my shoes.
So I think, if I do create a public profile, that will be the term I use.