New Atheist family advice

sent in by Jeff

I just converted fully to Atheist this week. I grew up and still live in Missouri. I was pretty much your average Midwest kid born to two amazingly supportive and loving parents. Both Mom and Dad were Christian, and from about the ages of 6 to 12 we went to church most Sundays. The thought of God made sense to me as a kid (especially with all the encouragement of belief that a well meaning Christian family brings).

As a young boy, I remember my Mom having a religious experience one day in which the Holy Spirit truly entered her and she ended up speaking in tongues. This happened at home. As a teenager I went to church on special events only (Christmas, Easter, funerals, etc.). I didn’t give it much thought, but I figured Jesus was real and I hoped I would get close to him later in life (I was playing the odds that I’d die later in life). As a teenager I always had the “but why would God let a good Japanese person (who statistically will probably not be Christian) go to hell?” I always rationalized it to myself (obviously to believe Christianity you have to make lot’s of exceptions).

I pretty much lived as a “weak” or non-practicing Christian until I was 32 years old. That year I started going to church with a friend. There were things I liked about it. Lot’s of enthusiastic happy people. The message was always fairly positive. People would sing the church songs of praise. I prayed to God to hear me, and know my goodness, and to understand my utmost appreciation of life and of my life. After a couple months of trying to be close, I kinda went back into drift mode. My Christian friend told me that God had been getting closer to me, but that Satan realized that and had stepped in to put doubts in my head.

Within the last year I had about 10 logical arguments in my head that made me start to realize something didn’t make sense. The turning argument for me was actually a story that is in children’s Sunday school books – Noah’s Ark. I started to really think about the fact that God pretty much killed the ENTIRE planet. And not just a quick death in the night. Can you imagine the horror these people felt after a couple days when it just kept raining? Pretty soon the people were trying to get to higher ground. But the water levels just kept rising. Soon, the stronger people probably had to push the weaker people off of the land and into the water. Finally, the water kept rising and there was no more solid ground to stand on. People are trying to float at this point to stay alive. Obviously they have to be weak from not eating for days.

Eventually I guess the final human lost the strength to tread water and died from drowning. Except for the “just and righteous” Noah, who would get drunk when this whole tragedy was finally over. Satan had to be sitting down there thinking “this is just too easy….God is doing my work for me!”
With all the amazing information available to research over the internet, my 10 arguments that didn’t add up quickly became hundreds!! (Thank you for this site!). It just all finally made sense to me.

It is scary to lose the fantasy of God always looking out for you, and meeting up with my family in heaven for never ending bliss. But for me, it makes the years from now (33) til my death much more cherished and lived. Two quotes I remember from reading letters on this site are “I’m not scared of death, it’s just the process of dying that might be uncomfortable”, and “I now realize I am my own body”. I totally agree with this! I was born in 1971. I know that the year 1968 happened and lot’s of things happened that year! Where was I??? I was “dead”. It wasn’t that bad (hell I’d been dead for millions of years). When my spec of time is over here, I’ll never know it. It’s scary, but also not scary.

Now for my problem!!! I would appreciate any thoughts or opinions! Both of my parents are in their early 60’s. They are divorced, but each parent is still very involved in my life. In a way, I want everyone to know the truth (now that I figured it out). But, religion is THE most important thing in my mom’s life. It gives her “purpose”. The placebo effect of Jesus makes her believe everything will be ok. Church gives her a positive social outlet. When the day comes that she passes away, religion will give her strength since she will totally believe the best is just getting ready to start. My dad is also very religious, but not quite as much. But both parents want me to “get saved”. They don’t overly push it, but make little comments.

I understand they love me very much and want me in heaven with them. I can’t tell them what I have figured out. First, they would be in total denial for quite some time anyway, and IF they did see thru the fog of “belief”, I feel it would ruin their lives. I’m definitely going to “coast” on this for a while. Let them think I’m kinda “finding my way”.

My mom loves for me to go to church with her, and I can still do that on occasion as a gift to her. I can say “hello” to everyone and sing along and be grateful to spend time with my mom. When someone brings up god I can just say “well he is a great God” and that usually appeases them. Ultimately this is a decision I will make, and right now I’m leaning towards just “letting it go”. I mean if religion makes my parents life’s better, and doesn’t totally take over their lives, then good for them. Any comments or opinions on this are much appreciated though!

Peace and happiness!

Sex: Male
State: MO
Became a Christian: 6
Ceased being a Christian: 33
Labels before: Methodist, Baptist
Labels now: Atheist
Why I joined: Mom and Dad were
Why I left: Logically analyzed the religion

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