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

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

There may be times in your life where you may not understand the mysteries of God. But that does not mean becuase you do not understand, that it did not happen or does not exist. The Lord Jesus is real and I have a personal testimoney of what he did for me. I grew up in the church, but never accepted Christ as my savior, because I wanted to experinece life. Well, I did. And it brought me nothing but pain and heart ache. But, by the mercy of God, I recieved the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior at the age of 28. It has been five years since I was "born again" and my only regret was that I never accepted Jesus when I was younger. My life and my relationship with my wife and family has been blessed. The empty pit that I had in my life was filled by the love of Jesus Christ. The Lord is merciful and He is still waiting for you to come back to Him. Just like the parable of the "Prodical Son" it is not to late to accept him back into your life. "Jesus is the Way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father accept through Him."

Nick said...

Oooh, watch out. It's a personal testimony. That MUST make it real. We've got how many hundreds of millions of these little Christians running around? How many of them tell EACHOTHER they're going to hell?

Do you realize that EVERYONE is going to hell, by Christian 'logic?' God sending us to hell? He created us and gives us choice, and then sends us to hell?

Let me analogize this for you. A mother holds out two hands to her child. One has candy, the other has an apple. When the child chooses the candy, the mother BEATS HIM SENSELESS FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY.

No lesson, no moral, no purpose, no redemption, no forgiveness, no salvation, no logic. Hell exists only in the minds of the devout, and only for the purpose of scaring them into religion.

If you fear because of your religion, you are in the wrong. The point of religion is to give you hope, understanding, and purpose. If your only purpose is not to burn in hell, but as long as you ask forgiveness, you can do whatever you want, hurt whoever you want, and be something awful, then you are in the wrong.

How about you learn some grammar, little one, and quit pushing your filth on a decent Atheist.

Do you realize that Atheists are the most discriminated against group in America? People hate us, because we are not sheep.

We follow logic, not money or spirits. This makes us 'evil.'

Any Christian that likes the idea of people burning in hell is a BAD PERSON. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, you sound like my twin sister. She's a physisist/astronomer and I was always the math person. She married an atheist and pretty soon revealed to our family that she was indeed an atheist and had been for some time. We remained loving toward each other of course and believe it or not we never argued the matter. A few years ago, though, she began to doubt her own doubt. Logical to a fault, she couldn't make sense out of how the world with it's amazing intricacies could come from nothing. After I'm sure hundreds of hours of rethinking, she came to the final conclusion that for anything at all to exist there had to be a miracle. It broke her, and God broke through. I suppose it doesn't seem "fair" that a loving God would choose to create mankind only to turn His back on them... Is that what the Bible says? I challenge you to read again. My son asked me if God loved Satan. I thought about that - God says He loves all that He created. He ALLOWED this angelic being to turn away from Him and by nature God cannot exist with sin just as shadow gives way to light. But, God made mankind "in His own image" and loved them as His own children. He knew He would have to give Himself to pay the price to have us to love and us to rightfully worship Him forever. What's unimaginable to me is that He loves me and loved me when I was at my worst. Only God can draw a man to Himself and I pray you have the joy of discovering that.

Anonymous said...

"Only God can draw a man to Himself..."

There you go. And if a man like myself cannot find any logical or sane reason whatsoever to believe that this christian god even exists, then by this anonymous christian's very own logic it's god's own fault, right? So, anonymous christians, perhaps you should take your very own advice and stop trying to accomplish what apparently only your seemingly impotent god is capable of doing itself. -Wes.

Anonymous said...

Yikes. What a lot of mental gymnastics you have to go through to convince yourself that your mythical story is even remotely true. Ech. Sorry, I think I will stick with reality. The christian story really makes me want to vomit out a freight train..

For me, christianity can be summed up as being "..like a bad trip through the dark canyons of a frazzled mind...", in the words of Pat Condell. -Wes.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand about athesim is that everyone says that they are so much happier and more at peace now that they have discovered that God is a lie and yet all I see in these posts is anger and hatred. It doesn't seem to me that your life has been enriched by atheism. -Jen

.:webmaster:. said...

Jen,

It is not necessary for you to understand everyone on this blog. If you don't like what you read, go away. What about the discussions here so infuriate you?

Think about it, Jen. What about these discussions get under your skin?

boomSLANG said...

Jen: What I don't understand about athesim is that everyone says that they are so much happier and more at peace now that they have discovered that God is a lie and yet all I see in these posts is anger and hatred. It doesn't seem to me that your life has been enriched by atheism.

What I don't understand about people, is how they somehow can't conceive of having mixed emotions on a given matter. In other words, if, hypothetically, a young women spent the better part of her marriage being mentally abused and degraded, and further, she was threatened with bodily harm if she ever made an attempt to leave---then imagine the range of emotions she might feel if she ever did manage to escape that situation unharmed. Honestly now, is it unreasonable to conceive, that while she'd obviously feel quite happy about removing herself from that situation, that she 'might' simultaniously feel anger and resentment about the years she wasted in that relationship? Think about it.

Then, think about this analogy: Is Christmas as fun and joyful as an adult, as it was when you were a child? No, of course not. As an adult, there's the hustle-n-bustle of fighting traffic, the stress of getting the right gifts, the returns, the food, and on and on and on....compared to, waking up Christmas morning and finding that "Santa" had given you most, if not all, of the things you anticipated getting.

Now, my question is, can you, Jen - as an adult who has reasoned that "Santa" has no referent in reality - simply "choose" to believe in "Santa" again, merely because it makes "Christmas" more joyful???? The answer, I think, is obvious.....and that is, "no", you cannot. That said, in most cases, the very same holds true for those adults who have examined Christianity and found that it has no referent in reality. You cannot simply "choose" to believe something that you don't believe.

Best regards.

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