I gave God up

Sent in by Sean H

I was raised in a Christian home on "Biblical Principles" (in this case as defined by an American evangelist named William Branham who my parents believed - and continue to believe - was God's prophet sent to this 'final generation' to tell them God is coming, I happen to be his mouthpiece, turn from your wicked ways, etc). Unfortunately for my pastor and parents, however, I have always had an inquisitive mind, and while I went along with all this nonsense, it never sat well with me. In my early 20s I left this fundamentalist group for a more mainstream version of Christianity. I figured that God was probably real but that I had just grown up in a community that misunderstood him. All I found though was that while the lifestyle was more enjoyable and sat more at ease with the rest of society, the same questions remained.

I am now 29 and about nine months ago I started listening to podcasts from people like Scientific American, Astronomy Cast, and The Skeptics Guide To The Universe and I realised that all these fascinating, intelligent, well-adjusted people did not need a god in their lives to find wonder and beauty in the world around them. Something clicked in me and I realised the cognitive dissonance that had plagued me for so long was not due to my mind being 'fallen' or because I was not trying hard enough to 'let go and let God' but because part of my mind was simply determined to propagate this myth that had sustained me and given me alleged purpose for so long.

So I gave God up.

It's not that simple though. I work for a Christian music company. My wife is a Christian. Most of my friends are too. Working through the transition is awkward and at times quite unpleasant but having this load now off my mind makes it so worth it.

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25 comments:

CarlK said...

The believers really don't understand the sense of liberation that comes from just "losing the faith", deciding that there really can't be such a thing as a God, dropping all the claptrap associated with it, and dealing with the real and objective world for what it is. Some believers think we have to believe in something so badly that they invent it for us, since we won't do so.

Anyway, congratulations on your "revelation" :), and good look working through the issues surrounding it.

ryan said...

I would like to follow up carl's post.

When I "lost the faith" nothing happened. Nothing. I simply became a perfectly normal adult male. I did not become a criminal; a madman; an addict. I turned into a perfectly mundane fellow who enjoys life as it comes to him.

I do not need to start my day by dropping to my knees and asking jewzoo every move I should make. I decide those moves.

And now to Sean: it takes awhile. Give it time. Posting here helps.

billybee said...

Sean,

Hi and welcome. I have a question:

You mentioned that you work for a Christian music company.

I suspect that there might be others that 'think' like you and are just in the "biz". They are making a buck, but can't show their true colors in fear of being put out onto the street...

Q: Do you have any strategy in mind as to how you will interact at your job?

I know it's a huge question....But, do you mind sharing your basic thoughts?

Thanks.

Bill said...

Great testimonial. That kind of story just makes my morning cup of coffee tastes so much better.

I remember when I first realized that God and Hey-Suess were all made up, I told a female coworker who was a very lukewarm Catholic. I was very surprised by her reaction. She said, "Now what purpose could your life possibly have?" I could have gone on for hours.

I guess the beauty with me is the fact that I never was deep enough into religion for it to ever be my purpose. My purpose has always been to have as many orgasms as possible. I was never fully convinced of any of it(religion and the afterlife) yet I guess for most of my life I believed to believe, but was never fully sucked in. I always overthink everything, and overthinking religion is what kept me from being totally indoctrinated.

I just started reading Daniel Dennet's book "Breaking the Spell" and he said something in the first chapter that sums up the masses of deluted relgious folks:

"We are sometimes ignorant of our own ignorance." People are oblivious to their own blind spots.

xrayman

Andrew said...

Carl, your sense of liberation is simply psychological.

If a person becomes a Christian and feels "free at last" you don't give it any credence, do you?

Likewise, your sense of liberation is irrelevant to what may or may not be the true state of affairs.

But have a good time while it lasts.

Andrew said...

Billybee, there certainly are others like him in Christianity.

And some of them are pastors.

And a lot of people in the chruch; its a major reason why Christianity is in the condition it is.

Phonies like him who continue the business, or guys like Barker and Loftus who continued to preach after they "lost" their "faith".

But fortunately those guys finally left the church, can you imagine what damage they could have done it they had stayed?

Unfortunately, not all of them have left.

That is why I am preparing an OUTING of an atheist Associate Pastor in our area.

I hope it makes big news

AtheistToothFairy said...

Andrew wrote:
That is why I am preparing an OUTING of an atheist Associate Pastor in our area
---
Yes Andrew, and I'm preparing an 'OUTING' of all deluded jesus followers, from planet earth's godless reality.
How do you feel about using the planet Ur-anus as a home for them?


ATF (Who also heard a rumor that one of Santa's Elves is in denial of Santa Clause, and had to be ousted from North Pole City)

ryan said...

Well of course it's psychological, you imbecile. The need to involve oneself in religion is a psychological need--religion is purely in one's head. When we break free of these artificial needs, we experience a release that must be called "psychological", as cancer in remission is called "medical".

And andrew, or goldy, or whoever you are.....if you are comfortable being some kind of xristian, go and be one. Here in my part of Indiana we have a variety of rural churches. Most of the members have an IQ score that is below the temperature of this room. They appear to be perfectly happy, as they attend these churches that often have "tabernacle" somewhere in their names.

Go and sing your hymns, bop for jesus, play with your rattlesnakes. Try to get it through your head that some of us do not have these emotional and psychological needs.

And by all means, out that pastor. Keep his sorry ass down the street and maybe he'll learn some courage.

THE ACE said...

A Christian feels "free at last?"
That's a good one. Some of the most
inhibited, fear and guilt-filled
people I ever knew were fundamentalist Christians. They were constantly worried about whether they were "living right", if they were praying for the right things or praying the right way, what their fellow church members
might be up to (which was none of
their business) or fearing they
weren't "witnessing" enough to people who, for the most part ignored them or thought they were
idiots. These people lived in such
a state of apprehension and paranoia (hey, that's a good definition of born-agains!) it was
beyond pitiful.

And Andrew, or whoever you are, you have aptly demonstrated, and
continue to demonstrate you are
the Prince of Pitiful. We will
all pray to the Flying Spaghetti
Monster you will some day enjoy the real freedom the rest of us
have.

Bill said...

You know what's really funny. When I first came to the realization that Christianity and God/Jesus belief were bullshit, I posted on message boards on other sites, and I would be lying if I said dickholes like Andrew didn't get to me for brief moments. I remember there were a couple guys who told me that Hell is waiting for me if I continue this path and it really got me thinking, and think is what I did.

Oh what a massive amount of education does to a man's peace of mind. I no longer fear the red man with a pitchfork. He is a fictional character like God and Jezzbutt. Sean don't let this asshole get to you for a minute, just laugh at him for the pathetic little man that he is. Always a pleasure to see you around Andrew.

xrayman

boomSLANG said...

That is why I am preparing an OUTING of an atheist Associate Pastor in our area.

Yes, yes, dufuss...go right ahead and "out" him---for he most certainly wasn't a "True Atheist".

resonate11 said...

Sean,

Congratulations on getting the Christian load off of your mind!

Thanks for the links. The Astronomy Casts look really interesting.

SamiB said...

"That is why I am preparing an OUTING of an atheist Associate Pastor in our area."

How very christian of you andrew. Outing some poor man because he doesn't quite meet your criteria of what a 'proper' christian should be.

There's nothing like humiliating someone, spreading nasty rumours about them to really make you feel like one of gods chosen eh?

While you're at it, why don't you round up a bunch of like minded idiots and lynch him in your town square, or better still, if there's a local zoo nearby you could throw him into the lion pit!

I'm sure that would make "BIG NEWS"
you might even get your photo in the local rag if you really play your cards right, that's what you really want isn't it!

You know what andrew? You are a nasty, petty little twat! You represent the worst of everything about christianity. Where's the frickin' love in your heart you hateful, spineless little choad?

Aspentroll said...

Andrew enjoys having his ass kicked. Keep it up Andrew, it is a form of humor too see the reactions of the people who you think you are insulting here on this site.
If you could just relate some proof for your ridiculous beliefs. Maybe then we could all come back to Jahayzus and
realize the error of our ways.

billybee said...

Andrew sez to Sean :..."But have a good time while it lasts".

Andrew, This is the best advise you've ever given. You're getting closer....keep it up.

hi to xrayman and ryan. keep em comin bros.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
.:webmaster:. said...

Andrew is the troll formerly known as Emmanuel Goldstein. Please don't feed the troll.

ryan said...

I thought so. We used to call him "goldy". He also went by some other clever names, like "atheist baiter".

I, for one, would like to know why we never get any intelligent xristians in here.

Jackie said...

the ace: A Christian feels "free at last?"
That's a good one. Some of the most
inhibited, fear and guilt-filled
people I ever knew were fundamentalist Christians.

I totally agree with this. When I was a christian, I constantly felt guilty about not "witnessing" to people...I'm kinda shy so it was a hard thing for me to do... I'm so glad I'm free of that burden now...

As a christian I was also quiet insecure, because I knew there were contradictions in the bible and just stuff that didn't sit right, I would push those thoughts down so as to preserve my faith, but if I ever heard non-christians talking about that kinda stuff, i couldn't handle it... it would affect my faith...great to be free of that too, now I feel I'm living true to what I really believe, I'm not living a lie anymore

Also, as a christian, I personally found it difficult to make friends with non-christians (my fault), for several reasons:
1. mentioned above
2. I was superior to them of course because I knew the "truth"
3. difficult to connect because our lives, values were based on totally different things
4. i thought i had to convert them

Now that I am free from christianity I am free to just be friends with ANYONE for the sake of Friendship, and not the purpose of being a witness...

YAY!!! I'm free!!!

Jackie said...

Oh yeah... and the constant "am I living my life the way god wants me"
does he want me to eat pancakes or cereal for brekkie...
why am I going on this holiday... is it for my own pleasure, or am I doing what god wants?
and yadda yadda yadda the list goes on.....

The other great thing is I have more money now that I dont have to give 10% of it away!!

Jackie said...

oh...and there might be some ex-christian single women out there like myself that can relate to this....

Waiting for "god" to bring along the perfect husband for you....

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Spirula said...

I, for one, would like to know why we never get any intelligent xristians in here.

The intelligent ones, though few and far between, know better.

Jim RL said...

Sean,

I had a similar experience with skeptics. I saw smart people who I respected who had no need for faith. It really made me realize that perhaps I didn't need faith either. I hope that things continue to work well with your job and your wife.

jason said...

The words intelligent and christian can not be used in the same sentence. The only intelligent christian is a ex-christian/Atheist.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Dear Sean H,
Robert Moore, the author of the wonderful web article, "The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark" was raised in the same Christian denomination you were, the one begun by Rev. William Branham (1909-1965).

And Moore's complete testimony about how he left that church (a great little read) can be found as a chapter in a collection titled, LEAVING THE FOLD: TESTIMONIES OF FORMER FUNDAMENTALISTS (Prometheus Books, paperback version, 2003).

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