I believe that atheism frees a person to think independently without any sort of religious crutch to rely on. It can be a bit intimidating at first but is far more rewarding than trying to make heads or tails of the Bible and its ambiguity. As a budding atheist, I occasionally wanted to return to the delusional comfort of god, but the red pill had already been swallowed. I saw things without the religious filter and couldn’t go back. I was also scared because there was no life after death to provide solace when things were uncomfortable here on earth. There’s also the sense of losing a part of who you are as you no longer have the social network of the church to connect with.
Essentially, everyone in my immediate family and some extended family knows that I’m an atheist at this point. I don’t talk about it much to them; I’d prefer to do my talking on this blog and facebook. My mom didn’t berate me when she found out but was very disappointed. She still catches herself talking to me about the miracles of god and how I shouldn’t speak negativity into my life because words have power of their own. My wife refuses to read or listen to anything that would surely make her question her faith and give her a better understanding as to why I lack faith anymore; this is a pretty frustrating situation at times.
I know that my writing has made an impact on some. I don’t want to name names but there are those that were questioning their faith and have made the trip to the other side with some assistance from my blog and others. The advent of the internet has allowed sort of a chain reaction in the de-conversion process. I was de-converted primarily as the result of discussions I had with Mike D. which led me to creating this blog and ultimately others were aided in de-conversion from reading this blog. The wide dissemination of ideas, some quite anti-religious, which the internet provides have put a chink in religion’s armor. It’s imperative that more and more voices speak out so that others can free themselves of religious ideology.
Religion affects our government’s legislation; just days ago, our local senate passed the personhood bill that prevents mothers from seeking abortion even in the case of rape. It also prohibits certain forms of contraception. I have no doubt that this bill was profoundly influenced by the Christian faith that is ubiquitous here in Oklahoma. We must continue to fight for reason and what’s true and discard supersttions of the past.
It took some time, but I‘m now proud to be an atheist. I don’t go around advertising it, but we shouldn’t be ashamed despite the fact that many consider atheists about as trustworthy as rapists. I think it’s a misunderstanding that many have which can only be remedied by speaking out via writing or other forms of communication. We all have a story to tell regardless if we never were affiliated with a religious faith.