Little by little, I am ‘coming out’ as atheist to my circle of friends and family. I have to be careful with that term because it harbors so much fear and distaste. So, in the interest of preserving relationships, I have stated that I am no longer Christian. That is the only clear position I’ve taken publicly.
The reactions have been so interesting. People that I’ve NEVER known to be religious at all, all of the sudden are praising Jesus like the 2nd coming. It’s like my disassociation from God makes them nervous so they have to reaffirm their dormant one. I don’t know if they feel pressure to reconvert me or what. It’s not like I left for a different religion. I can not go back to belief in something that does not exist. Why would I want to fool myself like that again?
However, the WORST reactions have come from the self-righteous Christians who believe me to be selfish, wanting to live my own life without God, turning away from him, and suggesting that I have done so because I must be weak-minded and easily led astray by some atheist comments. Beyond being incredibly insulting to my intelligence and my ability to think for myself, it is annoying to have to defend the path I took to get here. Other christian friends are littering their Facebook wall with posts about atheists converting to christianity or how to keep people in the church or other such posts that have only begun showing up since my husband and I ‘went public’ with our disbelief. One of these posts in particular was so offensive and short sighted that I decided to engage and challenge it in the comments. It was an article from an evangelical christian site about a former atheist that just didn’t fit in with the atheist crowd. He likens atheism to a religion (which is the complete opposite of what it actually is) and describes his experiences as an atheist with religious language. Then miraculously he sees the light and chooses to leave it all behind and follow christ.
I call bullshit.
It’s a convenient story written in christianese that demeans atheists and portrays them as lost souls rather than freethinkers, many of whom used to be VERY religious. I would venture to say that most of us pursued the truth until it led us to the only logical conclusion: God is imaginary.
Look, on some level I wish it weren’t true. It’s a nice thought that the creator of the universe cares about you individually, a tiny little speck amidst a vast universe of creation. But, it’s also an arrogant thought.
I started challenging the posts my friend was putting up and I have defended my position. The posts have lessened. Once you get to a point in the questioning it, there is no solid christian defense. My friend stopped responding publicly and agreed to discuss these things in private and in person only. So, some progress has been made.
Interestingly enough, I invited those that have given me the greatest resistance to read the 50 proofs on godisimaginary.com. Not one has had the courage to read through them. They get to the first couple and write it off as laughable. I get it. It’s uncomfortable. But, have the balls to entertain a different perspective before assuming I am the one that is wrong here.