Welcome

Greetings to all the first time and return visitors. I can’t say how pleased I am that so many people have dropped by today.  For those that do not know my backstory, I was once an extremely committed Christian, playing on praise teams, going to conferences and festivals, serving as president of the Bible Club in High School and attending a Fundamentalist Bible College for a year. I “fought” demons, spoke in tongues, and spent as much time at church as possible.   Over a long period, I gradually realized that I simply did not believe in God or anything supernatural anymore. I kept up at going to church and helping in what capacity a good for some time afterward, hoping that no one would notice while I went through this “phase,”  but eventually I had to come out and tell my wife–and later the world–that I couldn’t keep up appearances anymore.

The specifics of my de-conversion story will come out in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please feel free to post any comments or questions about my past, my moral stances, political views, stances on science issues of the day or anything else you can think of. I will do my best to answer at least one a week in the newly launched “Who What Why Wednesday” series.

Other series are soon to come. I appreciate those that have already commented on past posts and I look forward to the dialogue ahead.

Sincerely,

Token Atheist

 

 

 

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Posted on May 21, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I find comfort in your blog, yet never thought I would find myself here. These days I’m just trying to find answers or relief. I will try not to get to long in my comment. I’ve been a single parent for quite awhile, and have amazing children. My one daughter, who will be a senior in college next year, is very active with Campus Crusade For Christ. She didn’t make many friends her freshman year, and got invited her sophomore year to attend a CRU as they used to call it, worship night. She jumped in head first. She then went on a retreat, and the young woman that came back was totally different. She broke up with her dear boyfriend, stopped watching TV, listens to only Christian radio, gave away all her so called sinful DVD’s, had to have quiet time daily with her bible, etc. I tried to talk to her more than once, and she gets so defensive. I don’t want to sever our ties, so I mainly no longer talk about it, and just try and be myself. I feel she is brainwashed, and after the retreat even contacted the school. They said they really had nothing to do with CRU, and it was student based. She is no longer the fun, random, outgoing young woman that I knew. I read her journal when I can, and she always feels guilty about something. She is so talented, yet I feel she will graduate, and then go on staff with CRU, and that will be her life. She is like a robot to me, and I have come to despise the Evangelical religion. I’m so angry, yet so sad that I’ve lost my daughter to them. Maybe someday she will see the light, but I worry that she won’t. I do have to let her live her life, but she truly has no life.

    Anon

  2. I clicked on the comments section to cajole T.A. to update; since it is Sunday and he did not have to go to church this morning :-). I am not the author of the blog, but I am going to throw my $.02 in a reply to Anon, in hopes it is helpful.

    I am apparently the opposite of your daughter; I was raised as a fundamentalist/evangelical and did not start to question my own faith until I was almost forty. I would describe myself as an agnostic. I would also not freak out if my children became ardent adherents of Campus Crusade for Christ or another evangelical organization.

    There is a lot of value in community, one thing religious faiths tend to do is provide that sense of community. Evangelical groups such as CCC are mainstream enough you do not have to worry about your daughter being immersed in a cult, drinking kool-aid, etc. Some of her new values might seem odd, but they are also likely to be pretty supportive of quality life decisions.

    She might give up movies, but she is also likely to avoid alcohol and drugs. She might give up her boyfriend, but she might also be less likely to become pregnant or contract an STD. Depending on the area of the country you live in, being hooked into the evangelical community could also be a career and life enhancing move.

    My advice would be to encourage your daughter to study her faith. Let her know it is important to read work by authors within her faith community as well as authors that are critical of (or have left) her faith community. Evangelical Christianity thrives in a perceived state of oppression; whatever you do, avoid contributing to that.

    I will let T.A. weigh in with his own thoughts. For myself, there are some things I would do differently if I deconverted earlier but many things I hope I would still do the same. I hope this offered you some hope. In the end, being there for your daughter, if this is a temporary phase or a permanent life change, is the most important thing.

  3. Token Atheist

    Many of us go off the proverbial “deep end” of some sort when we are young. I went through a phase of throwing out CD’s and refusing to listen to secular radio or watch movies. The consolation is that even as a hard-core Fundamentalist, that was a relatively short period, which in my experience with others is more often the case than not. As tlethbridge points out, there are worse things one can get involved in than Evangelical Christianity. It can become a very insular community, but more often than not people cannot avoid the “real world” forever. The more exposure there is to the rest of the world through work ,hobbies, etc., the less extreme the isolation becomes. Careers in leadership and staff of Christian organizations are harder to come by than most people think, so I wouldn’t count on her being on staff indefinitely.

    I, too, encourage everyone to take a hard look at his or her beliefs every so often, including people of a similar mindset to my own. When looking at scripture, she needs to ask herself, “would I believe this if I read it anywhere else?”. When dealing with throwing out movies, what, specifically is bothersome about it? Is it just “worldly” or does it really encourage bad behavior?

    Those are the kinds of questions that ultimately brought me to where I am. Your daughter may well remain Christian, but she will probably moderate a bit with time and exposure to people who are less like-minded. I hold out hope with you that this is the case, and sooner than later. .

    • Thank you both for your comments. They both gave good insight. One thing she does finally have in her life is some good friends. She’s always had trouble making and keeping friendships, and now seems to have some good friends. They are getting married though left and right. Some are as young as freshman.

      She also feels that living a life of poverty is best, and God will provide. She never has extra money, and went to Goodwill to buy everyone’s Christmas gifts.

      I hope she at lest finds balance along the way.

      I read another blog that has helped me, especially her first articles. It’s “How To Talk Evangelical”, and it tells of her journey of growing up that way, and then eventaully hitting the wall of depression. So much of the first articles are the lingo my daughter uses. For now I’ll keep reading the blogs that help. Our relationship that used to be close is now strained. That’s what breaks my heart the most.

      Anon

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