Share your de-conversion story
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07-09-2017, 02:12 PM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2017 02:20 PM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(07-09-2017 01:28 PM)phetaroi Wrote:  I keep running into SOME atheists who seem to be on a crusade (which seems sorta religious), or seem very bitter, or are preaching (again, seems kinda religious), or who want to hurl insults at Christians (as if that does any good).

Some atheists are activists because atheism is generally and often deliberately misconstrued.

Some atheists are angy about being misled by religious people and suffering any number of personal losses because of it.

Some atheists try to warn other people about what they wish they had known earlier, so others can avoid the same mistakes.

And some atheists like to take the religious down a notch or two because of all of the above.
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28-12-2017, 05:26 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(07-09-2017 02:12 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(07-09-2017 01:28 PM)phetaroi Wrote:  I keep running into SOME atheists who seem to be on a crusade (which seems sorta religious), or seem very bitter, or are preaching (again, seems kinda religious), or who want to hurl insults at Christians (as if that does any good).

Some atheists are activists because atheism is generally and often deliberately misconstrued.

Some atheists are angy about being misled by religious people and suffering any number of personal losses because of it.

Some atheists try to warn other people about what they wish they had known earlier, so others can avoid the same mistakes.

And some atheists like to take the religious down a notch or two because of all of the above.


Very understandable. I sometimes react to what seems like insensitivity toward theists and it is good to keep in mind that there is plenty of reason for it.

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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21-01-2018, 06:08 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
My de-conversion started with a lot of really sincere people and quite a few hypocritical ones back when I was 100% all in good little Christian girl believing with all my heart, doing everything I could to prove my Christianity and still not being believed, or at least seen as "good enough" Then I ran across a book called the Case of the Nazerene Reopened which is a play in which the trial of Jesus is reopened by the Jewish community and a lot of experts on biblical history, Roman and Jewish laws and the Greek, Roman and Hebrew languages refuted the story of the trial as written. It really got me thinking. I got rather skeptical as I realized that though I had read the Bible cover to cover many times and had seen all the inconsistencies and glossed over them because that is what you do when you are a believer- I couldn't do that anymore. At 38 I walked away from Christianity, tried a lot of other religious and spiritual paths, finally joining a Druid Order and now am while not quite Athiest yet consider myself a secular Pagan having decided that all dieties were created by man and can be related to in archetypical form if at all. Basically since "God ignores me, " I just ignore the God question these days. Love the podcasts they are so informative and Seth when you go on one of your rare livid vents I am right there with you.Heart
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26-01-2018, 12:28 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(28-12-2017 05:26 PM)whateverist Wrote:  
(07-09-2017 02:12 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  Some atheists are activists because atheism is generally and often deliberately misconstrued.

Some atheists are angy about being misled by religious people and suffering any number of personal losses because of it.

Some atheists try to warn other people about what they wish they had known earlier, so others can avoid the same mistakes.

And some atheists like to take the religious down a notch or two because of all of the above.


Very understandable. I sometimes react to what seems like insensitivity toward theists and it is good to keep in mind that there is plenty of reason for it.

The problem overall works both ways and I see a lot of, as I saw here today with my first few posts, atheists at times attack people who can help them and support their views.

As for theists they also can argue in bad faith and unless you know of a history with them personally, then you need to be patient with people and see each person as a clean slate without prejudice.

My views are that Occam's Razor wins and I have convinced theists to see things the other way. You need to keep to simple points and demonstrate and prove to them what is wrong. It works.

When they become abusive and argue in bad faith, as was done to me here today, or they support violence and make slurs related to it, as others did to me here today, then you shut them off.
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26-01-2018, 12:43 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
As to my story related to de-conversion, I'd not say I was a strong follower of Christ, just someone who wanted some answers about him and me.

I (We, my wife Heike and I) started to attend a church, Pendleton Center United Methodist Church near our home in Lockport NY USA. This was sometime around summer of 1998.

I went to understand problems related to what I was told was a car accident I was involved in during the summer of 1981 in Wilson NY USA.

We usually went on Saturday evening to understand Bible teachings and what this is all about, I had no exposure to God or Christ at home.

We later did Bible study classes and purchased our own Bibles and I read most all of it that made any sense and parts that did not. As in Book of Revelations etc.

As it went on until 2003 I began to see that much of what was going on there in sermons played upon my vanity with Pastor Tom Kraft speaking about personal issues and things done to me and being done to me. Especially related to the 1981 knife attack and fact my wife is a femme fatale. He knew this.

As it went on eventually in 2003 someone approached me there and asked to meet me. He informed me that I was being misled, that Heike is acting to harm me, that I had been lied to about the "Accident" in 1981 and that those were indeed knife wounds. A murder done to me by friends and others who planned this attack.

I was devastated. Soon after that as Pastor Tom Kraft predicted, Heike acted and poisoned me to death. I had to have chelation therapy done to me out of NY State and this was done to reverse the effects of her feeding me poison.

This as we now learn was not her first attempt.

I continued to attend as I could despite my health and Pastor Kraft indicated to me that he can't keep doing this, and that I need to leave the Church.

This proved to me that something is very wrong here.

And it goes from there....

It ended as forms of gaslighting, abuse, and cooperation with those who did and will do murder to me personally.
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31-01-2018, 12:48 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
My deconversion story is still ongoing today. It began... probably sometime around when I was in 7th or 8th grade, so about 11 or 12 years old. I still remember how it all started very clearly.

I was in midweek bible school, and the pastor was going over the parts of the bible that discuss the unforgivable sin. For some reason, this discussion triggered something in the back of my mind. I started having a creeping doubt and a worry that I was going to have some sort of bad thoughts that could constitute a blasphemy against the holy spirit in some form and that I was going to lose all connection with God forever and be condemned to spend an eternity in hell... all over a small slip, an accident, a bad thought. It terrified me. And I could not shake it. I was always prone to worrying about things, but I was always able to shake it off eventually... but not this. This was like a cancer to me, it caused anxiety, it started to affect my day to day life. I started having a hard time remembering things and trouble focusing on school.

It eventually drove me to start doubting my faith. Which, in turn, drove me to start doing my own research to try and reinforce it. Which lead me to none other than AiG's website. I started looking at their apologetics. I spoke to my pastors, I read lengthy articles, continued going to church and did everything I could to cling to my faith, but everything just fell short. None of the answers I was finding to the questions that I had was very satisfying. My doubt just kept creeping back up again and again.

A few years later, while I'm in college, I'm not as affected by my worrying and anxiety anymore, but I'm still fending off my doubt. I don't remember how exactly it happened, but I do remember eventually picking up The God Delusion and reading it cover to cover, and then A Letter to a Christian Nation, and more and more. Eventually everything just unraveled. It was almost like a lightbulb turned on. I was elated. I came to the full realization that all of this worrying that I had done as a child... was pointless. There was no need to worry. I felt free. It was like having a huge sigh.

Ever since then I continued to study and seek out more resources in religion and atheism. I found The Thinking Atheist, Cara Santa Maria, several YouTubers, etc... I'm still searching for a community near me to meet people face to face to be able to discuss these topics... but all is going well. I still have yet to actually tell any of my family though. I suppose that will come in due time...
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05-04-2018, 01:35 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I had been a Christian for 25 + years . . . it becomes a grey area for me on the actual length of time only because for some, it isn't always a a "Light Switch" where one just instantly stops believing in their particular God concept. For some they have stages of transition . . . First off, life as a Born again Christian was such that I:
Attended Church 3 times a week, Bible study once a Week, Youth Group (Basically another Bible study with games at the end) once a week, and in my high school years, attended Satellite Bible College classes for audit twice a week. Whenever there was a "Blitz" (Soul Winning or Sharing the "Good News") event I was expected to attend . . .
I did debate in Christian Private school where many times it was the Nondenominational Christians against the Pentecostal Christians on whether you could lose your "Salvation" . . .
Herd mentality and reciprocal confirmation bias is EXTREMELY important to believers . . . they need their support groups (The Body of Christ) to maintain the delusion . . . When I left home at 20, I had less and less contact with the church and other believers . . . how the quickly they ventured out to "Fellowship" with me to try and "Help" me maintain my beliefs . . .
I started to NOT take the Word of God Literally . . . Evidence of the natural order of things shed light on reason in this regard. I started to say the old testament was allegorical but the new testament was 100% true well before it was "Cool" to do so . . . I even started contemplating a whole different concept regarding Satan's true power and that humans were created superior to his kind . . .
I was in a college class for my Bachelors degree that we spent a great deal of time on how the Bible was constructed by the church, and how man divided the interpretations up into the different denominations ALL UNDER THE INSPIRATION . . . of the Holy Spirit . . . and most conflicting with each other . . . That was my FIRST big Epiphany . . .

[Image: 9dZL.gif]

I guess I never really question HOW the Bible came to be . . . well then I was hooked. Not just on the history of the making of the Biblical canons but on the original text and meaning of the books within . . .
Then the conflicting characteristics of God, and concepts of "Free Will" and an Omniscient Perfect Being . . . This all lead me to books by Sam Harris, videos of Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and the Atheist Experience . . .
Presentations by Lawrence Kruass, and Neil deGrasse Tyson all exciting me towards science . . . I work in the Healthcare industry, and all the evidence I had witnessed up to that point lead me from:
belief in a book to
partial belief but acceptance of the book to
no belief in the book but belief there was a being but no religion to it to
not really a being but a force, to
. . . nature, and the order from random life adapting to live . . .
I have returned to my original state after being born but now informed of the choices of belief, choose to not believe the wild supernatural claims . . . I enjoy discussion with theists regarding their personal beliefs . . . I was lucky enough to raise my children at a time where I gave them REAL choice with regards to beliefs and religion rather then dogmatic indoctrination to a single religion . . .
I've been an Atheist (Skeptical Secular Humanist) for just over 15 years . . .

Everybody has to be somewhere . . .
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12-04-2018, 08:55 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2018 09:40 AM by wakefulsanity.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I am a fairly new de-converter. My story is not terribly interesting, so I'll put that disclaimer out there right now. I'll also try not to ramble tooooo much.

Basically I grew up in a conservative Christian household. My parents watched a lot of Fox News, but never went to church. I recall them attending bible studies when I was much younger, but I only have very vague memories of that. They are not in your face about their religion unless there is someone or something happening that is against their idea of Christianity, then they can quote scripture all day long.

Anyway, I was never raised to read the Bible. I was always just told what to believe, both in religion and politics. The two went hand in hand. I always believed in God, I just never believed you had to attend church to have a relationship with Him. I *have* attended church services before - a couple times with friends, and once on my own for several months when my husband and I were struggling to conceive and since 'children are blessings from God', clearly I was doing something wrong and needed to remedy it. I was baptized, prayed, tithed (when I could). I liked how church made me feel, but I just fell out of attending after awhile. I can't even remember why.

Infertility was my first 'doubt' of a higher being. I had trouble reconciling that God would 'bless me' with a baby when He was ready. What was the hold up? What was I doing wrong? 4+ years of anguish and disappointment, of pain and invasive treatment, shots and pills and tears and stress. Not to mention the $$$$$ we spent. Why was my body broken? Well, we saw a fertility specialist who promised me a pregnancy within a year. And, within 10 months, I was pregnant. My family gave all the praise to God, but in my head, I was thinking... well, no, my doctor deserves the praise. God didn't do sh*t for me, thank you.

FF several years and my political views began to change from conservative to independent/liberal. This is not something you can outwardly admit to in my family (immediate family anyway).... my younger sister admitted she was liberal and my dad posted on FB that he'd failed as a father (he deleted it but still). I posted some anti-Trump on my FB before the election and was asked by a conservative cousin "are you a closet democrat?". I explained that I vote based on issues/characters, not party affiliation (which I can admit was not the truth up through 2012, as I always voted R across the line, but it's amazing what being out in the world and opening your mind can do for a person's views on said world/people).

the election of Trump was the final nail in my Republican affiliation coffin. The next year and defense of Roy Moore, of Trump, of putting gun rights over human life, over using GOD as justification for shitty, hateful behavior... I was over it. If this was Christianity, this was not what I wanted to be. I began to research other religions, because I felt like I was still spiritual, I needed *something* to believe in. For awhile, even Wicca seemed pretty appealing - love mother nature and a dozen different gods if you want! yes, okay! But it didn't really *speak* to me. I realized that maybe my views aligned most with Universal Unitarians. It's a nice thought, coming together and just accepting all walks of life. I even attended a UU service, but again, nothing clicked. I wasn't "feeling" it. I have nothing against UUs but felt like it just cherry picked the good parts of religion to focus on, but to me, there was a bigger picture and it wasn't all pretty.

I somehow managed to get into this discussion one night over dinner with my youngest sister. She attends church, bible studies, home churches, etc. Her group of friends are all from the same church. She's been trying to get me to attend home church with her for years. She can be extremely judgmental (shocking, no?) and is ready to try and put God in your life whenever she can. We get along just fine as long as we're not talking politics (she hates that anyway. she'd rather ignore the world's problems all together!) or, I guess, religion. Because we both had some pineapple rum and I somehow got suckered into a 2 hour conversation about Christianity. She realized my views had changed on God and boy, did she want to make sure I knew how wrong I was.

Her religion is the ONE TRUE religion. I asked her how she knows. God says so, she tells me. She has studied the bible for TWELVE YEARS - her interpretation (or the interpretation of her church) is the CORRECT interpretation. This point she wanted to drive home.

She told me that I was pushing my moral standards on others by claiming people should live however they want as long as they're not hurting others. She threw Hitler in there somewhere, but I can't remember much of her argument (thank you rum!). She told me no morals exist without GOD. I said some of my atheist friends are some of the most moral people you'll meet - she tells me that's because God is in their hearts even if they don't believe in him.

She went on about prophetic evidence proving the Bible right. She told me she believes in the old and new testaments - but sort of side stepped the atrocities committed in them when I asked her about them. I kept asking "how do you know?" and I didn't get a lot of answer, but for "prophetic evidence". I asked her if she could respect my beliefs (or non beliefs) if I did the same for her. She admitted she would never stop trying to make me see the true path, because she loved me. She wanted me to end up in Heaven. She told the Bible's view of Hell is not what you see in the media or in literature or movies. It's not fire and brimstone, but she claims it's an eternity of 'disconnect from God'. I asked that if someone didn't believe in God anyway, was that really Hell for them?

Anyway, this conversation is what sent me home in a huff. I am a competitive person by nature. I wanted to fact check these things. So, mildly drunk, I lay in bed and pull up google and begin researching the bible and her claims - I come across the contradictions. The inconsistencies. I was shocked at what I found (Jesus's story being so similar to Horus, the Ark being a rip off of another similar story, omg the "prophets" didn't write the Bible until WHEN? omg, MEN decided which books to include? the ten commandments I knew weren't even the *first* round of commandments! etc etc). SO much about the Bible I never knew because I was never told and never thought to actually research/look up. It became so clear to me that the Bible was written by men to control people they deemed beneath them.

I began watching youtube videos of Hitchens and Dawkins and Sam Harris. A friend of mine sent me a link to several articles on Patheos, as well as the recommendation of TTA podcast (which I have been binging). It's only been a month or so, but while I am still reconciling the realization that death is death and there is no afterlife (that's the hardest part for me to give up, tbh)... I consider myself pretty firmly agnostic/atheist. I'm still coming to terms with what this means and I haven't told anyone but my atheist friends and my younger sister (not the ultra conservative one). I really do fear what my parents would say if they found out. It shouldn't be a Thing, but it would be. I haven't really broached the subject with my husband but for a few comments I've made. I know he's not going to leave me over this (I told him several months ago I was thinking of changing my religion. He asked if "jedi" was an option, but he was supportive of me in finding/or losing my faith).

my sister yesterday sent me a text asking if I wanted to sign up my twins for VBS in June. my husband said "why would we ever be interested in that???" (he's not super religious but believes in God... I think? lol) but I have no idea what to tell her. I don't want to be a b*tch, but I don't want to admit my newfound views on "god" right now either.

GAH. I'm rambled. Anyway, if you read all of this, thank you. I'm finding my footing in this new non-religious culture. I feel good about it, but it's definitely going to take some getting used to.
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12-04-2018, 09:53 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(12-04-2018 08:55 AM)wakefulsanity Wrote:  I am a fairly new de-converter. My story is not terribly interesting, so I'll put that disclaimer out there right now. I'll also try not to ramble tooooo much.

Well, I thought your story was interesting. Thanks -- and good luck with your sister.
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12-04-2018, 10:04 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(12-04-2018 09:53 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(12-04-2018 08:55 AM)wakefulsanity Wrote:  I am a fairly new de-converter. My story is not terribly interesting, so I'll put that disclaimer out there right now. I'll also try not to ramble tooooo much.

Well, I thought your story was interesting. Thanks -- and good luck with your sister.

Thank you. Smile
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