My transition

(Via Danelle Pack)

My transformation into the Atheist I am today happened in stages.

It started four years ago. I was raised as a Christian, and even called myself born-again. I married a non-believer. He would never have called himself an atheist to my face, but I knew he had doubts. He liked to paint me a picture of believing in a “higher power”. As a “born-again” Christian I felt this was acceptable. I would show him the “true” path. A year into my marriage I started to notice the gap that my faith caused in our relationship. Moved by what I thought was the Holy Spirit, I decided to educate myself on the arguments. I wanted to witness to him. I gathered many Christian apologetic materials and consumed them.

While I was in this fervor, a close and respected friend said to me “Why have you chosen this God, and rejected the others?”. This question stumped me. I had no response. How could I have chosen this God? I hadn’t “chosen” him at all. He was the only one I knew. I scrambled to solidify my knowledge about my own beliefs. I started to read the bible, cover to cover, for the first time.

I was appalled, even disgusted, by what I read. This was not the God I learned about in Sunday school. He was mean, vindictive and sadistic. And this flood, how could there have been a worldwide flood without leaving some kind of scientific evidence? My eyes and mind were opening, slowly. At first I thought I had just “chosen” the wrong God. I even bought "World Religions for Dummies" to research different beliefs.

The turning point was the May 2007 GOP Presidential Debate. The candidates were asked if they believed in evolution. Three raised their hands. For most people it seems it was a shocker that three presidential candidates didn’t believe in evolution. For me it was this reaction that was the shocker. I had no idea evolution was so widely scientifically accepted. I hadn’t realized that this theory had been around for 150 years and was still growing and solidifying. My mind began to expand exponentially and I started to educate myself, not just on evolution, but on physics, astronomy and critical thinking. I realized that this life, this universe, is plausible without a creator. The word “Atheist” still scared me. I started to devour Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennett, any and every author on the subject and I became a very proud Atheist.

Three months ago I came out to my mother and father. My mother stated she would have rather heard I was dying of cancer than that I was an Atheist. I realize the pain I have caused her, and it still weighs heavily on my heart, but I am now able to have a more open and honest relationship with her. On the flipside, I learned that my father is a closet agnostic and our relationship is closer than ever.

As an Atheist, I have never felt more alive and more grateful for this life.

5 comments:

The Maze Monster said...

Great story and I completely relate.

libhom said...

Your mother's reaction is shockingly cruel.

Malperdy said...

When your "close and respected friend" asked you “Why have you chosen this God, and rejected the others?”, what did they mean by these other gods? Who were they?

Captain Joe Kickass said...

Zeus, Allah, Mercury or a whole host of others. There have been over 10,000 gods thru the years

Anonymous said...

Is it OK if I quote you on
My mother stated she would have rather heard I was dying of cancer than that I was an Atheist.
?

Sarah
Not My God
www.sarahtrachtenberg.com