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Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt
Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt
Hi all, I'm new to the forum. I posted a little about myself in the Intro forum, but here's my 'testimony'...

Being from the south, I come from a long line of Baptist generations. Growing up as a kid, we didn't go to church regularly, maybe on Easter, Christmas, etc.. But we were always taught Christian values. And I (like any child) believed what my parents and elders told me. I didn't really start attending church regularly until college. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) was an active Christian. She is what got me into church regularly. Around 1996 or 1997 I was 'saved' in church one Sunday, and swore to live my life for Jesus. I was pretty hardcore for several years. Never missed church, played drums in christian rock bands, did bible studies, tried to witness to people. (It's funny how sexually active we were during this time, knowing it was a huge sin!!)

We got married a few years later, started a family, career, etc... My shift work as an air traffic controller had me working on Sunday mornings in the early 2000's, so I got quite laxed in my church attendance. After a few years, my work schedule changed, allowing my Sunday mornings free again, so I started going back to church. Around the last year or two, I started to feel like I was just there to take up space. The sermons were not really meaning anything, I didn't go to a Sunday school class, I prayed, but they didn't seem from the heart - I just did it because it is what we were supposed to do! My life was in a rut!

Here is where I think the change started - I started asking questions! I asked them only to myself, but I wanted answers. Why does God do this? Why doesn't God do that? Are my prayers really heard? I would find good generic answers like, god is in control, it is his will, trust him, etc... So I continued trying to believe, wanting to believe... But something just didn't feel right.

About two or three weeks ago, a light suddenly came on and I said to myself - what the hell am I doing with my life - I believe what exactly?? And for the first time in 35 years, I looked at myself and my religion from outside the bubble. And WOW, what an eye-opener! I started digging into the Bible, trying to question everything I thought I 'knew'. And the deeper I dug, the more shocking stuff I found. Holy shit (pun intended), there is a lot of wacky stuff in that book. Stuff crazier than fairy tales and Santa Claus. This God that I always thought was loving and caring is really a mean, deceptive, selfish control freak. Why would we create such a character and force people to worship him??

I kept all of this to myself for a few days, but I was bursting to speak to someone. I told my wife. She took it well, but I could tell it broke her heart. Of course she said she will pray for me! (I thought about rolling my eyes, but being married for 14 years, I was smarter than that.) Argue
Here's where it gets complicated. My wife is on the staff at our church!! She is terrified of what the church will think if her husband is suddenly a non-believer. No one at my church knows, and I don't want my wife to be uncomfortable at her place of employment, so I have no problem lying to them... (They'll obviously believe any thing and every thing, right!) So I have told everyone that my work schedule is changing back to working Sunday mornings; therefore, I can no longer attend church...

I actually play drums for the praise band, and I didn't want to just leave them high and dry, so I told then they had me until the end of September. The last couple of weeks has been pretty awkward on Sundays, sitting there looking around at all the madness, listening to the absolute rubbish that everyone is soaking in... Well, this week is my last week before my "schedule change" takes effect, then I will no longer have to submerse myself within that flock of blind sheep ever again!

TA DAH!! I will be free at last!!

My wife is still praying for me and hoping I will come back or find some form of religion, but I'm hoping she will pull the wool off of her eyes. Our marriage is not in jeopardy, at least I don't think it is, so no problem there. I'm still the same person (only smarter), and she knows that. She is just worried about my soul.

I'm still very new to this new, free way of enjoying life, so bear with me. I'm learning more everyday. My biggest priority right now is to keep my family together and hope my kids grow up to be smart enough to think on their own!

I'm looking forward to reading books like The God Delusion, some of Sam Harris' stuff, etc... The internet has great stuff! I love comedy, and I have a whole new respect for George Carlin - he is hilarious!! Any references or books you can point me towards, I am like a new sponge!!

Thanks. I'm glad to finally join life in the real world!
- Marc
- Your friendly Air Traffic Control Atheist.

Messages In This Thread
Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by AtcAtheist - September 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by FallentoReason - September 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by MysticKnight - September 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by festive1 - September 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by IATIA - September 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by Kayenneh - September 20, 2012 at 3:43 am
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by Waratah - September 20, 2012 at 5:15 am
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by AtcAtheist - September 20, 2012 at 11:03 am
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by zappa1258 - September 20, 2012 at 11:41 am
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by Minimalist - September 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by jonb - September 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm
RE: Becoming an Atheist in the Bible belt - by jonb - November 8, 2012 at 7:29 am

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