First off, before I start I must say thanks for the opportunity to contribute to the conversation at Consskep.com. We need more sites and blogs expanding the dialogue to normalize and to encourage skeptical and critical thinking processes and to let other Atheists and deconverts to know they are not alone. I thought this would be a great way for me to pay it forward to others who took the bold leap of skepticism leaving the comfort of their faith and risking relationships with their families and friends and sharing their experiences in a public forum to advance the cause, without them I would not have been exposed to information and epistemological questions that led to my deconversion
This is my first blog as a new “agnostic atheist” in what I hope can be a series explaining the flaws I found in my faith. The purpose and hope is that it can help others who are either still in a faith belief system to better understand how I could walk away after 30 years in Christianity or for those who are recovering from a deconversion experience. The reason I found this website is because I was raised in a very conservative republican and fundamentalist Christian home and I had always heard only conservatives believed in God and Democrats didn’t. So one day I searched online for conservative atheist and was relieved to see that I wasn’t alone. Now I still hold to some conservative values fiscally but I am more open to listening to viewpoints from the other side. I also have let go of the ideological strongholds that both parties tend to push for their respective agendas.
Many deconversion stories have been written about and shared before so do we really need more of them? I enjoy reading deconversion stories because it helps me realize I am not the only one who was went through this unforeseen change in belief after my entire worldview was built on it. Friends and family who see someone go through this process think it is someone either “backsliding” or angry at God or the world or in my case the accusations of both with a “mid life crisis” claim thrown in to the discussion as well. I think deconversion in more “liberal” households can be difficult but when you deconvert in the South, “The Bible Belt”, “In The Great State of Texas” it can definitely add more problems to the mix. Not only did I lose my Christianity but I lost the “all in one” package that came with it. The “previous me” was Fundamental Christian, Republican & Conservative. The Fundamental Christian title has changed to Agnostic Atheist and I no longer identify as republican but rather a Libertarian. In Texas you might as well brand yourself as a murderer and devil worshipper by just admitting either of these changes publicly.
Why would anyone risk damaging the relationship with their spouse, their family and friends and community? I have been asked since I have started to become “out” with my agnosticism to just “go along” and “pretend you still believe” and to “not be so open about it” because my christian family and friends really don’t want to know the “why”. I have thought about keeping silent, and to some degree I still am only “out” to my immediate family and a few friends but I continue to believe remaining silent is not helpful to the overall cause and continue to vocalize my skepticism in conversations delicately. We all think we are alone but we are not and that is why it is important for sites like this one to exist and why we need more of them. And as my headline posed the question “do we need more deconversion stories?” I make the case we do and I plan to do my part in speaking out for skepticism. With that said I expect this is largely an atheistic/skeptical audience so I my blogs will address the deconversion process and present counter-apologetics to commonly held Christian beliefs. I look forward to your participation joining me in the conversation with comments and feedback and maybe together we learn from each other. If you would also like to follow me on twitter @agnosticdude Till next time…..