Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ex-Believers, Come Hither!

I made the large meme down below some time ago and thought I'd share it here.
What do you think?

I would love to hear from you about the WHYs of your EX-believer status. I often feel such a sense of community with ex-believers. So many of us have experienced enough cognitive dissonance that we found it intolerable to stay in the church.

As for me, the mind games and shame didn't sit well with me. I couldn't ignore them in the church when I was working so hard in my life at the time to be completely honest and healthy with my thinking. Making the decision to live a highly ethical life meant that my brain was in turmoil over my religious beliefs.

The internal struggle for me began in earnest in the early 90s, I guess. I have always been a heavy reader and my reading at that time was deeply spiritual and widely religious and psychological. It didn't take long for the cognitive dissonance to set in.

I tried to make it all work for so long.

First I decided that it was religion in particular that I couldn't live with. I left the church but kept on with my belief, my reading, my thinking. The intellectual struggle kept me upset and in distress quite often in those days.

How about you?
Have you read any of Karen Armstrong's books? It might have been her book A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam that nailed the final nail in the coffin of religion for me. Not the final nail for a god, but for religion.

The final nail for any belief of a supernatural being of any sort came to me while I was reading The Bible.

Atheism 101


  1. Thank you so much for sharing, Karen! In my opinion, the best proof that there cannot be a god is the bible itself. I've read it cover to cover, I did extensive studies, but in the end, how could I as a realist, as a person who walks through life with open eyes, ignore famine, war, death, etc. and still believe in a merciful god as described in the bible? Why do children, who according to the bible enjoy the special love and protection of god, have to suffer so horrible? Why are hundreds of people dying in natural catastrophes? It simply doesn't make sense, apart from the inherent bigotry of organized church in general. Therefore, I'm an open and proud atheist!

    1. It might be lovely if there was a loving and merciful god. Really, someone who would comfort and heal and provide. Alas, it is fiction.

      That is why WE must do what we can to comfort, heal, and protect.

  2. I think mine comes from wanting to get married to the love of life and all those that "said" they loved me and cared about me were against it becaues it was not what they wanted and since they were my authority under the bible I am to obey them regardless. Well, I didn't and I've been married for 15 years come this fall. I've struggled with the church and my faith throughout my young adult years thankful I had an open and loving spouse that allowed me to explore and dabble. Obviously, I stuck close to what I was raised in but a bit more mystical and less demanding on my lifestyle. Then after my 3rd child and several attempts to find the right sect/church I let it all go. It was slow, I started to read Gnostic books and other books that showed I different side of the bible. I started examining the whys behind the sects I had tried to adapt to and realize there were so many holes (for me) and that I don't see eye to eye on anything. I kept reading, at that time I was a seeker but I knew I didn't want to raise my 3rd child like I had raised my older ones loosely christan. Now after another year of changes I can't stomach our local faith-based hs group nor the last 2 churches I've tried this year. My older children are each developing their own ideas about faith which I think is good. I am also sharing my journey with them, slowly that I don't see any faith as the ultimate truth. I can't say I am an athesit, honestly I don't know what I am sometimes I lean towards mystical christianty but I don't believe in the deity of Jesus and then it breaks down from there for me so I guess I am inbetween believing that there is something greater them me and sometimes I don't believe there is anything...I guess that makes me an agnostic, not really sure. Sorry to ramble, thanks for writing and sharing all you do, your blog has helped me so much knowing that I can be a loving, caring parent and mother without having faith and that my children can be too if they choose.

    1. JJ, Thank you so much for writing where you are in your story. I appreciate the trust. <3

      It can be such a burden to always feel as though you have to have a label and a definition for yourself, feel free at all times, to consider yourself "YOU", without a little subtitle for the convenience of others. ;)
      I mean, you don't have to "know" ...Seeing with new eyes (as I used to call it) can have a back-and-forth period. You just don't know what you will figure out in the end, but I always enjoy conversations with people who take the effort and time to THINK.

      I am so thankful to you for the kind words, it truly means the world to me.

  3. The short version of my story (which you know anyway!) is that because I'd spent so much of my youth in an extreme and harmful cult, I made the commitment to myself to always be completely honest with myself, even when it was painful (and unpopular). I truly believed that this would lead to the purest possible version of my faith, but it eventually led me right out of religion altogether.

    The entire premise of religious faith is absolute certainty in things without a smidgeon of credible evidence - so obviously this was wildly at odds with my own promise to myself!

    1. Dionne, I do know your story and that is why I think you are one of the bravest women I know. You are lovely and gentle and truly strong.

      So glad we are friends, Karen

    2. Naww! I'm glad we are friends too!


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