Why Losing Religion Was Painful For Me

I could write a really long note right now, about the inner turmoil it brought me, watching my religious beliefs fall away a little piece at a time.
Christians respond to me in various ways since I became atheist.  I’m told I’m too dense or stupid to see the logic (or need for dependency?) of belief.  I’m told I’m being selfish, wanting to live my life for me.  I’m told it’s because it’s so much easier being an atheist than taking the more difficult  road (when in truth the majority in this country are Christians and only now I am not on the super-highway anymore).
The notion of life after death was for me just like everyone else, a comfort.  When I was six years old and told by my pastor I’d see my daddy again in heaven, I caught hold of that idea and held onto it, hard.  Along with every single  memory I had of him in my five years I had him there, I kept that hope too, very close to my heart.  I’ll see him again, the thought went over and over.  I’ll see him again.

The whole being saved thing was my ticket to heaven, my guarantee I’d see my dad again because I knew he was in heaven.  No other place could hold a man so wonderful as he.  So people who come at me now and act like atheism came easily to me, like it didn’t involve a huge inner battle and over a year of resistance on my part, have no clue what a blow it was to my heart when I came to realize all the things I had hoped were true, even despite how so many of them didn’t make sense, were in fact not true.

True or not true, that’s not the point of this note.  The point is, it was a hard thing for me.  I grieved my loss.  I went for a time pretending I still believed.  I went for a time in denial.   Because letting go of my belief in such things as God and heaven, meant letting go my hope that had pulled me through the darkest years of my life, that “I’ll see him again.”

My dad’s absence made my love for him grow and grow.  He became super dad in my heart, that perfect shining example of fatherhood.  I even remembered his spanking me once with a smile.

So that’s what losing religion took from me, and no it was not an easy thing walking away from what I had believed for so long.

I am an atheist, but an open minded one.  I am pretty sure I saw my cat Tika in two dreams after she passed away.  I had a very vivid dream of her brother Raistlin after he passed away.  I think if there is something after death, it might be more like what “What Dreams May Come” portrays it as…or maybe not. I don’t think there’d be any god in charge running things.  I think the whole notion of a king or fearless leader running the kingdom is a very human one–more evidence the religion is human contrived.

If there’s something I’m betting it’s nothing remotely like anything anyone’s imagined.   I think most likely I will cease to exist when I die, and that doesn’t trouble me.  As a very clever and creative friend once said, I didn’t mind not existing the millions of years before I was born, either.


7 comments on “Why Losing Religion Was Painful For Me

  1. I have no idea why you came to such a ‘firm’ conclusion about Christianity and Atheism..whether is was something that happened or didn’t happen…whether it was a person who convinced you of if you just felt it was ‘too much to believe’.
    Your last few sentences where you keep a ‘little tiny hope’ hidden away, says to me that there is still a question in your mind.
    ‘Reason’ any your ‘good sense’ somehow doesn’t adequately explain things.
    I am sorry that most Christians have actually seemed brutal to you. Because if there is a central feeling that God wants for us is to be compassionate and understanding..and love thy neighbor as thyself.. One can disagree with another but tolerant as well not unkind.
    Your reasons are your own. I reason as well every day as a Christian because that’s how I make decisions.
    But I would be remiss if I didn’t say that if there is any doubt lingering in your heart and mind….ask God to reveal himself somehow in some way to you. It may not happen overnight, and there’s no magic or demanding of a miracle to show you…but I know that he wants you just as much as he wants me..to be in heaven with Him for eternity and to see your Dad as well.
    Yes, Dear God is real !

    • Please don’t insult me. If I remotely thought the murderous sexist butcher from the OT was real I certainly would NOT worship or praise him. I certainly am not on the fence either. I am saying I have no idea there’s an afterlife but if so it has nothing whatsoever to do with this god who feels the need to bully and make threats of eternal damnation to get followers.

    • You have no idea why I came to my senses? Would you like me to make a list??? Your response is so typical. You assume I came to my unbelief because I was disillusioned by other Christians. Or you think I have some kind of grudge against god. No. It’s called science. There is absolutely no need for a god except human fear of death and the massively arrogant idea that the maker of all the cosmos, who coincidentally has all the fine qualities of a human dictator, made US in his image. Yeah, right. I suppose every primitive society in the universe that has the curiosity to wonder about the stars also came up with the supernatural as a way to explain what they couldn’t understand. No doubt they think they were made in some god’s image too. Welcome to the bronze age…or at least bronze age thinking.

      • I will only make this and then no other comment.
        If it it purely science that you think as you do, they why all the anger and hostility that is very present in your words?
        Why so offended that others choose to believe in God?
        I disagree with you but I’m not angry at you?
        And I don’t think you are stupid. It is your life to live and believe as you choose to. That is your free will.

  2. Have I said I am offended other people believe the lie? No. Why the anger? Because the lie contributed greatly to crushing my self esteem. I don’t like being lied to. I don’t like the massive harm to society this lie has caused. I don’t like seeing other people blindly following the lie without question just like I did. It makes me angry. I rather want to “save” others from such a collosal waste of their energy and time…pinning false hopes on this latest patriarchal god and this sun-god religion.. Your religion likes to call it free will when you have a god that says “love me or suffer forever in hell.” That’s free will? If I put a gun to your head and told you i’d kill you if you didn’t help me rob a bank, would you call that me giving you free will? Oh yes, you’d have free will to choose. But what choices! This is what your supreme being does. He threatens and bullies. In addiction to all the crimes against humanity Christianity wants to ignore that he repeatedly commits in the OT. Genocide. Human sacrifice. Ordering virgins be handed to soldiers as spoils of war, cutting pregnant women open with swords, not allowing handicapped people in the temple, ordering parents to stone to death their insolent sons, rapists to marry their victims, you want to call this god “good” more power to you.

    I also get pissed off when I write a post explaining how hard it was losing the delusion…much harder after a lifetime of believing it than being told there is no Santa Claus. And what do you do? You write me assuring me there’s a god. Baaaaaaah!

  3. The hope that religions seem to provide is a hard thing to give up. But hope in love, friendship and your fellow travelers (a la Buddhism) works just as well, although harder to achieve.

    • Buddhism is the only truly peaceful religion. No Crusades or terrorism or witch burnings or wars have been motivated by IT. I just wish one didn’t have to believe in reincarnation to be Buddhist. Otoh, the belief we are all connected…I do believe that is very true. I have never felt it as someone else here describes, but I have always believed it.

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