About Me

ClockFull disclosure … well, ALMOST full disclosure. I’m an ExChristian. At present, I go by the name Way Past Due. It’s my Twitter handle. You can call me Way.

Keeping my real name under wraps will likely change at some point in the future, but for now, I feel the need to hide. Call me a coward.

Living in the south, slam damn in the center of the bible belt presents its own set of challenges for an ExChristian.

My whole world was the Christian community for nearly 40 years. For me, that means virtually all of my adult life has been spent making friends at church or Bible Studies or some other Christian related group. Up until recently, I’d never even met a professing atheist, much less made a friend of one. They’re hard to find around these parts.

Here in the south, you can’t sling  a cat without landing the poor thing in a vat of potato salad at a Wednesday Night Supper. I’m surrounded. There are a few select friends and family that I’ve told I’m no longer a Christian, but I’m careful to whom I disclose that information. I know it’s difficult for the peeps I tell. Their worry about my eternity isn’t lost on me. Boy, do I get it.

Explaining the reasons I left Christianity after four decades isn’t doable in a sentence or two. That’s why I’m turning to a blog as an outlet. Maybe it’s therapy. For those who lack the patience or interest to keep up with this blog but still want the skinny, click on The Short Version at the top of the page.

In the event that I score one or two readers, I want to say thank you, in advance. Thanks for reading, for considering my point of view, and for any input you feel compelled to post in the comments section.

Leaving Christianity wasn’t easy as you’ll see, but it certainly was Way Past Due.

 

7 thoughts on “About Me

  1. “Keeping my real name under wraps will likely change at some point in the future, but for now, I feel the need to hide. Call me a coward.”

    I grew up down south too and have lived here all my life. I can list many good reasons for going anonymous about one’s true religious beliefs. Considering how many mean-spirited, straight-razor totin’, so-called Christians there are down here, I think “coward” is a perfectly legitimate and wholly supportable reason to go anonymous. The average person who lives in Michigan or Vermont cannot in their wildest imaginations know what it is really like socially and practically to deviate from the religious party-line that dominates the American South—and the very real social, cultural, career, etc. discrimination that can so quickly and easily make one a pariah and an object of hostility. It is the kind of place where Jill can be chosen to be the lead for the company’s newest and most important project “because she obviously hates gay people like every really good Christian should and she loves Jesus more than her internal competitor Fred.” You would never hear that openly stated by the company or put in writing—but it is almost always lurking in the shadows, quiet whispers among the employees at lunch, and so forth.

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  2. You hit that ole nail straight up on its head! Around here, being Christian is as taken for granted as being American and the necessity for a corn dog on a stick at a football game. It’s just what you do.

    Thankfully, my inner circle of peeps know where I stand and thus far, I’ve felt loved and supported, which is what really matters.

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  3. I wanted to comment on your “why I left, the short version” post. ( I couldn’t see where to comment beneath that post so I’ll just do it here).
    You said “Once I quit making excuses for god, I found it a tad easier to examine the other doubts I had ignored. I gave myself permission to think logically about them and it was like a floodgate opened”.
    That’s exactly what happened with me. I needed to open the door of my brain to deal with troublesome subjects. But that allowed other things to rush out as well. It’s like opening the door on an airplane to get rid of some trash… A lot more will get sucked out too.
    Thanks for sharing… You write well and I enjoy reading your blog!

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  4. Thank you Marty! What a great way to put that … like a plane door opening.

    It’s comforting to me to find others who can relate to feelings that, at one time, isolated me. Fear was a nasty stalker during my de-conversion years. Talk about feeling alone!

    Glad you found my blog. I look forward to hearing more from you!

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  5. Here comes a “yes but”:

    Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism (especially the southern kind) psychologically condition their brainwashees to see the world in all or nothing terms. The switch is either on, or the switch is off. It is either black or white. It is either good or evil. All or nothing thinking is pervasive in the system. Therefore, when one decides the religious system is AFU, then there is only one thing to do about it—swing to atheism. Put the switch into the “all off” position.

    The decision to go “all off” is a last bow and submission of “yes, you are right” to the fundie system. It’s thinking fundie and doing fundie. You do not release yourself from a system by bowing down to it. You do not release yourself from a system by bowing down to it. You do not release yourself from a system by bowing down to it. You do not release yourself from a system by bowing down to it. That is my main point.

    Learn how to do rebellion right if you are going to do it!!! Here is real rebellion:

    “Preacher Jones. I am leaving this church because I do not believe this shit of yours is real Christianity. I think every other Christian church in the world is more right than what you do here, and this place of yours is really pitiful and probably unpleasing to God. I will be worshiping with the United Methodists next Sunday and the Episcopalians the Sunday after that—and then I will probably end up in a nice, happy, freewheeling church like the one just started by John Pavlovitz. I am tired of being scared to death of God and being an ascetic slave. Its freedom time. Watch me as I walk away to find the real Jesus and never come back again. Bye!!!”

    You see. Fundie preachers love it when you say you are going to be an atheist. They eat it up and enjoy it because it confirms their all or nothing thinking. “Yep, there goes the little bitch. I knew 5 years ago that she was gonna walk away one day—but she is walking away to atheism just like we taught her to do it. That was the only choice we gave her—and the little fool took it. Boy did we get revenge on her!!!”

    The approach I offered above works much better. It fails to confirm their system. It demonstrates a rebellion against all or nothing thinking. It sticks an ice pick straight in their eye. It pours nitric acid in their ears, and it staples their patriarchal penis to their navel rim.

    I am not saying that you can or cannot be an atheist if that is really what you like and want to do. I am just saying that I would never give a fundie pastor the pleasure of seeing me walk to the “all off” position. Revenge is best served cold—and somewhere in the forbidden middle.

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  6. Thank you for visiting again, Dover1952. Always an interesting read when you comment. I’ve read yours 3 times to be sure I understand. You may find you need to do the same with my response.

    Perhaps my blog has given you the impression that I’ve rejected only Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism. If my words have been unclear, then let me have a moment of your time to clarify my position.

    I left Christianity because I do not believe the Christian god exists. Many doctrinal issues led to that conclusion but in the end, whether Christian fundamentalism, conservative evangelicalism or any other vein of Christianity, I reject the core of the faith: Jesus’ virgin birth, crucifixion & resurrection for the sins of humankind.

    You said, ” I am just saying that I would never give a fundie pastor the pleasure of seeing me walk to the “all off” position.” And all I can say is, I can’t imagine allowing my life to be ruled in this way. Why should I change the trajectory of my life just to deny a fundie pastor some kind of sick pleasure? Especially after all the years of allowing my faith to determine my direction. I concede I just don’t get your point.

    Rebellion had nothing to do with leaving the faith nor did retribution on Christian fundamentalism. I don’t care if my de-conversion somehow “confirms the fundie system” and I have no concern if a fundie preacher “loves it” that I’ve become an atheist. I don’t lose anything if he loves it, however that in itself nullifies the “love of God” he testifies to. Kind of brings into question the power of the love of God. Maybe it’s not so powerful if His love can’t even sway the fundie into loving me in spite of my atheism!

    Your ‘real rebellion’ strategy is curious to me. Let’s suppose I put your strategy in motion and switched to a different denomination. I’d still be an unbeliever. So, all that strategy does is put me back in a game I have no interest in playing and keeps me in a cycle of deception. Let’s just suppose I’m still a Christian. Sure, switching churches might assuage some doctrinal issues for a time, but it doesn’t address the problems with the bible itself. Read from any vantage point (Christian fundamentalism or otherwise) the bible and its history is plagued with problems, contradictions and errors.

    I’m getting real pragmatic here, but I’m left with questions about your “real rebellion” exit strategy…

    Is speaking to “Preacher Jones” the way you’ve described going to open his eyes to the “shit” he’s preaching? How would I respond if spoken to in that way? Is that putting “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” into practice? It’s an honest question, Dover. Am I missing something or is it my black and white indoctrination kicking in on that particular passage?

    If I were Preacher Jones, I think I’d feel disrespected and less amenable to exploring your perspective with an open mind. Ice picks, nitric acid or penis pinning (literal or figurative) would be unlikely to yield any positive outcome I could hope for in leaving, especially if I was leaving to prove a point. Hostility builds walls and shuts people down. I’ve seen it in action as have you, I’d imagine.

    I utterly lack interest in what Preacher Jones thinks about why I left his faith. If he gets a twisted sense of satisfaction, then he has to live with that. But frankly, I don’t know a single fundie preacher that would ever say something like: “That was the only choice we gave her—and the little fool took it. Boy did we get revenge on her!!!” Not that fundies like that don’t exist – it’s just not been my experience. My Christian friends look at losing one of their own with sadness and grief. Not joy.

    I really didn’t need a rebellion strategy because I wasn’t rebelling… I just don’t believe the gospel story is true or that the Christian God exists. And it was enough of a reason to leave.

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