Deep Thoughts · The Diary Of My Mind

Deep Thoughts: Embracing Anti-Theism

Good Morning Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike.  That’s right, I said morning. I’m going to switch things up and try posting my articles earlier in the day. Yay me! Anyway, if you’d like to read the last article in the Deep Thoughts series, Click here:Deep Thoughts: Gender and Sexuality.

So tonight I want to talk about a subject that is near and dear to my heart. You see, a lot of people get matters confused a bit and tonight I’d like to clear things up a bit. I don’t write this blog because I’m an atheist. I’m an atheist because religious people wanted a fun word to use in order to describe someone who lacks a belief in god. My atheism does not equate to anything other than that, I lack belief in a god or gods. Theists still won’t get this, they will deny it and argue against it but it’s true. Hell, you can even be a religious atheist, Jains and Buddhists are for the most part atheists, in that they don’t believe in an actual god that controls the world and our actions in it. They are faiths that believe humans have control of their own spiritual lives. They are spiritual but they are not, for the most part, theists.

I write this blog because I’m an anti-theist, a title that I was wary to take on because it seems to carry with it negative connotations but tonight I’m putting all of that behind me. I’m an anti-theist 100% of the way. The reason for this is as follows.

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1.)Religion has lost it’s usefulness

Before we had answers to many of sciences mysteries, religion allowed people to live comfortably in a world that spent the majority of its time trying to kill them. It helped explain volcanoes, storms, famines, droughts, deaths, eclipses, and a plethora of other phenomena. However, we’ve progressed, we can explain all of those former things. We’ve been to space and know that the earth isn’t a giant disc surrounded by water. We know that angels don’t control the winds or that volcanoes are not caused by wrathful gods.

Over time god began to fill smaller and smaller gaps and yet the reach of religion continued to grow. We now live in a highly technologically advanced world where numerous people jump on their magical phones and argue that the earth is only 6,000 years old, that light existed before the sun, and that the entire globe was covered in a flood. If you think I’m just talking about Christianity, realize that there are more Muslims who eschew creationism than there are Christians in today’s world.

Religion is holding us back as a society. When schools are prevented from teaching actual science because it contradicts a 1,500-year-old collection of stories, there is something desperately wrong with this picture, which leads me to my second point.

poison

2.)Religion Poisons Everything

Christopher Hitchens is pretty famous for making the claim that “religion poisons everything” and as a person who came away from faith I can say that I couldn’t agree more. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time that I have spent simply trying to sweep away the indoctrination of my childhood. Love the sinner hate the sin is really nothing more than an excuse to hate the sinner. It’s a platitude that is used for no other reason than to allow religion to still spread half-filled dogma while seeming to be slightly more progressive than in years past. Give us a gold star, we no longer burn witches or stone homosexuals….yay progress!

The poison of religion goes much further than that. For example: I love my parents, but to them I will always be the child that is going to hell. My mother weeps because I am not still clinging to that old-time religion. To my mother I will always be someone who has embraced evil, and no matter how much she loves me, I will always be someone tainted with the sins of this world.

I’m not going to let liberal faiths go either. They like to think that they get a free pass because they now kind of like homosexuals, they don’t promote the idea of hell anymore, or they put on soup suppers to help the community once a month. The facts are, they have the same stench of the more fundamentalists faiths. Sure it’s nice that they’ve progressed but to those that they have hurt in the past it reads a bit like the following sign…

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Now you might be saying,

“Come on, religion can’t possibly poison everything?”

To this I will give you Hitchens Challenge:

The point being, for every good that we have as a society, it is the good of mankind that has propelled us towards that ideal. There is a reason that religion no longer promotes slavery, people stopped wanting it to. There is a reason why many liberal faiths accept homosexuality now, people wanted it to. There is a reason why television, radio, the internet, and all sorts of technology have been embraced by even the most devoutly religious…they wanted to. We are far better than our religious faith allows us to be, which is why it takes us so long at times to disregard the evils of religion.

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3.) Religion kills people

I was very religious for a good period of my life and during that time I had to get rid of the real me. I had to pretend to be something that I am not. Thankfully, the things that I had to hide were not as serious as the issues that many others in today’s society. Religious children who are born homosexual or trans are far more likely to commit suicide than those who are born in non-religious families. Women die because they are forced to seek back alley abortions in countries or states that don’t fully support the right to choose, for mostly religious reasons. People are beheaded, thrown off buildings, or blown up simply because someones god supposedly wants them to be mad at people who follow a different fairy tale god.

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In today’s society there wouldn’t even be the grotesque practice of gay conversion therapy if it wasn’t for religious institutions. This practice that seeks to destroy what a person was born to be, is inhumane and despicable. People who go through this type of therapy are made worse, never better, their actual humanity has been tortured away from them and in its place is often times a shell. Luckily some people are able to overcome this practice but it often requires years of real therapy and medication.

Let’s think about another situation, the Middle East. There are both political and religious struggles that are occurring there. The handling of the Middle East after WWII was disastrous, even more so when religion pushed rulers to simply say that land should belong to a certain minority simply because god says it’s theirs. Apocalyptic cults long sought to have Israel renewed to a state, because Revelations speaks of Israel as a nation, so that Jesus could return and destroy all the evil people like me… I’m not saying that the Middle East would be sunshine and rainbows if religion didn’t exist but I have a hard time believing people would be fighting over a junky few thousand square miles without religious faith involved. One would think if Islam, Judaism, and Christianity ceased to exist, people might realize it’s not that great of an area to live and they would move on.

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4.) Religion Dulls the Mind

I want to be clear, religion does not make you stupid, I know plenty of smart people who are very religious. However the areas of life in which they are smart are delegated to areas deemed proper by their religious faith. I don’t know many creationists who are incredibly intelligent microbiologists. I don’t know many Pentecostals who are clinical psychologists. I’m hard pressed to find a snake handler that is also an expert in archaeology.

Now you could say, well they just aren’t interested in those things, to this I say bullshit. Even when I was at the most religious point in my life I still had a great love of science, but I couldn’t enjoy science without also feeling a severe guilt at questioning the validity of biblical claims. It was torture not being able to enjoy life to the fullest, and having to stifle my interest in science to only those aspects of science that I could work into my religious faith. I am not unique, my story is not uncommon, my life was not my own when I followed faith.

Tonight I’ve laid out a few of the reasons that I am an anti-theist. None of these things have anything to do with my atheism, they have everything to do with how i view religion and my belief that it is harmful, barbaric, and archaic. Note these are not my only reasons, I could write another article or two describing all the reasons I now embrace the anti-theist moniker.

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This blog is over 1,500 words, not because I’m an atheist, not because I have faith, but because I’m an anti-theist and seek to expose religion for the evil and immoral system that it truly is.

Deep Thoughts · The Diary Of My Mind

Deep Thoughts: A Note About My Deathbed Conversion

This is slightly a response blog to this blog here: The Common Atheist.

Dearest Future World,

Perhaps you have heard that upon my deathbed I made a miraculous conversion. The family is praising their god for the supposed choice that I made at the last-minute. I’m singing with the angels now, I’m in a better place, I’m with god in heaven…or so you’ve been told.

Allow me to expand upon the good cheer that my family is sharing to let you know why this conversion came about. There are four reasons that I can think of off the top of my head that they are sharing this information with you.

Reason 1: They are lying

It makes them feel better to believe that I am still alive in some other world. In their deep grief they have come up with this scenario where I gave my life back to the lord just before my final breath and so I am still with them in some way. Don’t hate them for this but know that they are simply doing anything to alleviate their grief. I too have lost those that I loved and wanted more time with them and yet death is the end. I no longer exist anywhere outside of my various rantings on here and within the minds of those who loved me. Give them time and maybe one day the need to lie will subside and they can accept my nonexistence.

Reason 2: I Just Wanted Left Alone

As I was dying I had so many people visit me telling me that I needed to worry about my eternal soul and that I needed to make matters right with the lord. I got so annoyed with it that I finally pretended to go through the ceremony just to get folks to shut up and leave me alone. I love my family but damn they can really be pushy at times. I ate the cracker, I drank the juice, I said the prayer and then finally I got some peace away from their worries. Death sucks but being hounded at death is even worse.

Reason 3: Death Is Scary

As the time grew near I began to realize just how soon my life would end. The pain and anguish that I’ve been through over the last few months or years has left me in a state where I simply want some form of release and yet death is an unknown. Will it hurt? Will I go peacefully in my sleep? The closer I get the idea of non-existence becomes scarier and scarier and I keep getting told that just in case there is an afterlife I should make myself right with god. I know that I don’t want to experience anymore pain and even though I realize that my chance of picking the correct god is 1 in 3000, I’d play my wager just in case. My mind is in flux due to the pain and the effects of the pain killers. I am not myself anymore and I can no longer see through to a rational and logical end.

Reason 4: My Mind Is Gone

Hello world, in the last few months or years of my life the old me died and a new me was born. Dementia or disease has clouded my mind and I no longer have the ability to think rationally in the way I did when I was younger.  I live in absolute terror from lucid moment to lucid moment. I do not know who it is that visits me, I don’t know why they cry and why they beg me to consider the things I do. I want my mother. I need my father. I don’t trust these people. Am I sick or are they trying to kill me? They speak of this god and in my mental state he seems wonderful. I no longer remember the bible, the old or new testament. I am simply told that there is a place where my mind will be clear and I will no longer be terrified all the time. I just want my mind back.

Conclusion:

These are the reasons that I might make the choice of a deathbed confession but know that at this point in time, with a rational and logical mind I see no reason to believe in something that there is absolutely no evidence of. If you hear of my conversion, know that it was not this person who speaks today that converted, it was someone who was annoyed, sick, or out of their mind. Always remember that grief could also lead my family and friends to simply lie about my conversion as they have done with many in the past.

Hitchens

Arguments Against Atheism

Arguments Against Atheism: Atheists are Stupid

For the last Argument Against Atheism, click here.

Disclaimer: I often get people who simply read the title of this blog and get upset. This article is not written in support of the claim in the title but as an argument against that claim. I hope you enjoy it.


I spend a great deal of time reading theist blogs looking for ideas to use as future entries to this blog. The argument today is one that I have scrolled over simply due to the fact that I didn’t feel it was worth even talking about and yet the more I scrolled past these articles the more prevalent they seemed to become. So today I tackle the idea that atheists don’t believe in god because they are dumb.

Now this argument can come in a couple of forms which I will list now.

1.) Atheists are just dumb, or The fool has said in their heart that there is no god.
2.) Atheists deny reason and logic by denying the existence of god.
3.) The Devil blinds atheists to the reality that god exists.
4.) Atheists stupidly proclaim that there is no god while inwardly knowing that there is.

In this article I will attempt to debunk each of these claims.

1.) Atheists Are Just Dumb

PatrickStar

First off I want to point out that it is possible to be an atheist and be dumb. Nothing about atheism claims to be endowed with a superior intellect than any theist. Atheists simply do not have a belief in god or gods. What this argument attempts to claim is that all atheists are dumb and it is simply due to our stupidity that we attempt to make the claim that there is no god.

From my own personal experience, the less informed I was the more theistic I found myself to be. That isn’t to say that theists are stupid, I am and have been known to have a good grasp of life and ability to reason. Throughout school I was almost always at the top of my class and have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. At the age of three I taught myself how to read and have been reading ever since.(This is not due to a higher intellect but in the fact that I have autism and reading is little more than pattern sorting)

However, when there were facets of my life that I did not question I was a theist. I was skeptical of all things outside the faith but in regards to my theism I left it alone. This might seem strange to some atheists who were never a part of a faith but it is perfectly possible to be rational and logical in all areas of your life but still hold an illogical and irrational view of faith. For example, I could tell you exactly why the moon landing wasn’t fakes, why vaccines are not harmful, or why reptilians do not control the world but I could not tell you why the belief in hell runs contrary to the belief in a loving god. My faith was off-limits to my critical thinking skills and I think that many believers find themselves in exactly this same state of mind.

Prior to becoming an atheist I started college. I will never forget an assignment that I was given in a critical thinking course. The professor asked that we write down a few things that we were absolutely certain about (With the exception being matters of faith), after that we were to rank these in certainty. Once we did this we turned in our papers and were told that our assignment was to write a paper based on the counter arguments to our most sincerely held belief.

My assignment ended up being an argument against the “American Dream.” I remember thinking to myself, how on Earth am I going to argue against the American dream. However, I sat down and began researching the American dream, in the end I an innumerable source of information on-line which allowed me to see things from a new perspective and I ended up getting an A on the assignment. It wasn’t easy to keep my personal bias out of the article but in the end I found myself fascinated with the idea that I could be wrong.

After that assignment the professor told us that we should use these skills for any strongly held belief. It is something that stuck with me throughout the rest of my college studies and eventually helped me in regards to leaving the faith. When the doubts started to mount but my mind clung to those beliefs for dear life, I began to question and research. It is through that research that I found the courage to leave the faith and I will always be thankful for the lesson that my professor taught me. Even though that professor was also a Christian minister. (PLOT TWIST!!!!!)

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2.) Atheists Deny Reason And Logic By Denying The Existence Of God

This one is fairly easy to debunk and will require much less time and effort. For starters reason and logic both must be based on facts in order to be considered good reason and logic. Since the argument, “there is a god,” has no verifiable evidence to support such a claim it cannot be used in a reasonable and logical manner. You can however use bad logic in order to prove the existence of god but bad logic is never in any way reasonable.

For example:

All dogs have four legs.
Allgators have for legs.
Therefore all alligators are dogs.

It seems like a logical argument but the truth of the matter is that it is bad logic and completely unreasonable.  Hitchens Razor states

“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”

What this means is that if you say god exists and yet provide no verifiable evidence for the existence of god then it is equally acceptable to say “I don’t believe you.” No evidence is required to prove that I don’t believe you since no evidence was provided to prove your initial claim. This argument against atheism is complete bunk.

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3.) The Devil Blinds Atheists To The Reality That God Exists

So the next couple of points are really not debatable due to the fact that any argument counter to the claim simply feeds into the initial claim. However, being a glutton for punishment I figured that I would touch on these two points. The first claim is that the only reason that atheists cannot see the proof of god is because the devil has blinded them to the reality that god exists.

The only argument against this that I can offer is anecdotal and so it technically is not a good argument in and of itself but since the original claim is indefensible I will allow it….since I write the blog and fuck you if you don’t like it. lol

When I first started having my own doubts I begged and pleaded with god to prove himself to me. Not because I didn’t believe in him but because it would absolutely destroy me if he did not exist, or so these were my thoughts at the time. I spent countless hours reading the bible and in tear-filled prayer trying to regain the faith that I felt falling away from me. I fasted to the point of sickness and gave up anything that could even remotely be considered as sinful. I sought counsel from other religious people and hoped that something would bring the breakthrough that god was real and working in my life.

It was only after many failed months, that equated to a few years in total, that I finally accepted my newfound lack of faith. Remember, I wanted my faith to be real, I wanted it more than anything in the world. Every single morning I awoke hoping that god would reveal himself to me in some way. Expecting this is obviously not evil when in the Bible numerous people doubted god and were provided with clear evidence that god existed. For example, doubting Thomas had to actually stick his hand inside Jesus for him to truly believe that he had raised from the dead and yet this was not actually counted against him in terms of the faith. Doubt was not sin and expectation of gods revelation was not a sin either, I was an earnest believer hurting and struggling, yet god never once stooped down to even provide me with the slightest example of his existence. The devil never played a part in this…

I need only point out that the bible clearly states in the book of James:

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
-James 4:7

In my state of submission, prayer, and fasting the devil couldn’t have even gotten near to me if we are to believe what the bible teaches. Thus this argument is null and void even if it is not actually a debatable argument.

4.) Atheists Stupidly Claim That There Is No God, While Inwardly Knowing There Is A God.

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Popular among apologists is the idea that atheists pretend to not believe in god while in reality they really do. Once again this is not actually a debatable argument since any argument against it once again feeds into it, but in the interest of this blog and my readers I choose to take a stand.

The only real argument that I can see which we can use here is how do they know that their god is the real one. A Christian apologist will use this argument to prove their theology and yet what is to stop a Muslim from using the same argument against the Christian. Isn’t the Christian just pretending to not believe in the Islamic god, while inwardly they know that there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger? What is to stop the atheist from claiming the exact same argument in that the Christian pretends to believe in god knowing fully that god actually does not exist?

The true argument against this claim is that it is self-defeating. Absolutely anyone of any faith can make this claim with an equal footing. Perhaps there is someone who earnestly still believes in Thor, what is to stop him from claiming that everyone on Earth pretends Thor doesn’t exist knowing that he really does. I mean we have a whole movie series based around Thor and in a way this is a type of worship and adoration, so aren’t we all just pretending that Thor is non-existent?


The key reason that these claims are used is due to the fact that they are easy outs. A Christian or member of any faith can use these arguments without any need to defend them. They allow them to separate their minds further and allow that portion of the mind which deals with faith to remain fully sealed against skepticism. I found myself in this situation several years ago and I also found myself using these same arguments at the time. They are poor arguments and only truly point to the futility of attempting to prove that god exists.

Uncategorized

Inspiration

Who inspires you?

My top 5 list would be

  1. Jennifer – Hands down she is my rock, my inspiration and my motivator.
  2. Oscar Wilde – I love that he picks apart society and small talk with such ease. Pointing out how absurd the word is.
  3. Douglas Adams – I love fun fiction with interesting characters and plot-lines. His are the best!
  4. Christopher Hitchens – The man that made me an activist. His writings inspire me to be open and truthful in all ways.
  5. H.P. Lovecraft – His haunting tales will take you to the brink of madness and back. I love the atmosphere he creates in each on of his stories.

These are my top 5. Who would be on your top 5 list? Comment below with your answers.

My Journey

My Journey Away From Faith: The Epilogue: Part 5

For part 4 of the epilogue, click here.
To start at the beginning of my journey, click here.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
-Oscar Wilde

The day of my second appointment I was far less worried. The drive there still bothered me greatly as I hate long drives. We reached the office about a half an hour early and I sat down in the waiting room. Thoughts of my life passed through my mind.

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I remembered how hard childhood had been, never knowing what to say or how to take the things that others said to me. Making friends is difficult when you don’t recognize the difference between sarcasm and actual anger, or realize that you should offer comfort to someone who is sad. I remembered my teenage years, spent in part trying to do everything I could in order to be seen as “normal” and then spending the second part of those years doing everything I could to not be seen as anything close to normal.

AnarchyI remembered the first time Jennifer and I had been together, how much love I had felt for her in those early moments and how much deeper my love for her is now that weTexas have reconnected. I felt the pain of losing her go through my mind and the struggles I faced trying to put my life back together. All the times that I wanted to give up and yet still pushed forward regardless of the circumstances.

FightingI thought about my second marriage, how I had tried finding someone who was the exact opposite of Jennifer, somehow thinking that this would lead to happiness. Remembered all the pain I went through but all of the joy as well spending time with my two-step children from that marriage. Watching them grow has been one of the favorite parts of my life and it still is.

Storm cloudsI thought of my cousin, who had lived a parallel life as me. Had he been autistic? Were the struggles that he faced caused by the same source as my own battles in life? He had always seemed to be more outgoing but hearing stories from others around him, he was always distant, cold, and preferred to be alone. Would he still be here today if he had sought out the help of a psychologist instead of the dogmatic dog whistles of his cousins ministry?

autismI thought about my nephew, that small bundle of joy that had cleared the path to my own mental health and stability.  If he hadn’t existed would I ever have known the name to my own struggled? I know he has many struggles to face in life and it won’t be easy, but he is smart and loving, an absolute joy to be around, especially for the uncle who understands him so well. He is and always will be my hero.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, the psychologist came and took me to a small room beside the reception area. I sat down behind a laptop computer and was explained the testing that I would be taking, a simple quiz of around 500 true/false questions. He told me that through the take home quiz and this one, he would be able to gauge exactly where on the spectrum I was.

I started taking the quiz and after about 100 questions the program crashed.  He restarted it and I had to restart from the beginning, about 100 questions in the program crashed once more. He started it up again and the same thing happened. Contacting the IT department, he found out that the virus scan software was what was crashing the program. He disabled that and asked me if I was willing to try it once more, if not I could return in two weeks and try it again.

Thinking about the trip it takes to get there, I decided to give it another shot. After about 120 questions it acted as if it was going to crash, an icon appeared on the screen and simply spun for a few seconds. I yelled at the top of my lungs, “GOD DAMN IT!” The program then went on to the next question and I realized the ass that I had just made of myself. No one came in but I’m sure the receptionist got a bit of a scare from my loud outburst.

I finished the quiz, which continued to act as if it was going to crash every 20 questions or so, and went back to the waiting room. A few minutes later the psychologist asked me to come into his office to talk just a bit more. I sat on his couch and he asked me about a couple of the answers on the quiz. I explained the answers and he then said that he thought he had enough to come up with a complete diagnosis. He told me that since I had brought him all the information about the struggles throughout my life, it had been easy to see that I had been correct. He said he was impressed by all the research that I had done before even approaching a psychiatrist and that i had made his job very easy. It would be a couple of weeks before I got my copy of his report but there would be no surprises in there for me to worry about.

I drove home happy to be done with the long trips to the psychologists office. I had been right. I have ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder. All the times that I had felt different from the outside world made sense to me now. All that I had been through in childhood and life in general were now clear. I wasn’t a failed human being, I was a whole human being, just one that happens to have ASD. My brain works in a wild and wonderful way that could never truly be understood by someone who does not also have autism.  I am perfect, just the way I am.


 

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If you’ve followed me throughout my entire journey and the epilogue, thank you. It might come as a shock to know this but outside of a few people close to me, you, the readers, are some of the first people to know about my journey towards a diagnosis with autism. Thank you so much for the kindness you have shown me.

My journey away from faith is fairly well-known in my community. I still live in the same area as I did when I was a minister. Initially, I had considered moving to a more suitable area for someone who lacks a faith. In the town where I live sits a gigantic mormon church, just on the outskirts of town there is a Jehovah’s Witness Temple, as well as several other churches. My own former church is just over 5 miles away from where i currently live. Moving away might have been an easy solution for me.

However, I want people to have that uncomfortable feeling they get when they avoid me in public. I want the former members of my church to see me, happy and healthy, while a growing sickness builds within their gut. I want their cognitive dissonance to be hit as hard as possible, they need to see that I am still the same person I was, just happier, not filled with hate, living a good life in their midst. It isn’t that these things bring me joy, in fact a lot of times they hurt, but I do think they serve a purpose.

Life experience led me away from faith, finding that faith lacked everything which I had believed it to hold. No comfort was found within the pages of the bible once my eyes had been opened. No strength was found in my faith to get me through the hardships I had to face. Religion is nothing more than a vast build-up of lies. We lie to ourselves enough that one day we find we believe those lies to be true, however, in many cases it doesn’t take much to tear that wall of lies down.

I love my life now. So much wonder and joy is found in the natural world that I question why I ever sought out a supernatural one to begin with. My indoctrination though had started long before I had actually reached an age to make my own decisions for me. I was taught that the world was a deeply sinful, scary and cold place; filled with evil does waiting to bring me down to their abyss. What I have found since leaving is that life is a wonderful thing, something that we only get to experience once. Religion had mad me hate this world and wish for the next…

As Christopher Hitchens is so famous for saying, “Religion poisons everything.”

 

My Journey

My Journey Away From Faith: Part 28

For part 27 of my journey, click here.
To start at the beginning of my journey, click here.

“Only I can change my life, no one can do it for me.” -Carol Burnett

Truth be told, from the day after I moved out of my house, I had I become outed as an atheist. My ex-wife went to my former church the next day and told everyone I had left the faith and that I had confided in her about my lack of belief almost a year earlier. The only ones that didn’t truly believe I was an atheist were my parents but I think even they had their own assumptions about my loss of faith.

Coming out entirely was a stressful situation for me and one that I was not quite ready to make. I still had the fact that the restraining order would be ending soon and I would once again be able to contact my kids again. A few days before the restraining order ended I was informed that child protective services had taken them in and they were now living with their biological father many states away. I was hurt that I wouldn’t be able to see them face to face but felt much more sorry for them, about why they had been uprooted from their childhood home.

“I was hurt that I wouldn’t be able to see them face to face but felt much more sorry for them, about why they had been uprooted from their childhood home.”

I won’t go into specifics but it turns out that my ex had abandoned them and moved in with her boyfriend several states away. They had been all alone for a couple of months surviving on the small amount of money my daughter was making at her fast food job. She was only 16 at the time and not ready for that amount of responsibility but I am proud of how well she dealt with being thrown in that situation. Word got around and one of her co-workers had contacted CPS. They were moved to be with their father the next day.

A few days later, the restraining order expired and I sat down at my computer for several hours, typing and then deleting immediately everything that I typed. I was so afraid that they still hated me and would want no part of me in their lives. Finally I types out something along the lines of, “Hi, how are you? I’ve missed you.” I contacted my daughter first as I had heard that my son was still quite angry about everything and wanted to ease into the conversation I would soon have with him.

“Hi, I’m good. I’ve missed you too.”

The response was more joyous than I could ever have imagined. “Hi, I’m good. I’ve missed you too.” I sat and shook crying tears of joy for one of the first times in my life. Those simple words took everything out of me and I struggled to come up with anything else to say. Eventually we began discussing how things had happened and how she had soon come to realize that I had not been the one at fault for the issues in mine and her mother’s marriage. We reconciled and ended the conversation on a very high note.

A few days later I contacted my son. He was definitely still very angry but did attempt his best to share with me how he no longer held me at fault for what had gone on and how he had missed me too. We discussed some of the new video games that were out and how he was doing at his new school. He hated it, but luckily he has come to really enjoy it now. We ended our conversation, not quite on the high note as my conversation had gone with my daughter but still on good terms. Over time this relationship has mended and I cherish my conversations with him.

He’s full of energy, 100% Tasmanian devil and I love him dearly.

With both of those conversations out-of-the-way, it was time to get things at home on a better path. We moved into a nice home a short drive away from the apartment we had been living in. My love, has made for us an excellent home over the last few years. Filled with warmth and love that was so lacking in years past. I am truly “blessed” to have the two of them in my life and to have my relationship with my other two kids mended.  Jennifer also has a son who lives with his father and I have a great relationship with him as well. He’s full of energy, 100% Tasmanian devil and I love him dearly. My life has become a wonderful experience and I am so happy to have found my real place within it.

A short time after moving into our new place, I purchased “The God Delusion,” by Richard Dawkins. Within it he lays out a 7 point scale describing 100% Theist to 100% Atheist. I found that I fit with his own idea of being a 6.9 Atheist. Not quite saying I have proof that god doesn’t exist but enough to say that the idea of a god is highly unlikely. At this point I decided what I really was is an atheist. Since that point I have read other books by various authors such as: Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Dan Barker, Jerry Dewitt, Daniel Dennett, and many others.

When I finally came out as an atheist, I began posting on various groups discussing my journey away from faith. I was encouraged to contact “The Clergy Project” and see about membership there. I was also encouraged to share my story in a blog many times over those month. About a year later I joined “The Clergy Project” and considered starting my blog, but at the time I was far too angry.

Many people will speak of the anger they feel when they finally admit their lack of belief. Realizing how much of your life has been built around a pile of lies is a truly traumatic experience, and anger is something you must go through before finally settling in to a comfortable new normal. I needed to adjust my parents to the new me, thus I needed to figure out who the new me was.  Finally, I felt as if I could create this blog while keeping my emotions in check. I hope I have done well in describing my experience.

Another Journey awaited me in the few years just prior to admitting my atheism. I have always had a mind that I believed was very different from others around me, and have always wondered why. In the last few months I have finally had confirmed what I have assumed for so many years. I hope you will enjoy learning about my journey to that realization in the coming days and weeks ahead.

Thank you so much for following my journey up to this point. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to everyone who has shared this journey with me. You the readers are what have made this blog worth writing. Thank you!

To continue on to the epilogue and another journey I’ve been on the past several years, click here.