This is the first attempt I've made to reach out to other non-theists as I live in the conservative San Juoaquin valley of California and do not wish to be burned at the stake for my philosophy, however much the zombies around here may insist they have my well being at heart. I was raised here in a fundamentalist christian family, all of whom remain so, and I have not 'come out' about my ...religious epiphany. I fear if such knowledge ever got out that I would be disowned. Here's hoping that noone who could recognize me from this information shows up here snooping for converts and points me out to my family. My husband is not christian, but neither is he a non-theist. He, however, is perfectly accepting of my convictions as I am of his. I became an athiest about 6 years ago when I was sent off to a Christian University. Ironically enough, being surrounded by christians in that place helped me realize how utterly insane and mindless what I had been raised to believe truly was. That and staying the hell away from church buildings which, to this day, render me incapable of cogent thought. I haven't been in a church building in a while so that effect may have abated, but the last time I was in one, my former comment was not an exaggeration. I think it's a side effect of being told not to ask questions during bible class so many times as a child. This was, of course, accompanied by an arrogant smirk and derogatory eye roll. I am so very glad to have that all behind me, but I am feeling somewhat smothered and cut off in this environment. Not to mention jumpy as... well I can't think of a single politically correct comparison to make for feeling surrounded by people who would happily throw me off a cliff for the glory of god, but my husband is of jewish decent, so you may be able to see where I was going with that. Please forgive my run-on sentances. I am excited, nervous, sleep deprived, and caffeinated all at once and it is messing with my sentance structure.
Welcome to Atheist Nexus. I'm new, too. I was also raised Fundamentalist (here they call them "Fundys or Fundies", which is a lighthearted way to cope, I think, with the abuse rendered by our upbringings).
I've only recently realized I am not even agnostic any more. Bill Maher stated it well for me, calling himself a believer in the "Church of I Don't Know," which started me on the path to wondering if, after all my "spiritual" journeying and searching and seeking I am really and truly simply an atheist more than any of the other nonsense I've toyed with. Though the peace and tranquility of a meditative and "spiritual" life seems nice, I always start to yawn and come back to the fact I feel more like an animal just trying to survive than an ethereal or transcendental being. Maybe I just stopped hallucinating?
Well, my point here is to encourage you to keep educating yourself, stay true, and welcome to a wonderful, safe space to be yourself.
I'm glad you found a place where you can speak up about your beliefs. Hopefully you can find some other atheists in a closet near you, allowing you some rational company offline as well.
I'm curious about whether you have or are going to have children with your husband, and whether you have talked about how you will raise them. Sometimes a relationship that seems to be working can fall apart when religious differences are mixed with raising kids. Not that it never works out, but it can be hard.
Reading other stories on this website actually prompted me to have an open conversation with my husband about the differences in our 'religions'. The conclusion is that he's essentially agnostic. He had an atheist phase after being raised christian, and now as far as he's concerned, he just doesn't know. However, he has considerably more reason to hate christianity than I do as far as injustices suffered at it's hands as a child. So I have no concerns whatsoever of him converting to a theistic religion. Anyway, we've decided the best we can do for our children is raise them to think and reason for themselves, and let them choose their own path. The rifts that religious biggotry have placed between ourselves and our parents is motivation enough not to recreate the same tragic mistake with our own children.
I'm happy that you reached out here, there are plenty of people who share your experiences and who can relate to you. It's not uncommon for former religious people to blow off some steam, sometimes even without the use of coffee, so your run on sentences are quite at home here!
There are places around the world where disbelief is the standard and where religious people are not as dominant and seclusive as elsewhere. Religion doesn't even come up in most conversations, it's more of a private matter over here. If you put your convictions on the table of discussion however, the Dutch feel free to burn it to the ground. We respect the believer, not necessarily the belief itself.
I know of many people who are deeply religious people who use their religion to build bridges in stead of erecting barriers such as has been erected in your environment. These barriers cannot easily be broken down, especially if you're alone in your atheism.
It's great therefor that the interwebs exists which makes it possible for us all to circumvent these barriers and to share our ideas and persona digitally.
Welcome to the Nexus!
Yep, for people that are able to think critically about religion, one sure way for them to realize that they are atheist is to surround them with theist.
Welcome to the real world.