Hi,

My name's Michelle and I'm a recently converted Atheist (again).

A little bit about me... I grew up in a semi-religious home, with my parents being members of the Lutheran church but also being liberal, progressive types. Religion was never shoved down my throat in the sense that I HAD to go through with it, and when I was eighteen I went away from the church for the first time.

I was somehow cajoled into a ministry center on campus, where I was baptized, went on mission trips, the whole nine yards. The beginning of the end came when I was on a trip with them to a church meeting. I had a whole group of them gang up on me and say pretty much that I was no longer welcome in the group if I continued seeing my boyfriend at the time. They claimed he was verbally abusive (not even close to the truth) and that I needed to do what was "right". Of course, I was not happy and I told them as much, and by the end of the trip, I was no longer a member.

It didn't help that they spread this story to other ministries on campus, so I was interrogated there as well, and made uncomfortable.

After a brief engagement to another person, a seminary student incidentally, I started to grow weary of the church and what they were doing to him. My ex-fiance did not start out as a seminary student, he was actually a very liberal social work major who was about as well-suited to a seminary as I am. Then, all of a sudden, he became a very conservative and slightly chauvinistic person, who assigned to me a bunch of qualities that I needed to fulfill in order to be the perfect June Cleaver wife. (His words, not mine) Needless to say, a rift began to form.

Eventually, I happened upon some Atheist books (Dawkins, &c) at the suggestion of a friend of mine. It seemed that as I read what he had to say, I started to realize the craziness of what had gone on. To make a long story short, I decided to sever ties with the church.

(Ironically, I am still very good terms with my parents, and for now they are cool with the path I've chosen. At least there are some tolerant Christians out there.)

Sorry if that was a bit long. I enjoy meeting all of you in chat and on the forum.

M

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Welcome aboard Michelle,

Your story sounds familiar. The swarm descends and the prey is left dizzy. Although I've been an atheist as long as I've been around, I've seen and experience this type of swarm mentality that you describe with 'the group' claiming someone you respect is something that they are not, although not only with theists.

This behaviour that can come from any group whether based on beliefs, skin tone, gender, age or whatever, needs a skeptic's eye and you seem to have one (based on the above entry.)

I hope that you continue to have a good relationship with your family and A|N members...most of us don't bite...ok...most of the others...

I'm a bit confused, however, about your ex. Do your believe that something triggered him into an unacceptably possessive state, was there a change in your relationship or was he like that all along and you simply missed the flags due to clouded judgement?

Enjoy your stay and thanks for your contribution.
I really do think going to seminary had something to do with it. It was a VERY conservative Southern Baptist seminary, and when someone is drilling into your head four or five hours a day that you have to be the perfect person, and that your spouse and kids and dog have to be perfect, it can eventually convince you of the same.

There were probably some things that I didn't pick up on, that a lot of my friends did. Sparing you the gory details of my relationship with that particular ex, when I ended the relationship, most of my friends came to the same conclusion, "How could you NOT see what was going on?" I guess love blinds you to the obvious.
Welcome Michelle!

I don't think anything is too long in Introductions. I came here to meet people (hoping that many will turn out to be off-line friends, too), so I appreciate it when people (such as yourself) are willing to put themselves out there, so to speak.

Wow. Your ex-fiance actually wanted you to be the perfect June Cleaver wife? But... she was a TV character!

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