I have quit a church that I have been a part of for 24 years. I no longer believe that there is a god and that everything I was taught is not true. It is interesting that people who said that they loved me and would always be there for me dumped me when they learned of my leaving the church and no longer beleiving in God.

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If it's in any way comforting to know, you'll find genuine acceptance here. I'm sorry to hear about your hardship.

I will appreciate you and respect you even if you decide to go back to church. Church is an immensely powerful social construct, and I can't fault people for staying in or returning to it just to belong, to feel a brotherhood with others.

In New York, there are congregations of something called the Society for Ethical Culture. You'd be forgiven if you took it for a synagogue for atheist Jews. But I wish they had groups like this in my part of the U.S.A. Church for the Godless, as it were. I am fortunate to have James Randi as a local resident, and had the privilege of meeting him recently. Interesting character.

I guess what I'm saying is, there is a social value in "fellowship," but it is a mistake to believe that church is the only thing that can bring people together in "fellowship." Find your true friends by pursuing your interests rather than feigning faith in a fairy tale. Anyone who requires me to accept their mythology to become their friend is not worthy of my friendship.

I have no intention of ever returning to church or god. I am finding more real friends and real love among fellow atheists.

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