Hello I had an interesting discovery today when I found that a post you made in 2005 http://hellboundalleee.blogspot.com/2005/08/live-with-hellbound-alleee-and.html Referenced something I had written on my website.

I need Jesus because I cannot bear meaninglessness, my sinfulness, and my inability to better myself.--Josh McVey

How I laugh at myself ..... then a Christian Minister.....Now an atheist.
I cannot say I am a strong atheist. Years of proselytizing as a Christian wore me down.
Maybe someday I will be more of an activist for thought.
I have paid dearly for my de-conversion.
Anyway just thought it was interesting that the only blog to link to my website was yours.
Sorry for babbling keep up your good work

Josh

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Comment by Rev Hellbound Alleee on April 20, 2009 at 7:28pm
I never had the "love bombing" from my church community. In fact, I never felt accepted or supported particularly. My parents were important members of the church, and were up on the stage all the time, but that wasn't too different from the other parts of my life--my family is musical and theatrical. As far as I knew, it was just more show.


The older I got, the more I was convinced that the flattery and smiles were false. Everyone just wanted something, and they were buttering each other up to get it. I was about 12 at the time I started seeing this. The church was corrupt, anyway, and half the congregation left at once. The pastor preached that women should not go to college, because it "gave them ideas." He fired the choir director who replaced my father for being pregnant. Not out of wedlock, mind you. Just that it was somehow "unseemly."

I spent years as a young girl babysitting for this "community." I was taken advantage of by good Christians who paid me a dollar an hour for three kids sometimes, to stay out 'til as late as 3 am. Leaving a 15 year-old to babysit 'til three. Because that's what christians do for each other, you see. I saw screwed-up crazy families following the bible, behaving so strangely, it was like a David Lynch movie. Strange rituals involving bedwetting and punishment. Girls not allowed to wear pants. Children not allowed to hear music that wasn't either traditional hymns or traditional classical. Families with ten-gallon drums of flour and sugar in their pantry--but only two kids. Women not allowed to drive. Amway. Cutout pictures of luxury boats and sexy women in bathing suits covering refrigerators, to "motivate" Amway recruiters. Posters of a Nine-Hundred-Foot Jesus tapping on a corporate office window. Heads of large animals. A freakshow I did not want to belong to. This was "my community."

I got out, but it took years to renounce the religion. That's a whole other story. I just think Lovebombing has an opposite effect on me.
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on April 20, 2009 at 7:09pm
I often hear from theists that they could never become an atheist because they are afraid that they would have no purpose and meaning to their lives.

While I was a dedicated Christian I do not recall what was so meaningful and purposeful about my life during this stage. Nor do I recall why I feared that these feelings would dissipate if I ever lost my faith. The reality, if my memory is not too distorted, is that this part of my life was not particularly happy or especially meaningful. All I can recall is that there were a number of nice emotional "highs" relating from the feeling of being "right" and in warm supportive company (when it was). There were also emotional highs from the hypnotic music, chanting, meditation and mind focusing. But that's all.

I recall a catecism phrase which intoned that "man's chief end in life was to glorify God". The language was quaint and always made me think of another saying: "Man has two ends: one to think with and one to sit with. His success in life depends on which he uses the most." This was prior to the consciousness raising of the women's liberation movement so I failed to notice the implied sexism in these statements.

Has anyone here ever got answers from Christians, or followers of other religions, about what this precious "meaning and purpose" might be? Can anyone recall their own experience?

Obviously, now that I have been forced to cross the bridge, the fear of meaningless proved to be unrealistic. Life just simply went on and the gaps filled in relatively quickly, like skin growing over a wound. I don't recall ever actually perceiving a "hole" where religion used to be.

What are other people's experiences?
Comment by Dionysus on April 20, 2009 at 1:57pm
Decconversion and "coming out" as an atheist can definately be a painful process especially when your family and friends are still hardcore theists. I don't envy Josh. I'm so glad that I was an obnoxious skeptic to start off with. Telling people I was atheist came much easier for me.
Comment by Rev Hellbound Alleee on April 20, 2009 at 11:38am
I did--invite him to AN. I also talked to him about people like Dan Barker. Pretty cool.
Comment by Фелч Гроган on April 20, 2009 at 7:56am
Absolutely - I'm pretty sure there's more of 'em lurking here too.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on April 20, 2009 at 5:28am
Oh! And invite him to join AN. You can tell him our Director, Brother Richard, was once a minister too.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on April 20, 2009 at 5:27am
Why not email him back and recommend that he reads Dan Barker's "Godless". Dan Barker was also an evangelist who deconverted.

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