Hello Nexus folks!

Gotta say, I am so glad to have found this community, as I have been feeling quite isolated since coming to terms with my atheism. There's a local meetup group within 30 minutes of my location, but their schedule is in conflict with mine, so no dice.
Anyway, to the introduction!

History (abridged)
Raised moderate Southern Baptist, 'saved' at 11, baptized and took a 'purity pledge' at 13. I was never comfortable sharing my beliefs, though... especially when unsolicited. Went on into my adulthood holding onto my faith, but admittedly I had some 'unconventional' views as well. In recent years, a falling out with a close friend shook me to the bone, and caused me to withdraw from basically everyone. When I started working through stuff, I took a hard introspective look at who I had become, and decided to get back to my authentic self. I knew I didn't identify with conventional Christianity anymore, but still held onto the core of the beliefs, so I tried on the SBNR hat for awhile. A few months ago, I decided to take stock on what I claimed to believe, and that I needed to actually -read- my bible. Well... I got about 10 pages deep and said aloud, "This shit is absolutely ludicrous!"
Then there was the whole "what does this mean?" "can I reconcile this?" "what if I'm wrong?" line of questions, but ultimately, I have arrived at the conclusion that I am capital A Atheist. Mostly closeted... My husband knows, and is my main support system, and a few friends, but I have to keep it from my family to conserve relationships.
(Maybe I'll do a more in-depth blog post on my deconversion... It's a bit cathartic to put it into words.)


Personal
Human of the female persuasion, currently in my 33rd revolution around the sun, married to my high school sweetie, with which I have one teenage kid. We cohabitate with a dozen chickens, one duck, one pigeon, four dogs, a cat, and some koi.
I like to make things. I can draw, paint, sculpt, crochet, macrame, hand sew...
I love music, and have a particular affinity for punk rock (NOFX, Bad Religion, The Clash, Anti-Flag, Dead Kennedys, et cetera).
I like science fiction, especially Star Trek and Farscape, fantasy, and also enjoy anime in general (though I'm kinda out of the loop). I like to read, but usually don't get much of a chance to, so I've picked up on listening to audiobooks.
I like to be outside, and enjoy kayaking, camping, stuff like that.
I tend to be quite compassionate and empathetic, perpetually optimistic, overly analytical, introverted, easy to get along with, too forthcoming (as demonstrated), and wavering in self-confidence.

So yeah... Anything else, feel free to ask away!

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Good to meet you Mel.

And you, Patricia! :)

Hey, Mel, greets and welcome to Atheist Nexus!

If you like science fiction in book form, you might enjoy the work of my favorite author, Robert Heinlein.  His novel, Job: A Comedy of Justice, is a particularly potent send-up of fundamentalist religion in the form of a retelling of the biblical story, with more than a few twists.  Heinlein's classic work, Stranger in a Strange Land, also makes no bones about skewering religion, and he has many other terrific pieces to enjoy.

Anything we can do by way of help, please give a shout.

Hi Loren, and thanks for the recommendations! I will definitely have to look into them! Being new to nonbelief, my book choices have mainly been within that subject lately. I've listened to Hitchens' God is not Great, Dawkins' God Delusion, Krauss' A Universe From Nothing (which piqued my interest in astrophysics) deGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics For People in a Hurry, and NOFX's band biography Hepatitis Bathtub (great book if one is a fan).
Anyway, yeah. I'll let you know what I think!

Mel, one other person I strongly recommend is one Seth Andrews, he of The Thinking Atheist Radio Podcast.  Seth is just a regular guy who figured it out, and has given some pretty powerful expression to his thoughts on the subject, both in podcast and video form.  He may not be as heavy as Dawkins or Hitchens, but he's very damned good people and well worth your time.

Oh yeah? I think I have seen/heard that podcast mentioned somewhere... Sounds right up my alley too! Thanks yet again! :)

I'll heartily second The Thinking Atheist!

Mel, welcome to Nexus.

I quit Catholicism long ago (1957) while in college studying math and physics. With no time to study alternatives I settled for agnosticism. I was one of five kids my dad sent to Catholic schools and before he died he knew we had all quit. In 2009 I came out to friends as atheist. I retired from computer manufacturing.

Beware Krauss; his writings have as much confusion as Catholicism has about its trinity. He trumpets a belief system much like religion--no evidence and a bunch of mathematically-inclined "priests" who produce millions of words they want people to accept without question. A short name for it is "Big Bang". Tyson, terrific on stage, is a closeted non-believer. For info visit www.newtoeu.com (Loren has been ignoring my 'heresy' but he might surprise me.)

Again, Mel, welcome to atheism and Nexus.
Hi Tom, it's nice to meet you! Thanks for sharing a bit of your story. It helps foster a connection between those of us who have experienced (or are in the midst of experiencing) similar situations, I think.
As for Krauss, I found his book sort-of hard to follow, but I chalked it up to not being very versed in astrophysics. Nothing in that one particularly struck me as theistic, but again, I may have just missed it in trying to digest all the information. Nevertheless, it did cause me to realize how little I actually knew within the subject (thus, prompting me to give Tyson's book a go.)
I'll be wary of anything that comes off as dogmatic. I don't know if it's a common thing among deconverts... But it seems like I am now hyper-aware of how pervasive religion is in society...

This is one of many in my ongoing collection.....David Mills is, or was a member here.......

Hi Mel, happy to have you with us.
I recommend anything by Sam Harris and Dan Barker. They are both ex theists and one , I never remember which one, is a former preacher. Enjoy
Kathy, to assist your memory, think of a preacher as a barker at a religious carnival.
Having once been a Catholic, I see priests as well-educated swindlers.

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