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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Thanks Tom. I won't confuse the two again.
Mel, I omitted several words from my sentence about Tyson. I had intended to write, "Tyson, terrific on stage, is a closeted non-believer in the Big Bang 'religion'."
During a show maybe a year ago a viewer asked if the universe is infinite. Tyson replied that he didn't know. In BB theory it began ~13.7 billion years ago.

Welcome, Mel.

Hey Mel, welcome.  Cool to see the part about drawing, painting, and crafty stuff.  I'm a wannabe artist myself.  What do you like to draw, paint, etc?

Ahh, well. I am into realism personally, never had a penchant for abstract. I tend to draw/make the (female) figure, and animals mostly.
Here is one of my recent sketches... A speculation of a feathered theropod dinosaur... I'm pretty rusty, tbh. This is the first thing I've drawn in a good while.
Also, a picture of some small practice things I have sculpted. I think I enjoy working 3-dimensionally most.

Anyway, I wouldn't say anyone would be a 'wannabe' artist... You just do your thing... No achievement level that would validate you. :)
And thanks for the welcome wishes!
Attachments:

Excellent!

Welcome, Mel.

I was raised religious,but Methodist instead of Catholic.  I stayed with it for much too long, but finally left only a bit before retirement in 1998.  My wife's still there, but she tolerates my apostasy.  Our kids, now adult, range from Independent Baptist (very fundamentalist) to utter atheist.

In many places it's easier now than even ten years ago to be a non-believer.  My grandson, 13, says in his public school being atheist is very accepted, more than extremely religious.  So we've gained ground.

Welcome to the group.  Don't hesitate to pitch in whenever you have something to add.

Jerry

Hi Jerry! Your post brings to mind a couple of instances I have experienced in the past few weeks, actually.
A few Sundays ago, during our weekly lunch with my family, my very conservative Baptist relative (probably 12 years my senior as well) made the comment that "The White Christian Male™ is the most oppressed demographic in the US today."... In complete seriousness. He earnestly believes this! My perpetual optimism has me hoping that this is an indication of the gained ground secularism has acheived, and how it makes that oh-so 'oppressed' demographic uncomfortable.
A few days later, we were at a get-together for my husband's stepdad's birthday. A conversation arose about a mutual acquaintance, and that he hapoened to be "Atheist...like, not believing in God at all... And like, evolution and stuff!" *GASP!* "How can someone look around and say there's no God?!" All the while, I'm cringing inside, and grasping my husband's knee under the table... If they knew about me...
So yeah, I hope you are correct, (and assume you are), but I think there's still a long way to go in changing people's preconceptions about us and what we're about.
But anyway, yeah. Thanks for the welcome as well!

I ran off 2 Baptist ladies about mid summer as they came to my door and passed out tracts and recruitment literature. They seemed shocked that I no longer believe and told me to look around in nature. They gave me grass, tress, mountains, birds, many animals, etc. all as their "proof of god." While leaving they asked how I could ignore such plain evidence of god.

I was once as gullible as they are.

BTW, welcome.

Okay, you guys recommending Seth Andrews to me, THANK YOU! I have been totally binging on his previous podcasts on YouTube the past couple of weeks. Really enjoying it!

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