Hello! My name is Ricky Watson and I am an atheist. I was born and raised in the tiny town of Lenoir, North Carolina. Pretty much every family member and every person I have ever met has christian beliefs. Some are devout, church goers and some never go to church and "sin" constantly but they still believe in the christian fairytale. I have always questioned these beliefs and especially the bible. I just couldn't make sense of it and how there were so many people suffering on a daily basis. Where was this loving god? Not to mention the abuse children and animals endure. I also hated the way christians judged everybody. How the hated gays, lesbians, and transgenders. How they act as if they know everyone's destiny. Awhile back, co-worker asking about my father (who I despise) and she told me "well the 10 commandments say to honor your mother and father" to which I responded "yeah well the 10 commandments are bs". Her response? "Don't you say that about the 10 commandments"!. Ha ha, ok lady.
So last summer, while we were having bad weather, I saw a news story about a tornado tearing through a small town. A tree had landed on a house crashing threw the bedroom of a 3 year old; crushing the poor child. This enraged me. The tree could have landed anyway. Why did god allow it to land on the innocent child. I finally come to the realization that this all-loving god was not so loving. So I began to question "him" and his ridiculous book. I started having discussions with a couple of my co-workers who are devout christians. Their ideas were so ludicrous that I was lead further from the christian ideology (like how they told me that not one person was "innocent" not even children and how humans were incapable of "unconditional love"). They clearly didn't understand it themselves and just made the idea seem even more appealing. Ideas such as how we are supposed to put this all-loving god before our children and our family (ha! yeah, right). So I began to research a little about other religious beliefs and suddenly deism started to make more sense. I could see that; a god that created everything and then stepped aside to let his creation run itself. That would explain why he never seemed to interfere our everyday situations.
But deism too began to make less and less sense to me. So I began to do more and more research. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn. Suddenly, I had an epiphany: a god is not needed to explain everything. It all finally came clear. I started listening to some atheist podcasts (The Good Atheist, American Freethought, The Skeptics Guide To The Universe) and watching atheist debates. Now I am proud to call myself an atheist. Never before have I ever felt so free. Free to think, free to learn, free to wonder, and free to live. I often find myself debating with christians I know and really enjoy trying to make them understand that they have been deceived. Ironically, since becoming an atheist I have learned more about the universe, origins of life, and the bible and all it's fallacies and contradictions. I am proud to call myself an atheist and I am proud to be a part of the atheist community; especially Atheist Nexus. Thank you! ;-)
Welcome to Atheist Nexus. You might like to use the groups tab to look around at the groups - there are lots, I bet even even a group, at least on line, for your area. At least, for your state. Also many interest-based groups.
Enjoy and welcome to the world of the thinking!
Welcome to the group, Ricky. You've made, with almost no real help, a journey many brilliant minds with all kinds of resources never do. Congratulations on searching, seeking, asking, and most of all thinking for yourself. And you've done this in a community where all pressures are in the opposite direction. You don't specify your age or circumstances, though your picture looks relatively young. Are you still in the town where you were born and grew up? Do you intend to remain where you're living now? Are there any others like you that you've found? You're almost certainly not the only atheist there, but closets in the South are notoriously deep. Do you maintain a relationship with your family, or any part of it? Is your current situation reasonably pleasant, or do you need to make a change? Whatever the case, I salute you and, again, welcome you to a group of people who also think.
Thank you all for the welcome. As for your questions, Jerry; I am 31 years old. I'm married to a beautiful woman (she's agnostic, for now anyway. she hasn't researched as much as I have but she's never believed in the bible) and we have a 4 year old daughter and a son on the way. I still live in Lenoir, NC but I plan on moving away one of these days. I haven't found any other atheists in my area but I am definitely on the lookout. If I find some I'd like to start up a meetup in town. My wife and daughter are my world. I'm still in touch with my mom as well as my aunts, uncles, and cousins. They accept my decision for the most part. My current situation is just fine. I have always been outspoken so I have had no problems expressing my opinions in regards to the ridiculousness of religion. So that about sums it up. Thanks again for the welcome.
Hey Rick Watson...
Your story/narration is well written!! And what an "evolution" of mind it portrays...
Can a stranger welcome another (fellow) stranger..? I myself am just as new in the A-Atheist freethinking (nexus) circle...sees my very brief story on my page...
That is in brevity…along the way I will write my longer one…a lengthy odyssey safari on how I, an Afrikan came to embrace (Ethical) Atheism, yet retains the thinking that indeed there is / are gods, gods created by man..!!
I live in Dar es salaam, Tanzania in East afrika, the land of famous Mt Kilimanjaro, well known wildlife of Serengeti, and the popular spice island of Zanzibar...
Anthropologically (evolution-wise), Tanzania is where the late Dr Leakey with his wife Mary, discovered in the late 1950s the Zinjanthropus boisie skull of Homo Sapien. From that it came to be established that the first man- the ancient man of which modern man has evolved, came from Afrika
This is all in brief, for now…
Happy to meet & interact with fellow "H-Happily Hume" freethinker
Yours Nsajigwa & sisi kwa sisi.
Thanks again everybody, for the warm welcome. I especially want to thank you, Nsajigwa, for your kind words and for sharing your story. Your compliment on my writing has inspired me to start a blog. Thank you so much. ;-)
ooh man...thanks back for your equal good words too... have i inspired you!? ooh man i really feel great indeed for that...gonna be visiting your blog frequently...
meanwhile be Happy and Exuberant
yours a fellow freethinker
Welcome Ricky, You must have seen the videos of tsunsmi that hit India a few years back and the one that hit Japan recently. Thousands of children have been killed and thousands have become orphans. Christianity believes that everyone is born a sinner and Hinduism believes in past 'karma' and this gives the gods a license to kill anybody, including innocent children. Human law puishes them for their cruelty, god is admired for his. Ricky, I believe that compassion is definitely a part of atheism and that the other two are rational thought and knowledge provided by science. I hope you will agree with me.
Now that you are with us, we may have more opportunities to meet each other here. Welcome again.