Just wanted to stop in and say hello! I'm new to Atheist Nexus and looking forward to getting to know people.
I was raised Southern Baptist and converted to Orthodox Christianity in 2007. Owning up to my atheism has been a long, torturous, emotional process since mid-2008 or so, and began with admitting to myself that I did not believe homosexuality was a sin. I originally disguised these first wrinkles in my faith as "struggles" - I couldn't say, "I disagree with the Bible," for many years. Instead I would say, "I struggle with this teaching," or something similar. When I finally said, "out loud" in my brain, "I disagree with the Bible's teaching that homosexuality is a sin," it was a sweet release from the shackles of faith I had worn so willingly, and the rest of my beliefs quickly followed suit.
I'm still not "out" with my family or anyone from my childhood church or the Orthodox church. I'm trying to find that courage and I think I get a bit closer every day.
Having been raised Southern Baptist I was taught to mistrust & discount science (and evolution above all), so I am positively a child when it comes to understanding most scientific concepts and principles. I'm actively looking to expand my knowledge in this area.
Like many here, I'm sure, I count several secular writers and scientists among my teachers, particularly Christopher Hitchens. I find his brand of tough love - the sweet, stinging Hitchslap - to be particularly effective in dispelling the religious notions still entrenched in my brain, things like "if there's no god, how can you determine morality?" and others. He's also a tremendously gifted writer and I find that I am more learned after every paragraph I work through in his books or essays.
I'm sure I've gone on long enough already, so there is my deconversion, in a nutshell. Looking forward to good discussions & resources to increase my knowledge about our world.
You write a nice intro. Sounds like you will be a force for good in your community, quietly dropping truth bombs here and there. Funny that I am an ex catholic but don't even know what "orthodox christianity" means in this context. Is it evangelical? Lots of people seem to consider themselves "orthodox" in their own way.