Hi Everbody,

I am a former fundamentalist evangelical protestant. I was used to carrying around quite a load of cognitive dissonance, being that I worked in a science field. I suspended my disbelief for about 15 years.

The events which finally made the difference was when cancer came to my family. My husband contracted brain and spinal cancer. Through the horrifying couple of years that ensued, I started to see through the assurances. I gradually started stripping away my credulity, my assurance, and my faith in god and the church I was basically born into. I was surprised to find that after I took away all the beliefs about god that weren't helpful or were doing more harm than good, I had no 'faith' left.

Everyone thought I was angry at god. But once I allowed myself to think that there might not be a god and contemplate the implications of that, it just all made to much sense. It was like putting glasses on after fumbling though life with things out of focus. The clarity was amazing. I devoured all kinds of secular books about faith and belief in gods. I read about the history of christianity from a modern secular view point.

In the end I lost both my husband and my faith in god. But I gained an understanding and felt relieved to not have to try to defend an indefensible faith. I didn't have to be angry with god. I'm an atheist.

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Comment by Lana on September 20, 2011 at 9:11pm

I hope it would have come eventually regardless, though perhaps only in half-measures.  It made me more free to 'grow up' and live my life how I saw fit, for our children.  And after I did everything I could for him in his life, I set out to build a new life for our kids and myself.  I started dating shortly after and have since remarried.  And it is good. 

Comment by Steph S. on September 15, 2011 at 12:13am
Sorry to hear about your husband. Welcome to the site.
Comment by Hope on September 14, 2011 at 2:13am

Sorry about your husband Lana! I dont know what to say.. but that was a tough journey you had!

 

Good thing about Atheism that it can give people the power to face the difficulties and continue their life... I wish you all the best.

Comment by Lana on September 13, 2011 at 9:17pm
Vulpes - The cognitive dissonance thing is an odd duck.  I actually have a Masters of Science and work in a science field.  As I went from youth to student to young working adult / parent, the marginal usefulness of what I believed just kept going downhill.  At the same time, the costs to my integrity kept rising as I became more responsible for my own beliefs over time.
Comment by Atheist Andrea on September 13, 2011 at 7:54pm
Wow. This was so powerful and has left me speechless with my writing. Very well said but unfortunate how you arrived at your position.
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on September 13, 2011 at 7:50pm

Lana,

Cant imagine your grief.

Your cause of deconversion, personal tragedy, is common. I have read it was also the turning point for Mark Twain. Being a life-long atheist I never understood why it takes personal tragedy to bring home the fubar nature of life.

Anyway, it is always encouraging to hear of apostasy. Not so great to contemplate tragedy.

Comment by Vulpes on September 13, 2011 at 7:15pm

Sorry to hear about your Husband. That's an incredible story though. Out of curiosity. You said you were a fundamentalist and are a scientist. How did you try to justify in your mind the disconnect between the bible and what you knew in science?

I also started pouring through information about the origins of Christianity and what secular scholars had to say. I learned how BS the pastors are when they "interpret" scripture ( always to their benefit).. 

Comment by annet on September 13, 2011 at 6:54pm
Wow Lana, that is quite a journey you've had. It must have taken a great deal of strength. Your story will inspire many people to think critically, thank you and welcome!
Comment by Lana on September 13, 2011 at 6:31pm
BTW, I wrote this at Rational Response Squad a while back, where I was known as "Fortitude".  I'm going to take some of my story from there into the blogosphere, because it is a bad/good story.

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