Welcome to the light. This was a comment on my previous blog post (thanks, Felch). Reading this, I thought I'd share my coming out story.
A year ago I was a religious nut. Not totally insane/loopy... simply Pagan. I knew evolution was real, I knew magick didn't work unless you used it to change yourself, I loved science, I loved questioning how things worked. I was down to earth, I believed in following a mundane path if it existed and only turned to magickal means or divine intervention for really big things, and I was willing to listen to other people's theories. I thought that was all I needed.
I just didn't question the right things. I didn't question the origin of my channeling sessions. I didn't question how I could be right when I read tarot cards for complete strangers. I didn't question who it was moving the glass on a ouija board... These things worked for me. I was psychic, I had multiple gifts.
About seven years ago I was diagnosed with a problem in my temporal lobe. This had already led me to researching it, and I was well on the way to accepting that the "spirits" I'd been seeing/hearing all my life were simply malfunctions of my brain.
Even so, I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to atheism. I got mugged on the Myspace Religion and Philosophy Forum. It's a great forum, I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good, heated debate about theology. A little rough at times (actually all the time), mainly because there's a mix of everyone there. All spectrum of Christians, atheists, Muslims, Pagans, Satanists, Buddhists, Jews, I think I even saw a Hindu poster on there a couple of times.
As a Pagan, my default setting for dealing with fundamentalist Christians sided with the atheists, and the atheists (seeing my penchant for a well rounded argument) wormed their way into my brain with reasoning and Penn and Teller You Tube links. I held out for three months on there while everything I had previously seen as proof was consistently demolished. It was the most devastating time of my life. It was probably the best thing that's ever happened to me.
Most of my friends and family know now. There were a few hairy moments with some who didn't understand, but all in all the transition was fairly smooth. My father still doesn't accept it, even though he's never been a hugely religious man, but that's his choice. But all through the process I was bouyed up by the friends I had made who I'd once argued so vociferously with online.
This is a completely different way of looking at the world than I ever experienced as a theist. I feel freer. I feel complete.
I love being an atheist.