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.

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Comment by Kristine Robinson on March 15, 2009 at 9:40am
I liked Bob. Probably moreso because he was PM most of the time I was growing up, he became sort of a lovable fixture. Maybe it's just the more critical eye I have now, but I don't think I've seen a PM since who's been as relatable.
Comment by Michael on March 13, 2009 at 5:14pm
Australia was mentioned earlier...We had a Prime Minister (Bob Hawke) who openly declared himself to be an agnostic - and he went on to win three more elections. Also, in the South Australian Parliament some years ago, the Speaker said that she was an atheist and suggested that she begin proceedings without the usual recitation of the Lord's Prayer. Sadly, the politicians insisted that she did. It could have been another turning point, but it went nowhere.
Comment by Kristine Robinson on February 20, 2009 at 8:49pm
Carrol, that's great! Paganism still remains for me a preferred faith, it encourages an openness to new ideas which is often obscured in Christianity.

And ObscureAtheist, I'm very impressed. I would love to hear the story of how so devout a man chose to give up his faith. It must have been a hard road to take.
Comment by ObscureAtheist on February 20, 2009 at 6:02am
congratulations! your story was new for me. so i did the most difficult job! i was a muslim a hard believer who was praying 5 times aday and fast 1 month a year and .... :))
Comment by Carrol Ray Pugh on February 20, 2009 at 2:14am
I am Pagan. I once was a Christian for many years. This Christian Path for me was leading to nowhere. Now I'm on the Pagan Path which will leads me to many worlds and to many lives. I am now free to think and to do as I please. Keep in mind, I will never do anything to harm anyone or anythig. My motto is: "Do what you will, but harm none." Yes, I now live the Pagan Way. That is what I am, and that is who I am. So Mote It Be.
Comment by Kristine Robinson on February 19, 2009 at 7:11pm
Yeah, I saw that. Sometimes I think that they're so busy proclaiming everyone they don't like as the anti-christ, that if their anti-christ ever actually showed up they wouldn't recognise him...
Comment by cj the cynic on February 19, 2009 at 6:54pm
Australia's pretty laid back about these things, whereas the US is so obsessively religious it's ridiculous.

You're tellin' me :)

Just a few weeks ago, some american christians claimed Barack Obama is the anti-christ because he mentioned non-believers as well as believers in a speech.
Comment by Kristine Robinson on February 19, 2009 at 6:27pm
I think it was easier for me than for a lot of atheists in the USA... Australia's pretty laid back about these things, whereas the US is so obsessively religious it's ridiculous. Plus the transition from Pagan to atheist seems to be a lot easier than the transition from monotheism to atheism, mainly because Paganism encourages fitting what appears to work into a personal theological framework rather than a pre-constructed one.
Comment by deepthought42 on February 19, 2009 at 10:48am
Congrats! :) It took me years to admit what was true for some time - I am an atheist.
Comment by cj the cynic on February 19, 2009 at 9:49am
Congratulations on your journey to atheism! Thanks for sharing your story.



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