When I first told my husband about my atheism/agnosticism, one of his early comments to me was that perhaps I was watching too many atheist YouTube videos and this is what led me to where I am now. After all, they aren't all right and some of them are jerks and I should really be careful. What this did to me psychologically was make me feel ashamed even though I didn't need to be. I watch these videos in secret now, careful to view them at work or wearing headphones so that he doesn't overhear. I find myself watching other things so that my "suggested viewing" section isn't full of science and atheism videos that he may see when we are watching funny fail videos together. Of course, this is almost the exact same feeling I had when my mother told me masturbation was wrong and even though I kept doing it and knew in the back of my head that it was normal, I felt ashamed.
Here is what he doesn't understand. YouTube did not turn me into an atheist. The Bible did. I have had doubts for a very very long time. I began asking questions as a teenager. By my mid-twenties I had abandoned much of my conservative upbringing and thinking. I believed in evolution by that point (although was still a bit wary of it), no longer thought that homosexuality was a sin, and was a lot more forgiving of things like pre-marital sex and getting pregnant out of wedlock. Within the past few years my view of the church become more and more critical. My criticism of pastors and Christians was more outspoken. I no longer believed that all of the Bible was true since I had rejected Adam & Eve, Noah, Moses, and even King David. My interactions with other believers felt more and more like a me against them scenario.
A year and a half ago I told myself that I was going to read the Bible again. I had already read the entire Bible through three times in my life, but this time I would read it with honesty. If something didn't make sense, I would note it, study it, and acknowledge it. What I found was a book that had clearly been written by many authors, often decades and even centuries after when they supposably happened. There is some archaeological evidence for some things mentioned in the Bible and absolutely none for others. I saw inconsistencies, like how King Saul was killed and viewed people like King David for who they really were, douchebags. Yes, King David was an absolute asshole, if he existed at all which seems highly unlikely. If he did, he was definitely not the great King that he was made out to be. Personally, I think it was all a PR campaign for King Solomon (who we know existed) to legitimize himself on the throne. Like Kim Jong Un who makes up stories about how he was born in order to sound more god-like. I saw a book that touted a God who was genocidal maniac and could not possibly be all-knowing since there were many things that he didn't predict and some scientific facts that were just plain wrong. Worse yet, I read the story of Jesus, the foundation of my faith and realized that if this man had not been sent by God then he was absolutely a liar or a madman. No wonder the Jews were so upset with him. The man was claiming to be God and he sure as hell did not act anything like the God of Moses & Abraham. Nothing.
It was only then that I decided that I wasn't a Christian anymore.
Now, here is what I don't get. As a Christian, it is perfectly normal to attend a church full of other believers, go to small groups, and hang out with those same people at other times during the week. No one bats an eyelash if you say you were watching the newest Joel Osteen/T.D. Jakes/Joyce Meyer sermon. It is normal for a Christian to excitedly ask if you have seen Heaven if for Real/God is Not Dead/War Room/Fireproof yet. And then it is expected that you will have loved those movies and felt them hugely important in your life. Christians share around their favorite YouTube channels like Blimey Cow, Tripp & Tyler, The Bible Project, The Skit Guys, and Triple X Church and no one says a thing. No one is telling Christians that they should really lay off YouTube because it may be swaying them more towards Christ. Of course it is, that is the point.
But if an atheistic agnostic does any of the above then suddenly I am being weak minded and easily swayed? If someone becomes a Christian I expect them to immerse themselves into that culture. Why would it be any less for me? I am not a Christian anymore. Period. At this stage in my deconversion I am still getting over some of the indoctrination, trying to learn and wrap my head around evolution and science, and am trying to figure out how to tell the 90% of people in my life who are devoutly Christian that I no longer believe in a Christian God or possibly any god for that matter. I am finding comfort and solace in places like exchristian.net and Patheos, not to mention countless YouTubers who have shared their deconversion and coming out stories.
I had hoped for more support from my husband, but I don't think he knows how. This flies in the face of everything he believes and puts his own doubts into sharp focus.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.