I believe that religious deconversion is a process. Throughout this process, the person evolves. Some evolve more than others, and some endure the changes in more ways than one. For me, deconversion went like this: Christian → agnostic → atheist. My evolution underwent several transformational stages. In between Christian and agnostic, there was the initial period of doubt followed by a period of apathy. In between agnostic and atheist, there was curiosity and intrigue about general arguments regarding the existence of God. This intrigue made me very passionate about atheism itself. I have been engrossed in the interplay between religious and secular, reading about both to get the most precise answers I could. Read more
After four long and miserable years, I finally escaped from this mind-prison of a school once and for all at my graduation on May 19th. As far as I am concerned, this college has achieved the opposite of its goal of “nurturing my walk with Christ.” Instead, it accidentally shaped me into the dedicated atheist that I am today. It was the pivotal point in my life that pushed me from agnosticism all the way to atheism, to this blog, and out of the closet. Read more
I once read an article from Grove City College where its president boasted about welcoming students who are Jews, Sikhs, and atheists. He said that while students must obtain a fixed number of chapel credits, they don’t need to be Christian or even spend time in the actual chapel! That’s every atheist’s dream, right?
I’ve talked a lot about my deconversion story and how my Christian college turned be from being religiously apathetic to a full blown atheist. I’ve talked about a philosophy class that made me consider my naturalistic worldview and start reading about the topic, but constantly slipping my mind has been the story of how I became a weak atheist before stepping foot in that classroom.
My church had the same pastor from the time that I was about thirteen to the time I was about nineteen. Having bigger things than religion and atheism to worry about as a teenager, I didn’t realize it at the time, but this man really passionately believed and taught the opposite of everything I believe. He is the type that refers to atheists as if they are a group only to be fought with and not a group to make amends with; the type that believes that gay people have no place in church and that to be transgender is to be mentally ill; the type who shares a lot of Matt Walsh posts on Facebook. You know the type. Unfortunately.
A few months ago, some of my classmates got into a discussion about whether my college is really all that Christian. I’ve talked before about how I go to an oppressively Christian school that teaches Christian values, has mandatory chapel services, requires a letter of recommendation from a pastor for the undergrad application, and looks down on atheists and those of other beliefs. During this conversation, my Christian friends mentioned that it really wouldn’t be a big deal for a non-Christian student to attend. After all, other than attending chapel, we aren’t required to fast, read the bible, or go to bible study or church. “How bad can it be?” says the Christian student attending the Christian college.
This week, The Closet Atheist has asked me, her boyfriend, to share with you my experience in becoming an atheist. Read more
I suppose that this was bound to happen sometime. From the moment I started this blog, it has gotten harder and harder for me to keep my big secret a secret. I feel as though I’ve spoiled myself by being open about my atheism with my roommates and through writing.
When I’m home or with my family, there’s no question that it’s nowhere near the time for me to come out with them. I still rely on them, and those relationships are too vital for me to possibly ruin them. When I’m at college, it’s a different story. I’ve always been unfathomably frustrated at having a secret this huge that I can’t tell to anyone, but as time goes on, it becomes more and more difficult to keep private, for a variety of reasons. Read more
I may have only started using the term “closet atheist” recently, but I have been a non-Christian living a Christian life for about ten years. During most of my deconversion time, I told myself that never ever in a million years would I ever tell anyone that I wasn’t a Christian. If I had stayed the apathetic nonbeliever that I was in my teens, not really caring one way or another, it might not have been that hard, but the more it becomes an integral part of who you are and how you think, the harder it is to keep private.
I mentioned in my first post that my boyfriend is also an atheist. Until recently, he was the only person that I had ever told. We have been together for a little over three and a half years, and I think that I told him about a year into our relationship. It took a lot of trust because I didn’t know what his beliefs were, but the bubble that I was raised in caused me to almost assume that everyone I came across was a Christian unless they told me otherwise. Back then, I wasn’t using the word “atheist” yet, and I wasn’t too comfortable thinking or talking about it, so when I “came out” to him over the phone, it went a little like this: Read more
I was planning to attend Grove City College* since I was young. My mother knew it would be perfect for me with the Christian atmosphere, rigorous academics, and the location. I knew that there was a heavy Christian foundation here, but I figured that it wouldn’t be too bad and the good would outweigh the negatives. If I could choose schools again, I don’t know if I still would have come here, although the atmosphere and the coursework have grown my interest in atheism and influenced this self-discovery immensely.
My college has a series of six Christian-worldview-based core humanities classes and one Science and Faith course. As it turns out, these classes have become some of my favorites because they can infuriate me, make me consider what Christians believe and what I believe, and show me the good and bad of both sides. Read more