As I watch people struggling on this web site about coming out to friends, relatives, and parents concerning their non-belief, it occurs to me that many of us (including me) are struggling with this issue in one form or another. Some I know have not had this issue and some have been brave enough to announce their affiliation with that great minion of the underworld Satan (at least that’s what it looks like to Christians).
This will confirm their suspicions why I stopped coming to church. You can bet that my wife did not tell anyone that I had gone over to the dark side. She is too embarrassed even to talk with me on the subject. It occurs to me why do I have to feel so badly about this? I have done nothing wrong. I just came to my senses after living over 60 years fooling myself and being dishonest with myself. I guess I can understand someone hesitant to tell their old and aging parents about their non-belief as it could cause a bad physical result. Other than that, I don’t see what the big deal is. You know most will probably ostracize you, but isn’t that how you’ve been living anyway? Feeling alone and not understood. Do you really want friends and relatives who can turn on a dime against you?
Most of my friends in the small town I live in are Christians and I have known some of them a long time. I know that some of the men harbor the same feelings I do concerning religion, yet they also do not have the courage to come out. They would rather continue their life of deceit and hypocrisy and not risk telling their true feelings. I feel sorry for these guys, but isn’t that just what I’m doing?
I’m at an age now where I think it’s about time to come clean and be honest with myself and others. I have also found a new group of friends within the Unitarian Universalist Church who think like I do. They accept me as I am and I accept them as they are. We can talk to each other without worrying about saying the wrong thing or stepping on anyone’s belief system. And we don’t speak a word about religion except for how stupid it is. That’s the way the world should be. That’s the way I want it to be.
I have two daughters, a son, a grandson, and a granddaughter in-law who think and believe like I do, and it’s a pleasure to be around them. We have the grandest time with each other. My wife doesn’t have a clue why we enjoy each other so much. These children do not want to be around her (they are my children and not hers) because she’s such a stick in the mud and doesn’t know how to have a good time. I grew tired of having her children down each Christmas (mine wouldn’t come) and so I requested separate Christmas’s this past year with mine coming here and she going to visit her children in another town. I had a full house here (there were 21 children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and corresponding husbands and wives) and we had a delightful Christmas laughing and joking the entire time. That’s the way a Christmas should be.
That comes back to my original thought, why should I continue to live a life of deceit and hypocrisy? Certainly Christians don’t hide their thoughts and feelings about being Christian. They’re proud of it. And why shouldn’t I be proud of my beliefs. I know more about the Christian religion than any of my friends, and it’s easy for me to see how I deceived myself and others for those so many years. It’s now time for me to plant the banner of my beliefs and quit being afraid of what others will think of me.
I have found my truth about this world and I shouldn’t be ashamed to let it be known.
So what am I going to do about my wife? I’m going to sit down with her and tell her that I am not going to hide my beliefs any longer. I’m not going to put an ad in the newspaper advertising that I am a humanist, but I’m no longer going to hide that fact or feel guilty about what I believe. She can tell her friends what she wants, but if anyone starts a conversation with me about Christianity I’m going to tell them I’m not a believer, but I would be glad to talk with them about my beliefs.
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