10/06/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy sar0987 ~
One conversation. That’s all it took. I knew my faith was paper-thin, or really hadn’t existed at all. I’ve been on here reading testimonials and articles for the last couple of months trying to build the courage to submit my own. Only one other person in the world knows how I truly feel about Christianity.
I think it’s safe to say I’ve been here all along. I think it was more wishful thinking and peer pressure than actual true belief. As it’s been stated on this website many times before, Christians come in many forms and they can put you under a tremendous amount of pressure. Logically, you shouldn’t worry if your wife is going to leave you just because you don’t share her beliefs. Right?
Let me start this off properly:
It all started five years ago. I’d only been out of high school a year or so. Both my girlfriend and I had pretty unhappy childhoods. I had an abusive father and her parents were die-hard speaking-in-tongues fundamentalist Christians. The problem was neither of us knew why we were so unhappy. I’ve dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts throughout my short life many times and I knew the warning signs. After many long conversations she admitted to needing help. While raising funds (we were broke, her parents were more broke) to get her help her father pointed her towards a faith healer. Even though I was a non-believer at the time I was excited that a cheap form of possible help was available for her. And then she was gone for a week seeing this “faith healer”. What I saw when she came back blew me away. She was happy. Even after I questioned her for days about the experience she appeared to be content and at peace. Being a damaged kid, I was inspired by her sudden transformation. I thought “Either this faith healer person is nuts and I’ll get a good laugh, or I’ll be healed”.
I’m still wrestling with the experience I had that weekend with this “faith healer”. Part of me still believes what I saw and felt to be true but good ol’ logic and reasoning are still patiently shaking their heads. I was duped. Plain and simple. This woman – this disgusting woman – dug up real, painful memories from my childhood and spun explanations around them to gear me towards “accepting Christ”. When I walked in to that woman’s house, all I’d ever had was a pushover mother, an abusive father, and grandparents who were bad people. When I walked out for the final time on the last day, I was abused by a cult of Satan worshippers lead by my grandfather. I was used for rituals and forced to make animal sacrifices. I saw the devil in person and he spoke to me. This woman took a simple (and I don’t mean to downplay it) case of abuse and turned it into a full-blown conspiracy of epic proportions. She made me feel pain and guilt so tremendous that I had no choice but to lean on Christ for healing and salvation.
This woman, through the power of suggestion, fear, and guilt, had brainwashed me into conversion. She’d done it to my girlfriend as well. The craziest part is that the woman didn’t do it for money. We were broke. Then why? Why would she do this to people? I’m still wrestling with this.
Fast-forward five years: I’m married to that girl who was brainwashed with me. We have two small children. I found a great, high paying job. I’m on my way to getting a college degree to double my income. We spend time together everyday despite my crazy schedule. I stay up late talking to my wife. She’s my best friend. Life truly is good. Quite frankly, faith isn’t a big part of our household. We don’t go to church or bible studies. Jesus is the man, the Bible is mostly true, and we should love everyone. That’s about the long and short of it. Neither one of us have ever really been homophobic, and I know many politicians make this claim, but we actually have had gay friends. “Hate the sin, love the sinner” we used to say. Abortion for rape victims? Well, God will forgive them. We’re about as liberal as you can get for a Christian couple. Yet, it’s still a fundamental believe we share, or rather, shared.
I’m not sure exactly what started it. I think it was my closest friend, who was a die-hard Christian, coming out as an atheist. We had a couple drinks at a local bar when he confessed his non-faith. I tried to understand but I also had to interrogate him as to why he would possibly commit such a capital offense. He remained calm and logical. I was outraged. For every question I threw at him he had a short, simple, and very true answer. As all Christians would, I dismissed the entire conversation with “Well, you’re wrong, but I guess you’ll think however you want to”.
For nearly a year that conversation burned in the back of my brain. It started as a blip but it soon engulfed me. I’ve done research from both perspectives. I’ve watched arguments from both sides. One side says “Present me with the evidence and I’ll believe you”. The other says “The Enemy is blinding you from the truth. You have to see past reason and logic. You have to think with your heart”. One side wants to know the truth; the other wants you to know their truth. Why is it that everything in the vast well of human knowledge has the burden of proof, while Christianity (and other faiths) do not?
Here’s where I’m at now: I don’t want to be in the closet about this anymore. I’ve talked with the friend I mentioned earlier once about it, otherwise I’m utterly alone in this experience. I’m not sure how to move forward.Yes. Throw away logic. That fire on the stove isn’t really hot - the Enemy just wants you to think that to keep you distanced from God. Go ahead; stick your face in it. It’ll give you a divine vision. This is the reasoning behind Christianity. It’s disgusting. What really gets me is that my wife is a very beautiful and intelligent person. I’m the first to admit that she’s more intelligent than me. And yet since my closet deconversion I listen to some of the things she says and it blows me away. “We do so great because God is in our lives. Without God our marriage would crumble like everyone else’s.” or “It’s nice to find books for our kids that tell the truth about dinosaurs, and that they didn’t live ‘bazillions’ of years ago as taught by ‘science’”.
Science. You know, that thing that helped us get to where we are now. It keeps us alive everyday with heat and nutrition and medicine. Outrageous it must be.
Here’s where I’m at now: I don’t want to be in the closet about this anymore. I’ve talked with the friend I mentioned earlier once about it, otherwise I’m utterly alone in this experience. I’m not sure how to move forward. My wife is battling depression for the first time since the crazy faith healer so I think part of her is seeing through the ruse. She doesn’t want to go to the woman with her current issue because “it’s real, I actually remember it, not like with God but with my mind. I want to understand it and cope with it. Not just pray it away”. I see it as both a good and bad sign. If she deconverts, I wont have to worry about hiding anymore, my kids wont be brainwashed (my oldest is 2 ½ and she’s getting there already), and I can have an honest, healthy relationship with my wife.
On the other side of it, I know that at one time (for both of us really) her faith was the source of her strength. I don’t want her to lose that strength. I worry that in her current state of mind she might need God, Jesus, or whatever to get her through. I asked her if she’s been praying about her problem and she said “No. Kinda. I don’t know. It helped me fall asleep a few times”. Despite this statement and my careful prodding I’m still fairly sure that her faith is strong. Or am I just afraid it is?
It’s funny how natural it is for us to want others to believe as we do. Yes, I want my wife to deconvert for selfish reasons. It’ll make my life easier and it’ll prevent our children from “drinking the punch”. How compatible are athiests and Christians in a relationship as close as ours? I’ve read stories about interfaith couples, but I just don’t see how it would really work. She’d feel sorry for me and my damnation. I’d be bitter and frustrated with her ignorance.
I’m worried about what will happen if I come forward with my true feelings. Will it push her further into her depression? Will she reject me? What if she doesn’t want me around the kids anymore? Will she “put on her armor of God” and destroy what we’ve worked so hard to build? Will she lose her faith and completely unravel?
If anyone has been through something similar I’d really appreciate any advice you could give.
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