9/13/2014 | Share this article: View CommentsBy BlackFreethought ~ http://blackmaleatheist.blogspot.com/
Back in 2012, I began to realize the difficulties of swimming against the current. Although in this case, the current represented christianity. For most of my life, I identified as a believer in jesus christ and all of my social, professional, and familial relationships had connections through the church. To walk away from that significant network took courage, but down this new road of freedom, I found myself looking back.
As I stated in another post, I experienced great difficulty in the dating scene as a non-believing atheist. During the fall of 2012, I started to come up with reasons why I should go back to church. In the African-American community, the church has social, political, economic, as well as spiritual significance. I felt like I was missing a part of my cultural heritage, not to mention that the odds of finding a non-believing African-American woman in Metro Detroit were slim to none.
Maybe I could go back to church, for the cultural connectivity that it could provide and reject the spiritual parts. I also felt like I would be more marketable to the ladies, if I could proudly say that I belonged to a church. I thought this through and decided to give it a chance. This gave me access to date some of the best and brightest Black women in Metro Detroit. Access that an educated Black Atheist Man would never have.
In the African-American community, the church has social, political, economic, as well as spiritual significance. I felt like I was missing a part of my cultural heritage, not to mention that the odds of finding a non-believing African-American woman...Having grown up in church and been a worship leader for many years, I went back into my metaphorical christian closet and pulled out my jesus gear.(note:just because I no longer believe doesn't mean I forgot everything I knew about church and christianity) Although my dating prospects increased substantially from late 2012 through early 2014, I felt my integrity being compromised and I did nothing about it. I was glad to be accepted again because rejection sucks.
I started to fall back into my former christian ways, I began to read the bible again and even started back tithing. I knew that I could not return to my former fundamentalist christian ways, but I thought I could follow a more liberal view of christianity. I began to read books from Bishop John Shelby Spong, Marcus Borg, Bishop Carlton Pearson, and other liberal theologians. The irony is most of the women who I dated during this time were hardcore fundamentalist christians, so things still didn't really mesh. I would keep my views about sin, the devil, and hell to myself. Even though I went back, I still didn't believe in sin, satan, and eternal torment.
During the insanely brutal winter of 2014, I began to ask myself, "Is this really worth it to you? What have you gained by going back?"
I felt like I had lost touch with the freethinker that I had become back in 2010. Something needed to happen to shake me up. Thank goodness for the combination of a bad sermon and a grand display of christian ignorance about the scripture at church. These actions along with re-reading entries from this blog, reminded me why christianity is BS.
I wasted 18 months of my life and compromised my integrity dabbling again with christianity. I allowed the loneliness and difficulty of the path of freedom to muck with my emotions. However I am glad that I went back to church and christianity again. Now I realize that I have truly outgrown that infantile belief system and I am ready to truly see the world as it is.
Recently,I have met others on the path of freedom, ergo my journey doesn't feel like it felt before. It feels much, much better. I have made friends and have support in the free thought community. In addition, I have the resolve to live my life to the fullest. I have added outdoor running to my exercise routine, and that clears my head each morning before leaving for work.
I am committed to see this freethinking path through to the end of my life and educate folks along the way. Plus, I will expand my dating pool beyond where it is now,focus more on open-mindedness, common interests, and good old-fashioned chemistry.
PS: I gain strength from reading the heartfelt essays that get posted on this page.