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Doubts of an In-Between Atheist

By Beth --

The term "atheist" scares the piss out of me.

Vlad the ImpalerVlad the Impaler by rafitorres via Flickr

Connected with it are words that I have heard since childhood: heathen, damned, critic, and just all-around Vlad the Impaler.

I grew up more or less indoctrinated into a Southern Baptist Christianity. My time spent in the church was filled with a myriad of memories, some good- others not. I made childhood friends, worked on important community-wellbeing projects, and learned how to sing. On the other hand, I also experienced first-hand the kind of bigotry and backstabbing that can take place in church- especially in relation to politics.

That being said, my question is, do you ever miss being a Christian? I have to admit, even begrudgingly, it was so much easier to just go the rallies and retreats "on fire for Jesus" as the saying goes. It is so easy to pretend. There is so much nostalgia attached to Christianity, whether it be the Andy Griffith-style small-town church with the abundance of communal welfare, or simply making your grandmother smile being little and remembering a Bible story.

It seems like the more I invest my thoughts into theology, the less disillusioned I become. With that pull-back-of-the-curtain type mentality, quickly comes my doubt and ultimate denial of the legitimacy of Christianity (or any other religion). The more I investigate, the more discussions I have, the more educated I force myself to become, I can no longer accept Christianity. That said, I still cannot stand the type of person I could become to break my mother's heart one day with my discovery.

So on a sub point, how did you "come out" to people about your beliefs? Do people still try to pray for your salvation? And, do you ever some days just wish that you hadn't been so damn curious?