Once You Walk Out for Good, It Feels Great

David Hayward drew this while thinking about the time he walked away from the church he called home — though he still remains a Christian to this day:

Like so many of his cartoons, his feelings are shared by a lot of atheists who left a church, too.

(via nakedpastor)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Aimeejoe3

    There is nothing like a good breath of  fresh air.  I know the feeling well and thankfully I experience that every day since my “conversion”!!

  • Fritz

    I remember the scare tactics of the church regarding those poor, awful people who “lost their faith”, and what a contrast it was to feel light and free, almost elated, to turn away from belief. And that feeling has lingered, even through tough times that would have provoked prayer before. There is a life beyond belief!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    If his eyes are clear, why does he appear to be squinting?

    The vultures are nice touch.

    • Fritz

      You see what you want to see.

    • oambitiousone

      One can’t see the sun with eyes closed and head bowed. He’s not used to it yet.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

      Vultures? I thought they were vampires.

  • oambitiousone

    It’s not just leaving church. It was leaving behind all forms of “devotion” mandated to be “spiritual.”

    I haven’t felt guilty about church for years, but only recently –after reading Shermer’s “The Believing Brain”–was I able to surface the guilt over not wanting to meditate (to “enlighten” myself) or do yoga for more than how stretched and luxurious I feel afterward. 

    Meditation is nice–but it’s not magic. It’s an endorphin trip, not god.

    All woo-woo purged makes for a lighter, untethered inner life.

  • 59 Norris

    It is a good feeling, though for me, I hadn’t been in a church in many years on the day I finally said out loud that I didn’t believe the Bible or Christianity no mo.

    Previously I didn’t believe it, but until that moment I was in denial of my disbelief.  In other words, I was living a lie; a lie I told even to myself.

    It is indeed refreshing to get through all of that.

  • Anonymous

    In what sense does he still remain a Christian? That a man was made from dirt? A woman from a man’s rib? Talking snakes and donkeys? That dead people stop being dead and start being alive again?

    • Erp

      Well in a sense we are made from dirt; we evolved to convert the plants that converted  dirt (and to convert animals that convert plants that converted that dirt) into muscle, fat, etc. that makes up us.

      He is still a Christian because he believes and trusts in God and in Jesus even though he might consider most of the Bible stories with meanings not as fact.   There are a fair number of Christians like that.    He might become an atheist, he might just be an unchurched Christian, he might end up in a no hierarchy group (I wonder how he would do in the Quakers though they are rather scarce in New Brunswick).

      • Ndonnan

        we evolved from scum,to worms,to fish,to us,mmmm and the bible is myths eh…im all for leaving religion behind,and religious people for that matter, but a faith in God,never

      • Anonymous

        Nah, not dirt…stardust!  We are all made of star stuff!

  • Thin-ice

    I know at least 15 or 20 christian friends/relatives who haven’t attended church for  more than 2 years. I think they are particularly vulnerable to shedding their faith completely. Without the weekly re-inforcement of propaganda, I think they are much more open to thinking about discarding faith altogether.

    I left a comment on “nakedpastor” encouraging just that kind of thinking, but it has moderated comments, so who knows whether it will be approved . . . 

    • Haywardart

      it was. 

    • nakedpastor

      it was. 

    • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

      it was.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacksonbaer Jackson Baer

    It’s amazing how many Christians care more about bad language than they do helping the poor…

    http://www.whatthehellbook.com/2011/11/14/do-you-give-a-shit/

    • http://www.sacredmisfit.com Sarah

      I KNOW.  I’m dealing with that right now.  SIGH. Really discouraging.   :-(

  • Charles Black

    I haven’t been to church for years, yet I’m doing perfectly fine.
    See who says you need religion?

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

      Millions of people.

  • Anonymous

    i’ve only gone to church or worship voluntarily and i pity people for whom it was mandatory in youth. it’s worse than TV, so much bobblespeak and brain washing. there’s so much more that’s productive one can do with one’s time. letting it go is easy, it’s mostly a social thing. do you want or need scared, unsure believers in your life, the kind who can’t take any analysis or discussion of the tenets of their faith(s)? you’ll find the answer is “no” a lot more than they would have us believe. 


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