Letter from an ex-believer.

While on the road a couple years ago, I met a friendly young woman who was a Christian.  We didn’t argue, but she knew who I was and what I did for a living.  Several years later, that allowed this conversation to take place:

JT, these people are going to give me an aneurism. This chick, ohh this chick posts something about how god views such and such as an abomination. Granted her post wasn’t as bad as some out there but I’ve just had my fill lol.
I want to comment “I’m glad you were homeschooled and got knocked up before going to college so you’ll never be in charge of making decisions that affect other people… Except your kid… May she be a lesbian. Good day.
Or something along the lines of: I’ve always viewed god as a bit of a lacklustre author, he let editors run rampant with his book and hasn’t published anything in over 2,000 years. And you thought we had to wait for Harry potter.

Basically I’m moving to either New Zealand where this is no longer an issue. Or Norway where it is considered extremely rude to talk religion.

That ends my abridged rant. I figured you could sympathize

I wrote back and told her that I was flattered she could confide in me and that I was surprised because I had thought she was a believer.  She wrote back?

Less and less recently. I am just getting frustrated with how hypocritical most believers I run into are, or they’re just wholly uneducated. And they’re cherry pickers!!!
That pisses me off more than anything. I’m lucky enough to be in a relationship with someone like minded, we both are agnostic leaning (heavily) toward atheist.
For me admitting it is a process, mostly because my family would be super pissed lol. Which is why no one knows but me that my brother is an atheist.
I used to really want there to be a god, but now I’m not so sure. His followers are assholes, if I were a supreme being I’d do something about that. Mostly now I’d prefer for Doctor Who to be real…

I know people asked to see these emails when they come in (this makes 154 such emails I have kept track of).  She said sure, and expressed gratitude that she could write to me and not be judged.  I responded that I did judge her, but judged her positively.  It speaks highly of her that her moral compass is attuned such that she can detect immoralities within her religion.  That’s tough.

She just wrote back:

Well not yelled at lol.
Is it bad that I don’t view it as my religion? I wasn’t really raised in a church, and it’s always seemed forced. But it was always something that I was supposed to believe. Though, even as a kid I knew to take it with a grain of salt.

So yeah, basically an atheist in all respects… But just not admitting it because its a bit of a big step. Shucking off what you’ve always been told is right.

Many atheists express frustration at never getting anywhere when speaking to religious people.  They’re wrong.  We make all kinds of progress.  Most atheists were helped out of their faith, but it takes time.  And even when you’re not making outright arguments, just by being out as an atheist you’re giving the closeted people someone they can speak to – even if it’s years later.

Be patient.  Be out.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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