Thursday, June 21, 2007

Everything Seems Fine

I have not blogged in a month because nothing really interesting has happened in spectrum of religious discussions in my life. I have made a few more videos on you tube. I have been getting a lot of emails of praise from people about my videos. I have even got praise from Christians and other religious people. That has felt good. I am up to 330 subscribers, I hope to get 1000 one day.

My wife has not been to church in quite a while. I have not mentioned it at all. Her excuse every Sunday morning is she is tired. I am hoping she is going to stay away, but I am not going to stop her.

The atheist group I meet with in town is great. The people are very nice and one of them had a birthday party for their son and invited all of the people in the atheist group. So I went and took my wife. I thought it would be a good way for her see the other atheist are normal people. I made it a point to not discuss religion at all. A couple of people started talking about religion and I just walk away and hung by my wife. She was cool with it. She expected the conversations to turn to religion because of the group. It was a good time and my kids had a great time playing with the other kids.

The next week I went with my wife to her church's bowling outing. It was fun. I bowled five strikes in a row, first time ever. It is weird being there with all the other people who know I am atheist but they are all Christians. I wonder if they see me bowling well and wonder "Why is God letting him win?" It is funny to me. I used to pray before I bowled each ball. I am so glad I don't believe in that anymore. They had a drawing and I won a free drink too, must have been a blessing. :-)

Next week we are going to visit my father in law. He is atheist and we love to have discussions about religion and science. It is going to be hard to hold back with my wife around. It is her Dad though, so it should be fine. He knows that she is sensitive. I will blog about what happens when we get back.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Free Speech

My wife and I got into a discussion about free speech. She said there should be a line drawn. I disagree. I think free speech is the ultimate of all freedoms. Other than yelling fire in a crowded movie theatre, or anything else that would endanger others, we should be free to say whatever we want.

She said "So you think it is okay to tell your boss he is an idiot?"

I had trouble conveying the freedom to say something, and using discretion are totally different. I agree we should use discretion when choosing our words, that is the smart thing to do. But no law should be passed that stop us from speaking our minds. She started getting upset and crying, then she said she hated the way I was since I became atheist. She said I was like her Dad, who is an atheist.

I don't feel like I can voice my opinion to my wife without her getting upset.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Preacher Called

So I am sitting at work and the phone rings. I see the caller id is a number I have not seen in months. It is the pastor of the church I used to attend and the church my wife still attends.

Up to about 8 months ago I used to have lunch with him once a week. We would talk about religion and evolution and every other subject. It helped me sharpen my debating skills. I rather enjoyed it. I could tell that he was sad after each lunch. He felt a deep sorrow for me and my kids. He thought my actions would send them to hell.

Then he told me I should not talk to my wife about religion. I thought that was stepping over the line. I told him he had no business telling me what I could say to my wife. That was the end of the lunches.

So I am sitting there looking at the caller ID trying to decided whether to answer or not. I pick up the phone. I talk to him in the kindest of voices. He tells me he was just leaving my house a had been speaking to my wife. Oh boy...

I wondered if my wife had told him about being theist. Or if the pastor's wife had told him. Since my wife spoke to her about it.

To my surprise he did not bring up religion at all. He just wanted to check on me and see how I was doing. Maybe he intended to bring up religion but a coworker ask for my assistance so I had to cut the call short. I still fear he will try to disrupt my family under the guise of doing God's will.

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Wife Started it

I am so happy. My wife started a conversation with me about religion. I about passed out. I think it is great that she actually wants to talk about it now.

During our previous conversation she stated her belief that all religions are praying to the same God. I then asked her if she believed Jesus was the son of God. She did not have an answer. She spoke to her preachers wife afterwards and that is when she came back to talk to me.

She said that my becoming an atheist has strengthened her faith. I asked if it was her faith in God or her faith in Religion. She stated it was God.

I think it is a good thing she is starting to question things more and even though she is claiming a stronger faith I am glad it is not in a religion. The difference between theist and religious is a big jump and I am very proud of her.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Video

I created a new video. Atheist life vs Religious life. It is quite refreshing. I am getting a lot of good comments. I look forward to doing more. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I think I went too far

I went to a party Saturday night for a friend. It was a celebration for his promotion. I met a guy at the party that was a lawyer for a congressman. I asked him some questions about the patriot act and writ of ha beaus corpus. It turned into a discussion about the war on terror and I mention how religion was a big part. Well a girl at the table starts talking about how the bible is the truth and that evolution is fake and that carbon dating is wrong.

So we discussed all the points. I love to talk about this stuff with people who are willing. It always ends the same way. I give logical reasons and they eventually resort to faith and stop the conversation. This did not happen. The girl had a degree in chemistry so she had a lot of knowledge about carbon dating. I have studied evolution and religions a lot. I have not studied carbon or radioactive dating very much. Keep in mind she believed the world is 6000 years old and Noah's flood story was real.

She got up and walked away after a while. She was done talking about it. She told me I lived a sad life.

I saw her talking to my wife later on. The girl seemed upset. I walked over and apologized. I did not want to hurt her feelings. I forget that this subject is very matter of fact for me, but is very emotional for the religious. So when I am just making a point about evolution, they take it as a personal attack.

I think I went too far. I did not ruin the party but everyone she told is probably going to be upset with me. I am sure she is not going to talk to me at the next party.

One good thing did come out of it, I decided to learn a lot more about radioactive dating. I have a much better understanding of it now and will be well prepared for my next conversation about it.

I think my Wife is Theist

So I had a conversation with my wife Friday night. She told me she was still hurt I did not go to church with her and the kids. I asked her if she wanted me to pretend I believed and just go. She did not like that idea either.

She then gave me the "What if your wrong" argument. I told her that there are thousands of religions and how should I know what religion to pick. She then told me about her belief that all the religions are praying to the same god. So she does not believe Jesus is the only way. Although she has trouble admitting it.

This kind of shocked me. I see now that she is a theist in her core believes. But attends christian church. I am not opposed to being a theist. I just lack evidence to believe. Religions are just man made though. I just don't see an all powerful being interacting with the world.

I am very happy she told me.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The truth

Okay right after my last post I figured out what to write.

My wife is having a hard time trusting me. I am not always straight forward with all the details. Last night I went to the pet store. Then afterwards I stopped by Best Buy, then I went to Bennigans and had a beer. When she asked what took me so long I told her about the pet store and Best Buy, but not Bennigans. I thought she would get upset about me going there.

Then she smelled the beer on my breathe a few minutes later and asked me where I got beer. I told her the truth at that point. She says she can't trust me and things like this make it worse. Why do I feel I have to hide things from her? It is like I don't want her to tell me no. I don't want to hear her argue with me about going and having a beer.

I need to be honest with her all the time.

I am not sure what to write

I started this blog and I vowed to write in it at least once a week. I am not sure what to write today. I am starting to work on my next video for my you tube site.

I have some many ideas for videos that I want to do. I can't wait to get them finished.

My son is coming to the end of his baseball season. I hope he will start coming to the gym with me and start learning some MMA. He loves to wrestle so I think he will enjoy it.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I am the bad guy

I confronted my wife about the statement she made about not caring about my videos. I told her that it hurt my feelings. I also told her that if she made christian videos I would watch them. I may not agree with the message, but I would watch them. I expected it to go well because I was calm and so was she. She blew up.

She said that I am not in the same situation as her. She is the victim her because of my choice. I explained to her that I did not make a choice. I stopped believing because of the lack of evidence. I would gladly believe again if I saw convincing evidence. I can not choose to believe.

I asked her if she wanted me to come to church and play along, knowing that I really don't believe. She did not answer. She is upset with me because she thinks I betrayed her. I know if she had become atheist while I was christian, it would have hurt me too.

Friday, April 27, 2007

My YouTube Videos

I have been working on some videos on you tube. They are videos that help me express some creativity and help me show others the truth about atheism. They are not derogatory or hateful. I am not like that. I am very laid back and easy going.

I was telling my wife about my new video the other night and how it had gotten a lot of views and was getting great ratings.

She said, "I don't care about your videos."

At first I was a little hurt, but I shrugged it off. Then after thinking about it I got upset.

If she made Christian videos I would watch them. I may not agree with the message, but she is my wife, my life partner. I want to see anything creative she does.

I don't want my wife to seems like a monster, she is not. I still love her. I have not told her how I feel yet. I will soon.

Blame it on Atheism

My wife calls me to tell me something she saw on Oprah. She said that African Americans have a higher rate of high blood pressure. Oprah said it was because of the slave ships. The slaves that had higher salt held water better and survived the trip to America. That just did not sound right to me.

I asked a few questions about it. What about the white people on the boats? What about other races like Asians that came over on the boats? Wouldn't the slave masters made sure the slaves got plenty of water to stay alive so they would not lose profit from the trip?

My wife got really upset with me after these questions. She says she can't tell me anything anymore. She says it was the way I said it. I believe I was just asking questions. Of course she thinks it is because I am an atheist.

I have been skeptical every since college. I question any information I receive second hand. I always look for a credible source. My skeptical nature caused me to be atheist, not the opposite.

She seems so eager to believe a lot of things she hears. Especially when it is someone she likes, like Oprah, or Dr. Phil. Sometimes she hears things and calls me and asks me to research it. This is awesome. She understands that there is a lot of myths out there that are accepted as truth when they are false.

I fear that we can not even talk about anything now. She is afraid I won't believe her. I guess next time she tells me something I will just keep my mouth shut. I will research it. Then email her the research. That way there is no arguing. I am going to miss stimulating discussions with her.

Monday, April 23, 2007

My Son in Sunday School

My wife told me something my son did in his Sunday school class last week. They were asking the kids if they wanted to pray for someone. My son said he wanted to pray for his Daddy. He prayed that Jesus would come into my heart and make me all better.

At first this made me a little sad and remorseful. I am not sure what he thinks about me. If he is afraid that I am going to hell, or that I am going to turn into a bad person, I think I should talk to him about it. I am not sure what to say.

I want to tell him he does not have to worry. There is no heaven or hell. But that would conflict with what my wife wants him to believe.

I do not want to lose my marriage. I love my wife and kids. I cannot make myself believe. I also cannot pretend to believe.

My Testimony, Becoming Atheist

I was raised in a Baptist church from birth. My family changed churches every few years due to different reason, preacher left, got offended, divorced, or just did not like the people. My mom was even a Sunday school teacher for a while. I got saved when I was twelve. I remember my mother crying in the pew, she was so happy. My sisters soon followed. I am sure they wanted to make mom just as happy. On the way home from church, on the day I got saved, I told my mom I did not feel any different and asked how I could be sure I was saved.

She said “You have to have faith.”

After a few months I asked my step father some questions about the bible and after numerous answers that did not satisfy me he said I needed to have faith. That faith was a good thing and showed God I loved him and that we can not understand God. I was 12, so I took him at his word and vowed to never question God again and prayed for God to forgive me for questioning him.

After high school I joined the Navy and I went to church on Base. I dated a girl who was not a Christian and eventually broke up with her because of it. No other reason. She was wonderful. But I thought it was what God wanted. I dated lots of girls growing up and I always asked them if there were Christians and made that a priority. Soon after I got out of the Navy I met my wife.

She was a good Episcopal girl and invited me to her church. I went even though I did not know anything about Episcopal. It was a really boring service and they recited a lot of memorized lines. I felt out of place. They offered a new comers class. I took the class and learned all the new stuff.

I eventually became a chalice bearer. That means I passed the cup of wine. I was also an usher. My wife and I got married and had two kids. Our kids were in church every Sunday. I helped out in service and my wife worked in the Nursery.

Four years go by and the church has an issue with the pastor and people start to leave. The congregation dropped to less than half. Then the Gay bishop issue made another half leave. So we were down to 25% of the original congregation. Most of the staff got laid off. Everything in the church changed to volunteer. I helped on weekends with yard work and fixing things for the church.

After a couple years of that my wife and I felt God was telling us to change to a new church. We saw a billboard for a new church and decided to give it a try. It was a non-denominational church and did not have any ceremonies. It only had 100 members. We were quickly welcomed in and I started playing guitar in the band. It was the most fun I had in church. I was doing something I loved. The people were great and the fellowship was wonderful.

Now my whole life I was a skeptic about everything but religion. I thought it was a sin to question religion. I would always check my sources on every subject and any rumor I heard. One day I realized that it was silly to not apply that same reasoning to my religion. So I started reading about the history of the church and the other books of the bible that were left out.

I read about evolution, and anything by Richard Dawkins. After a couple of month of studying I went to my preacher and asked him to explain a few things. He said the same thing my parents told me when I was twelve. "You need to have faith." This time I was not convinced.

I soon realized that I did not believe anymore. I continued reading and I found the video of Richard Dawkins on “The God Delusion” and “The Virus of Faith.” I decided to show these to my wife. I hoped it would help here understand why I had changed. We watched the video together. At one point she turned to me and flat out asked me.

“Are you an atheist now?”

I was amazed at how she had picked up on it. I told her I no longer believed the Bible and was an atheist.

She cried.

It has only been six months since I told my wife. She is worried. I was worried she was going to kick me out. My kids are 5 and 7 and they are asking why daddy does not go to church. I refer them to their mother. I think she tells them I am just going through a hard time believing and eventually I will come around.

I try to explain to her that I am not going through anything. This change is not an emotional response. I just looked at the facts and the evidence and my mind was changed. I am not sure what the future holds for me now. She says I am not the same person and the people at church talk to her all the time. I love my wife and want her to understand. Christmas was rough. Her father came to visit. He has been an atheist for years and we had a lot to talk about since we have a lot more in common now. I told him that we need to talk about it when my wife is not around as to not offend her. I am trying to be sensitive to her. She decided to come into our conversation and she seemed to enjoy learning. On Christmas day we started another discussion and she could hear us. She started crying. She said she just could not take it on Christmas day. I don’t bring it up unless she asked about it now.

Life is much harder now as an atheist, and I miss playing guitar in the band. Guess I need to find another band now.