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.