On another blog site that I visit from time to time, www.exchristian.net, I read a post from Gabe. He was a seminary student (third year I think),he could no longer believe in Christianity and de-converted. He was very upfront with his seminary professors and pastors with his rejection of Christianity. He posted some of his email communications with them and it was a fascinating read. I was inspired by how candid he was. He did wait until he was out of the state before he emailed them, but still, he was honest with them. It gave me new resolve to be more up front, which has always been my desire. He reminded me of how honesty is the best policy, but the posting also reminded me of how awful it is to be upfront about de-converting. It reminded me of how there is nothing you can say that will allow for relationships to continue as they were or even at all and it reminded me of how angry it makes Christians when you don’t buy in anymore. So the dilemma continues if it really is a dilemma at all. I guess it’s just a matter of deciding whether you want to end relationships or not, because they will end, of course, but not until you’ve been kicked in the teeth by believers attempting to bring you back to god and to the fold, but I digress…
For the most part, I don’t really miss the friends I had from church. The only reason we even hung out at all was because of our religious beliefs and now that those are gone, there isn’t really anything there. They don’t know that though. All they know is I don’t return their calls and I avoid them as much as possible. I know this hurts them, but I also know the truth would hurt them more. Am I compassionate or a chicken? I’m not sure, maybe a little of both.
I have one friend that continues to call me and tell me she’s thinking about me and asks if we can get together. Every time I hear a message from her I think I should just call her back and say D, this is how it is and then just tell her the truth, we are friends after all, but every time I think it through, I know what would happen. The news would devastate her. I can’t tell her now. I don’t know if I ever can. How could I do that? I know I can’t get together with her. All she will want to talk about is why I don’t go to church anymore and eventually she would ask me where I am at spiritually…those of you who have been there know the drill. If I tell her I don’t believe anymore, she would look at me as an apostate in the clutches of hell. Who wants to hang around with a friend who thinks that? We’ve been friends for over 20 years, but our friendship is over. It just is. It doesn’t hurt so much anymore. It just makes me pissed—pissed at religion and what it does.
Part of me wants to send out an email and just let everyone know, get it all out, let them do their shtick and move on. As I have said before, it’s a fantasy of mine, but once I do that, there is no going back and I have a pretty good idea of what the fall out will be. I saw it in the emails Gabe posted and I have also experienced it in a small way. For example: this was the first Christmas I spent without my sister and her family. Why? Because she knows I’m not a believer anymore…she made other excuses, but she’s not being honest. We used to talk a few times a week, get together when we could and always, ALWAYS spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together…I haven’t heard from her since before Thanksgiving and that call was just to pretty much rake me over the coals until I hung up in tears and all this coincided with me having to tell her of my non-belief…a coincidence? I don’t think so. It’s obvious why she’s avoiding me and she’s my sister! Family is supposed to love you no matter what. It gives me pause to think how others who don’t really love me and aren’t family will react towards me…yikes!
In spite of all that, being who I am, I’m seriously considering making a New Year’s resolution to just come out with the truth…I’ll keep you posted.