And So I Wait….

One of the things that I was concerned about when I made the decision to leave the Christian religion was how it would affect my children.  I wasn’t sure what their reaction would be.  Would they be devastated, thinking I was now going to hell?  Would they try to “save” me?  Would it confuse them or hurt them in some way?  I would rather die than hurt my kids, but the reality of it is, by teaching them to be closed minded and intolerant to other beliefs and lifestyles except our own had hurt them.  I wasn’t sure how I should handle the whole thing.

I certainly didn’t want to sit them down one day and say, “all right now, I want you to know that I’m not a Christian any longer and you shouldn’t be either.  Everything I taught you before was a lie.”  If I did that, I would be falling into the same error as before; telling them what to think, not showing then how to think.    

As my de-conversion unfolded, the reaction of my children completely caught me off guard.  I never did sit them down and make some sort of an announcement.  They saw me not going to church, they heard conversations and when they asked questions, I would answer them honestly.  Because they had been so indoctrinated, I was sure their reactions would be completely different than they were.  Maybe my brainwashing skills aren’t what I thought they were.  Today I want to focus on just one incident, which has been the most recent one.  My youngest daughter has been having her own struggles with church and Christian friends and just what she had observed in them.  She had asked me some questions about atheism and agnosticism and I had directed her to some web sites and left her to her own research.  The other day, she came to me and asked me to read her most recent blog on Myspace and so I did.  I have posted it here just as she had written it.  Here it is:

Since I know a lot of my friends on this here Myspace
I have decided to inform you all mostly my Christian friends thatI am officially Agnostic.

If you think this means i’m atheist hahaha NO!

I’m Agnostic which isn’t a religion it’s a belief.  

I believe that we don’t know if there is a God and no one knows.

I think the Bible is a source of History, not what I look to for all my answers


I don’t believe Jesus Christ died for my sins. I don’t believe homosexuality is wrong.

I believe no one knows if God created the World slash Universe.

I believe evolution is a good educated theory.  

I don’t hate Christians


I see nothing wrong with Christianity I just don’t believe it.
Sorry if you think I’m going to hell. If you have something to say to me, I am ready and willing to talk about it

It appears that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but I have to admit the girl has more guts than her mother.  After reading her blog, I made the decision to mail a letter I had written to a believing friend; explaining my distance and telling her that I am no longer a Christian.  If my 16 year old can be open and honest, shouldn’t I be able to do the same?  It is just one letter to one person, but she is a strategic person—believe me, the word will be out soon.  Those of you who have come out of Christian fundamentalism know just what that means.  So I wait……

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zoe
    Jan 25, 2008 @ 03:37:19

    I think Askimet ate my comment as spam. 😦

    Trying again.

    As I read your post, I couldn’t help but think of that saying, ‘And a child shall lead them.’ 😉

    Are you securing the hatches for the upcoming storm? Or who knows, you might get ignored. Could go either way. Either way, we’ll wait with you.

    Reply

  2. Zoe
    Jan 25, 2008 @ 03:40:36

    Well there you have it, it did eat my first comment. I had that happen on another WordPress blog as well. I can’t comment if I include my website url. Fiddle-sticks.

    Reply

  3. notabarbie
    Jan 25, 2008 @ 21:53:30

    Hey Zoe,
    Thank you….thank you for waiting with me. One could only hope I’ll be ignored…I have secured all hatches though. I think I’ll do my grocery shopping at midnight for a while 🙂

    Reply

  4. Zoe
    Jan 25, 2008 @ 23:38:10

    Oh shopping at midnight…I never thought about that…well, might be a good idea. 🙂

    Reply

  5. notabarbie
    Jan 26, 2008 @ 02:27:26

    Yes, thank goodness for 24 hour grocery stores….

    Reply

  6. TheNorEaster
    Jan 26, 2008 @ 12:23:57

    “If my 16 year old can be open and honest, shouldn’t I be able to do the same? It is just one letter to one person, but she is a strategic person—believe me, the word will be out soon.”

    That’s a smart kid you’ve got there. Honest, direct, and strategic. Not a bad combination for someone so young.

    Your experience reminds me of when I ran into my former Sunday school teacher at the post office this week. It was the usual “Hey! How you doing?” at first, but he did, of course, invite me to that old Bible study I used to attend. I still remember what it felt like to be there, like my soul was choking because my opinions and questions and concerns were dismissed so quickly and so easily. I never told anyone that I was leaving my old church. I just left. I figured that since I’m supposed to put God first then that means if I’m not getting anywhere at one church then I certainly don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why I left that fundamentalist house of repression.

    It’s nice to breathe again!

    Reply

  7. samanthamj
    Feb 01, 2008 @ 12:46:58

    The more I read about the struggles of leaving the church after so long, the more I am glad that my mother read my diary when I was 16 and forced me into making that decision then and there. Well, it was the decision she planned on, but to me, it was the only one possible. Scary as it was to me then, I can only imagine how much harder it must be to do, as an adult, and after many many more invested years. I guess my mom’s not so bad after all. 😉

    Of course, I still deal with my mother’s constant attempts to recruit me back to the church, and friends who are trying to “help” me… but, at least they all know where I stand.

    And your daughter’s blog. Wow. That had to floor you. In a good way. And, I like her already!

    ~smj

    Reply

  8. Marge
    Feb 02, 2008 @ 00:00:05

    Hello, from a kindred soul. Your post is similar in some ways to my post yesterday. I’ve been ten years away from religion and still I’m recovering.
    Your daughter is a teenager? You must be proud she is so independent in her thoughts.
    My son is ten and his only understanding of religion is what my mother has taught him. What she taught him was more what she believes about God than religion so I’m not too bothered. I see my son coming into an age where he questions deeper. His friends invite him to Awana and church plays but he doesn’t want to go, yet. I always tell him that when he is curious about church, we’ll go together and he can explore all he wants as long as he always remembers to question everything and NEVER feel guilty.
    Keep writing – I’ll be reading 🙂

    Reply

  9. mary a. kaufman
    Feb 02, 2008 @ 06:48:42

    At this moment, I just want to let you know that I visited your site and that I will put it on my list of those I wish to return to now and then. I think by “meeting” you and others who have had problems leaving the church behind, I shall tell of bit of what I went through on my site. Mary from Meander With Me.

    Reply

  10. HeIsSailing
    Feb 04, 2008 @ 20:08:58

    Great article, notabarbie. Good luck on ‘coming out’. I don’t have the guts your daughter had. Good for her.

    Reply

  11. notabarbie
    Feb 11, 2008 @ 21:33:56

    Thanks for all your comments and encouragement. I have received two responses from the letter I wrote, when I have some downtime from school I will blog about it…it hasn’t been so bad really.
    Marge, you’ve been 10 years free and you’re still recovering. I guess we will always be recovering. I’d love to talk about it sometime.
    Samanthamj-a pleasure as usual and you would get along famously with my daughter, both of them actually. My oldest daughter’s name is Samantha.
    HIS-thanks again for your encouragement. You are good that way. I noticed you’ve been writing a bit–it’s nice to see you out there.

    Reply

  12. Non Sicuro
    May 03, 2008 @ 07:23:23

    Interesting post. As a newly deconverted father of very young children (with a wife who is very committed to her Christianity), I wonder how my children will deal with the issues when their parents are so very, very different in this regard.

    I have only “come out” to a very small group of safe friends/family (religious and non-religious) so far. I can’t help but ponder what the reaction would be from some other friends and family members who are not so gracious about such things.

    Reply

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