I Read it on Facebook

 

“Hello, fellow ex-Christian!”  I stared at the words written on my Facebook wall.  My first thought was, “Holy shit!” and my second thought was “Holy shit!”  I’m just kidding.  My second thought was, “my mother has just become my friend on Facebook and she is going to read this comment,“ which could actually be loosely interpreted as, “Holy shit!” Somehow, she didn’t and evidently neither did anybody else. I breathed a sigh of relief.  The comment had come from a friend, Bill, that is an ex-Christian/pastor. I call him my anti-pastor. I had read some of his blogs and so we had become friends on Facebook.  He didn’t purposely out me and was apologetic.  It did get me thinking though.  I mean, I did want to stop living a lie (see I Hereby Resolve…Sort of…) and in some way, I was hoping some of my old Christian friends had seen it, but no such luck, although, I did start to consider that Facebook might be a good way to “out” myself, but when it came down to it, I just couldn’t pull the trigger.  However, as fate and my lack of Facebook savvy would have it, it finally happened.  If you aren’t familiar with Facebook, there are many groups you can join.  One day I was checking out these groups and I happened upon two that interested me: Non-disillusioned Non-believers and Free Thinkers.  I joined both.  What harm could there be in that?  I didn’t know that the news I had joined these groups would be proudly announced on my profile page. This time, the information would not be overlooked. 

The next time I logged on to Facebook, I saw the announcement and right below it was the first of many comments from an old Christian friend:  “And what does this mean for you Barbara?”  I sat for a moment…it’s now or never I thought, and so I commented back.  “It means that I no longer embrace fundamentalist Christianity,” which of course led to the next obvious question: Do I embrace any type of Christianity, to which I answered, “no.”  There, it was done and of course not all my Christian friends saw the interchange, which became long and detailed, but enough of them did and as those who have been in the Christian community know, news like that travels like wildfire. I believe that the leadership position I had held, while a Christian, fanned those flames–not in a gossipy way, more like a love-filled, spiritually concern for my poor pitifully lost soul, which was in danger of burning in hell, but by the grace of God, theirs isn’t,  kind of way–of course.    One of my Christian friends, that has actually remained my friend, thought I was thinking I was more important to these women than I truly was, until she received an email invitation to gather and pray for their “wayward sister” who had evidently “walked away from the Lord.”  At first I thought it was funny until I saw how many women the email had been sent to, many woman that I didn’t even know, and the email encouraged them to forward to others as they deemed necessary.  That did piss me off a little.  I’m over it now.  There is so much more I could tell you:  what all the responses have been, how I responded, how my parents have dealt with this revelation, (excuse the pun) and how things are now, etc. I will write about that in the coming weeks, but for now, I will say this: It feels as good as I thought it would to come out with my de-conversion. It has also been more heart wrenching, at times, than I thought it would be, but all in all, I am glad to be out with it. It gets easier and easier every day.  As a matter of fact, just last month I sent a message to an old Christian friend inviting her to take a PE class with me at the college for the summer. I closed by saying, “that is if you don’t mind hanging out with a pagan.”  She responded by saying she would love to and then said, “Is hanging out with a pagan a bad thing? LOL.”  I admit that she is not the norm, but just let me confidently say this:  There is no better life than one that is lived openly and honestly. Trust me on this one.

Next up:  “A Christian Burial” (subject to change at the writer’s whim)

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. atimetorend
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 01:58:33

    Wow, I was just thinking through facebook myself this very moment. I would love to have my deconverted friends on my regular facebook account. But if someone would look up one of my deconvert friends through facebook, it would be too easy to find me through their comment section or blogroll. So, arrgh! It would be one thing to broadcast my deconversion, but entirely different to have people read my blog.

    That’s great you’ve made the plunge, definitely the right thing to do even if it has it’s painful moments. This living in secret thing is not great and not right.

    Reply

  2. notabarbie
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 05:13:21

    Yes, living in secret is not great. I know this for sure because I did it for over two years, but as you can see from my blog, coming out is not easy and is very painful and you have to be very secure in your decision before you tip your hand and even then, it is tough. It shouldn’t be. We should all be able to believe what we choose and for that choice to be respected, but, sadly that is not the case. Everyone comes out at different times and in different ways, but I believe it is best to do it on your own terms. I wish you well and if you want to email me at notabarbie@comcast.net and give me your name, we can be friends on facebook 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Reply

  3. notabarbie
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 05:32:48

    ps-I added you to my blogroll. If that’s not cool, let me know. Thanks!

    Reply

  4. atimetorend
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:13:55

    honored to be on your blogroll, thanks!

    Reply

  5. samanthamj
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 22:10:17

    Hey =) Been a while… I still keep my “savemenot” blog anonymous…. but, I HAVE given the link to a few of my true “real life” friends – including a few that are very religious. That was a bit nerve-wreckin – but, I figure they already knew most of how I felt… and I knew they didn’t really understand since we were getting into verbal debates or email ones, I figured I might as well just let them have a look and read all they want. My family and friends all know I am not religious or a “believer” anyway, and some of them worry… but, it is good to have it known.

    Still, I worry more about people I don’t know so well… co-workers, bosses… friends of friends reading my “savemenot” blog and all my really personal feelings there. I alwo worry about hurting my mother or relatives feelings. So, I chose to stil use my “pen name” of smj there/here. I would probably also say, “HOLY SHIT”… if it were somehow linked with my “real life” facebook or other stuff. LOL

    Reply

  6. herrad
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 19:15:17

    Hi,

    I do not believe in superstition and prejudices believe in living my life according to my priciples of honesty and openess and taking responsibility for my own actions and beliefs.

    I do not need a big daddy figure.
    Hope we can finally emerge from the dark ages and live in peace and harmony with our neighbours.

    Love,
    Herrad

    Reply

  7. notabarbie
    Jul 09, 2009 @ 01:30:49

    Amen Herrad, amen. One can only hope.

    Reply

  8. notabarbie
    Jul 09, 2009 @ 01:34:12

    Sam-It’s good to see you 🙂 I know just what you mean. You have to do what’s best for you and the people you love. You would think that they would want you to be honest and true to yourself and others, but, at least for me, that has not been the case. Religion is gross…it’s that simple.
    Thanks for stoppin’ by!

    Reply

  9. Zoe
    Jul 15, 2009 @ 01:55:23

    Welcome back apostate! 😀

    Remind me to never sign up on Facebook! 😉

    Reply

  10. Ted Gresham
    Jan 13, 2010 @ 03:56:18

    Funny I should run across this little blog of yours. To be totally honest I didn’t read the whole thing, just the first part, about your family discovering your deep, dark exChristian secret on Facebook.

    Some months ago my brother (fundamental Baptist, Southern Gospel Fanatic, ordained preacher, dinky little church type) said my sister (Evangelical conservative, when-the-doors-open Christian, large mega-church type) wanted us to all meet up on Facebook. I’d had a Facebook until I got frustrated with the new styles so I’d abandoned it but I went ahead and updated it thinking it was a very bad idea.

    For a month or so last fall I rocked along shocking my brother and sister with my liberal, rather anti-Christian and pro-Buddhist stuff. Then I figured I was just offending them so I actually canceled my account.

    But then I had second thoughts (and got bored) a couple weeks ago and fired Facebook up again. At about the same time I at last called myself what I knew I was: an atheist. I decided to write a “note,” closest thing to a blog there, about my “coming out.”

    When I went to post it I zoomed past the little notice asking if I wanted to post it on my friends’ pages too. Um, well, ur, ah…. what I managed to do is get right in my brother and sister’s face and more or less shout I was an atheist as I said a few unkind things about my Christian past.

    I got a weak little message on my wall from my sister that she loves me and is praying for me. Ha.

    My wife ran into her at Walmart, the eternal meeting place, and she told my wife that she “didn’t know how to deal with me” and that “I was raised better.” Uh huh.

    I think it was probably rude to be so in their face by posting to their page. I did not mean to, I just clicked before I saw what I’d done. Still, I’m happy I did.

    Isn’t it amazing how we still load ourselves with guilt and responsibility even after we know damned well it’s just plane dumb? Why should WE feel guilty? They feel no guilt telling us we “were raised different” or looking at us sadly like we’re going to hell. They feel no guilt preaching their little eyeballs out to the bum on the street or sending whole religious hords to hell. But no, we still have that guilt, that built in firewall Christianity installed just to keep us in and viruses of unbelief out.

    Anyway, I ramble. Thanks for the ear. You can have it back now. (*_*)

    Ted

    Reply

  11. notabarbie
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 02:26:15

    I just got around to reading this…god, sometimes I’m horrible at my blog…I loved your story…sounds so familiar. I’ve really freaked out my friends and family on Facebook. I’m getting ready to link my blog to my facebook…yep, good times.Thanks for reading and commenting…

    Reply

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