The move from fundamentalist Christianity to atheism is a drastic one. Can you trace your desire to change back to any one tipping point?
My decision seems radical but it certainly wasn't instantaneous. I left the church just because the teachings didn't make any sense. For instance, how can anyone said to be ALL love send anyone to hell? Not even earthly parents put their children to burn in the oven when they misbehave.
Once I left the church, I started to realize that there wasn't really any deity outside of the universe. That all the good and bad that we experience comes from ourselves, the people. Then I completely gave up my belief in the god of the Bible, realizing that my feelings had been real, but the object of my feelings had not been real.
Looking back with a rational point-of-view, what do you think is the most outrageous belief you held to be true and that current fundamentalists still hold?
Hands down the belief that women need to be subservient to the men in their lives--that the man is the head of the home and that the female has to follow, pray, and hope. That is downright ridiculous.
You are half-way into your blog’s seventh year of existence. How do you feel recording your thoughts and receiving feedback over this time has affected your move to atheism?
Writing about it contributed in that many Christians came to comment on my posts. And when they did they were usually rude, misinformed, dogmatic, or downright ignorant. Reading their parroting of the same beliefs I used to hold really put into perspective the ridiculousness of my former worldview. Seeing that really "cured" me from fundamentalism.
When you come in contact with believers today, especially fundamentalists, are you compelled to show them down the same path you’ve taken to a more rational worldview?
No, I don't feel compelled to lead any Christians down the path I've taken, for two reasons: (1) Leaving the faith is difficult. So difficult that I don't wish it on anyone. (2) Talking about religion is impolite and leads only to disagreement. I try to stay away from disagreement whenever possible. So, I only talk about it when others bring up the issue.
As atheists, we often talk about the harm caused by religion. What do you see as the primary benefit of religion, if any?
I believe that prayer is helpful. It is like therapy. Not unlike a person who goes to a dead person's tomb to settle old issues, praying is a conversation with ourselves that helps us come up with solutions to our problems. The person or being we're talking to doesn't have to be real for prayer to be therapeutic. Of all Christian things, prayer is the only thing I still practice. But I don't pray to anyone. I talk to myself.
Who is your atheist role model? Why?
I don't have any atheist role models, actually. Because I rejected religion of my own volition, not following anyone, I don't admire any atheists enough to have them as role models.
Is there anything that would once again convince you that there is a god? If so, provide an example.
The god of the literal interpretation of the Bible does not exist, in my opinion. And there is nothing that would convince me otherwise.