An atheist life: Jeff’s story
I’ve been getting a lot of emails with people wanting to share their stories of atheism. I want to make sure every single one of them gets enough time and exposure for people to really sink their teeth into. I am amazed at just how open, trusting, and honest all of you have been while telling us about your lives. It is this kind of attitude and behavior that makes me truly believe human beings look to connect with others. Here is Jeff’s story:
I was raised in Arkansas, where we have just as many churches as liquor stores. I went to a private school, and grew up learning about the Bible. I learned Bible verses in school, and got taught Bible stories every morning. But, there was something different about me. The school I went to had kindergarten through 12th grade. Every once in a while, the older kids would come do stuff with us younger ones. I didn’t mind talking to girls, but I was really shy around the older boys.
Well, eventually, I left the private school, and went to public school, where I had to toughen up. Still went to church, because that’s what you do. I knew most of the Bible stories already. Well, this continued until about 9th grade. Then, I had a realization. Yes, growing up, I did have crushes on girls, because they were pretty, and I hung out with the boys my age, but certain boys I couldn’t talk to. I finally realized I was gay. Well, being Christian, that shouldn’t have happened. I tried fighting it, denying it, and covering it. Then, I realized, how could I be given this curse by a god who loved me. Over time, my faith started to wane, and before too long, I realized what religion is….nice stories you tell yourself so you can sleep at night, and mind control.
Well, eventually, I came out to everyone, my friends and my family. Mom said I was confused. They don’t make gay people. Well, Mom and I have an unspoken agreement not talk about it. Eventually, I came out as an atheist…but just to my friends. I still haven’t told my Mom. I don’t mind her knowing I’m gay, but please don’t tell her I’m atheist.
After moving up here in Virginia, I started looking for other atheists, and soon got disenchanted. While they claim to be atheist, they really just seem anti-christian. I’ve come to realization that religion is very hard to change, and not something a simple discussion can do. You’ll stay in your corner, and them in theirs. However, most atheists I’ve met like to tear into Christians specifically. I think that’s pretty simple-minded, because while the majority of the US is christian, they are just annoying. Other religions will kill you for not being part of them.
Well, now I stand alone. A gay atheist, who respects your religion, but wants nothing to do with. And I’ve moved to the point to where now, I’ll tear into a religious bully, whether christian or atheist. I know enough about both sides to smack both people down, although fighting for Christians is much harder. Voltaire once said “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” and if I have to defend people’s right to say “I’m a Christian”, then so be it.