Spiritual Death

It was recently brought to my attention that some in my family are still mourning my deconversion, which they called a spiritual death and liken it to the pain of a physical death.  It’s been 3 years since I deconverted and at least 2 since my family has known. Two years and some of them are still grieving. Still praying for me to change my mind and come back to God. Still worried that I’m going to hell, forever, to spend an eternity away from them and God.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been rough going in some of my family relationships since my coming out. There are a couple that have not been the same since, but I was a bit surprised that it was still being taken so hard by a few. That they are actually grieving as if someone has died. I guess to them I’m doomed to bad things and they grieve that.

Here’s the thing. No one has even tried to understand what happened. It seems no one really wants to know how I got from Christian to Atheist. No one wants to believe that I was capable of getting there on my own. They have/want to believe that it is someone’s fault and that someone is my husband. Instead of congratulating me on at least thinking about this stuff and researching it, even if they don’t like the results, they have taken the opportunity, when it arises, to tell me how wrong I am. How I could never, ever have been a “true” christian and how I must have never really read the Bible and how I must be hardening my heart and now I can’t hear God.

They often publicly criticize liberals and atheist posting things on stupidbook(facebook) about how the liberals and atheist are trying to take away some christian rights of theirs. Several of them are very fundamental in their thinking and as you can imagine we don’t agree on many things anymore. However, I’m the wrong one, because the Bible tells them they are right and they prayed about it. I’ve tried to explain my position, but they are blind to it and have no interest in looking anywhere but the Bible, christian radio and websites for answers.

So instead of trying to understand me, they grieve me and who I am. They don’t know what to say to me anymore. They don’t respect my views, though I have told them time and again I respect there right to believe how they want as long as they don’t try to force that on me. I’ve asked them time and time again to just respect my right to do the same. Respect my right to live my life as I see fit, to support the things I’m passionate about.

Some of them don’t really seem to know what that means or how to do that so we all seem to keep our distance from each other and the relationships grow further apart.

Religion tearing families apart for centuries.


About theagnosticswife

Living in the bible belt, in middle America, with a once Christian husband who has turned Agnostic. I no longer know what I believe.
This entry was posted in Agnostic, Atheist, Christian, Family, God, Life, Outing Oneself and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Spiritual Death

  1. C says:

    I think the reason they don’t want to know is they they are afraid it could happen to them. After all, if you really were a “true Christian” (just like they claim to be) and you, through logic, decided it didn’t make sense, what’s to keep that from happening to them? Believing in god is easy. It’s accepted and there is a sense of comfort in believing you will see loved ones again after death and there is a higher power who takes care of you like a good father would a child. Realizing that’s not true is downright terrifying. Some people would rather not even entertain the notion.

  2. ... Zoe ~ says:

    Over time it wears one down. You are accommodating them but as you know, there is no room for accommodation from them. I think for me, it is one of the reasons I feel such anger with “religion” . . . it separates. It’s meant to but the religionists all pretend it is about togetherness. It’s not. It never has been.

  3. D'Ma says:

    A lot of my friends are Christians. They have no idea I’ve deconverted. I see right-wing, ultra-conservative, liberal-bashing memes, posts, diatribes in my newsfeed every. single. day. Had I outed myself I might take it personally, as if they were directing them at me. But I haven’t so I know they aren’t. And I know it hasn’t been so terribly long ago that that was me. Coming from this side of things, though, I can see how ridiculous it all is. Throwing out labels, like being a liberal is an insult. No, it’s just another opinion, another point of view. We’re different, thank the gods! I see how narrow and critical and harsh it all is and thank my lucky stars I got out. I don’t agree with every thing liberal and I happen to agree with some conservative views. I take what I want and leave what I don’t.

    As for your family: yikes! One would hope over time that would die down a bit. Maybe it still will. At some point maybe you can all enjoy the moments you know you have together in the here and now.

  4. D'Ma says:

    I just had a really morbid idea. Why don’t you throw a party and invite all the mourners? You could pay them to weep and wail and then have a really big shindig where everybody parties down when they get done mourning.

  5. anothernone says:

    This is one of the reasons I have not been open with my family about my lack of belief. My mom would be the EXACT same way. My hope is that by the time I have the courage to ‘fess up to the family, I will have become more patient and have enough educational ammo on my belt. That is what it is going to take: patience to deal with the tantrums and irrational arguments and education to defend my stance.

    It really shouldn’t be this hard.

    • It should not be this hard, but it is. I wish you the best when/if you tell your mom.

      I didn’t feel educated enough to tell her at the time but it came out anyway. No amount of explaining has seemed to help her understand. It only makes her more angry or upset or sad. I’m not sure which it is or if its all three!

  6. Alice M says:

    Are you an Atheist or Agnostic? Two different beliefs.

    • I’m an agnostic/atheist. I believe that there are more than likely no gods. I live my life as if there are none. That makes me an atheist. However, no one can prove one way or another. That makes me agnostic. Hence agnostic/atheist.

  7. C Dubya says:

    I admire your courage to come out to your family. I still live the lie within myself, and my family doesn’t really know me, nor would accept me if I did. It’s their way or the highway, no acceptance to hear another point of view but they so willingly force theirs on everyone.

    • It was not easy but has become easier with time. Of course it was not without some consequences. Coming out is not easy and it’s a personal thing that has to be decided upon by the one who is doing the coming out.

      I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do and I understand not bring accepted because of it. That’s sad but it’s a reality for a lot of unbelievers.

  8. Tim says:

    Interesting post. You end it by concluding with your final putdown: “Religion tearing families apart for centuries”

    I’m curious why all the blame is on religion and none on atheism. Why isnt it “Atheism tearing families apart for centuries” ?

    It would seem that since the overwhelming majority of Americans do believe in God, that IF we are going to hold anyone responsible for ‘breaking unity’ it should be the one in the minority.

    Actually I dont think its necessary to point a finger of blame at anyone specifically but at all of us, but IF we do it doesnt it make sense to trace the disunity not to the majority but to the minority?

    This is what I see in atheism as I talk to atheists, a lot of self righteousness. ( Not that you wont see it among Christians because you will) But there just seems to be the same tendency among atheists, the very thing they often criticize Christians for. Nothing is ever their fault, its all religion’s fault. Their atheism seems to be more about criticizing their former faith than anything else, and all the evils of the world get blamed on religion.

    As a Christian, I look at it this way: evil is in the world because everyone is a sinner. Even if there were no atheists in the world, there would still be sin. So I dont lay the blame for all the evil in the world on atheists.

    • I certainly do not lay blame for all the evil in the world on Christians or any religion for that matter. Do I think that those beliefs can lead to evil deeds? Yes I do. I do not believe we are dirty sinners only humans that are sometimes terribly flawed.

      I blame religion, because it is religion that has made not only my family, but many believers feel they have the right to try to dictate how I should live my life. Telling me what will happen to me, where I will go and why I should or shouldn’t live the way I do. I may be the minority right now, but being the majority does not make you right. The burden of proof that a god exists is on the believer. Not to mention the Bible has many verses on division of family.

      Matthew 10:35 – For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

      Luke 12:51 – 12:53

      51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

      52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

      53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

      Matthew 10:34 – Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

      As far as atheist being self righteous, of course there are self righteous atheist, along with Christians and Hindus and Muslims. However, that does not make us all that way. What seems to be the big issue with Christians and atheist is that Christians do not seem to understand that they are not the lawmakers of the world. Not everyone believes the same thing. Just because you believe it does not make it so and therefor should not be forced onto others, because the book you believe in says it’s so. You generally do not hear unbelievers telling believers how they should live their lives. We do not have a book that dictates what we can and cannot do, with that said we still have morals and still care very much for others and do not like to see someone hurt.

  9. Tim says:

    thanks for your reply, my friend. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I’m sure you are busy as we all are, and I’m glad you took a few moments to share your additional thoughts.

    You say that Christians ‘think they are the lawmakers of the world’. I think we should be honest and admit that SOMEONE is always going to make rules and laws for a society, correct?

    So its not “should we have lawmakers or should we not?” but instead ‘what is the basis for just and fair lawmaking?’

    Historically, over the long haul the Christian nations (i.e. nations that are primarily populated by Christians — European nations and America primarily) have produced more political freedom, more social freedom, more economic freedom and more intellectual freedom for more people and more classes of people, than nations that were not primarily populated by Christians. Its a historical fact. Nations that reject God or Christianity (i.e. atheist nations such as Soviet Russia, Communist China and the like) quickly deteriorate into totalitarianism.

    So who would you RATHER have making laws for you, because SOMEONE will be making them. Dont kid yourself that they wont.

    Take care, I hope you’re having a really good evening.

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