Comment from: Barb Black [Visitor]  
Barb Black


I am an atheist too, and have been for well over a decade. I, too, am fine with what anyone else wants to believe, so long as I’m not beaten over the head with it.

Nice to “meet” you! (I kind of stalked you and your blog via Smilin’ Wolf on fb - I’m not creepy, just curious!)

05/20/11 @ 10:00
Comment from: diana [Member]

No worries, Barb. And thanks! Happy to “meet” you too. :)

And never apologize to anyone for reading their blog. ;)


05/20/11 @ 10:21
Comment from: Rene [Visitor]

What were the ideas, questions, problems, inconsistencies or whatever that got you questioning what you had been taught in the first place. You say you lost the ability to believe, but what triggered that?

05/20/11 @ 10:54
Comment from: diana [Member]

Hi, Rene! Welcome to my blog, my friend. :)

I don’t know. That’s just the problem. I realize my narrative got fuzzy at that point, but I really don’t know what triggered my initial lack of belief. I can’t say for certain I ever believed, now that I think about it. I can only say for certain that I understood what was expected of me, and I did it.

The other kids of the congregation–all of them older than I, I think–had “obeyed the gospel” lately, and I knew as much as they. I felt pressure, even though there probably wasn’t any real pressure on me yet. The real pressure doesn’t hit for the born-into-the-COC child until he’s 14 or older. But I felt the pressure. I knew I had to do it. I remember exactly what I was thinking during the sermon, too. I won’t say it here, but it wasn’t about the sermon at all. My mother later commented (within my hearing) that I’d been so attentive during the sermon–she could tell. I was daydreaming. I’d already made up my mind to “go forward” (to confess that I was a sinner and needed to be baptized, etc.) It was something I did because I knew it was expected.

It’s kinda like heterosexuality, really. You may not want it, personally, but you accept it as the only available option and because you know it’s accepted.

Don’t know if that helps.


05/20/11 @ 11:19
Comment from: Jam [Visitor]

I realize that you’re using the name “Satan” in the way that a CoCer would use it, but it makes me uncomfortable. Satan, being the father of lies and the personification of evil, did not exactly “have you by the throat” during this. I would only say Satan led you astray if you left the church for evil reasons. Following your conscience is not evil.

05/20/11 @ 12:04
Comment from: diana [Member]

Interesting, Jamie.

Congrats on your graduation, btw! :) I’m very proud of you!

Fair enough. I am probably using “Satan” in the way a member of the COC would use it.

I’m interested on your take, as an Orthodox Christian, on my devolution into atheism.


05/20/11 @ 12:26
Comment from: Hinermad [Visitor]


I’ll echo Jam/Jamie’s sentiment. We give Satan a lot more credit than is warranted. Most things we do, we do on our own initiative. As a friend of mine used to paraphrase, “…lead us not into temptation, ‘cause we can find it for ourselves.”

Your story sounds like those of several other people I’ve known who gave up what was expected of them in favor of what they thought was best. Most of them I agreed with, a couple I didn’t, but I respected them for making their own choices. You’ve thought it through and did research; that’s more than a lot of people do to back up their decisions. (My respect to your father, too, for encouraging you to do that. That can be a hard thing to say to one’s child, knowing where it may lead.)


05/20/11 @ 13:39
Comment from: Aunt Bann [Visitor]
Aunt Bann

Diana, I have never heard or read a more concise and yet developed treatise about almost anything. But you have always been a really good writer, so I’m not surprised on this one. Thanks for the completeness of your explanation. And I know that you still enjoy hearing (and singing) hymns, even though you don’t believe. And I am proud of you for many reasons, only ONE of which is your skill in writing!

By the way, glad to hear another Barb Black putting her two cents in. (I’m assuming her full name is also Barbara.)

05/20/11 @ 19:11
Comment from: Mila [Visitor]

So, your journey is done? I mean, atheism was your destination, and you’ve reached it?

I think writing your story is a very good idea, and a very good way of reflecting on your progress. I am definitely gonna do the same when I have a little more time.

I am quite sure I’m not done figuring out what I believe yet… and I’m terrified of the word ‘atheist’ applied to myself. I don’t know why; that’s just the way I feel.

One of these days, I’ll send you mine.

05/22/11 @ 15:13
Comment from: Aunt Bann [Visitor]
Aunt Bann

By the way, once I asked your father about his being a preacher. He told me that he was a “worship leader” or something like that. He did NOT use the word minister.

05/22/11 @ 19:50
Comment from: Jam [Visitor]

Thanks. I’m still getting used to this whole graduation thing. Feels like a vacation to me. But I have the diploma here… it even says “magna cum laude” on it and everything.

Anyway, I don’t have a take on your “devolution” atm. Other than that it makes sense to me, even if I do not agree with you. To be honest, the way that the Church of Christ presents Christ and the Gospel is often… rather un-Christian. seems to me. idk. I know there was more to it than that with you. But I don’t know enough to say much at present.

05/25/11 @ 17:24
Comment from: Rick hayslip [Visitor]
Rick hayslip

Hey D.,
WOW! Thanks for that. I found it Enlightening. I am glad to see you still blogging. Still sweating it out in Alabama.

06/03/11 @ 10:36
Comment from: diana [Member]

Hi, Rick! I was just thinking about you a couple of weeks ago. I don’t remember what popped you into my head…maybe just some wonderfully corny joke. :) It did leave me wondering how you are and what you’ve been up to.

Good to hear from you!


06/03/11 @ 21:57
Comment from: Peachy [Visitor]

I know this is a serious subject for you, but I just can’t get comedian Stephen Lynch’s song “My Name is Satan” out of my head every time I hear the Dark Lord’s name. Just makes me smile every time I hear the song.

06/18/11 @ 18:56
Comment from: Jobar [Visitor]

Hi, diana. :)

Just getting around to reading this, from your link at the Cafe.

I’ve long been interested in faith as a personality trait- of course you remember how I kept up the ‘II deconverts’ list. I have to admit that I still have no solid explanation why some of us seem natural-born skeptics, and some natural-born believers. I could say that we doubters are just more curious, but that just bumps the question back one level. So don’t be surprised that you can’t explain exactly why it is that your ‘I believe’ button is broken. In fact, if you ever think of some likely explanation for it, please do tell me about it!

03/06/12 @ 09:04

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