Thursday, January 5, 2012

#51- The New Atheist

In August of 2009 I declared myself to be an atheist.  I felt that I had injured my chances to date many women.  I knew that religion was going to come up in any serious conversation and being a non-believer could potentially be a show stopper.

After posting that I attended an atheist meetup on Facebook and old high school girlfriend responded positively to the posting.  That was the only positive reinforcement that I got during that time.

During my journey to atheism I had a friend who became Muslim.  He and I became friends when I showed him some disturbing and racist quotes attributed to Jesus.  His conversion took me by surprise but I supported him.  I expressed concern that he would may be killed if he tried to leave Islam.  I also was weary of Islam affecting our relationship in a negative way.

I told him that I had lost faith in God and was an atheist.  He took it relatively well but he introduced me to some knowledgeable Muslim guys who did a good job of explaining the reason for their faith.  Eventually he told me that it was time to really consider the consequence of my decision and to read the Quran so that I could learn the truth of Islam for myself.  He knew that I was plenty familiar with Islam but he challenged me and I accepted.

Something must have been in the air because another friend from my former church gave me another dire admonition to reconsider the danger I was putting my self or my soul in by leaving Christianity.  Listening to him hurt me.  He sounded equally disturbed, concerned, condescending, angry, saddened, stern, and betrayed.  I happened to be at a Starbucks reading the Quran when I got that phone call from him.  He knew that I had done a lot of reading and that I was not afraid to probe the queries that I found interesting and worth while.  He sounded like I went too far and gave the impression that I was in imminent danger.

I bit my tongue and submitted to him.  I did this because I know he meant well but I wanted to rebut him with the knowledge, logic, and rhetorical skills that I had acquired.  It was the kind of phone call that is symptomatic of a break up.  I new that our relationship would never be the same and it hasn't been since.

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