Maybe you have already heard it, maybe you haven’t. A good few months ago I was on The Graceful Atheist Podcast (you can listen to it here). I have known David for a while and I really enjoy our chats when we manage to have them. For this one episode, I managed to tell my story and share the blog with him and the world.
He has such a beautiful way of showing that people outside of religion still love, laugh and care.
It feels bizarre, and it might sound really dumb to you, but my voice is now preserved online for as long as the internet lasts. I keep thinking that there could be a ‘coming back’ from my deconversion, not that I actually want it. I still think about church leadership and the path my life was on. I wonder if it could ever happen now, but that’s insane because as mentioned just now, I don’t want it to happen.
Let’s be honest. If people saw this blog and knew that it was attributed to me and realised that it is an honest reflection of my journey out of faith, I would never be allowed to speak at the front of a church again. I was wondering about this on Sunday, as I was sat there with my wife (supporting her at church), that all these people who kept getting up and sharing what God had done to them and how they were sure of His reality, what would they say if I shared what I honestly thought with them?
It was surreal being on the other end of the podcast. I am so used to listening to people stories in audio form, but for once I managed to honestly reflect and share my own story. I recorded the episode out of hours at work and then realised as I packed down and started to get ready to leave for home that I was shaking, and really scared.
I must have been so nervous whilst we were recording. I didn’t feel nervous though, so what was going on?
Then it hit me.
I suddenly realised what I had known deep down all along, this podcast is a vehicle announcing to the world that Sam is no longer a Christian. It dawned on me that I was sick of hiding in the dark, that I was fading out of friendship groups, tiptoeing around the fact that I no longer had faith.
I decided after recording this podcast, that although I wasn’t going to strictly use it to tell the world I no longer believed, I was going to begin to tell those who asked me face to face that I deconverted. I would start that process with my family and then I would go forwards from there.
I think what will be very interesting is collating all the different responses that come up as I tell people. Sharing them in an anonymous way on here so that you can all see some real-life responses to my deconstruction.
I was going to come out with a big bang on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, private WhatsApp chats and FB groups. But I sought advice from people in some of the groups I am part of, like The Clergy Project, and they convinced me not to do this. The responses seem to be fairly unanimous, and I will post them in a couple of weeks’ time. It’s important for anyone else going through this to do the research before deciding how to come out, and then sticking to the path you choose.
My voice is now online, for as long as the internet is a thing, so possibly a very long time. I am honest, real, candid and I think that as people find out about this podcast and listen to it, they are going to be pissed off. Honesty doesn’t mind showing what is behind closed doors. It doesn’t mind revealing the scars, the cobwebs and the dust.
I need to be really clear about why I did this podcast. I did it for me and I did it for others who have, are or will find themselves unable to stop deconverting. It isn’t a path I chose, but it is it a path that I ended up walking down all the same. So many others will find their feet moving along a road they didn’t predict and couldn’t stop. It’s important we are there to support those who like us, realised their impression of God was a lie.
I will be damned if I don’t tell people how fucking hard it was, but also that there is life on the other side. A sweet, open, real life.
_ Reflection in Feb 2021_
Man, I listened back to this episode today. I cringed the whole way through and felt SO sorry for David having to use that audio on his beautiful podcast.
This has moved on a lot since I wrote this blog post (this one is about 11 months old), I now have my own podcast and was recently on Unbelievable? sharing my story.
It’s strange to see how far things have come without me trying to make them ‘move on’ in any way…
I guess this really is a journey, it’s not a destination.
_End of Blog Blurb_
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It has taken me a few years to get to a place where I am able to share my loss of faith and to start writing about the journey that I am still on for you all. I hope you find it useful.
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Podcast: If you like what you read then you could always check out the podcast ‘When Belief Dies’, it is available on all major podcasting platforms or you can listen/watch via YouTube. I upload and publish via Anchor FM each Wednesday at 7 am. For early access, support me on Patreon.
Grammar, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation: I am massively dyslexic. It has taken me years to get to the level I am currently at with writing and I have done this mainly through reading. I want to be better and ask you, reader, to please forgive any errors in my writing. I hope you notice improvement upon improvement over the coming years.
Time Frame: This blog is roughly twenty-four months behind where I currently am at in my journey out of religion. It’s important to remember that when reading and commenting.
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I’ll see you back here at the same time next week 🙂
When Belief Dies #53 – 'Contours of Hope' with Jim Thring – When Belief Dies
- When Belief Dies #53 – 'Contours of Hope' with Jim Thring
- When Belief Dies #52 – 'An Old Perspective' with John Goldingay
- When Belief Dies #51 – 'Manuscripts and Ancient History' with Bart D. Ehrman
- When Belief Dies #Bonus – 'An Inquisition' with Daniel Kelly & David Ames
- When Belief Dies #50 – 'Magnifying Glasses & Big Pictures' with Esther O'Reilly