I want them to know where i stand because 99% of them still believe im a Christian and want to let them know im not. Here is what i want to say:
Hello everyone. I don't normally do this, but I've been holding it in for weeks and weeks and this just needs to come out.
As you all may know, I've been a Christian for about 6 years now. I have attended a year of Bible college in St. Paul because I felt like I was called by God to be a minister at one point in my life. I came into church from having a drinking problem in my teens and early adult years and I have always found the church to be my go-to sort of "comfort zone" whenever I have felt troubled. I was always told the Bible was "God's Word" and don't ever question it. I was told that we are the chosen generation. A royal priesthood. That we have been specifically called out by God to find and save as many souls as we can before the end times. I never questioned this type of thinking at all.
If you've gotten this far, it's fair to say that you probably think I'm going to "Thank God for his wonderful goodness" right? Yeah, not even close.
You see, the past few weeks, I have been doing lots of thinking and lots of reading and have come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no good reason for me to believe in ancient bronze age fairytales that have been used by the masses for millennia in order to control people and their fears. I find no good reason to believe in a God that is apparently all-knowing, all-powerful, omni-present, and omniscient and yet can't help all the children of this world who have been torn apart from their mother's arms and drown in a tsunami and then going to be sending all these children to hell because they didn't get baptized or because they prayed to the wrong God, such as the Hindu children that were caught up in the Indian tsunami of 2004. Those children happen to be praying to many different gods such as the monkey God Hanuman and Krishna and according to your own theology, idolatry is a sin that is punishable by death so it's clear to see that all these children are burning in hell for eternity right now. I also see no reason to believe in an old book that has record contradiction after contradiction, happens to support slavery (Exodus 21, Ephesians 6:5), can't find any original copies of any manuscripts only copies of copies of copies and mistranslation after mistranslation, and has been used throughout history in order to justify die-hard immoral acts like the Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials.
I literally could not believe how indoctrinated and brainwashed I really was by this dogmatic set of ideas that Christians like to call "A relationship with God." People always tell us that God helps us "feel comforted" but throughout these last 6 years that I've been a slave to a fairytale to, I have been at the worst of my worst. Nothing but guilt, fear, depression, anxiety, and batshit crazy thinking. I was able to look at instances like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and immediately think "That's ok because this is God's will." According to the National Healthcare centre, about 1,836 people died in Hurricane Katrina. They had families. They had people who loved them dearly. But yet, Christians want to overlook all these innocent people because they believe their imaginary friend willed it.
In conclusion, I am in no way willing to accept that innocent people die, and your God happens to structure these people to die in this way, and we all chalk it off to "God is mysterious, who are we to question him?" Your God is an immoral asshole and nothing you can ever say can change my mind at this point.
If you have made it this far and are thinking about heading to the comment section in order to address my points because you think you're going to re-convert me, don't bother. I am not trying to start an argument or tell Christians that what they believe is nonsense. I'm telling you this is where I stand because I am so sick of hearing you narcissistic sheep try and tell me that I need to live off your own interpretation of an absolute myth (as far as I'm concerned). So you can go ahead and tell me that you're going to pray for me or that I'm headed for the lake of fire in the end times where I will burn in hell for eternity all you want. It's still better than spending an eternity filled with a bunch of brainless religious zealots that seem to be ok with their God torturing everyone else for all eternity.
That last paragraph is going to ruffle feathers - the part where you refer to them as "brainless religious zealots" and "narcissistic sheep". If you want to keep them as friends despite their beliefs? You might want to not call them names.
Just state your beliefs firmly and that you wanted to let them know the change in your life.
Also are there so many that you couldn't let friends know in person? Perhaps the ones who actually matter to you? Just a thought.
I'm afraid this type of post would definitely cause alienation. Because though it might be entirely how you feel? It's a tad angry. (I know that's understandable - but they won't).
It will probably be anti-climatic....most who know you know your beliefs.
Don't expect much reaction.
Be patient and positive with people close to you who will incorporate their best "proselytizing" skills...just be short and polite; wish them well, and move on.
When at family gatherings don't put on a big show...if they want to say prayers...let them. Feel sorry for their suffering.
Penn Jillette has lots of videos and memes on the topic of 'coming out" and switching to atheism. Google the subject and you're sure to see his name pop up.
Richard Dawkins produced a great book called the God Delusion...strongly recommended.
Enjoy your journey in to wisdom, facts, and enlightenment. Stay with us.
Here's a favorite quote of Dawkins that I keep tabbed...
If you think you can handke the conflict, ostracism and everything that could be thrown at you - go for it. But probably better to just ease yourself away a little at a time. You can live comfortably without facebook, twatter, etc .. or just use them to contact friends - real friends you have discourse with, rather than 'followers'. You don't need to be an evangelical atheist - just run your own life as you wish and smile at people - even the baptists - and they will accept you as 'normal'.
If you do this, you'll have tons of messages from well meaning people promising to pray for you, wanting to know why you are mad at god, or chastising you for falling away.
If you do choose to share, I'd be much more succinct, answer only the questions you're comfortable with, and do it in the comments not private messages.
Many companies will now ask to review your Facebook or other social media outlets as part of their review prior to employment. With that fact as measurement, your entry is inappropriate and hazardous to your employability. Right now, atheists are regarded, on average, as worse than Muslims. Maybe it's not in your nature, but, it is unwise to discuss such issues with people unless they have the intellectual flexibility to give real consideration to what you're saying. Such people are extremely rare and you can have this available when you meet them. Beyond that, it's good that you have gotten it out. Now, however, you should undertake the research needed to understand atheism's pluses and minuses, as well as all the other myriad reasons to reject religion. Honestly, the best ones come from science and this can expand your horizons in a way religion cannot.
Kind of long and convoluted; remember - most religious people don't read, as a rule. Keep it short and sweet, and remember you don't owe anyone any explanation for your personal beliefs.
Still, you made some good points, and some bold editing could make your point much more quickly, before you lose their attention.
Your Christain background is showing and you are doing the evangelical thing. Change your religious preference on FB to logic. Realize that people believe what they need to believe and if they approach you about the change preface your comments with I respect your right to believe what ever you believe, please do the same for me.
FB can ruin your job opportunities. Keep it light and be safe.
Why do you need to explain anything to anyone? It sounds more like you are either looking for their permission or trying to convince them to join you. I never made any announcement. I just started posting articles and memes that supported what I believed, learned, discovered, etc. They could then decide for themselves. Ironically, it tends to go right over their heads.
To me, being an athiest is normal as hell, and I have always acted as such and my family knows it. I don't throw it in anyone's face nor try to convert people. I expect and allow people to evolve toward it, although many won't and don't. Not my business. I think my confidence around being an athiest is what bothers people the most, and that I am a good person with high ethical behavior. They don't understand that. being a highly ethical, caring honest person does more to tear down the stereotypes.
If interacting with the members of this site helped you work out the god myth, we are pleased. If not, we are still pleased. Whatever wakes people up from the slumber of religious faith is a good thing. So far as the letter goes; maybe tone down the anger and name-calling a bit. Less is often more.
I wouldn't...no matter what you say, it comes off as putting them down and even with the most logical explanation, there will be little understanding or acceptance...they will get on the defensive if you use the language you shared here...criticizing their beliefs does nothing to amplify yours...
Why do you feel a need to "come out"?
You would be better off telling them that you want to screw your boss...the results would be much better...
A lot of the comments here are about not posting anything your bosses or future employers might see. It is unfortunately practical advice for many, but for me Facebook (or any other platform) hasn't been a place to friend absolutely everyone I meet, and if a company chooses to not hire me due to my religious beliefs or lack of them, or anything else I put on Facebook for that matter, I wouldn't want to work one hour for them. I don't even accept all my managers' connection requests on LinkedIn unless I have a personal rapport with them. I don't believe we should allow or tolerate any creeping we're not comfortable with.
I hope it went/goes well for the OP.
I haven't read all 67 comments before this response but please keep in mind the kind of community you live in. You may be exposing yourself to social isolation or job discrimination. Think carefully of the consequences before announcing your baptism into reason and logic.
It depends on what "coming out" in such a way will bring you, and also what consequences, especially unexpected consequences will come of it. Just recently we had a law upheld where a religious person can choose to not provide a service if they don't agree with your life choices...we are entering into uncharted social circumstances. Under such circumstances, I would make sure you have enough finances and support systems ready before you come out. If you have a primarily religious community, the one from which you cull job offers, reference letters, a friends network, you may not be prepared for not getting that job, or reference letter, or admission, or invitation. An atheist friend of mine who comes from a devout Christian family said this is very real, but I'm not sure because I come from a nonreligious family. It's difficult to know, so ask yourself what is the real benefit and loss to "coming out", what it means to you, and what are the realistic consequences to you and your family, and if you have sufficient nonreligious support systems as well as religious ones. Good luck!
I'm thinking that a full frontal attack on the beliefs of others does no one any good. I have made it clear on FB that I am an atheist, and have lost no friends over it. I did not "come out" and announce my atheism, which does strike me as a bit narcissistic, but rather simply occasionally make comments or posts that start with something like "As an atheist, I believe...", that way I am not attacking their beliefs (which I couldn't care less about), but merely stating my own. Not believing in fairy tales is something that doesn't have to be defended, and I think it is rather bad form to accost and berate those who do believe, UNLESS they try to force their beliefs on you. In my opinion, rabid atheists are just as annoying as rabid theists, even if I do agree with them.
I still like Isaac Asimov's take on the whole thing:
"I prefer rationalism to atheism. The question of God and other objects-of-faith are outside reason and play no part in rationalism, thus you don't have to waste your time in either attacking or defending."