Appreciation for the Example of “Godless in Dixie” – Letters to my Daughters

I recently came across the blog from Godless in Dixie, and specifically the section entitled “Letters to My Daughters“. godless-in-dixie

In his letters, he shares his love, his fears, and his hopes for his daughters who (at the time of writing), didn’t yet know that he was no longer a Christian. For reasons that he touches on in his blog, this truth needed to be  hidden and when the time is right, he hopes that his letters will be helpful to their understanding of why their father left Christianity after 20 years of being an active believer.

I appreciate his example in this regard, and it has planted a seed for me to consider doing something similar. Unfortunately, I have two older daughters and for reasons I can’t disclose yet, I don’t have much contact with my daughters at this time and it breaks my heart.

Many people may not realize how hated and isolated a new skeptic/agnostic/atheist can feel, especially in regard to family and friends. I am still “in the closet” toward most of my family and friends, but I am mentally and emotionally preparing myself for those future conversations. Being a skeptic (i.e. choosing to follow reason and evidence ) can carry some truly gut wrenching consequences when you are surrounded by evangelical fundamentalists, especially when you live in the Bible Belt area of the southern United States.

What’s a fellow to do?

 

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4 thoughts on “Appreciation for the Example of “Godless in Dixie” – Letters to my Daughters

  1. I admire what you’re doing with this blog and I am grateful for the similarities your story has with mine.

    I haven’t shared my recent “deconversion” with my parents and most people in my church. My best friend has no clue (other than I’ve stopped attending church) and still ask’s me to pray for him from time to time. It’s been a very difficult period in my life as I’ve come to realize how shallow my relationships are without the common bond of Christianity.

    My wife knows the full extent of my “disbelief” and still loves me. If she didn’t, I don’t know how I could continue on. She is still a committed Christian though which has definitely brought challenges to our relationship. I’m struggling with her blind faith and commitment to something that for me has become so illogical.

    My kids don’t know anything other than I only go to church if they’re going to be on stage. I still pray with them at bedtime, or rather they pray and I listen. I like the insight it provides into what happened during their day and what they found important or memorable. We still pray at the dinner table too though I find that annoying, thanking God for the food I bought and paid for.

    But on a whole, while I like my new found freedom, it is lonely.

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    • Thanks Doug. I too have been encouraged in meeting and communicating with others that share a similar story. I’m grateful for meeting several via meetup.com in my area that are under a skeptic/agnostic/atheist label. I’m very grateful for my relationship with Renee too, who shares the same worldview. I can only imagine the difficulties you experience. A video I saw recently that might be interesting to you, even though its about a married couple who were/are Mormons, is entitled “Our marriage survived a crisis of faith”.

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  2. That video is relevant and really spoke to me. I’m still coming to grips with loving my wife regardless of what she believes but I have always believed that love is a choice and I am choosing to continue loving her as she is now, without expectation of change.

    It’s harder with my kids though. One of the catalysts in my deconversion was the realization that most people believe what they were taught when they were young. Muslims raise Muslims, Mormons raise Mormons, Christians raise Christians and so on. Parents don’t say to their children “you’re 18, go choose a religion”. So if we believe what we are born into then where is the choice?

    If I want my kids to be truly free to choose what they believe, then am I supposed to let them discover it on their own, or at least present all “options” equally and neutrally? As a Christian that doesn’t fly. But now as budding atheist it still seems wrong, I should be encouraging them to pursue reason and evidence. Of course I should, but that comes into conflict with what my wife believes and how she wants to raise our children.

    Anyway, sorry to hijack your post…

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    • I truly appreciate your comments, Doug. And I know what you mean about the difficulty in raising kids to be critical thinkers, and it must be really hard to be in disagreement with a loved one (or a spouse) on all of that. We still have one at home who is a very young teenager and she has lightly embraced Christianity and we contemplate about how to get her to think rationally and critically without condemning her current beliefs. It’s not easy. I still wish these kids came with well-written owners manuals. 😉

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