Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(1205)

Jan 30, 2013

hi Richard,

I can't credit you for my deconversion from Christianity- I did that, all by myself, aged 15. However, I can credit you for being a huge influence in my “deconversion” from theism.

For a number of years after my rejection of Christianity that I remained a stauch atheist. In my early twenties, one being faced with some of the less pleasant aspects of life, I looked to spirituality for comfort. For a few years I held what might be called a pantheistic view of the universe, but somehow this view slowly evolved into Theism. Actually, “somehow” isn't accurate; it was in large part due to my respect for personal development “guru” Anthony Robbins, and his influence on my life. I once heard Robbins ask a depressed lady in his seminar whether she believed in God. When she said that she did not believe in god he replied “maybe that's why your depressed”. I cringe when I look back on it, but I'm ashamed to say that I actually joined in with the applause that greeted this statement.

For a few years I actually attended a liberal Christian church, not because I bought into Christian dogma, but because it kept my grandmother happy, and I could ignore the “Jesus is God” nonsense, and as a theist I could still get something out the services. I soon realised, though, that ultimately my going along to keep someone else happy was not a good enough reason to continue going,

A few years ago, when I met my fiance, I was a theist, who saw Christianity as benign, and she was a member of an evangelical church. Little did either of us realise that our getting together would cause both of us to become a hell of a lot less religious (not to mention, cause a lot of arguments on the subject).

When I picked up The God Delusion, I was looking forward to reading it, but I honestly didn't think you would change my mind on a damned thing. The funny thing was, reading the book caused me to begin to feel very uncomfortable indeed about my theism. For a few months I struggled to maintain a theistic view of the world. It was quite an uncomfortable period for me because I realised that I simply wasn't comfortable with my own belief in a God. The only real reason that I had kept a theistic worldview for a number of years is that I had never exposed it to any criticism: Reading your book started the process of my becoming a non-theist, and I would like to thank you for that. The world makes a lot more sense as a non-theist, and I have a lot more peace of mind.

Gladly, neither my fiance or I attend church these days, and the more I focus on the issue the more radically secular my outlook becomes.

Thankyou for causing me to be honest with myself and have integrity in my beliefs.

Best wishes

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