Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Life as an Undercover Atheist and the Emotional Shock Waves From Going Pulic Over My Atheism

Most of my relatives and friends are Christian fundamentalists. Why are so many of my relatives and friends Christian Fundamentalists? Because I was playing the roles of the Christian fundamentalist, a Christian fundamentalist pastor, and as the President and CEO of a non profit Christian organization.
Through the years of these experiences I was secretly an atheist. My life during these years was one of great depression. I do have a mental illness. I am a Bipolar and I do have Schizo Affective Disorder. However I want to make it clear that my mental illnesses has absolutely nothing to do with me being an atheist. And I want to make it clear that the years I spent playing the role of a Christian fundamentalist while knowing that there is no God or Gods brought added stress and increased my depression.
I know for a fact that there are many members of the clergy who are currently serving as pastors, or in positions of power in denominations. Some of the clergy may be attending Churches while in between positions, or retired clergy who are all secretly atheists. Many undercover atheist serving as members of the clergy fear if their secret of being an atheist were to become public they would find themselves in financial ruin.
It was very difficult for me to come out about my atheism. For 25 years I hid from my wife and family my atheism. When I finally told my wife and my family in 2009 that I have been an undercover atheist for the last 25 years it was very disturbing to my family and friends. According to my wife and family, they all said it was like a very powerful emotional shock wave hitting them. It was not easy for any of us. It took at least a year and a half for my family to adjust to me being an atheist.
I know there are many clergy members who are undercover atheist. You are very afraid of someone finding out and even more afraid of coming out in the open before your family, friends, and the public. As a member of the clergy you know you would loose your income and during these very tough times we now face economically you know finding another job that pays at least as much as you currently make would be extremely difficult.
I quit the clergy and all Christian ministry when I went public about my atheism.
For clergy members who are secret atheists all I can advise you to do is what is best for you. I do not condemn any undercover atheists for continuing to work in the clergy. I do remind you again that coming out public as an atheist is not easy but can be very difficult for you, your family, and friends.
I encourage you as a secret atheist to post your thoughts and concerns. Maybe some of you have already have went public about your atheism. Feel free to post your thoughts.
This is the Undercover Atheist.

Thursday, February 18, 2010