The Purpose-Driven Life: Christians Only

The Purpose-Driven Life consists of six parts: one for each “purpose” as well as an introduction. Today we are looking at Part 3, which is Purpose #2: “You Were Formed for God’s Family.” In the past, I’ve taken each of the seven sub-sections (one for each day of the week) one at a time, but the chapters I read this week all bleed together, so I believe they can be looked at as a whole. They are:

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7 Tips for Closeted Atheist Teenagers

Over the years, I have received a lot of emails and messages from other closeted atheists asking for advice. Most of these messages have been from atheists in high school, wondering what to do in regards to having this secret among Christian friends, parents, and church members. I decided that compiling my advice together could hopefully prove helpful for at least one of my younger readers.

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8 Ways to Build Interfaith Bridges

Last week, I wrote on a talk that I attended at school about the bible and homosexuality. It turns out that that was the first of many talks that I’d be sitting through. This week was a “focus week” of sorts in which my college would have one or two talks per day, and this year’s theme was loving your neighbor. Of course, they were Christian-themed presentations, but some of the ones I went to were surprisingly good. Although they used the bible as a basis instead of common sense and human empathy, they focused on loving and being respectful to your neighbor, which are universal themes that everyone should practice despite their religion or lack thereof. In addition to the talks, I also read an article for a class on “interfaith dialogue”. I was immediately reminded of many of the interfaith—or mostly faith-nonfaith—conversations that occur right here on my blog, in my comments sections and in my email. The different ideas proposed by the speakers and by the author inspired me to compile a list of the best bits of wisdom I gained this week, as well as my own advice. Enjoy!

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Coming out to My Roommates

I may have only started using the term “closet atheist” recently, but I have been a non-Christian living a Christian life for about ten years. During most of my deconversion time, I told myself that never ever in a million years would I ever tell anyone that I wasn’t a Christian. If I had stayed the apathetic nonbeliever that I was in my teens, not really caring one way or another, it might not have been that hard, but the more it becomes an integral part of who you are and how you think, the harder it is to keep private.

I mentioned in my first post that my boyfriend is also an atheist. Until recently, he was the only person that I had ever told. We have been together for a little over three and a half years, and I think that I told him about a year into our relationship. It took a lot of trust because I didn’t know what his beliefs were, but the bubble that I was raised in caused me to almost assume that everyone I came across was a Christian unless they told me otherwise. Back then, I wasn’t using the word “atheist” yet, and I wasn’t too comfortable thinking or talking about it, so when I “came out” to him over the phone, it went a little like this: Read more