Hello and welcome. Call me Defaithed. Male, 40-ish, American. (Not that any of those matter.)
The writings to follow have been a long time in coming. A really long time – over 20 years. There'll be a lot to say.
After so many years of having "lost the faith", I think the first public writing I've done on the topic – i.e., outside of private communications with friends/family – was a few comments in an article on the Richard Dawkins web site, Two Ex-Jehovah Witnesses to Tell Why They Became Atheists. Look there for comments by "defaithed"; that's me. An excerpt by way of self-introduction:
I guess I was one of those [religioned] kids who always had doubts but suppressed that voice. (After all, He can even read your mind...) I'd see the "map" in one of the books (I forget which) that innocently plopped a dinosaur (Plateosaur-looking, IIRC) among ancient peoples. So did this mean dinosaurs lived with people? And nobody really had a clear answer; it was firmly in "don't think or ask about it too much" territory. Then there were the eating conditions in "paradise": if we wouldn't be eating meat any more, what about fish? No more shrimp, even? "Don't worry, it's all part of the plan and will get worked out. Concentrate on what's important here and now..."
Therein are the two threads of upcoming posts: 1) Having and then leaving "faith" (yes, Jehovah's Witness, but the brand name isn't important); and 2) Finding freedom to pursue a supressed fascination with science (or should I simply say "with reality"?).
Finding that freedom too late, alas, to have actually become a scientist. Hence my subtitle, "a layman's journey from religion to reason". I'm no practicing scientist, but that doesn't stop me from following its ideals and methods wherever I can. (And by the by, I'm no theologian either, so I'm a layman there too. Whatever a theology layman is.)
Lots to say. But even when poking fun at faith, I'll do so without bitterness. (Bitterness over my case, that is; there's plenty to dislike about what faith still does to those caught in it, especially kids.) Well, I do feel some anger and disgust; no question about that. I've got young kids, and I feel like fightin' when I see the religious nonsense that still taints schools, government, and society in general. But I also see a swelling tidal wave of sense that's knocking popes and preachers onto their cans; that gives me great hope.
The land of reason is a great place, and I'm loving every day in it.