I first started blogging back in April 2017. Back then, I was outwardly Christian, and I regularly attended church. The problem was, I no longer believed in the religion which I once embraced; I hadn’t believed in it for years. In fact, I decided I no longer wanted to be a part of it all – it just didn’t make sense to me anymore (to say the very least). However, I realised that leaving my religion wouldn’t be easy for me, or without consequence, for two main reasons:
- Church became a big part of my life
- Most of my friends were Christian
So what did I do? I created this blog, The Covert Atheist. Here I could freely express my feelings about Christianity, and religion in general, while remaining anonymous. Since then, my blog has also diversified a little to also include some of my hobbies such as hiking and travel.
In the last 2.5 years my situation has changed significantly. For starters, I have told some friends and family that I’m no longer Christian anymore. Secondly, I no longer attend church anymore, in fact the last time I set foot in a church was in April 2018. Finally, I don’t live with Christians anymore. I should probably clarify that last one: I didn’t move to get away from them, it just so worked out that way that my new flatmates aren’t Christian. I am still on good terms with my former flatmate. So in light of all that, it just doesn’t make any sense to continue to stay in the (religious) closet, or call myself The Covert Atheist online. I’m surprised I stayed hidden for so long when I probably didn’t need to.
So what about the future of this blog?
I don’t plan to change the content of this blog, at least not now. I will still write about religion and my hiking adventures. What it will mean is that I no longer need to worry so much about being anonymous online, at least to a point anyway. I have decided to change the name of this blog to The Liberated Atheist. Originally I wanted to use the name Illuminated Atheist, but then I saw that this name was taken already. So instead I came up with ‘Liberated’. I got the idea from reading a bit of Plato’s Cave, and I felt like my experience of transitioning from religion to atheism was akin to the prisoners being freed from the cave. I’ll write about this in more detail later.
How did ‘coming out’ go?
At the start of this year, I said I’d write about more of my ‘coming out’ adventures. I have written about some here and here. The gist of it is, things went fine, despite some initial opposition and desire to debate my heathen beliefs out of me. I can’t vouch for the same outcome for you though, if you’re a closet atheist. There are many people I know whom I haven’t told about my atheist beliefs. Why? Simply put, I didn’t feel the need to. I am essentially taking a neutral position when it comes to sharing my (lack of) religious beliefs. If the situation comes up, or I feel a bit cornered, then yeah, I will bring it up, otherwise I won’t. Since I don’t go to church anymore or even see much of my Christian friends, the topic just doesn’t come up. When it comes to atheism, I look at it like this: becoming an atheist was an important part of my life, but it doesn’t define me. All it is, is the lack of belief in a God – nothing more or less. If you like to be defined by it, go ahead… I’m happy for you.
Here’s a picture of me! This was when I got to the finish line of a half-marathon. I actually uploaded this picture ages ago, but without anyone knowing it was me, ha! OK so what is there to say about me?
I’m a Kiwi. I studied a Master of Earth Science at university, and since then I have worked at research institutes and laboratories. As for my hobbies, I enjoy hiking, running, and playing various board games (no not Monopoly!). I used to play a lot of video games too, although that is taking a bit of a backseat now.
I am going to continue to blog, but not as a closeted atheist anymore. If you are a closeted atheist/agnostic and are not sure what to do, then I encourage you to also write about your experiences and issues. You may not realise, but there is a whole community of like-minded individuals out there too.
Goodbye for now.
Ben – The Liberated Atheist.