I am no longer Covert.

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:

  1. Church became a big part of my life
  2. 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.

Now.

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.

About me.

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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.

In closing.

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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.

41 thoughts on “I am no longer Covert.

    1. Is your family Christian too? Most of my family isn’t Christian anymore, except for my mum.
      Funny you mention that though. When I told some of my believing friends they thought I could still be reined in. They don’t seem to realise that deconversion isn’t something which usually happens overnight.

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      1. My family is what you might call secular Christians. They believe in an “independent relationship” with God and don’t follow the Bible strictly. In my opinion, that’s just lazy Christianity, but to each their own.

        My grandma does go to church devoutly, but I suspect it’s more a social than religious factor for her. She’s gotten older now and her nest is empty. The last child just moved out to start a family and her grandson moved across the island for work.

        None of my friends have really tried to convert me. I don’t have many friends who are believers. Those who are, they tend to not discuss religion with me, because I ultimately either point out they don’t follow their own beliefs or question the beliefs itself.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah yes, i would say my family members who believe are quite similar. It is lazy but for the most part, the more liberal minded Christians aren’t so bad in my book.

        I enjoyed the social aspects of church too, but it also meant taking all the crap that went along with it, which I couldn’t do after a while. If I was visiting church for some special family event or something, I wouldn’t mind too much though.

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      3. Liberal minded Christians are easier to deal with, but they are also not practicing what the Bible says. If they don’t follow the Bible, what’s the point of the religion? 😂

        I didn’t enjoy a single thing about church, not even the social parts. The people at church weren’t the type of people I would have chosen for friends in the secular world. Maybe you had nicer church friends!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It depends on the church. I went to a lot of different churches. Some of them were quite friendly, others? not so much. Much of the friendliness is a facade though, and I dont attend church at all now, not even for social reasons.

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      5. I agree with the saying that it’s a facade. I just call it hypocrisy. 😅 My family was primarily Seventh Day Adventist. That was my paternal side of the family. Weird denomination. They sprang from the Millerite Movement. I have a hard time not considering them a cult.

        My mom was from an Anglican background. They seemed more genuinely nice and laid back.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well as I said in my post, atheism doesn’t define me, it’s just a label which some people might use to describe me. Contrary to what many claim, atheism isn’t a religion or organised belief system, so I’m OK with it for now 😀

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  1. An enthusiastic high five for taking this giant step forward! I believe that coming out publicly is the most powerful and effective thing that non-believers can do to contribute to human progress and evolution. Everyone that comes out inspires others to come out… by showing them that it’s okay to doubt, that they can trust their own hearts and minds, and that there is nothing wrong with them for doing so. Thanks and peace.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Each person walks their own walk. Each person comes to their own conclusions. For some people, like the young lady in “Soul Surfer,” she believed at the age of four or five. For some people, they see, but the world is filled with counter beliefs. For others, it’s when tragedy comes, or more, and they realize their absolute need for our Father in Heaven. With time, many understand the reason God sent His Son, Jesus Christ. Very interestingly, everything I’ve noticed was written in the bible, Jesus Christ explaining.
    This is part of the reason I came to trust in the bible, but I still retain the belief that it must be revealed inside. You see, like you, I’m out there in the world. I observe. I ponder. I wonder. With time, I realize reasons for things. Later, when I read the bible, I’ve come across stories and words from my Savior which shows me, all this was understood long ago. He’s telling people what I’ve observed and understood in the world. Wow! It’s all there.
    Research and intellectual reasoning will get you so far. There is a leap of faith.
    For myself, I wondered about this since I was seven. We hadn’t gone to church so I knew nothing about the gospel. Later, for one year, we went, but I never understood, more interested in playing with friends and other activities. Afterwards, I rarely attended church, but I think this was to my own good. For I came to understand some things, then later, heard pastors and read the bible, “seeing” it there.
    Faith never came easily to me. I don’t know why. I only knew I wanted to know. I only knew that, inwardly, I believed and knew I had a creator, then understanding that God created me and everyone else, then later, understanding why Jesus Christ came for us.
    Intellectually, it may not make sense so some. I believe it depends upon what you’re looking for. Some people may wonder why is there sin. As I understand, we are given free choice, though born in sin. As I understand and believe, if every person was born original, as Adam and Eve, at some point, all of us would have chosen to be gods, which is not possible (You see, the sin is separation from our Father to be our own gods, which is not possible.). Why is this not possible. Because it’s God’s life and understanding in us. It’s His life in us that gives us life. We are a part of Him. He is the truth. He is love. To choose otherwise is to choose other than truth and love, which is why there is so much suffering. We actually choose the suffering without realizing it. But, we have the ability to think for ourselves, reason, and such.
    I learned, in college and as a teacher, what understanding is. Understanding, as I see it, comes from my Father. It’s like “seeing” without knowing how I see. Like suddenly understanding, but I didn’t give that to myself. Where does this understanding come from? I now know, I believe.
    You see, we were born in sin, though it’s still a choice, so we can experience the life of the world, then realize that that’s not it. We experience what it’s like to be in turmoil, which separation from God and faith leads to. Then, when we’ve gone astray long enough, we begin seeking. In seeking, we realize our Father has always been there, waiting patiently for us to accept His love, then returning His love with the love He loved us with. You see, He created us and loves us. But He doesn’t force anything on us. We just learn, without Him and His love, we’re lost at sea.
    So, Jesus Christ, through Whom God created the entire universe and us, knew what we would choose, but had to allow us the choice, for without choice, we can’t choose to love our father with the love He loves us with. You see, we are born created. We don’t have original love. It’s the love we experience, from Him, that we love Him back and share with others. And for many, that hope is everything. Without that hope, for many, life has no reasons. Why all this, all the problems, all the joy, unless everything has a reason?
    And we see the opposing everywhere. People continuing to deny the very One Who made them. And we see evidence everywhere. As the bible explains, to the mind of reason, we know everything was created. From sun rises to sunsets, to babies being born, to understanding the most basic forms of life never could have self-evolved without being created, to realizing people all have the same understanding, to just waking up in the morning, we know.
    Now, some people, for whatever reason, choose otherwise and find their “freedom” in the separation. I’m not sure why this is. They discover a world of freedom in separating themselves from believing in anything greater than them. For some reason, they’re okay with nothing greater than themselves. So, when they die, they only believe their own thoughts. And in their thoughts, they find something that works for them.
    I think, for some, they see the bible as a set of rules designed to make their lives difficult. But that’s actually the complete opposite. The ten commandments, written in the old testament, is based upon the first two commandments: 1) Love God (Your Father Who love you.) and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. You see, we keep wanting our cake and to eat it too. We want to have the things which is not love. We want the sensuality and appetites, thinking this is real freedom. Not realizing we’re really falling farther and farther away from real freedom.
    I asked one relative who believes death is the end. She’s okay with this, believing 85 years would be enough, but tries to help others and be thoughtful in other ways. I asked another relative, who heard this, are you okay with the idea of doing good and at death, you’re never ever alive again, never to be conscious, forever gone. He said he wasn’t okay with that. Later, He went to a church men’s group with me and continues to ponder. He’s had the opportunity to hear the many viewpoints. With time, I think he’s starting to realize there has to be a reason for everything. That he was created.
    Another person said, if the end is the end, then it wouldn’t bother him for he wouldn’t be around to worry. But think about that. You exist, then never again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Intellectual reason and intellect will only get you so far yes, but it’s much further than a leap of blind faith. I really don’t want to be rude but what you’ve told me I’ve heard before millions of times, from different Christians. Likewise, many other atheists have heard the same. Christianity and the Bible falls under its own claims, and no amount of faith will save it.

      You’re welcome to believe what you want, and you are even welcome to visit my blog, but if you’re going to give me a sermon and talk at me like that then please go somewhere else.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW.

    First of all, Hi Ben! And holy shit we are the same person! At least blog-wise! Sorry I didn’t see this until now, but I will turn on post notifications! How wonderful it is the The Closet Atheist and The Covert Atheist are now Rebekah, The Curious Atheist, and Ben, The Liberated Atheist. Wow this is the best thing I’ve seen all day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember you were one of the first people to visit my blog over around two years ago. In many ways our blogs are quite similar LOL, although I’m a bit lazy to read and review lots of books, so I go on hikes instead. It is always awesome to find people who have been in a difficult situation similar to yourself, but it is even better when you both get through it.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Not interested in a gathering (or confab), but real searching. What I understand stands even if everyone else believes differently. Understanding stands whether anyone agrees. Most of my life, I had to seek on my own, and later, realized what the bible shares I had realized long before, just didn’t have the words for it. It’s a matter of what a person is seeking. Real understanding or their own truth, which isn’t truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Real searching means being honest with yourself and others. It means not ignoring your doubts and feelings which make you uncomfortable. Once upon a time I genuinely believed what you did, but not anymore.

      Well if you’re coming here for some ‘real searching’, then I don’t think you will find your answers, whatever that means.

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      1. Real searching and being honest is a lifelong venture. And doubts need to be addressed, which I did. That’s the purpose for seeking: to understand. *Regarding finding real searching on this blog, I never even pondered upon this. I saw an article, read it, and realized others read it as well, and some are truly searching but confused and inundated with mass information, unable to distinguish between real, rhetoric, and disinformation. What I’m sharing with readers is “the world” doesn’t have what you’re looking for. By the world, I mean outside yourself. Yes, if you’re searching, you’ll recognize the honest ones from the others, and with time, you’ll be able to distinguish fact from fiction. But you might have to separate yourself, for a time, from some friends and colleagues, get out of electronic media, and go fishing for awhile where pondering can take place. Then, as you start to “wake up” from mass disinformation, feeling uncomfortable for awhile without the supports, you might start to realize something has been going on your whole life that separates some people from understanding while bringing others to it, depending upon what you’re looking for.

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      2. Never for once did I think you were not telling as you see. Remember, the comments were for readers. You opened the topic of discussion, which as a blog, invites the sharing of experiences and understanding. For opening the discussion, thanks. That allowed sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😉 . It’s a hard thing to do, especially the first few steps. To be honest, I haven’t told everyone, just a few people. But I don’t go to church anymore or even have much involvement with Christians, so i don’t feel the need to.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. One thing I must add. People speak from what they know, understand, believe, or are attempting to sell for whatever reason they have. Though I don’t deserve to sit at the same table as Socrates, for he was a truly brave soul, yet honesty would not let him go. There was another who strongly moved towards atheism, but every thought he had regarding, questions kept demonstrating the error in his thinking, so he had to follow the rabbit down each trail. They always went back to Christianity as I’m finding. All across the spectrum, we see people needing a purpose to live. Whether the purpose is real, or whether the purpose is moving away from the real to prove something, the effort is similar. To have meaning. And this is across humanity. The question is why are we looking for meaning: all of us. And if meaning, what is the true meaning?

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    1. Being honest with myself is what led me away from Christianity. Many of us will never go back to Christianity because we can see it for what it is, not ignoring its misgivings and failed predictions. As for ‘meaning’ and ‘purpose’, I don’t know if life is meant to have a purpose, none of us do. Christianity and other religions claim to know, but they don’t, and they all contradict each other and themselves. I believe your purpose and meaning is what you make it.

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      1. I have a feeling you think I’m writing to you. I’m not. The ideas you are sharing are out there already. I’m sharing to the readers. It’s for those who are on the fence, know there must be something greater than themselves, and are looking to understand. For those who are completely happy not believing in anything greater than themselves I cannot speak. To those not happy, or one day are no longer happy, with being their own god, realizing their must be something more, to those I write.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well I did think you were writing to me, since you were posting on this blog, but I had a suspicion of that. If you want to share your religious ideas/beliefs then do it on your own blog, not mine.

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      3. I do write on my own blog, which you’re welcome to read and learn. I also comment on others’ public forums. That’s what blogs are for. And those who cannot stand to be challenged, more so when they don’t see completely, can find another forum where they can live in their own glass house. Have little get-togethers in the back yard. Or write a book. On blogs, you have to be prepared to hear different opinions and not be so sensitive that it’s not all about you. For me, it’s about the readers.

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      4. Hahaha you know that’s not what I’m talking about. Quit being so disingenuous. You are using my blog as a platform for your own ideas in order to try and dissuade people away from the content which I promote. That’s not being respectful. So you’re saying it’s not about you? hmm. Again, you can share whatever you want on your page,but to do so here may get you blocked. Have a nice day.

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