I came out of the closet as an atheist long ago. And while some might say “big deal”, here in the deepest recesses of the bible belt, surrounded by the belief that Atheism=Satanism, it actually is a pretty big deal. The stigma attached to the word atheism in this neck of the woods is pervasive, and those branded with it are looked upon with contempt. Depending on the circles you keep, coming out atheist in this area could be very similar to coming out homosexual. Both are seen as being (to about the same degree) socially unacceptable and morally reprehensible by an overwhelming majority of the population. Which is why many atheists around here are at church every time the doors are open.

I say this only to paint you a picture. Some people who are just acquaintances of mine may not yet know that I’m an atheist. I mean, while I have “outed” myself, I don’t run around shouting it from the rooftops every chance I get! Moreover, I would consider it more than a little likely that many people reading this blog don’t even know who I am, thus some backstory was needed. At any rate, now that we’ve got the big stuff out of the way (Hi, my name is Josh, and I’m an atheist), let’s get to the reason for this series of posts…

The Promise

My mom believes (or perhaps only hopes) that by me thoroughly reading the Bible, it will change my opinion of (or rather, my non-belief in) God. Based on conversation with them, I suspect that my brother and his wife hold much the same idea. I understand that to people of faith it is important to sow the seeds of faith in others. Especially in those you love and care for. I guess I’m just more than a little skeptical of the whole idea. However, in an effort to appease my mother, and as an olive branch to my siblings, I have promised to read the Bible cover to cover. Not only will I read it, but I will study it. I will take the time to try and truly understand it, rather than just ingesting the words on the page.

This blog post series is one way I intend to keep track of my progress. Additionally, I will be making notes as I come upon something that doesn’t make sense (logically) or something that I simply don’t understand. I promised my mom that I would keep an open mind during this undertaking, and I will. However, reading the bible with an open mind is in large part to blame for my fall from grace in the first place…

  • Donna Jones

    I look forward to sharing this journey with you. I love you, my dear son!

    • Josh

      I love you too, mom. Although, I think I’m more worried about this series damaging your faith rather than helping me to find my own.