Deconversion stories from The Skeptical Review

Craig Cunningham

Another Familiar Story...

Today, I received my first issue of The Skeptical Review, and found it to be fair and helpful. Until last December, I was the leader of a university student organization for 12 years until I hit the wall and left the ministry. My reasons for leaving began at the heart of my emotions. After spending several summers ministering to Catholic Christians, Muslims, and atheists in Europe and South America, I began to doubt seriously that such people were going to hell. That led to a period of deep depression and questioning, followed by months of study, which led to my rejection of Christianity for moral and rational reasons. Having built my life on Christian beliefs, I now find myself alone in the world. I have lost my closest friends (who feel sorry for me), and the tension this has brought to my family relationships is enormous. I do not want to acknowledge Christmas, and I am finding it difficult to figure out which hills I should die on. They are right in saying that my doubting came as a result of "battle fatigue," but I also believe that suffering is many times the exact agent we need to face reality. It has been only 6 months or so since I gave up trying to reconcile Christianity and all its problems and inconsistencies, but I am still battling depression and I would like to know if you have some suggestions that might be helpful as I try to move on with my life. Thank you very much.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I may overdo the publication of letters like this one, but I like to run them so that those who are in the initial stages of taking a rational look at the Bible can see that what they experience when former "Christian" friends turn against them is usually the rule rather than the exception. What has happened to Mr. Cunningham happened to me, and as past letters to this column have shown, it happens to almost everyone who examines the claims of Christianity and rejects them. For some reason, Christians see the Craig Cunninghams of the world as threats, and in a sense I think they are right. In an age of rapidly increasing knowledge and the technology to transmit it quickly, religion can no longer keep people shackled in ignorance as it could it in the past. Every Craig Cunningham that comes along must make Christians who don't want to think about their beliefs feel insecure. At least something happens to make them angry at those who dare to renounce Christianity.

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