I had not edited this page since I first began this blog. My mindset has changed a little bit, though not a whole lot, but things need updating from time to time. I thought at first that I would just change it, but now think it more interesting to preserve the original and add my edits in italics. Very self-indulgent, I admit, but it *is* my blog…
Why I No Longer Believe is an account of my journey out of Conservative Evangelical Christianity.
My name is Anthony Toohey. I’m
44 46 years old. I’m joyously married to my high school sweetheart, and have three amazing children. I’m a sales rep, a leader in my local small-town arts community, a sometime soccer coach, and pretty much a regular guy.
For 26 years I was a born again believer. For nearly all of that time I was a Biblical Inerrantist, Young Earth Creationist, Traditional Marriage, Republican voting Christian. During the last few years, some of those things changed before I had the courage to face the overall question.
Despite what some Christians may have you believe, I, and others like me, have lived a genuine born-again, spirit-filled existence. We have put everything we are into living for Jesus. In the final examination, though, we found the faith wanting for many reasons.
I don’t intend this to be a bitter tirade against the faith. I suppose I still don’t intend it to be bitter or a tirade. While I might mostly make good on the tirade part (in my posts at least – in the comments all bets are apparently off) I do find that I am bitter about some things. Self-examination carries with it discovery not only of your own mistakes, but of others’ mistakes and outright wrongs in the perpetuation of delusion. Future posts will explain some of what I mean. In the end, I wish to let go of all bitterness and come to terms with the negative parts of my Christian past. For now, however, I still find myself in discovery mode, and my emotional reactions are simply what they are. When you have lived for 26 years as a believer, most of your closest friends are still Christians, Christians who don’t understand what the heck has happened to you. I still love these people dearly, and they me. I do still, but distance grows as common understanding shrinks and crumbles.
When you have devoted yourself to a vibrant church life, most of your fondest memories are centered around church. I was married in the church, dedicated my three children in the church, honed and developed most of my musical and theatrical abilities in the church, learned to grow up and be a man thanks to my mentors in the church, and many more things.
There is so much in my life that I gained from my time as a Christian that I will appreciate for as long as I live.
How could I then leave, turn my back on everything I believed?
I hope to answer those questions here. I hope my friends who read this will have the courage to examine their faith, and the honesty to understand my conclusions, even if in the end we don’t agree. I hope strangers who are seekers will find a balanced and honest look at issues of faith, philosophy, science, and knowledge, and thoughtfully consider all of the issues involved. And I want to challenge myself, and be challenged, to make sure *I* have taken an honest look at the matter. I’m a lot more sure than I was when I began.
As to what I am now, I suppose I would say I’m
a Buddhist Atheist an Atheist Humanist with an appreciation for much of the philosophy of Buddhism and the value of meditation. If you’re interested in that part of my story, I’m logging that journey at Gentle Dharma. In the end, I don’t want to convert anyone. Actually, yes I do. I’m sorry, but I do. I’ve come to believe that religion is a millstone around the neck of human progress, a hindrance to the betterment of mankind. I want religious people to read this and change their minds, shuffle off the burden of imaginary beings controlling the cosmos, and enter into the present as the only reality we have to depend on and to fulfill. If that costs me a few religious readers, then so be it. In a blog focused on honesty and clear vision, it now seems disingenuous to pretend my goal is anything but what it is. I only want to be open, honest, and forthright, and follow truth wherever it may lead. That, however, is very much the same as it ever was.
Thank you for visiting.