As a Christian I had a voice. A voice that grew in authority over the years, as I established myself as someone with good Biblical knowledge and the ability to give sound Biblical advice. People listened to me when I spoke and my opinion carried weight even with those who did not agree with my position on a given subject. But, I did have a voice and an avenue to express myself, my beliefs and ideas.
As an atheist, I have yet to find my voice. I have yet to find an avenue where I can express myself, my opinions and ideas freely, as me. And it is frustrating me… it is slowly killing me inside. I am someone who loves to take part in public debate. A person who has opinions about social and political issues facing the world today. But, I haven’t found my new voice yet… and sometimes I wonder if I ever will.
One of the main reasons I struggle with this is because in many ways I am still living the life every ones wants me to live. I am still pretending to be the good Christian guy everyone so desperately wants me to be. I have come out as an atheist to my wife, my parents and brother and sister. But beyond that circle no one knows who I really am. No one knows what I am becoming and where I am growing. Not even my children know who I am and what I believe. The farce continues because once again I am making the choice to keep everyone happy, to not rock the boat, to not do or say anything that will harm those around me.
But what about me? What about the harm it is causing me?
One of the most unhealthy things any person can do is exactly that, to pretend to be someone or something he or she is not. To deny themselves the right to express themselves freely. I am doing exactly that. And it is killing me. The voice that was is dead… and somehow I need to find my voice again. But the fear that I might loose everyone and everything in the process is a real and scary fear.