When I had occasion to mention in an email to the daughter of an old friend who was a co-cultist with me in the old Worldwide Church of God and he and his daughter have now devolved back to traditional Christianity, that I was an atheist, she self-righteously wrote back and consigned me to hell if I didn't repent.
The old "intimidate through fear" ploy! If you can't dazzle someone with your supposed billiance, try to baffle them with fearful bullshit.
We no longer correspond, and the father took offense with my blogs (he's an ardent creationist who imagines himself an anthropologist -- a physically blind one yet) has by his own request exited my list of contactees.
I'm certain they both think I'm a bitter, unhappy old curmudgeon who spends his days thinking hateful thoughts -- in short, totally miserable and headed for unimaginable misery when it soon now is going to be all over for me.
Truth is, I've never had a happier, freer, more satisfying existence.
When I was caught up in religion, I thought I was happy but my life was an endless round of tension and concern. As I look back on it, I now see that I was in constant fear of not measuring up and ending up in that horrible "lake of fire."
Day to day life was no picnic either. In the cult, one felt the judgmental eyes of the exalted overseers everywhere and the absolute conviction that whatever they might miss, the great "sky fairy" certainly wouldn't.
By the time all the tithes and offerings were deducted, there wasn't enough left to buy a decent suit of clothes or go out to eat.
A discontented and Judgmental wife made day to day living a literal misery.
Letting that all go and getting my head screwed on a whole lot straighter has changed my life to one of joy and contentment.
My time is now my own as I don’t worry about what day of the week it is when I want to do something. There was no seven-day creation week by any god, so screw the sabbath.
My money is my own as I don’t feel obligated to give a lion’s share of it to sustain the extravagant lifestyles of pompous liars who claim to be the special representatives of that great sky fairy.
My short life is my own as I no longer worry about what is going to happen to me after it’s over and I no longer “search the scriptures” to make sure how I’m living won’t offend the great sky fairy who magically knows the intimate details of the private lives of billions of people and takes personal umbrage about what they do.
In short, all the tension and fear has gone. Every day is full of joy and interest.
Ah, sweet peace!