Friday, December 3, 2010

I De-Converted Someone (12/28/2008)

This was originally posted on a horrible site called Myspace. When Myspace underwent a redesign in Fall 2010, hundreds of insightful reader comments that had been left over the years were lost. I have since deleted my account there.

Update: I borrowed one of the ideas from Derek's letter for a line in my new video, "A Christian Meets The Invisible Pink Unicorn."

My intention in making my series of YouTube satires is not to directly turn Christians into non-Christians, but rather to embolden other nonbelievers to speak up and be heard -- in a way, to pass on the effect Sam Harris's book Letter to a Christian Nation had on me. To realize, as Bill Maher puts it, that "we're not the crazy ones." Still, I occasionally get notes from former Evangelicals who say I had a hand in helping them give up their faith. The following is one of the best and most gratifying examples:

Hello Mr. Current. My name's Derek, a 19-year-old student. Let me tell you a bit about my childhood. I was raised a devout Christian. I attended church every week, went to Christian concerts, handed out pamphlets, wore a cross around my neck -- the whole deal. I believed that the earth was 6,000 years old and that the Grand Canyon was caused by the great flood. As I grew older, I realized that I had a gift of reason that most of my friends and family did not possess. I started to notice flaws within my belief system -- flaws that I could not explain. Since my faith in God was so strong, I merely began to view religion more liberally, drawing on the teachings of Buddha and Hindu deities in addition to those of Moses and Jesus. However, this did not satisfy my mind, and I spent so many nights crying and praying to God that he would show himself to me. Ultimately, I broke completely from the faith I had grown up with. I began to research science -- biology and physics -- to gain a more thorough and accurate understanding of the world. I read the works of Darwin, Hawking, Einstein, and Dawkins, and everything became clear to me. I finally learned to push the deadly concept of god from my mind, and it is the greatest thing I have ever done for myself. I truly appreciate the amazing and awe-inspiring universe that wholly consumes and belittles us. I now realize that I am not separate from nature -- I am a part of it, like every other living organism. I finally take full responsibility for my misdoings towards others instead of justifying it in bed at night by saying I am forgiven by some omnipresent (yet persistently elusive) father figure. In short, I have really never felt happier.

The catalyst for all this -- the driving force that started this snowball enlightenment -- was you, Mr. Current. I found one of your videos over a year ago on YouTube while looking for something quite the opposite. Although I didn't agree with your message, I was entertained and eventually watched all of them. Your take interested me deeply, and it helped me to find some solid ground when everything else was shaky. For that, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am a strong atheist, and I don't know if I could have done it if it wasn't for you.



  1. Ditto on this one, Eddie. I am a 22 year old jewish grad student, and though I value my jewish heritage and culture highly, I just can't really accept that he exists in my heart, and it was your videos that convinced me that I could keep my culture and follow the logic.

  2. I was also raised as a devout christian, and I almost became a pastor. When my teachers are lecturing something which is against the bible I'm just letting their words pass my ear.

    I was living before at the home of a Pastor so he could teach me more about God and follow his steps. When I'm already 16 I started to become more curious,since my Father is no longer with me to tell me that scientists are liar, that evolution is a stupid theory, that I should not test God. But I feel so unsatisfied with what I am.

    I started to realize that I was like a robot and my father was the controller. then what I did is I tried not to believe in everything I already believe in and search for the real thing.

    Scientific method helped me a lot, After few months of being so depressed I become a strong Atheist.

    The problem is that I was living in a Pastor's home. I talked to them but I didn't tell the truth why I am leaving their house. My pastor looks like smells what's going on, he told me not to believe in everything I've read. I agree(in my mind) that's why I'm leaving.

    They could no longer hold me since I'm too desperate to leave my programmed ways before. I told no one about the reason.

    My father is still a fundamentalist christian. It would be a hell for me if they will know. But I'm happy cause I'm satisfied now.

  3. And now from a rational atheist for 90% of life I am now a full fledged bible bashing Christian and the world makes more sense this way. I wasn’t brought up in a Christian way far from it,i used to be the playground bully calling kids who went to church i was the one who spent Sunday mornings recovering from hangovers, i was the one who had the exact same arguments as you with Christians until i had a revelation that God was real and is with us now. You could say a modern day Paul!

    This is probably music to your ears and you have heard it before - so if you have heard it before why does it happen?

  4. Why does it happen? Because some people are confused and scared by a complex world. Living a finite life in a world of chaos is easier for them to handle if it's more like a big bedtime story, where there's a good God and a bad Devil, and everyone who follows the good God lives happily ever after. That's why.

  5. I too, grew up in a very Catholic home. My grandmother believed in the bible. However, my Mom was a little better, she believed in god for personal reasons. But, she did not make me go to church. The one main thing that she did teach me was compassion. I had gone through a bit of discrimination myself as an ADHD child, and a woman. Growing up, I falsely believed that the non-believers were the only ones discriminating, and not bible believing Christian would ever do such a thing. However, as I grew older I realized the opposite was true. Yes, many non-believers discriminated. However, Many Christians also discriminate. I started shaking my beliefs in high school. However, I never put a name to my 'beliefs' until now-Atheist. Because I can not believe that a divine work can condone abusing your children and your wife, along with discrimination, and other horrible things. I know, the bible is usually not taken literally. However, I can't fathom a god that would create gays and lesbians and then hate them. So, my compassion was what really drove me to be a non-believer.