A non-believer's lament...
My easy-believing, non-critical thinking, funamentalist southern baptist bride of 20 years :-), the absolute love of my life, has, in the last few years, undergone a radical spiritual transformation. She is now toying with atheism.
Along the way, I rejoiced, considering my own spiritual location as a long-time thorough-going “non-believer”, an agnostic on god and classically skeptic on the christian enterprise. After all, she was heading my direction. It was joyous, our being more on the “same page” spiritually than we had ever been. But now she seems to have just kept galloping right on by, and I find myself uneasy with it.
My question for OST regulars is, “Why?” Considering my own journey, the idea shouldn’t trouble me in the least…
The atheist (…at least softer atheist…) position is extremely persuasive in my opinion - always has been. I’ve found myself sympathetic to it for a very long time. My agnosticism would be the most glaring evidential affirmation of this. I have experienced the frustration many times of engaging in conversation, mostly online, with this type of non-proselytizing, thoughtful atheist, and coming up on the short end of the stick.
In spite of this, I have never been quite able to stake the atheist claim for myself - like Spong (http://www.johnshelbyspong.com/publicsite/index.aspx) and Brinsmead (http://www.bobbrinsmead.com/t_archive.html) and Morwood(http://www.morwood.org/front.html) and others who have influenced me greatly, I find myself interminably nagged by that hope for “something more”…
And not only that, there’s also the this-worldly view of god I hold dear. This special marital bond and the purity of the life, love, and being ensconced there, divine in fact (ala Spong) - the human one, jesus, aka jba (joshua ben adam - ala Brinsmead), and how it is in the mundane ordinariness of human relating that we experience anything resembling a divine presence (ala Morwood) - or how along those same lines jba himself debunked the vertical relationship altogether (Brinsmead again).
All of this is a very shorthand way of describing where I have travelled spiritually thoughout my whole life - and somehow must be feeding the fear I feel - a fear that atheism, if taken in a certain direction and in a certain way, leads to the de-spiritualization of everything - including our human relating.
So, in addition to the “Why?”, I also want to know, “What?” What do I do to alleviate these fears? What do I say in conversations with her that will deal with the fears healthily?
p.s…, I wasn’t going to post this, since I in no way feel up to the intellectual standard of Andrew and the regulars here, but I’ve enoticed from some recent postings by John Doyle and Peter Wilkinson that OST seems to be experiencing a rather sharp slowdown in traffic. In light of that, maybe a little different twist from someone new [but old :-)] will be okay this once…