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When it is hard to leave faith

December 8, 2013

Neil Carter describes how he wrestled with his own loss of faith:

If your marriage was not built upon a shared passion for a common set of religious beliefs then you have no idea how painful it can be to honestly grapple with your own intellectual questions. You see the issues. You know they are there. But you just can’t keep looking at them because if you do, your life as you know it could soon be over. So you stuff your questions down. You try to forget about them. Or maybe you take them out every once in a while and wrestle some with them (as I did on occasion) but whenever you reach that point wherein the most logical conclusion would be to say, “This is all nonsense,” you have to stop. You have to. If you don’t, the cost will be too high, and you know it.

For some of us, any social impediment was irrelevant next to the intellectual issue. But I don’t doubt the difficulty others faced. I suspect that has less to do with place, blue state vs. red state, than it does with how that would affect familial and social ties, varying from person to person. And with age. I think we’re lucky, those of us who left religion behind as young adults, when we were socially more footloose.

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