Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Featured | 0 comments

Name: Dietle, Emily


Location: Houston, TX

Organization affiliation: Member of: Freedom From Religion Foundation, American Atheists, Houston Atheists, Center For Inquiry, Secular Student Alliance, Americans United

Label: Atheist, Secular Humanist

Former Religious Affiliation: Protestant Christian (Presbyterian)


 Seven Year Twitch

There was a point in my life that one could label me a Christian; that ended when I was around fifteen.  I was always the questioning type, and after enough years of my inquiries being stifled, I swallowed the religion of my parents.  Rebellious youth kicked in after a while, and no longer was it necessary to be silent with my questions.  I found support in none other than my preacher, who had advised me that I should question everything, even my faith; little did he know what personal journey this mentoring would take me on.

From years fifteen to nineteen, I must have tried every religion, cult, et cetera on for size.  I read the Christian bible cover to cover, 1/3 of the Koran, large chunks of the Torah, multiple ‘sacred’ texts from obscure religions and cults, practiced witchcraft, and played with so many other ideas.  After this flood of exposure to the faiths on Earth, it started to all become meaningless, so I headed to the library to steep myself in the philosophy of the ages.  Thus, came a list so long of books over two years, it would blind you and break your back if taken in at once.  By age twenty three, I considered myself an agnostic.  My level of disbelief only strode so far across the bridge and paused from absolute fear; fear driven in since I was old enough to understand the English language.  For nearly a year after these studies, I tried to think about nothing related to religion, and then simply couldn’t anymore; I just couldn’t push away everything I’d learned from those books and from my own examinations of life, it was all very clear. Since 2004, I’ve considered myself an atheist.

Seven of my years were spent worrying about others’ feelings and hiding my own, daring not to draw too much attention to my own thoughts. It is only through the strength of community that I was able to stretch out my neck and my voice, and I thank everyone who supported me in that journey. If you have been contemplating ‘coming out’ and have concerns about the process reach out online, there are lots of people and organizations that can point you towards the support you need.

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