Ben and Ang have been married for seventeen years. They met as tender home-schooled church-kids. They married young, and the church’s “formula” worked well for a while.
They were mostly happy and went on to have kids of their own. But little things from childhood would pop up now and then—purity culture shame, fear of emotions, fear of the end of the world…
In June of 2016, the shooting at Pulse nightclub “broke” Ang, and she knew she had to find a different way forward. By 2017, they both were out of church—Ben trying to save their marriage; Ang trying to save herself.
Now, Ben and Ang are navigating a new and more intimate life together. They’re both agnostic, defining agnosticism a little differently from one another, but they both agree—this life is most important, and it must be lived to the fullest!
“If I have any religion, my religion is Empathy.”—ANG
“I went from thinking that religion was a kind and helpful tool that could get you through life to very terrified.”—ANG
“If it wasn’t for [Ang] going through [her own journey], I would probably still be at the same church doing the exact same thing I’ve been doing my whole life because that’s all I know.”
“That’s part of the design of a lot of modern-day religion. They don’t want you to ask questions because then you might not want to go anymore.”—BEN
“…it wasn’t that I wanted to stop believing. It was that I wanted to save myself.”—ANG
“I made a choice—even if it meant my salvation, and it did—I said, ‘I choose to live right now.’ I had to save my own life.”—ANG
“We love our Sundays!”—BEN
“We love Sundays. I feel more at peace now on a hike in the woods than I ever felt in a church.”—ANG
“There’s this ‘church formula’ where if you do this, this, this and this, your life’s going to be great and everything’s going to be wonderful. We were doing all those things, but we were struggling…”—BEN
“To step back and look at it from the outside, you can really see that things aren’t how [the Church portrays] it to be.”—BEN
“They either sell you on the promise of a great life and a great eternity in heaven or they try to scare you with an eternity in hell.”—BEN
“In my little mind, I thought, If they can’t see me; they can’t hurt me.”—ANG
“…gray is my favorite color because life is in the gray. It’s not all black and it’s not all white.”—ANG
Join the Deconversion Anonymous Facebook group!
“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats