Check out my latest article for African Americans For Humanism, "CME Atheists," which details my apprehension about going to church for Mother's Day. Here's a little excerpt:
"Before my mother's invitation, the last time I'd entered a sanctuary was back in January, when I played my last Sunday service for a church I'd been working at as a musician for almost a decade. Leaving had not been easy; two months before that I I had to tell the pastor I was quitting...during the work week I'd feel calm and secure about my decision, and do a mental repeat of the reasons I was quitting both the job and church for good.
But every time choir rehearsal and youth Sunday rolled around, a heady mix of emotions would come over me--fear I might be wrong, sadness and guilt at the thought of leaving them without a replacement, uncertainty about what I do with my Sundays or with my life, feeling stupid that I'd turned down a raise--and I'd fall apart.
The following months [after I left church] were spent trying to adjust to a new, post-Christian life: learning the joys of sleeping in, seeing a movie or taking a walk on Sunday mornings sans guilt, as well as the frustration of trying and failing, at least outside of online interaction, to find like-minded souls to share my experiences with... now just as my life had calmed down and I was slipping into a new normal, my mother dropped this bomb on me."