to all the recent de-converts

You have landed at the right place. Congratulations. Let it be known right here that I am poor letter writer. In fact, I am a poor writer of anything. Well, I can write my name well and there are other books that I have been told I write well too, but that’s a story for another day.

You are thinking that you have just discovered what other people seem not to have realized, the futility of religious belief. Be rest assured that you join a long list of former religious believers. What you might discover though, depending on where you live, that there maybe no one for miles who shares the same view of the world as you do. Don’t be discouraged. Just as each man dies their own death, you must make this walk alone.

Your religious friends or relatives if they are the studious types will send you a lot of literature to read just in case you were led to unbelief by reading some wrong book. Now look here, life is short, don’t waste it reading Lee Strobel unless for entertainment. Read poetry. Read great novels, that is, if you have the time. Many people who deconvert only know of the books by Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Hitchens and Hirsi. I am here to tell you there is a wealth of books that are much more entertaining but are less popular. Their authors marketing departments didn’t do a good job at popularizing them.

Many of those who are leaving religion today are young people. It is my advise to you that you should read the mood at your homes or workplaces. Will your employer keep you in the staff if you were to reveal you were godless? Or your parents not kick you out? I am not saying you lie that you still believe even if you don’t, but you can keep a low profile as you test the waters to see their possible reactions and know how to act from there.

The world is beautiful. You can take your chances with Ivan in Brothers Karamazov when he tells Aloysha in the Grand Inquisitor that he will not wait for heaven. You will find there are many who have done the same. I have sided with Ivan even though Fyodor makes him mad at the end, I will not go mad.

I know there are people who the last time they read something it was a stop sign on the road. I want to encourage to read. Read like your life depends on it. It will broaden your imagination. It is also a cheap way to travel the world. So pick a book. Even of a subject you are only mildly interested in.

I don’t know why, I, who can’t write a letter to save myself began this letter. Maybe to deal with boredom. If you have read it up to this point, remember we are here only for a short duration of time. Be useful to others as that’s the shortest route to happiness. Be kind.

Thank you for reading.

Yours sincerely

One who can’t write a letter.


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

24 thoughts on “to all the recent de-converts

  1. Barry says:

    My Friend, you write well – very well. A good letter indeed

    While I’m not convinced of the the futility of religious belief (having some myself, and it’s served me well), I’m grateful I live where less than half the population are religious, and most of those are at the liberal or maybe “lite” end of the religious spectrum, and “God botherers” are few and far between.

    But at the same time you make me aware that much, perhaps most of the world’s population isn’t as free as I am to pick and choose a religion or non-religion, and the consequences of stepping out of religion can be dire. Let’s face it, it’s an executable offense in a few places. Your letter is very sobering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      You are very kind, Barry.
      I have had a fellow I used to know not give me work because I am atheist.
      I think I used a very wide brush in talking about religious faith.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Barry says:

        Everyone is entitled to the own perspective based on their own experience. I’m absolutely certain that if I had been raised somewhere where religious dogma is all important, I too would be strongly anti-religious.


        • makagutu says:

          I live in a very religious society but generally tolerant of other religions even though Christians make 80% of the population. But the problem is that colonialism and christianity seemed to have had a number on us because people act irrationally most of the time and hope prayers will do the trick.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            Prayers are a call to action. Not of [insert deity of choice], but of the person praying.

            [Insert deity of choice] has no hands but yours.

            I’m reminded of those two proverbs today, the anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shooting, that it it is we humans that are source of much harm, as well as some this world.


  2. john zande says:

    Agree with Barry, you can (and do) write well. And this is a lovely letter.

    Letter to the Editor, perhaps?


  3. jim- says:

    there maybe no one for miles who shares the same view of the world as you do. I know that feeling, but not as bad as some.
    I have some Polish friends that left the Catholic Church back in the 80’s. There family does not even consider them Polish any more.


  4. judyt54 says:

    My dear man, for someone who cannot write a letter, you do a bang-up job doing it.
    My passage through non-belief has been low key, and no, I didn’t proclaim it to the imaginary heavens, I just stopped going to church because I no longer saw it as the church I grew up in: and when the earth didn’t tremble at that, I kept on not-doing it. No one noticed.
    By now, of course, it’s too late. You can’t take back a non-belief in Santa, either.

    It may just be a evolutionary/transition kind of thing, where we are (as humans) letting go of the need to worship or believe in a god of any sort. I think it’s called growing up. And right now, I see humans in general reaching the turbulent age of maybe 12 or so. Fulla hormones, fulla ginger and pepper, still not sure what they want to be or do, but they are so not going to walk on the same side of the road as mum and dad, nope.


  5. Excellent letter, my friend!


  6. renudepride says:

    Written by a very insightful author! Looks very good to me! 🙂 Naked hugs!


  7. Ron says:

    You’re writing skills are fine. It’s the unique pronunciation that throws me off. 🙂 /jk


  8. “Now look here, life is short, don’t waste it reading Lee Strobel unless for entertainment.”


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