Some people are surprised that I felt the need to tell my friends and family about my deconversion from Christianity. A few of my wife's friends, who happen to be de-facto or weak atheists, said something to the effect of, "It's not their business what you or your husband believe." At any rate, the ol' cat is out of the bag and the beans are spilt. I sent off an email to about 40 friends, family members, and colleagues, and there's no going back.
So far, about a half dozen folks have responded already, each of them offering support, concern, and (for many) prayers. I really don't mind it when people say they're praying for me; it's a sign that they care about me enough to talk to what they think is the highest being in the universe on my behalf. Are many of them praying that I change my mind? Yeah, but if there's anyone on the other end, I hope those prayers are answered; if not, then it doesn't do any measurable harm.
Strangely enough, this feels like a bizarro version of Christian baptism, the rite of initiation into the church. In baptism, a confession is made in which one publicly renounces the former way of life, etc., and embraces the peace that comes with new life in Christ. Plus, baptism often takes place on Easter Sunday. Oddly enough, I openly admitted to my wife on Easter Day that I was no longer a Christian (tough words to say at the time), and now, with this letter sent out to my loved ones, I've made my anti-baptismal confession in public. The one thing that is the same is the peace, though it is of a very different sort, unmingled with the dependence on someone else to bring it.