In many cases of high-profile individuals leaving the faith, we observe that their departures from the faith were not “de-conversions” as much as “realizations.”
As individuals who leave their faith behind tell their stories, we often see that they gradually grew uncomfortable with and eventually rejected aspects of Christian culture. They knew for quite a while that they were going through the motions and simply “playing along” with Christianity. After a while, these individuals accepted that they lacked a deep or connected sense of truth. They didn’t change their ideology, per se, only their identification.