A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
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13-11-2015, 03:33 PM
A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Hi everyone! I thought I would get my introduction in here and perhaps a plea for help. I'll give a little background for you so you know where I'm coming from.

I grew up in a VERY small town (3,000ish people) in west TX. I was raised primarily by my great-grandmother until I was 8 years old. We belonged to the First Baptist Church. I remember it as a pleasant childhood. I would go to her Sunday School class and charm all the old ladies out of their lifesavers! Smile I never doubted God loved me.

I remember when I discovered Egyptian mythology. It was really the first time I had learned about other gods. Soon after, I obsessed with Egyptian mythology and Greek/Roman mythology. It was fascinating! In a way, it was my gateway drug into the sci/fi realm. My grandmother was concerned about my new love for mythology. I think she was afraid (and rightly so) that I would start to question my own religion. At the time, that wasn't an issue.

It wasn't until I was out in the world after graduation that I started having doubts. They were gradual at first. I would brush them away. "The devil's doing" was all I thought. I of course NEVER said anything. I don't like to rock the boat. Instead of getting away from religion, I got even stricter. I became a huge proponent of the Patriarchal movement. Thankfully, my dad wasn't having anything do with it, even though it upset me at the time.

When I turned 27 I converted to the Catholic church. I thought maybe THEY had the answers. I happily worshiped for about 2 years. My friends from the church are all well-educated. They're the ones I'm most afraid of debating once I admit I am becoming an atheist. Obviously I didn't find the answers there, and I think that's about the time I started REALLY having doubts.

A few years ago things really came to a head. Any time I read the bible, I questioned everything. I debated my mother about god's existence. She REALLY doesn't like it when you question her beliefs! I came to realize the OT god was a very angry childish god who thought genocide was the answer for everything. I would joke that the NT god must have gotten a better PR person because suddenly it was all rainbows and butterflies.

My biggest fear and concern is hell. I think that turned me off from religion more than anything. It's about the only thing that keeps me tethered to it as well. I think of god as a child, happy when you love him, but oh, heaven forbid you don't get SAVED or stop believing in him. The idea of a "loving" god throwing you in a pit of fire is a BIG turnoff! But it has scared me into staying a christian too. But I think another turnoff is this: if you lived in a different region of the world, were brought up in another religion, you're going to hell because you aren't believing in the RIGHT god? I wonder if they think the same way (I know muslims do, just not sure of others).

Over the last few years I have tried to reach out to other atheists for support. I would always withdraw my request before anyone could say anything, though. Also, I would join Meetups in the area, but just before I would meet them, I wouldn't unsubscribe from their site. I would delete my whole damn profile! My social anxiety has a part in this, but I really want to meet some likeminded individuals. I just need to get up the courage.

I know this is turning into a novel, so even though there is more to my story, I'll stop there. Thanks for listening. And hey, if there's any of you in the DFW area who would like to go for a coffee and talk, please private message me. Thanks!
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13-11-2015, 03:39 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Welcome to our community! I'm sure your journey will resonate with some of us here, I know parts certainly did with me.

Mythology was certainly a small gateway to atheism. Smile


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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13-11-2015, 03:46 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Seems to me what you're going through isn't so much a gradual gaining of comfort with atheism so much as a systematic severing of the strings of indoctrination that have kept you tethered to religion your entire life. Cut them. It may be scary but it's so liberating.

The great thing about leaving religion is you don't have to lose whatever it gave you that was good. You can still be charitable, honest, caring, compassionate - you just come to realize you're doing these things within a finite lifespan, not for eternity, but to improve on the present.
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13-11-2015, 03:47 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Welcome and good job. You probably don't have to worry too much about the words atheist or Christian. Just worry about what seems true. Whatever conclusion you come to, as long as you strongly are satisfied with its truth value, is fine.

If you feel up to it, try to answer this question: "What reasons do I have for thinking that god might be real?"

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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13-11-2015, 03:48 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Been there with the trauma of leaving religion coupled with social anxiety. Hope you find some peace and support here. Thumbsup

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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13-11-2015, 03:52 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Thanks everyone. You're all very kind. My biggest worry (aside from letting go of what I've known my whole life) is how my family will react. We have our issues, but I'm very close to them. I know my mother was visibly upset when I only expressed doubts. My youngest sister is the only one who understands what I'm going through, because she's going through this transformation herself. How have you guys dealt with telling your family?
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13-11-2015, 03:55 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Welcome to TTA. There are many here to help you as they have taken the same or similar journey.

The idea of a loving god and the existence of hell don't, as you are already seeing, square up. Of course, there is no Biblical support for that hell except in the drug-induced mess of Revelation.

I can help you see reality, but I can't otherwise help you on your journey as I have always been an atheist.

Good luck. Thumbsup

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-11-2015, 03:58 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Welcome! Smile You don't need to worry about hell. It is completely a man-made concept. The Egyptians had a version of the underworld, so did other religions. Additionally, the Jewish version of hell is different from the Christian version of hell...and those two hells come from the same Bible....just different Testaments. I highly recommend Bart Ehrman's The Bible: A Historical and Literary Introduction.

Here's a website to check out that describes the Egyptian version of hell.

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/hell.htm
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13-11-2015, 04:00 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Welcome to TTA. We're all rebels here. Make your self at home Smile

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13-11-2015, 04:01 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Here's an explanation of the Jewish version of hell...you can compare it to what you were taught in Catholicism.



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