Dear Son... Also, hi!
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11-07-2014, 02:52 AM
Dear Son... Also, hi!
Hi everyone.

I've been doubting about two years now (but really for much longer) and have been active at ex-christian.net under the same screen name. I've been enjoying the podcast and thought I'd check out the forum as well.

A few things about me:

- I am a PK born and raised Presbyterian/Reformed. That would be the conservative/evangelical variety, not the hip gay affirming PCUSA although I have been in those circles as well. I am pretty sure John Knox is somewhere in my ancestry.

- I have a BA in Bible & Religion which I am not using, except to exercise my critical thinking muscles. I don't hate the Bible like lots of other nonbelievers, and have actually found it even more fascinating since I've come around to non-belief. Not as God's word, but just as fascinating propaganda/pseudo-history/myth/poetry and what-have-you. I think the author(s) of Ecclesiastes was on to something, and clearly influenced by more Greek thought than most other Old Testament sources.

- I've played keys in a few bands and I am a huge fan of the band Phish and have seen them 20-something times (starting to lose count). Over the years their music has come to mean more to me than any faith or doctrine. Live improvisational music has proven to be a gateway for that intangible spiritual flow state that everyone craves in some way. That goes for listening and playing.

- I am a bleeding leftest progressive liberal and if I am not careful I will argue with libertarians to the point of nausea; however I am more knowledgeable about Biblical/theological stuff and i try not to get in too far over my head.

- I have a wonderful wife who kinda vaguely believes in 'something' but is not super religious, and a 3 year old son who is 10 shades of awesome. Awhile ago I wrote this letter for him and I think in lots of ways it sums up where I stand belief/nonbelief-wise. I think this would be as good a place as any to share it:

Quote:Dear Son,

I'm writing this to you while you are still 3 years old because I want to be ready for whenever it is time to talk about church, God and religion. You may have wondered why I don't go to church like so many of your friends/family do. The short answer is: I stopped believing in those things some time ago. I also don't believe in psychics, horoscopes, astrology, magic crystals, unicorns, and all kinds of other things that other people might believe in.

One thing I do believe very strongly, is that every person deserves the freedom and space to ask their own questions, do their own investigation to learn as much as possible about the world we live in. So my advice to you is the same: ask lots of questions. Ask your friends, your teachers, the grownups you meet in church, anyone who is willing to talk to you. Ask them about God, the Bible, or anything else. Ask politely and respectfully and most people will be happy to tell you what they think. If someone ever tries to make you feel bad for asking, just ignore them and ask someone else. Ask me or your mom - you may get different answers, and there's nothing wrong with that! If you get an answer you don't like, figure out why you don't like it and if there might be a better answer. Go online and read as much as you can about science, history, different religions all over the world - anything you get your hands on. Don't believe anything someone tells you just because they might seem smarter or more grown up than you. The grownups in your life might be allowed to tell you what to do, but they can't tell you what to think. They could be wrong! And that includes your mom and me too. Everyone is wrong about something.

We might not be able to take you Disney every summer or send you to the best college. But if there's one thing I can give you that's even better than money, it's the freedom to think for yourself! Not every kid gets this - lots of people are just told by their moms and dads what to believe, and not to ask questions. I want to promise you that I will never do this. Go to church with your friends anytime you want. If you like, I'll be happy to take you with me, and I'm sure Mom will too. We can go on church field trips together - but only if you want to! But at the end of the day, after your mom and I are gone, you are the person who will decide whether or not to go to church or believe in God or Jesus.

I care more that you are using your own brain than what end up believing in. The stuff in your brain is yours and nobody can ever take that away from you! Even though you're only 3 right now, I can tell you are going to be very smart and that you will be able to do lots of awesome things during your time here on earth. Keep putting good stuff in your brain and you'll get smarter. But no matter what happens, we love you. You can believe the weirdest thing in the world and it won't change how much we love you.

Another thing I believe in is kindness. No matter what you believe, always be kind to people around you, even if they seem weird or different. If you ever go to a church where they are unkind to outsiders, I will strongly recommend finding another one.

If I don't manage to teach you anything else, try to remember these two things at least: do you own thinking and be kind to others. The rest is up to you. I can't wait for you to be old enough to talk more about these things! And don't forget - your mom and I will always be there for you, no matter what!

Love Always,

Daddy

Looking forward to sharing more with you guys!
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11-07-2014, 07:28 AM
RE: Dear Son... Also, hi!
Welcome. Looks like you will find a lot of stimulating conversation here.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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11-07-2014, 07:31 AM
RE: Dear Son... Also, hi!
Fantastic letter Thumbsup

Welcome!


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



My youtube musings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFoxbz...UVi1pf4B5g
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11-07-2014, 07:34 AM
RE: Dear Son... Also, hi!
Welcome. Here is your welcome shark.

[Image: spinner_shark.jpg]

[Image: Guilmon-41189.gif] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOW_Ioi2wtuPa88FvBmnBgQ my youtube
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11-07-2014, 08:20 AM
RE: Dear Son... Also, hi!
Welcome aboard!

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself” ― José Martí
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13-07-2014, 08:31 PM
RE: Dear Son... Also, hi!
Physical exercise indeed also adds to mental strength and thus less need for the presence of an invisible man to feel safe. Here's your welcome Gong Fu.

[Image: 123601145_91n.jpg]

Want something? Then do something.
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19-07-2014, 12:57 AM
RE: Dear Son... Also, hi!
I like this bloke.

Welcome sir.
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