Hello from Charlotte, NC
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17-04-2011, 07:24 AM
Hello from Charlotte, NC
Hi Everyone. Smile

I'm new here since the other day. I found The Thinking Atheist on YouTube and had to come check out this site. I've been a full blown atheist now for about a year and before that I went through a period of being agnostic/liberal Christian. I was raised conservative Southern Baptist and my family has a strong influence in the church with my father as a deacon and my mother the organist. I started to question god and the Bible after 3 miscarriages and my husband almost committing suicide from depression. After the 3rd miscarriage a religious "friend" informed me that perhaps god allowed my babies to die because he knew I just wasn't ready to be a mother. I was so vulnerable those years and decided to dive deeper into my faith. The more I studied the Bible the more I started to see things that I didn't like about the character of God. The more I studied the less I believed and I certainly didn't love this supernatural creature that wanted to burn me alive forever because I didn't have enough faith. Finally being able to stay pregnant with my son and daughter and seeing their precious faces was the final nail in my religious coffin. I was scared to death that this "loving god" would eventually destory them too. Once I let go of my belief and embraced the truth my life has been so much simpler. I'm still in the stages of trying to find my own way. I spent 13 years in one church and all my friends and social life was centered around it. I'm having to try and venture out and find new friends outside of religion and sometimes I fell alone being in the Bible belt. I regret sending my daughter to a church preschool and I'm having to undo the damage now as she's 6-years-old and in kindergarten. I just signed my son up for a secular preschool that centers on science and I hope not to instill a superstitious belief of god into him but reason and logic. I find it hard to be an atheist mother with very few moms that share my opinion. I'm looking forward to discussing things with like minded people on this board. I haven't told my parents or the rest of my family yet as I know they would not understand and even think I'm on my way to hell. I may never tell them because I don't wish to hurt them but at the same time I don't want to live a double life. I meant to keep this short but I guess I'm long winded. I'm sure my story is very similar to everyone elses. I'm really excited to have found this place.

Raven Smile
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20-04-2011, 02:05 PM
RE: Hello from Charlotte, NC
Glad to have you Raven. There's many atheists who don't share their atheism with family for fear of being ostracized. You may just find that keeping your "beliefs" private isn't much like living a double life at all. What you think about the world can be as private or as public as you choose. I've spoken with many atheists who, at first, feel hypocritical about doing things like attending weddings or funerals in churches because they are "religious ceremonies". Most, however, soon come to realize that attending these things to be supportive of their loved ones is reason enough to go. Heck, I know atheists who go with their families to church on Christmas, and don't feel the least bit bad about it. They enjoy the music, the fairy tale of baby jesus, or whatever, and like to celebrate the season with their families. I hope you can find peace with your decision to believe reality over fantasy, and be comfortable keeping it to yourself if it would otherwise mean alienating your family.

Welcome!

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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20-04-2011, 05:50 PM
RE: Hello from Charlotte, NC
Sorry to hear all that raven, plenty of us live in the bible belt so maybe you'll meet some local friends without the god stuff. I know I hate running into so many people who cram the bible down my throat. I live in Missouri in case that helps any.

Welcome here

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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20-04-2011, 07:30 PM
 
RE: Hello from Charlotte, NC
Well hello Raven, and welcome. Smile I wish you peace and healing for you and your family. (HUGS)
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21-04-2011, 10:49 AM (This post was last modified: 21-04-2011 10:54 AM by Raven.)
RE: Hello from Charlotte, NC
(20-04-2011 02:05 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Glad to have you Raven. There's many atheists who don't share their atheism with family for fear of being ostracized. You may just find that keeping your "beliefs" private isn't much like living a double life at all. What you think about the world can be as private or as public as you choose. I've spoken with many atheists who, at first, feel hypocritical about doing things like attending weddings or funerals in churches because they are "religious ceremonies". Most, however, soon come to realize that attending these things to be supportive of their loved ones is reason enough to go. Heck, I know atheists who go with their families to church on Christmas, and don't feel the least bit bad about it. They enjoy the music, the fairy tale of baby jesus, or whatever, and like to celebrate the season with their families. I hope you can find peace with your decision to believe reality over fantasy, and be comfortable keeping it to yourself if it would otherwise mean alienating your family.

Welcome!

Hi Stark Raving. Smile

I've debated back and forth what to tell my parents and I think I'll probably never share my lack of belief with them. They're very involved with their church and really don't have a life outside of the faith. They know I've moderated some in my beliefs but they have no idea that I'm an atheist. My in-laws know because my sister-in-law eavesdropped on a conversation I had with my other sister-in-law. She's an atheist Jew that married into the family and understands where I'm coming from. Mother other sister-in-law told my in-laws and now they're scared to death that I'm sending the children to hell. They told my husband that they're praying every day for me that I'll find Jesus again and that I'll be a happier person. Apparently they think I'm a miserable person but I've never been happier in my life. I'm only unhappy when I'm around people like them that judge me for my actions and beliefs. I think you're right that it's probably not living a double life but I'm by nature an open and honest person and I hate feeling like I'm being deceitful to them. I'm new at this atheist thing so I guess I'll figure it out as I go.

Raven Smile


(20-04-2011 05:50 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Sorry to hear all that raven, plenty of us live in the bible belt so maybe you'll meet some local friends without the god stuff. I know I hate running into so many people who cram the bible down my throat. I live in Missouri in case that helps any.

Welcome here



Hey Lilith Pride,

I'm slowly rebuilding a friend base. When I left the church I had attended for 13 years and the group of women I had went to girl's night out and baby showers and play groups, I soon learned they had never really been my friend. As long as they thought I was as religious as them and believed the same things they were fine, I was one of the group. Now, none of them call and I feel like I wasted 13 years. I've tried meetup groups and I'm slowly meeting new people. I was always different anyways because I'm a writer and an artist and have very liberal political beliefs which makes me an outsider sometimes in the Bible belt. I want to find a group to hang out with that religion isn't even a topic of discussion, where I can just be myself and have a glass of wine and watch a chick flick with non-crazy religious women.

Raven Smile
(20-04-2011 07:30 PM)GassyKitten Wrote:  Well hello Raven, and welcome. Smile I wish you peace and healing for you and your family. (HUGS)


Hi GassyKitten. Thank you so much. I'm working through things each day. BTW I love your name. I'm sure there's a story behind it. My cat Merlin has silent but deadly ones after his fish flavored cat food. Big Grin

Raven Smile
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25-04-2011, 11:16 PM
RE: Hello from Charlotte, NC
Hey there glad to see an open minded person from North Carolina. Living in the bible belt is tough when your an Atheist, I would know because I too am from North Carolina but a small town. Welcome to the forum though!
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26-04-2011, 05:14 AM
RE: Hello from Charlotte, NC
Welcome to the forum, think of this as a place for you to blow some steam, learn new stuff and enjoy intelligent conversation. Hope you will find what you are looking for here.

Peace!

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I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
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26-04-2011, 06:26 AM
RE: Hello from Charlotte, NC
(25-04-2011 11:16 PM)Snuff Wrote:  Hey there glad to see an open minded person from North Carolina. Living in the bible belt is tough when your an Atheist, I would know because I too am from North Carolina but a small town. Welcome to the forum though!

Hey Snuff,

I'm originally from a small town about a half hour from Charlotte called Locust. It seems like everyone I know goes to church or is a Jesus freak. I feel like I'm the only rational person in the room sometimes. Sad


(26-04-2011 05:14 AM)Filox Wrote:  Welcome to the forum, think of this as a place for you to blow some steam, learn new stuff and enjoy intelligent conversation. Hope you will find what you are looking for here.

Peace!

Thanks Filox. I've been just trying to catch up on my reading the past week. There's so much to digest here but I love it.
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26-04-2011, 03:19 PM
RE: Hello from Charlotte, NC
Oh okay yea I just checked Google maps since I didn't know where Locust was but I see it's on the East side of Charlotte. My mother lives in Belmont in Gaston county. I'm from Rutherford county which is just a redneck county on the west side of Cleavland county (Shelby, North Carolina).
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26-05-2011, 08:49 AM
 
RE: Hello from Charlotte, NC
Hello! I just wanted to introduce myself. I really and truly understand exactly what you are talking about as I have lived a very similar situation. I have also had my life centered around church activities and friends. I also know EXACTLY what you mean about living in the bible belt and being nonreligious. I also live in Charlotte. However, I am finding a network of people with similar values and if you are looking for a support system, I may just be able to assist you. Stay strong!
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