Hello from a former lurker
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07-07-2015, 02:19 PM
Hello from a former lurker
Hello everyone,
I have been lurking on these forums for some time now, gathering the courage to introduce myself, so here goes.
I am a recovering Catholic, the product of very pious parents, Catholic school system, the works really, who seriously considered a religious vocation but joined the army instead and became an engineer.
It's taken me 50 years to conclude that there is no god, but better late than never, right. I did not come to this conclusion overnight; rather, it has taken years. It began with a long process of increasing disillusionment, first with the CC, then with Christianity, then with religion as a whole, then with spirituality, until finally, I began to see myself as an outsider whenever I attended church with my family, truly excommunicated, a skeptic who finally could begin to understand some of the many reasons why man created god. I have been feeling increasingly free: yes, the truth really HAS set me free, ironically.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that many of the people who led me to atheism probably don't realize they did so.
One of the first was my daughter, who was studying politics or sociology in university, who started discussing patriarchy, religion and how it was all about control. Something she said just stuck with me, and caused a slight shift in awareness, a tugging at the fabric of my beliefs that would one day completely unravel.
Then came the onslaught of the real deal-breakers for me, namely the Catholic Church's refusal to evolve on contraception, abortion, women's rights, paedophilia in the Church and its treatment of First Nations, and especially gay rights. As a very liberal person, who truly believed that Jesus (and the Church) was always on the side of the downtrodden, the oppressed, the marginalized, to see the hypocrisy of Canadian bishops with regard to same-sex marriage and gay-straight alliances in Catholic schools shocked and disgusted me. Their hard-heartedness and bigotry did it for me. How could I subscribe to such hypocrisy?? It went against everything they had ever taught me was right. So thanks, bishops: you did a great job of alienating me. You got me started down the path.
Another telling moment came when I came across Stephen Fry debating "the Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World" (i.e. NOT), which made so much sense!!
I also remember several years ago, a young friend of my son's, about 15 at the time, posted his religion on Facebook as "Norse gods", which got me thinking: how different were the people who piously believed in Norse gods, which we consider mythological today, from the people who believe in the current Abrahamic religions? The answer, of course, is that apart from their cultural and religious beliefs, they were no different at all. So why do we consider their beliefs mythology and current beliefs, religion? The saying "atheists just believe in one less god than you do" finally made sense.
Finally, the parents of that 15-year-old boy I mentioned became good friends of our family, friends who helped us during a very trying time with open-hearted kindness, discretion and true empathy. Oh, and they happen to be atheists.
So I'm just here to tell you that don't despair; you never know where your well-placed word will fall, where just one remark, or kindness, or smile, or polite question can get someone thinking and eventually lead them to reality.
I am still in the atheist closet because my 93-year-old mother lives with us and it would break her heart to learn that her daughter is an atheist; I just don't want to be cruel. However, now when I accompany my mom to church I tune out and spend the hour planning my menus for the week.
Cheers Smile (sorry about the long post ...)
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07-07-2015, 02:50 PM
RE: Hello from a former lurker
Welcome! Your story will ring true with many in the forum, including me. You'll have fun here! Smile

**Crickets** -- God
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07-07-2015, 03:03 PM
RE: Hello from a former lurker
Welcome!
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07-07-2015, 03:16 PM
RE: Hello from a former lurker
No need to hide. Tis a safe place.

Welcome.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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07-07-2015, 03:19 PM
RE: Hello from a former lurker
Welcome from a former RCC member.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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07-07-2015, 04:33 PM
RE: Hello from a former lurker
Welcome. Ex-RCC

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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07-07-2015, 04:52 PM
RE: Hello from a former lurker
Hello! Big Grin
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07-07-2015, 05:03 PM
RE: Hello from a former lurker
Welcome aboard! Good to have ya. One of my favorite statements is....

"the only difference between religion and mythology is time"

Not sure if I made it up, or if I heard it and it stuck with me, but I use it constantly and have for years

Smile

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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07-07-2015, 07:34 PM
RE: Hello from a former lurker
Welcome, as a former fundamentalist Pentecostal, I knew all of you Catholics were on the way to hell anyway. Tongue




Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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08-07-2015, 07:20 AM
RE: Hello from a former lurker
Thanks to all of you for your kind words Smile
I'm rather new to forums in general, so your welcome is doubly appreciated.

Your faith is not evidence, your opinion is not fact, and your bias is not wisdom
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