Hi, I'm new to the whole embracing reality thing.
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28-03-2014, 04:49 PM
Hi, I'm new to the whole embracing reality thing.
Hi everyone,

I grew up in a divided family - Mom was Catholic and Dad was a lukewarm non-believer. After working through most of my sacraments, my Dad intervened. He finally spoke up and asked me, and this was the first time anyone did ask me, if I even wanted to go to church.

Wanting much more to sleep in and hang out with my heathen friends, I emphatically said no. That was the last time, outside of funerals and weddings, that I set food in a Catholic church.

Despite my Dad's intervention, my Mom pressed on. She had her harmless quirks (doing the sign of the cross was a requirement to get in her car). She had her hero worship (for a while we had an ornamental plate with John Paul II hung up in the house). And all of it bugged me. But, it was some other stuff that scared me into long-term, reluctant belief.

I remember being in elementary school and working hard to memorize a series of prayers while sitting in church. Every time I'd open my eyes, I'd see the Stages of the Cross running the length of the walls. Being short on anything that even closely resembled adult cognitive ability, I had a purely instinctive and visceral response: fear. All I saw was violence. Just a grown up being beaten savagely and literally hammered into place on a cross. Blood pooling in his palms and so on.

Then came the horrors of hell. If I wasn't going to go to church, some family members were going to make damn sure that I knew the hell fire that was in store for me. I was still in elementary school when I first thought about hell - as if the crucifixion wasn't scary enough for a kid. I vividly remember my Mom and one of her friends explaining to me, "It's like your skin is burning off and melting. But, it never stops. Never ever."

So, years and years go by. Eventually, my folks get divorced and my Dad goes on to live a fully rational life. My transition took much longer. The images of hell and the crucifixion were burned into my mind and, every time a rational thought tugged at my attention, I'd be reminded of the bad that can come of being a non-believer.

Eventually, my curiosity in astronomy and the natural world took root in those nagging Catholic thoughts. Why, as I heard someone say on the Thinking Atheist podcast, would god create a whole universe only to take a special interest in one species of primate on one planet? And, why would he create an entire dimension of eternal punishment to torture those poor primates?

Finally, just in the past two weeks or so, I shrugged god and the Catholic church off. And you know what? The stars have never been brighter. I've never felt more in the moment or more genuinely motivated to be kind.

(By the way, has anyone been watching Cosmos? Isn't it awesome?)

Yours very truly,

JD
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28-03-2014, 05:28 PM
RE: Hi, I'm new to the whole embracing reality thing.
Welcome!! You're story is exactly why I hate child indoctrination Angry glad you made it out ok Thumbsup

Oh yeah, we've been watching Cosmos!! Big Grin here is a thread.

Jump on in, the water is fine Cool

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...os-TONIGHT

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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28-03-2014, 05:37 PM
RE: Hi, I'm new to the whole embracing reality thing.
Sounds rough but I'm glad you were able to shrug off Catholicism and feel positive without it! Big Grin Welcome to TTA forums! We got plenty of cool people who know cool stuff like Cosmosy stuff so I'm sure you'll fit right on in! Yes

[Image: notagain.gif]
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28-03-2014, 05:57 PM
RE: Hi, I'm new to the whole embracing reality thing.
Welcome aboard! Your story reminds me of when I was a kid. Something happened during a first holy communion practice run. A teacher told me god was going to strike me down with a lightning bolt and then I'd end up in hell. I was shitting bricks for days after that. I laugh at it now but it wasn't so funny at the time.

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself” ― José Martí
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28-03-2014, 06:05 PM
RE: Hi, I'm new to the whole embracing reality thing.
Hello and welcome! Thumbsup What an amazing universe are we living in Big Grin

How do you feel, having escaped a medieval fortress of faith in modern ages? Is your mind expanding? Do you see all the possibilities? What else besides religion can you apply reason to?
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28-03-2014, 06:33 PM
RE: Hi, I'm new to the whole embracing reality thing.
Welcome.

Perhaps, after you've kicked your shoes off and settled in and found a comfy chair, you might like to talk about how your change has changed your relationship with either/both parent.

No rush.

Good to see you here.

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28-03-2014, 06:48 PM
RE: Hi, I'm new to the whole embracing reality thing.
There are many recovered catholics. It is so stupid that it is easy to get over.

Welcome and thanks for sharing.

[Image: reality.jpg?imgmax=800]
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28-03-2014, 08:35 PM
RE: Hi, I'm new to the whole embracing reality thing.
(28-03-2014 06:05 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Hello and welcome! Thumbsup What an amazing universe are we living in Big Grin

How do you feel, having escaped a medieval fortress of faith in modern ages? Is your mind expanding? Do you see all the possibilities? What else besides religion can you apply reason to?

This is a great line of questioning. To be honest, I've taken The Thinking Atheist approach and, rather than hating religion, I've decided to really focus on understanding and appreciating the world and the universe. My birthday was last week and I spent the day with my wife, in New York City, at the Museum of Natural History.

I'm excited to see where I go next with it!
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