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08-07-2015, 08:48 PM
Hi, there!
Hello, all.

I'm new here, and I want to introduce myself!

My name is Trevor. I'm 21 years old, and I'm studying to be a social worker. My areas of interest are hospital and geriatric social work, though I am also interested in policy and administration.

I come from a home that was not religious. My parents talked about God, but in the way people talk about Mother Earth - some omnipresent being looking after all of us, who always wants us to succeed, and who is there to blame misfortunes on.

My mother was very critical of organized religion. As an act of rebellion, I became a very conservative Christian in my teens, joining an Eastern Orthodox Church. I'm Polish and Ukrainian by heritage (with some French mixed in there, I admit), so the Church really became home for me. I got deep into it, and there was a point when I wanted nothing more than to become a monk in a monastery.

Then, at 16, I admitted to myself (with the help of a therapist) that I'm gay. I freaked out, but the priest at Church told me everything was cool as long as I was a lifelong celibate. I was okay with this. Religion was everything for me.

Then, at 18, I realized that I was miserable. We saw a documentary at school about North Korea, and I remember thinking how similar the blind obedience of those people was to people in my religious community, and how even their bows to photos of their leaders resembled bows to my holy pictures at home. I left the Church for about half a year. In that time, I lost a lot of weight, and I began to think better of myself and what my future could be with another guy.

I fell back into my old habit at 19. Church became a real comfort for me during my parents' divorce and the mess from that. Church didn't change, unlike my home life.

But, I didn't stay long (at this point the priest was pretty annoyed with me). I was so lonely. I was gay in a parish of mostly converts from conservative Evangelicalism who really weren't cool with gay people (even the celibate ones).

I met with an Orthodox priest, hoping he'd resolve my issues. His response to my worries that our religion could be nonsense and there's a chance I was giving up something amazing for nothing was "If Christ had not truly been resurrected from the dead, then we are all fools." In my head, my response was "...yeah."

I left again, and I went to a progressive Christian Church. I didn't like it at all. I didn't understand their beliefs and practices that so deeply contradicted traditional Christianity. I tried to make it work, but no dice.

Then, at a really low point, I joined the Roman Catholic campus ministry at my school, and for a year I went to RC Churches. I found a traditionalist parish with pretty chants and incense. That period really hurt me, and really made me start questioning religion. I was happy not to go back to that group.

That was about a year ago. I have had such headaches trying to think of the concept of absolute truth, and how religious groups can claim to have the truth on a matter when there are a thousand sources suggesting the opposite.

I'm at a point now where "I don't think I believe in God" has turned into "God isn't real." I've always known, at the back of my mind, that I don't actually believe this stuff. That's what (thankfully) has stopped me from committing to it totally. I know religion was made up at a time when people didn't have any explanation for the way the world was. Having met so many people hurt by religion, and especially having contact with both out gay people who have left, and closeted people from within, I know that the ideas these people preach are nonsense.

My life changed when I took my first biology course in university. I love science and mathematics, because I have the chance to study something real.

I have had a hard time, though. Sometimes I want to put on the old facade of a conservative Christian, because then I don't have to think about things. But the more I realize what a wonderful idea it is that I'm the captain of my own life, and the more I let myself believe things that actually make sense to me, the more I feel I'm being true to myself.

So, that's my story. Sorry if this is super long!

I'm looking forward to getting involved in this community!
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08-07-2015, 11:30 PM
RE: Hi, there!
(08-07-2015 08:48 PM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  ...
Sorry if this is super long!

I'm looking forward to getting involved in this community!

Likewise. Welcome to TTA.

Don't worry about length. Size is not important (apparently).

Smile

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08-07-2015, 11:47 PM
RE: Hi, there!
Hi FreeThinker - glad you found this place. It's a global site so, lots of viewpoints on a variety of discussions. Feel free to jump right in.

Welcome to the forum. Smile

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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09-07-2015, 12:17 AM
RE: Hi, there!
Hiyas.
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09-07-2015, 01:57 AM
RE: Hi, there!
Welcome. This is an easy going place, gay friendly (mostly) and you should feel comfortable.

Beware, we do get the occasional theist come in to preach at us, but these types are generally less than sane and it is quite obvious.
Mostly the Christians who visit resemble most other Christians, they have never read the bible and have no understanding of what the actual scripture says.

You can usually avoid them but at times one will simply barge into a thread, totally off topic and attempt to derail things. Best to ignore them.

That's about it really. I hope you enjoy your time.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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09-07-2015, 05:51 AM
RE: Hi, there!
Welcome aboard!

Sounds like you have been through some serious internal conflict before coming here! Hug
It's so ironic that the people who claim to be the most loving and forgiving on the planet (religious types) are in actual fact the most judgemental and exclusive.

Great to have you here!

[Image: gaypride.gif]

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too"? - Douglas Adams Bechased
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09-07-2015, 09:29 AM
RE: Hi, there!
Hi Trevor, welcome aboard.

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself” ― José Martí
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09-07-2015, 09:37 AM
RE: Hi, there!
Welcome aboard Trevor! Smile

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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09-07-2015, 05:45 PM
RE: Hi, there!
Hi Trevor,

Welcome Smile I see in your post that you are interested in geriatric social work/policy/administration--lots of opportunities there. I am a gerontologist and absolutely love it.

Jenny
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11-07-2015, 04:23 PM
RE: Hi, there!
(08-07-2015 08:48 PM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  "If Christ had not truly been resurrected from the dead, then we are all fools." In my head, my response was "...yeah."

I missed that line, the first time I read your post.

That may be the best explanation for their utter insanity, concisely and perfectly stated by that priest. They MUST cling to it, with a fierce and almost-panicked desperation, "or else they are all fools".

Why else would the conversations go the way they do, with the "fuse-popping sound" that happens when you hit a point they can't refute, and they go into the recursive-loop Bible Quoting Mode to tell you that the Napkin Faith is The True Faith™ because it says so right on this here napkin... their version of that, anyway. It also explains why they like citing that "nonbelievers are fools" line at us. Dodgy

I've long wondered why they feel less silly telling me that the world works by sky-deity-magic and blood sacrifice, that the Creator of the Universe cares deeply and intensely about where I put my penis, and that we are the special creations of said Creator of the Universe despite trillions of other planets out there in billions of galaxies who needs YOUR INDIVIDUAL worship so much that you will be punished for all eternity in an extra-dimensional space of heat, should you choose to not "freely" worship this Creator.

That probably is less embarrassing than admitting you have dedicated your life to Kissing Hank's Ass because Karl told you to, and that you will not be getting the million dollars when you leave town.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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