I'm surprised by the de-converted
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10-06-2013, 12:53 AM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 12:27 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(10-06-2013 12:22 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  My teddy wears a chastity belt and has a ball gag. Wink

Shebvsnortjobvkingbabouthghtheblallghagbvs.

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God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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10-06-2013, 09:53 AM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(09-06-2013 10:18 PM)kim Wrote:  
(09-06-2013 09:23 PM)ridethespiral Wrote:  PS. I would expect to see a correlation between Anti-Theism and having been indoctrinated at some point, does anyone have the data to confirm/deny?

Very good query. Since I was never indoctrinated, this is in fact, why I personally have felt and have even stated - it's not my fight. I can certainly empathize but there's a lot of personal anger there that I will simply never really know.

Frankly, I think I came to this forum with the simple intent of seeing what all the fuss was about. Since being here, I've become a teeny bit more... aware, maybe. Aware that there is indeed, something worth fighting over. I don't know; maybe I'm getting there, too - activism, certainly - I don't know about anti-theism... yet.

I'd like to see how the data lines up on that, too. Shy

Kim, you sound so similar to my experience. Growing up without religion was the norm to me. I have nothing to compare it to. It's like never eating brussel sprouts. I knew brussel sprouts existed but it was never served at the dinner table and I never felt compelled to try them.

What got me interested in de-conversion was a book by Kenneth Daniels called Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary. I recommend this book to anyone here on the forum and life time atheists as well. It follows his journey from fundamentalist Christian missionary to atheist and is very detailed as to why he stopped believing. He also spends a chapter on the effect it had on his very religious extended family. Wonderful book. I read it twice. That book took me to the ex-christian forum and web site and finally here.

The recurring theme of a divorce from religion followed by complete separation from family members is everywhere and it's so unnecessary. The choice so many have to contend with is either pretend to believe and live as a hypocrite or come out and be rejected by the family and community. What a choice.

I can only say how much I admire all of you for what you have been through.

Shakespeare Insult 13 – Henry IV Part 1
“That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that reverend vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?”
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10-06-2013, 10:09 AM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
As someone who grew up in a very fundamentalistic religion, and as one who never "had a reason to think it was all bullshit", . . . and with the "certainty of a literal hell", . . . of course I was completely taken over with the religion I was raised with. It wasn't until I looked at it all OBJECTIVELY that I began to spiral down to "de-conversion". It took years of "trying to figure out why I wasn't connecting to god", but I realized [even tually] that there WAS nothing to "connect with out there".

I struggled with "burning in hell for my thoughs" . . . for a while. Now, after a logical look at everything, . . . I'm no longer scared/oppresssed by my past indoctrination.

Good thread . . . . and welcome aboard.
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10-06-2013, 10:42 AM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
I grew up as a Christian in a Christian home. I'm an atheist now, but I still have to deal with Christianity because it still has a hold on my entire family.

I'm glad I was a Christian because it gave me a couple of benefits. The first is empathy, which makes it easy to deal with Christians without being harsh or arrogant, because I totally understand where they're coming from and why they haven't made my leap. Second, I read through the bible several times as a believer so I know it front to back. I can't even imagine trying to read through it all now. I still do look at it from time to time with a critical eye, but it certainly isn't daily reading. These two benefits make debates against Christians a lot easier.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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10-06-2013, 10:56 AM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(09-06-2013 09:23 PM)ridethespiral Wrote:  I am hoping to give that gift to my kid...

The internal stuff gets better with time in some ways and in my case I wind up converting all the fear that they hard wired into me into anger targeted at the church. The guilt just needs to be ignored unless there is a damn good secular reason for it. The 'god shaped hole' is filled with actual knowledge of the stars and an awe of nature that feels a little like deism sometimes.

I also think we tend to be the guys crawling through the bible searching for contradictions and watching debates because even though I'm quite sure that god is a figment of the imagination reminding myself of that every once and a while with a good Dawkins book, or a podcast or whatever does the subconscious good, reminds me that I am the sane one, etc.

We also tend to be the people that wind up having to deal not only with the annoying pundit preachers and preacher quarter backs like everyone else but also our families who are generally still religious and if that family is somewhat large like mine you may find yourself going to church far more often than one would like (baptisms, communions, confirmations, weddings, funerals), you may find that every meal is proceeded by awkwardness ("..from thy bounty through christ our blah blah blah")....My family has even found a way to add an extra religious verse to 'Happy Birthday.'

Lastly it not even just the brainwashing, often it's really hard to escape, even once you have cut the mental chains you still have to navigate an interpersonal minefield for years. My parents where relentless on the issue, there was screaming and the pain of that process still lingers. I can only image what the Mormons and the Amish and those types have to go through.

PS. I would expect to see a correlation between Anti-Theism and having been indoctrinated at some point, does anyone have the data to confirm/deny?

It's interesting as to what drew me to the topic of de-conversion and this forum and it has nothing to do with religion but everything to do with acceptance. Three years ago my 18 year old son came to me with severe depression and extreme guilt. He had something to tell me that he found almost impossible to confess. What he told me, truthfully, rocked my world and that of my husband. He told me he was transgender. Honestly, I was in a state of shock at first but as time has passed and I have more understanding of the subject of transgender we have all accepted our son as a daughter. It's been a very rough road, an extremely difficult time for me but when I see how much happier she is now I wouldn't have it any other way.

For the first time in her life she seems like a real person and at peace with herself. The suicide rate among transgender people is very high, I think it's over 50%, so the parents have a choice of having a dead son or a living daughter. We chose a living daughter.

I think it's the same for the families of the person who has rejected their religion. The family needs to accept that you, as a ex-christian or ex-muslim or ex whatever, are at peace with yourself and a happier person and that this is who you really are. We all need to be who we really are.

Last year on my daughters birthday I gave her a necklace that quoted a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet....."This above all else, to thine own self be true". Ain't it the truth.

Shakespeare Insult 13 – Henry IV Part 1
“That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that reverend vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?”
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10-06-2013, 11:01 AM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
Not everyone's experience was bad. I personally did not have a terrible experience. I don't think I can call "wanting to play outside instead of going to church" a traumatic experience. My biggest relief was not bearing the burden of guilt that I might go to hell. I have been in war, and the feelings associated with that are what I would describe as: "amount of guilt, anger and internal turmoil most of you have gone through and still suffer from."

I am glad I gave religion up, it is stupid. But, whether I like it or not religion played a role in shaping my life today. I learned good things and bad things. I definitely didn't learn scientific things, well legitimate ones lol, and which is why I am here Smile.

Please do not take this as an attack on you, I understand you have good intentions. I feel this posts assumes that being atheist you wouldn't experience turmoil from ideology (even outside the religious realm), and that is me assuming that you are assuming, which is a lot off ass lol.
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10-06-2013, 11:12 AM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 10:42 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  I grew up as a Christian in a Christian home. I'm an atheist now, but I still have to deal with Christianity because it still has a hold on my entire family......

I am in the same predicament as you. My wife (pastors daughter) and in-laws are huge believers, I mean, to the point that they really like Kirk Cameron movies.

I really enjoyed your view on being a prior christian. I feel the exact same way. I get frustrated and pulled into the militant aspect when talking to some of them, but for the most part they are good people who are terrified of acknowledging that their entire belief structure isn't real. I was in the same exact shoes, and it took me about a year to come to grips with it. I sometimes go to church to support my wife, and the only times I get seriously pissed is when they talk science.
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10-06-2013, 12:57 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
I like the analogy of someone who has defected from another country. Evangelicalism is a distinct subculture with it's own language, music, movies, books, perspective on politics, etc., etc.

I have found a great sense of freedom in my thoughts and behaviors, but that freedom has come with a mental/emotional price tag that I'm still working on.

Besides the speculation about the connection between anti-theism and de-conversion, I'd also be interested in seeing if there is any correlation between length of time as a believer versus intensity of anguish. As a believer for 40 plus years, have I had a tougher time than someone who left the church after high school? I can't imagine how to put any metric on the experiences, but interesting to me to think about.

The other question is, did religion fuck me up or did I have a personality that was fucked up to begin with? Or both? Or neither? Hm.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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10-06-2013, 01:33 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 10:56 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Last year on my daughters birthday I gave her a necklace that quoted a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet....."This above all else, to thine own self be true". Ain't it the truth.

Polonius might've been an old blowhard, but he gets in one great speech despite himself.
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10-06-2013, 02:43 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 12:57 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  The other question is, did religion fuck me up or did I have a personality that was fucked up to begin with? Or both? Or neither? Hm.

Mm.. kind of difficult to say. Without your early indoctrination you still might have been the same creative and charismatic person you are today. Most likely, you would have expressed your innate sense of creativity in another way and channeled that charisma to another point of view.

You would have still been essentially you so, you could very well have been fucked up... probably just fucked up in a different place. It's not as if wishing for another life is gonna get you anywhere else, though. Drinking Beverage

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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