I'm surprised by the de-converted
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10-06-2013, 03:45 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
Dancefortwo, I'm glad you're supportive of your child. Love and family and acceptance are so important.

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10-06-2013, 03:54 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
I wonder where you live dancefortwo. I live in Belgium and I'm similar to you, was raised as an atheist by atheist parents, never had any problems with other people, one teacher in elementary school asked me why I didn't believe, wondering why I was such a convinced atheist (I just didn't get religion) but other then that everyone I've met either didn't care, was supportive or stayed quiet.

However when I read some stories here I often notice it's primarily people from the US who had troubles when they "came out". Probably because most people here are from the US but I assume it's also because religion in the US is still important and seems to be rising.

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10-06-2013, 04:11 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 03:54 PM)Crusher Wrote:  I wonder where you live dancefortwo. I live in Belgium and I'm similar to you, was raised as an atheist by atheist parents, never had any problems with other people, one teacher in elementary school asked me why I didn't believe, wondering why I was such a convinced atheist (I just didn't get religion) but other then that everyone I've met either didn't care, was supportive or stayed quiet.

However when I read some stories here I often notice it's primarily people from the US who had troubles when they "came out". Probably because most people here are from the US but I assume it's also because religion in the US is still important and seems to be rising.

It varies by region here. If you're in the deep south you have a lot more problems that you do in the northeast or west coast in general. However every instance is different and there are some hardcore fundies almost everywhere here.

As for whether deconverting leads to antitheism I'm not sure, though I have a feeling there is some resentment for those who were taken in more fully and for longer (Erxy for instance probably has much harder feelings than I do as I left in my early teens) I even used to go to religious summer camp after I stopped believing in God (Kinda had to go as my Grandfather hand built the place back in the '60's. Summit Lake camp for anyone from MD) But even that wasn't too heavy on the indoctrination. We had church and a bit of Jesus loves you stuff but none of the crazy stuff I have seen from that Jesus camp documentary. I actually used to look forward to going every year even though I didn't consider myself a christian I had a good time doing the regular summer camp stuff.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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10-06-2013, 04:42 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(09-06-2013 08:37 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  I have known nothing else but atheism my entire live. I've only been in two churches in my life. Really! In reading through this forum and others like it, I'm struck by the amount of guilt, anger and internal turmoil most of you have gone through and still suffer from. It's really quite stunning to me as it's something I've never experienced. Reading through some of the posts, though enlightening, is hard for me to relate to. It's as if most of you lived in a different country then defected and came out speaking a different language.

This isn't much of a topic for a thread, it's more of an observation than anything else but I really wanted to express how sorry I am that so many of you had a two-ton anvil of religious guilt dropped on your head every day. I don't know how you all survived it..............maybe some of you haven't.

I'm so glad my parents let me think for myself.

Absolutely no reason to apologize for the topic.

And the anger... goes all over the place for a while. To yourself, for believing the BS, for punishing yourself, holding yourself back when all you had to do was open your eyes. To the church (or churches) and pastor/priest/whatever your leader was. Sometimes to your family. But there seems to be a lot that gets directed inside.

I think it's a side effect of being told you're wrong, you're sinful, you're evil and unworthy for so long.

And really, it's not so much a two ton anvil of guilt, as you put it. That, I think, might break people out even faster. It's... not so much a battallion of tanks coming at you, since that would make you panic and run. No, it's much, much more subtle than that. It's someone putting their arm around you and quietly saying "I know it's bad, I don't know what you did but we're all sinners (helping make you part of that 'group') and deserve whatever it is because of it. But just listen to me, we can make it better following these teachings. Don't question them, we'll get the whole picture of grace, peace, love, from someone who doesn't have to give it to you but wants to, he loves you and makes everything better in the end...."

They put their arm around and quietly talk to you, getting your attention while they start sticking a needle full of heroin in you, basically, getting you addicted. You start questioning something, but feel guilty about it - and who can make you feel better and (by misdirecting and misquoting and mouthing platitudes) make the questions go away? The same one who stuck that needle in your arm the first time. He'll give you some more, we'll sing some pretty songs and make it all go away.

And you know withdrawl will be painful.

And it is. And you do get flashbacks. For years, as I was slowly drawing myself away, something would happen and I'd just get a wave of Christian guilt for, for instance, having White Wolf (demonic!) RPG books. It would be overwhelming. And I'd do whatever to ease the guilt - in this case, throw out hundreds of dollars of perfectly innocent books - and then feel bad about doing something utterly stupid, and have to fight that spiral down again.

Sometimes you see other addicts - if you're far enough along deconversion (recovery,) you don't want to join them, but what they do can make you angry (Westboro, for some concentrated hatred) or pain you (my mom, repeating the line - late 90s, I think - after Disney gave same sex couples benefits that the tornades that hit (and completely missed disney) were 'God's wrath,' for instance.) And it hurts when you see one you just don't know how to - or can't - help.

And yet... someone who's never been addicted can be sympathetic, can try to help, but they don't *know.* They may have the data, but the experience is missing. (And for the record... despite my description above, I've never done heroin or anything stronger than rum, only smoked for a little while and managed to kick that years ago.) My cousin once described - I think it was acid - where she sat and watched a light bulb "drip" for what seemed like hours, and I couldn't picture being in a state to either accept and not question it, or not do anything else.

It's hard to describe for someone who hasn't "been there." But we try.
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10-06-2013, 05:46 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 03:54 PM)Crusher Wrote:  I wonder where you live dancefortwo. I live in Belgium and I'm similar to you, was raised as an atheist by atheist parents, never had any problems with other people, one teacher in elementary school asked me why I didn't believe, wondering why I was such a convinced atheist (I just didn't get religion) but other then that everyone I've met either didn't care, was supportive or stayed quiet.

However when I read some stories here I often notice it's primarily people from the US who had troubles when they "came out". Probably because most people here are from the US but I assume it's also because religion in the US is still important and seems to be rising.

I grew up in Tahoe, California. It's a ski resort in the mountains of California and has some of the best skiing in the States. I loved my childhood and had loads of fun. My husbands family is from the Southern part of the States and some of his relatives are quite religious. They've completely rejected my transgender daughter. From what I've read Europeans are far more accepting of transgender people. Is this true?

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, 05:51 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 03:45 PM)cjs Wrote:  Dancefortwo, I'm glad you're supportive of your child. Love and family and acceptance are so important.


Thank you cjs. It's hard enough to be rejected by society much less ones own family. People disown transgender kids all the time. Some families consider them less than human.

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, 05:52 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 04:42 PM)Ricochet180 Wrote:  
(09-06-2013 08:37 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  I have known nothing else but atheism my entire live. I've only been in two churches in my life. Really! In reading through this forum and others like it, I'm struck by the amount of guilt, anger and internal turmoil most of you have gone through and still suffer from. It's really quite stunning to me as it's something I've never experienced. Reading through some of the posts, though enlightening, is hard for me to relate to. It's as if most of you lived in a different country then defected and came out speaking a different language.

This isn't much of a topic for a thread, it's more of an observation than anything else but I really wanted to express how sorry I am that so many of you had a two-ton anvil of religious guilt dropped on your head every day. I don't know how you all survived it..............maybe some of you haven't.

I'm so glad my parents let me think for myself.

Absolutely no reason to apologize for the topic.

And the anger... goes all over the place for a while. To yourself, for believing the BS, for punishing yourself, holding yourself back when all you had to do was open your eyes. To the church (or churches) and pastor/priest/whatever your leader was. Sometimes to your family. But there seems to be a lot that gets directed inside.

I think it's a side effect of being told you're wrong, you're sinful, you're evil and unworthy for so long.

And really, it's not so much a two ton anvil of guilt, as you put it. That, I think, might break people out even faster. It's... not so much a battallion of tanks coming at you, since that would make you panic and run. No, it's much, much more subtle than that. It's someone putting their arm around you and quietly saying "I know it's bad, I don't know what you did but we're all sinners (helping make you part of that 'group') and deserve whatever it is because of it. But just listen to me, we can make it better following these teachings. Don't question them, we'll get the whole picture of grace, peace, love, from someone who doesn't have to give it to you but wants to, he loves you and makes everything better in the end...."

They put their arm around and quietly talk to you, getting your attention while they start sticking a needle full of heroin in you, basically, getting you addicted. You start questioning something, but feel guilty about it - and who can make you feel better and (by misdirecting and misquoting and mouthing platitudes) make the questions go away? The same one who stuck that needle in your arm the first time. He'll give you some more, we'll sing some pretty songs and make it all go away.

And you know withdrawl will be painful.

And it is. And you do get flashbacks. For years, as I was slowly drawing myself away, something would happen and I'd just get a wave of Christian guilt for, for instance, having White Wolf (demonic!) RPG books. It would be overwhelming. And I'd do whatever to ease the guilt - in this case, throw out hundreds of dollars of perfectly innocent books - and then feel bad about doing something utterly stupid, and have to fight that spiral down again.

Sometimes you see other addicts - if you're far enough along deconversion (recovery,) you don't want to join them, but what they do can make you angry (Westboro, for some concentrated hatred) or pain you (my mom, repeating the line - late 90s, I think - after Disney gave same sex couples benefits that the tornades that hit (and completely missed disney) were 'God's wrath,' for instance.) And it hurts when you see one you just don't know how to - or can't - help.

And yet... someone who's never been addicted can be sympathetic, can try to help, but they don't *know.* They may have the data, but the experience is missing. (And for the record... despite my description above, I've never done heroin or anything stronger than rum, only smoked for a little while and managed to kick that years ago.) My cousin once described - I think it was acid - where she sat and watched a light bulb "drip" for what seemed like hours, and I couldn't picture being in a state to either accept and not question it, or not do anything else.

It's hard to describe for someone who hasn't "been there." But we try.

I like your blog.

“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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10-06-2013, 06:15 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 05:52 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  I like your blog.

Thanks. It's a bit all over the place, but it's there.

My little rambling blog. (More topical than this one, at least.)
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10-06-2013, 06:30 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 04:42 PM)Ricochet180 Wrote:  
(09-06-2013 08:37 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  I have known nothing else but atheism my entire live. I've only been in two churches in my life. Really! In reading through this forum and others like it, I'm struck by the amount of guilt, anger and internal turmoil most of you have gone through and still suffer from. It's really quite stunning to me as it's something I've never experienced. Reading through some of the posts, though enlightening, is hard for me to relate to. It's as if most of you lived in a different country then defected and came out speaking a different language.

This isn't much of a topic for a thread, it's more of an observation than anything else but I really wanted to express how sorry I am that so many of you had a two-ton anvil of religious guilt dropped on your head every day. I don't know how you all survived it..............maybe some of you haven't.

I'm so glad my parents let me think for myself.

Absolutely no reason to apologize for the topic.

And the anger... goes all over the place for a while. To yourself, for believing the BS, for punishing yourself, holding yourself back when all you had to do was open your eyes. To the church (or churches) and pastor/priest/whatever your leader was. Sometimes to your family. But there seems to be a lot that gets directed inside.

I think it's a side effect of being told you're wrong, you're sinful, you're evil and unworthy for so long.

And really, it's not so much a two ton anvil of guilt, as you put it. That, I think, might break people out even faster. It's... not so much a battallion of tanks coming at you, since that would make you panic and run. No, it's much, much more subtle than that. It's someone putting their arm around you and quietly saying "I know it's bad, I don't know what you did but we're all sinners (helping make you part of that 'group') and deserve whatever it is because of it. But just listen to me, we can make it better following these teachings. Don't question them, we'll get the whole picture of grace, peace, love, from someone who doesn't have to give it to you but wants to, he loves you and makes everything better in the end...."

They put their arm around and quietly talk to you, getting your attention while they start sticking a needle full of heroin in you, basically, getting you addicted. You start questioning something, but feel guilty about it - and who can make you feel better and (by misdirecting and misquoting and mouthing platitudes) make the questions go away? The same one who stuck that needle in your arm the first time. He'll give you some more, we'll sing some pretty songs and make it all go away.

And you know withdrawl will be painful.

And it is. And you do get flashbacks. For years, as I was slowly drawing myself away, something would happen and I'd just get a wave of Christian guilt for, for instance, having White Wolf (demonic!) RPG books. It would be overwhelming. And I'd do whatever to ease the guilt - in this case, throw out hundreds of dollars of perfectly innocent books - and then feel bad about doing something utterly stupid, and have to fight that spiral down again.

Sometimes you see other addicts - if you're far enough along deconversion (recovery,) you don't want to join them, but what they do can make you angry (Westboro, for some concentrated hatred) or pain you (my mom, repeating the line - late 90s, I think - after Disney gave same sex couples benefits that the tornades that hit (and completely missed disney) were 'God's wrath,' for instance.) And it hurts when you see one you just don't know how to - or can't - help.

And yet... someone who's never been addicted can be sympathetic, can try to help, but they don't *know.* They may have the data, but the experience is missing. (And for the record... despite my description above, I've never done heroin or anything stronger than rum, only smoked for a little while and managed to kick that years ago.) My cousin once described - I think it was acid - where she sat and watched a light bulb "drip" for what seemed like hours, and I couldn't picture being in a state to either accept and not question it, or not do anything else.

It's hard to describe for someone who hasn't "been there." But we try.

White Wolf books were the shit! My mom thought they were evil too. Big Grin

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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10-06-2013, 06:32 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(10-06-2013 04:42 PM)Ricochet180 Wrote:  
(09-06-2013 08:37 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  I have known nothing else but atheism my entire live. I've only been in two churches in my life. Really! In reading through this forum and others like it, I'm struck by the amount of guilt, anger and internal turmoil most of you have gone through and still suffer from. It's really quite stunning to me as it's something I've never experienced. Reading through some of the posts, though enlightening, is hard for me to relate to. It's as if most of you lived in a different country then defected and came out speaking a different language.

This isn't much of a topic for a thread, it's more of an observation than anything else but I really wanted to express how sorry I am that so many of you had a two-ton anvil of religious guilt dropped on your head every day. I don't know how you all survived it..............maybe some of you haven't.

I'm so glad my parents let me think for myself.

Absolutely no reason to apologize for the topic.

And the anger... goes all over the place for a while. To yourself, for believing the BS, for punishing yourself, holding yourself back when all you had to do was open your eyes. To the church (or churches) and pastor/priest/whatever your leader was. Sometimes to your family. But there seems to be a lot that gets directed inside.

I think it's a side effect of being told you're wrong, you're sinful, you're evil and unworthy for so long.

And really, it's not so much a two ton anvil of guilt, as you put it. That, I think, might break people out even faster. It's... not so much a battallion of tanks coming at you, since that would make you panic and run. No, it's much, much more subtle than that. It's someone putting their arm around you and quietly saying "I know it's bad, I don't know what you did but we're all sinners (helping make you part of that 'group') and deserve whatever it is because of it. But just listen to me, we can make it better following these teachings. Don't question them, we'll get the whole picture of grace, peace, love, from someone who doesn't have to give it to you but wants to, he loves you and makes everything better in the end...."

They put their arm around and quietly talk to you, getting your attention while they start sticking a needle full of heroin in you, basically, getting you addicted. You start questioning something, but feel guilty about it - and who can make you feel better and (by misdirecting and misquoting and mouthing platitudes) make the questions go away? The same one who stuck that needle in your arm the first time. He'll give you some more, we'll sing some pretty songs and make it all go away.

And you know withdrawl will be painful.

And it is. And you do get flashbacks. For years, as I was slowly drawing myself away, something would happen and I'd just get a wave of Christian guilt for, for instance, having White Wolf (demonic!) RPG books. It would be overwhelming. And I'd do whatever to ease the guilt - in this case, throw out hundreds of dollars of perfectly innocent books - and then feel bad about doing something utterly stupid, and have to fight that spiral down again.

Sometimes you see other addicts - if you're far enough along deconversion (recovery,) you don't want to join them, but what they do can make you angry (Westboro, for some concentrated hatred) or pain you (my mom, repeating the line - late 90s, I think - after Disney gave same sex couples benefits that the tornades that hit (and completely missed disney) were 'God's wrath,' for instance.) And it hurts when you see one you just don't know how to - or can't - help.

And yet... someone who's never been addicted can be sympathetic, can try to help, but they don't *know.* They may have the data, but the experience is missing. (And for the record... despite my description above, I've never done heroin or anything stronger than rum, only smoked for a little while and managed to kick that years ago.) My cousin once described - I think it was acid - where she sat and watched a light bulb "drip" for what seemed like hours, and I couldn't picture being in a state to either accept and not question it, or not do anything else.

It's hard to describe for someone who hasn't "been there." But we try.


Do you think there is too profound a difference between those recovering from religion who are now atheists and those who are life long "from birth atheists"? We, the ones brought up with no religion what so ever, can we ever understand what you have been through? Your life story is so full of undeserving sin and guilt. I never experienced the sin thing. Actually, I don't think I even knew what sin was until I was about 11 or so and even then it was very vague and I never applied it to myself.

Do you personally know other atheists who were never exposed to religion, it's just kinda the way they were raised? If so do you ever discuss this aspect of the atheist experience?

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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