Introduce Yourself HERE!
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23-01-2012, 10:32 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Hello, greetings and salutations... I consider myself to be a well-educated world traveler and cultural photographer. I tend to see the humor this world has to offer and I am delighted to see ultra zealots flog themselves over fictional beliefs. [Just sayin']...

I have a great sense of humor, but I'm a good listener as well. Feel free to vent or enlighten me about your part of the universe.
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24-01-2012, 05:33 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Greetings heathens,

My name is Zack, I'm 28 years old, and an atheist. I was born and raised in the bible belt. I'm currently living/working in the middle east as a defense contractor.

You cannot have a logical debate when the other person did not arrive at their point of view using logic.
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24-01-2012, 09:09 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Welcome new people.

Welcome back CYTB/IMOM/New acronym glad to see you back Smile
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24-01-2012, 09:53 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
[Image: funny-pictures-this-baby-panda-bids-you-hello.jpg][Image: nodrama.jpg]

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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24-01-2012, 11:34 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
A former Mormon here.

What's up y'all?

Yes, I was born into and raised in the Mormon church (LDS). Originally from Utah but grew up in Georgia and currently reside in NC. I am the oldest son of six children. Everyone in my family is very devout and active in the church to this day. They've served overseas missions, worked at the temple and reaffirm their faith often at fast and testimony meetings. I am the only apostate of my family thus far. I fell out of good standing with the church as a teen when I started playing guitar, grown long hair, performing at night clubs and partook in the life of sex, drugs and rock'n roll. After living life as fast and free as I could for several years I reached a point where I felt it was time to grow up. I guess for me that meant going back to church and immersing myself back into customs and rituals that I was familiar with. With a guilty heart and a contrite spirit, I became passionate about the church and all its teachings. I read, prayed, fasted, confessed my sins to the bishop and tried my best to make up for my stumble off the pathway to an eternal life with God in the Celestial Kingdom.

Then, after many months, I fell in love with a "non-mormon". It wasn't long after I'd persuaded her to convert that I had to start explaining some of the weird things about mormonism. The history of racism and polygamy and how she was supposed to be the "Queen" of my multitude of wives in heaven (<--really a sore spot). I researched the writings and revelations of past prophets and did my best to rationalize good explanations for those things but to her it was ever the bitter pill. However, a sense of community and strong families was the good part that she could attach to. Finally, my charm won her heart and somewhere along the way she relented to all truth and understanding being attainable in the hereafter. I asked her to marry me and we attended temple preparation classes. To be married in the temple is to have an eternal bond and it was a beautiful thing. I hadn't yet received my temple endowments either so I was certain that our temple marriage would provide the solid foundation she could rest her faith upon and it would simply reaffirm everything I already believed in. Almost the OPPOSITE happened!!!!

It did provide enough warm and fuzzie's for her but I was like, hold on- wait a minute- this is what it's all about....? I gotta know the secret "handshake" to get into the treehouse in the sky? It didn't sit well with me that god would not know me for who I was. That he would not run and embrace me with an intimate knowledge of my mind and spirit but instead stop me at the door and say "What's the secret password?" After that, I was the one with the bitter pill and I tried to swallow it over the course of about 10 years. I was open about my dismay and said so to my bishop and family. We discussed at length and even went together one on one to analyze all of the symbolism and meaning of the rituals and attire. I was lulled into complacency as my wife's faith grew and flourished among the new found sisterhood of the church. We were all good people doing good things trying to live good lives. I taught sunday school and other classes. Became a home teacher and went on splits with the missionaries but, I never built up enough courage to stand before the congregation and proclaim that "I know this church is true". Because I didn't. I slowly set out to fix that by reading and praying. I read the BOM three times and the D&C once over and then again in chronological order (chronology is key to being able to wrap your head around that one). And then, I met a retired baptist minister and in conversation he expressed his great respect for the church but pointed out that it was all predicated on whether or not Joseph Smith was really a prophet or a snake oil peddler. I found I had no good argument in defense of Joe Smith so I needed to find out what in the world he was talking about?

Boy oh boy, the things they never tell you about Joseph Smith in gospel doctrine class! Everything I learned disturbed me greatly. I even went as far as going to the place of his execution at Liberty jail in Illinois to get a fairer understanding of this monstrosity of myth that I'd been spoon fed since birth. At Nauvoo IL he was the prophet and president of the church. He was also the town mayor, sheriff, judge and militia general. In short he was a dictator and I had never known that. Whenever I'm asked why I'm not a mormon anymore I whip out a picture of this little known painting that was the *only* self commissioned portrait he ever had made of himself. Not of a man with the endearing trait of 'god chosen' prophet of goodness and light, but of a dictator decked out in a full uniform of military regalia. The only painting the founder of the mormon church ever made of himself and not once is it ever displayed in the church where he is the keystone that holds it all in place. It's like peeking behind the curtain and seeing the wizard for the true con man he really was.

It's been a difficult process integrating a brainwashed mind back into some semblance of normalcy of what I am and who I'm supposed to be. Thomas Paine's 'Age of Reason' was the book that helped me crossover out of the made up construct of religion to a Deist and eventually what I am today. A person without mysticism and superstition. A person with a sense of value through knowledge of reason and science. A person that understands that the concept of a god is little more than an emotional blanket that can help or hinder but is ultimately not needed when you know that there is no god and that no middle man is needed to recognize the goodness all around us and within. I'm glad I've learned to un-learn what had my mind so twisted and I thank the many of you here and on the internet for helping me by continuing to promote the rational side of humanity in society. I'll try my best to contribute as I can in being a worthy member of this forum.

Cheers ;-)

[Image: joseph-smith-maudsely.jpg]
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24-01-2012, 05:00 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Hi everyone! My name's Dan and I'm from Portland, OR. I was raised a pentecostal but lost my faith in high school. I've lurked for a while and I finally decided to snag an account.
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24-01-2012, 05:15 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Hello,

I was driving by in the neighborhood so I thought I would drop in to say hello to all.

Hello All!

I guess you can easily guess who I am.

I have been away for a while and, in a painful way, I was reminded of how stupid it is out there.

I have come to the conclusion: if you are not an atheist, there is something seriously wrong with your mental processes.

If there is any hope for humanity, it has to come from a place like this, no matter how silly it gets sometime.

And now I will say good bye with my new battle cry: "Atheists of the world unite! -- you have nothing to lose but your idiot friends!"
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24-01-2012, 05:22 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Hey welcome back zat.

Behold the power of the force!
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24-01-2012, 05:27 PM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2012 06:02 PM by Chas.)
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Welcome back, Zat. Big Grin

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-01-2012, 05:54 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Smile ZAT!
It is strange "out there"... sometimes, I think the only thing that keeps me sane is this crazy place!
... hmm... wonder what that says about me? Confused "A sane man in an insane world would appear insane." ...
A description I can live up to! Big Grin

Blush I missed you Zat, welcome back to the forum!

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