Introduce Yourself HERE!
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29-04-2013, 11:25 AM
Wink Here I am!
I'm almost 58, live in northwestern New Jersey, and am nearly the town atheist.

Raised in Rockaway Beach, NYC, I attended a Modern Orthodox synagogue from age 7 to age 13. After my bar mitvah I sort of wondered when everyone would 'fess up; acknowledge the equality of Abraham's god with the tooth fairy. It didn't happen and I spent the next 20 years waffling about belief. Finally, I came to terms with my atheism.

My sisters and their children know about me. (I have neither married nor had kids of my own.) My mother, a fiery-tempered Puerto Rican Jew, does not. I intend to keep it that way.

There's no god discernible by me. As an anti-theist I resent the goddamned group who want to make a Xtian country out of the USA. They will not back down and neither must anyone who wishes to draw breath in peace and freedom. I don't turn the other cheek, LOL.

Michael G.
COGITO ERGO DEVS NON EST
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29-04-2013, 02:38 PM
RE: Here I am!
(29-04-2013 11:25 AM)Apikoros Wrote:  I'm almost 58, live in northwestern New Jersey, and am nearly the town atheist.

Raised in Rockaway Beach, NYC, I attended a Modern Orthodox synagogue from age 7 to age 13. After my bar mitvah I sort of wondered when everyone would 'fess up; acknowledge the equality of Abraham's god with the tooth fairy. It didn't happen and I spent the next 20 years waffling about belief. Finally, I came to terms with my atheism.

My sisters and their children know about me. (I have neither married nor had kids of my own.) My mother, a fiery-tempered Puerto Rican Jew, does not. I intend to keep it that way.

There's no god discernible by me. As an anti-theist I resent the goddamned group who want to make a Xtian country out of the USA. They will not back down and neither must anyone who wishes to draw breath in peace and freedom. I don't turn the other cheek, LOL.

Welcome, Apikoros! We have something in common: I too was raised Modern Orthodox, and for a time in the '60s I lived with my family in Rockaway Beach, in an apartment on Shore Front Parkway. (I wonder of R.B. is still in a double-fare zone on the subway!)

Enjoy your stay here.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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29-04-2013, 02:51 PM
RE: Here I am!
(29-04-2013 02:38 PM)cufflink Wrote:  Welcome, Apikoros! We have something in common: I too was raised Modern Orthodox, and for a time in the '60s I lived with my family in Rockaway Beach, in an apartment on Shore Front Parkway. (I wonder of R.B. is still in a double-fare zone on the subway!)

Enjoy your stay here.

Hi! Dayton? East or West? Young Israel? Derech Emunah?

My family left Rockaway (Edgemere Houses) in June of '72. Within 3 years, they went to single-fare to Broad Channel/The Rockaways. Remember what a political football that was?!

Thanks for the welcome! Smile

Michael G.
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29-04-2013, 10:24 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
So, here I am.

I'm in my late 30's. I live in North America. I was raised, and officially, still am, one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Yeah.

So, let's explain a bit there. I was raised one of Jehovah's Witnesses. My parents are good people. They are, apart from their beliefs, balanced people. I had a good childhood. I married fairly young at 21 years old, but I married well. I'm still in love all these years later. I have wonderful children. I even love my in-laws and regularly go on vacation with them. But I have a problem.

Almost ten years ago, I stopped believing in a god. It was a long time coming up to that point, but that's when I finally admitted to myself. At first it was hard to accept. I struggled with depression, with a lack of hope, but over time, I came to accept it. Now, I realize how unjust the concept of God is. I miss the potential for immortality, but I can deal.

What I'm having a hard time dealing with is being all alone. I cannot express these feelings to anyone that I love. See, Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs aren't any more or less ridiculous than any other religion. In fact, they tend to follow the bible's principles much better than other "Christians." This is a problem, however, because they consider their religion so important that, in the interests of protecting their congregations and convincing wrongdoers to repent, if I were to come out against them, I would be utterly shunned. My immediate family wouldn't leave, but my parents, my siblings, my spouse's family, i'd be unable to even speak with them. I'd break my parents's hearts, and their health isn't good enough to take it, I think. My spouse wouldn't understand...

And so I read sites like this, listen to podcasts, and subtlely sabotage the "spirituality" of my family, remaining as far on the fringe of the religion as I can get away with. I figure without my pressure to believe and conform, my children, at least, will get out safely. I really wish I had real life physical friends I could discuss this with over a few drinks, but it is what it is.

I don't hate JWs. I believed myself for 30 years. I know so many intelligent people who believe, with a blindspot that they can't see past. They're good people, generous people, hospitable, friendly, and damn, can they drink. Trouble is, they're also deluded. Since I'm not, I don't identify with them anymore, and have nobody to commiserate with. So I live vicariously through reading and listening to people like Seth Andrews, Chris Hitchens, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Darrel Ray, Richard Dawkins, and A.C. Grayling. I don't see any escape in my lifetime, but you never know.
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30-04-2013, 08:16 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(29-04-2013 10:24 PM)CompletelySolo Wrote:  This is a problem, however, because they consider their religion so important that, in the interests of protecting their congregations and convincing wrongdoers to repent, if I were to come out against them, I would be utterly shunned.

So much for one more Christian religion of love. No sense of humility nor mercy nor (especially) irony.

Come to sites like this one. At least they're sources of reason.

I'm so glad to be a Jew. Letting go seems much easier to do when there is no tenuous connection to "Jesus". This really tears up people who feel like they're "betraying" something even after admitting non-belief. Plus, I get the benefits of all the best parts of Hebrew culture w/o those burdonsome 613 mitzvot (commandments) enjoined upon believers.

Be well!

Michael G.
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30-04-2013, 08:49 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
I am 42, a lifelong atheist, originally from Mississippi, married to an atheist in a foxhole Wink We have an outspoken six year-old freethinking son who began requesting that we listen to Seth's podcasts over breakfast and thinks black holes are bitchin'. We are in the process of moving back to the United States from Germany, where our atheism just wasn't an issue, even in heavily Catholic Bavaria. We thought it would be great to join the community to get us through our next tour of duty, which will be back in "Hey, let's make Christianity our official state religion!" North Carolina.

Nice to Interweb with you.

"I was gambling in Havana. I took a little risk. Send lawyers, guns and money. Dad, get me out of this."

"Keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out."
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30-04-2013, 03:14 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(29-04-2013 10:24 PM)CompletelySolo Wrote:  So, here I am.

I'm in my late 30's. I live in North America. I was raised, and officially, still am, one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Yeah.

So, let's explain a bit there. I was raised one of Jehovah's Witnesses. My parents are good people. They are, apart from their beliefs, balanced people. I had a good childhood. I married fairly young at 21 years old, but I married well. I'm still in love all these years later. I have wonderful children. I even love my in-laws and regularly go on vacation with them. But I have a problem.

Almost ten years ago, I stopped believing in a god. It was a long time coming up to that point, but that's when I finally admitted to myself. At first it was hard to accept. I struggled with depression, with a lack of hope, but over time, I came to accept it. Now, I realize how unjust the concept of God is. I miss the potential for immortality, but I can deal.

What I'm having a hard time dealing with is being all alone. I cannot express these feelings to anyone that I love. See, Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs aren't any more or less ridiculous than any other religion. In fact, they tend to follow the bible's principles much better than other "Christians." This is a problem, however, because they consider their religion so important that, in the interests of protecting their congregations and convincing wrongdoers to repent, if I were to come out against them, I would be utterly shunned. My immediate family wouldn't leave, but my parents, my siblings, my spouse's family, i'd be unable to even speak with them. I'd break my parents's hearts, and their health isn't good enough to take it, I think. My spouse wouldn't understand...

And so I read sites like this, listen to podcasts, and subtlely sabotage the "spirituality" of my family, remaining as far on the fringe of the religion as I can get away with. I figure without my pressure to believe and conform, my children, at least, will get out safely. I really wish I had real life physical friends I could discuss this with over a few drinks, but it is what it is.

I don't hate JWs. I believed myself for 30 years. I know so many intelligent people who believe, with a blindspot that they can't see past. They're good people, generous people, hospitable, friendly, and damn, can they drink. Trouble is, they're also deluded. Since I'm not, I don't identify with them anymore, and have nobody to commiserate with. So I live vicariously through reading and listening to people like Seth Andrews, Chris Hitchens, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Darrel Ray, Richard Dawkins, and A.C. Grayling. I don't see any escape in my lifetime, but you never know.

Feels like my story when I first came here. I'm ex-mormon and just now seeing my wife of 20 years cautiously come around. It was a rocky ride but we're making it. Hang in there. I don't know where you're from but you might find, like I have, local atheist groups on meetup.com -Good to have you here.
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30-04-2013, 03:15 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(30-04-2013 08:49 AM)dixiereprobate Wrote:  I am 42, a lifelong atheist, originally from Mississippi, married to an atheist in a foxhole Wink We have an outspoken six year-old freethinking son who began requesting that we listen to Seth's podcasts over breakfast and thinks black holes are bitchin'. We are in the process of moving back to the United States from Germany, where our atheism just wasn't an issue, even in heavily Catholic Bavaria. We thought it would be great to join the community to get us through our next tour of duty, which will be back in "Hey, let's make Christianity our official state religion!" North Carolina.

Nice to Interweb with you.

Coming to Fort Bragg by any chance?
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30-04-2013, 11:08 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Hello everyone! My name is Alex. I'm from Springfield, Missouri. I'm 25 and I've been an atheist for the past 12 years. I grew up being raised in a baptist church. It wasn't until I went to the "adult services" instead of Sunday school that I slowly but surely started to think for myself. I started having doubts and questioning things that obviously couldn't be true.

My religious upbringing was thanks to my grandma. I loved her (she died in 2008), but she was a deeply religious person. I realized that I never cared about the religious aspect of going to church with her as a child, but rather the opportunity to spend time with her. My mom is religious too, but not nearly as much as her mother was. She is against organized religion, but still believes that god exists. The one thing I have been so grateful for is how respectful she has been about my beliefs. She thinks I'm wrong obviously, but hasn't shunned me at all for it. In fact, we have healthy debates about religion. We know deep down that neither of us is ever going to change the other's mind, but I'll never stop trying.

Tell people there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you.

Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.

- George Carlin
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01-05-2013, 01:22 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Bragg is precisely where we're headed, Grassy Knoll; won't be long now. Are you local?

"I was gambling in Havana. I took a little risk. Send lawyers, guns and money. Dad, get me out of this."

"Keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out."
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