Introduce Yourself HERE!
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04-04-2014, 12:54 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Welcome, welcome!

Glad to see more new faces around here.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude.
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04-04-2014, 03:56 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(04-04-2014 12:30 PM)War Horse Wrote:  
(03-04-2014 01:59 PM)EyeToLensToPage Wrote:  39 year young lady from VA, not ashamed of my age nor views lol. Big Grin

(03-04-2014 05:33 PM)September Wrote:  Hello everyone.

I'm 35 and from an annoyingly small town in west Texas, and only recently comfortable with affixing the label "atheist" to myself. I went through a fairly adventurous ten year journey to reach the point where I'm at now, from skeptical believer to unwavering non-believer. (which included stops at a couple of pretty hardcore evangelical churches in an attempt to "fit in" with my first wife's family)

I stumbled across The Thinking Atheist podcasts and this website a little by accident but I am certainly glad I did. The annoyingly small town I live in makes it rather hard to believe (or not believe, as is the case) in the way that I do in anything resembling an open way. So a place like this is definitely a welcome sight.

Welcome to the forum, both of you ! Hope to hear more from you in the near future. Thumbsup

Thank you for the warm welcome, still dipping in my toes before the plunge Cool
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04-04-2014, 08:15 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Greetings everyone! I've enjoyed reading stuff around here for quite a while, so why not jump in? I'm white, nerdy and an atheist - simple as that.

Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια?
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05-04-2014, 04:49 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(04-04-2014 08:15 PM)John Wrote:  Greetings everyone! I've enjoyed reading stuff around here for quite a while, so why not jump in? I'm white, nerdy and an atheist - simple as that.

Hi John and welcome to the forum. Thumbsup

If bullshit were music some people would be a brass band.
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05-04-2014, 05:11 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(04-04-2014 11:54 PM)Karyn Wolfe Wrote:  
(01-04-2014 08:11 AM)raven48 Wrote:  What was the trigger that brought you out of the darkness? Was it a sudden flash on the road to Damascus, or was it a gradual process? Reason for asking: Logic and reason will not work on the True Believers, but there must be a way into their heads.
Hi Raven,
Good question! For me, it was totally a gradual process, and I've been reflecting lately that it was a very emotional one, ironically. Starting in my mid-late teens, things weren't quite working as well as they had for me all along in terms of my hard-core legalistic faith, I was depressed, and felt extremely guilty about my imperfections and inability to control them. These were not big things, small lies, libido, sassing my parents, etc. But I was pretty devastated. This was the start, but because I blamed myself, not God or religion, I was consumed by self-hate. I was in my mid-20s the first time God's veneer began to crack; I had an incident (detailed here) in which I realized that I was the moral superior to the God I had been loving and worshiping, but I didn't know what to do with that. A few months later, things really started to come apart for me when out of the blue, I left my fundamentalist husband. I didn't even know I was going to do it; I just went on a vacation and never went back home. That caused a huge rip in the fabric of my faith; divorce was such a huge sin but my heart was telling me to leave and find myself. To violate God's requirements of me and get divorced, I essentially had to willingly disobey. But I also couldn't believe that God would want me to stay in the relationship with all its problems. For the first time I began really thinking... "why would God want me to live a life that makes me unhappy just because He has a rule that everyone should follow?" It sounds simple and naive, I know, but I had never questioned anything before. So after that, I was aware that I was different from other fundamentalists because I had knowingly disobeyed God because I HAD TO FOR MYSELF. This began a long process where my doubts really took the helm. It was excruciating and I had nothing to take the place of the beliefs I let go of... so for many years I was just in a wilderness of grief, anger, and alienation. But, even so, my beliefs about Christianity persisted and I worked very hard to "remythologize" them every time I had some new insight about Not God. Most of my process was because some intellectual dissonance about Christianity I had was eventually followed through by an emotional need to be true to myself. I never really got into the whole debate about problems with the Bible; after a while I didn't try to defend it. I did come to understand I had been a fundamentalist, and worked very hard to recover from that, while still retaining my belief that I could be a non-fundamentalist Christian. For 20 years now, I have slowly been discarding aspects of my faith that don't work (as relates to science or reason or my own experience). I'm left with very little that isn't wholly metaphoric or poetic, and with a sliver of an idea of a non-theistic God I identify as Life, but it is not supernatural, and I can't really say that it is anything more than Reality.

I am the only one in my family who has made this journey, and I cannot even begin to know what made it possible for me and not them. Ironically, what I think would have helped me along the path event faster would have been:
1) to have people in my life who deeply listened to me, reflected back to me what they heard and saw
2) for others to affirm my desire for truth and my sincerity, after all it was my desire that my inner knowledge and thoughts synchronize with ultimate truth that drove my process this whole time
3) if mentors had really understood how much work it was to try to hold it all together and had some admiration for that. Strange but true! I was a real person with tremendous angst and desire to be good and right.
4) if it had been ok for me to experience and express the grief I felt at walking away from God and the church and, internally, all the things that had been so precious and ALL I KNEW up to that point!

I am still in the process and will be for the rest of my life. In part because I have learned that I need to be patient with myself. I feel that my upbringing was abusive and that I was terrorized by my family and my church. I have come to a point where I won't terrorize myself going forward... and if that means being gentle and patient, then great. I really don't need to repeat the attitudes of my fundamentalism on myself -- perfectionism, scathing criticism, screaming the truth at myself and others, arguing, hubris, being sure I am right, etc. This is a new day, in both belief and in how I live my life.

What about you?

Mod can split this discussion into separate thread? It's a beautifully written post Karyn, I'd like to see it getting the attention it deserves Smile

Quote:This is a new day, in both belief and in how I live my life.
Smile Yay.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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05-04-2014, 11:37 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Hi, I'm Carol and found your board yesterday.

Quick background:

Up until 18 years old, I was a searcher type experiencing the issues and adventures of growing up. I was a 70s-culture young/mid-teen...sex, R&R, drugs...and then found my way into various spiritual-type orgs (TM, Aquarian Gospel, Ram Dass, Baptist church, Charismatic).

At 18, I landed with a fundamentalist-type Bible group, The Way International. I stayed there until 2005 and have slowly progressed from believing the Bible to be "God-breathed" and "inerrant" to now viewing the Bible as literature...no more holy than any other religious or spiritual leaning literature.

I'm currently soon to hit 55 years old and lean toward the agnostic camp.

Thank you!
Smile

I tend to oppose protecting the guilty. ~Fred Poole
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05-04-2014, 01:03 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Thanks for the response, War Horse!
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05-04-2014, 01:06 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(05-04-2014 11:37 AM)oneperson Wrote:  Hi, I'm Carol and found your board yesterday.

Quick background:

Up until 18 years old, I was a searcher type experiencing the issues and adventures of growing up. I was a 70s-culture young/mid-teen...sex, R&R, drugs...and then found my way into various spiritual-type orgs (TM, Aquarian Gospel, Ram Dass, Baptist church, Charismatic).

At 18, I landed with a fundamentalist-type Bible group, The Way International. I stayed there until 2005 and have slowly progressed from believing the Bible to be "God-breathed" and "inerrant" to now viewing the Bible as literature...no more holy than any other religious or spiritual leaning literature.

I'm currently soon to hit 55 years old and lean toward the agnostic camp.

Thank you!
Smile

Welcome to the forum.

(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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05-04-2014, 01:26 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(04-04-2014 11:54 PM)Karyn Wolfe Wrote:  Hi Raven,
Good question! For me, it was totally a gradual process, and I've been reflecting lately that it was a very emotional one,
What about you?

This is a technical/test message... I'm still trying to figure out how to attach my reply to a particular message instead of creating a new message.
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05-04-2014, 02:05 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Hey Everyone,

I'm Doug/las. I became an Atheist the old fashioned way; by being dragged to church every Sunday for 18 years. Like many here I only had to spend about a dozen of those in Sunday school, due to an over-inquisitive nature. To this day (am currently 49) I celebrate everyday of my life by not eating my veggies and every Sunday by waking up very very late... Big Grin

Happy to be here,
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