Introduce Yourself HERE!
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26-05-2015, 09:54 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(26-05-2015 09:24 PM)nunurbz16 Wrote:  Hello, all! My name is Rhonda. I live in Missouri, near St. Louis. I have been a fan of The Thinking Atheist since 2011. I used to listen to the broadcast every week when it came on. Lately, life has been making my schedule a bit more unstable, so I watch videos on YouTube a lot to keep up.

I am trying to get started in a culinary career, and am hoping it will be in food styling, or maybe recipe testing. I hope someday to write a cookbook of my own. I love to bake. I read a lot. I am a fan of baseball.

That is a little about me..

You like food, I like you already Big Grin welcome.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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28-05-2015, 02:59 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Hi there. Just found this site today and joined. I left the church in the last couple years after being in it my whole life. Still very disillusioned and angry, still in that phase of feeling like I've been duped, lied to, fooled for so long. Still angry at myself for going along with it. Happy to finally be free. I feel like I'm on the nebuchadnezzar in the Matrix: I'd rather be awake and miserable than asleep and living in a dream world that isn't real. I live outside of St. Louis. I'm glad to find you all.
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28-05-2015, 03:23 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(28-05-2015 02:59 PM)mycole Wrote:  Hi there. Just found this site today and joined. I left the church in the last couple years after being in it my whole life. Still very disillusioned and angry, still in that phase of feeling like I've been duped, lied to, fooled for so long. Still angry at myself for going along with it. Happy to finally be free. I feel like I'm on the nebuchadnezzar in the Matrix: I'd rather be awake and miserable than asleep and living in a dream world that isn't real. I live outside of St. Louis. I'm glad to find you all.

Welcome! There are many of us here that are in that phase. Especially those who were raised fundamentalists. This stage of the process is normal and there are a plethora of people here who can help with ideas and advice!

**Crickets** -- God
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28-05-2015, 03:29 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(28-05-2015 02:59 PM)mycole Wrote:  Hi there. Just found this site today and joined. I left the church in the last couple years after being in it my whole life. Still very disillusioned and angry, still in that phase of feeling like I've been duped, lied to, fooled for so long. Still angry at myself for going along with it. Happy to finally be free. I feel like I'm on the nebuchadnezzar in the Matrix: I'd rather be awake and miserable than asleep and living in a dream world that isn't real. I live outside of St. Louis. I'm glad to find you all.
Welcome.
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28-05-2015, 07:08 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Thank you Nishi and Tonechaser!
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29-05-2015, 05:17 AM (This post was last modified: 29-05-2015 09:31 AM by Ierbamatei.)
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Hello folks. Apparently I'm an apostate now.
I was going to do a short recap of my "spiritual journey" and stuff, but I keep forgetting that I'm old enough now that it actually takes a while to tell my life story. So, here's a point-form list instead:

** I said the sinner's prayer at 6, and come from a mostly evangelical/baptist background, with a couple years experience in a rather cultish charismatic/NAR church for good measure.
** My mother was extremely controlling, and mostly succeeded in her attempts to dominate my childhood.
** I was home-schooled; what little social life I was allowed as a child came from attending and volunteering at church.
** In practice, I rarely sat through sermons; I preferred to hang out in the halls or in the library. I wasn't a troublemaker, I just hated sitting through sermons.
** I remember having times of doubt, but being so isolated from anything outside the church meant these times were short-lived.
** When I was 11, the year my parents divorced, I remember thinking to myself that I didn't actually care very much about God; the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus was thrust upon me, however, and within year I had cultivated a regular habit of talking to an authority-approved imaginary friend about everything.
** When I was 12, I decided it was very important that I be baptized; I wasn't sure if it was necessary to stay out of hell or not, but I felt a lot less worried after the deed was done.
** The greatest time of doubt came when I was 16; we had left the charismatic/NAR church the year before, and I realized I had no way of knowing who the real heretics were, despite my mother's assurance that it was them and not us. I felt a strong urge to pursue science instead of faith, and came dangerously close to unbelief, but then a MIRACLE occurred: I was given an info package from Answers In Genesis, and my faith was saved! [oh, the shame...]
** When I was 17, my dad moved back to town and, after showing that he was not, in fact, the Spawn of Satan my mother had led me to believe, he helped me get my first job (very early mornings in an LTL warehouse; I still have nightmares). This was my first regular experience of life outside of home and church.
** Armed with the TRUTH of apologetics and creationism, I was compelled to study the bible and share my knowledge with my fellow believers. This was not received as well as I had expected; for people who loved Jesus so much, no one seemed to care about all the arguments in his favour.
** Real life started to get in the way; having grown up a poor boy, I wanted to establish financial independence from my mother, and so work often meant I was too exhausted too want to attend church. I burned myself out, in fact, and took a year off to recover and get my adult graduation certificate. My next job was in retail, where I met a much greater variety of people than at the warehouse.
** Being quite the introvert, I never liked proselytizing, but I tried anyway, especially after going to bible study. I won no converts; I remember expressing my frustration at bible study once. Within the church or without, it seemed that no one appreciated all the work I put into defending and understanding the faith.
** 2012 was a watershed year for me. In the spring, I resolved that instead of trying to defend my beliefs, I would start listening to others; by winter, I was recognizing a strange new kind of thought in my head: actual opinions of my own, and not an authority figure's. They had always been there, I suppose, but I had finally stopped telling them to shut up and defer to doctrine.
** On Halloween in 2012, I moved out from my mother's (to my dad's, but he was out of town for work most of the time); I did not speak to her until my sister's wedding half a year later.
** By this time, I was more open-minded, but had become quite taken with the works of J.P. Holding, and still strove to apply Christian principles to my life.
** In January 2013, I had a brief and ill-advised relationship. I was trying to do things the proper Christian way; she was always babbling about how she was a Christian (of the sort that mostly just screams "JESUS SAID DON'T JUDGE!!!"), but was quite immature and cared more about partying and hanging out with abusive ex-boyfriends (I always wondered...if they tried to rape you, why do you hang out with them?!)...I thought I could save her, give her a better life, show her that not all men are...that...
** All this time, I had been convinced that, if someone was a Christian, you could expect them to have certain values; but in January 2013, I realized that was incorrect. I had known it before, but had always staved it off. No longer. I had once been able to explain away all the suffering in the world, because I refused to look directly at it; no longer. All the doubts, all the horrors, all the things wrong with the world that God refused to fix came pouring down like a black tide. I was quite depressed for about six months, and when I emerged, I was only nominally Christian; in fact, I had done quite a bit of reading on Buddhism and new age spirituality, and, while I said nothing to my family, was much more inclined that way. For the first time in years, I started picking up books by non-Christian authors.
** In January 2014, I read /The End Of Faith/ by Sam Harris. It was a guilty pleasure at the time, and I admit to getting a sort of perverse thrill out of reading something so naughty...but then I found myself agreeing with him on so much. Nevertheless, I remained resolutely "spiritual but not religious," which might have worked better if I was spiritual to begin with, but oh well, baby steps I guess.
** For the rest of 2014...I finally moved into a place completely unattached to either of my parents, with some incredible room-mates (one of them is getting her PhD in research psychology; she keeps pestering me to go to university, and I keep telling her I don't want to spend the money...not yet, anyway), and found myself freer than ever before to think and do according to what I want. I felt a pull back to Christianity once or twice, and dabbled in feng shui and astrology, but working full-time in a stressful job began to wear at me more and more; on the plus side, I grew impatient with so many of my old anxieties that they seem to have literally disappeared, but on the down side, I was growing bitter and irascible. I wanted so much to learn and study more and more, but work got in the way...
** In November 2014, one of my work acquaintances came out as trans on Facebook. When I read that, not only did I say "screw it" and finally grow a beard like I've wanted to for years, but I realized how far I had been drifting from my own values. After typing out a congratulatory letter for my co-worker, I considered my own life. I had already planned to save up so I could cut my hours back, but this accelerated that goal, and I resolved to enact my plans by the spring of 2015.
** In December 2014, I was bored and, for reasons I do not clearly remember, found myself on RationalWiki, which I'd always avoided because they criticize things like alternative medicine. I blame them for taking the sting out of words like "skeptic" and "atheist" for me, and also for making me deeply skeptical of spirituality and alternative medicine.
** On March 1 2015, my plans went into effect: I cut back my hours at work so I'd have more time to study things and work on stuff (I'm trying to write my first novel, and would like to get my Japanese studies back on track soon).
** On April 3, I started reading /Coming Out Atheist/ by Greta Christina; a few chapters in, I realized that, for all intents and purposes, I am now an atheist. In the following weeks, I realized that the revolutionary era of my life that began in May 2012 had drawn to a close, and I was ready for the next chapter.

Okay, that still came out really long; I hope that's okay. Anyway, yeah, it's hard to believe that a mere 3 years ago I was still hanging onto creationism, and even a year ago I was willing to believe in astrology (I do admit though, it was fun plotting my heavenly branches and stems). I lament the years I spent defending religion and pseudoscience, but now that I'm free from such encumbrances, I admit to having some rather ambitious plans for my life now. These plans include, among other things, greater community involvement, which I guess is why I'm here now. I'm no stranger to the internet, but this is my first time properly registering and wanting to be a part of an online community, so I'll try not to step on anyone's toes!
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29-05-2015, 06:30 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(29-05-2015 05:17 AM)Ierbamatei Wrote:  Hello folks. Apparently I'm an apostate now.
I was going to do a short recap of my "spiritual journey" and stuff, but I keep forgetting that I'm old enough now that it actually takes a while to tell my life story. So, here's a point-form list instead:

...

Okay, that still came out really long; I hope that's okay. Anyway, yeah, it's hard to believe that a mere 3 years ago I was still hanging onto creationism, and even a year ago I was willing to believe in astrology (I do admit though, it was fun plotting my heavenly branches and stems). I lament the years I spent defending religion and pseudoscience, but now that I'm free from such encumbrances, I admit to having some rather ambitious plans for my life now. These plans include, among other things, greater community involvement, which I guess is why I'm here now. I'm no stranger to the internet, but this is my first time properly registering and wanting to be a part of an online community, so I'll try not to step on anyone's toes!
Quite the trip.

Welcome.
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29-05-2015, 08:42 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Good day:

I was instructed to post an introduction as part of the registration process to prove that I am not a bot. OK. I am not a bot.

I'm currently in the process of listening to all of The Thinking Atheist podcasts, having already viewed all of the videos that I could find. I am basically using this to learn as much as possible.

Honestly, I'm not sure what beliefs I have any more, but I know that the more that I think about it, the harder it is to believe in a creator. While raised christian, in a home that met many of the criteria for evangelical, it did not 'stick' once I left home. I am also married to an atheist who is the kindest, most amazing person that I have ever met.

I've often described myself as a Renaissance woman, who can do anything I decide to. To paraphrase Heinlein: I can cook a meal, tell a tale, fix a computer, change my oil, replace an alternator, write a poem, make a shirt, grow a garden, can vegetables, catch a fish, hunt a deer, mend a broken bone, breed a flower, sing a song, take a picture, comfort a child, teach an adult, build a house, cut a plank, change a pipe, draw a picture, make a necklace and solve problems.

Since this is an introduction: I had a weird upbringing - didn't we all? My father is a pastor in the Identity movement, so I was raised to be very, very racist, homophobic, and bigoted. On the other hand, because my father is who he is, I went to every single xian church that we could find in our small town. I spent time going to church as a Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Orthodox, and Anglican. I was also given a copy of the Apocrapha and a concordance to research everything in the bible. Going to the churches, I saw something that started me down the path of questioning everything: the children of the members of the church that I was attending would be my friends in school, but when we changed to a different church, they were suddenly my enemies, and the children of the current church were my friends.

There are a million other things that I could tell, but you probably don't want to read it all in what is supposed to be a short introduction. Thank you for your attention, and I now return you to your regularly scheduled weirdness, already in progress.

- Hastur
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29-05-2015, 05:53 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Hi, All!

I'm happy to find this forum! I've been an atheist for a long time. I was raised in an southern, evangelical Christian household--preacher's kid--but started exploring various belief systems and philosophies when I went away to college. I am an agnostic intellectually and an atheist pragmatically. Pragmatic means that I have decided to live as if there is no god (partly because most gods as described in religions seem unworthy of worship). I live in New England and work as a musician and private music teacher.
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30-05-2015, 04:07 AM (This post was last modified: 30-05-2015 04:23 AM by DLJ.)
Hello friends
I've been a long time listener to The Thinking Atheist podcast, as well as a few others, so I decided to finally get around to checking out the site.

So a little about me.

I've been a declared atheist since my mid-20's. I'm 33 now. I live with my husband and 3 cats and step son part time and we live a happy atheist existence.

I honestly think I always was atheist, I never really bought into religion. My parents were the stand offish variety who didn't push it either way, I've never been to church with my parents. They let me go with other people and I participated in a few different churchs and never really felt what others claimed to feel.

My last church stop was a pentacostal church and for those of you who don't know about them, if you are on the verge of non belief these folks will take an oar to your backside and beat you off that boat. Speaking in tongues and laying of hands was the end for me. I remember faking it for awhile and I would always be thinking to myself...everyone else is faking this to, right? RIGHT?! So I never really believed so my step into atheism wasn't difficult, once I knew there was a word for it and other people who were like minded out there in the universe.

I didn't have a fall out like many did and I deeply sympathize with those of you who have had a difficult time with this I truly, truly do. I've listened to a lot of those stories and its just an awful thing what families can do to each other.

The only difficult thing I face is that because of my parents standoffishness with this topic my sister and I are polar opposites.

I am an atheist, and she is a bible literalist. Wowsa, now that is difficult but a story for another time perhaps.

So I'll end my hello's now. That is a little about me. Glad to be here and look forward to discussing things with all of you.

Pheonix
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