Introductions! ... Ok, it's my life story
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
02-06-2013, 12:08 AM
Introductions! ... Ok, it's my life story
Greetings fellow heathens! Drinking Beverage
I am a blond 39 year old man with blue eyes… I'm married, and I'm looking to hook up with a ... (wait, wrong forum...)
Let’s try this again...

Hi, I'm Madison1751, and I am interested in spreading secular values, providing support to the secular community, and dispelling myths about atheists (please private me with any good baby recipes you may have).

Okay, if you want the full conversion/de-conversion story on me… please read on.

I was born into a mildly religious (Presbyterian) household in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Think of the neighborhood in the movie "Halloween", (w/o the killer of course.) Blink My parents were always pretty cool. They basically tried to emulate "Ward" and "June Cleaver" in almost every way. I am not sure if this was a conscience thing done on their part or not... but the point is... I realize now that I had it really good as a kid.

As a kid, I never went through "confirmation", nor did I attend Sunday school unless I slept over at someone else's house. Church on Sunday at our house was football. We loved the Bears, and you couldn't ask for a better guy to have as a hero growing up than Walter "Sweetness" Payton.(PBUH)

Looking back on my childhood (ages 5-18), I’d say I went through two distinct phases where I became pretty religious. The first started in 3rd grade, and was completely spurred on by my desire for social acceptance. Most of the cool kids and pretty girls in my town were involved in church groups. These groups held fun dances, took us bowling, to arcades, and we even had a horror movie night (Evil Dead was my personal favorite). The kids in these groups became good friends even though we didn't go to the same school.

These relationships became a HUGE advantage socially as we graduated on to larger schools. The kids in the church group were actually excited to go to the bigger schools (so they could see their friends), while most other kids were very nervous. The church group kids introduced their friends from other schools to each other, and very early on, we became a pretty powerful force socially. I distinctly remember thinking… “Wow, I really am just tagging along here because I never put in the “work” that God requires.” I.e. : going to Church, going to Sunday school, getting confirmed, etc.” This was about the time when I started praying before bed, without my parents knowing.

As the years rolled by (ages 8-13), the church group became less relevant, and without weekly inoculations against sin, I kinda just started to ignored God. It wasn't until age 14 that I finally apologized to Him for my absence.

Why the sudden guilt? Well… on occasion, the church group would organize a big trip for the kids to either Disney World, or skiing up in Canada, or whatever… and I was finally old enough to go! They were awesome trips, with few adults and tons of pretty girls. We always took a bus from Chicago, and I remember being so excited on the trips that my stomach actually hurt from all the butterflies. It was on one of these trips that a bunch of us got nabbed by Disney police as we jumped from one boat to the other on “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Like I said, not much supervision… it was so much fun! I was so hooked on God at this point that the guiltily feeling came rushing back, and I rededicated myself to Him.

I soon discovered that it was hard work Sadcryface. I wasn't really in the habit of being religious, and it was a source of personal shame for me over the next few years. I also have to admit that I always felt kinda silly talking to a God, and I constantly wondered how long he would watch me after evening prayers (for um… personal reasons). Laughat

This re-dedication phase of mine lasted for about 3 years, and spanned a move from Chicago down to Florida. By the time I turned 16 in FL, I was completely intoxicated with the freedom and independence of a driver’s license…(Hobo perhaps that was worded poorly), but the point is that I completely forgot about God.

As I learned more about science in school, I actually became fairly hostile towards the religious in the typical teen-age, “anti-establishment” way. My science education also allowed me to feel great humiliation when I heard a comedian ridicule the religious. I can’t really remember who it was, but I’d bet it was George Carlin.

This marked the beginning of my “bad Christian in hiding” phase (ages 16-34). During this time, I never really convinced myself that He didn’t exist. I always unconsciously “left the door open” for redemption later. I noticed I was doing this when I avoided taking his name in vain, or when I felt a spear of guilt over some sin I committed. I think this is the phase most of America is in right now. We are a hopeful and optimistic people; so it makes sense we think there will be a chance to “get right with God” later.

My full leap to Atheism came during a trip to Normandy, France to see the countryside where my grandparents and their brothers fought against pure evil. When you hear their stories, and you realize just how much luck and random chance was involved, you get the chills over how the world could be today if not for those brave men. Anyway, I had loaded up my iPod with a bunch of different podcasts for the trip, and one of those happened to be a ridicule-based comedy news show for atheists done by two former Mormons “Chuck & Leighton”. If I knew how to spell the name of their podcast, I’d tell you… but I think they made it hard on purpose to stay “low-key”.

I became absolutely addicted to this podcast. I listened as often as I could, to every episode over the last few days of my trip. In my mind… Jesus was on the ropes, bloody, and he wasn't defending himself. Chuck was a doctor of some sort, and he used his incredibly sharp mind and wit to absolutely shred the bible, Mormons, and religion in general. I was watching a lot of cable news at that time, and I guess I got used to people never really making a point, because the depth of his research simply astounded me. Forget the God debate… I had never seen anyone make such great points. He went so far over my head debating Christian podcasts, that I was forced to start looking everything up.

That is when I: read the bible, listened to every debate on religion I could find, found the 4 horsemen, The Bible Geek, David Silverman, Matt Dillahunty, Penn Jillette, James Randi, DJ Grothe, Dan Barker, Michael Shermer, PZ Myers, Dr. Steven Novella, Tom & Cecil of Cognitive Dissonance, the skeptic movement, the secular coalition, and of course, the atheist community. Whew… finished, and I’m sure I’m leaving people out.

Well, that is it… my full conversion to de-conversion story. I was never really abused by the religious, I mostly benefited from being around them. Now I see the damage they are doing by inserting themselves into politics and education. With the IQ required to destroy the world getting lower and lower... I fear that we are running out of time to grow out of these silly traditions. Take it for what you will, but I think my story has some good lessons in it about how we can affect things on a very basic level… which is why I felt compelled to share it.

"As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other..." -James Madison Federalist #10
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-06-2013, 06:59 AM
RE: Introductions! ... Ok, it's my life story
I like your story because there are many details.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-06-2013, 07:05 AM
RE: Introductions! ... Ok, it's my life story
Welcome! Enjoy your stay.

See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-06-2013, 07:22 AM
RE: Introductions! ... Ok, it's my life story
welcome! I enjoyed reading your story.


Be excellent to each other and party on, Dudes!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-06-2013, 07:34 AM
RE: Introductions! ... Ok, it's my life story
Welcome to the forum! Big Grin

[Image: 3d366d5c-72a0-4228-b835-f404c2970188_zps...1381867723]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-06-2013, 02:37 PM
RE: Introductions! ... Ok, it's my life story
(02-06-2013 12:08 AM)Madison1751 Wrote:  My full leap to Atheism came during a trip to Normandy, France to see the countryside where my grandparents and their brothers fought against pure evil. When you hear their stories, and you realize just how much luck and random chance was involved, you get the chills over how the world could be today if not for those brave men. Anyway, I had loaded up my iPod with a bunch of different podcasts for the trip, and one of those happened to be a ridicule-based comedy news show for atheists done by two former Mormons “Chuck & Leighton”. If I knew how to spell the name of their podcast, I’d tell you… but I think they made it hard on purpose to stay “low-key”.

I became absolutely addicted to this podcast.
I listened as often as I could, to every episode over the last few days of my trip. In my mind… Jesus was on the ropes, bloody, and he wasn't defending himself. Chuck was a doctor of some sort, and he used his incredibly sharp mind and wit to absolutely shred the bible, Mormons, and religion in general. I was watching a lot of cable news at that time, and I guess I got used to people never really making a point, because the depth of his research simply astounded me. Forget the God debate… I had never seen anyone make such great points. He went so far over my head debating Christian podcasts, that I was forced to start looking everything up.

Welcome to TTA.

I did a little googling, and it seems the podcast you're referring to is "irreligiosophy":

http://www.irreligiosophy.com

Looks interesting!

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-06-2013, 06:32 PM
RE: Introductions! ... Ok, it's my life story
Those statements will be taken down and used in evidence.


Welcome to our mad little corner of the web.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-06-2013, 04:55 AM
RE: Introductions! ... Ok, it's my life story
[/quote]

Welcome to TTA.

I did a little googling, and it seems the podcast you're referring to is "irreligiosophy":

http://www.irreligiosophy.com

Looks interesting!
[/quote]

Thanks!

Interesting is certainly a good word to describe it. I get the feeling that Chuck somehow feels obligated to do this podcast, and he is usually fairly hostile towards his listeners. Sometimes it seems like he is actually trying to get you to stop listening. Frustrated that more people haven't worked out the details for themselves, Chuck spoon feeds you some of the best critical analysis of the bible I have ever heard.

If you do plan on giving them a try, you should probably know that there are basically 3 "phases" of the podcast. The first phase was an "Atheist News Network" podcast that was pretty good. This was reworked into the second and best phase, "Irreligiosophy- The One True Podcast". Unfortunately, this podcast ended in Nov. of 2011. Apparently Chuck got a little burned out, a business venture with his co-host failed, and their longtime friendship now seems over.

Lucky for us, about 9 months later, Chuck has brought the podcast back, "Irreligiosophy 2.0". His new co-host is great, and they are really getting their old groove back. He is going through the new testament gospels now, and his research on Mark was fantastic. I still highly recommend these guys.

"As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other..." -James Madison Federalist #10
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: