Losing My Religion
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15-03-2013, 02:46 PM (This post was last modified: 15-03-2013 02:51 PM by raoul116.)
Losing My Religion
Losing my Religion


If anyone had a right to be an atheist it would have been me especially when looking at the reality I was born into and the path I’ve had to walk. I was born into a literal hell on earth to an misdiagnosed schizophrenic mother - they thought she was just manic/depressive but it came out years later about her real illness. My biological father walked out on her when I was about 2 years old and she shortly re-married. The very first time that I can recall getting a severe beating from her was when I was around 4 years old. It happened right after my step brother was born and it was as if prior to that, being the only child, I was ‘safe’. But once he was born then I became expendable. Once he was older he was able to join in the beatings with her on me. The broken nose, broken teeth, and almost complete deafness in one ear are a result of those things.


The physical beatings were bad but they weren’t anywhere as bad as the mental and psychological damage she’d done to me during all of the years I was at home. Things like being called a ‘sex pervert’ because, at the age of 6, I had the typical crush on another 6 year old in school and the parent discovered a love letter I’d been writing to her. Being told I ‘should have died in birth because I was no good’ over and over does have a negative effect on a child. Her hatred of me was probably because of my being a reminder of the father who skipped out on her. The beatings and other things went on day after day, week after week, year by year until I hit 15 or 16. Then, one day, when she took a heavy kitchen utensil and swung it at me I grabbed her wrist and for some reason I’ll never know I screamed at her “if you ever touch me again, I’ll kill you!” She backed off and the beatings ended there although the mental/psychological crap continued.


I really do believe in pure evil because I lived with it during those years. Even though she was mentally fucked up she knew EXACTLY what she was doing. Or at least, she knew what buttons to push on me to try and drive me over the edge. I realized once I entered High School that my only hope of escape from this insanity was through education and higher learning so I threw myself into my schoolwork. Yet she tried to stop that by forcing me to skip school at times or interrupting me constantly while I was trying to study. She even wanted to visit my school when I was about 16 in order to ‘ask the principle why her son is so disturbed’ or some other nonsense. Disturbed? Yeah, I was on the National Honor Society, Class President during junior and senior years, and a host of other academic achievements. She knew those were the loves of my life so naturally she had to try and destroy them like she’d destroyed everything else I lived for. The stepbrother was complicit in this as well. I wasn’t allowed to read any books or magazines and if he caught me doing this he would tell her and, of course, it would result in another beating. I was a literal slave with no rights in that house. The two suicide attempts I made were a result of the hopelessness and despair I lived under during that time.


I’ll spare you the rest of that part of my life since it’s still very disconcerting to even think about it much less write about it. Perhaps someday I may do so but for now the only purpose of this is to share my own departure from this thing we call ‘Christianity’. But needless to say, one of my greatest strengths as a result of that is my strong personality. Not too much shakes me up. In fact, I really don’t pay much attention to the every day things that scare most people because I figure that every day I’m above ground, breathing, is a day in my favor. Besides, I remember that famous bible verse uttered by Friedrich Nietzsche – what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. LOL


I was never really what you could call an atheist in any sense of the word. I was an agnostic and will probably die one when this journey ends. My foray into Christianity happened over 25 years ago and was probably brought on because of an incident that occurred at work. A young man who was in the very first group I managed suddenly died of a brain aneurysm only a few days before Christmas. He’d been an athlete who played every kind of sports there was for him to be involve in and his death made absolutely no sense at all. He left behind a wife and 2 very young kids. I remember going to the viewing and going up to his mother and asking about the kids and how they were going to cope during the holidays. She replied, “Don’t worry honey – the boys are gonna get all of their presents from Santa and we’re going to do whatever we must to get through this”. It was as if she was consoling me instead vice versa. I left the funeral home, walked down the street during the lonely winter night, crying like a baby and asking the proverbial ‘why?’ Of course no answer came but about a week later I finally threw in the towel and told God I was ‘his, lock, stock, and barrel’ and that I wanted to be rid of this anger I had deep inside of me probably all due to the child abuse I’d gone through.


It was as if something was immediately lifted from my shoulders – a heavy burden of some kind. For the next couple of weeks I went through that typical ‘honeymoon’ most of us go through during a religious conversion. But then things started to go back to the way they always were – one fucking struggle after another – both at work and home.


My wife and I never had anything handed to us like some. In fact, her childhood was almost as crappy as mine – no abuse per se but an extreme poverty that caused physical and medical issues which plagued her most of her life. We began our marriage with less than $200 and both of us working in crummy jobs at a factory. Through the years both of us worked our way out of that mess and into the ‘late’ middle class as I now call it. But nothing came easy along the way – no breaks, only that stress filled climb up the ladder. I know of Christians who, along the way, told us how lucky we were or how blessed we were. We both wanted to kick their teeth in because they didn’t know anything about us personally and just made assumptions.


So for the next couple of decades I tried this Christian thing and have now found it lacking to say the least. I studied the bible almost as much as any bible student and even did my fair share of Christian Apologetics with atheists. But along the way I discovered that I deeply admired and respected the atheists for their intellectual honesty. I’ve become close friends with quite a few of them during the years and have had them share some very deep and personal stories with me regarding why they rejected Christianity.


Without revealing names or anything, one lady who’d lived in Germany during the war was going at it with me and other Christians on the public boards over at Prodigy – don’t know if any of you remember that service. She recounted the story of seeing American bombers flying right over the rooftops of her and her neighbors’ homes. The planes must have been those flying fortresses with the lower front gunner panels of pure glass because she said she saw the American airmen laughing while strafing her neighbors and dropping bombs on purely civilian targets. Her entire family was killed during one such raid. She and I wrote to each other quite often and, in fact, even though she was on a very limited income over here, she knew I liked cigars and she sent me a box for my birthday. I’ll never forget that act of kindness. Nor will I ever forget what she told me once in an email. She wrote “I guess Raoul that I do believe there’s a god. But you know what? For me its N/A”


Not applicable! How fitting and for me. My deconversion took a little over a year to complete but, when looking back, I now realize it began alot longer than a year ago. Perhaps it began when I opened up my first Bart Ehrman book which exposed the orthodox (fundamentalist) corruption of the bible especially the new testament. It's been a learning experience ever since and I'll will keep learning and seeking the truth until the day I stop breathing. As Seth wrote in his book and which I can also claim - I was blind but now I see.

"that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" Christopher Hitchens
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15-03-2013, 03:05 PM
RE: Losing My Religion
(15-03-2013 02:46 PM)raoul116 Wrote:  Losing my Religion


If anyone had a right to be an atheist it would have been me especially when looking at the reality I was born into and the path I’ve had to walk. I was born into a literal hell on earth to an misdiagnosed schizophrenic mother - they thought she was just manic/depressive but it came out years later about her real illness. My biological father walked out on her when I was about 2 years old and she shortly re-married. The very first time that I can recall getting a severe beating from her was when I was around 4 years old. It happened right after my step brother was born and it was as if prior to that, being the only child, I was ‘safe’. But once he was born then I became expendable. Once he was older he was able to join in the beatings with her on me. The broken nose, broken teeth, and almost complete deafness in one ear are a result of those things.


The physical beatings were bad but they weren’t anywhere as bad as the mental and psychological damage she’d done to me during all of the years I was at home. Things like being called a ‘sex pervert’ because, at the age of 6, I had the typical crush on another 6 year old in school and the parent discovered a love letter I’d been writing to her. Being told I ‘should have died in birth because I was no good’ over and over does have a negative effect on a child. Her hatred of me was probably because of my being a reminder of the father who skipped out on her. The beatings and other things went on day after day, week after week, year by year until I hit 15 or 16. Then, one day, when she took a heavy kitchen utensil and swung it at me I grabbed her wrist and for some reason I’ll never know I screamed at her “if you ever touch me again, I’ll kill you!” She backed off and the beatings ended there although the mental/psychological crap continued.


I really do believe in pure evil because I lived with it during those years. Even though she was mentally fucked up she knew EXACTLY what she was doing. Or at least, she knew what buttons to push on me to try and drive me over the edge. I realized once I entered High School that my only hope of escape from this insanity was through education and higher learning so I threw myself into my schoolwork. Yet she tried to stop that by forcing me to skip school at times or interrupting me constantly while I was trying to study. She even wanted to visit my school when I was about 16 in order to ‘ask the principle why her son is so disturbed’ or some other nonsense. Disturbed? Yeah, I was on the National Honor Society, Class President during junior and senior years, and a host of other academic achievements. She knew those were the loves of my life so naturally she had to try and destroy them like she’d destroyed everything else I lived for. The stepbrother was complicit in this as well. I wasn’t allowed to read any books or magazines and if he caught me doing this he would tell her and, of course, it would result in another beating. I was a literal slave with no rights in that house. The two suicide attempts I made were a result of the hopelessness and despair I lived under during that time.


I’ll spare you the rest of that part of my life since it’s still very disconcerting to even think about it much less write about it. Perhaps someday I may do so but for now the only purpose of this is to share my own departure from this thing we call ‘Christianity’. But needless to say, one of my greatest strengths as a result of that is my strong personality. Not too much shakes me up. In fact, I really don’t pay much attention to the every day things that scare most people because I figure that every day I’m above ground, breathing, is a day in my favor. Besides, I remember that famous bible verse uttered by Friedrich Nietzsche – what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. LOL


I was never really what you could call an atheist in any sense of the word. I was an agnostic and will probably die one when this journey ends. My foray into Christianity happened over 25 years ago and was probably brought on because of an incident that occurred at work. A young man who was in the very first group I managed suddenly died of a brain aneurysm only a few days before Christmas. He’d been an athlete who played every kind of sports there was for him to be involve in and his death made absolutely no sense at all. He left behind a wife and 2 very young kids. I remember going to the viewing and going up to his mother and asking about the kids and how they were going to cope during the holidays. She replied, “Don’t worry honey – the boys are gonna get all of their presents from Santa and we’re going to do whatever we must to get through this”. It was as if she was consoling me instead vice versa. I left the funeral home, walked down the street during the lonely winter night, crying like a baby and asking the proverbial ‘why?’ Of course no answer came but about a week later I finally threw in the towel and told God I was ‘his, lock, stock, and barrel’ and that I wanted to be rid of this anger I had deep inside of me probably all due to the child abuse I’d gone through.


It was as if something was immediately lifted from my shoulders – a heavy burden of some kind. For the next couple of weeks I went through that typical ‘honeymoon’ most of us go through during a religious conversion. But then things started to go back to the way they always were – one fucking struggle after another – both at work and home.


My wife and I never had anything handed to us like some. In fact, her childhood was almost as crappy as mine – no abuse per se but an extreme poverty that caused physical and medical issues which plagued her most of her life. We began our marriage with less than $200 and both of us working in crummy jobs at a factory. Through the years both of us worked our way out of that mess and into the ‘late’ middle class as I now call it. But nothing came easy along the way – no breaks, only that stress filled climb up the ladder. I know of Christians who, along the way, told us how lucky we were or how blessed we were. We both wanted to kick their teeth in because they didn’t know anything about us personally and just made assumptions.


So for the next couple of decades I tried this Christian thing and have now found it lacking to say the least. I studied the bible almost as much as any bible student and even did my fair share of Christian Apologetics with atheists. But along the way I discovered that I deeply admired and respected the atheists for their intellectual honesty. I’ve become close friends with quite a few of them during the years and have had them share some very deep and personal stories with me regarding why they rejected Christianity.


Without revealing names or anything, one lady who’d lived in Germany during the war was going at it with me and other Christians on the public boards over at Prodigy – don’t know if any of you remember that service. She recounted the story of seeing American bombers flying right over the rooftops of her and her neighbors’ homes. The planes must have been those flying fortresses with the lower front gunner panels of pure glass because she said she saw the American airmen laughing while strafing her neighbors and dropping bombs on purely civilian targets. Her entire family was killed during one such raid. She and I wrote to each other quite often and, in fact, even though she was on a very limited income over here, she knew I liked cigars and she sent me a box for my birthday. I’ll never forget that act of kindness. Nor will I ever forget what she told me once in an email. She wrote “I guess Raoul that I do believe there’s a god. But you know what? For me its N/A”


Not applicable! How fitting and for me. My deconversion took a little over a year to complete but, when looking back, I now realize it began alot longer than a year ago. Perhaps it began when I opened up my first Bart Ehrman book which exposed the orthodox (fundamentalist) corruption of the bible especially the new testament. It's been a learning experience ever since and I'll will keep learning and seeking the truth until the day I stop breathing. As Seth wrote in his book and which I can also claim - I was blind but now I see.
Welcome.
That is one hell of a story. Most of us here have have our own war stories, you certainly aren't alone and, I for one, look forward to reading what you have to say.

"Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." - Mark Twain in Eruption
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15-03-2013, 03:22 PM (This post was last modified: 15-03-2013 03:25 PM by raoul116.)
RE: Losing My Religion
(15-03-2013 03:05 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(15-03-2013 02:46 PM)raoul116 Wrote:  Losing my Religion



Welcome.
That is one hell of a story. Most of us here have have our own war stories, you certainly aren't alone and, I for one, look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks. I tried putting out one of my YouTube videos showing a live debate between me and a bible thumper but wasn't allowed. I didn't know had to post for a while before being approved for vids. I hope I can do so because I've been having a blast going after them. I regard them as sociopathic cultists which I'm doing a book about. I just finished Seth's book regarding his coming out and it was of immense help to me.

"that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" Christopher Hitchens
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20-06-2013, 11:56 PM
RE: Losing My Religion
Welcome.

You can argue with logic all you want, but if you put faulty data in to start with then you get a faulty answer. No matter how logically you agrue it.
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20-06-2013, 11:58 PM
RE: Losing My Religion
I like how you reflected on your past, and how you went through a conversion honeymoon so to say. I had been there once as well. It took me probably two years before I fully became an agnostic. Things just did not add up right, and my whole life I was told not to question that. Why can't I question that? Even as a child, it was confusing, because, Santa Clause, the easter bunny, and the tooth fairy aren't real, but hey, check out this Jesus guy. I only believed because it was such a big part of my mother, and other family members. But honestly, I have never gotten anything magical talk to me, or any signs. I thought that if I really believed, which I did at the time, I could really see. I tried, and prayed for so long, so hard. Nothing happened. I always questioned why God does not do anything in the present to make the unbelievers believe. I thought unbelievers were just unhappy, skeptical people who did not want to be happy, or have hope. Hope is all I have. Hope that there is something after life. But I can not trick myself. into believing in something that deep down, I know probably is not real. Why would such a loving God, who created man in his image, make us the way we are? Free will? Then this God is an evil God, who sees the future of these yet innocent people, and condemns them to a fiery pit in hell. If this is true, then I am not going to worship a God who is Jealous and evil. This religion is fear based. Why do so many people, so many good people, take out what they wan t out of the bible, and neglect the rest? I know so many Christians with tattoos, piercings, sex before marriage, yet they say gay people are being cursed by a demon. I simply could not accept this, so became an agnostic. Since then, I have been so freed in thinking, and it is wonderful. With a religious mind set, it is as if it is a trap that you always know better than others, yet you are a piece of shit in God's eyes.

“You just go where your high-top sneakers sneak, and don't forget to use your head.”
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21-06-2013, 12:02 PM
RE: Losing My Religion
When I post I find that I don't need to increase the size of my text.

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22-06-2013, 02:25 PM
RE: Losing My Religion
(21-06-2013 12:02 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  When I post I find that I don't need to increase the size of my text.

Yeah, it's always about you... Dodgy

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22-06-2013, 02:41 PM
RE: Losing My Religion
Raoul116 wrote: "I know of Christians who, along the way, told us how lucky we were or how blessed we were. We both wanted to kick their teeth in because they didn’t know anything about us personally and just made assumptions."

Why is it that God only seems to get credit, but never blame.

"Now I don't want to be sane either, but I'm just saying there may be other delusions and hallucinations worthy of consideration before jumping to an irrational conclusion, that's all."
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22-06-2013, 03:17 PM
RE: Losing My Religion
(22-06-2013 02:41 PM)Fisty_McBeefpunch Wrote:  Raoul116 wrote: "I know of Christians who, along the way, told us how lucky we were or how blessed we were. We both wanted to kick their teeth in because they didn’t know anything about us personally and just made assumptions."

Why is it that God only seems to get credit, but never blame.


Well... if a christee tells you how blessed you are, you could kick him in the teeth and blame it on god. According to them, god made you do it.


Just pointing that out. Drinking Beverage



Hi Raoul!
Welcome to the forum. Smile

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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22-06-2013, 03:43 PM
RE: Losing My Religion
Welcome. Wow... I can't imagine such a story as yours... it's terrible and sad... But... your courage and the fact that you have dug yourself out of the situation you were in... Big respect man. Look forward to seeing you around the forum Smile
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