Missing Church
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18-02-2013, 02:11 PM
Missing Church
The difference in those cases would be that I didn't break up with them. They made the decision to move on, leaving me. I chalked up all the time and money I invested to experience.

Parents are different. They also put significantly more into my relationship with them the I've ever put into a boyfriend.
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18-02-2013, 02:26 PM (This post was last modified: 18-02-2013 02:31 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Missing Church
It's normal to miss something you used to go to. You could always try a replacement by making a group of atheists to hang out with instead of church, or watching some good debates, or joining us on skype. Either way you can always try something new to fulfill that need.

The feelings of guilt is interesting. I never had that problem since the last experience I had with the church was when I caught them lieing to the congregation. However I am curious how they invested in you? Was it emotional investment, monetary investment?

Effects of Guilt


Guilt typically acts as a guide when facing important life choices. Unfortunately, excessive guilt forces people to withdraw from society and self loathe. Guilt can impact relationships by creating a distance between you and the person you feel guilty toward. With guilt attached to personal issues, such as parenting, food or money, people tend to deprive themselves of deserved items because they don't feel worthy. Realizing the line between healthy and excessive guilt will allow you to exercise your conscience without abusing yourself.

Reactive Guilt


Reactive guilt occurs when a person behaves contrary to their ideas of right and wrong. This includes a wide range of offenses depending on the person's moral code, such as cursing, shoplifting, adultery and overeating. To overcome guilt related to actions, first make sure to have realistic expectations of yourself. Stay true to your own values rather than adopting or adapting to someone's expectations of you. When you feel extreme guilt, try expressing that guilt to someone you trust. By getting the guilt out in the open and gaining a valuable opinion, you help to relieve yourself of anxiety.

Anticipatory Guilt

Anticipatory guilt involves feeling bad about an action that hasn't yet occurred. While this type of guilt prevents people from committing crimes and making harmful choices, it can also hinder them from living a satisfying life. Using laws and norms from your community, family and church will help you to reasonably anticipate guilt. Many people feel unreasonable anticipatory guilt when planning to indulge themselves. Determining whether or not your plans justify excessive guilt will help you to make the right decision without feeling guilty.

Existensial Guilt

People experience existensial guilt when they feel unworthy of their rewards in life compared to the plight of others. Excessive existensial guilt makes it difficult to enjoy life and socialize with others. To overcome this guilt, use what resources you can to serve the less fortunate people around you. Giving back and helping others will ease the guilt you feel for having what they don't. Displaying empathy for those around you can replace guilt with pride.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
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18-02-2013, 03:03 PM
RE: Missing Church
(18-02-2013 01:34 PM)FlightedChemist Wrote:  Is it normal to feel like I owe them? Like they invested too much in me to have me be anything other than what they wanted me to be?


Yup, perfectly normal.

Now lets take a look at some other teachings your parents have probably instilled in you such as self-dependency and thinking for yourself. Are you going to betray those to keep up appearances?

In the end your parents, if they are anything like my hard-core Catholic parents, are locked into a lifetime of dogma that they will never escape from. They will most likely never understand or approve of your separation from the Church.

So the question becomes what is more important for your well being and sanity, being true to yourself or faking it until they die? There is no easy out, both choices carry repercussions. What I can tell you is that I am so glad I chose the former.

“I suppose our capacity for self-delusion is boundless."
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“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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18-02-2013, 03:36 PM
RE: Missing Church
It must be hard if they are strict about it. Ok, so they invested time into you. That's their role, and they finished it enough. They have to accept that they've done all they could and move on. If they can't, then I don't know what to tell you. I haven't had pushy relatives to cope with. I think staying out of church more and studying so you know what the God really is like will do you good in the end. I wish the emotional trip wasn't such a common experience on the way out to.

I've had to leave church and go through a two month period of paranoid craziness myself, because my mind had to scrub out some dirt involved with the religion. I felt worse when I communed at home. Where I come from, the communion/supper is with God's super natural church. Christians I know still act like being with the physical congregation is important, as if the spiritual kind wasn't as valid.

Yes? No? Maybe?
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18-02-2013, 03:49 PM
RE: Missing Church
@FlightedChemist:

Several years ago at a party I met a gay guy from Pakistan. Nice-looking guy, late 20's or 30's, businessman. In talking about his life, he said that at some point he would marry (a woman) and have kids . . . not because he wanted that for himself, but because not to do so would be so terribly disappointing to his family. It was what was expected of him, and his sense of duty compelled him to live up to those expectations, even if it meant being false to himself. I remember thinking, What a sad man. He's going to sacrifice his happiness in life to live a lie, just so he won't have to cause his family any discomfort.

You're in the same position. You're asking yourself whether you should live a lie just so your parents won't suffer a disappointment. The truth of the matter is, if they truly loved you they would want you to be you. They would recognize that children are not things you order from a catalog, where you specify the features you want. Children are individuals, with their own personalities, talents, needs and desires. If you've come to the conclusion that the God stuff is not for you, bravo. If your parents loved and respected you, they would get over their disappointment and take pride in the independent, intelligent daughter they brought up who is demonstrating she knows how to think for herself.

From what you've said in another thread, however, I doubt they'll get to that point anytime soon, if at all. You said they'd rather see their children dead than reject Catholicism. If that's accurate, I wonder if you realize how horrific it is. Parents like that do not merit your respect or your love. Better "divorce" them now and get on with your life. They don't deserve a daughter like you.

Sorry to be harsh, but you need to wake up. You're an intelligent young woman who's about to begin a doctoral program. You're going to do research to discover new facts about the world. Clearly you have the intellectual capacity to think for yourself. Now you've got to summon the emotional fortitude to live YOUR life the way it feels right to you, not the way it feels right to someone else.
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18-02-2013, 06:05 PM
RE: Missing Church
Anyways I don't know what they invested in you, but you can always pay them back. Give them something they can contact you with, a phone number, email etc... and offer something tangible. A helping hand, an ear, support, or whatever else.

Being an atheist simply means we replace prayer, with actual help.

Member of the Cult of Reason

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
Bitcion:1DNeQMswMdvx4xLPP6qNE7RkeTwXGC7Bzp
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18-02-2013, 07:51 PM
RE: Missing Church
Consider

I wonder if it will help to apply some perspective and see this moment on a long continuum.

Imagine what it was like for churchy types in centuries gone by when, because of combinations of discoveries they started to challenge the authority of the wisdom of Aristotle.

I wonder how much guilt these long dead priests had that they were not only challenging the basis of the church's authority but the mere fact that they were challenging anything at all was against the teaching of Augustine.

The idea of "put up and shut up" was undermined long, long ago.

Now step forward in time....

Your parents are older and may or may not be aware of your heresy.
Your daughter, who you have endowed with critical-thinking skills (while carefully avoiding your parents' error of indoctrination... you rebel, you), comes to you and wants to talk about the process she is going through to reach a decision about faith.

How do you react?

What should you do now that will help facilitate the future you think is best for her future?

These questions are rhetorical, of course. Whatever you decide, there are no guarantees.

I wish you luck.
Luck = 1% inspiration + 99% perspiration

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