My first non-believer convention
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04-05-2014, 06:24 PM
RE: My first non-believer convention
(04-05-2014 05:43 PM)beeglez Wrote:  Hmmm, I can't seem to figure the quote thing out!



quote='Charis' pid='561499' dateline='1399239998']
If I'm correct, the Duggars get many of their family principals from fundamentalists including Bill Gothard. Gothard.... he's a monstrosity. I can say that no, those kids probably do NOT, at this point, have an original thought in their heads. I wish I could say otherwise, but the term "rebellion" is used for a very wiiiide range of attitudes and behaviors and is often dealt with severely. [quote]

Ok, let's see if I can get the 'quote' thing to work now. Yes, the Duggars are affiliated with that sick bastard, Gothard. They are also affiliated with Focus on the Family, and the Family Research Council. Michelle Duggar encourages other women to submit to their husbands, have sex even when they don't want to, and wear their hair in a way that is pleasing to their husband. They allegedly used to endorse the Debi and Michael Pearl book "To Train Up a Child" which is essentially a how to manual for child abuse. Supposedly, they removed it from their page when the show became popular. Just the things they admit to are cringe worthy. None of the 'children', even those in their 20s are allowed to do so much as go too the grocery store without a chaperone. Their internet access is controlled, their text messages are monitored, and they cannot even kiss until marriage. They are allowed brief 'side hugs' (permission granted by the father who watches) while courting, and can hold hands after engagement. I watched the show initially because I was still holding on to my faith, and when I began departing from it, I started following a snark site on-line and learned a lot of the beliefs that the family endorsed that weren't featured on the show. Now, I still watch it so I can continue to follow the discussions.

I'm glad you were strong enough to get out. I'm not sure I could do the same if I'd been that heavily indoctrinated. My church was conservative, and my parents very religious, but nothing near as drastic as what you describe. You might be interested in checking out Recovering From Religion organization. One of the board members, Sarah Moorehead, spoke at our convention. She is a former obedient submissive wife with 7 kids. Her story was very moving. She was physically abused and at times held prisoner by her husband. She endured it because she considered it her cross to bear, and knew her reward was waiting in heaven. When her husband abused their daughter during an argument, she had had enough and she kicked him out. She went to the church to which she had committed her tithes and her time, and asked the male charity fund directors for money to pay the rent and feed the kids. They told her they'd pray about it. So they did, and god said 'no'. They instead counseled her on how to be a better wife and make her husband happy. As she was leaving humiliated and in tears, she almost ran into a man at the door. He was a worker sent to etch the glass doors, and she thought "wait a minute. God is cool with paying to etch glass, but not to feed my kids?'. None of the church members or homeschool community helped her, but her Pagan gay neighbors did. So here were these godless sinning gay guys reaching out when the good Christians would not.

http://recoveringfromreligion.org/board-of-directors/

Awesome post!

There is SO much I want to say, to tell you guys, but I'd have to write a book on it.


@ OP: I can hardly imagine what a breath of fresh air it must have been, going to that conference! Their next one is in LA, I think, unless I'm mistaken.

A person very dear to me was badly hurt through a misunderstanding and miscommunication. For this, I am sorry, and he knows it. That said, any blaming me for malicious intent is for the birds. I will not wear some scarlet letter, I will not be anybody's whipping girl, and I will not lurk in silence.
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04-05-2014, 07:22 PM
RE: My first non-believer convention
It WAS a breath of fresh air, and I highly recommend it! It was a small regional conference, but we had people from all over the country. The group was fairly diverse with respect to age and occupation, but most of the attendees were white. Another of our topics was a group called Black Nonbelievers. As a white person, I admit I didn't think that being a black atheist might feel even more isolating than being a white atheist.
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04-05-2014, 07:28 PM
RE: My first non-believer convention
Yes, absolutely. I have been around a LOT of black people, and lived some time around mostly-black communities. From my experience (I realize this is mere antedote) the majority of African Americans hold to some form of religion. I also noticed that they were more receptive than many of the whites while we were out evangelizing. Granted, most of them probably won't like the fundy message, but I've found them to be more interested in religion in general.

A person very dear to me was badly hurt through a misunderstanding and miscommunication. For this, I am sorry, and he knows it. That said, any blaming me for malicious intent is for the birds. I will not wear some scarlet letter, I will not be anybody's whipping girl, and I will not lurk in silence.
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05-05-2014, 05:45 AM
RE: My first non-believer convention
(04-05-2014 09:04 AM)beeglez Wrote:  So, this weekend, I attended the Freedom from Religion Conference in Raleigh, NC...

I'm glad you had fun.


(04-05-2014 09:04 AM)beeglez Wrote:  I took one, assuming it was actually about marriage equality, but when I opened it up, it was a gospel tract proclaiming the we were all 'equal' in that we were sinners in the eyes of god. Laughat

"We all suck equally... but Jesus!" ~Looking back on my days as a believer, it's weird to see how much my opinion has changed on that bit of theology.
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05-05-2014, 06:23 AM
RE: My first non-believer convention
(04-05-2014 05:43 PM)beeglez Wrote:  Hmmm, I can't seem to figure the quote thing out!



quote='Charis' pid='561499' dateline='1399239998']
If I'm correct, the Duggars get many of their family principals from fundamentalists including Bill Gothard. Gothard.... he's a monstrosity. I can say that no, those kids probably do NOT, at this point, have an original thought in their heads. I wish I could say otherwise, but the term "rebellion" is used for a very wiiiide range of attitudes and behaviors and is often dealt with severely. [quote]

Ok, let's see if I can get the 'quote' thing to work now.

Nope.

You missed the [ at the start....

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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06-05-2014, 11:41 AM
RE: My first non-believer convention
(04-05-2014 09:04 AM)beeglez Wrote:  So, this weekend, I attended the Freedom from Religion Conference in Raleigh, NC. Having only very recently deconverted, this was my first official conference of non-believers. I learned a lot about activism and about support resources available to atheists and agnostics. I heard some very personal stories both from the speakers and from other attendees. Being in an entire room full of like minded people and being able to speak freely to everyone was very refreshing. I could read my copy of "Coming out Atheist" in the lobby without worrying about being judged.
You should have tried reading a Holy Bible, and see if you were to get judged!

(04-05-2014 09:04 AM)beeglez Wrote:  I did halfway expect to have to push through protestors to get in, or even be harassed or given poor service by hotel staff. I had even thought of how I would handle it, and what I would say, but at least in my experience, no one was confrontational or condescending in any way. There was also an LGBTQ event called Out! Raleigh going on the same weekend. I joked that between the godless heathens and the LGBTQs, Raleigh was a writhing mass of godless sin, and would surely be struck by lightening! Laugh out load
Didn't happen did it - thinking of moving into Raleigh, or are you going to go back to the judgmental town that for some reasonable reason you just can't leave.

(04-05-2014 09:04 AM)beeglez Wrote:  I think most people were unaware of our conference, but there was some protest over the LGBTQ event. It was massively overshadowed by the sense of fun, support, and community though. Thumbsup Another attendee said there was a man with his little girl proselytizing on a street corner, and apparently there was a ranting crazy street preacher well known to students at NC State and other colleges. I remember him well from my college days. His name is Gary Birdsong. YouTube him if you want a chuckle. On the way to lunch, I got handed a pamphlet with the equality symbol on it. I took one, assuming it was actually about marriage equality, but when I opened it up, it was a gospel tract proclaiming the we were all 'equal' in that we were sinners in the eyes of god. Laughat

So, did the convention have anything that might be of benefit to society, or was it just a convention of non-believers talking about how fucked-up the Christians are???

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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06-05-2014, 11:46 AM
RE: My first non-believer convention
(04-05-2014 07:28 PM)Charis Wrote:  Yes, absolutely. I have been around a LOT of black people, and lived some time around mostly-black communities. From my experience (I realize this is mere antedote) the majority of African Americans hold to some form of religion. I also noticed that they were more receptive than many of the whites while we were out evangelizing. Granted, most of them probably won't like the fundy message, but I've found them to be more interested in religion in general.

Many blacks seem to believe in the perpetuation of all the (white) secret societies and cults that control the world - atheists have a similar delusion.

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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06-05-2014, 05:25 PM
RE: My first non-believer convention
TrainWreck,

Moving to Raleigh really isn't an option. I have family, job, and emotional ties to my current town.

The conference had plenty of information about being making a difference it the community. There was information about organizations such as the Clergy Project, Recovering from Religion, and Black Non-Believers. We discussed current and resolved lawsuits, learned about the importance of being openly secular, and there were awards given to student activists.
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06-05-2014, 05:42 PM
RE: My first non-believer convention
(06-05-2014 05:25 PM)beeglez Wrote:  TrainWreck,

Moving to Raleigh really isn't an option. I have family, job, and emotional ties to my current town.

The conference had plenty of information about being making a difference it the community. There was information about organizations such as the Clergy Project, Recovering from Religion, and Black Non-Believers. We discussed current and resolved lawsuits, learned about the importance of being openly secular, and there were awards given to student activists.

The Clergy Project is really cool isn't it? Did you see any slogans such as "To save a preacher", or "atheism is a non-profit organization"? Those really resonate and add to some comic relief to an otherwise sad situation. Dan Barker from the Freedom From Religion Foundation was in a similar situation and described how hard it is to leave the clergy with reasons including reputation, finance, job opportunities (what can you do with a theology degree now that you're an atheist?), and so on... He also got a huge mortgage break on his house for being in the clergy that he had to give up. Beats being a hypocrite though, just imagine those people stuck in the clergy knowing they have to get out of bed the next morning and tell lies to people who rely on them so heavily for what they don't even agree with. Truly admire the program, and I'm sure you've learned all about it at the convention.

Everyday is judgement day. Use your judgement, use reason.
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