My religious friend
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15-02-2014, 09:53 AM
RE: My religious friend
(15-02-2014 09:38 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I find it forever interesting that people who are religious often turn to people they know are atheist. Like your friend going to you.

Actually, I have another religious friend who occasionally bounces things off me. She said that she feels that I am the only person she knows who doesn't judge her.

I think she really means that she feels safe telling me things because I don't spout religious rules at her when she thinks outside the box.

Yesterday's conversation just left me with the feeling that this idea of being treated unjustly by god was a life changing event for my friend. She was kind of timid about bringing it up and I got the feeling she had wanted to for some time and had just waited for an opportune time - which came when we talked about Valentine's day and I brought up my husband. It was a perfect lead-in for her bringing up the unfairness of death...

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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15-02-2014, 10:14 AM
RE: My religious friend
(15-02-2014 09:53 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(15-02-2014 09:38 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I find it forever interesting that people who are religious often turn to people they know are atheist. Like your friend going to you.

Actually, I have another religious friend who occasionally bounces things off me. She said that she feels that I am the only person she knows who doesn't judge her.

I think she really means that she feels safe telling me things because I don't spout religious rules at her when she thinks outside the box.

Yesterday's conversation just left me with the feeling that this idea of being treated unjustly by god was a life changing event for my friend. She was kind of timid about bringing it up and I got the feeling she had wanted to for some time and had just waited for an opportune time - which came when we talked about Valentine's day and I brought up my husband. It was a perfect lead-in for her bringing up the unfairness of death...

I hope your friend does continue to explore these feelings. I've got a few friends who openly advertise their belief, but secretly come to me to discuss their fears.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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15-02-2014, 05:40 PM
RE: My religious friend
Hi Dom,

Seems that from what you've said your buddy is having trouble with the sense of justice her faith has provided her and she feels comfortable talking to you about it. This is a delicate topic to discuss especially with those who come from religious backgrounds. If she asks you any questions then tell her that the answer you are going to give comes from a friend who wants to answer honestly.

Maybe she wants you to reassure or confirm her doubt, maybe she is just expressing her feelings to someone she will not get scolded for. She has been mistreated by her religious community members and I suspect she is looking for a more understanding group of people to talk to.

If she does not bring it up with you, she might not feel comfortable talking about it so I wouldn't bring it up. You said you want to do this over a long period of time, so just be calm and patient and when the opportunity strikes she will confide in you more.

I hope I helped, religion has hurt many. It damages and some never escape.

Everyday is judgement day. Use your judgement, use reason.
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23-07-2014, 07:47 PM
RE: My religious friend
Well, it's been a while since I started this thread, but today it came up again.

We met through her ex years ago, when he was doing some work for me. He is a real piece of work, but that's a whole other story.

He is probably the most bigoted, prejudiced, bone headed individual you can imagine. He jumps from one extreme cult to the other, all christian though. Anyway, she was telling me about his latest religious exploits, shaking her head about it. So then she said she had been thinking, and she agreed that the garden of Eden story had to have been re-told so many times that it could not be fact. And that each minute it took god to create everything was likely a thousand years to us, or longer. And that explains the dinosaurs, she said. She now believes they existed.

So I mentioned some things in the old testament, like not eating shrimp or pork or wearing mixed fabrics. I asked her if those were not true then either?

And she said that she realizes that all these stories also belong in their time and place. And she said that she had been avoiding the first testament.

So, there we are. I changed the subject after that because I didn't want to lay into Jebus.

So, whaddaya think? Is she slowly coming around? At least she is not a fundie anymore, and she does realize that god didn't write the bible...

Oh, and she said that she didn't like organized religion at all anymore.

She still considers god her best friend and prays for me and everyone... but I do think we are a bit less deluded this time.

Baby steps.... I am soooo impatient and want to just cut to the crux of things... this is taking a lot of restraint for me. Tongue

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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23-07-2014, 08:04 PM
RE: My religious friend
I do think it's good progress. She's willing to let some of her old beliefs go after looking at them rationally. Will she be an atheist one day? I don't think so. Maybe a deist though.

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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23-07-2014, 08:19 PM
RE: My religious friend
It never ceases to amaze me that the 'good Christians' are so judgmental, even of their own, that they would chastise this poor woman for not kneeling. It was that kind of hypocrisy that made me look at church and religion with a jaded eye even as a kid.

You would think that the other members of her church would have done something more along the lines of asking her if she needed any help.

Even if she doesn't question the faith, I hope she begins to question her fellow faithful.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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24-07-2014, 11:39 AM
RE: My religious friend
(23-07-2014 08:19 PM)Anjele Wrote:  Even if she doesn't question the faith, I hope she begins to question her fellow faithful.

She does and did. She has changed her mind about organized religion and does not go to church anymore. She does get daily bible verses in the email and she prays a lot.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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24-07-2014, 01:06 PM (This post was last modified: 24-07-2014 01:11 PM by Luminon.)
RE: My religious friend
Dom, you do great. You show an admirable amount of restraint. All my instincts would be screaming at me, fill her up with info! Go off the rails!

But I do have one advice I think is good. The experience of making sense of things. When I was a little boy, the making sense did a lot for me to not be afraid of Hell.
Have something that totally makes sense, such as the law of action and reaction. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction - but frame it in something subtler than that.
For example, I was afraid of going to Hell forever. But my parents had some New Age books around. And I had read in them about reincarnation, stuff like, what you do on Earth now, affects how you do in your next life. I thought it's like action and reaction, not like you do actions here on Earth and then God goes completely off the rails in punishing you or rewarding you. It's like the balance of scales. We have this Roman goddess of justice with scales too. I was genuinely afraid of Hell when I was about 4 or 5 or so, but later once I saw a "sensible alternative", I got a really strong feeling that these Christian people must have it wrong about this Hell business. "It doesn't make sense, maybe these people just have it wrong" was a quite painless and easy transition for me. My childhood faith in God always was, God can't be stupider than me, I did nothing to make God angry, other people don't know what they're talking about, that's between me and God.

I don't know how it would work with other people. Despite Christian upbringing, I was always supplied with books on science and nature and eastern religions and even some fiction, so I was used to riding on multiple rails and choose the one that makes more sense at the moment. But this "making sense" thing, that's a lifetime staple food for me. I'd choose "action and reaction" over anything.
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24-07-2014, 04:18 PM
RE: My religious friend
(24-07-2014 11:39 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(23-07-2014 08:19 PM)Anjele Wrote:  Even if she doesn't question the faith, I hope she begins to question her fellow faithful.

She does and did. She has changed her mind about organized religion and does not go to church anymore. She does get daily bible verses in the email and she prays a lot.

Organized religion is what turned me away. Leaving the church at first didn't mean I gave up on faith; that came later.

I wish only the best for your friend and am glad she has you. Thumbsup

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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