Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
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10-03-2016, 11:34 PM
Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
Hi everybody!
I introduced myself to the forum several years ago and then proceeded to fall off of the planet for a while. But now I'm back so I wanted to say hi again and see if I can actually become active here this time (not an avid forum-er in general, but I really need a like-minded community to talk to right now and from what I've been reading you all seem like my best choice Smile ).
I've just graduated from university and have been gradually finding my way into the adult world on my own for about a year now. A big part of that involves finding my identity as a non-believer; I'm lucky enough to live in a relatively secular area, but I'm still finding myself at odds with religious family and friends at times which can be a real source of stress.
I'm really very curious as to the specific religious backgrounds of the people here. I personally come from an extremely conservative Protestant denomination, one that split from the Presbyterian Church of America sometime in the last century or two due to its presumed "liberalization". The name of my old denomination is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church...let me know if you've heard of it, an objective opinion of it would be very useful to me at this point in my life.
I love to hear people's stories and I would be grateful if you would share a little of your own religious history so I can gain some perspective about who all I'm talking with.
Thanks in advance Smile
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10-03-2016, 11:47 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
Welcome! I was raised Irish Catholic, then Wiccan for a short time in college (my godmother is a witch, which if you knew my conservative, devout Roman Catholic mother, you would think this was an extremely odd choice for a godparent), then Christian-Jesus freak level, then Liberal Christian, then Spiritual/Not Religious, then Agnostic, and now Atheist.
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10-03-2016, 11:51 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
Hi Debna, welcome to the forum.

I also come from a protestant background. Spent some time as a believer but eventually decided I was lying to myself. Always been fascinated with reasons why people do accept bullshit, probably largely as a result of having done the same and then feeling pretty ashamed and confused after rejecting it. Big part of my rejection was reading up on critical thinking in some old issues of skeptical inquirer that were lying around in a dusty corner of the university library.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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11-03-2016, 12:52 AM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
Welcome.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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11-03-2016, 06:10 AM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
Hi! Raised Southern Baptist. My father, a preacher and missionary, tried to start up his own denomination but didn't have the charisma, so Baptist we remained. Flirted with Episcopal church in college on the way to full-blown atheism. In college I took a couple of courses on the Bible from a critical/literary POV and even a couple of graduate level courses in theology/Christian philosophy. All of it interesting and helpful to me in determining to my personal satisfaction that all religion is man-made.

Most of my family remains on the nutty side of religious, and I leave them to it.
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11-03-2016, 09:46 AM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
(11-03-2016 06:10 AM)julep Wrote:  Hi! Raised Southern Baptist. My father, a preacher and missionary, tried to start up his own denomination but didn't have the charisma, so Baptist we remained. Flirted with Episcopal church in college on the way to full-blown atheism. In college I took a couple of courses on the Bible from a critical/literary POV and even a couple of graduate level courses in theology/Christian philosophy. All of it interesting and helpful to me in determining to my personal satisfaction that all religion is man-made.

Most of my family remains on the nutty side of religious, and I leave them to it.

I have a feeling Southern Baptists and conservative Presbyterians have a lot more in common than they would like to admit, at least in terms of general attitude/feelings towards those around them.
Did you take those college courses as an atheist, or were you still on the path to that?
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11-03-2016, 10:23 AM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
(11-03-2016 09:46 AM)debna27 Wrote:  
(11-03-2016 06:10 AM)julep Wrote:  Hi! Raised Southern Baptist. My father, a preacher and missionary, tried to start up his own denomination but didn't have the charisma, so Baptist we remained. Flirted with Episcopal church in college on the way to full-blown atheism. In college I took a couple of courses on the Bible from a critical/literary POV and even a couple of graduate level courses in theology/Christian philosophy. All of it interesting and helpful to me in determining to my personal satisfaction that all religion is man-made.

Most of my family remains on the nutty side of religious, and I leave them to it.

I have a feeling Southern Baptists and conservative Presbyterians have a lot more in common than they would like to admit, at least in terms of general attitude/feelings towards those around them.
Did you take those college courses as an atheist, or were you still on the path to that?

I was still on the path--at that point I was attending the campus Episcopalian church, which was a much nicer variety of Christian! Wine, great food, free lunch on Sundays when the dorm cafeterias were closed. It was around my senior year of college that I decided that even the more kindly god of the Episcopalians--who probably was going to take everybody to heaven, who was described in stories that weren't meant to be taken literally, etc.--was no more plausible than the Baptist Angry-Dad god. Just more palatable.

I enjoyed the courses a lot and learned enormously from them (although Aquinas was a real slog--deadly dull). I'm happy that the courses weren't taught from a theological perspective, as it was a secular school (Northwestern).
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11-03-2016, 10:49 AM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
(10-03-2016 11:34 PM)debna27 Wrote:  Hi everybody!
I introduced myself to the forum several years ago and then proceeded to fall off of the planet for a while. But now I'm back so I wanted to say hi again and see if I can actually become active here this time (not an avid forum-er in general, but I really need a like-minded community to talk to right now and from what I've been reading you all seem like my best choice Smile ).
I've just graduated from university and have been gradually finding my way into the adult world on my own for about a year now. A big part of that involves finding my identity as a non-believer; I'm lucky enough to live in a relatively secular area, but I'm still finding myself at odds with religious family and friends at times which can be a real source of stress.
I'm really very curious as to the specific religious backgrounds of the people here. I personally come from an extremely conservative Protestant denomination, one that split from the Presbyterian Church of America sometime in the last century or two due to its presumed "liberalization". The name of my old denomination is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church...let me know if you've heard of it, an objective opinion of it would be very useful to me at this point in my life.
I love to hear people's stories and I would be grateful if you would share a little of your own religious history so I can gain some perspective about who all I'm talking with.
Thanks in advance Smile

I was born into a family of Jehovah's Witnesses, left at 12, became involved with The Way International at 18, left at 19. Stuck around with an offshoot of The Way for about 10 years, then reconsidered and started attending a more mainstream fundamentalist evangelical church. You can read the full story here.

It's never too late to break free.

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11-03-2016, 11:58 AM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
I was raised going to protestant churches. I slowly became aware of my atheism throughout college, just from being exposed to so many out atheists for the first time. As a kid, I just assumed all my friends who never talked about church were actually Christian. Nope, turns out most of them were atheists all along, too. Smile

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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11-03-2016, 04:50 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
(11-03-2016 11:58 AM)cactus Wrote:  I was raised going to protestant churches. I slowly became aware of my atheism throughout college, just from being exposed to so many out atheists for the first time. As a kid, I just assumed all my friends who never talked about church were actually Christian. Nope, turns out most of them were atheists all along, too. Smile
I'm so intrigued by this phrasing of becoming aware of your atheism. Would you say that you were ever a Christian? Or did you just think you were because that's what you were surrounded by?
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