Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
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11-03-2016, 04:52 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
Raised Roman Catholic (Irish & French family), later another type of Christianity, then Kabbalah (not the fucked up Hollywood version, the real thing), and then the evil, horrible, baby-eating atheism.
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11-03-2016, 05:06 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
Hello Deb,
I am an old guy weeks shy of 70 years old. I first, as I have posted here a couple of times rebelled while 17 years old in 11th grade Bible Doctrines class. We were studying the stories of God demanding that his people kill every man woman and child in some city they were getting ready to attack, but the young comely maidens the soldiers could keep for themselves. Although male my feminine side rebelled at that and I turned in a paper to Elder Blue that if that was how God is He had no respect coming from me, but I didn't shed the idea of God's existence for years. Just felt He was not worthy of my worship and love. BUt I did drift nearer and nearer toward nonbelief. When I quit drinking I went thru AA and was advised I had to believe in God if I were going to be able to quit drinking, so I tried a New Age church. They disavowed the blood and killing that God just pretended to be against. But believing in a third eye and auras and chakras was as difficult as the idea of drinking my God's blood in order to prove that I loved Him. Finally within the last 10 years, on a totally different forum which was supposed to be about travel and tropical islands there was this dominating asshole type religious guy who attacked everybody and carried on and on about Hell and how he as a father felt that his teen aged girls should have their vaginas checked on a regular basis to make sure they wouldn't soon be having a partial birth abortion and all kinds of hideous nonsense and that is what solidified my realization that none of that God shit had any relevance to reality.
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11-03-2016, 05:32 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
I grew up Catholic but my parents never took us to church unless it was a holiday or we just happened to be near one so we'd stop in. I did pray at night before bed and feel that what I did and said mattered to Jesus and the Virgin Mary. My mom used to tell me when I did something bad Mary would cry and I surely didn't want her to cry. I lost faith around 12 years old from being around ignorant Christians who were hateful, learning about evolutionary biology and Greek mythology. My parents shoved a bible in my face and insisted I read it, I was appalled by the rampant immorality in it. It was just a slippery slope from there, I flirted with Buddhism for a bit around 14-17 years old but never fully committed, became a firebrand atheist around my early 20's and now here we are.

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11-03-2016, 06:27 PM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2016 06:36 PM by cactus.)
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
(11-03-2016 04:50 PM)debna27 Wrote:  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?
People much older than myself had been telling me my whole life that I was a Christian, and that any of my doubts were just a phase that I had to work through. I never had any incentive to question it, so I just went along with it and called myself a Christian. It was never really my belief, though. I'm not even sure how convinced I actually was. I never felt convinced enough to get baptized, even though my dad kept trying to push me to do it when I was in high school (just in case). lol

The only times I remember being somewhat convinced were my experiences at church camp (a.k.a. indoctrination camp), where I was surrounded by lots of passively coercive people, emotionally manipulated, and force-fed a steady dose of "God's Holy Word" for two straight weeks. Fun Smile

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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11-03-2016, 06:47 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
(11-03-2016 06:27 PM)cactus Wrote:  
(11-03-2016 04:50 PM)debna27 Wrote:  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?
People much older than myself had been telling me my whole life that I was a Christian, and that any of my doubts were just a phase that I had to work through. I never had any incentive to question it, so I just went along with it and called myself a Christian. It was never really my belief, though. I'm not even sure how convinced I actually was. I never felt convinced enough to get baptized, even though my dad kept trying to push me to do it when I was in high school (just in case). lol

The only times I remember being somewhat convinced were my experiences at church camp (a.k.a. indoctrination camp), where I was surrounded by lots of passively coercive people, emotionally manipulated, and force-fed a steady dose of "God's Holy Word" for two straight weeks. Fun Smile

Your experience sounds so similar to mine! I'm also unsure how true my belief really was. I had "mountaintop experiences" at Bible camps and responded to a few altar calls to reaffirm my belief even though I was a member of my own church already. But now I don't know how much of it was actually me believing and how much was me desperately wanting to believe.
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11-03-2016, 07:06 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
or how much of it was just the desire to please your family and peers. In my experience, that was the one motivating factor that played more of a role than anything else. All of the things I'd do for the sake of "being a better Christian" or "pleasing God" or whatever, I was really just doing for the sake of minimizing friction between me and my family. Of course I didn't realize at the time that I was doing this. I think it would be fascinating to step back in time and see WTF was going through all of our minds as kids. I really wish I'd kept a journal.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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11-03-2016, 08:04 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
(11-03-2016 07:06 PM)cactus Wrote:  I think it would be fascinating to step back in time and see WTF was going through all of our minds as kids. I really wish I'd kept a journal.

I wish that I'd had the foresight to actually talk about that kind of stuff when I did journal. Maybe it would help detangle the fucked up parts of my brain now...or at least be entertaining for a little while if nothing else.
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11-03-2016, 08:09 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
(11-03-2016 05:06 PM)DerFish Wrote:  Hello Deb,
I am an old guy weeks shy of 70 years old. I first, as I have posted here a couple of times rebelled while 17 years old in 11th grade Bible Doctrines class. We were studying the stories of God demanding that his people kill every man woman and child in some city they were getting ready to attack, but the young comely maidens the soldiers could keep for themselves. Although male my feminine side rebelled at that and I turned in a paper to Elder Blue that if that was how God is He had no respect coming from me, but I didn't shed the idea of God's existence for years. Just felt He was not worthy of my worship and love. BUt I did drift nearer and nearer toward nonbelief. When I quit drinking I went thru AA and was advised I had to believe in God if I were going to be able to quit drinking, so I tried a New Age church. They disavowed the blood and killing that God just pretended to be against. But believing in a third eye and auras and chakras was as difficult as the idea of drinking my God's blood in order to prove that I loved Him. Finally within the last 10 years, on a totally different forum which was supposed to be about travel and tropical islands there was this dominating asshole type religious guy who attacked everybody and carried on and on about Hell and how he as a father felt that his teen aged girls should have their vaginas checked on a regular basis to make sure they wouldn't soon be having a partial birth abortion and all kinds of hideous nonsense and that is what solidified my realization that none of that God shit had any relevance to reality.


I wish my moral compass in high school could have been as strong as yours. It took until college to notice the horrendous things I'd been taught in all those Bible classes (particularly "love and dating"). I always love talking with people who are around my parent's age but don't share in their delusion. So excited to get to know more people like yourself here
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11-03-2016, 08:11 PM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
I was raised Catholic by a Catholic father and a mother who was raised Methodist. Observance was pretty strict as far as having to go through the sacraments and church attendance though there was never really any talk of religion at home. Hometown pretty much all Catholic...went to Catholic schools from 6th grade through high school. By the time I was in high school mom's disinterest in all things Catholic was no longer hidden and dad switch to worshipping golf.

Read up on some other beliefs but didn't ever practice them.

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

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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15-03-2016, 11:05 AM
RE: Re-introduction, question for ex-believers
Hi,

I was raised pentacostal-holiness (family believed they were both the same thing) and it was weird. My family believed in faith healings; speaking in tongues; you don't need a doctor unless your giving birth or dying; a woman's place is barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen; ghosts; spirits; but not the bogeyman oddly enough.

I got in trouble a lot growing up by asking questions and demanding a good answer, I wouldn't accept the "that's what god says,"; "that's how its always been done,"; or "because I said so." They also believed that spanking the child was good for them. Many a time I had welts and scratches on my thighs from being spanked with a hickory.

I let them know I wouldn't continue to follow their cult when I was 17 and they nearly killed me. The good news: I went to the cops and social services. The bad news: I went to the cops and social services. Because I lived in a small town, in the south where religion is thick, my mom grew up with just about everybody in the town and she worked in the local law office as a secretary, guranted that she got away with it. It took me 8 years to get out of that place and she stalked me so I've now become homeless and am disabled due to lack of medical treatment.
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