Religious Baggage
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01-08-2014, 12:25 PM
Religious Baggage
I spent 18+ years growing up in a Southern Baptist home. The years since, while not necessarily religious, were still spent in line with those teachings from my childhood. Gradually, I turned away from the things that I had been taught. I now, as of the past year or so, am an atheist.

I used to be political, even chairing the local Libertarian Party for a few years. I gave a public speech back then advocating for gay rights. I continue to fight for gay rights and other issues, albeit on a much less public level. I know that it is the right thing for all humans to have the same rights as everyone else.

The problem I have is that even though I KNOW homosexuals should have the same rights as myself and will argue for them until the day I die, deep down there's still the nagging remnants of my upbringing telling me that homosexuality is "Eww, gross", etc.

I guess my question is when does all that stupid baggage from my upbringing and religious indoctrination finally go away? It's not what I believe anymore, so why is it still hanging around deep inside my head? I want it gone! Is it a case of "time heals all wounds" and that critical thinking and reason will eventually wipe it out or is it something I'll just have to live with?
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01-08-2014, 01:48 PM
RE: Religious Baggage
I don't suppose there is anything wrong with finding it gross, I am sure there are gays who find hetero sex gross, too. Long as you don't let it determine what you find right and wrong...

Baggage just drops bit by bit over time. All depends on how seriously indoctrinated you were...

[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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01-08-2014, 02:49 PM
RE: Religious Baggage
It's not finding it "gross" that bothers me. It's honestly none of my business what other people are attracted to and I know that we each have different things that we find attractive. Such is the wonderfulness of diversity of the species. I just used that as an example of religious baggage.

I also don't want this to be a discussion about that particular subject because that isn't the focus of what I'm talking about. I'm more concerned with the underlying indoctrinational roots that the above example (among others) stems from.

It's weird. It's like I know how to be a good person, but there's a proverbial devil on my shoulder bringing up all that stupid crap. I still find myself saying "Bless you" and "Lord knows..." at times. Those are obviously more benign examples, but have others had to fight these habits and prejudices from their religious past?
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01-08-2014, 03:00 PM
RE: Religious Baggage
(01-08-2014 12:25 PM)Red Goldman Wrote:  I spent 18+ years growing up in a Southern Baptist home. The years since, while not necessarily religious, were still spent in line with those teachings from my childhood. Gradually, I turned away from the things that I had been taught. I now, as of the past year or so, am an atheist.

I used to be political, even chairing the local Libertarian Party for a few years. I gave a public speech back then advocating for gay rights. I continue to fight for gay rights and other issues, albeit on a much less public level. I know that it is the right thing for all humans to have the same rights as everyone else.

The problem I have is that even though I KNOW homosexuals should have the same rights as myself and will argue for them until the day I die, deep down there's still the nagging remnants of my upbringing telling me that homosexuality is "Eww, gross", etc.

I guess my question is when does all that stupid baggage from my upbringing and religious indoctrination finally go away? It's not what I believe anymore, so why is it still hanging around deep inside my head? I want it gone! Is it a case of "time heals all wounds" and that critical thinking and reason will eventually wipe it out or is it something I'll just have to live with?

I sort of had this problem after 22 years of being taught that man is only to lie with women through Mormon doctrine. In college, I had friends that I respected greatly that regularly talked about yaoi (erm, that's gay porn/relationships basically). Though I liked them, seeing gay things made me sort of cringe a little because it was ingrained into my head that it was corrupt. Then I learned that one of those friends those friends of mine was a gay man trapped in a woman's body (felt that way his whole life and only within a year of knowing me felt comfortable enough to tell me) and was about to start the process of transformation. Despite caring for him, it made being around him a little weird because I "knew" being gay was "wrong". After a certain point, I realized that my friends were fantastic people and that whatever they liked or whoever they decided to love should not deminish how much I cared for them. I kept reminding myself that when I would see them and just not think about the gay stuff as weird and after a while, it was normal for me. I didn't care. That was fortunate because the other two friends, who are also women, had began dating and were the other's "special exceptions" (one's straight the other's asexual) . They even waited to tell me for a while because I had mentioned how my dad specifically hates gays and that my church taught it was wrong and I was very happy to tell them that I only cared that they loved each other. They're all graduated and moved hours away from me. I haven't heard from them since because they, like me, are really crappy at remembering to call or instant message when they aren't busy. Ever since them though, I have come to accept that all sexualities are normal and have recently found myself like bara (it's a manly version of yaoi).

Long story short, its a thing that comes with time and understanding/education. Try not to think of the act itself as much as it being a part of that person. Everyone's human and everyone's different. Some people like their steak cooked rare, some people don't like steak at all, and some people like their steak drowning in A-1 steak sauce. Try to think of sexuality along those lines. Might help if you are around homosexuals too. Not saying that should make a friend with a gay person for the sake of thinking of gay as normal but get to know that person so that them being attracted to the same gender is just a side note. If anything else, go skim through a gay forum maybe. See how the posters are and read what they do/go through in life. Maybe that will give you a little more understanding about the homosexual community and help to not be grossed out by homosexuality faster.

Don't know if any of that helps but, eh, I guess I needed to babble. I haven't babbled in a long time.

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01-08-2014, 03:04 PM
RE: Religious Baggage
(01-08-2014 02:49 PM)Red Goldman Wrote:  It's not finding it "gross" that bothers me. It's honestly none of my business what other people are attracted to and I know that we each have different things that we find attractive. Such is the wonderfulness of diversity of the species. I just used that as an example of religious baggage.

I also don't want this to be a discussion about that particular subject because that isn't the focus of what I'm talking about. I'm more concerned with the underlying indoctrinational roots that the above example (among others) stems from.

It's weird. It's like I know how to be a good person, but there's a proverbial devil on my shoulder bringing up all that stupid crap. I still find myself saying "Bless you" and "Lord knows..." at times. Those are obviously more benign examples, but have others had to fight these habits and prejudices from their religious past?

Oh, just saw this. Sorry about that long-ass post then. Yeah, those are the sort of habits that kind of fade away after a while. Sometimes it pops up out of nowhere like I'll be doing something and think, "I should pray" then say, "wait, I don't do that anymore." Basically yeah it's just something that you get used to not doing and not saying after a while.

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01-08-2014, 03:13 PM
RE: Religious Baggage
I've actually had gay friends back home, but I'm no longer in touch with them. I have acquaintances near where I live now that are not only gay, but were one of the history-making couples that got married on the day when CA first legalized it.

And again, it's not the homosexuality that is my concern.

I guess what I can gather from y'alls responses is that I'm just being antsy and it'll just take time. Being an atheist is still relatively new to me. I don't make friends easily as it is and now that I'm in a relatively small town, I don't have any. My wife is the only person I hang out with and I'd like more than just one person's perspective, especially when it is a subject they're neither versed in or interested in.
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01-08-2014, 04:49 PM
RE: Religious Baggage
You are not alone in this. I still say "Thank God", although its usually when I'm exasperated. I balance it with saying blasphemous things like Jesus Fucking Christ or goddammit. I was actually raised that saying things like "Oh my God" and "Good Lordy" and even "Oh my gosh" were blasphemy. Saying "Lord knows" comes out when I'm tired and letting my southern twang slip out. I will never give up saying things like "well bless your heart" - I just LOVE the condescension that phrase brings when I'm being sweet as pie to some dipshit.

As far as cringing with homosexuality- I was raised to believe it was an abomination, love the sinner hate the sin bs. I didnt think I knew anyone that was *dirtyword -gay, but they must be very confused hurting individuals. Then I met out of the closet gays and lesbians, and the exposure really changed my point of view and helped open my mind. I learned there are shitty gay people and there are fanfuckingtastic gay people... because they are people. Such a simple concept, and yet it is so difficult to understand when you've been brainwashed since infancy. I was the confused, ignorant one.


I had a HUGE crush on this beautiful guy when I was in high school. I thought he never asked me out because I wasn't pretty enough, and took a hit on my self esteem cause I was friend zoned. Apparently I was "too" prettyTongue - he is now happily settled with another dude and cute tiny dogs. I figured out he was gay when I saw pics of him in a Las Vegas drag show on Facebook - "Ooooo, that makes sense":facepalm:

My mom's advice was true in a sense- never date a man more beautiful than yourself.

This is part of why I hate religion - it turns people who are trying to be good into bigots. As tough as it is keeping my opinions to myself about my lack of belief, I imagine it was much more difficult for him to hide something so fundamental to a person (especially a teen) as his sexuality to avoid being ostracized.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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01-08-2014, 08:17 PM
RE: Religious Baggage
My baggage is slowly fading with time. I went through a bout of being really angry at religion, and did a lot of journaling, which helped me purge.

Oddly enough, having PTSD and learning how to retrain my brain regarding triggers, has also helped me in my deconversion process as well.

Here's a great link that might help you some. Good luck!


http://atheistfoundation.org.au/article/...ds-sanity/

It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. ~Mark Twain
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07-08-2014, 03:33 PM
RE: Religious Baggage
Thank you for the link, Cindysrain!
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