Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
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16-03-2017, 11:39 PM
Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
This has always confused me. I grew up very evangelical, when the church every Sunday up until the church closed down I was 14.

But I can't ever remembering being so religious in school.

One such time I can remember was I was on the bus in middle school, about 13 or 14 years old. I often kept to myself and sat alone as I have a nervous tick of rocking back and forth when in movement other wise I get sick (IDK either but it works). I was a very nerdy girl, I lover History and Math, mostly History more. But, back to the story, I was sitting there when the girl next to me told me a good friend of mine, Potter, was going to Hell.

I was curious as to why, and it was because he came out to them in a small debate he was Atheist. Now, most religious kids like me didn't know what that meant, Potter must have explained thus every brainwashed kid was parroting what their parents told them. Potter didn't let it get to him, he was much more mature for his age now that I think about it.

They kept saying it, and asked me what I thought. Strange thing was I wasn't offended by him not being a Christian like me. I could remember thinking back to the number of religions the world had, often thinking what was wrong with them for believing what they wanted. I was a bullied kid, and often stuck by the rule 'they aren't bothering me with their ideas, so why should I butt in?'
I wasn't offended by my best friend being of a different religion, but rather by everyone around him saying he was 'Going to Hell'. I can out right remember telling them all that he wasn't going to Hell just for being different thinking then them.

I only knew later in life how much this meant to him, for me to stick up for him. I thought I as doing the right thing, and I was.

Another thing I can remember taking ecology and a very religious kid, Chris, speaking out again the teacher, who said before learning Evolution it was mandatory she teach this by the state and she was not meaning to step on anyone's toes.

I can remember Chris seemed to be trying to start and argument with her a bit of the ways into the lesson. Asking 'Can you prove that?' and 'I just don't believe this.' in a rather pompous tone in my opinion. I can remember thinking to myself that she already said she wasn't doing this to 'prove him wrong' basically. But I can only remember thinking 'Why is he so offended about learning Evolution?'

I never did make fun of the Lesbians and Gays. In fact, I knew they were of a different sexuality then me, yet I was cool with it. They were my friends in school. I can remember my friend Nick started to date another guy form a different school, the religious girl Serena make a rather disgusted sound when she told me this. (I was dense in school so never picked it up she was disgusted by that.) I can remember the girls looking at her and me, but I smiled warmly saying 'That's great, I'm glad he's found someone who loves him!'

It was strange, I grew up in a very strict home. But because my parents didn't tackle the 'heavy stuff' and I went to public school. I was a Free Thinker. It wasn't until I was 17 did I realize when I told my mom 'I see nothing wrong with gays', as it was mentioned as horrible on Fox News and my friends were gay, did the bomb drop on me of how mean and hypocritical my religion was telling me to be.

I spent a year wondering if all the thinks I thought was against God. Until I talked with Potter about it, and found about about Atheism. I spent the next year criticizing my religious principals. (religious people thought I did this in a crazy like state that I had to critic my religion. But it was all knew to me. I mellowed out form the angry atheist to a positive atheist.)

IDK maybe I was an Atheist all along but never knew it. Laugh out load

"Governments don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking That is against their interests.
They want obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork And just dumb enough to passively accept it."

- George Carlin
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16-03-2017, 11:48 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(16-03-2017 11:39 PM)Ruby Crystal Wrote:  This has always confused me. I grew up very evangelical, when the church every Sunday up until the church closed down I was 14.

But I can't ever remembering being so religious in school.

One such time I can remember was I was on the bus in middle school, about 13 or 14 years old. I often kept to myself and sat alone as I have a nervous tick of rocking back and forth when in movement other wise I get sick (IDK either but it works). I was a very nerdy girl, I lover History and Math, mostly History more. But, back to the story, I was sitting there when the girl next to me told me a good friend of mine, Potter, was going to Hell.

I was curious as to why, and it was because he came out to them in a small debate he was Atheist. Now, most religious kids like me didn't know what that meant, Potter must have explained thus every brainwashed kid was parroting what their parents told them. Potter didn't let it get to him, he was much more mature for his age now that I think about it.

They kept saying it, and asked me what I thought. Strange thing was I wasn't offended by him not being a Christian like me. I could remember thinking back to the number of religions the world had, often thinking what was wrong with them for believing what they wanted. I was a bullied kid, and often stuck by the rule 'they aren't bothering me with their ideas, so why should I butt in?'
I wasn't offended by my best friend being of a different religion, but rather by everyone around him saying he was 'Going to Hell'. I can out right remember telling them all that he wasn't going to Hell just for being different thinking then them.

I only knew later in life how much this meant to him, for me to stick up for him. I thought I as doing the right thing, and I was.

Another thing I can remember taking ecology and a very religious kid, Chris, speaking out again the teacher, who said before learning Evolution it was mandatory she teach this by the state and she was not meaning to step on anyone's toes.

I can remember Chris seemed to be trying to start and argument with her a bit of the ways into the lesson. Asking 'Can you prove that?' and 'I just don't believe this.' in a rather pompous tone in my opinion. I can remember thinking to myself that she already said she wasn't doing this to 'prove him wrong' basically. But I can only remember thinking 'Why is he so offended about learning Evolution?'

I never did make fun of the Lesbians and Gays. In fact, I knew they were of a different sexuality then me, yet I was cool with it. They were my friends in school. I can remember my friend Nick started to date another guy form a different school, the religious girl Serena make a rather disgusted sound when she told me this. (I was dense in school so never picked it up she was disgusted by that.) I can remember the girls looking at her and me, but I smiled warmly saying 'That's great, I'm glad he's found someone who loves him!'

It was strange, I grew up in a very strict home. But because my parents didn't tackle the 'heavy stuff' and I went to public school. I was a Free Thinker. It wasn't until I was 17 did I realize when I told my mom 'I see nothing wrong with gays', as it was mentioned as horrible on Fox News and my friends were gay, did the bomb drop on me of how mean and hypocritical my religion was telling me to be.

I spent a year wondering if all the thinks I thought was against God. Until I talked with Potter about it, and found about about Atheism. I spent the next year criticizing my religious principals. (religious people thought I did this in a crazy like state that I had to critic my religion. But it was all knew to me. I mellowed out form the angry atheist to a positive atheist.)

IDK maybe I was an Atheist all along but never knew it. Laugh out load

XD I feel like you just described my childhood in a nutshell.
I grew up in a Catholic household that was strict but never mentioned anything to do with the LGBT or other religions. I think it was because my parents were very sheltering.
It wasn't until I told my mom that my best friend was gay that she flipped out on me and made it a point to make fun of anyone who was gay around me. She wouldn't even let me hang out with her anymore in the fears that she would "convert my sexuality." XD
I feel like bigotry is imposed and isn't just felt sometimes. I think most bigots in the world were taught to be bigots. Even when you're surrounded by assholes a child can learn tolerance and love very quickly and they're usually the ones who end up happier in the long run.
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16-03-2017, 11:54 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
Bigotry is definitely a taught thing. Well, a learned thing. Kids pick it up from their parents easily, depending how strident the parents are.

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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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17-03-2017, 01:01 AM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
Your story is pretty awesome in some ways, I mean as messed up as your environment was. That you don't seem to have been actively abused over your religion, and managed to remain objective, honest, empathetic and able to think for yourself is really amazing. It gives me some hope frankly.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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17-03-2017, 01:19 AM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 01:01 AM)JesseB Wrote:  Your story is pretty awesome in some ways, I mean as messed up as your environment was. That you don't seem to have been actively abused over your religion, and managed to remain objective, honest, empathetic and able to think for yourself is really amazing. It gives me some hope frankly.

Things only got very toxic when I realized just how bad it was. When I started to look at my religion as a whole, many problems of fear , anxiety and sometimes old self confidence all lead trances back to my religion. Many would think I was just wanting something to blame. True, but I was looking for things that weren't religion. Until I read up these things were caused by how you were raised, my parents only ever used fear with me when it came to religion, my nightmares were about going to hell, and they brow beat me when it came to me making my own choices.

I remained open and free thinking because as a kid I was told to never be the bully. I didn't want to hurt peoples feelings. It's hard to explain, in short words it would be I saw nothing wrong with these people I read throughout history of horrible things happening to people who were mean to people through religious means. And I guess I didn't want to be that person.

"Governments don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking That is against their interests.
They want obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork And just dumb enough to passively accept it."

- George Carlin
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17-03-2017, 02:01 AM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
Wow, your story seems similar to mine (cept I did get homeschooled or go to a private school for a few years).

I never knew about the LGBT until I saw two guys kissing each other, which my mom promptly told me was wrong and innapropriate. I agreed only to satisfy her--I didn't think there was anything wrong with two people loving each other, but it was a lil weird at the time, having never been exposed to such things.

Same goes for meeting non-believers. Never got exposed to them. In the back of my mind I thought everyone believed the way we did, so it came as a surprise to learn about different religions and the non-religious. I hate myself for once picking on a fellow classmate for believing that Earth coalesced from rock and dust surrounding the early sun--I thought it was a no-brainer that gawd did it all.

I wish I could say I was a free-thinker, but it wasn't until I went to a private school for my middle school years that I started embracing skepticism. Somehow until then, I'd compartmentalized what I'd learned about science and god/creation, but it was here where I decided to no longer blindly believe my teachers or the books I was given without doing my own research. Thank goodness for the internet and the library. Ultimately, a private Christian school made me an atheist.

Unfortunately this hit me hard mentally and now I have a panic disorder to show for it, but I honestly wouldn't want it any other way. Life has become more beautiful and fulfilling.

Ignorance is not to be ignored.

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17-03-2017, 04:27 AM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
Sucks that you've had others telling you differently, but well done for thinking logically about the world.

Sexuality is a big one for me. I've always embraced those of all sexuality, yet grew up in a world where it was a still "taboo" for a short time. [It's getting much better, but the hate is still there in places]. But when you really think about it sexuality is nothing. its not "a man and a women" or "man and man" or "women and women", its "1 person who loves another person", and that's it. They only difference is the way people have sex, but that's up to you haha. Whatever makes you happy.

This same topic came up with my daughter recently, who is 7. We have some friends who are a lesbian couple. My daughter was confused at first, but after me saying "you can love whoever you like" she very quickly said "cool, ok". Its worth mentioning, she gave about as much confusion/questioning about my uncle, who is in a wheel chair....it's basically because she hadn't seen this before, so there for wasn't "normal" to her, yet once explained, she was fully on board with it.

I once got told by an ex girlfriends mother, who was devout catholic, I was a satanist....because I'm an atheist lol. I mentioned you'd have to believe in satan, [and god by proxy I presume], to do that....but I was a satanist all the same to her.

Don't worry about the narrow minded. You either grow out of it, or end up looking like a plank in front of regular people when you're older lol. Nothing wrong with religion as long as you don't go around spouting what's right and what's not.

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17-03-2017, 10:58 AM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
From my childhood it was very easy for me to be an atheist. No religion was taught by my parents or in school. No friends of mine talked about God ever. Of course, there were religious folks in the country but they were uneducated old men and women. My great grandma was one of them. There were no miracles. There was nothing pointing to God.
So, it is very, very easy to be an atheist in atheist society. It is very, very natural. Plus we had this discipline in middle school, they called it "scientific atheism". It was mostly about different religions and how wrong they were. I loved "scientific atheism". It was so easy to see how wrong religions were.
So, I believe that if there were no religions most of the people would be atheists naturally. Until something happens. I became theist until something happened(but my post is not about this).
Even when I became theist and I wanted to know more about God I realized that I can not follow any religion. I told myself that they can not know anything about God.
I thought that they make up stuff. I think we all know it is the truth that they make up stuff.

Everyone here knows I am LDS(Mormon) but my post is not about this. My post is about my firm belief that it is easier for a child to be an atheist than theist, it is much easier for a child to choose atheism over religion. I heard about God from my great grandma. She tried very hard to convince me. I saw Orthodox Churches and I have been inside, I saw what they were doing there. I heard that there was Jesus Christ.
So, I had some exposer to a religion. But again atheism made so much more sense back then. I also know that if I never mentioned God to my children, if they never heard about God at all, they probably would never even thought about any Creator.
Am I wrong? I don't know.

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17-03-2017, 11:41 AM
Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
Remember, we are ALL born atheist. It is a default position for us humans on Earth. Your parents and location and environment you are raised in determine what you believe in. Or don't believe in.


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17-03-2017, 11:49 AM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 10:58 AM)Alla Wrote:  Am I wrong? I don't know.

I'm a big fan of whatever it takes to be a better person. If that means religion or other delusions so be it. You are clearly good people, Alla. If that's because of the LDS, or if you believe that's because of the LDS, I don't see anything wrong with that.




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