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Offline testtickle

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Hello
« on: August 30, 2011, 12:59:09 AM »
Hi, I am a newly "converted" atheist, I am 31 years old, and was born a pentecostal christian. I am married and have 2 young children, I have yet to tell my wife that i am an atheist, as the one person i have told acted as if I had admitted to having given him an STD (friends, go figure). Needless to say he promised he wouldn't tell anyone else but no longer wishes to have anything to do with me. I feel this was a very personal choice and i didn't make it without serious thought. Even though I know that god doesn't exist and the bible is on par with the national enquirer I don't feel as if i have to shout it from the rooftops. I will have to eventually tell my wife i suppose, but both my parents are missionaries to Peru and the telling them that i think they are wasting their time and accomplishing nothing would be equivalent to hanging their poodle up by its tail, setting it on fire, than beating it like a pinata. So i will most likely avoid that conversation. Anyhow, this is basically where i am, I've been reading the posts here for awhile and like the generally intelligent and respectful conversations. Hopefully now ill be able to throw in my two cents every now and then.
We can never attain perfection, But in the pursuit of perfection we can catch greatness. ~Vince Lombardi

If it doesn't matter if we win or lose, than why do we keep score? ~Vince Lombardi

Offline Nick

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Re: Hello
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 05:03:23 AM »
Welcome, it has to be hard when you are surrounded by family of believers and treated like your friend treated you.  Once you adopt rational thought and know truth it is hard to go back to make believe.  Hope you enjoy your time here.  It gets better.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline Dante

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Re: Hello
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 05:19:00 AM »
Welcome to the fray!

I have a question for you to consider.....how does one choose to be atheist?
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline plethora

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Re: Hello
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 05:56:33 AM »
Welcome  8)
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline jetson

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Re: Hello
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 06:02:44 AM »
I like you already for three reasons:

You were born a Pentecostal Christian

You converted to atheism

And you used the burning poodle piñata analogy

Oh, and your name is clever, testickle.   ;D

Welcome to the forum, and don't let anybody tell you that atheism is bad, after all, we are all atheists to the many, many gods we don't accept!


Online pianodwarf

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Re: Hello
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 06:20:09 AM »
Hi, I am a newly "converted" atheist, I am 31 years old, and was born a pentecostal christian. I am married and have 2 young children, I have yet to tell my wife that i am an atheist, as the one person i have told acted as if I had admitted to having given him an STD (friends, go figure). Needless to say he promised he wouldn't tell anyone else but no longer wishes to have anything to do with me.

Hi, TT, welcome to the forums.

I'm definitely sorry to hear about what you're going thru.  Most of us (including me) have unpleasant stories we can tell regarding our lack of religion and other people's reaction to it, but your situation sounds like it's among the more severe.  Are you an American?  Do you live in the Bible Belt?

I'm probably just about the last person to give marital advice of any kind, but I'd have to agree that you're going to have to tell your wife about this at some point.  You're going to need to give the matter a lot of thought and possibly even talk to a counselor about it first, especially if, as it sounds like, you live in the Bible Belt or some other similarly heavily religious community.  You'll probably also want to take various contingencies into account... I hate to be a "Debbie Downer", but there have been cases where people have lost families and jobs over this, and you should probably think about how likely that kind of thing is in your own case as well as how you'll handle it if it does come to pass.

You're among friends here, though, and if you reach out, you'll get support.  You might want to look up Damon Fowler... he stood up for what was right and was given the expected response by the loving, caring Christians.  It must have been tough for him, but the atheist community has given him a lot of help.

Looking forward to hearing more about your situation as events develop.  Welcome to WWGHA.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Chronos

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Re: Hello
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 07:03:30 AM »
Welcome to the forum! May we be your safe harbor from the stormy sea of believers ...

Hi, I am a newly "converted" atheist, I am 31 years old, and was born a pentecostal christian.

Congratulations! And, you have my sympathies.

I am married and have 2 young children, I have yet to tell my wife that i am an atheist, as the one person i have told acted as if I had admitted to having given him an STD (friends, go figure). Needless to say he promised he wouldn't tell anyone else but no longer wishes to have anything to do with me.

He won't be the only one. The best bet for your family is to plant seeds in your wife's mind that she should be skeptical of what she hears ... and make it seem like the skepticism was entirely her idea.


I feel this was a very personal choice and i didn't make it without serious thought.

The problem is that most of the people around you do not think seriously, but rather, emotionally.

Even though I know that god doesn't exist and the bible is on par with the national enquirer I don't feel as if i have to shout it from the rooftops.

Wise, considering your circumstances.

I will have to eventually tell my wife i suppose ...

Scratch that idea ... see above. Otherwise, your nuclear family might be missing a proton soon ...


... but both my parents are missionaries to Peru and the telling them that i think they are wasting their time and accomplishing nothing would be equivalent to hanging their poodle up by its tail, setting it on fire, than beating it like a pinata.

Which is why you say nothing at all. Cling to the adage: if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.


So i will most likely avoid that conversation.

Agreed!




Anyhow, this is basically where i am, I've been reading the posts here for awhile and like the generally intelligent and respectful conversations. Hopefully now ill be able to throw in my two cents every now and then.

Oh, you can tithe more than two cents. Throw in a couple of sawbucks now and then.




And, you will find a lot of people who declare that you should be open and honest with your family about your lack of belief; however, I view believers on the same level as alcoholics and drug addicts (and the more they believe, the more deeply they are into their addiction), so sometimes honesty is not the best policy. If they drink a little, you can show them where you store the vodka; if they drink a lot, you're not going to tell them how you found their supply and removed it from the house.
John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline testtickle

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Re: Hello
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 10:29:34 AM »
Welcome to the fray!

I have a question for you to consider.....how does one choose to be atheist?

Well, I believe I was forced into Christianity, by lack of choice as a child, however when i was presented with an alternative view, that answered my questions to a higher degree of satisfaction, i then was forced to choose, I could have easily continued following my faith blindly, or choose non belief. I decided to choose non belief, and therein lies the choice to be an atheist. Trust me from my point of view i don't think i took the easy way out, I feel its the only logical choice i had.


I'm definitely sorry to hear about what you're going thru.  Most of us (including me) have unpleasant stories we can tell regarding our lack of religion and other people's reaction to it, but your situation sounds like it's among the more severe.  Are you an American?  Do you live in the Bible Belt?


I am an American, I was born in Sheridan, WY now i live in Southern Florida, I'm not sure if Florida is part of the "bible belt" per se, but we have our share of religious people. I have already taken steps to help my children, my mother in law had signed them up for private christian school this year, but i told her i thought that private schools lacked in developing real word skills in children. Luckily she bought it and i dodged that bullet. I don't plan on forcing my children to believe in anything, when they're older i will present them with my point of view and let them make their own choices. I still harbor some feelings of disappointment towards my own parents for never even giving me an alternative to their views. So i don't want to repeat that with my children. As for my wife we've been married for 9 years, and we survived me being a cop for 5 and in the military for 3, so i don't see this as being too big of a thing for her to accept, but i know she wont be too happy about it.
We can never attain perfection, But in the pursuit of perfection we can catch greatness. ~Vince Lombardi

If it doesn't matter if we win or lose, than why do we keep score? ~Vince Lombardi

Offline albeto

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Re: Hello
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 11:50:53 AM »
Laughing at the poodle, not so much at knowing what's at stake for you in your community in general.  I have a friend who is questioning the faith but cannot reject it for social reasons.  She's sure her marriage of 19 years would be over as well as being disowned by family and friends.  I think it's just so evil that religion can hold hostage of even our thoughts so I'm glad to hear you sparing your own children this burden.  If you find a successful way to share your new pov with your wife, I hope you share. 

One quick question - what is the caption under your avie?  I think it's hysterical. 


Offline testtickle

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Re: Hello
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 11:59:14 AM »
If you find a successful way to share your new pov with your wife, I hope you share. 

One quick question - what is the caption under your avie?  I think it's hysterical. 

I will bring it up to my wife soon, I think she will be more understanding than most other people, but its kinda of like asking a girl on the first date, the fear of rejection or even ridicule is overwhelming. Deep down i know she'll stand beside me no matter what, I mean its not like i'm telling her i'm gay amirite?


as for the caption: Religion: well isnt this awkward
We can never attain perfection, But in the pursuit of perfection we can catch greatness. ~Vince Lombardi

If it doesn't matter if we win or lose, than why do we keep score? ~Vince Lombardi

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Hello
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 12:14:45 PM »
Hi, I am a newly "converted" atheist, I am 31 years old, and was born a pentecostal christian. I am married and have 2 young children, I have yet to tell my wife that i am an atheist, as the one person i have told acted as if I had admitted to having given him an STD (friends, go figure). Needless to say he promised he wouldn't tell anyone else but no longer wishes to have anything to do with me. I feel this was a very personal choice and i didn't make it without serious thought. Even though I know that god doesn't exist and the bible is on par with the national enquirer I don't feel as if i have to shout it from the rooftops. I will have to eventually tell my wife i suppose, but both my parents are missionaries to Peru and the telling them that i think they are wasting their time and accomplishing nothing would be equivalent to hanging their poodle up by its tail, setting it on fire, than beating it like a pinata. So i will most likely avoid that conversation. Anyhow, this is basically where i am, I've been reading the posts here for awhile and like the generally intelligent and respectful conversations. Hopefully now ill be able to throw in my two cents every now and then.

Testtickle, you are one funny guy! Anyway, welcome! I just left the church, and the friends that I mentioned my doubts about God to no longer call me. Well, shit, guess I'll just have to make some rational friends now, won't I?  ;D

Anyway, you'll have to tell your wife and parents at some point. My agnostic hubby and I remain silent when his or my parents blab about God, but if they asked me, I would readily tell them that I don't see any evidence for Jesus being our savior. Tough stuff...

As for your kids, maybe you could just tell them that other people believe in Jesus as our savior, but you don't because you think that is made-up, like fairies and unicorns. That's what I plan to tell my 2-year-old when he is old enough. I already have family members shoving God down his throat, so I won't be afraid to tell him my POV when he is ready.

Anyway, everyone (except theists) has been very supportive here on this forum. I've posted about my insomnia, anger, shame, embarrassment and confusion with regard to having previously believed in God and my quest to deprogram myself. Just chat away!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 12:20:46 PM by curiousgirl »
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Hello
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 12:22:00 PM »
both my parents are missionaries to Peru and the telling them that i think they are wasting their time and accomplishing nothing would be equivalent to hanging their poodle up by its tail, setting it on fire, than beating it like a pinata.

Actually I think the poodle would disagree
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline albeto

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Re: Hello
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 12:24:14 PM »
as for the caption: Religion: well isnt this awkward

lol

 

Offline Historicity

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Re: Hello
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 12:55:18 PM »
Don't rag on the National Enquirer.  It is a south Florida institution.

It prophesied that OJ Simpson was guilty.  Not really prophesied they got the photos of him in the Bruno Mali shoes.  They went into a tizzy at the HQ.  They had a real story.  Not only was it true but for the first time it was a story with substance.  They didn't know what to do!  Their new editor, an Englishman, had the answer: Run it.  It was hard, physical evidence that made him lose the civil suit.

I read an article in the HuffPo on how they ferreted out John Edwards' mistress and baby.

Research and fact finding.  Scholars are supposed to work from 3 named sources. Journalists are supposed to work from 2 possibly secret sources.  The Enquirer sometimes works from a little bit less than that.

OTOH ......

"SEX MAD DI SAYS I CAN'T GET ENOUGH" -- the National Enquirer's headline hours before Princess Di was killed.

But the Enquirer scores more often than the Bible.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 12:58:42 PM by Historicity »

Offline testtickle

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Re: Hello
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2011, 02:12:57 PM »
Anyway, everyone (except theists) has been very supportive here on this forum. I've posted about my insomnia, anger, shame, embarrassment and confusion with regard to having previously believed in God and my quest to deprogram myself. Just chat away!

Thanks Curiousgirl, I can tell you I've definitely felt anger toward religion, especially when i think about some of the things i've done as a police officer and the military, where my mental process was, "well if i don't make it at least i know ill be in heaven" I look back now and literally shiver. If something would have happened, it would have been game over, no continues... and sadly the konami code does not work in real life.

Religion is a little like alcohol in that it makes you act in a way you normally wouldn't. At least with alcohol though, the effect wears off.
   
We can never attain perfection, But in the pursuit of perfection we can catch greatness. ~Vince Lombardi

If it doesn't matter if we win or lose, than why do we keep score? ~Vince Lombardi

Offline Dawnus

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Re: Hello
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2011, 01:15:59 PM »
Hi testickle, welcome to the forum! x
"An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her." Agatha Christie

Offline testtickle

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Re: Hello
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2011, 03:29:39 PM »
Thanks dawnus,

   just want to say i lol'd at your sig, i'd never heard that one before.
We can never attain perfection, But in the pursuit of perfection we can catch greatness. ~Vince Lombardi

If it doesn't matter if we win or lose, than why do we keep score? ~Vince Lombardi

Offline Dawnus

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Re: Hello
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2011, 03:34:52 PM »
Thanx testickle, I am an archaeologist so it seemed appropriate!

Dawn x
"An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her." Agatha Christie

Offline testtickle

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Re: Hello
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2011, 11:34:49 PM »
Just wanted to give everyone an update: I finally told my wife I'm an atheist. She took it very well, she actually said she sort of saw it coming and as long as i wasn't expecting her to change her views there wouldn't be a problem.  I told her i plan to let the kids know my point of view when they are older, and she just shrugged and said, good they should be allowed to choose for themselves. Of course she did tell me not to tell her parents, which i didn't intend to anyway, the repercussions would be akin to the sinking of the Lusitania :o 
We can never attain perfection, But in the pursuit of perfection we can catch greatness. ~Vince Lombardi

If it doesn't matter if we win or lose, than why do we keep score? ~Vince Lombardi

Offline Willie

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Re: Hello
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2011, 11:47:58 PM »
I don't plan on forcing my children to believe in anything, when they're older i will present them with my point of view and let them make their own choices. I still harbor some feelings of disappointment towards my own parents for never even giving me an alternative to their views. So i don't want to repeat that with my children. As for my wife we've been married for 9 years, and we survived me being a cop for 5 and in the military for 3, so i don't see this as being too big of a thing for her to accept, but i know she wont be too happy about it.
It's great that you want to avoid indoctrinating your kids and let them make their own decisions when ready. But I don't think that's entirely realistic because you can be sure that not everyone will grant them that kindness. They WILL be exposed to indoctrination, not least of which is the subtle kind that is pervasive even in secular media. The kind that sort of passively goes along with the idea that religiosity is associated with all that is good and "normal", and that religious beliefs have a sort of privileged position that is above criticism. At least expose them to ideas about critical thinking and the ways that people deceive themselves into believing untrue things, even if not directly confronting religion. Debunking homeopathy and moon hoax theories might be a good place to start. Maybe an occasional episode of Cosmos. I know that show is pretty dated, but Sagan was the best at showing the value of critical thinking and the harmfulness of superstition, but without being too insensitive to people's emotional and cultural attachment to religion. Sagan was more about encouraging a passion for what is real than about attacking what is false. I like Dawkins, Hitchens, PZ Myers, etc., but I think Sagan was better at reaching those who are not already members of the skeptical choir.

Offline testtickle

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Re: Hello
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2011, 12:06:25 AM »
Thanks willie,

    That seems like good advice, I will look in to those videos, my daughter who just turned 6 is already asking me if jesus is real, I tell her there are some people who believe he is but personally i think of him as santa clause, its fun to pretend that hes real so we can get presents, but we know those presents actually come from mommy and daddy.
We can never attain perfection, But in the pursuit of perfection we can catch greatness. ~Vince Lombardi

If it doesn't matter if we win or lose, than why do we keep score? ~Vince Lombardi

Offline Chronos

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Re: Hello
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2011, 05:00:39 AM »
Just wanted to give everyone an update: I finally told my wife I'm an atheist. She took it very well, she actually said she sort of saw it coming and as long as i wasn't expecting her to change her views there wouldn't be a problem. 


Lucky.  Very lucky.

Or, should I say that God is guiding her hand in easing the pain?
John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline testtickle

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Re: Hello
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2011, 10:15:49 AM »
I'm not sure i understand your post chronos, the lucky part yes, but the guiding her hand to ease the pain? whose pain are you referring to, and where is this pain originating from?
We can never attain perfection, But in the pursuit of perfection we can catch greatness. ~Vince Lombardi

If it doesn't matter if we win or lose, than why do we keep score? ~Vince Lombardi

Offline Ivellios

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Re: Hello
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2011, 02:07:25 PM »
Welcome to the Forums.

It's so hard for me to even pretend that Santa Clause matters and.. err I mean God. After all, well... imo it's the same. I do not believe in Santa and to go back, when I know the truth now. Same for the Bible. It would seem Ironic that the Bible is the thing that made me realize that the Bible's god and Jesus were nothing but the figments of the imagination of some people, but it's quite common. Especially when you read what they considered "Godly and Righteous" back then. Woah, talk about far out.

Good luck with your family, and I'm glad she didn't immediately file for divorce. Hopefully she actually accepts your decision and not feinting to reconvert you later.


Offline Graybeard

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Re: Hello
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2011, 04:04:27 PM »
I will have to eventually tell my wife i suppose,
Welcome.

Depending on how convinced your wife is, I would start by dropping a hint every few days and see how she reacts.
Quote
but both my parents are missionaries to Peru and the telling them that i think they are wasting their time and accomplishing nothing would be equivalent to hanging their poodle up by its tail, setting it on fire, than beating it like a pinata.
You have a fine turn of phrase. :) However, the up-side is that, being in Peru, that sort of thing probably happens daily.

Anyhow, I wish you luck with that one. From my perspective, I'm not sure what I would do if either of my sons turned into a godbotherer.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Larissa238

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Re: Hello
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2011, 06:54:43 PM »
Welcome! I'm glad you told your wife and it all went well... my hubby is an atheist and he was the one who got me thinking rationally in the first place. I'm glad I chose him over the church I used to go to (well, it was a cult, but that's the same thing sometimes). I endured years of brainwashing that I had to get over. Don't worry about parents and friends for now.... just take it one day at a time.
On why Christians and non-Christians have the same rate of divorce:

He would rather it that they worship Him, instead of spending their time on family.

Offline Chronos

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Re: Hello
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2011, 08:05:23 PM »
I'm not sure i understand your post chronos, the lucky part yes, but the guiding her hand to ease the pain? whose pain are you referring to, and where is this pain originating from?

Quote
... will have to eventually tell my wife i suppose, but both my parents are missionaries to Peru ...

I mis-read your post and thought that her parents were missionaries, making her involvement in religion likely deep. However, that's apparently not the case and my initial suggestion is moot.

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline Babdah

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Re: Hello
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2011, 10:17:12 AM »
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory
“We live in an age disturbed, confused, bewildered, afraid of its own forces, in search not merely of its road but even of its direction

Offline Omen

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Re: Hello
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2011, 10:30:41 AM »
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory

That is incredibly cynical.  Can not a person accept their mistakes and guilt with responsibility and action, therefore living with a clear conscience?
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me