Poll

Your religious level

Went to church on christmas, never bothered otherwise
1 (3%)
Went to church some/most sundays, usually didn't bothered otherwise
8 (24.2%)
church some/most sundays, plus some choir or bible reading
11 (33.3%)
Got myself invovled with church as much as I could
3 (9.1%)
A real Jesus freak, but not a fundamentalist
3 (9.1%)
Hardcore fundamentalist
6 (18.2%)
I made Fred Phelps look mild-mannered
1 (3%)

Total Members Voted: 33

Author Topic: All current/former christians; how religious were you?  (Read 752 times)

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Offline Aaron123

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All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« on: November 18, 2011, 01:56:09 AM »
Something I've started to think about when reading the 'please respond' in the mailbag.  The point was brought up that some people are not particularly religious, while others are very religious.  What about you?  Were/are you particularly religious, or not really?

For me, I was somewhere around choice one and two.  Growing up, I would, of course, go to church whenever my parents went there (which ended up being most or all sundays).  Once I got out of the house, I rarely ever bothered going to church (after all, church is boring), and didn't really think too much about my religion; which made me feel somewhat guilty from time to time, as a part of me felt that I should've been more religious. (though obviously, that feeling has long since passed)
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 02:01:56 AM »
I wasn't very religious, but, among other things, it still gave me nightmares, made me feel guilty for things I shouldn't feel guilty for and hindered my progress.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline C

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2011, 02:11:01 AM »
I was a 'hardcore fundamentalist' meaning I believed that:

the Earth is less than 12,000 years old, the Theory of Evolution is "gay and fake", atheists aren't smart, Muslims/Jews/everyone else needed to admit Jesus was the Messiah, gays are abnormal, gays need help, love the sinner not the sin, the Bible is the inerrant word of God, order/morality cannot exist without God, whatever Christians did in the past was for the greater good of mankind, rapists/murderers/others deserve eternity in hell, God is all loving, the parts of the Bible used by atheists (when talking about atrocities) were "taken out of context", Jesus died for my sins, science is great except for branches that try to disprove the existence of God, Satan possessed my sister, prayers work, there is a "plan" for everyone, God cannot be understood and so on.

It's a, pardon the use of the word &), 'miracle' that I became an atheist.

The only thing that stopped me from going on Fred Phelps' level was, I guess, this queasy feeling? Call it morality or whatever semblance of common sense I had during this time period. Come to think of it, life got better after I became an atheist years ago.  &)
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Offline plethora

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2011, 06:42:00 AM »
My family is Catholic. We went to church occasionally on Sundays on our own ... but there were enough baptisms, communions, confirmations, weddings in my extended family that it kept us in church often.

I was sent to a Catholic after-school where, from 4pm to 7pm Mon-Fri they drilled Jesus,  the bible, choir songs and all that other shit into our brains. Luckily, no priest ever tried anything on me... I mean lucky for him 'cause I would have cut his balls off eventually.

So anyway, I picked option 3: "church some/most sundays, plus some choir or bible reading"
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline Nick

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 07:05:20 AM »
Catholic, Catholic school 1st thru 12th, church every Sunday, bought all the stuff and could not understand why others could not see the Catholic Church as the "one" true church.  Afterall, it was the original and Christ started it with Peter being the 1st pope and all.  The Eucharist was the actual body and blood of Jesus.  You can't get much closer to God than that.  A miracle in your hand.  So I understand why some of these Christians hold on to their beliefs so hard.  In their minds it just has to be true.  Pretty sad and cultish.
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Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2011, 07:28:26 AM »
Where's the never went to church option?
"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget."
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Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 07:56:29 AM »
 I was not a hardcore Christian but I was a good follower and tried to live the way that Jesus would have wanted me to. I used to help the homeless, the underprivileged and everything. I used go to church and fellowship and everything, even a few times preached to the people in the church on the importance of GoD in a teenagers life. Oooo the irony because it was a homeless guy who got me to think about if there was really a GoD
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Offline relativetruth

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2011, 09:23:33 AM »
As a child I went to sunday school in the Salvation Army.
I think my doubts may have started early. I do recall one short bible study session (for 7 year olds) when I was bored and dozed off. At the end of the lesson the tutor was trying to access how much the class had learned by asking specific questions.
When nobody answered the question he would then drop some very large hints.
Eventually , to save all the other kids, I answered (after being silent all lesson) his questions based on his hints.
He was encouraged that somebody got the 'correct' answers and then wanted to explore my reasoning. He wanted to lead his audience to some other bit of his theology.
I disappointed him when I replied 'I was only guessing based on the hints you gave me'.
He had hoped he could impart some further 'truths' by explaining how the Bible is logically consistant.

After that I moved to a Methodist Church and joined the Youth Guild.
I went through confirmation at aged 16 mainly  because my Mum said 'You need to put something on your passport'.

In that same year in the Guild I overheard the phrase 'God did not create man, man created god'.

I deeply thought about it. And since then I have been an atheist
God(s) exist and are imaginary

Offline Traveler

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2011, 09:35:08 AM »
I didn't answer the poll because I can't remember a time when I believed in god or felt religious. But, when we were young children my parents took us to Unitarian church on sundays on the general principal that we might as well be exposed to religion at some level.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2011, 09:52:32 AM »

Quote
All current/former christians; how religious were you?


Overly. Embarrassingly so. Annoyingly so.

I've never felt better since tossing the bible, religion, and blind faith in the trash can.
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2011, 10:11:53 AM »
I checked the "church on Sundays" box because I did, in fact, go go church virtually every Sunday until I was well into my thirties. Initially because my parents took me, then because I married a fellow Catholic and that's what he did. I don't really remember ever particularly believing in god except in a vaguely Deist sense. My parents were pretty devout in a non-intrusive way. Religion didn't come into the house much outside of church. We didn't even say Grace at meals. Just a bedtime prayer and making the sign of the cross before heading out on a trip as I recall. But either they have gotten more religious as they have gotten older, or their faith ran a lot deeper than I recognized, because my having drifted into avowed atheism seems to bother them a lot more than I thought it would. Especially my father (80 years old), who will make comments about how I will find out the truth once I die and I will be very sorry.

Offline velkyn

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2011, 12:21:28 PM »
I was in church most Sundays, was sunday school, was in the choir, went to and taught Bible School in the summer, would have been in the youth group but they discontinued it.  Prayed every night.  Read the bible from beginning to end, when I was a beleiver.  Even went back to it when I was losing my faith and prayed lots to retain it (of course got no answer). 

and all of us will be told that we were never TrueChristianstm
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Offline albeto

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2011, 01:23:35 PM »
Catholic, Catholic school 1st thru 12th, church every Sunday, bought all the stuff and could not understand why others could not see the Catholic Church as the "one" true church.  Afterall, it was the original and Christ started it with Peter being the 1st pope and all.  The Eucharist was the actual body and blood of Jesus.  You can't get much closer to God than that.  A miracle in your hand.  So I understand why some of these Christians hold on to their beliefs so hard.  In their minds it just has to be true.  Pretty sad and cultish.

With the exception of how I came into the church (was baptized into the church 12 years ago or so), this was my take on the faith as well.  It was poetic and romantic and insightful into the human condition.  Until it wasn't. 

God what a lot of wasted years.  :(

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2011, 02:00:53 PM »
Was a youth minister. Man I was deluded.
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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2011, 03:22:11 PM »
Went almost every Sunday, volunteered for various things (kids Sunday School, serving coffee during church functions, renovating the new church building), studied the bible with others and by myself.

From the beginning, found my humanistic values at odds with fundie Xianity, which was largely my church's doctrine. I was able to put that aside for years though; go figure. But reading through the Bible a couple of times on my own deepened the cracks in my facade of rationalizations. Finally I woke all the way up and threw the last bits away.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline rev45

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2011, 04:15:12 PM »
Number 3.  Evolution is a lie but if it happened it was from God.  Gays, liberals, Muslims, Jews, non-religious=bad.  Served communion and passed the offering plate every Sunday.  Got scolded when I suggested that some of the women pass communion and the offering plate due to there not being enough men some Sundays to do it.  Finally started to learn a bit about science and when a fill in preacher started telling some bold face lies about evolution and ID, I left the church soon after and have sworn never to go back.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2011, 04:35:46 PM »
Literal bible-believing Jehovah's Witness upbringing. Completely immersed in the religion. Daily bible reading, house-to-house witnessing every weekend, two Kingdom hall meetings a week, plus one book study a week. Prayer before every meal and before and after every meeting.

No birthdays, Christmas or any other holiday celebrations. No sex, drugs or rock 'n roll, because those things lead to dancing. No cursing, goddamit. All behavior strictly controlled. Kind of like the Amish, but without the cool outfits.

Only thing keeping us from the Fred Phelps level is that JW's are not politically organized or trying to impact public policy. We were supposed to stay away from "worldy" stuff like the political arena, or else we would have been out there blowing up abortion clinics and stoning gays.

I started asking the wrong kind of questions as a child, stopped believing in the JW form of religion secretly as a teenager, explored other religions in college, became a full-fledged atheist after leaving home and living in other countries. (You mean that there is a god in charge of all this sh!t? I don't think so....)

Could never have called myself an atheist in a JW environment-- that would have been like saying I was Jeffrey Dahlmer. Only way worse, because at least the murderous child-molesting cannibal can become a JW and be forgiven. &)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2011, 04:40:27 PM by nogodsforme »
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Emily

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2011, 05:16:27 PM »
I was a hardcore fundie until about 15 years old, then my beliefs went down hill after I started dating this one guy. Growing up I went to church service three times a week, youth group every other Friday, sang in the choir... everything. I also thought that gays were evil and would doom the world, and I also believed in "pray the gay away", that public schools needed the bible to be taught in its rooms, and that science was wrong about topics like the big bang and evolution, and that Jesus was going to be coming back in my lifetime[1]. All this I was taught by my father, who is an old-school type Pentecostal preacher. It also didn't help that I grew up in Nashville, the heart of the bible belt.

I went to a church service right after the Columbine shooting, (this is when I stopped believing, and expressed my dis-belief somewhat openly[2]), and the whole 1 1/2 hour service was about how Columbine wouldn't have happened if the bible was taught. I remember the entire church standing up applauding and praising Jesus. It broke my heart to see my baby sister one of them.

I am glad I got out. Greatest decision of my life.
 1. He came to me in a prayer telling me he would show up within my lifetime
 2. to those I truly trusted like my sisters and a few other people in the church
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Offline Willie

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2011, 05:29:16 AM »
My religious upbringing was immersive, and, as a child, the existence of God was about as certain as the expectation that our front door led to the front yard. That it might be otherwise just didn't occur to me. At about 8 years old, I started to doubt the sincerity of some of the tongues speakers at our Pentecostal church, and I had an incident involving a toy ring that led to an epiphany about the way that people can deceive themselves into believing things that aren't true, but I still did not doubt the existence of God.

It wasn't until I was about 12 or 13 that I first started to have some small doubt about the existence of God. That doubt grew over time, and the anti-intellectualism and cultural backwardness of my family and the churches that we went to started to bother me more and more, leading to doubts about the previously assumed goodness of Christianity. At 16 years old, I went through a very painful period of reconciling my internal conflicts about what I believe, and about who I am and what kind of person I want to be. At the end of that process, I was unashamedly and openly atheist, and I was in love with the beauty of the real world. For the first time in my life, I liked myself. It was wonderful.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 05:37:30 AM by Willie »

Offline riley2112

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2011, 12:51:04 AM »
I had no Ideal . I raised hell most of my life. Been married 6 times. Hung out in the strip clubs. Owned a car lot for 15 years. Loved dope ( all of it ). My life was sex, drugs , rock and roll. Party till you drop. Play hard , die young.
Then at the age of 53 , still raising hell , just a little slower. ;) I ran into a woman that was the sexyest thing I had ever seen , And 5 out of my six wives were strippers.
I found out she was Pentecostal. She read her Bible every day. Prayed , went to church, and just loved life totally, still got no ideal what she wanted with a guy like me. I started going to church with her , met some people that didn't care what I use to be. They didn't try pushing anything on me, and I even call the pastor a stupid ass bitch. and still they welcomed me into their church. I gave my life to God, repented , and got baptised. I still have questions. I drive the pastor and Angela crazy with some of the things I ask them. Angela and I are getting married March 31. I have never been so happy and sure of life as I am now.
I do have problems from time to time with the Bible. There are alot of story in there that I find, well , hard to deal with. But I have been told that being a Christian is not about being prefect it is about learning and trying to be a good person, to humble ones self , that was a hard one for me and it still gives me trouble from time to time. Faith is a big thing as you all know. That to is a hard one for me . but God knows my heart and people that knew me before can see the change in me , I really do not miss my old life. I am even back in school and of all things I want to be a teacher. If you knew me before you would find the things I am doing now not only strange but unbelievable. I wandered in here trying to find some stuff for a paper that I am doing in school. The rough draft is due Tue. and I only have 2 pages of it done. Now that I am in this site I feel that you are the only ones I know that will give me reason upon reason not to believe, and if I can find reasons to believe it should make me a better person, no matter what I believe in the future. Well that is pretty much my story. It was interesting to read some of yours.  I sure hope you guys are wrong and God is out there. But I guess we will see. sooner or later. I am finding most of you are just good people that believe different than I do. And that is what makes the discussions so interesting.
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2011, 02:03:35 PM »
I had no Ideal . I raised hell most of my life. Been married 6 times. Hung out in the strip clubs. Owned a car lot for 15 years. Loved dope ( all of it ). My life was sex, drugs , rock and roll. Party till you drop. Play hard , die young.
Then at the age of 53 , still raising hell , just a little slower. ;) I ran into a woman that was the sexyest thing I had ever seen , And 5 out of my six wives were strippers.
I found out she was Pentecostal. She read her Bible every day. Prayed , went to church, and just loved life totally, still got no ideal what she wanted with a guy like me. I started going to church with her , met some people that didn't care what I use to be. They didn't try pushing anything on me, and I even call the pastor a stupid ass bitch. and still they welcomed me into their church. I gave my life to God, repented , and got baptised. I still have questions. I drive the pastor and Angela crazy with some of the things I ask them. Angela and I are getting married March 31. I have never been so happy and sure of life as I am now.
  congratulations, Riley. I’m married 20 years officially this month and I wish you all of the happiness I’ve had.  I’ll say that I’ve seen your story a lot of times before, raise hell when you’re young and then when you start seeing your mortality, then religion looks really good.  I had a good friend who did this and became a real sanctimonious asshole when he did.  Conversion doesn’t always lead to someone becoming better.
Quote
I do have problems from time to time with the Bible. There are alot of story in there that I find, well , hard to deal with. But I have been told that being a Christian is not about being prefect it is about learning and trying to be a good person, to humble ones self , that was a hard one for me and it still gives me trouble from time to time. Faith is a big thing as you all know. That to is a hard one for me . but God knows my heart and people that knew me before can see the change in me , I really do not miss my old life. I am even back in school and of all things I want to be a teacher. If you knew me before you would find the things I am doing now not only strange but unbelievable. I wandered in here trying to find some stuff for a paper that I am doing in school. The rough draft is due Tue. and I only have 2 pages of it done. Now that I am in this site I feel that you are the only ones I know that will give me reason upon reason not to believe, and if I can find reasons to believe it should make me a better person, no matter what I believe in the future. Well that is pretty much my story. It was interesting to read some of yours.  I sure hope you guys are wrong and God is out there. But I guess we will see. sooner or later. I am finding most of you are just good people that believe different than I do. And that is what makes the discussions so interesting.
And this is what most Christians, Muslims, Jews, Wicca, are; they are good people like atheists are too.  That is no evidence for any god, just that humans can be good and can change.  Unfortunately, most theists ignore anything they don’t like in their holy books since those books reflect a primitive superstitious time that had much less care about human life.  Christians declare that their God really didn’t’ mean those things they don’t like and have so redefined their religion that a Christian in 1 AD wouldn’t recognize it.  There’s nothing in there that says you only have to be a good person.  It’s all about obedience, to the point of killing those who don’t tithe enough.  There are standards for Christians, but most Christians ignore them since they are inconvenient.  Indeed it does take blind faith in accepting religion and when one realizes that all that’s there is, it’s pretty easy to lose it.
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Offline bosey926

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Re: All current/former christians; how religious were you?
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2011, 03:22:34 PM »
     Was raised Presbyterian and my grandparents were the every Sunday type, but my mother and her two siblings certainly weren't.  At best they were the "Went some Sundays" sort, but as part of the third generation, I became an atheist at an early age of 14 due to a combination of one, the church and its questionable teachings being questioned by my common sense; and two, my brain surgery sealing the deal on the whole deity question. 
     The first part is just as obvious as it sounds.  We, as children, would have to go to Sunday school as the adults went and enjoyed coffee and cookies.  They would always have some almost infantile arts and crafts activity to attempt to relay what they felt the Biblical message was in whatever the book and/or verse was that we were studying.  It was primarily books like Genesis with the creation of everything and Exodus with the construction of the miraculous ark.  These easily questionable ones are where I got started.
     When my epilepsy began to consume my life, church had already taken a backseat (hallelujah!).  Eventually, it was determined that I had to have a temporal-lobectomy performed in hopes of stopping my seizures.  At the time I was taking 4650 mg of anti-epileptic medications (three separate meds) per day; and I had received about 20 EEGs, 15 MRIs, 10 CAT scans, 2 PET scans--1 that I had to fly to Toronto for before they got them here in the United States (other than at UCLA which was backed up for something like five years).  None of which helped a damn bit; I was still have 1-3 seizures a month.
     So, this led my young mind to say something along the lines of "That's it God!  Here's where I draw the line; either you answer the prayers, stop my seizures and I'll believe in you, or you don't answer them, I continue to have them and we're done!" 
     Well needless to say, I was being withdrawn off of my medication for dye testing in the PET scan while simultaneously have a direct on brain EEG, so our floating white Anglo-Saxon grandpa of the clouds didn't really do much for me.  At least in terms of medicine; in terms of rationale, however, he helped me greatly in becoming an atheist.