Author Topic: Recovery long term theist  (Read 3165 times)

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Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2013, 03:37:01 PM »
...with a 10 year old as your youngest, that's a long time to keep a secret this big.

At this point I can't think of a single helpful thing to add, other than to sincerely wish you luck in navigating this situation and to suggest that you not rush into a decision about how to handle this - but plan for it.

Just starting to realize what kind of life I'm trying to carve out for myself hiding in the closet that long.  I do not want to bust up my family - that's why I was willing to swallow it for years and pretend.  Thanks for the well wishes. 

I agree - I have to get a plan together.  I had looked at "plans" more as atheist talking points to refute the wife with if/when she ever confronted me about it.  I see that's no plan.... 
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline kin hell

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2013, 08:34:29 PM »
fellow earthling humanist empathy for your plight neo.

I am going to suggest a horrible but necessary awareness that may be inimicable to your family worldview, and is the last thing I would wish upon you.

For all the love you and your family have for one another, while planning for the inevitable, you have to make plans that address the idea that your outing may not just result in you being seen as a lost sheep in need of re-conversion.
In truth if your family's belief is fundamental enough, and the chances of your recovery are recognised as nil, you may just become an enemy.

....and all that that means.

"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

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Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2013, 10:42:01 PM »
fellow earthling humanist empathy for your plight neo.

I am going to suggest a horrible but necessary awareness that may be inimicable to your family worldview, and is the last thing I would wish upon you.

For all the love you and your family have for one another, while planning for the inevitable, you have to make plans that address the idea that your outing may not just result in you being seen as a lost sheep in need of re-conversion.
In truth if your family's belief is fundamental enough, and the chances of your recovery are recognised as nil, you may just become an enemy.

....and all that that means.

kin... I fear youre 100% correct in this case.  First told I am wrong, then ostracized... the church will back the wife in saying she is unequally yoked to this pagan.
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline screwtape

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2013, 08:11:29 AM »
I didn't take offense at that "pussy" route comment

Good, I'm glad.

I see the analogy with the homosexuals of earlier years, but I think the tricky part of it is the majority of xians (fundies) don't view them any differently than they did in the 60s -... I don't think so, they'd still see me as someone they need to convert.

Well, I agree that there are still people who are bigots.  I don't think a 100% solution is possible unless we find a way to select against that kind of thinking and eradicate it from the gene pool.  But I think reality shows that gays have it a lot better now than they did 50 years ago.  12 states recognize their right to marry.  50 years ago they were randomly beaten by police and arrested just for gathering together in bars. 

I'm not looking for a 100% solution for atheists either.  I am looking for general misconceptions to be cleared up in most cases.  For example, a lot of xians think we worship the devil, have no morals, cannot be trusted, etc.  That is the sort of thing this is aimed at.  We are never going to see eye to eye with anyone who believes in gods.  I can live with that as long as they do not see me as a threat to civilization.

My major takeaway from your advice is to have a plan.

yep.  Have a plan to do the reveal on your schedule at the place of your chosing.  Control is key.

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Offline kin hell

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2013, 09:26:42 PM »
  Control is key.

says the great red dragon administrator


Il Duce bane of the Duco   ;)
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

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Offline Chronos

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2013, 10:06:06 PM »
I'm glad you all can have those open discussions with your wife and kids.  That's an amazing, wonderful thing - to allow each other to think for yourself - openly, even if there's some disagreement.  As far as sharing those views beyond the confines of your immediate family - well that can get tricky I'm sure.

Just to be clear, I never had such a discussion with my wife while we were married. She knew that I did not regularly attend church prior to our marriage, so I wasn't hiding my lack of interest (at that time) in religion. We divorced a long time ago and I never had discussions with her afterward, either. She wanted our daughter to attend the Methodist church where we were married and go through confirmation. Only because my daughter's age was right for the class did this issue arise between us. At this point, the ex-wife has become aware through our daughter that I am atheist and likely suspects the daughter is one, too, but the daughter still attends church on occasion, mostly with her friends.


Unfortunately, I don't have a spouse who is open to even having those discussions - it's a closed book.  A couple weeks ago, I'd managed to avoid attending church with her and the kids due to a backache (these illnesses pop up often with me on Sundays  ;) ).  We went for a walk when she returned and she began telling me about the message that morning - the sermon on the mount.  I asked what I thought was a fairly straightforward question: "Did the pastor address how he thought Matthew could recount the sermon verbatim about 40 years after the event when he wrote the gospel?"  Here are the questions/comments I got rapid-fire without a chance to answer before she stormed off, walk over:

  "Are you saying you doubt the bible is the inerrant word of god - every word in it!?";
  "Where did you come up with such a foolish thought to even question what the bible says?";
  "Do you realize these thoughts come straight to you from satan - and you are his tool?!";
  "You need to fall on your face in prayer for even having such foolish thoughts and you should take off work next week to study the word day in and day out to get your mind right!"'
  "If you have these foolish thoughts, keep them to yourself and don't even breathe a word of them to the kids - you can wallow in sin on your own."

So, you are married to a fundy. You have my sympathies.

When asked about the potential errors in the bible, even during my attempts to be a believer, I would have said wholeheartedly, Yes -- the bible has errors! No one believes all of the information in the bible. If we are supposed to, then lets kill our children for showing disrespect, or at least sell the daughter into slavery so we can get a return on our investment. I would be deadly serious in my response. I have no time for "inerrant word of god" types. Your wife is likely smart enough to see these problems but has allowed herself to become deluded by whackos who think that there are no errors in the bible.

As for the other questions, my answers are always direct and simple: (1) If god made me, then he made me as I am. If he made me with a brain, then he made me with the ability to properly question what I hear and exercise reason through to a proper conclusion. Without this ability, one can never see a difference between "satan" and "god". How do we know that the supposed inerrant bible was not one created by "satan" to deceive you? (2) To say that my thoughts come from satan requires me to ask the same of you. (3) To fail to use the power "god" has given me is a sin in and of itself. If god gave me the power to be good, I must be good, right? If god gave me the power to think, I must think, right? If god gave me the power to recognize fallacy and evil, then I must recognize it, right? Failure to recognize the errors in man's writings, translations or interpretations of the bible would be sinful.

Now, if she cannot handle that ^ discussion, I am sorry to say that you have no hope. You must either decide to carry on in a soulless marriage and attend church regularly, or you must decide to confront her totalitarian behaviors and engage in some common sense which might risk the end of a marriage. It's a tough choice.

I knew she wouldn't entertain "atheism" but I was a little shocked how a rather benign question prompted such vitriol... needless to say I know my place in the closet now for sure.  She never brought it up again and I don't plan on it either...

Ah, well, then you plan on living with it for the foreseeable future. Be that as it may, I would monitor the children to make sure that they can maintain reason and logic when dealing with the problems they will face in their lives. They will likely see that mom is not well-grounded in these areas and just learn to roll with the punches.


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Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2013, 08:35:32 AM »
Chronos,

Believe me, I've had those discussions - in my head of course... 

Yes, she is a "fundy" as was I for many years.  I tend to kick myself at least once a day for a) being so stupid for so long; and b) propagating the nonsense and encouraging it within my family.  In other words, I helped create this monster - although my wife was indeed all in from the start.

You and others here have pointed out the need to look beyond the life in the closet and to make a "plan" for how I want to live my life - be it with her or without her. I think those are valid points and I'm struggling through that now, clearly my ideas of staying closeted and toughing it out are probably psychologically untenable. 

I'd say I have no hope, as far as ever having a rational discussion about the subject - see evidence noted above in post you referenced. 

Thanks for the thoughts - good points
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2013, 08:44:51 AM »
You and others here have pointed out the need to look beyond the life in the closet and to make a "plan" for how I want to live my life - be it with her or without her. I think those are valid points and I'm struggling through that now, clearly my ideas of staying closeted and toughing it out are probably psychologically untenable.

If I may:  staying closeted is not only likely to be psychologically untenable, it's probably not even feasible, either, at least, not for very long.  This is a woman you're married to, living under the same roof with, and have known for (I assume, anyway) many years.  Keeping anything a secret from the person in question under such circumstances is well-nigh impossible for any real length of time.  It's kind of like being an alcoholic.[1]  Alcoholics do things like hiding their bottles, taking breath mints, and other things like that, but it only works for so long... eventually, the spouse begins to realize that something's wrong.  Similarly, with your atheism, I'd hazard a guess, based on things you've said, that your wife is already beginning to realize that there's something going on there.
 1. Except that that's problematic for legitimate reasons.  Being an atheist isn't.  But you know what I mean.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #37 on: June 07, 2013, 09:02:23 AM »
Similarly, with your atheism, I'd hazard a guess, based on things you've said, that your wife is already beginning to realize that there's something going on there.

In some regards, yes, she's starting to pin me down every now and then on things I say or don't say (those xian mantras you are supposed to reapeat at the appropriate time).  I've tried to watch myself, after some of the initial exuberance I felt at finally ridding myself of xianity.

Here's something I did at Easter that sent up some red flags from her:
  We'd always read an Easter account from one of the gospels each time bunny day rolled around.  This year, I asked everyone to read an individial account in each of the gospels and report a timeline of events at our "bible study" time.  The three kids and the wife all took a gospel each and reported back. 
  Wow, what an eye opener to hear each one report a totally different account that in no way jibes (or harmonizes" as fundies say) with the other... kids were interrupting saying , "no, it was one woman in my story," or "wait, he said go meet him in Galilee." 
  The wife asked afterward, "what was the point of that study - to try and make us doubt god's word?"  I said, I just wanted everyone to hear what each gospel writer had to say about it, as I pointed out beforehand.  What they take from that or assume is up to them.  She didn't like that answer and essentially told me it was our role to tell them what to think about the bible.  Ugh

So, yeah, I think my time is short...
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline screwtape

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2013, 11:38:12 AM »
You might try to tell her as the man, you are the head of the house, and her questioning your judgment and authority is not scriptural.  If you think that comparing gospel accounts is a good lesson, then she'd better stfu and get with the goddamn program before you put your foot in her ass.  If she wants fundie, give her fundie.

Sorry, neo, based on what you've said, I do not like your wife much.
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #39 on: June 07, 2013, 12:28:53 PM »
She wanted you to take time off work to pray and study the Bible?  That's insane.

Please start taking steps to protect yourself in the event things go belly-up unexpectedly.  Make off-site copies of all important documents, such as the house deed and birth certificates, and also make sure that your finances and hers aren't so entangled that she could literally empty the account and leave you with nothing if she kicks you out.  Treat it like a burgeoning domestic violence situation, and Google "safety plan" for a list of suggestions.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2013, 12:40:12 PM »
one other thing:

The wife asked afterward, "what was the point of that study - to try and make us doubt god's word?"

sounds to me like she doubted.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2013, 12:42:43 PM »
Please start taking steps to protect yourself in the event things go belly-up unexpectedly.  Make off-site copies of all important documents, such as the house deed and birth certificates, and also make sure that your finances and hers aren't so entangled that she could literally empty the account and leave you with nothing if she kicks you out.  Treat it like a burgeoning domestic violence situation, and Google "safety plan" for a list of suggestions.

This is very depressing advice.  I wish I could say that it's paranoid and/or unwarranted.  I can't.

Some time back, I was living in an apartment with roommates.  One day, I came home in the evening to find that they had boxed up all of my belongings and stacked everything up in the storage room and simply told me, "OK, that's it... you don't live here anymore.  See ya."  To this day, I don't know what (if, indeed, anything at all) I did to provoke it.

And as bad as that was, it could have been far worse.  I had already been planning to move out and had started the lease application on my new place, and I was able to get into it only about four or five days later.  And my roommates stacked everything up in the storage room -- they could just as easily have left it on the curb for the garbage man to take away.  Plus, I had the resources to cover the costs of the, er, "adjustment".  Others have had to deal with far worse.  I'd hate to see you be one of them.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #42 on: June 07, 2013, 01:40:13 PM »
I guess you see why I had aspirations of staying closeted for life... :)

(Insert "battered wife" diatribe here)  I don't want to paint her as eveil personified, she's a very compassionate person (with those who agree with her).  I laughed at screw's advice about going all Pauline on her - but she would miss the irony of that and I'd be the bad guy.  We've already gone through a couple years of struggles about her Ephesians 5 interpretations about "husbands love your wives as christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."  Apparently, I was being sinful for not desiring an ever closer (more "one" every day - WTF??) relationship - I was good with where it was...  She even sicked the church police one me LOL

Astreja - to some extent I've done that, about as far as I can go without setting off too many alarm bells.  Keep in mind, I don't want to go there - just starting contingency planning.

PD - that would suck...plain and simple

If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #43 on: June 07, 2013, 01:50:01 PM »
one other thing:

The wife asked afterward, "what was the point of that study - to try and make us doubt god's word?"

sounds to me like she doubted.

No, she didn't doubt...

As a matter of fact, she followed that up with "Did you study to see how John McArthur and other bible scholars (sic) answer those apparent discrepancies?"  I said no, but she was welcome to take on that study - crickets... :)
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #44 on: June 07, 2013, 01:54:34 PM »
PD - that would suck...plain and simple

Oh, it did, no question.  Ugh.  For more reasons than I can shake a stick at, not the least of which was that my primary roommate had previously been one of the best friends I'd ever had.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline screwtape

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #45 on: June 07, 2013, 02:10:20 PM »
I don't want to paint her as eveil personified, she's a very compassionate person (with those who agree with her). 

I do not take her to be evil personified.  I take her to be a pushy, small-minded bully and not particularly nice.  I'm sure it is an incomplete picture.  But it's what I've got.


I laughed at screw's advice about going all Pauline on her - but she would miss the irony of that and I'd be the bad guy.

I didn't actually mean it ironically.  I meant it seriously so that you may take some control over the situation and not be a punching bag.  You've got to use the tools at hand.

 
You should try to find an atheist friend or two nearby.  WTSHTF[1], your fundie friends may be unlikely to help you out.  Look up a local humanist organization and make some contacts.  Also, how is your work situation?  Would that be in jeopardy if outed?

http://www.oklahomaatheists.com/

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Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #46 on: June 07, 2013, 02:19:01 PM »

You should try to find an atheist friend or two nearby.  WTSHTF[1], your fundie friends may be unlikely to help you out.  Look up a local humanist organization and make some contacts.  Also, how is your work situation?  Would that be in jeopardy if outed?

http://www.oklahomaatheists.com/
 1. When The Shit Hits The Fan

I'm actually looking into the folks you linked...  Part of my contingency plan - new "unknown" email address and all.

Luckily, my theological viewpoint (or not) has no bearing on my work situation.

If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Astreja

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2013, 02:26:26 PM »
Good to hear that you're already preparing, Neopagan.

If you happen to have any cherished sentimental or heirloom items in the house that might get broken or disappeared (e.g. a teacup from your grandmother; a sports shirt from college), you might consider selectively preemptively disappearing them yourself... Under the guise of uncluttering the house.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #48 on: June 07, 2013, 02:44:50 PM »
Good to hear that you're already preparing, Neopagan.

If you happen to have any cherished sentimental or heirloom items in the house that might get broken or disappeared (e.g. a teacup from your grandmother; a sports shirt from college), you might consider selectively preemptively disappearing them yourself... Under the guise of uncluttering the house.

Sounds like you've attended this rodeo before...

I like the term "preemptively disappearing"    - hey, where did the toaster go?
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline screwtape

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #49 on: June 07, 2013, 03:02:10 PM »
"I'm sure the kids are around here somewhere..."
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #50 on: June 07, 2013, 03:29:50 PM »
You might try to tell her as the man, you are the head of the house, and her questioning your judgment and authority is not scriptural.  If you think that comparing gospel accounts is a good lesson, then she'd better stfu and get with the goddamn program before you put your foot in her ass.  If she wants fundie, give her fundie.

Funny... she was never so fundie about the male as ultimate authority stuff... Luckily, I never bought it either. 

Actually, I started reading what I called "the bible stories no one reads" at the post-prandial studies - good stuff like killing sabbath-stick-gatherers, dicing up your concubine in 12 pieces after you give her up for gang rape, setting bears on kiddies, bringing home foreskins of your enemies as a dowry... 
She suggested we start reading Proverbs instead... guess god's word wasn't as palatable on a full stomach (although the kids loved it)

I really am outing myself, aren't I? 
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Astreja

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #51 on: June 07, 2013, 04:01:30 PM »
Sounds like you've attended this rodeo before...

Yup -- 13 years out now.   And although it was a bummer losing a 12-string Stratocaster, the item I miss the most is a coffee cup called "See Food" -- Cat staring at fishbowl, two eye-shaped fish in fishbowl staring back.

Quote
I like the term "preemptively disappearing"    - hey, where did the toaster go?

Reminds Me of the time the toaster got knocked off the kitchen counter late at night by one of the cats.  We found it the following morning dangling by its cord from the washing machine standpipe.  ;D
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Offline The Gawd

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #52 on: June 07, 2013, 05:02:18 PM »
Perhaps I can be of some help... No I'm not married to a fundie, Im not even married. However, my mom is a fundie. My dad, who used to go to church and teach sunday school, hasnt set foot inside a church in probably a decade. Their marriage, as far as I can see, is terrible. Certainly not what I would call a good marriage. Not that they argue or fight, but my old man just does whatever he wants to do. He goes out and enjoys his life, sometimes doesnt come home, takes trips over seas with friends, goes out drinking, etc. If my mom wants to join she can, and some stuff she does. She does her church stuff, and thats about it. But the thing is she was miserable when they separated when I was away at school. I dont know whether Pops is atheist or not, I know when my mother and I would be deep in discussion about this stuff he agreed with my points 100%, but he still says the prayer before dinners if its a family gathering.

The point is, they exist, together. He enjoys his life, she does her thing. They dont ostracize each other. They didnt go through a messy divorce. Me and my sisters are all fine and productive. I think both my sisters are atheists despite being raised in the church.

But make no mistakes about it, mom is a fundie who, if you read my into, tried to cast the demons out of me when I told her I was atheist lol. Who then went on to repeat all the cliche's (as for me and my house... blah blah blah). You may be able to have a fulfilling and productive life if you just be you.

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #53 on: June 07, 2013, 08:37:28 PM »
You should try to find an atheist friend or two nearby.  WTSHTF[1], your fundie friends may be unlikely to help you out.  Look up a local humanist organization and make some contacts.  Also, how is your work situation?  Would that be in jeopardy if outed?

http://www.oklahomaatheists.com/
 1. When The Shit Hits The Fan


Yes, your fundy friends will suddenly be against you and instead for her. In his book Losing Faith in Faith, I think Dan Barker counted one former fundy who actually talked to him and possibly retained a friendship with him. Everyone else dumped him. He was ostracized.


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 jaimehlers

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #54 on: June 08, 2013, 08:23:56 AM »
Unless they emphasize the right stories, someone isn't really a fundamentalist.

Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #55 on: June 08, 2013, 09:03:50 AM »

Yes, your fundy friends will suddenly be against you and instead for her. In his book Losing Faith in Faith, I think Dan Barker counted one former fundy who actually talked to him and possibly retained a friendship with him. Everyone else dumped him. He was ostracized.

I read Barker's Godless early on and got the idea that was the route most fundies would take.  As I recall his wife even left him... Interesting to see how those who would still communicate with him were supposedly doing it as a missionary work.

I have enjoyed Darryl Sloan as well and he said the same thing - ostracized and dumped by his closest friend, a pastor. 

A sad legacy these fundies have.
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline neopagan

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Re: Recovery long term theist
« Reply #56 on: June 10, 2013, 02:03:46 PM »
Perhaps I can be of some help...

The point is, they exist, together. He enjoys his life, she does her thing. They dont ostracize each other. They didnt go through a messy divorce. Me and my sisters are all fine and productive. I think both my sisters are atheists despite being raised in the church.

But make no mistakes about it, mom is a fundie who, if you read my into, tried to cast the demons out of me when I told her I was atheist lol. Who then went on to repeat all the cliche's (as for me and my house... blah blah blah). You may be able to have a fulfilling and productive life if you just be you.

I haven't had any experience with my spouse as a "live and let live" kind of person if she disagrees with something.  I know this would be an area she could not put aside to get along.

I could see her making me her full time missionary effort... sadly, that would be short-lived.

Hmm, driving demons out sounds like a fun time.  Did you tell her to go for it?  Maybe fall on the ground, roll around a bit spitting pea soup?  Come up with some cool demon name for whever is camping out in your pancreas (or wherever demons live in one's person).

If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan