Author Topic: New and ready to learn  (Read 917 times)

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Offline RubyLeo

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New and ready to learn
« on: October 26, 2013, 11:03:33 AM »
Hello, all.  I’ve been a long time off/on lurker of this site, but just registered yesterday. I’m 43, happily married and raising 3 kiddos - two teenage boys (one with autism, who lights up our lives - wouldn’t change him for the world), and a 10 year old daughter.  I love being a mom - and I am trying to raise my kids to be independent, critical thinkers.

My background: as a young child (10 and under) my family casually attended a local lutheran church.  I don’t remember much about it except for the services being excruciatingly long and boring.  I never listened to a thing, I daydreamed the whole time.

Went to confirmation classes for 2 years, again - didn’t listen - it was a bunch of “blah blah blah.”

But then, in the 6th grade, my parents decided to enroll me in private school (the local public school was going “bad” in their opinion).  The only one they could afford was baptist. And by that I mean southern baptist ((shudder)). I don’t think they had a clue what that would entail.  If so, I’m quite sure my father wouldn’t have sent me there.  He has passed away, but in hindsight I’d say/guess he was a deist.

In any case.  From day ONE at said baptist school - the indoctrination began, and it scared the ever-living SHIT out of me.  Unlike my lutheran experience, these baptists took this shit seriously.  Maybe the lutherans did too, but I don’t remember.  I just remember that bible classes were a daily part of school from 6th-12th along with weekly chapel services.

Day one I “learned” that god was “omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.” As if that wasn’t scary enough  I also learned that the only way to avoid burning in hell was to accept jesus christ as my personal lord and savior, after of course confessing that I was a rotten sinner and begging forgiveness.  That he loved me sooooo much that he died for me, but if I didn’t actually believe that, and ask him into my heart, I would go to hell. 

Shortly after starting that school, I would ask jesus into my heart EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for years - because I was terrified I wasn’t doing it right, and that I would burn in hell.  As I got older and started attending youth night with friends at the huge mega church that started our school, the whole jesus thing got even more intense.  It was weird because the services there were quite moving, and I highlighted my Bible to pieces (well the NT anyway) and tried to be a “good christian.”  Because I never felt I could live up to that expectation, I was filled with a lot of self-loathing.  :'(

Fast forward to college.  I went from goody-goody to completely out of control WILD pretty much immediately.  Freed from the bonds of the baptist school, I went nuts.  I won’t go into details, they are not pretty.  Yet I signed up for the students for christ club and did weekly bible studies.  And just kept praying for forgiveness, all the time.  This was a very unpleasant experience - guilt and shame galore.

I would go through periods of trying to be a good christian and then “backsliding” as they say - back and forth back and forth.  It was exhausting. I am embarrassed now to admit that I did not question the bible at ALL.  It was so hammered into me that the bible was the “inerrant” word of god, every word “god-breathed” -that I just did not question it.  I focused on a few touchy feely verses from the NT and ignored the rest. After all, i was told, it was the NT that counted - don’t worry about the OT (except for the Psalms and Proverbs - those apparently were still relevant).

Fast forward to post-college, early marriage and motherhood.  I did the back and forth church thing for YEARS (never again baptist though!! by then I hated them) - just going through the motions - but realizing that in my heart I knew the baptists were totally wrong about the inerrancy of the bible. The older I got, the more I loathed the baptists and their beliefs.   &)

So I tried to find a “moderate” church.  I remembered my early lutheran experiences as pretty mild, so I did that - off and on - dragging husband and first child when he was a baby.  Then got sick of church and skipped it for YEARS.

Fast forward to roughly 2010 - I hit an extremely rough patch in my life - and I needed help.  I decided god was the answer. Not the crappy mean baptist god, but a “kinder, gentler” god.  I admit it: I wanted a close, personal, invisible friend who would love me unconditionally who I could pray and talk to all day.

I read a zillion christian books aimed at women - Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, Stormy Omartian (?), etc. - they soothed my hurts and wounds and made me feel like Jesus could really help me. Their words honestly felt like a lifeline, and I dove into it.

But during all of this I just couldn't shake the feeling it was fantasy; I realized how illogical and, well, stupid it all was - I just knew it wasn’t real - but ohhhhhh how I wanted it to be real! I wanted SO badly for it to be real - I needed the comfort of it.  But my brain just kept saying “this is bullshit, and you know it.” I kept trying to ignore my rational side but thankfully it eventually won….

At this point we were going to a local lutheran church that I was discovering fast was in no way like my “mild” one growing up.  We had  2 of our kids in sunday school and my oldest son in confirmation classes. Our middle child (with autism) stayed with us.

I started feeling really bad about what they were learning - really bad.  I knew it was a bunch of baloney but I felt like it was my duty to raise my kids the christian way.  Just writing this out makes me feel like such a dumbass.   :-[

Anyway….I have to give my oldest son some serious credit.  And maybe myself as well.  You see, I homeschooled him from kindergarten through 5th - NOT for religious reasons - for other reasons (not the time/place to discuss here).  To MY credit I used secular materials. Anyway - my overwhelming goal was to teach him to love learning, to question EVERYthing, to never take what anyone said at face value, including his father and I.  It was SO important to me that he be a critical thinker.  How ironic that I was doing my best NOT to be, lol. Talk about a living, breathing hypocrite!

OK so we had him enrolled in confirmation classes. I’ll never forget the day I was chatting with the youth minister who led the classes.  He said, “you know, your son sure asks a LOT of questions.  He puts me to the test and I admit he asks a lot of things I cannot answer.”

I have never in my life been so proud of my son.  :)

It was shortly after that I learned that they were teaching my son pretty much what the baptists had “taught” me - and I knew then and there I did NOT want my kids exposed to that kind of god.  They also taught creationist theory of the world.  Which I cannot believe anyone can do with a straight face, but I digress.

We slowly just stopped going to church. 

We (my husband and I) started having long conversations with our older son about religion.  I started reading Bart Ehrman (bible scholar who has written books about bible inaccuracies and such) and as many books as I could to truly educate myself on biblical history and the history of christianity.

What I learned blew me away. And took away my last shred of hope of ever believing in biblegod.  I couldn’t fake it anymore.  The toothpaste was out of the tube.

I shared what I learned with my son.  We both share a love of reading and delving into history. 

I told him I was sorry for putting him through confirmation, and I promised him there was no such thing as hell, there was no devil out to get him etc. etc.  He said he already knew that, lol.  :laugh:

My other kids I didn’t necessarily have to work on - my middle son has pretty severe autism, and he stayed with his father and me and brought headphones to listen to music because he couldn’t handle the crowds at church.  My youngest, my daughter - well at that point she was like 7 or 8 and they still were just doing coloring book and craft things in sunday school.  So I figured just quitting church would be enough to end any indoctrination.

I hope so.

I did tell her many times that there was no hell, no devil, and to never believe anyone who tried to tell her that. 

So I found this site many moons ago while doing extensive research on the history of the bible and christianity.  I have learned SO much here.

I started reading Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris.  I was hooked.  Not yet an atheist though.  I still clung to the idea that there HAD to be a god.

I searched to find a “religion” I could feel good about - one that had nothing to do with revealed religion or biblegod.  So I decided last year I was a deist.

But now I think I am an agnostic atheist.  I guess.  I really don’t know what I believe and that’s partly why I’m here.

I know what I do NOT believe - which is any revealed religion or biblegod or desert god or what have you.  I believe the bible is a fable book written by misogynistic, racist, homophobic, back-asswards men.

I sorta miss being an ignorant christian though.  It was sooooo comforting to believe that I had a personal supreme being friend who loved me unconditionally, who created me out of love, knit me in my mother’s womb (see Psalms) and so on.  Who would see me through any challenges.  I feel so stupid to admit that I miss that - but I do.  But once you know, I mean, REALLY know, that it’s a bunch of bullshit, you just can’t go back. It’s impossible.

My main problem is overwhelming guilt that I took my children to a church for two years that taught the whole heaven/hell/creationist stuff.  I’m embarrassed and ashamed that I put my kids through that. I'm also humiliated at all the times I went into my closet, got down on the floor and cried my heart out to god to help me.   :-[

In my heart, I don’t want to be an atheist.  I mean absolutely NO offense to atheists, I have the utmost respect for that - I just yearn for there to be something out there greater than us. Frankly it terrifies me to think we are just an accident of nature. Why that scares me, I do not know.   So I go back and forth between feeling deist and weak atheist. 

So that’s me.  Happy to be here, eager to learn.

P.S.  I cannot figure out how to get an avatar - I keep going to my profile to see if I can add one, but I don’t see that option. I also searched the information part of the site, no dice.  Any help on that would be great, thanks.






"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Offline jetson

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2013, 11:16:25 AM »
Wow.  Thanks for sharing, and welcome to the forum.

Here's a thought:  there are no gods, there never have been any gods, and there never will be any gods.  It's all made up and perpetuated by ignorant humans.

After reading The God Delusion, I felt such a relief inside, and decided that I MUST call myself atheist, if I were to be truly honest.  The word atheist comes with some highly charged baggage, so it was not without some concern.  But I love it, and I won't change it unless a god appears and we all have to agree its a god!

Again, welcome!

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2013, 11:16:44 AM »
You should have enough posts to have an avatar now.

My parents never talked about religion, neither for or against. It was the best for me. I was never a Christian.

How you disprove a god depends on the definition of the god you start with. If you are talking about the OT god, you probably know that that god evolved from a family of gods and took attributes from several of them. Even in the NT he still has an aspect of a storm god "coming on the clouds". Do you know about god's wife Asherah?

Neither Foxy Freedom nor any associates can be reached via WWGHA. Their official antitheist website is http://the6antitheist6guide6.blogspot.co.uk

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Offline RubyLeo

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2013, 11:35:17 AM »
Thank you jetson and Foxy Freedom for the welcome!

Funny how different people react to discovering there is no god.  Some with relief, some with sadness (me). I want the relief part......working on it....

Foxy, my parents never talked about religion either.  I got it hammered into me at the baptist school. And just didn't discuss it with my parents....

Thanks again for the warm welcomes  :)
"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2013, 11:59:26 AM »
RubyLeo

To add an Avatar (and do better than me, please!) Go to Profile (in the line of text buttons just under the logo ont he left), click on that, and then you'll get some choices just a bit lower on the new page that include Modify Profile(pull down menu) and select "Forum Profile". The first item there lets you upload an avatar, and you get to choose a file. I'm keeping this short on the assumption that your are incredibly computer literate and only needed a tiny hint. I can go into more detail if you need it.

I'm guessing that you'll be using a "Red Lion" motel logo. Hope that's not so esoteric that nobody gets it.  ;D

Added: By the way, great story. Beats the crap out of mine.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline RubyLeo

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2013, 12:08:54 PM »
Holy cow ParkingPlaces, you were almost spot on about my avatar - I did go with a lion! I love rubies, and I'm a leo - so there ya have it.   :laugh:

I figured out the avatar - thanks for your tips - I think I just had to hit some kind of minimum post amount first.

Thanks for the compliment on my story.  I know it's long as hell, but it's very difficult to describe my experience(s) in a brief way....funny, I used to be an editor, and I was paid to slash articles to make them shorter.  I totally lack the ability to do that on my own, lol.  ;D

Thanks again for the welcome!
"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Online Nam

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 01:52:21 PM »
RubyLeo,

I'm a former Southern Baptist from the Bible-belt of Northern Florida. You're not alone, there are former Southern Baptists here. I was even a member of the Convention.

I usually don't read Intro's; mainly because they are repetitious and I really don't care about "welcoming" people, at all.

I read your entire intro so +1 for that, but this part:

Quote
I'm also humiliated at all the times I went into my closet, got down on the floor and cried my heart out to god to help me.

You actually went into a closet?

;)

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2013, 01:53:43 PM »
Welcome RubyLeo.
Thank you for your story, i enjoyed reading it all.
Quote
my overwhelming goal was to teach him to love learning, to question EVERYthing, to never take what anyone said at face value, including his father and I.
As a parent too I couldn't agree more with what you said here.
I can see some interesting topics being started by yourself.
Enjoy  :D
"Do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" - pinhead

Offline wright

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2013, 01:56:34 PM »
As PP said, great story. It's understandable that you feel some guilt over exposing two of your kids to religious indoctrination (especially since you experienced that firsthand), but the point is you learned and changed your family's situation for the better. That's successful parenting, right there.

And long posts are fine, especially when they're well-written as yours. I'm appalled at the general lack of grammar and spelling online; one of the attractions of this forum is that so many regulars care about such things. An ex-editor is most welcome  8).
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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Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2013, 02:11:05 PM »
Don't feel too bad about exposing your kids to religion. You did it. You undid it. Had you not exposed them at all, one or more of them might get curious in the future and fall for the whole kit and caboodle. As it is, they now know that its a bit weird and they are probably less prone to joining congregations than they might be had they never been exposed.

I'd be my non-degree in psychology on this.  ;)
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline RubyLeo

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2013, 03:06:20 PM »
Hello Nam, thanks so much for your kind welcome.  Nice to meet another former southern baptist - it's this nauseating club that one can only understand from personal experience...

Yes, I did pray in a closet, lol.  I did this because I did not want my children to see me weeping and praying. I was in a dark time of my life, begging for god to help me. Not my finest moment.  It's almost funny now.  OK, so more pathetic than funny, I know.  :-[

Jonny-UK - thanks for the parenting compliment! I've watched far too many parents micro-manage their children and force feed their beliefs upon them.  My husband and I agreed way before having kids that we would never do that.

Wright - good points all around. Thank you. I thought the church we went to was "mild" (whatever the hell that means), but now I know there is no such thing. I'm incredibly lucky my son was way too smart for religion to begin with, and that my son with autism was oblivious (headphones, remember, lol) and that my daughter was in the "let's color pictures of Noah's Ark" phase (naturally they left out the fact that this supposed cute children's story involves the wholesale slaughter of the rest of humanity and other sentient beings).

ParkingPlaces - thanks for your insight regarding the exposure my kids had to religion.  My hope is that it speaks volumes that we left church and will not go back. Also we have quite an extensive library now from "the four horsemen," biblical history (the real story), and other goodies.

I still have so much to learn.  It's good to be here.  :)

 
"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 03:17:23 PM »
Hi, RubyLeo, welcome to WWGHA.  Your history is a long and colorful one, quite a bit more so than my own (never married, no children, never been a believer), and I think learning more about your story will be educational for me in quite a few ways.  I think you'll find your own stay here educational as well... most of the regulars here have a fair amount of education and experience with things like logical fallacies and counterapologetics.

Always nice to be able to "welcome someone to the world of the real".  :-)
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Online Nam

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2013, 03:25:29 PM »
Actually, Ruby, the Bible states one has to pray in a closet or the prayer won't be heard. I just never known anyone who actually did it.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline RubyLeo

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2013, 03:28:31 PM »
Hello Pianodwarf, thanks for the welcome! I know without a doubt that my time here will be educational.  I've lurked off and on for quite some time, and the collective intellect I've sampled here has, quite frankly, blown my mind. 

I'd like to add I cannot imagine a theist/believer spending much time here without realizing their belief system is a complete fraud. There is just no way to compete with the  intellectual chops of many of the atheists/agnostics/non-believers here.  No way in hell, pun intended.  ;)
"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2013, 03:29:21 PM »
Ruby Leo;
Nogodsforme, resident black dreadlocked commie mommyTM. I finally had to trademark that-- so many people here were trying to steal it. ;D

I was a JW kid-- even worse than the Baptists! Literal bible everything, no holidays, no "worldly" behavior, no science, esp. no evolution, lots of house to house witnessing, praying several times a day, reading JW literature only, waiting for Armageddon to come. Plus rampant sexism-- that no women speaking in church crap. I also thought I was a horrible person, even as a child, because I knew I did not really believe all of it. By my teen years I was only going through the motions. Now I am a science nerd, professor and hard-core atheist. If I can survive that early indoctrination with my critical thinking faculties intact, your kids will be fine.

Incidentally, my husband is white, and a life-long Christian who knew I was an atheist when we met. We have been together over 20 years. He takes our teen daughter to his church regularly and she even went to a Christian kindergarten. She is a bi-racial bisexual Buddhist. This week.  &)

Tell ya what, I will welcome you to the dark side with open arms and tell you all the warm fuzzies you want to hear. Only they will be true warm fuzzies. And remember, the dark side has logic, science, bad puns, cookies and Thor. :-*
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 RubyLeo

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2013, 03:33:14 PM »
Hi Nam - yep, I'm very familiar with the prayer closet concept as you describe. At least one of the gospels mentions it. It's just not why I did it. Perhaps it should have been a big red flag to me that if I was hiding my praying from my kids, something was seriously "off."

And funny how my baptist teachers loved to pray with great flair and drama in front of everyone. Guess they missed the whole closet thing.
"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Offline RubyLeo

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2013, 03:41:31 PM »
Hi nogodsforme! What a wonderful welcome - thank you!  :)

I admit, you've got the southern baptists pretty beat with the JW upbringing. Dreadful.

Love your description of your life now - your marriage, your teenager.  Too funny about what she is "this week" - how very apt when describing the average teen.  I love watching them bloom and grow, testing the waters, trying to find out who they are! Sounds to me like she's got some phenomenal parents who are respecting her choices and feelings.  I love that.

I have a feeling I will learn a lot from you (and the others I've met so far).

Thanks again for the warm and fuzzy welcome to the "dark side" - if this is the dark side, I don't want to go to the light, lol.   ;)
"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Online nogodsforme

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2013, 04:00:46 PM »
The kid wants a tattoo. A freaking tattoo! We have forbidden it until she is 18, because 16 years olds have no brains. The tattoo would be of some stupid boy from One Direction. I hate them with the heat of a thousand suns. One Direction. And tattoos on my baby.

I know, I know.  I have to let go someday. But she is my baby.... :angel:

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.

Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2013, 05:50:31 PM »
The kid wants a tattoo. A freaking tattoo! We have forbidden it until she is 18, because 16 years olds have no brains. The tattoo would be of some stupid boy from One Direction. I hate them with the heat of a thousand suns. One Direction. And tattoos on my baby.

I know, I know.  I have to let go someday. But she is my baby.... :angel:

A friend of mine told his kids they could go out and get any tattoo they wanted. As long as they understood that when they got home he would remove it.

They got the point.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline RubyLeo

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2013, 06:09:50 PM »


The kid wants a tattoo. A freaking tattoo! We have forbidden it until she is 18, because 16 years olds have no brains. The tattoo would be of some stupid boy from One Direction. I hate them with the heat of a thousand suns. One Direction. And tattoos on my baby.

I know, I know.  I have to let go someday. But she is my baby.... :angel:




The kid wants a tattoo. A freaking tattoo! We have forbidden it until she is 18, because 16 years olds have no brains. The tattoo would be of some stupid boy from One Direction. I hate them with the heat of a thousand suns. One Direction. And tattoos on my baby.

I know, I know.  I have to let go someday. But she is my baby.... :angel:

A friend of mine told his kids they could go out and get any tattoo they wanted. As long as they understood that when they got home he would remove it.

They got the point.


Ya'll are hilarious. And you both have my sense of humor, so of course I like you even more.  ;D

p.s. working on my post quoting skills. I thought I was semi-smart but this process makes me feel mildly brain damaged.
"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Offline Nick

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2013, 06:21:20 PM »
Welcome RubyLeo, I also enjoyed your story.  Religion is made to make us feel guilty.  Those of us lucky enough to escape it do so with different stories and levels of pain in the process.  But like you said, once you know the truth it is hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 07:23:09 PM by Nick »
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline RubyLeo

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2013, 06:38:36 PM »
Thanks Nick, much appreciated!  :)

"Religion is made to make us feel guilty" --- I couldn't agree more.  What makes it even more despicable is it uses fear to pull in the vulnerable. When you take the two immensely strong human sentiments of guilt + fear, and use them as a weapon, the destruction can be catastrophic.

"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Offline Zankuu

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2013, 08:21:20 PM »
Welcome to the forum, RubyLeo. I enjoyed the intro. And yea, religion definitely makes people feel guilty, but that's all part of the marketing scheme! I've said it before but I don't think any other religion markets its product better than Christianity. Christianity creates the ultimate need (salvation from sin), offers the ultimate product (acceptance of Jesus), offers the ultimate reward for buying the product (eternal life), and it creates the ultimate sense of urgency (Jesus is coming soon- accept Him before it's too late!)!
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Offline Quesi

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2013, 08:25:58 PM »
Wow Ruby!  What a great intro.  Thank you so much for taking the time to detail so many life experiences.

Don't do guilt.  Guilt about church and your kids.  You know what?  Your son sounds like an amazing young man, and you clearly didn't do him any harm.  You offered him a set of life experiences, which, in the long run, are just life experiences.

I really look forward to your participation in our lively discussions.  You've had such a long, amazing journey, and I know that you have a lot of value to contribute.

Welcome. 

Offline Boots

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2013, 08:41:57 PM »
Welcome Ruby.  You should use an Aslan avatar.  You know, irony and stuff.

anyway, I can identify with some of your feelings of guilt and fear (although not to the same degree).  I was born/raised RC and contemplated priesthood in my early adult life.  In/after college, I made a slow change from "non-Catholic Christian" to non-Christian/deist, to agnostic, to pretty firmly atheist (and very firmly anti-religion).  Took me about 10 years to make that progress.  Some of that time included a lot of fear, a lot of "but there MUST be a god!!" and stuff like that.

now I realize that this world behaves exactly as if there is no god, so if there *is*, he's irrelevant and unworthy of praise--or that I'll simply live a good life because it's the right thing to do, and if there's a god I'll be rewarded because of being good to be good, not for hope of heaven/fear of hell.

anyhoo, great intro, and I look forward to seeing more of yer stuff.
* Religion: institutionalized superstition, period.

"Many of my ultra-conservative Republican friends...have trouble accepting the idea God is not a Republican. " ~OldChurchGuy

"We humans may never figure out the truth, but I prefer trying to find it over pretending we know it."  ~ParkingPlaces

Offline RubyLeo

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2013, 11:18:29 PM »
Hello Zankuu - thanks for the welcome.  That is a very clever way of describing christianity - as a "marketing scheme" - I love it, how apt!  ;D

Quesi - thanks so much for the kind words about my son.  I'm just a wee bit proud of him, lol. I appreciate your "take" on letting go of the guilt.  Comforting words indeed.

Hi Boots - it's nice to know you can empathize with the "but there must be a god!" feeling.  It makes all the sense in the world to me now that there is no god, but when you have believed in one from childhood, it's a mind-bending experience to let it GO. For good.

I am very happy that I have let the "biblegod" go for good, and I'll never look back.  Now I'm just left with the vague wonder of "is there something out there that we just do not understand?" Not necessarily a supreme being mind you.......but what?  The only thing I can find out there besides revealed religions are what I put into a category I call "woo woo."  New agey stuff, our "higher self" etc. Ick. I can't stomach any of that either, so it seems my mind is gently leading me into knowing that, whether I want to be or not, I am an atheist.

That word/label carries a LOT of baggage (someone said that earlier in this thread, my apologies for not remembering who) - I'm here to get more comfortable with it, learn, and find my place.


"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Offline neopagan

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2013, 10:01:27 PM »
Hi RubyLeo,

Welcome aboard and thanks for the great intro.  You sound like a great mom - encouraging your kids to think critically and make their own decisions is a great thing.

I am also a former Southern Baptist (most years), former Presbyterian, former Methodist... former theist of any strain of the assorted bacteria.  I logged over thirty years before retiring (it) and never got a tie pin or the desk set either.  I can sympathize with your closet, although I hid in mine for about a year before coming out to my family...

You casually mentioned your husband, if you don't mind my asking how did he take your atheistic turn? 

Again, welcome and I look forward to hearing your thoughts here! 
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 RubyLeo

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2013, 10:47:02 PM »
Hi RubyLeo,

Welcome aboard and thanks for the great intro.  You sound like a great mom - encouraging your kids to think critically and make their own decisions is a great thing.

I am also a former Southern Baptist (most years), former Presbyterian, former Methodist... former theist of any strain of the assorted bacteria.  I logged over thirty years before retiring (it) and never got a tie pin or the desk set either.  I can sympathize with your closet, although I hid in mine for about a year before coming out to my family...

You casually mentioned your husband, if you don't mind my asking how did he take your atheistic turn? 

Again, welcome and I look forward to hearing your thoughts here!

Hi neopagan, thanks so much for the warm welcome! I'm so happy to be here. :)

Sounds like we have a similar background of hanging on for a loooong time.

About my husband, I'll be happy to respond, as best as I can.  His parents were both atheist, therefore he knew nothing else.  When dating, religion just wasn't something we talked about (I was so off and on even at that point - it didn't bother me that he didn't have a belief system). 

He had no problem with the times I wanted to attend church; we both liked the idea of the fellowship and family-friendly activities - he was willing to just go with the flow; but when we both realized that the church we were attending was promoting creationist theory and near-literal interpretation of the bible, we were both sufficiently freaked out to stop going. And by mutual agreement, we made the decision to never go back to any church.

My husband is a perfect complement to me - he is extremely laid back and goes with the flow; I'm very passionate and intense.  Together we make a great team. 

I'd describe him as an atheist by default who is not concerned in the least with these matters. I'm the one fascinated with it to the point of near obsession - to him, it's no big deal, it's all he has known, he's totally comfortable with it.  I love that he was always willing to support me - and I have to say he admitted great relief at my transformation into atheism.   ;D

"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
~ Thomas Paine

Online Nam

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Re: New and ready to learn
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2013, 10:52:55 PM »
"To be an atheist or not to be, there is no question;
It's nobler in the mind..."

Ummm


-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.