Dearest Heavenly Bible God, Father, Jehovah, Jesus, Holy Spirit, The Creator of the Universe,
I come to you with the utmost sincerity of my heart, to talk with you. I have wanted to please you all my life. I have searched for you all my life. I have wanted to be one of your chosen. I never wanted to worry on this earth about going to your hell. So I tried to be good. Yes, I screwed up quite a few times, made quite a few mistakes, but they told me it was because I was 'blood and 'flesh' and that you were like the potter, taking this ‘blob’ of sinful clay and turning me into a diamond. I have always asked for your forgiveness and to give me another chance to prove myself to you. I hated letting you down. I always wanted to strengthen myself and be a woman of god for you – but you did not want to prove yourself for me, no matter how much I asked or prayed to you.....
Please forgive me for missing any signs that you did try to give me.
I have also, throughout the last 30 years, asked for more faith because I always felt as if I didn't have enough. I was honest with you about this. I told you everything. I confessed everything. I was told by many, that the 'mustard seed’ was good enough and that's all I had to have. But I wanted more than a seed of faith. I wanted big faith; enough to convince my mind of you, enough to stop the questions that I continued to drive you crazy with. Enough to move all the mountains in my life....
Please forgive me for this lack of faith that I had during all the past years.
I even joked with you, so many times that YOU were the one who gave me this inquisitive personality. You are supposed to be all powerful and therefore you could have changed me? I asked you to change me. Why didn't you? Why did you hesitate? Were you testing me all along like you did your servant, Job? I was even straightforward about that and told you that I would not pass that kind of test. Then I asked you why you would even want to test us? Why would you – a loving, kind father, even permit this devil you allowed to fall from grace, sit by our side and watch as we suffered through many horrific things in life? We are your children. You made us. You created us. You didn’t answer.....
Please forgive me for my reservations with this issue.
Now I am learning that you might not be there at all. You have watched me at my computer. You have seen the research I’ve been doing in the past 5 years. You have seen and heard me questioning the bible since the night I was ‘saved’. I have asked you a hundred times in the last year to show yourself to me. I have screamed in agony. I have told you that are about to lose me. I have asked you if you care that I am falling away from the faith. And still you do nothing. You don’t even kill me. I was honest before you concerning this ‘doubting Thomas’ syndrome...
Can you really see what’s in my heart? If you can, and you are truly a loving entity - will you please forgive me?
You give me no clues whatsoever. The world is falling apart. We are killing each other. There are murders, rapes, poverty, and slavery. There are people fighting over whose land is whose and bombings everywhere. Do you see this? There is torture, starvation, cancer, drowning, dismemberment, and very painful diseases. You are supposed to be ‘all knowing-all powerful’. You could give us the cure for cancer and yet you remain silent. There is an epidemic of depression and suicide and thus far - you do nothing. How could a good and powerful God who loves you stand aside, unmoved to action, while such things happen?
Please forgive me for being angry at you.
My biggest problem with you is you are supposed to be all powerful; Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient. You are supposed to be all good...full of love and yet all this evil exists? They have reassured me that when I get to heaven, you will explain all these mysteries to me. Why wait? Why not explain them to me now? Why not appear at the bottom of my bed in the late of night to have a talk? Why not appear in the sky (or wherever), even one community at a time and tell us that ''you will bring all things together for good'' as you promised in your bible. So many unanswered prayers...
Please forgive me for questioning your invisibility and indistinguishable lack of presence.
You are hiding from me so effectively, that the world looks just as I would expect it to look, and be, without a God running the show. It doesn’t have any of the characteristics I would be anticipating to find, if there was a caring, intervening, superseding God. All of my attempts to confirm your existence have come up empty handed. You are hiding so successfully. I have to admit that in order to believe like I did for years, I must do it by ignoring the contrary evidence. I must resolve to this concept called ‘faith’. You are hiding so stubbornly, I must conclude, among other things, that you do not want or care if I believe anymore. If you wanted me to believe, you think would show me evidence in a thousand obvious ways, because my heart has yearned for the proof....
Please forgive me for giving up the search.
One last quick discussion. Why didn’t you make us the way you wanted us to be in the first place? It could have been so simple – you are the God of the universe! Why tempt us in the garden? Why make hell? Why scare people? Why would you do this to us? I have been taught that all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour will go to heaven, but the amount of reward in heaven will be directly related to how closely each one followed God's will in his life. I really tried to do this. Likewise, all those who reject Jesus Christ will go to hell, be tortured forever and will be punished to the degree of how much evil they committed in their life.
Please for me for thinking you are cruel.
Why did you need to resort to human sacrifices to ‘satisfy’ the sin disease - which you created and tempted us with in the first place? Why be so cruel? Obviously, I will go to this hell you created for people who reject. It’s not that I want to reject you – I just don’t trust you anymore. Trust is reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, of a person or thing; confidence. It is the confident expectation of hope that someone really cares for your well-being. It gives you confidence in the certainty of the future. It is a loving person on whom one relies. It is the condition of one, to whom something has been entrusted with, like custody or care. It is a commitment of love, and that love would not hurt you.....
Please forgive me for not trusting you anymore.
I loved you for a long time and yet, you scare me with hell? And then you tell me that you are a loving God. Would you be affectionate and forgiving enough to take my hand and walk in hell with me?
I really wanted to believe in your existence, but you have gone to extraordinary lengths to make that difficult for me. The world looks just like there is no Bible God to me and I am heartbroken. It saddens me from the bottom of my heart to admit that I do not believe that the Holy Christian Bible is the ‘Word of God’ anymore. It grieves me very much to say goodbye to the God of the bible. It is your ‘Holy Scriptures’ taken literally from all over the world has made the planet into the mess it’s in today.....
Please forgive me for saying this.
One last prayer of forgiveness:
I pray that you will understand all my questions and forgive me for not believing the ‘Holy Bible’ that I was brought up to believe in. I am asking for your forgiveness for my doubting. I am asking for forgiveness for not really believing in you – but please, if you do exist and I have missed it – before I end this letter – would you always try to remember the heart that searched long and hard for you?
I will forgive you – if you will forgive me.
Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart – Your Child, Margee
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Posted by Margee on 03 February 2011 - 07:02 PM
Dearest Heavenly Bible God, Father, Jehovah, Jesus, Holy Spirit, The Creator of the Universe,
Posted by LongWayAround on 13 August 2014 - 10:04 AM
You don't know me. We haven't interacted in any threads but I wanted to thank you.
My deconversion is fairly recent and I am still working through what it means to no longer be a christian or to believe in any god and you have helped me along that journey. As I read your interactions in the Lion's Den and see how you conduct yourself, it is a vivid reminder of why I left christianity. The attitude that comes across in your posts is one of arrogance fueled by blind adherence to the company line. I keep waiting to see a genuine answer from you when questions are posed; an answer where you show us what you, Ironhorse, really think but one never comes. Instead, there is more of the same tired, copy and paste, logic twisting, word definition changing, fingers in the ears apologetics that we have all heard a million times. That is, if you answer at all.
Something that surprised and disappointed me about you and some of the other christians in the lions den is the total lack of love and empathy that is expressed in your posts. I know it is difficult to be kicked in the head by 15 different ex-christian posters at the same time but I expected more from someone who is claiming to emulate christ. I can't say that I have ever read anything in a post from you that demonstrates that you care about the people on the ex-christian forums as human beings. I am honestly unsure why you are even here. It is hard for me to fathom that you think that your example might lead someone back to christianity or strengthen the faith of some christian that is lurking. It comes off more as some sort of ego thing where you enjoy the attention you get here.
In short, thank you. When I am working through the hard times associated with deconversion, it helps to watch a cosmos episode, read on an atheist website, or watch how you conduct yourself in the Lion's Den. They all reinforce that I am now on the right path.
Posted by 2Honest on 16 December 2011 - 10:15 AM
I've just been thinking about how much non-believers must lay down our own sense of authenticity, honesty, and even integrity - for the sake of sparing people we love. We all know that if we really got into it with a Christian friend or family member, we could pretty easily tumble their house of cards. But we don't. We love them too much. We know that it is a personal journey each one of us must find on our own, and it is not to be forced on anyone.
But our believing loved-ones don't know this. They don't know how many times we bite our tongues. They don't know how much of ourselves we must hide from them. They don't know how lonely we are. They don't know the struggles we have gone through and the damage that has been done to us by religion. And they don't know how much better off we are now...they may see a change in us...but they don't know why it's there. They may think it's because of all the prayers they've been praying for us. And we must let them believe that.
On the flip side, some of us have come out to people. And we are ridiculed, judged and made to feel as though something is wrong with us. And still, we don't use our pain as motivation to try to de-convert those who abuse us.
It frustrates me that people view ex-c's so harshly. They have no idea the struggles we face and the lack of support we have.They have no idea what amazing, loving, caring, considerate people we are. They don't know that we live our lives being misunderstood.
Well I just want to say today that I appreciate every one of you on this forum. I DO see what amazing people you are and I understand the shit you have to go through. I understand the sacrifices you make for the sake of the people you love (and even the ones you don't!). And I know what it will be like for some of you as you hang out with your family and friends this Christmas, hiding this huge part of yourself. Or maybe some of you have come out to people and you will be alone this Christmas...or even worse, spending time with people who are judging and ridiculing you.
Here's to all of you...you are beautiful people and I'm glad to have found this forum.
Posted by mwc on 02 July 2012 - 04:09 PM
Posted by Ravenstar on 29 August 2013 - 07:57 AM
Whatever... I have no idea what you are talking about.
If you are saying I don't have a right to be angry at religion... you are wrong. If you believe that I don't have a right to be angry at certain religious people, you are wrong.
The ENTIRE point isn't about wanting to 'sin', or tithe, or whatever. It's about promises made, supposedly by an omniscient creator.. that his people would be blessed. They are not. They are no different, and in some cases much worse than others. The institutions are corrupt and greedy and divisive. The entire legacy sucks.
I'm not angry at christianity because I wanted to 'sin'.. you freaking idjit. I'm angry because it didn't live up to MY morality... and it was supposed to surpass my little human heart. It does not.
I'm not angry at christians because I'm gay, or cheap, or any of those things.. I'm angry because on the whole (not every individual) they are the most backstabbing, delusional and hateful people I have met. Their beliefs create a culture of judgmentalism and ignorance that is stunning.
Most of the time I'm not even angry... and after careful and thorough investigation and heartfelt, honest study I found out it is a bunch of crap... crap that has a negative effect on society. I get angry when I see the crimes perpetuated by religion, the hatred, the excuses for war and intolerance. That is a healthy anger, because it's against injustice and it motivates me to help those subject to this horridness.
I don't need you to hear my pain and anger.. I don't give two shits about your pity. Don't pity me - I am no victim, I finally found some peace, and understanding of the world that makes sense and I have been able to release the existential shame and guilt that comes with religion. I found freedom, and I am a better person for it. I didn't even leave the church out of anger, but out of incredulity and the insult to my intelligence. I couldn't swallow the bullshit anymore. I got angry later.
YOU are the one who isn't hearing... you post constantly with your preconceived notions of what atheists, agnostics, pagans buddhists, hindus and deists really feel, think, do and are. Good grief.. do you really believe we run around 'sinning' all the time? You arrogant, self-satisfied, hypocritical prick. Read Margee's Testimonial.. if you can't HEAR the anguish and the struggle and the honesty there then I fear you are far too gone to understand anything. Your empathy switch is broken. Typical.
You are the one with the delusion..and your very obvious fear that maybe we actually have found some damn happiness and a life that makes sense to us... without your god.
Posted by Guest on 01 June 2015 - 12:55 PM
First off, I am a mom of 3 and a pharmacy student. I like to think of myself as a good mom. But as I read the story of original sin without the rose colored glasses of religion, I began to wonder. What if I had Yahweh's personality and this story played out like this.....
Say we fast forward a couple years and I have my Doctorate and I start my own Pharmaceutical company. I become successful and wealthy and I have a BIG mansion for my kids and I to live in together. In the middle of the complex, there's a playground with lots of trees and pets for my kids to enjoy as they please. There is even a garden in there that my kids and I plant and grow our favorite fruits!
So one day, I decide to bring work home with me. There is this medication I am working on and the main ingredient requires this plant, right? This plant, when smoked or eaten, can cause dizziness, relaxation, pain relief, paranoia or mild hallucinations, it just depends on the dose. It has been thought to cure cancer or cause severe brain damage, it just depends on who you talk to. One thing is for certain, the pharmaceutical possibilities are endless, and since the federal ban was recently lifted (this is the future, after all) I now have an opportunity to make my company a TON of money with this plant. I'm sure you have an idea of which plant I'm talking about.
So, I take this plant, for some reason, and I plant it in the middle of the garden in the playground where my kids play. And I gather my children to me and I tell them very sternly, "DO NOT EAT THIS PLANT. DONT EVEN TOUCH IT. OR YOU ARE GONNA DIE!!!"
My children, not really knowing what "die" means, say to me, "Okay mommy. Sure. We'll leave your plant alone." And they run off and play.
So then, I leave my children alone in their playground, with this plant, and I go back to work. On my way out the door, I see an ex-employee of mine. Let's just call her Lucy. This crazy bitch tried to pull some sneaky shit during the early days of my company and almost took it over. I fired her ass immediately. Now she hates me, and is doing everything she can to destroy me and my children. So what do I do? I walk right past her and turn around and watch her go into my house, toward my children. I keep walking. I go on to work anyway, leaving Lucy alone in my house with my children, whom she wants to destroy. And I know it.
So Lucy goes into the playground with my kids and she says to them, "Hey, kids, what's up with that funny looking plant over there in the garden? Bet your mean ol mom doesn't want you guys to try it, huh?"
They answer her like good, obedient children, and say, "mom says we can't even touch it or we'll die"
Lucy laughs. "Oh get real. You're not gonna die just by touching it, watch! In fact, do you even know what this plant is? Your mom is using it to make medicine for people! It helps people feel better! Grown ups use it all the time when they want to relieve stress. Hell, your mom even uses this stuff when she's feeling overwhelmed sometimes! This stuff will open up your mind and give you really deep thoughts, and you'll be JUST LIKE YOUR MOM!! Wanna just give it a try?"
So with a convincing argument like that, my innocent, trusting children eat some of the leaves of this plant.
When I get home, I see Lucy leaving, laughing her ass off. I run into the garden where my kids are, and they are hiding in the bushes, naked. They are tripping balls and are paranoid and confused and disconnected with reality. I know exactly what happened. But I ask them anyway. "Did you eat that plant?" The kids are nodding their heads and rambling incoherently, pointing fingers at each other.
So what do I do? I curse them. And kick them out of my house. What, did you expect me to cuddle them and give them water and nurse my children through their bad trip? FUCK NO I give em clothes but that's about all I do. I have completely disowned them and threw them out of my house and placed armed guards at the doors. I am so moral and righteous that there is no way I can forgive my kids for rebelling against me at this time. I have to carefully devise an overly complicated plan to get pregnant again, have that new child, wait till he gets older, and then beat the shit outta him till he dies, then I can forgive my children of what they did in the garden that day. But only if they accept it though. That's the thing, I can't just forgive my children or their children for the original transgression. They have to accept my child that I tortured and killed and believe in him before I could forgive my other children. Not only that, but of they DONT, if they want to continue living separate from me and refuse to believe in this sick setup I have going on, and they reject me as a mother, I will kidnap them, throw them into a pit and light them on fire.
So, having said all that, do I sound "good" to you? Or did I just describe a psychopath? God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.
Posted by Brother Jeff on 12 August 2014 - 05:42 PM
Posted by Ravenstar on 22 September 2012 - 08:31 PM
My deconversion, if you will, seems to have gone in a spiral... in steps. For a very long time even after I rejected christianity I clung to my various conceptions of god, or whatever—fuck—I don't even know what to call it anymore.
I've studied and practiced various forms of theism.. from pantheistic witchcraft to Rosicrucianism, to Pentecostal, to... well, let's just say I've been to a lot of different branches of this faith thing, always thinking, nay believing, deep down that somehow there must be a loving force and if so, I can find it... call it god for lack of a better descriptor.
I'm a seeker... it's my nature... but what I really desired was truth.(still do) The truth is I'm an evolved and intelligent and MORAL being. I've always been this, even as a child—there isn't a time when I can remember being different... I wasn't raised in religion, and even at 6 or 7 I remember being concerned about others and CARING about the world. I was BORN THIS WAY.
I've done a lot of reading, here and elsewhere, I've watched video's, studied history, science and well... done my best to be well-informed and use the reasoning abilities I was born with, and I'm fucking pissed off.
Because I've come to the conclusion that religion is evil. It's evil and it exploits human nature and needs in the worst ways possible, It negates reason, morality and humanity.
This is not even close to the rage I am experiencing...or the thousand reasons why and how I have come to this conclusion... and expressing it is hard. Just getting over the hurdle of not being 'tolerant' and 'understanding' and 'accepting of others views' is like climbing Mount Everest... being afraid to 'offend'..etc.. blah blah blah... fuck it all because this is a truism...
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. " - Edmund Burke
I think about Victor Frankl's, "The Search for Meaning" and many other books I've read that illustrate the true nobility that humans are capable of and I can see that religion negates all of that—makes it worthless, and teaches that we are less than, NO, REQUIRES that people are less than they can be. How much more despicable than, "without god you can do nothing" can anything be? It devalues people, it devalues people and makes it possible for atrocity. Religion requires that we see ourselves and especially others as not worthy... of anything, much less compassion or kindness. If our own creator can't accept us as we are...
And christians are upset to think we are related to chimpanzee's, because they believe it devalues them? Their own book devalues them—the entire concept makes us less worthy than any animal.. animals are innocent! But we are the scum of the earth, and by making us believe that we become so incredibly gullible that we will do ANYTHING to relieve that sense of vulnerability and worthlessness, whether that's believing lies, or killing others... anything. It's an untenable psychic state. Throw in a good dose of fear (but make us believe we deserve it) and that's it folks... wrap it up.. you just created a battered woman out the majority of the human race.
and Religion REQUIRES violence. Seriously... what is more abhorrent than blood sacrifice of the blameless? It requires that we accept this concept as fucking holy? What the hell is holy about being joyful that innocent blood is shed to keep you from taking personal responsibility? The whole concept is... makes me nauseous.
I can see now why the religious are so damn quick to be violent—it's ingrained in their very matrix of how they see reality. How can they be peaceful when their 'creator' in who's image they are, (think about it) is such a violent, bloodthirsty monster? And i don't give two flying fucks if it's fundamentalism or moderate belief because in the end it's the same damn thing... if you really don't believe the world and humanity is intrinsically worthy, or stand against religious batshit crazyness then you ENABLE the worst of you and you are culpable.
Religion, by it's very nature, opens the way for people to exploit and abuse others. Interpretation, vague texts, emotional understanding, giving the morally immature a parent figure so they don't have to grow up, feeding people's need for acceptance and society and approval, setting up systems where the immoral can whitewash their crap with 'righteousness'. Taking advantage of the simple human need to be loved, who does that? I'm a parent... of a rebellious teenager I might add... do I ever look at her, even in her worst moments (and boy oh boy, she can dish it out sometimes) and wish her any harm... EVER? The opposite is true... I want nothing for her EXCEPT the very highest happiness, wonderful life and self-fulfillment possible. If she rejects my 'way' would I disown her? never.
God is love? Not from where I stand. And the evidence is all around... in spades.
AND... If there is a different god, a loving god, why would it hide from me? I call bollocks. Fuck faith and the horse it rode in on. Absurdities.
Religion makes people unbelievably stupid, mentally unbalanced, vengeful, arrogant and morally bankrupt. Yet hides behind this 'light and love' clothing. It's the very definition of passive-aggressiveness, malignant narcissism, and delusional projection.
This particular wave of my enlightenment was precipitated by the muslim violence over that stupid ass movie (trailer actually) that was made by another group of religious nutjobs who think they have the truth... I'm sick of it. It's UNACCEPTABLE.
Religion is a plague on mankind. A mental and moral social disease.. I'm thoroughly convinced now.
I am not an atheist anymore... I am firmly an anti-theist. I believe that religion should be fought, torn down, whatever... with all the strength we have.
sorry i went all over the place... it's hard to organize it all... because it's a whole lot of everything and it affects every single person on this planet. There is no longer anything that can convince me there is anything good about it.
Posted by Brought None on 08 January 2012 - 12:17 AM
Today I came out as gay to my parents!
Damn I feel like a ton of bricks is off my back now!
Parent's are fully supportive. We talked for a good few hours. Mom was asking me a ton of questions.
Feel so strange right now. Having opened up like this to them.
Will post more tomorrow. Right now I'm so drained. Need sleep!
Posted by ContraBardus on 18 June 2013 - 03:11 PM
Just got off the phone with my Cardiologist.
Um, I don't need a transplant anymore. In fact, they want to do surgery and close the hole in my heart and reroute some of the veins.
I recently had a Heart Cath to measure the pressures in my lungs and the left and right sides of my heart, and my Cardiologist is fucking amazed. All of my pressures are pretty fucking close to normal.
I am literally an unprecedented medical abnormality. What's happened to me does not happen to anyone ever. I'm on a couple of trial drugs [Tyvaso and Letaris] and apparently that shit fucking works.
Let me put it this way, when I was admitted to the hospital, I was not expected to leave until after I'd had a transplant, if I survived that long. My current equipment was expected to completely fail in a year or two at most. I had a heart cath around the beginning of November, and I literally died on the operating table, shortly after I died again in a hospital bed. Both times I was revived.
Two months later, just after Christmas, I was doing well enough to get a discharge. I was told I still needed a transplant, but that if I continued on as I was I could expect to delay it for several years. The medications were stabilizing me better than expected, and they were hoping it would continue for a while and that I could squeeze out a couple of more years by delaying transplant as long as possible. I was not anywhere near to normal mind you, but well enough I could get through daily life if I didn't push myself.
Now, today, I'm told that my pressures are on the high end of normal. Not just in part of my heart, or just in my lungs. Across the board. They want to do surgery and fix the hole in my heart. In a month or two, I should be in better condition than I've ever been in my life. Huh?
I had to get him to repeat that a couple of times just to be sure I was hearing it right.
The right side of my heart will never be completely normal again, but if things go as planned, it's a very real possibility that it could get damn close to normal...I'm possibly looking at what could only be described as pretty much full recovery.
Seriously. I'm an Atheist, and I've got what amounts to a miracle cure. It's awesome.
I do have to have major heart surgery, which sucks...sort of. Bear in mind I've been repeatedly told that they were going to rip out my entire respiratory system and put in one that they cut out of someone else just before they died, and that after that my life expectancy was about five fucking years after that. Can you imagine what it's like to be relieved by someone telling you that you're going to have open heart surgery? It's seriously weird.
I'm not out of the woods yet, I've still got to be careful, and open heart surgery is obviously risky. However, it's still less risky than staying in my current condition and having a transplant later.
I'm not quite sure what to do yet, it's fucking epic that this is even a possibility. Nothing is scheduled yet but an MRI, and then I have to schedule a dentist appointment, but it will probably all happen within a month or two. Not sure yet, but it sounds like they want to do it very soon. I humored thoughts of this nature before, but never believed that it might actually happen. Doctors repeatedly told me that there wasn't any real chance that it would happen. This sort of recovery was extremely unlikely.
Yet, here I am, and near as I can tell, it's actually happening.
I'm not sure what to think about it all just yet.
Don't worry, this hasn't changed my opinion of God.
Science and Modern Medicine is fucking awesome.
Posted by Margee on 18 September 2012 - 06:08 PM
I went in the den we set up for her and sat opposite to her and said, ''What's on your mind, my dear?'
She looked me straight in the eye and said, ''Do you believe in god?''
Oh. My. Gawd...... was this a trick question, I thought to myself?? Am I supposed to be a good 'god fearing' DIL or not???? What do I say????
I turned it around on her and asked her, 'why do you want to know'? Well, she said, 'I have some questions and I have no one to talk to about them'. I said, 'tell me more'.........
Long story short....91 years of watching how the world is. 91 years of hard work. Tons of unanswered prayers and too many 'stupid' things in the bible!! She felt like her prayers 'hit the ceiling' for most of her life!! She told me that she has seen a lot of horror in this world over her lifetime! That's what she said!! She has kept that in all these years!!
I was in her room for an hour, told her all about me. She was sooooo happy to know she wasn't the only one who ever questioned god. I told her all about Charles Templeton's book and how it helped me so much. She wanted to see the book. She knew about him very well. So I went downstairs and got it for her. We both agreed together that we felt that death would be one big adventure. That's how we ended the conversation......So now, she is sitting in her room reading my book....'Farewell To God''......
She told me today this is the first time she has ever opened her mouth about her christians beliefs before in all her years. She told me she wished she could live her life all over again.
I now have a 91 year old 'deconvert' living in the same house as me.
I asked my husbands permission to make this post tonight about his mom and he laughed and said, 'go ahead...your gang will get a big charge out of it'.
Posted by Margee on 12 February 2012 - 12:25 PM
It is my intention to encourage you on your journey......You wonderful young 'freethinkers' on EX-c! A few of my thoughts this morning.
You are the new generation of 'rebels' who, through a lot of hard work and persecution, will have the ability to alter the world you live in. It's not going to be easy. You cannot change people and their old ways quickly - you can only influence them.... probably slowly. But please, march ahead anyway and do not be afraid to be different.
You young ones have dug your head out of the sand much earlier than some of us older people and have truly opened your eyes to the fact that the world has been hypnotized and brainwashed throughout the generations. There are multitudes of people that will require you to 'conform' like the majority and believe in a christian god that doesn't give evidence of 'himself' in a world of suffering.
Because you will be no longer bowing to the world, you will be bullied, harassed and ostracized for being different. You will be insulted and belittled for being a freethinker. You're journey will be hard in many ways, as you buck some of the the nonsense that has been handed down since the beginning of time. In a way, you will be an 'outcast', much like the jew, the homosexual, and the black slave has been. The reason for all the 'bondage' of these dear people throughout history... is religion. You already know that. So you must fight back in a strong, gentle way.
You may not be respected by your friends, co-workers or family members, but you must stay strong in your convictions. You are the new agnostics and atheists, a new brave, breed of people, rising up to stop the madness on this earth. You will be the reason the world will eventually change over the next few generations. Your own children and grandchildren will rejoice because of your efforts. They will thank you for making life a little easier for them!
You must stay strong and trust your instincts that there is no talking snakes, no talking donkeys, no virgin births, no walking on water, no little devil running around in the atmosphere to destroy you and no punishing god that sets you up to fail because of the foolish doctrine and myth of 'sin' and 'fallen' man due to a woman who ate off a tree. To continue to believe this would be the same as believing in flying dragons! When in doubt, study the first couple chapters of Genesis and ask yourself if any of it makes sense to you. This will help to keep you strong on your journey.
You must continue to search for the new information that the scientist presents and also, take the time to learn how all these myths started. Fill your head with all the knowledge that you can jam into it . Knowledge is your key to life-long freedom. You must be willing and brave enough to tell the older folk - 'You are wrong.' You don't need to come across as a 'rebeller' to be a free thinker.You must try to do this hard job with as much love as you can 'muster up' and stay calm and cool, as you present your 'case'.
Many times, you will have to face rejection. Be prepared for this. If you fight with aggression - you will be like the rest of the world. If you are going to think different and make a difference in the world - then you must act different. Be kind and loving, but remain strong. Continue to influence - show the world how happy you are, having a mind of your own without all the indoctrination from the ancient bibles in the world..
You must always realize that the world is brainwashed. They are in a trance and have been deluded and lied to for centuries. Many do not want to give up their beliefs. They want to believe what their ancestors told them. The 'non-thinkers' of this world are like robots....they do what the world tells them to do. You have knowledge that they don't. Most of them are not bad people. Keep this thought close to your heart - it will help you to feel compassion for your world of friends, family and co-workers.
You must realize that it's O.K to be different. Do not cover this up with drugs and alcohol if possible. You must be stronger than the drugs or alcohol. They are a 'cover up' to temporarily make you feel OK about yourself. Go ahead and party - but be careful not to get hooked. Let your hair down every now and again. Have a lot of fun. Remember, when you truly accept and love yourself for who you are - you will not need a false 'high' everyday. Have a party everyday (without booze or drugs) ....just to celebrate yourself!!
Being different means not only thinking in a 'non-conformist' way, but also taking a stand at what the world considers educated, ugly, pretty, smart, etc. You must buck this system also - the 'unfalse' world of 'beauty' - the old book of rules that says you must weigh this or wear that, to be popular. A lot of depression stems from this silly system and has ruined so many young lives. Show the world that you are smarter than following this degrading structure - teach the beautiful people that they can have what you got... true confidence. So always let your 'beauty' come from within.
Again I plead, do not count on your looks or your body to give you the true self esteem you need to feel good about yourself. If you are not as pretty, handsome, skinny, etc., as the magazines or the other people in the world - do not let this throw you. Some of the most beautiful people lack the true self esteem it takes to feel confident because they are not true to themselves. You are! Many of these dear 'beauties' count on their appearance to make it through life and they are not always happy and confident.
Let your beauty always come from a confident frame of mind! This will make you shine prettier and more handsome than any of the so called movie stars on earth or stars in the sky!!
If you are still living under the roof of your believing parents, you may need to be very patient. No one can make you believe..... you already know in your young mind that you don't believe what they do. Your parents can make you do things, such as attending church, going to bible study, or saying prayers, but that’s stuff you might have to do for a while on the outside. Inside your mind, you’re free to think your own thoughts and believe what makes sense to you. This is when you may have to practice the art of 'silence' and patience.
If you are depressed because you can't be who you really are while living under someone's roof, know in your heart that it won't be like this for very long. Silence can be golden at times. Learn to make 'silence' a friend for you. Right now, the part of your life that you can control is inside your mind! Also, try to remember, that your parents love you and think they are doing what is right for you.
So, go forth, strong youth...... and create the new world of liberty and freedom!
Best of love and good wishes to you as you confidently go on this journey!
Love and hugs from an old member on EX-c!!
Posted by Wings on 30 September 2012 - 11:24 PM
In my tradition, we go to church twice on sundays and do not do anything else... the major sin is to spend money. I'm not sure why, but we're not allowed to work professionally (unless your role is deemed "urgent services" like doctors, nurses, ems, etc.) And absolutely you don't go shopping, eat out or spend money on entertainment. Well, I quit church in March; I obviously don't subscribe to any of that any more.
Today, I went to a baseball game with some friends (Jays vs. Yankees; Jays lost... boo, I'm Canadian). I posted a picture on facebook titled "sunday funday"... now, don't get me wrong. Part of me knew it would bother some people I know from "then".. .part of me just wanted to stop hiding. I'm tired of having to walk on eggshells to not offend people because they're upset that I'm different.
I really didn't think anyone would say anything... but my aunt commented:
"Nope, Sunday a day of rest and comunion with the church and God"
I initially responded with something along the lines of "well, I respect that..." but then a friend made a personal comment to me about how weird my aunt's comment was.
I suddenly got really angry because it's true... I put up with a lot of this bullying bullshit from my family and it's rude to me and it's rude to my 100s of non-or-other-religious friends.
"You know what? This might not be the place to put this, but I have gotten A LOT of not-so-nice comments, emails, letters/cards and non-verbal messages from people because they are offended and/or displeased that I don't go to church. NEVER EVER have I told ANYONE that they should not go to church, NEVER EVER have I commented on any of my friends' fb or elsewhere (friends, I might note, who are from all walks of faith and life) telling them that they should lead their lives a different way (especially without backing it up with care and concern) and NEVER EVER EVER would I dream of putting on one of their religious/church-related pictures that they should be living their lives differently. I find it rude and insulting (to both my non or different-than-you religious friends and myself), judgmental and unnecessary and I'm really tired of it. If my life offends you, delete me. If you want to debate with me, debate with me. If you want to ask me why I've made the choices I've made, ask me. Until then, I can say that I live my life with honesty, integrity and truth. I make MANY mistakes, which I try to learn from, and I'm far from perfect. But I love and ask to be loved. I will accept you, and ask to be accepted. If that's too much for you, I understand. Know that I will ALWAYS love and accept you..."
I know it was a bit overkill in response to her message... but I also know my tradition and I read the pettiness in her message. Also, it's one piled onto many others... and kind of my breaking point.
I'm pretty anxious cause this is my first "public" note on the topic and I dealt with a lot of nastiness from people already. I'm going to be pretty anxious when checking fb over the next few days... but on the other hand, I'm tired of "hiding."
Anyway, just wanted to vent. Thanks!
Posted by Anat on 19 August 2012 - 10:41 AM
I grew up in a very conservative Baptist church in the south. Went to youth group and all the Christian summer camps, memorized all the verses and did all the mission trips. Won lots of youth group awards. I mean, I was an obsessive student at school, why wouldn't I be one at church too? I did my devotionals almost every day, prayed, and even tried to model my high school dating relationships on "Biblical principles."
I went away to a Christian-based college at 18 where everyone had to take Old and New Testament survey classes. This is where everything started to fall apart. My professors, though Christians, had studied Greek and Hebrew and textual criticism and wanted us to look at the Bible academically. I was so blown away by the two creation stories, the contradictory histories in Joshua and Judges and between the Gospels, and all the other problematic aspects of the Bible that I decided to become a Religion major just so I could better understand them. I mellowed out in my theology, started reading the Bible as a source of social justice and felt I was "called" to get people to stop being such fundamentalist jerks. I learned Hebrew and Greek, and took theology and philosophy classes. I worked as a youth leader for 2 summers at a Baptist church (despite my female-ness and nose ring!) and tried to teach the kids to think critically about the text and to just be really good to people. During all this time my church attendance was pretty sporadic. I didn't really feel the need for any church fellowship when I was taking so many religion classes with awesome people.
After college I got into the graduate religion department at a prestigious American university to study the Hebrew bible. The divinity school there was multi-religion and extremely ecumenical. I met and became friends with Jews, Humanists, Muslims, and a myriad of adherents to various Christian denominations. I decided to become Episcopalian because they seemed the most social justice oriented and allowed gay people and women to be priests. I thought this was my happy medium. But as I delved deeper into the textual study of the Hebrew Bible, I realized that the text was more than just a little problematic. I mean, there are MULTIPLE Hebrew words whose meanings we can only guess at! I took a class studying and translating the Dead Sea Scrolls and realized, "Damn, we really don't know what a lot of this actually says." I took classes doing feminist and womanist and LGBT and Liberation interpretations of the text, but still the Bible taunted me with its dickishness. It often took so much work to make the Bible not say terrible things. But I couldn't stand the thought of it saying terrible things!
Over time, I found myself both more and more troubled by the concept of God and at the same time just not caring any more. It was truly exhausting to try to stick up for God/Jesus when the things they did seemed pretty indefensible. Eventually I stopped going to church at all and told myself that I just was taking a break, and that I would consider myself "not religious" for a bit. Then two thoughts came to my mind. 1) How can I believe in a God who is less kind and just than humans are? and 2) If I'm having to work this hard to defend the concept of God and Christianity and to suspend this belief in my mind, maybe this belief isn't worth having. Despite thinking these things I still did not consider myself an atheist or an agnostic, just really not religious.
A few weeks ago I visited my parents in the south. I went with them to church and it was one of the most depressing things I experienced in a long time. All these truly kind people believing truly stupid and cruel things. When I got back from the trip I realized that I was more than "not religious," I was an agnostic/atheist (still researching to find where I actually fit). And now I am more pissed than ever. HOW ON EARTH can these "pastors" and "priests" who actually studied the text stand there and lie to their congregations every week? I give the congregations more of a pass, but if you have studied the actual language of the Bible and still believe it to be infallible, you are an idiot and a liar. I can't deal with it. And now I sit and simmer as my Facebook is constantly populated with idiotic Christian sayings and verses and ideals.
I am so angry. But I don't want to be. So here I am to blow off steam and read other Ex-Christians' experiences and to rebuild my philosophy for living.
If you've made it to the end, you are a trooper. So thanks.
Posted by 2Honest on 11 May 2012 - 07:03 PM
Posted by mcdaddy on 06 May 2012 - 09:29 AM
It starts with showing smiling faces, kids playing, lovers kissing, etc from different middle eastern country peoples. About every 30 seconds it cuts away to show a ticker that is slowly counting upwards, but getting progressively faster. 50...100...1000...2300...etc. after showing all these beautiful people, who for all intents and purposes are just normal people going about their day to day, at the end of the clip the number stops on 6501 or something like that. And underneath it says "the number of Muslims that died and went to hell today". I almost LOST it.
I almost got up right then but I stayed, only for my wife. But I was holding her hand, and immediately dropped it, she could tell I was pissed. After this ignorant fucker gets up there and is talking for a few minutes, he starts showing pictures of actual people. "This is Muhammad. His father was a muslim, but he died and is in hell. This is his grandfather. He was a Muslim, he is in hell. And on and on. This is Fatima. She accepted Jeezus and they cut off her tongue and killed her, but now she's praising the Lard with her new tongue in heaven. Praise the lawd!!
So I turn to my wife and say, " I'm not going to listen to this judgemental bullshit". And walk the F out. I'm in my car right now wondering how long she'll sit thru the indoctrination session. I fucking HATE missionaries.
Posted by duderonomy on 07 November 2015 - 01:51 AM
I need four more reputation points so I can reach at least a paltry 900.
I despair, because I fear that nobody here likes me.
Posted by Orbit on 17 January 2015 - 11:42 AM
When I first came to this site, I made a perfunctory, one paragraph extimony that really didn't tell my story. Some of my story came up in chat, and it was suggested that it might be useful to others, so I am posting it now. One of the reasons that I'm posting it is because when I first came to this site, none of the extmonies really reflected my experience as a liberal, mainline Presbyterian. The other reason will become clear.
I want to start by giving you just one glimpse into how the Bible was used in my childhood. I don't do this to say "boo-hoo my terrible childhood". I do this so that the lurkers can see what can happen to children as a direct result of Christianity, and also to make a point that is often lost: the Bible is a tool in the hands of the abuser, but it is also a tool to survive and resist abuse.
My dad was a drunk. When he was drunk, we would have to listen to him read the Bible. But not just any part of the Bible, just the parts about beating children "Spare the rod and spoil the child" and anything about obedience to parents "Honor thy father and mother". Then he would beat me (10 years old) with a leather belt until I had welts to make his point. The next day I would be told to put on shorts and go out to play. When I said I didn't want to because of all the red welts on my legs, I was told "you just tell people that's because you don't mind your parents". So embarrassment on top of abuse. One day my dad commanded me to beat my 3 year old brother with a leather belt because my brother had done something wrong and sins had to be punished. I refused, and took a beating myself. The Bible was used as a weapon to prove my guilt, and my worthlessness.
So what did I turn to to survive and resist this abuse? The Bible. "You are my rock and my hiding place"; "Suffer the little children to come into me", and all the verses about God helping the afflicted, the persecuted, and those who were treated unfairly. The Bible, and my faith helped me survive my childhood. It is for this reason that I won't make blanket statements like "The Bible is evil". The picture is more complicated than that.
As I reached high school, I had developed my own reading of the Bible, which centered on liberal, compassionate, hippie Jesus. I cherry-picked the parts of the Bible that made sense to me and ignored the rest. For example, I used Jesus' compassion to argue against the Biblical OT prohibition of homosexuality. I constructed a kinder, gentler Christianity and cherry picked my way to bliss for over 40 years. My Christianity was not incompatible with science; I didn't reject other faiths as heretical; and I compulsively studied comparative religion and anthropology, receiving a degree in anthropology from UCLA in 1991. None of what I studied shook my faith in any way. I had rationalized that what was in the Bible was from a different culture and time, was subject to translation problems and the politics of canonization. None of this shook my faith. So, you may ask: if evolution, homosexuality, and science didn't bother you as a Christian, why would you deconvert?
I deconverted because I wanted to know the truth about God.
I had spent years studying religions, mythology, archaeology, and culture in part looking for this answer. Where was God? Why didn't God answer prayer? Why didn't Jesus ever talk back? What was the nature of this God that I couldn't find? I studied Eastern religion, mythology, and Christian church history looking for the answer. I prayed hard, to no avail. God simply wasn't anywhere. My search for God led me to atheist websites, whose claims encouraged me to re-read the Book of Genesis. When I did, I encountered all the parts of the OT I had rejected, and I could no longer ignore the fact that they were there: the child rape, the genocide, the slavery, the cruelty, the intolerance.
These things were being used as the basis for a worldview that was spreading ignorance, denying science, causing human misery, and in the US threatening the separation of church and state. I also began to actively use my knowledge about history, anthropology, and science to evaluate the OT. I had simply ignored the contradictions before, as I didn't believe the Bible was literal, but understood it as myth. Even as myth, I found Genesis didn't contain any truths that I wanted to base my life on. As I rejected Genesis, the basis for the Christian worldview, I rejected Christianity. I could no longer support this religion called Christianity. I could no longer comfortably say "I am a Christian".
I spent the next four months reading everything about atheism and Bible history that I could find. I bashed Christians in the Lion's Den with gusto. I became, and still am, an atheist with respect to all mythic Gods and literal understandings of religion. And this brings me to the next part of my story, one that seldom gets told.
As an atheist, I still had spiritual feelings. No matter how rational I was, they wouldn't go away. I felt guilty being an atheist and having spiritual feelings. I had read that that was all "woo" and not to be trusted. But the feelings were real, and I couldn't deny them. I was afraid I was "backsliding into religion".
I found out that I wasn't. I was reclaiming my humanity. With the help of Antlerman in the spirituality forum, I sorted through these fears and came out the other side with a healthy spirituality that involves meditation. I learned that religion doesn't own the very real spiritual feelings humans have, which are just as natural as any other emotion. I learned to separate religion from spirituality, and that has made all the difference. I'm past railing at Christianity now, and have found my way forward. I hope that my story helps others, especially lurkers, who think there is something wrong with them because their story isn't typical. There is no one way to peace.
Posted by TheRedneckProfessor on 04 January 2015 - 09:37 AM
When I was a boy, I was told that the world was evil, that the things of the world were ungodly, and that loving the world was sinful. I never really could reconcile these things with my deep fascination with the world. I used to love watching National Geographic documentaries about faraway lands and exotic peoples—the strange rituals and traditions of indigenous tribes, the customs and beliefs of diverse races. I remember being able to sit for hours reading travel guides about Finland, South Africa, and Japan; and putting together puzzles with pictures of pastoral Irish country sides or South American harbors.
Eventually, I came to “put such childish things away”. I knew that the way of the world would lead me to hell; and that, per The Great Commission, the onus rested upon me to lead the world to jesus. I accepted my position as an American and a christian. I accepted the idea that I would not be able to participate in the things of the world because I was meant to be “in the world, but not of the world”. I was called out, separated… the anointed of god. I had to place my fascination with all things worldly upon the altar of god and sacrifice it.
For many years, I thought nothing of the world, cared nothing for the world, sought only to distance myself from everything but my immediate environment in order to draw closer to god and not be lead astray. I rarely travelled; never watched travelling programs, or read anything about foreign countries.
I missed out on so much…
Lately, I’ve come to realize something:
I LOVE THE WORLD.
I love the sights and sounds, even the smells of the world. I love the layers and textures of the food, from kofta kebabs and shawarma to smoked salmon in hollandaise sauce. I love the drinks of the world—the creamy burn of Latvian Balsam, the acerbic punch of Polish Bison Grass Vodka, the subtle flora of Japanese Sake. I love the spices: cumin, turmeric, allspice.
I love the way the sun reaches through the trees on a soft Southern morning, the feel of sweet summer rain on my face, the fiery leaves of autumn. I love the sounds of early morning—delivery trucks, the clatter of coffee mugs, quiet conversations… and the smell of freshly baked pastries, biscuits, and bacon. And I love the quiet reflections of evening when my son quietly practices his violin, against a backdrop of clinking dishes in the kitchen.
I love to see squirrels scurry about through the trees, sheep grazing in a pasture, kittens frolicking around the house.
I love airports, because they remind me of all the places in this world that I know I’ll never get to see. I love sitting at the departure gate, watching other planes taxiing out to the runway and wondering about all the passengers on those planes. “Where are they going?” “Who will they meet?” “What sort of amazing food will they have when they get there?” I love browsing through the Duty-Free, looking at all the different liqueurs and colognes. I don’t even smoke anymore, but I still wonder when I find some new brand of cigarette, what it would taste like. I love the crowds of the airport, the scurry and scamper, passports with brand new visas, the rush to get through security and customs.
I love the rickety trams of the Soviet era as they clickety-clack through Odessa streets; and I love the sleek modern trams of Munich. I love the meat market in Riga and the roosters they put on the spires of their churches instead of crosses. I love the way old Polish women set up grills on the sides of the street and smoke cheese which they sell for next to nothing. I love the popping of my ears when the train plunges into a tunnel or when the plane takes off.
I’ve been fortunate to have stood on the Knockagh and seen the sun set over Belfast Lough. I’ve enjoyed an evening stroll through the Planty in Krakow, the sound of practicing musicians filling the air. I’ve experienced the pleasure of the overnight train from Odessa to Kiev with great company and freely flowing vodka. I’ve been cursed out in countless languages, and shown appreciation in countless more.
But the greatest memory I have so far, is simply a modest meal of shashlik with my wife’s family at their summer home near the sea.
This world is a beautiful place; and it’s the only world I’ll ever live in. There are extra-ordinary places, inspiring people, fascinating customs, incredible food, and a wealth of breath-taking experiences, and they are all just outside the front door. This is MY world and I plan to squeeze every possible ounce of experience this world has to offer before I leave it.
I LOVE THE WORLD.
Posted by Ravenstar on 11 December 2013 - 12:30 PM
Why would you feel sorry? You know very little about women, not surprising...
Being female I have had the opportunity to speak to a lot of other women… a lot of us DO NOT WANT to get married. It's not the guy, it's us. There are many good reasons not to get married, independence, financial autonomy, etc. etc… and each women would have their own.
Defining our relationships in new ways is part of the way culture and society is moving… most women make their own money these days and in a lot of cases getting married is not the best move. Commitment is very possible without marriage… and I've been married, twice… and I've experienced a deeper commitment with a live-in boyfriend than I did with either of my husbands.. actually, I had an even better long term relationship with a man I never lived with.
I would never get married again..ever.