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  1. 14 points
    Congrats to Mrs Geezer she has been blessed to have been married to "The Geezer" for 52 years today. She is such a lucky gal!
  2. 10 points
    Over the past year I feel like I have addressed something in the deconversion process that I and I feel many other Ex-Christians wouldn't even really have thought of as an issue in this new way of living. I am specifically referring to getting over the negative things that Christians have said about us as Christians and as Atheists. The most obvious thing we tend to focus on are arguments for and against the existence of god. It is the easiest and most obvious choice after all. We spend so much time focusing on the external that I feel we never fully take the time to evaluate the internal and existential struggles that we all face. As Christians we were taught that man is evil and born into sin and that the only hope we have is through a savior. We reject the savior but some times still feel like we need to be saved. We feel evil and unwanted and even dare I say worthless at times. In response to Atheism as Christians we were taught that without god life has no meaning and no purpose. We were told that without god we might as well give ourselves over to riotous living in gluttony, drunkenness, and shallow relationships. Let me be clear. THIS IS NOT WHO I AM. And I want to suggest to you all that it doesn't need to be who you are as well. These ideas are not secular beliefs they are religious beliefs and I will not just accept them without being insanely critical of them. It is THEIR problem that they have a morality so shallow that the moment they would believe that god doesn't exist that they feel justified in giving into darkness and falling to the depths of depravity. Well that's not me. It is they who need to use god as Viagra to get their purpose and meaning going in the morning. It is they who see themselves as inherently a problem and a parasite rather than someone who has the same right as everyone to live in the best way that they can without a heap load of baggage debt and guilt weighing them down before they even got started. We are free. But more than that we are free and NOT crippled. These things we allow to cloud our thinking unconsciously on so many topics is nothing but a mind-forged manacle. Losing religion wasn't losing everything. No, I gained the opportunity to find my own way without religious imposition. So do you still hold any of these things to be true sometimes without even realizing it? Time to truly make yourself free of religion.
  3. 8 points
    Just a share......but thoughts and replies are invited......... On Christianity: “That good news is predicated on some very bad news despite the deliberately deceptive way they spin it to make it sound positively beautiful. Beneath that pretty face there lies a controlling, exploitative belief system that thrives on indoctrinating people from their youngest years to believe that their worth is derivative, that their value comes from what Someone Else did for them, not from within themselves. If you can convince people of that, they will give everything in order to redeem their own usefulness in the world.”
  4. 7 points
    Hello. I just discovered this site a few days ago by chance. Thank you to its creators and to every active member. I'm so glad to be able to connect to this community. I was born and raised in Georgia. Right in the Bible Belt. From birth until about age 14, I attended a little Southern Baptist Church without even 50 members. Throughout my teens and into my early 20s, I changed to a Pentecostal church. I never considered myself to be of one denomination or another. I only ever referred to myself as a Christian and simply changed churches because of a racist incident at the baptist church. My parents took me to church nearly every Sunday and always sent me to VBS. Christianity was pounded into my head every chance they had. They never questioned our religion. I tried not to. I was made to feel like I should believe every word of the Bible and every word from the pastor and questioning or disagreeing with either was something you just didn't do. When disagreements or questions arose, I suppressed them. I tried hard not to think of them and worked diligently to pray my guilt away. All of my life, I never felt connected to God. This of course was my fault. I didn't try hard enough. I didn't pray enough. I wasn't good enough...etc, etc. I remember as a child being scared that I would go to hell because I never felt saved. I would go through the motions and come through the other side feeling guilty for the lack of change inside of me. Every church service ended with an alter call for the unsaved. This stressed me out. I would often fake a bathroom break when I noticed the sermon wrapping up so I could skip the guilt and nervousness that would follow. I would say the sinners prayer every Sunday to myself, in my seat. I wanted so badly to run to the front of the church, throw myself on the alter and beg God to please accept me. Why wouldn't he connect with me? Was I so bad? What was I doing wrong? If you've ever been to a Pentecostal church, then you know the emotional hype that hangs in the atmosphere. Countless times I would watch the congregation "experience God" and dance and sing and shout and run and speak in tongues and cry!! So much crying! All because they were feeling God move through them. I was alone in the room. I participated but it was forced. My tears fell for the lack of God that I felt and of course, more guilt because of it. Guilt not God was the only thing that ever moved me. From high school into early adulthood, I could not deny that I felt differently about homosexuality, abortion and how the world was created. I had always had a strong interest in science and psychology. If you have studied either, you can understand how both will make you question any religion. College was even worse! My religious beliefs were put to the test and they didn't hold up. I tried to go to church but it was so forced and I found it was easier to deal with my guilt outside of church. I finally began to allow myself to question my religion which led to questioning if God was even real. Once I started having children, I felt it my duty to raise them in the church, because not doing so was a sin, right? I would one day have to account for that, right? I tried to find a church to attend and I began to read my Bible. I wanted to read it from cover to cover. That wasn't a good idea. It led to more questions and disagreements. About two years ago I decided I would stop pursuing God/Jesus and Christianity. I was tired of the fight within myself and I had long been tired of the guilt. I wanted to be neutral and just see if God would come to me. I wanted to be a good little Christian. I wanted Gods approval. I was just so tired, I needed a break. Finally, last year, I was forced to face myself and my beliefs. I was forced to decide what was real. This may sound like the craziest thing but I have to thank Donald Trump for helping me see the truth. . . . (((Let me take a short pause for a good belly laugh 😂😂😂😂😂))) . . . When I saw how many "Christians" supported and praised a man who was NOTHING like Jesus, who didn't even look like a Christian to me, someone who we should stand against.. it threw me for a loop to say the least. I was angry at the church for supporting him. My biggest problem is that he is racist and misogynistic. My husband is black and all three of our children are mixed. I have two daughter who I want to grow up expecting equality and nothing less than common respect. I am raising a son to treat women equally and respectfully in all situations. Needless to say, the whole Trump persona feels like a personal attack against my life. I felt hurt by those close to me or whom I considered friends because they were supporters of him and I felt like they were disgracing my religion. The religion I had worked so hard to follow. So many of the Christians that I knew walked closely with God, somehow didn't see how bad this man was. I had never heard from God but they had. They had that close relationship that I couldn't achieve. How come God didn't tell them not to support Trump? If Jesus was in their hearts, why didn't he move them to know the truth? I became mad at God and the whole idea of Christianity. We were supposed to be all about love. Jesus' greatest teaching was to love right? But here we are, the Christian community is supporting someone who hates other races. This year, I have taken a long hard look at the idea of Christianity and at what I've been taught to believe and what I feel and actually believe in my heart. The conclusion I've come to? I do not believe in any of it. I believe in science. I believe in humans. I believe in this world and in the universe and that is all. Christianity is a scam. The Bible is a bad fairy tale used to control us and warp our minds and our behaviors. I'm over it. Last week I sat down and cried as I admitted this to myself and felt the chains I've drug around fall off of me. The guilt has washed away. I feel a sense of freedom that I have never known. The night I found this website, I nervously, half-ass admitted to my husband that I did not believe any longer. I said "honey, I don't think I'm a Christian anymore..." He looked at me and said "yeah, I've had my doubts for a long time. I think there might be a higher power but it's nothing like what the Bible says". So we were both non-believers and I just fell in love with him all over again 😍!! Until I hit "submit" on this post, he's the only one who knows. My parents would be heartbroken and probably drive the 10 hours between us right now to lay hands on me tonight! My mom is convinced that the world is about to end and Jesus is going to come back any moment. I hear an end of time speach every time we get on the phone and I know that telling her I don't believe would only cause her pain, stress and sadness. So, I will stay in the "closet" for now until I can grow some balls. I would love to just put it out there that I am done with religion, but I don't want to hurt her or hear her mouth. I don't really know how my friends or family will react. I hope they will accept me for not believing as I accept them for believing. Who knows. At least, in my own home, with my dear husband, I can be myself. As for my children, I just want them to live life. They can decide what they believe when they are old enough to analyze the world and whatever religions it can offer them at that time. Thanks for reading 🙂
  5. 7 points
    So if the world ends, then what? No more worrying about the world ending, I suppose.
  6. 7 points
    Perhaps we could benefit from an Unequally Yoked area. Anyway, as many of you know I came out back in 2014 but "ducked back in" for two reasons. Family pressure To give jebus one more shot. This was poor judgement and a bad move on my part for the following reasons. It solved nothing. Forcing one's self to try to believe does not work - post enlightenment. Allowing family members to pressure you into changing your life philosophy brings only heartache - as long as your current philosophy is not harmful, but, especially if the philosophy your fams are "promoting" IS harmful! It may have put my efforts to enlighten others, or encourage them to enlighten themselves, behind a bit. It made me look like a fickle, unstable, idiot. I don't recommend to anyone, after coming out, to go back. I understand that this is a journey, not a snap decision, but if you have a change of heart regarding any faith-based decision or entity, keep it to yourself for a while. Another lesson is that attempting to "go back" only prolongs the negative impact - on both your liberation from harmful religion and with whatever will become of your personal relationships. Mrs. MOHO and I are OK for now so, if anyone is contemplating being forthcoming with loved ones, I would encourage doing so. The exception is for those who are living under someone Else's roof and are financially dependent on them. That's it for now. Don't know what the future will bring but it helps to talk about it and I hope this post is helpful to someone else. - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)
  7. 7 points
    Deva, Florduh, Burnedout, and anyone else from Florida, I hope all goes well for you, both in terms of personal safety and property preservation. Good luck!
  8. 7 points
    I am angry at Christianity because of all the things I gave up for it--all the experiences, hopes, dreams, etc. that I "threw into the fire" for god. I made huge life choices based on what I thought a sky-being wanted me to do. It would actually be comical if it wasn't so deeply tragic. I rue the day I stepped into a charismaniac church. I am also angry at believers. Primarily, I am triggered by their certainty. I miss my certainty!
  9. 7 points
    I've studied religion & the bible sufficiently enough to come to an understanding that I do not need to be saved from an imaginary tyrannical God & that I was not born inherently evil. I can say with complete honesty I do not miss God, Jesus, or Religion. In fact I am delighted to get all of that nonsense out of my life. In other words I have no regrets that I am no longer a Xian.
  10. 7 points
    That's maddening isn't it, @Lerk god created a catastrophe so than him. god rescued people from the catastrophe HE created so thank him. god did NOT rescue someone and that's his will so thank him. go kills little children so thank him. Isn't he wonderful and glorious? I hear this shit all day. Go ahead and cry, @Lerk I'm going to go have a good vomit myself.
  11. 7 points
    knightcore, I am soooo sorry you have to go through this. One thing you have to realize is that this is not your fault. Your parents are highly brainwashed, therefore to accept your sexuality and your non-belief is their problem. Unfortunately, their problem affects you and I feel so bad for you. I wish I could wave a magic wand and tell you what the solution is but I don't know. Can you write them a little letter stating that they were the ones who taught you to be honest? Keep us posted on how this goes. We got your back sweetie. Please read the letter I wrote 5 years ago to the young people on Ex-c to help give you some encouragement. And I hope it does. Big (hug)
  12. 7 points
    I've long thought teaching kids the hell doctrine is child abuse. My parents taught me this and exposed me to this. I give them a pass because they did it out of ignorance and their own sense of love. It's truly an evil doctrine as it convinces the believers that it's their duty to spread the belief and those who most often fall victim are their own children. It is a mind virus.
  13. 7 points
    Always remember this: If you don't have an answer to something, the only position that can be taken is "I don't know" and NOT "therefore God must have done it."
  14. 6 points
    If you are still struggling with leaving Christianity I would like to suggest you do this. Go to YouTube and in the search engine type in D.M. Murdock. There will be a lot of video's that pop up. Watch all of them. When I began my search for historical truth I ran across the name D.M. Murdock, but there were a lot of negative reviews by "Scholars" criticizing her work and credentials, so I basically ignored her work and books. That was a serious mistake on my part. She passed away recently and I accidentally ran across a couple of her books and video's. This time I watched and I intend to read her books. I now realize she was an absolutely brilliant scholar. I recently ran across a lengthy public apology to D.M. Murdock posted by my absolutely favorite scholar Dr. Robert M. Price. He profusely apologized to her for his negative review of her work and for questioning her credentials. They became close personal friends after that. I am now convinced, after examining her credentials, that she may very well have been one of the most brilliant Egyptian, Roman, and Greek historians of our time. Her scholarly flaw seems to be that she never bothered to get her PHD, but her knowledge about the subjects is beyond reproach. And her academic credentials are solid. Earl Doherty is another brilliant scholar that didn't bother to get a PHD but he is still recognized as a brilliant scholar. His book The Jesus Puzzle is a must read. Both Doherty and Murdock's unpardonable sin seems to be that they are both Christ Mythicist. It seems among the scholarly University elitist anyone whose research has lead them to conclude that Jesus was a literary figure rather that a real person is a complete moron. Bart Ehrman appears to be the inspiration for this group. I like Ehrman's books but I don't like the man. He strikes me as being an arrogant, obnoxious, elitists. He has publicly stated that he "HATES" fundamentalists and Mythicist. That is a real open mind ya got their doc. Sorry there Dr. Ehrman, but it appears more and more scholars are joining the Mythicist camp, because there simply is no evidence of a historical Jesus. I read your book where you present your evidence that Jesus was a real person and it was not convincing. In fact your arguments were weak in my opinion. Anyway, I've spent the last few days watching D.M. Murdock's YouTube video's and she's blown me away. I believe it is well worth the time to check her video's out. I've got a list of her books that I intend to read. Her theory on where the gospel story came from makes more sense than anything else I've heard. I now realize we lost a truly brilliant scholar with her passing.
  15. 6 points
    Sleeping together before marriage or even living together before marriage isn't a guarantee that sexual problems won't become a problem down the road. However, it is a good way to find out what your partner likes and doesn't like. In other words, are there any clear red flags that need to be investigated more thoroughly before committing to marriage.
  16. 6 points
    Everytime one of these end times predictions come up, I think about this:
  17. 6 points
    Put that thing away, Son! Don't forget all the trouble You caused the last time We had impure thoughts about a woman! Those poor humans have been dealing with that fallout (no pun intended) for 2,000+ years!
  18. 6 points
  19. 6 points
    Most narcissist don't realize that they are narcissist. I didn't realize until later in life that I was displaying narcissistic tendencies. I knew I wanted to be in charge of pretty much everything all the time. I also recognized I had a my way or the highway attitude too. An incident happened that caused me to lose a lot of friends and no one had to tell me that it was my fault, because I knew it was. That was a watershed moment in my life. I knew something was wrong with me and I decided I had to find out what it was. As it turns out I'm not a full blown narcissist but I do possess narcissistic tendencies. I started putting two and two together and realized my mother was a narcissists. I've come to believe this is a genetic problem that is passed on to offspring. My daughter, daughter in law, and grandson all exhibit narcissistic tendencies. My DIL is the worst. Unfortunately, there is no cure or therapy or anything else to fix this problem.It basically comes down to self awareness and a personal resolve to control those tendencies. If a person cannot accept the reality that they have narcissistic tendencies that is a strong indication they are over the top narcissistic and there isn't much of anything that can be done to fix them. Those folks end up spending a lot of time alone because other people can't stand to be around them. The positive side of narcissism is that narcissist generally make great leaders specifically because of their over abundant self confidence and take charge attitude. I think every president in recent times has been an over the top narcissists especially our current president. If you have a major company you probably want a strong narcissist to run it for you, but you wouldn't want to work for him/her. Most really successful people have strong narcissists traits, and that is a big reason they are so successful. As for religion Ministers and church leaders often display narcissistic traits. A narcissists craves the spot light and does not like to be told they are wrong about much of anything. A really strong narcissist will explode in rage if challenged about their leadership skills or if someone corrects a mistake they make. I'm certain my narcissistic tendencies had a lot to do with me being an Elder in the Church of Christ. That was a big spot light in the c of c. The Elders ran the show, so being asked to be an Elder was a really big deal. Elders in the c of c were like Jesus personal buddies. We were inspired servants of the Lord Jesus don't ya know. The fact the other Elders never gave me the secret handshake should have been a clue. (Just kidding, there was no secret handshake, or at least I don't think there was.) On the positive side for me, I was self employed and ran a successful small business for 38 years. I had several long time employees so I apparently wasn't a monster to work for. In fact, for some reason correcting the mistakes of others was never a problem for me. I could do that with gentleness and an understanding attitude. Something along the lines of....this is a problem but we can fix it, was easy for me to do. The reverse of that unfortunately wasn't true. Don't get in my face and tell me I'm wrong because I would likely go off like a bomb. When I became aware of my narcissists traits dealing with my anger issues took center stage. I'm very happy and proud to say I haven't lost it in a very, very, long time now. I've learned to smile and walk away when I'm challenged now. The fact I'm retired now helps too. I definitely do my best to stay out of the spot light in social situations.
  20. 6 points
    What tickles this Mean Ole Man is the complaints of "far-right" doing anything. Our Staff, of which I am now the longest lived member among a group of fantastic people and decision makers has always had a generally hands off the posters line of management. Idea to ensure that "politics"; partisan name-calling side taking tit for tat ass burning eye jabbing crotch shot taking all but mean shit has its own place here makes Ex-C different. Not only is it permitted and allowed, but is encouraged. People as they deconvert from prior long help religious systems also tend to take a review of what political thoughts were included in their previous lives. Totally Off Topic exists here as One, our "mosh pit of ideas". Two, a place where people can slug things out trying to use some form of reason and thoughts allied to their efforts. Three. that spot to place things that just do not quite fit elsewhere however may be of enough interest to provoke and promote discussion. TOT is not a spot to purposely denigrate inflame or provoke "...'jus cuzz ah kin.." IF a person does not care for that libertarian bent in ability to use TOT, good possibility that it is NOT a good spot to hang out in. Judging ALL Of Ex-Christian dot net by contents of political area of TOT while ignoring an absolute plethora of intelligent, educated, learned and seeking voices elsewhere HERE is simply vapid. kevin,FenceRiderBottleWasherFloorSweeperTeethHanderBackTo,Fuckin'L
  21. 6 points
    Tampa Bay got off easy. I'm sure it was due to your prayers. Next time don't forget to pray for the Caribbean and the Keys too! Haven't gone to see my house yet but I expect it's mostly okay. I do know there was at least no flooding there. Praise His Noodliness!
  22. 6 points
    Good luck and lots of hugs and love for those who are caught in this disaster. My heart is with you all. My hope is that it won't be as bad as predicted and that any damage can be cleared up quickly. I am glued to this. I know what they are saying.... but I'm still hoping. Florida is like a second home to me. I've been there at least 35 times since 1976 from coast to coast. My first cousin and best friend lived outside of Miami (Surfside) before he moved to California and I was so lucky to be able to visit him whenever I wanted. He lived through Hurricane Andrew in 1992. I remember that like it was yesterday. I've stayed in Daytona, The Keys, Clearwater and all along Gulf Boulevard, Miami (and outside), Daytona, Orlando, Largo, Fort Lauderdale, St Petersburg, Indian Shores, etc. My dream is to go there in the winter. Florida is my paradise. I've visited some other Carribean islands and that was wonderful... but my love is for Florida. I have so many wonderful memories. So hang in there my friends cause when this is all done, I'm coming down to finally buy my little piece of heaven somewhere... and I don't give a shit what my line of credit goes up to. Love, (tears tonight) and ((hugs)) to all of you. Please stay safe.
  23. 6 points
    Wishing all our members in the path of these hurricanes all the best and safety.
  24. 6 points
    In my experience, both personally and by observation, so called self help books are a waste of time. It's like sending thoughts and prayers to disaster victims; it doesn't actually do anything but you feel like you've done something anyway.
  25. 6 points
    They'll blame anything and everything they can as long as it's not the very thing that's really the issue, which is the fact that the religion is bullshit.
  26. 6 points
    Thanks for these comments. A while back I posted my son's story in another thread, and I'd like to post that story again for this thread. It originally followed questioning about parental influence on transgender children, so that's what the account starts off dealing with. Here it is again: At the time that our transgender child came out to us, my wife was still opposed to it and resisted it for a while. Even though I had already changed my mind on the issue by that time, I had never talked about it with our child, nor with anyone in the family, for that matter. It hadn't come up and I didn't want to start any unnecessary controversy within the family. I also didn't want to put any ideas in our child's head. Even though in the back of my mind I had wondered for a long time if "she" would have rather been a boy, I figured that if that was the case, then it would come out on its own. I did not want to instigate with our child an issue that is severely stigmatized in our society. There was a long process that led to his coming out when he was almost 14. Going back to the beginning, she (I'll use the terms "she" and "her" when referring to the time before coming out) had always been a tomboy. Of course, there are plenty of tomboys who aren't transgender, so that was of little significance by itself, but it is a piece that fits in this puzzle. Even as young as probably around 3 or 4 years old, she would refuse to go in the girls' toy aisle when we were in stores. It was too embarrassing for her. Whenever we'd get Happy Meals at McDonald's, she always had us order for a boy so that she would get a boy's toy instead of a girl's toy. When she got big enough for a gender specific bicycle, she insisted on getting a boy's bike. She refused to even get on a girl's bike. The tomboy in her continued, and we had no problem with it. It wasn't a big deal, but it also didn't automatically mean anything more than that she was a tomboy. When she was probably around 11, she started going through a time of depression, and at one point my wife caught her getting into the medicine cabinet to try to find something to overdose on. I quickly bought a chain and a lock for it. She also started cutting a lot, but she would hide it by always wearing hoodies, even if it was really hot. At some point when she was 12, she told us that she liked girls. My wife wasn't thrilled about it but didn't press the issue, seemingly thinking that it would probably just be a phase. I just told our child that it was OK; it didn't matter to me whether she preferred boys or girls. I figured that that was what the depression had been about and that things would get better now that she'd gotten that off her chest. There was even a time when she said that she didn't want to ride a boy's bike anymore and even wore a dress or skirt a time or two, so at that point I thought that my unverbalized question about her wanting to be a boy had been answered. However, the depression continued, and a little while later she became anorexic and started shedding weight quickly. It was confusing to me because she was such an intelligent child who excelled beyond most of her peers. I couldn't wrap my head around how someone that smart could fall into such a clearly irrational disorder, but it turns out that that's not uncommon. We tried to talk to her to find out what was really going on with her, but as with many children that age, she didn't want to open up to us. We did inform her, though, that if she kept losing weight, then we'd have to get her into therapy. Well, that's what ended up happening. After going to a couple counselors, we ended up having to admit her to a full-time eating disorder center a couple hours away. It was a very painful period, but we didn't want to lose our precious child. We got to see her once a week for about an hour, but otherwise it was just a phone call each night. After a few months she was still struggling, but she'd made enough progress that they released her to an out-patient facility. There she had to go to their program five days a week and then she was off for the weekends (but still had to log what she was eating). Though this facility was closer than the other one, it was still a little over an hour away. During this time my wife and I (and often our other child) took turns staying with her through the week at the Ronald McDonald house close to the clinic, and then we'd all be together for the weekends. After a couple months of that, she had improved a little more and they released her to go home as long as we continued other local therapy a couple days a week, which we did. It was still a struggle, but she made strides because she didn't want to have to go back into the eating disorder facilities. Then one evening when I was painting our outside picture-window frame, our child came out and told me that we needed to talk. I agreed and asked what she wanted to talk about. After some hesitation, he finally came out and said, "Dad, I'm not a girl." This was just a few weeks before his 14th birthday, and it was the first time I'd heard a clear indication that he was in fact transgender. I really didn't want that to be the case because of how prejudiced much of society is, but I was very accepting and reaffirmed my love and support no matter what. Eventually he explained to me that the time in which he had tried to be more feminine, it was because of an online Christian friend trying to get him to conform to his birth-gender, as well as what he was hearing at church (when he still went with my wife and daughter) and from some family members, including even my wife and our older daughter. As our child attempted to be feminine, it just didn't work for him. The whole bout of depression, suicidal thoughts, cutting, and anorexia all stemmed from trying to suppress who he is and grapple with issues pertaining to his gender, society's perception, and religion. It had all come to a head and it was just too much to bear. Now that he's out as a guy and being accepted by us (my wife did eventually come around) and accepted or tolerated by others in the family, he's doing much better. Of course, breaking free from religion and getting some ferrets also helped his morale. It was so great once we finally, after a couple dismal years, started seeing him be more alive, chipper, happy, laughing and carrying on again. The difference between the depressed years and now are like night and day. It's great to have our child back, even if he's not the same child we thought we had for many years. I can say with confidence, though, that if it hadn't been for the accepting environment that we created for him, there's a good chance we would've ended up having to bury him. I really think that he would've eventually ended it, and it's painful for me to think about that. I tell you, I am so glad that I have a living son instead of a dead daughter.
  27. 6 points
    Your question probably applies to those who are in the early stages of de-converting & it seems to be fairly common to wobble a bit in that stage. Those of us who have been out for awhile aren't likely to "backslide" because there is nothing in religion we want to return to.
  28. 6 points
    The entirety of Western culture teaches us that we are outsiders; either a creation of some monarchical ruler or a random fluke of the universe arising through chance biological processes. Either way, we have imposed upon us a rather unhelpful view of ourselves.
  29. 6 points
    I want to scream! So here goes. I live in the Houston area. My neighborhood is fine, but that's somewhat rare. I know a lot of people who were flooded. And I was raised in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area, who were very hard hit last night. My sister's house had 1/2" of water which they can deal with, and my sister-in-law currently has water rising and almost in the house. They're still in it but may call the sheriff for a boat rescue soon. There is no way for me to get there now because I-10 has rivers running across it in at least 4 places between here and there, but hopefully by Saturday I'll be able to go. But here's the rant. Someone added me to a group of NI-Church of Christ members that was created to help other NI-Church of Christ members who have needs because of the flooding. Money for some. A place to stay for others. That's awesome! But someone in the group said "thank God for times like these. They bring us so much closer together." STFU! In Port Arthur, I saw a facebook post that a woman I went to high school with was stuck, with her sister and 1 year old nephew, on her roof in need of rescue. The Coast Guard got there and rescued them. On the post saying they were safe, someone -- of course -- said "thank GOD!" Seriously?????? WHAT THE FUCK????? People died here! The house we sold two years ago flooded due to that neighborhood receiving over 50 inches of rain! If this god of yours is real, don't you think he can stop the hurricane? Does he only have the ability to send people in boats? What kind of pitiful deity is this? I am thankful to these people in the area who have boats and who went out and spent a couple of days rescuing people. A group from Louisiana calling themselves The Cajun Navy come to Houston with their boats and performed hundreds or thousands of rescues. PEOPLE ARE AWESOME! PEOPLE help people and they help other animals as well. Your stupid god doesn't help anybody because he can't. HE ISN'T REAL! This should be painfully obvious by now. Rant over, but I don't feel better. Edit to add: And then there's this. In Beaumont, a toddler was rescued clinging to her dead mother's back floating toward a railroad trestle which, had the rescuers not gotten there, would have knocked the child into the water as well. Sure, there's a god. Those angels are working overtime, aren't they. I'm crying now. This is not a good day.
  30. 6 points
    I've checked with my Ancient Astronaut Theorist buddies at The History Channel and they assured me they checked with their alien buddies on Nibiru and they say it ain't goanna happen. And those aliens should know because they are the ones that built the Pyramids in Egypt and everywhere else on planet earth. So, that's the words straight from the aliens mouth,....or slit.....or whatever.
  31. 6 points
    "It made me look like a fickle, unstable, idiot." Meh, aren't we all. LoL. Watch an episode of Dr Phil or Jerry Springer. You'll instantly feel like a genius. LoL.
  32. 6 points
    Hi Margee, good answer. I'm just building on it: I think, "God did it" shouldn't be accepted as an answer. It really does not explain how anything happens, and as for the 'why,' to say 'it was His will' or 'it expresses His goodness' - and then have no non-circular conception of His goodness - doesn't do any more work than to say "I don't know." But, the Christian may retort, you can't worship "I don't know." You can't pray to "I don't know." You can't be loved by "I don't know." Lots of us on here have discovered precisely that all along, we were in fact ACTUALLY praying to and worshiping "I don't know." and that the love part boiled down to I don't know. After enough cases where heartfelt prayers of faith are met with silence, you start to realize that it's more accurate to take out "God" and just put in "I don't know." But it's a relief to stop the cognitive dissonance and despiriting mind games.
  33. 6 points
    I love how Christians assume to know the mind of God. They can tell you, with great confidence, exactly what God thinks about any situation or problem & precisely how the issue should be dealt with.
  34. 5 points
    God is just a couple panels above your post. Throwing big rocks at planets isn't a biggy for God. No harm in asking, right? I for one am thrilled God decided to drop by & chat with us. Kind of like Old Testament times all over again. And then the Holy Spirit dropped by too. These are definitely exciting times.
  35. 5 points
    I get that way often....I just smite people.
  36. 5 points
    We just got power back home, some 7 days later. We only lost power in Winter Park for less than 24 hrs. I chose to stay in exile until the power came back on down south. Then it overlapped my airbnb vacation to Weeki Wachee, so I took off with the boat and did that. The big bite region fared surprisingly well. Everything was up and running when I got there Thursday. It was much worse down in Polk, Hardee, and Highlands counties where the right of the eye wall bore through. I'm 3rd generation to Islamorda in the keys. I grew up hearing stories of the 1935 hurricane and Donna. It was always hard to imagine the Islands submerging. After Donna my great grand father and grand father had towed skiffs up to Homestead to be prepared for the return home. The only way back down to Islamorda was by boat. It took a long, long time for something similar to occur again. Longer than my entire lifetime. Long story short, these events are rare and conditions have to be just right in so many ways in order to hit the Keys like this. I've always wondered why they've allowed so many trailer parks down there, though, just on account of the possibility that something like this can potentially happen any given season. Hopefully regulations will be changed around in the after math concerning what is and isn't allowed any more. RV's and travel trailers that can easily drive off and evacuate, OK. fixed trailers on canals, WTF? This is something that has just been waiting to happen.
  37. 5 points
    When both teams pray before the game, how do you decide which team to favor with a victory? Why did you create mosquitoes? Why do men have nipples?
  38. 5 points
  39. 5 points
    The Real Book of Job Job is a rich guy with tons of bling. Hot wife, loads of kids, all kinds of stuff. God and Satan are talking. Satan's like, "Job only likes you cuz you gave him an easy life. Take it away and he won't like you anymore." God's like, "You're on. Lets fuck up his life." So they do. Now the cliffnotes version of the story you'll hear in a shitty church is that Job remained faithful, so God gave Job all his shit back. The ACTUAL version that's ACTUALLY in the Bible does not say that. In the actual version God and Satan wreck Job's shit. Job is like, "man, this... really sucks. I'm not being flippant here. My kids are all dead. I am... I am not in a good place right now." Job's friends show up and are like, "DAMN, dude! God is seriously pissed at you! What did you DO?" And Job says, "Nothing, seriously. He just wrecked my life and killed everyone I loved for... as far as I can tell, literally no reason at all." And Job's friends are all, "Ok, there's no way. God would only do this to you if you REALLY sinned. You'd better beg for forgiveness." And Job says, "I've got no forgiveness to beg for. I didn't do anything. This all happened for no reason." And his friends, "No, this definitely happened for a reason. God liked you so he gave you a good life, now God doesn't like you so he screwed your life up, obviously you sinned and he's angry with you, you need to apologize so he'll give you back the high life to which you were so sweetly accustomed." And Job says, "No. I didn't do anything. I'm not apologizing for shit I didn't do." And his friends are like, "Man, fuck you. Not only did you sin, like, MASSIVELY, you aren't even repentant. You suck. I don't know how we didn't notice this before." And then they bail on him because no one wants to hang out with a secret pedophile or whatever they thought Job was. So Job sits there and is all, "Ok... God? I'm not fooling here. I'm in pain. Do you not... do you not understand that people... hurt? When you hurt them? Do you not... get what suffering is? Do you not understand what you've... what you've done here? Are you just so far away that you... don't... understand how fragile we are? Or that you can't... care?" So God here's this and is SUPER PISSED. Because he just told Satan that Job was all pious and shit but now Job is calling him out. So he shows up and SCREAMS at Job. He goes on this big rant about all the monster's he's killed and the things he's seen and how amazing he is and HOW FUCKING DARE JOB QUESTION HIM!!!11!!!one! He gets super into it, and REALLY threatening. And Job just falls on his face and begs forgiveness because seriously what else is he going to do, he doesn't think he can take God in a fight. So God takes some deep breaths and counts to ten and goes to his happy place for a minute and gets himself under control again. Then he says, "Ok, ok... so... we all gotta move on from here... Tell you what. You did tell the truth about me, back there. That's worth something. You at least get me, even if you don't always RESPECT. So I'ma give you new women and kids and cows and shit. Not your old ones, Satan and I killed those. New ones though. These are gonna be better, I swear. And, what else. Oh yeah, your so called friends. They didn't tell the truth about me. So I'ma murder them all." And Job begs God not to do that, because Job really is a stand up guy, that's been established. And God lets them live. So... the thing Job did that was telling the truth about God was stating that God sends good and evil to us without respect to our righteousness. And the thing that Job's friends did that was telling lies about God was claiming that God sends wealth and easy living to the righteous, and misery to the unrighteous. In other words, the moral of Job is that if you believe in the prosperity gospel God will straight up ice you unless Job asks him to chill.
  40. 5 points
    Sending hopeful thoughts to our Florida friends. Keep us posted.
  41. 5 points
    I certainly don't agree that this is a mental illness. Declaring things as "mental illness" is one of the ways people take away other peoples rights (I'm not saying this is the intention in this thread but simply how the world has worked in general). They're atypical, as are a great many people including myself, but that's different than a mental illness. mwc
  42. 5 points
    I agree completely. The worst idea that has been foisted upon humanity is the idea of original sin: that we are born with an evil heart, a condition that someone else needs to remedy.
  43. 5 points
    I just don't understand the need for such an unimaginably terrible punishment. Someone once said "it's so terrible - it must be man made." Meaning, if you, I, or a billion other people sat down and thought about the very worst punishment we could imagine, I'd bet it would come down to some variation of never ending suffering. And would probably involve fire somewhere down the line. Just look at fire; we've been terrified of it ever since we formed the first spark. So what if your children are misbehaving? Sure, discipline them by all means, perhaps make them live out their life time and time again until they get it right, or show them eternal life, show them what they are going to miss, and then annihilate them, or punch them in the face for a century! Surely it is better to discipline that person, teach them and correct them by showing them the error of their ways, than to just throw them on the bonfire and let them writhe in agony forever. It's so terrible it has to be made by man.
  44. 5 points
    I know a LOT of gay, lesbian, queer, and trans people, and it seems to me that the only reason any of us fret over the differences are societal conditioning. I didn't realize how much conditioning I had until I started looking back at my younger years where I wouldn't even listen to music if it came from a gay man (Neil Sedaka, Elton John), and would remind my cousins "You know he's gay, right?" though I might have used the term fag at the time. It was like I could catch being gay from listening to the music. I was very impressionable by my brother's attitudes and he is far more black and white than I am, so I copied his behaviors until I learned firsthand that I really had nothing to fear from these people and that there are tons of variations in humankind (as there are in the other animals). One trans friend is part of a Native American group, and he says that they are far more welcoming as a group because they historically have always recognized an "other" gender rather than shunned it. It is the societal shaming based on a sense of "normal" that causes all of the negative reactions we have. And when that "normal" is backed by a god who created everything perfectly, there is no wiggle room for being different and being okay. Growing up, I was very quiet and shy. That was like painting a big red target symbol on me as far as jocks were concerned. Every damn day I was treated like shit for not being a loud crude sports fan. They mocked my clothes, my quiet, my non-sports persona, my acne, jumped on me, and more all because I was different than them. I've seen ducks attack other ducks that were odd-looking to them (one duck was a variety from China and looked odd compared to our ducks). And once there was a bit of blood showing from the pecking, BOOM the others joined in and started pecking the same spot. I had to chase off the "normal" ducks to protect the Chinese one. It seems that this behavior is ingrained as a group survival sort of thing, at least to some degree. The nuances of this issue are many. Humans abstract things better than other creatures, so we should be able to see past the differences more easily. I think once we take the time to know those who are different, we lose the conditioning that paints different=bad. Not all differences are good or healthful, but this is dealing more with the subject at hand.
  45. 5 points
    I'm so glad you are safe Lerk. It seems that when we hear of floods, earthquakes, etc. over in other countries, we never feel that it can happen right in our home town. I was also heartbroken at some of the stories today and in the past few days. And I also heard a preacher say it was gods punishment in Texas because of the 'evil' that lives there... which made me want to jump magically through my computer screen and punch his fucking face out. Hang in there. Just skip by all the religious posts, it will only make you angrier and you need to try and relax right now during this very stressful time in your hometown. Try and get some sleep. Big (hug)
  46. 5 points
    Wow night core. It sucks that your having to go through this. Hopefully they will come around. At least they are making steps toward accommodating your stay with them for the holidays. I am debating coming out of the closet on my deconversion and worry about a similar response. When my son told me he was bi and didn't care whether he dated a boy or a girl I had to drag it out of him. I'm claiming awesome dad title for my instant acceptance of this with him. 😁 I could tell he was relieved. I was told by a gay co-worker that the dad is always the hardest to tell. At this point he is dating a girl. But like I tell him I just want him to be happy. I think that eventually your parents love for you will win over their issues with you being gay. I don't really get the whole not sleeping in your siblings room tho..... I mean even if you are gay..... it's still your brother. But anyway. I wish the best for you. People in general don't like change. Hopefully this is just a matter of adjusting to the change. Dark Bishop
  47. 5 points
    Someone indoctrinating vulnerable people into believing crap. Especially crap that makes said vulnerable people fear an entity that can punish and burn forever those that don't believe said crap. That is emotional abuse. That is wrong in my book. I was vulnerable. Bipolar disorder. I believed I was possessed on multiple occasions. People believing crap preyed on me.
  48. 5 points
    ag, I struggled so hard for a long time with this. I am the type of person that has to have answers and it drives me nuts when I can't get an answer to something I am asking or reserching. But I have come to acceptance with this issue. ''I don't know'' is my answer now. But I do feel certain about the fact that even if the whole universe started with a big bang or if the universe has always been in existence..... even if there is a 'power' behind it, It is impersonal and has left us to fend for ourselves. I always go back to this 5-minute video.... Big (hug) cause I know it's frustrating.
  49. 5 points
    Hi, ag_NO_stic, I appreciate your membership here and the things you write. I can't prove that there was no First Cause or Unmoved Mover or that there isn't a Ground of Being out there somewhere, transcendent in the sense of the cause of the universe. It doesn't seem to me that it's necessary to think there is one. Since the early 1990s it's seemed to me that the universe could be eternal, and now, perhaps a kind of bubble within a multiverse. BAA knows more about this! As to the C.S. Lewis thing, I see theists argue that if all that exists is ultimately atoms moving at random in the void (or the equivalent), then we "can't account for" various aspects of experience, like morality, logic, consciousness, beauty... Because an atom has none of those in itself. So how can a collection of atoms have those properties? I'm aware of two approaches to an answer. The first is to suppose that in addition to material substance, there is another big kind of substance: mind, or the like. The people who make this move say that entities that are immaterial substances cause the things that they believe material substances cannot cause. If truths about a triangle would always be true, even if the material universe did not exist, these people think that there must be a realm where immaterial substances, like triangles or logic or goodness, exist. These people are known as "substance dualists." They hold to mind-body dualism. They say there are two big substances: that which is extended (i.e. occupies space), and that which thinks, i.e. mind and its products. Descartes was a substance dualist. So were many other philosophers. Among substance dualists, most are theists, but not all. I understand that Thomas Nagel and John Searle are two modern atheist substance dualists. I'm not an expert on their work, though I've read Searle on speech acts. The other big group are monists. Literal monists hold that everything is really one thing. More loosely, materialists are non-dualists in that they say that everything is ultimately part of the material universe, and mind and all its products are emergent properties of systems of material things. Wm. Quine, for example, said that mind is not a substance alongside the substance of the body, but mind is our term for the thinking functions of the brain and nervous system. Mind is our term to bundle together the things we do with our brains. It's not a thing. He used the example, mind is a construct like "the university." A university is not a separate substance alongside the buildings and people: it is our construct, a mental term for all the functions and productions of all those people and buildings. So a materialist would say that morality, logic, beauty, etc. are genuine features of the life we live as embodied beings, and they are products of what we do in our bodies or what we grasp with our brains and senses. I think the substance dualist argues by a reductionist logic. If everything is only atoms, and if atoms have no mind, then mind reduces to that which is not mind. Which must be false. So we conclude mind, alongside and separate from matter. I don't think that logic is necessary or very convincing because to say, it's Mind, really does not explain how anything happens. It's on the order of saying Goddidit! It explains no process. And when the process eventually is explained, then we have one fewer thing that needs to stay in the Goddidit bucket. There are some discussions over on Patheos about this problem. C.S. Lewis' argument that we need God to "account for" mind, morality, logic, etc. is weak, in my view. Some threads to look at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2017/08/15/can-brains-think/ http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2017/08/24/what-is-a-soul-and-what-does-it-do/ Cheeers, and later, f
  50. 5 points
    On one hand, most cults have happy smiling people (remember the Rajneesh cult in Oregon some years back?) But the happiness in Christianity is thinking they have a god that would suffer and die for them, all in love, to redeem them, purify them, and call them his own. But as we all learned, this is his side of the story. He wants them to all die to themselves, no individual plans or dreams, those get nailed to the cross of torture so that he can live through you. The god of the bible required a human sacrifice instead of turning the other cheek like he commands his followers to do. Throughout the Bible, he wants blood payment, and often simply kills because he is bent out of shape over something like a king wanting to know how many people are in his kingdom, or a guy trying to steady his ark-idol to keep it from falling off the cart. He commands his followers (the Jews) to slaughter entire people groups as they travel through the lands on their way to Israel. But they usually keep the young virgins to rape nightly as booty from the wars. Ultimately, he sends Jesus as the sacrifice to sate his anger over...Adam and Eve eating the magic fruit that he planted in front of them. Yep, original sin is why Jesus was sent. That's why all believers transform from nasty awful disobedient people into pure undefiled children of god, shining like stars in the dark sky. Wait a minute, oh that's not until after they are resurrected, since it is plainly obvious they are no different than us, because we WERE believers. So, no, they aren't really a treasure. They have an imaginary friend that they believe just loves the dickens out of them, and is in control of the universe, even though he clearly isn't. These people get elected to office and their magic friend wants them to pass laws to make all of us behave like Christians even when we are not. They are just sure their imaginary friend winks in love at them every time they mention him publicly, because of their powerful testimony. They do spiritual warfare with other imaginary beings that are in control of the world, even though God is in control of the world really, they still have to do these battles to make it all really happen, even though things rarely change. They ignore the results and claim it happened anyway, and quote a hundred Bible verses to "prove" it. It is a cult, sometimes one that makes people seem happy. I remember intense feelings of love, of holy presence, of outright power, tremendous heat, and seeming miracles. But it was baloney. The Bible is a collection of myths. The Jews were never captive in Egypt, nor did they do the many genocides and rapes they claim in the scriptures, the ark of the covenant didn't happen because Moses never happened. It was a small tribal cult that grew over a long time and eventually gained footing, like the Mormons did in America. Step back and see through the lies, the pretend, the imaginary, and understand that people can talk themselves into happiness or depression, relaxation or fear, and much more.