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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/17/2018 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    Wow, that was a rather lengthy way to say, "You were never a real Christian anyway." Thanks, because we never heard that one before. Thanks for playing!
  2. 10 points
    Alright, people of Ex C. Are you ready? At the outset, I’m going to make one promise, and one promise alone: This Rant Is Not About Donald Trump. It's not about politics. That's why I'm posting it here, and not in ToT. Caveat: I will discuss Trumpipants before I am done. Relax, libruls. I’m one of you at heart. Relax, others. I still love you. Disclaimer(s): I’m not a leftist. I’m not pushing an agenda. I’m a Canadian, not a MURICAN (™). I don’t align myself with either the left or the right, but rather with those who attempt to think clearly. So we’ve got that out of the way. Are you ready? Are you sure? Here we go. This is what it looks like when disillusioned speaks his mind. Brace yourself. How. The. Fuck. Did. We. Get. Here. It’s 2018. I’m tempted to ask you to consider where we were ten years ago. But, at the pace that life is currently moving, that’s way too far back to try and go. Five years? Still, too far. Three years. There’s the sweet spot. 2015. It was an intrepid time. Something about ISIS, Crimea, Ebola, Castro, etcetera, etcetera. Somehow, none of that matters anymore. Do you feel disoriented? Confused? Wondering how the hell we got here? #metoo. What the fuck is going on? When did white men become the victims? Am I, admittedly, a white man, an asshole If I’m not on board with the faux anger, the faux outrage, the faux hurt that is driving my fellow alabaster (and, in some cases, shall we say tangerine (deepest apologies; I said I wouldn’t go there)) gentlemen if I don’t subscribe to the narrative that we white men are being oppressed by the minorities? Am I a traitor somehow if I think that black lives actually do matter? Am I just a librul fucktard if I think that NATO is more, not less relevant than it used to be, and that the reason for this is that the US now represents a clear and present danger to the world at large? Am I less of a man somehow because I think that women have, in fact, been oppressed for a long time, and that I think that we men should probably try to rectify this situation? Is there any sanity left in the world? For fuck sakes. I’ve been absent on this site, which I used to consider to be a paragon of clear thought, for roughly a month now. Prior to my absence, I was heavily engaged in an effort, along with certain other members who shall go unnamed, to steady the proverbial ship, as it were. A number of us had noticed a general decrease in civility, and an increase in hostility. This was associated with declining membership. Some people were just not stopping by anymore, and some others were overtly making their exits. Either way, it wasn’t cool. So my colleagues and I tried to do what we could to limit the damage. To try and mend the rift. To try to help people remember that we all share a common purpose: to help and support those who are newly deconverted. Politics is lovely. It’s an interesting topic of conversation. And it is incredibly, fundamentally (these days, especially) important. But it is not the point of this site. Here, it is an aside, at best. We are here because we used to be Christians, and now we are not. Some of us have suffered incredible abuse at the hands of Christianity. Some of us struggle with mental health issues. Some of us are entirely nonplussed by discussions of politics, and that’s just fine. Such people may simply stay out of ToT. But, at the same time, some of us are deeply interested in discussing politics, but would rather engage in discussion of the actual issues than in ad hominem attacks, non-sequiturs, and general shit-slinging. Politics or otherwise, I think we’d all be well-advised to try this approach. This is why I’ve always maintained that I try to live by two rules: 1) Do whatever makes you happy, and 2) Don’t be a dick. The thing is, rule #2 is really fucking important. And somewhere along the way, we’ve lost sight of this. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not as important as rule #1. Not by a long shot. In fact, rule #2 doesn’t really matter at all as long as you’re content to live your life in isolation. If you’re only worried about you, then just do whatever the hell you want, and be a dick, if that tickles your fancy. That’s just peachy. I don’t have a problem with isolationist assholes, or even with assholes in general, so long as I’m free to tell them that they are assholes. They can fuck right off, and I’ll just move on with my life. Free speech, and all that. Yay! But here’s the question that I really want to ask: if that’s you, if you’re an asshole who isn’t concerned with rule #2, then why the fuck are you here? Have you lost sight of the purpose of this site? We are supposed to be helping ex-Christians. And we are all ex-Christians. So why are we pushing each other away? How can we help each other if we insist on being dicks? Before I go any further, I should say that I appreciate that I don’t make the rules for this site. Dave is the Admin. It’s his house, and we’re all just living in it. And, if he decides he doesn’t want me, or anyone else to hang out here anymore, then that’s his business. See, the thing is, I get that free speech doesn’t extend everywhere, and that it shouldn’t, necessarily, extend everywhere. I also get that I’m just another passenger on this train. My opinion doesn’t matter that much. I’m not a mod here. I’m not even that influential of a regular member. Sure, I’ve been around for a bit, had some good discussions, racked up a few reputation points, etcetera, etcetera, but what does that matter? In principle, it doesn’t really, and in practice, it doesn’t at all. Nevertheless, here we are. The fact is that for a while now, people have been leaving this site because of the inflammatory bullshit that has been getting posted. And, some people have been banned for dissenting. Is this the ExC that we want? Really? An ExC where people feel unwelcome because of their political leanings? An ExC where people, who should be free to explore their new-found freedom of thought, and apply it to all areas, including politics, are finding themselves badgered into thinking a certain way, or pissing off for all eternity? Is that who we are? Really? (Dave and mods, please don’t take this as a critique of you. Please realize that I know that this is not a true democracy. You reign supreme. If I must be silenced, then so be it. But, dare I say, so much, then, for tolerance and free speech. And further, if I may be so bold, so much for the purpose of this site: for I, too, am an ExChristian, with my own need for support, and need to express myself. This is a topic which has been bothering me for quite some time now. Silence me if you will: that is your prerogative. Either way, know that I appreciate you, what you are trying to do here, what you have done here, and, above all, that I value the point and purpose of this site. There are members here who are, and will always be, my friends. Some of them are amongst your ranks. For that, you have my sincerest thanks.) Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. And something about guns. That is the essence of America. But I’m Canadian. From up here, things are a little less (or, perhaps, more) murky. Sure, we all want freedom. And, for the most part, we have it. But it isn’t guaranteed. We need to be able to say the things that we want to say. For those South of the border, the first amendment comes to mind. For those of us to the North, we’ll cite the Charter. Others from around the globe will make their own claims. But the thing is, freedom of speech doesn’t mean, and has never meant, freedom from other people judging you for your speech. Sometimes that looks like people disagreeing with you on the internet. That’s fine. Sometimes it looks like you getting fired. And that’s fine too, as long as the people who fired you aren’t the government. This is all well and good. I don’t think anyone here seriously disagrees with me on this. Nevertheless, if I were to say that the president of the United States is a racist, sexist, asshole, who is probably a traitor and is definitely one of the worst presidents to ever represent the great country that is the United States of America on the world stage, I would, by the majority on this site at least, probably wind up being labelled as an intolerant ignoramus. And that would be fine. No violation of my freedom of speech. I get to say what I want. And you get to judge me for it. No harm, no foul. (See, libruls? I told you we’d get to Trumpipants sooner or later.) But there’s one problem: there is harm, and I’m calling foul. Trump is not a normal president. He’s not just a republican that I don’t happen to agree with politically. He’s doing things which are genuinely disturbing from a humanistic perspective. Children in cages, and what-not. Fake news. Alternative facts. The media is the enemy of the people. I’m a very stable genius, who knows words, and has the best words. NO COLLUSION, LOCK HER UP, BUILD THAT WALL. WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH EASTASIA. SAD! He’s made it so that I, as a Canadian, now consider the United States of America to be the single greatest threat to my nation in the world. The USA, who used to be our brethren. It makes me sick to think this way. So please realize, my American friends, that I still love you. I have family in the US. I want nothing more than to go back to the days when our two great nations were BFFs. But that is not my call. It seriously looks to me like you have a president who is determined to make your nation the bad guys. I don’t want to be at odds with you. I seriously don’t. But here we are. If you side with that guy, then you are, axiomatically, placing yourself against the world. It’s your right to do so. But it does make you kind of a dick. So much, then, for rule #2. It seems that Trumpipants’ version of America is one that lives exclusively by rule #1. Are you all just dicks, then, America? The world needs to know. (Obligatorily, I’m sorry about all of that. I’m Canadian. Didn’t feel right to just lay it on you like that. I love ya. I feel the need to emphasize that we can still be friends, if you want.) More to the point of the site, are we all just dicks as Ex Christians? Or can we do better? For the record, I’m for trying to do better. Because rule #2 matters. Don’t be a dick people. Or, at least, try.
  3. 8 points
    Hi everyone! I feel like I already know so many of you, I've been lurking here for almost three weeks! (Actually, lurking is barely accurate... Stalking? Voraciously consuming? At any rate, this whole time my phone has been lugging around 30+ open internet tabs like a little Hydra in my pocket.) I don't know when I'll have time to write out my rather unexciting testimony or contribute to any other posts, but right now I just had to say - to shout: This is the kindest, most caring group of people! Earlier today I read through several old threads started by someone recanting their atheism, even trying to preach to and reconvert the rest of you. And your responses literally brought tears to my eyes. Instead of scorning the OP, teasing them, or immediately blocking them, you all expressed honest concern for their mental well-being and total acceptance of them, even if they ultimately would choose to reconvert. Further, someone who did scorn them even retracted that post, apologizing profusely for being rude. It was one of the gentlest, most compassionate online conversations I've ever witnessed. And not one loving word was said out of a desire to prove your worth for an eternal reward, but out of a genuine desire to make life as pleasant as possible for as many people as possible. Nothing could be more pure, more GOOD, than that. Thanks, guys. I'm excited to finally join 😊
  4. 8 points
    Well then you've missed that. Because many people have declared all or some of the above. We're made up of many different denominations of ex christians. It's not impossible, though. Many here were once more pious than yourself, among clergy, studying to be clergy, etc. Zealous evangelizing, faith healing, speaking in tongues, etc., etc. There's nothing new under the sun for this community. And yet, upon waking up and realizing inside that the fairy tale is not literally true, the whole game was over just like that. The problem here is that you're clearly engaged in a form of self delusion. It's difficult for you to see it because you're right in the middle of it and are not looking in from an objective outside perspective. But it's very obvious for those who were once in your shoes and have since opened up and moved forward. For instance, many of us have experienced the world through eyes very similar to your own. But you have not experienced the world through the eyes we see through now. So that puts you at a disadvantage among an audience like this, where we know you but you do not know us, at least not yet. We'll see how history unfolds.....
  5. 7 points
    ...for providing this forum! As to introductions, I was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church as a youth, then jumped from the frying pan into the fire with Pentecostalism as a young adult. Served as an associate pastor in a small church for some years before I finally deconverted in my mid-30's. Love to see this community, and I'm pretty sure I've seen some of you in past forums. See you all on the boards!
  6. 7 points
    Religion & politics are different subjects. I try to steer clear of political discussions because they tend to become too similar to Christians debating atheists. Nobody pays much, if any, attention to what the other person is saying because they don't care. Each side is convinced the other side is wrong, but just too bullheaded to admit it. So people end up talking past each other and nothing is accomplished and few, if any, minds are changed. Apparently, that is just what humans do. It seems to me if you are not religious you're expected to be politically liberal. If you are religious you're expected to be a politically conservative. It seems no other options are possible, much less permissible. As as far as people falling away on this site, that is true for all discussion boards. Eventually a person says everything they want to say, and have pretty much heard about all there is to hear on Christianity vs Atheism. In other words they just wear out, but many return after their sabbatical with new energy. And so it goes. Lots of people are leaving Christianity all over the world, so I don't see this site becoming irrelevant any time soon. So just hang in there, and this too shall pass.
  7. 6 points
    So I'll spare you all my usual intro and cut to the chase: For the past six months, my entire life feels like a movie that should be called "Cognitive Dissonance: The Musical" or something....I sing a lot. I feel exactly how I did when I was first deconverting without the terror of hell, where I was having to sift through opinions I'd made based on god versus my OWN opinions and it hasn't really gone away. Because I'm a philosopher type, already prone to indecision, and I tend to be (at least try) fairly objective.This has led to some really fucking frustrating mental chatter! Allow me to elucidate: It has really hit me the past few months just how sure everyone is of their own view point. I was personally VERY confident, amidst my doubts, when I was a Christian that I had it right. My beliefs, assumptions, etc.....man was I just so right and boo on everyone else for not getting there yet. Now that I'm a year and a half further in my journey of deconverting....I have that same confidence sometimes, albeit tenuously less than I did originally. But I am ALSO aware of just how unsure I am all the time. I simultaneously don't give a fuck about anyone and give a fuck about all people. I simultaneously try to step forward with strong opinions and....feel very insecure in my own ability to even fucking think at all. Even when I was 5 I would wonder why the sky was blue and not another color or ask "why" a million times, but the past 6 months have been a "you think you know shit but you don't" kick in the 'nads. Is there a way to just not care about settling on any sort of opinion? If so, is a succinct way to communicate this to people? Is there a way to just....not give a fuck about issues? I'd love to not give a shit about politics or the meaning of life or what we as a society should or shouldn't do....I WANT to be the kind of person who loves to learn as opposed to "decide on an opinion," but I love the idea of persuasion and I don't know why. Not sure that I even want to persuade. If I sound crazy, it's because I feel this way. I'm not asking for advice on what to do, per se, I was just wondering if others have gone through this as they deconvert? I love to just think, I will spend hours wrestling with any given issue just for funzies. I question myself, others, motive, sources, "evidence," etc, I get frustrated at making up my mind because I can see objectively what at least one counter argument could be. I love the challenge, but it's also relatively meaningless since I acknowledge there isn't really a "right and wrong answer" So....does anyone else feel this way or am I nuts? Do you ever come to terms with longing to have an opinion and never settling on one? Find peace? *sigh* If uncertainty is a sign of intelligence, I'm a goddamn genius. If it's a sign of insanity, I'm a fucking nuts lol.
  8. 6 points
    Religion is bad because... ... It can make your wear silly hats, underwear, robes or accessories and think that the creator of the universe cares. ... It can make you reverie certain old men due to their ability to remember ancient writings. ... It can justify sexism, racism, genocide, murder, slavery and every other crime cos god is your mate and not the "others". ... It can destroy normal human sexual relationships, demonise loving relationships and kill people who love differently to yourself. ... It can give incorrect diagnosis to mental and physical illness resulting in people failing to get the help they need. ... It can make you disagree with science and evidence in favour of bronze age mens superstitious writings. ... It can take money from those least able to afford it to give to those who don't need it. ... It can justify wars against people of your own religion because they don't believe quite right. ... It can teach you to believe natural disasters are due to the sin du jour. ... It teaches our physical lives are evil and sinful but fails to explain why a loving God allows evil against his chosen people. ... It can teach that contraception is bad to aids ravaged communities. ... It spends its members lives building structures of worship, travelling the world on missionary trips, producing rambling apologist books/videos, and stopping those same people from actually doing anything to improve the world.
  9. 6 points
    I attend church most Sundays because I love my wife and count any hour spent with her worth it - even sitting through a sermon..... Yesterday, the worship leader was trying to illustrate God's goodness by telling us that his sister's neighborhood was on fire, they prayed, and her whole block was destroyed except her house and the house on her left and the one to her right... And everyone clapped to God. Well over 700 homes have been destroyed so far. And I'm 99.9% sure that at least 1 of those people was also a Christian who also prayed hard for their house... And returned to a pile of ashes. It makes me soooo mad. As though he and his sister are so much more righteous that God only bends the laws of the universe for them. I hate the egocentrism that cant even realize how insensitive and idiotic that appears to anyone else who lost their home. I just don't think God gets a point for the few homes that survived. If anything, these catastrophes should cause the Christians to have to defend God's alleged goodness in the face of gratuitous suffering, not try to claim a victory out of if.
  10. 6 points
    Yes, indeed. I thought my life was a conversation with God through signs, emotions, thoughts, other people. My hands would heat up during prayer and people would experience pain relief. I experienced many "healings" too but they all turned out to be me refusing to acknowledge the pain, dissociating it away. It hurts the most, I think, when you've been living like your relationship with Jesus is the one thing in your life you cannot lose no matter what, and then it's gone. That happened to me. I nearly died. I wanted to, I had someone hold me down physically so I did not harm myself. It wasn't boredom with church rituals, it wasn't that i was trying to have a relationship with a book. I thought I really had the real thing, Jesus walking with me through my life. However, these days I'm more gentle and loving than I was as Xtian. My hands still heat up the same way, and it seems something flows through my hands that calms down pets (and people too), I took very long to dare to try it but it still works. I also speak in tongues to help myself focus when I meditate. It works very well for that. How do you know it's Biblegod, donthodl, and not just abilities and sensitivities that some people happen to have for no particular divine reason? Why do similar things happen in so many religions and spiritual practices - feeling close to gods/spirits/Gaia, a type of touch that calms and seems to boost healing (well, all gentle touch does, so there's that even if the "flow of energy" is just a trick of my mind), feeling peace and kindness towards the fellow humans and the planet?
  11. 6 points
    hope all the doctors are out of jobs now amd hospitals closed in australia oh wait. there are still doctors and hospitals in australia
  12. 6 points
    It'd be interesting to see both dominant parties implode.
  13. 6 points
    Well hello, you fabulous ex-Christian and/or spiritually curious person who is reading my introduction, thank you for taking the time out of your day to do so! I’m an old member, returning after.... 5? Years of inactivity, so I figured I should take the time to say hi again. I grew up going to church by choice- my mother dropped me off at the church door every Sunday for morning service and she picked me up, hours later, after worship service, fellowship, Sunday school, and choir practice. I also went to youth group, summer Jesus camp, vacation bible school, and Wednesday bible study. Naturally, I went to a Christian university to for pastoral counseling and biblical studies. In 2011, a semester before my graduation, I batted devestatingly heartbreaking cognitive dissonance and won! Erm, depending on your definition of “won”, haha. I transferred to a local university, earned my degree in psychology, and married my atheist high school boyfriend- it was the most lovely backyard heathen wedding <3 But enough about me- if anyone wants to know more, go ahead and ask! I’m also back here because I know I felt so encouraged back in 2012 by members who had been out of Christianity for awhile and had made peace with their former religious experiences. And I think I’m finally at that place where I want to encourage those of you who are just leaiving your faith in that same way.
  14. 6 points
    If Gods exists he will not be found in Grim Churches or dusty volumes full of both chapter and verse. He has no part in unfulfilled promises or strange visions that isolate and confuse. He is not in the laying on of sweaty hands or the droning voice of inflated male ego at the front. If God exists he no more comes in human form than in the splendour of a garden worm. If God exists he is not he or she but it. The it that is a tree or river The it that is the universe in which we all stand The it that is a single breath of mine. The Its that claim nothing and just happen to be.
  15. 6 points
    A lying Christian.... who would have thought?
  16. 6 points
    If Christians actually had evidence that the Bible is literally true & historically accurate then, obviously, faith would not be necessary. Choosing to become a Christian would be an intellectual decision based on a preponderance of evidence. An apologetic argument is not evidence of anything, but Christians think it is, and they will never be convinced that it isn't. An apologist job is to interpret scripture it is not to validate its authenticity. That 's a job for historians. Duh. But according to Christians real historians are agents of the Devil out to steal their souls with false & misleading evidence. Of course they are.
  17. 6 points
    When has a Christian or anyone else been censored on this site? Censorship is simply not needed. We have scientific & historical evidence on our side and Christians have,....faith.... without supporting evidence. They believe apparently just because they choose to believe the equivalent of a children's fairy tale.
  18. 6 points
    My favorite quote from the second link (Burdon 4 souls) "Thirdly, the historical accuracy of the bible is proven to be true by countless of archaeological finds found in our museums, and by historians. " Did not see where those finds or historian articles were mentioned. Did I miss them?
  19. 5 points
    House survives a conflagration: Thank you, Jesus! House burns to the ground: Jesus is taking us in a new direction! Praise the Lord!
  20. 5 points
    I think it depends on how morals or morality is defined. Such as....is sex between consenting unmarried adults moral or immoral? Is lying for a good reason moral or immoral? Is divorce moral or immoral? Is challenging the authenticity of the Bible moral or immoral? Is adult consensual sex between same sex couples moral or immoral? It would seem to me that determining what is and is not moral depends on who is defining what is and is not moral. Some things such as dishonesty, murder, adultery, etc. are universally accepted as immoral by both religious and nonreligious people. Obviously religiois people define morality differently that secular people, but the law generally sides with secular society. What is and is not legal seems to be a pretty unbiased standard for determining morality for the general population in most situations.
  21. 5 points
    I dont know if its narcissism, but anyone who actually believes that god took the time to "bless them" with an awesome parking spot at Walmart or to make sure it didn't rain on their wedding day, if they really examine their line of thinking, how does that not appear supremely egotistical? Meanwhile there are entire continents of people suffering and dying without any intervention from god. Yet Christians refuse to see the injustice in this.
  22. 5 points
    Man, learning to not say anything when it could only be detrimental is hard.
  23. 5 points
    Real Historians are all Gingers???? OMG, I died and went to, umm, well, ahh to a Research Center in Sky filled fulla redheads! SAVE M... Fuck that, I'll be OK!!!! kL
  24. 5 points
    Nope, I can't handle it, I'm completely triggered now. That's it, I'm off to my safe space to snuggle bunnies and listen to whale song 🧘‍♂️
  25. 5 points
    I would LOVE for someone to prove the bible is correct. Lol I went looking for more proof of my faith, but it just isnt and thats why I ended up here