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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/22/2014 in all areas

  1. Personally, I filter as many xtians out of my life as possible. I've yet to meet one that was a friend, who respected my boundaries. Ever. It just doesn't happen. At some point it never fails that they get motivated by a Sunday morning sermon about lack of action and testimony in their lives, and who do they fuck with? Me. Every damn time. I don't know if I'm like a real trophy to possibly convert, but damn, you'd think they would understand I have ZERO interest in worshiping mythology. Can't do it. Won't do it. I explain to them why I don't like religion, not just theirs, but in general. Denial. Denial. Denial. On a side note, whenever I am single, I make it clear in any emails, dating site ads and whatnot, that I am an atheist. Do not contact me if you are religious in anyway. Even if one just IDENTIFIES but does not practice. Leave me the fuck alone. Some claim that by limiting the types of folks around me, I'm not getting a clear cut life experience, and I feel religious co workers, neighbors, and store acquaintances are enough for me. Thanks. Life is so much easier now. As far as your children being exposed, you cannot really prevent that. You can encourage thought process about what they tell them though, and how to digest the some of the ridiculous things they hear. I did that with my own son before. His aunt decided to send him to VBS during the summer months, and Jesus this and that started falling out of his mouth every other sentence. Well, he got his tonsils out and complained about his throat hurting. I asked to pray. He did. I asked him if his throat quit hurting. He said no. And I asked him why Jesus didn't make the pain go away. Was he a bad boy? Did he not pray hard enough? He had no answer and was clearly upset at the line of questioning. I then handed him Tylenol and a popsicle. A half hour later, he announced he felt better. I told him next time to pray to me and not Jesus. Lesson learned and he never forgot it.
    4 points
  2. I've got nothing but pity and contempt for xtians myself. I've dealt with my share of churchies myself, almost all of whom have been nasty, vindictive, dishonest backstabbers. I cannot bring myself to respect sick and twisted beliefs of that caliber, and what they do to people is disgusting in the name of those beliefs. And they have the nerve to whine, cry and play the victim. Assholes. The otherwise decent xtians out there are enablers, and they're part of the problem whether they realize it or not. Some of them may think they can try to fight from within, try to change things themselves, but that'll never happen. Their churches won't let it, and their efforts are all for nothing. My sympathies lie with the ones who've been screwed over in the name of their stupid little club. Groupthink is an ugly thing by itself, and it's worse when you're dealing with someone who's gullible to begin with. That's what you're dealing with on that fb page. I'm not surprised they got so many likes, nor am I surprised that the xtians refused to listen to anything else. They won't listen, they don't want to, and they'd rather bury their heads in the sand. This too shall pass. It comes and goes, it's part of the journey. You'll get to a point where you can take their club and its stupid ever-changing rules with the tiniest grain of salt and move on to other things. Remember that respect is something to earn on personal merit, not automatically given b/c someone belongs to a social club the way xtianity dictates it should.
    4 points
  3. I've had some experience with rage. I recommend the series "When Anger Hurts". Good books that helped me out. The up shot of it is that when I experienced rage like this it was because I had an unrealistic belief. For example you might believe that people shouldn't be as stupid as the Fundie Christians act. Then when you see them do that it reminds you that your belief isn't compatible with reality. I've dealt with the same thing. Find the belief you have and deal directly with that. If it turns out that it's "people shouldn't act this stupid" then remind yourself that people can be that stupid, and some of them can't do better. Try to accept the facts and the world just the way you see them. Your blood pressure will thank you.
    4 points
  4. Thank you so much for writing this. It made me cry because it is so true and I am still hurting.
    3 points
  5. Listen, Craig Fagan, what are you doing here? This is a community for EX-christians. It's not a playground for you to preach at us. You're an immigration lawyer for goodness sakes. You should have figured this out already. Go Very Far Away!
    3 points
  6. My answer is the same as MM's. In fact, the 25 years I spent in that insanity were the most screwed up in my life. Prior to it and now, after I escaped, have been the most settled and logically sound I've ever spent. I think this merits a little story from my past. After I'd been 'born again' for about a year, I met a lady who'd been in the very first work group I managed as a new supervisor in the company I worked at for 28 years. I was heading to a meeting and she saw me from a short distance and started yelling out my name. I saw her, cracked a smile on my face, went up to her and we hugged. Let's say I was a very unorthodox supervisor who'd never forgotten my labor roots and it reflected on the way I treated my team members. We traded stories of what we'd been doing since I'd been promoted out of her group and then I dropped the bomb on her about my 'accepting Jesus Christ as my lord and savior'. Her smile stopped and her countenance changed to one of sadness as if I'd said the most horrible thing to her. I kept babbling on and on about what the 'lord has done in my life' which, years later, I realized was diddlysquat. Her response was something like 'but Raoul, you don't need that stuff, you're were a great boss and we all love you' etc. I kept shaking my head saying 'no, I'm just a sinner saved by grace' yada yada, etc. You know the drill, right? When we finally parted it was in a bit of awkwardness all because of my eagerness to share 'the good news' to someone who really didn't need to hear that crap. But what she said about me not needing that crap has resonated with me ever since because, she was right. It was just some baggage no one needs.
    3 points
  7. I cried myself to sleep again last night. I had hoped that you would come to me and talk to me; I waited up for you. But you didn’t come… You have been so many things to me over the years. You have been my provider, my hope in moments of despair, my strength in times of weakness. You have been my dearest friend, and my deepest love. I have always felt so grateful to you and have tried to live up to your expectations of me. I have tried so hard to be the person you needed me to be. But lately all of that has changed. It may be me and not you; I don’t know. You seem so distant. You won’t even do the simplest things I ask you to do for me. I’ve tried to talk to you about what I am going through and how it makes me feel. But all I get from you is stony silence. Like my words mean nothing to you. I even tried talking to your family about what I am feeling, hoping that they could help me get through this. I had hoped maybe they would talk to you for me. But instead they only told me that they never thought I was good enough for you to begin with. Do you have any idea how devastating it was for me to hear them say that? Especially after all I’ve been through with you and with them, it destroyed me that they would say such a thing. I can’t go on like this. I have done all I can to make you understand what I am going through. I wanted you to see what was wrong in our relationship so that we could work to change things and move forward. But I seem to be the only one interested in our relationship anymore. You seem to take no notice at all… I don’t know what I will do without you, or what will become of me. It may be hell. But I know that my life is in pieces now and I need to pick through the pieces and figure out which ones to leave behind and which ones to use to build whatever life I have left. I will not wait for you anymore… I’m sorry, Jesus; it is over between us. “Eternally Yours,” Me
    2 points
  8. Sounds like an abusive father. Yep. There are so many parallels between the xtian god and the warning signs of an abusive relationship it's a wonder this wreck of a religion still exists.
    2 points
  9. I know exactly how you feel. Milesaway used two words already that I was going to use: pity and groupthink. I am finally at a point where I feel sorry for them having to dress up and put on their happy faces and be nice to everyone (well, sort of), and go to church to pretend to grovel for being worthless sinners and sing praises to their imaginary friend. And then hand over some money, of course. And feel guilty because they can't come to one of the events at church, and wonder who is gossiping about them or judging their new shoes or whatever. Sad little lives they lead. But that's all they know. They either grew up that way, or somehow else felt the need to conform. No individual thought. Just play along and look nice and try to look like a good person. I feel sorry for them that they are in a cult and don't even know it. Fear and control run their lives. I have found that the most evil of them are the most insecure and fearful. Instead of getting mad at them, I shake my head in pity. It took a while to get this point. Why are they such assholes? Why do they say they love me, but they all backstabbed me? Why do they say mean things online? Oh, I get it... they don't know any better, and they are scared of not fitting in or of displeasing their wrathful skygod. Pathetic little people. My husband restores classic cars for a living. We have a friend in the septic business who is a non-practicing Christian (but still a believer). We were talking about my deconversion, and he (the friend) admitted that if someone name-drops in a negotiation with him that they are a good Christian, he always thinks, "Oh, so I should double the price." Because Christians always try to dick us over. They demand a lot and want a price break. My husband laughed because he has noticed the same thing in his work. I laughed because I am a graphic designer, and I have noticed the same thing in my line of work. I mentioned the conversation to my atheist colleague, and he said the same thing. So Christians are such a pain in the ass that in these three unrelated industries, we have all dealt with assholes who make us want to double our prices for having to deal with "good Christians." Anyway... a little off topic, but my point is that "good Christians" are not usually good people. Insecure, holier than thou, demanding, and just plain clueless. But they are stuck and don't even know it. Pity is the best I can give them.
    2 points
  10. The picture that was shared on fb was of a knight with a paragraph discussing chivalry and manhood or something like that. There wasn’t anything unusual about that. Then I noticed where he got the photo from. It’s from a fb page called “Training Children in Truth and Wisdom.” I cringed a little when I read that because usually nothing good comes from xtians talking about training children. I clicked on the page and didn’t see anything unusual until I scrolled down a little and there it was, just what I knew I’d find, a discussion about how people punish their children. I’m so tired of xtians talking about the “rod” and punishment. Xtians love to talk about punishment. They are the only group of people I know that go in depth about punishment and how they punish their children. Xtians have a library of books about it. I wish every single one of them would shove a rod deep up their asses and then choke on it. The comments from the photo of the chivalry knight made me angry, too. There were WOMEN commenting on how women ruined everything “trying” to be equal (e.g. the women’s lib movement). I don’t really want to discuss these topics in this thread, though. I’m trying to keep calm. Xtians are so predictable, though. I just hate them.
    2 points
  11. I'm sure you guys have all heard the Joseph argument for evil. "You meant this for evil, but God meant it for good." Says Joseph in the bible. Joseph in the bible was the man with the lovely coat, that got sold into slavery for (I think it was) 11 years. His brothers sold him because they were jealous of him. Anyways Joseph goes through a lot of misery as a slave and being falsely accused of rape and so forth. Eventually somehow he becomes a prominent figure in Egypt and ends up as a leader and saves many people's lives. And the biblical moral of the story is, of course, people did something evil but God turned it into good. I've always found this story troubling. To me what it says is that in order to do something good, God has to put somebody through hell. And that really gets to the bottom line of the bible's teaching, which is sacrifice, from the sacrifice of innocent animals to the sacrifice of Jesus. So to me this is not a very impressive God, if he can't work other than by torturing innocents. A real God wouldn't stoop so low.
    2 points
  12. So sorry...I know I for one struggle with this sometimes. I would tell you to try not to be around any for long enough to kind of forget they exist and get it out of your system but I see you live in the SE U.S. so that would be like trying to avoid oxygen. The good old bible belt. Try to remember that once you were where they were. You wouldn't have wanted someone hating you just for being one and saying dumb things...because I know I said dumb things when I was one! I know some of them don't just say dumb things and are actually hateful and they are the really hard ones to be gracious about. One thing that helps me is the desire to not let them make me something I don't want to be. I just wrote on the "did Christianity make you a better person" thread that I am much nicer and kinder now as a non believer. That is true almost all the time....but when I do feel those hateful feelings come up it is most always directed at a Christian that is saying horrible stuff and judging me unfairly. Like my husband most of the time! Anyway....I have to remember that joy I feel most of the time now. REAL joy that isn't imaginary and based on something that doesn't exist. Getting angry takes that joy away. And it is just too good a gift to give away.
    2 points
  13. *hugs* We all grasp for what we know. <3
    2 points
  14. You don't understand why people are uncivil to a pseudo evangelist such as yourself? Maybe you ought to consider the title of this site - EX Christians. Get it? EX as in we've been there, been feed the bullshit, regurgitated it out, and are now walking in a reality based world.
    2 points
  15. Tru Dat! I am good w/ Illustrator and Photoshop CS 6, I have the creative suite, student version....I'm not sure whether to focus on inDesign, Dreamweaver or Flash...I have books w/ dvd's from crash courses & I watch Adobe TV. I've gotten off track cause I'm feeling a bit lost, not sure what direction i should go??? I've decided I'm just going to start a new watercolor painting and fuck the graphic stuff...for now!! LOL I can't wait! I love your watercolors, Nev! Aw thanks TF!! I'm going nuts because it's been a while since I've painted...getting the urge again. If I don't , I'll go crazy! LOL
    2 points
  16. Frankly, I don't sin near as much now as I did when I was a Christian. Why? No safety net. I don't think Christianity made me a better person at all. The parts of it I agreed with were fine of course, but there were always a lot of things I didn't like. I can't remember how many times, as a very devout believer, I would say that if I were God I would do (or have done) things differently than he did. Now that I'm not a Christian, I find myself being more compassionate and understanding as I go. I don't have to treat my slaves good because I'm a Christian. Instead, I don't have slaves (so to speak, of course, but you know what I mean).
    2 points
  17. Beautiful and tragic at the same time. You have painted what I am going through right now, Professor. I think it's called the point of no return. I still feel those pangs of longing to go back to my comfortable, bobble-headed existence of believing. I see other people who are quite happy and content with their life of faith. But I can't do that anymore. I am not like them! That has been the problem, I always wanted to be like them and I have failed. I need to find out exactly who I am and be content with that. Still on that journey.....
    2 points
  18. WARNING, DO NOT READ IF SQUIRMISH OR HAVE EMOTIONS (please read on sd4m) True story covered in a number of national newspapers: Young girl walks out of the house to make a phone call because her parents did not have an outgoing line. The next day her father finds her body in a black bag with her head chopped off (limbs too if I remember rightly). Before she died she was raped, strapped to a table and while she was alive her body was cut with a circular saw. The forensics said she was alive when that happened because a dead body would not have splatted so much blood on the ceiling, her final moments (after being raped) was seeing her guts sprayed on the ceiling. Neighbours said they could hear her screaming but ignored her cries. Now if God needs this sort of tragedy to do good, he is awfully impotent. sd4m: justify, please, humor me!
    2 points
  19. Tonight I went to a secular humanist group at the local college campus. Mostly people around my age. I got to know some people and hung out at a taco joint afterwards. They all seemed genuinely interested in my story as many of them never were as deeply into religion as I was. I felt a tremendous sense of relief at talking to them. I think it is a community I could really get involved in. However, I felt a crushing sense of fear and guilt the whole time. Like I didn't belong. Felt like I was still a Christian pretending to be an agnostic/atheist. I guess tonight my deconversion felt more "real" than it ever has. I told 30 people I was not a Christian. It was freeing but I wanted to throw up the whole time. A mix of guilt and fear as if I was "joining the enemy." And in the middle of all of their confident talk of atheism, I realized a big part of me still believes God is there and he's gonna punish me. Anyone relate to this?
    1 point
  20. My friend on Facebook, Jerry DeWitt (ex-Pentecostal preacher) is finally preaching 'love' at his new church!! I can tell you that if I lived in his area, I would be sitting in that congregation!! Music, laughter, nice little sermons on 'love', coffee, friendship and no bible!!! They say these atheist 'churches' are beginning to start up in many, many communities all over the world now!! Have a look at this little interview! Sorry, I can't seem to embed the video tonight?? http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL51wCFxTjx1YF_pioTVzHxLUdEV5RpPo4&v=egFaJXFTBbw#t=42
    1 point
  21. 1 point
  22. I think the tutplus tutorials are pretty awesome, just for giving you quick ideas of how to achieve various types of effects. My personal approach to using software is to forget about software. I only care about the transformations in my mind. The only thing you really need to learn about a piece of software are its nuances. Like, how do you isolate when you want to edit a vector? How can I stack masks? and why does masking sometimes not work with some groups? and what process do I have to go through to get around that? A few procedures are a little backwards, but once you know it's misbehaviours it makes more sense. And there are far fewer nuances than features! Workflow is also important, but the main thing is that it can be the same as designing by hand. Your tools are different, but it is your mind that is designing, not the software.
    1 point
  23. R.S., I'd be happy to use a 46¢ postage stamp to send you 2 pennies for your use for similar purposes, if you like. I'm sure I even have some Canadian pennies floating around in my penny jar.
    1 point
  24. ^And it's not a god that's worth the time to worship. Seriously, if a god that supposedly loves its followers needs to resort to destroying innocent lives in order to remind them of its love, then it's not a god that's capable of love, nor is it a god that deserves love from its followers.
    1 point
  25. http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140121/ncomms4089/full/ncomms4089.html Neat! One step closer to understanding antimatter. Squeeeeee! Possible new Physics! I'd love to get a look at their apparatus. This thing is full of all sorts of engineering goodies. I especially love how they use magnetic traps to solve the issue of antimatter/matter contact. There are a lot of cool things about this even without the epic nerdgazm inducing apparatus that includes a bismuth germainum oxide crystal sheath inside an ultra high vacuum chamber and a super sensitive spectrometer.
    1 point
  26. Believe me...if you hadn't taken the user name already it is one that definitely would have fit for me. Except for the fear of coffee. That I definitely do not have. But I do have the fear of running out of coffee. What would that be? Nojoephobia? Emptycupphobia?
    1 point
  27. Yeah. Wow. Sort of like god killing off all of Job's kids, then "replacing" them with more after his bet with the devil was all done. Hey, sez god, they're just humans. Completely replaceable. It's not as if every, single individual has an inividual identity, feels individual pain, or has an individual life to live out. http://www.theonion.com/articles/god-reveals-he-occasionally-eats-humans,34264/
    1 point
  28. Tru Dat! I am good w/ Illustrator and Photoshop CS 6, I have the creative suite, student version....I'm not sure whether to focus on inDesign, Dreamweaver or Flash...I have books w/ dvd's from crash courses & I watch Adobe TV. I've gotten off track cause I'm feeling a bit lost, not sure what direction i should go??? I've decided I'm just going to start a new watercolor painting and fuck the graphic stuff...for now!! LOL Yes I can relate to that. I also have the whole creative suit premium...someone who believes in me and hopes I would catch up with design again lets me use it on his company license because he does not need it at the moment. Its crazy. Sometimes I feel guilty because I have not used them a lot. Though I started to do something now and then again like I created christmas cards this year and I designed a calendar as a christmas gift for my parents. So I just bought a dvd with tutorials for photoshop. I know you can also get them for free on the net, but I like the idea of having them in a collection and being able to just pick the one I need instead of going through tons of video's to find out they where not what I was looking for. The DVD was 50 Franks and thats about 50 Dollars. If you already know some Photoshop and Illustrator InDesign should not be a big deal to you. Actually I do all my letters with InDesign...I did all my job applications with it too even for non design jobs... just because I found it too much work to study how to do it in Word and with InDesign you can just move the texts around. Dreamweaver and Flash are more complicated and I would need a lot of time to really get into them. I think you really need to like doing interactive stuff and webdesign if you want to focus on them. With creativity in general I also am at a point where I want to pick it up again and see if I can get into it as much to build a career for myself. So I do a lot of "soul-searching" in order to find out what exactly I wanted to do. Just this year when preparing for those exams I am doing soon so I get the chance to attend university I found out that I really like to write and that I am good at it. So I spend some of my spare time at coffee shops writing down my thoughts and ideas. Its fun. Also I decided to finally use the sewing machine I bought three years ago...and is waiting to finally be used ever since...just bought some patterns and am thinking of how I could change them to make something unique. And I started to paint again. Felt weird at first and I have three huge canvasses now that have some color on them and are waiting to be worked on. Every time when I look at them they remind me to not give up :-). And I always have a camera with me...even if its only my phone...because there is always something to take a picture of. A face in a tree bark or a neat shadow or whatever. I have a friend who did the same school as I have done just about ten years earlier. She dropped out because of some psychological issues and wanted nothing to do with art or design...even planned on studying social work. Just before that study would have started we got to know each other. I was still studying graphic design. Somehow she then realized that she really wanted to get her graphic design diploma and so I helped her to get her portfolio together...I taught her InDesign and Photoshop and showed her how to create a neat pdf file etc. So she started to look for internships and found one. Then found another one at a place where they treated her pretty bad and had high expectations while she barely just got into it not really familiar with the programs to work all independent yet...until they dismissed her because of that. After that she found some internship at a former classmates studio and from there she got into a well respected advertising agency for another internship. At the end she made her diploma...or actually she did the final exam twice because she failed the first time...and worked for a social entrepreneur for a few years. I always admired her courage and all...while she was in her thirties doing internships and going to school with sixteen year old students. And she does solid and good design. When I think about her, I find courage because I think, if she could do it, why can't I? Jut need to find some "fire" for it again. Thats the tricky part for me. And thats why I too say fuck the graphic stuff and start with what I enjoy the most for now :-).
    1 point
  29. No. Like someone else said, circumventing someone's wishes to end their life is immoral as you could be sentencing them to a lifetime of hell, and most probably are. There are miserable lives not worth living. And I know that if I had some for of accident and had to live as a vegetable, I'd want that plug pulled. No way I'm living in my head for the rest of my life.
    1 point
  30. Well, that's nice to know. :-) Though the authenticity of Breaking Amish has been called into question. The amish people in the show were a bit more worldly than they were portrayed on tv. Still, a show about deconverting Xians would be good to watch whether it was authentic or not. :-) It may help others to question their faith.
    1 point
  31. I did that just last month, followed a few digital painting tuts, and VOILA! Now I can paint digitally (need.more.practice LOL) Photoshop tuts are everywhere… some not so great, but most are decent. And the amount of free vector art available to build on, for inspiration, or to use as one element for those rush jobs is pretty amazing too. I think the problem is that there is this myth that the global marketplace has devalued stuff, but I think if one is good, and unique it's just better to find the right way to market yourself, create an unique platform to showcase your work and seek out those decent clients. I looked at a crowd-sourcing job board the other day—bwahahahahaha—there's a ton of people who want quality, original content and copywriting, including sales sheets for $1 for 500 words. Or high quality original logos for $30. NOT.GOING.TO.HAPPEN It wouldn't be worth it turn on the computer to do the research for the piece, much less write it. But I've seen some of these 'articles', (shudder) the writing is atrocious. Some of it is barely comprehensible. Some even reads like it was written in a foreign language and run through Babelfish or Google translate. And would someone tell me; what the hell is 'spinning'? No, there are clients who are going to want quality work, and they will pay someone for that level of work because ultimately they will benefit from it. Now... I'm off to research that! I've never marketed my writing before as a stand-alone product. I just included copywriting when I did graphics, so this could be interesting!
    1 point
  32. I don't know how inclined I would be to go to an Ex-C meetup unless I knew for certain that the people there are actually Ex-Christians. I'd be concerned that some Christian would see it as an opportunity to witness, in which case I would end up in jail after pounding his face in.
    1 point
  33. It always seemed to me that the people that got "saved" who had the most disturbing story or the most heartbreaking story were seen as god's "superstars". They always spouted stuff like, god saved me form all this stuff that had power over me or from this horrific tragedy, he can save you too. Then the pastors always used them as reference points to show god's love and mercy. Looks like this is the same type of thing. I guess that the person who posted this has no idea what deconversion is, because its likely that anyone who is deconverting from christianity doesn't really even know what he or she truly believes in because their reality was probably shattered and they don't know what to believe any more. Just another clueless person looking to prey on vulnerable people. Sad, very sad. And all for the entertainment of others. Its a shame what our media has done to our world. I suggest that you avoid this like the plague.
    1 point
  34. I'm going to be honest here -- I'm not sure. I had strict parents, so I didn't date in high school, but I also knew I needed time to sort out my beliefs before I got married, so I was reluctant to get too close to early boyfriends... and in retrospect, I dodged some bullets there. I really did. Not because they were Christians, but because they weren't a good match for me. But when you're young and in love you don't always see the incompatibilities. You don't know yourself enough, you don't know what to look for and what to watch out for in another person. However... I might have been naive not because I was young but because I grew up so sheltered. If I had grown up in an atheist family that allowed me to date earlier and talk over any misgivings, I might still have ended up in the same place so..... I don't know. I know that it was a good thing I didn't get married until I had finished college and had my career going and my finances under control. It's hard to pull out one past thread of my life tapestry and see if it would still resemble what it is today. I do know that I like where I am now, and to me, that's all that matters. I feel that I'm a better person now than I was when I was a Christian, but I'm also older and wiser now too. So it's hard to say. I don't regret growing up in a Christian home. It gave me an understanding of religion and more sympathy for religious people, which I might not have had otherwise. I also know the Bible really well, and as literature as well as understanding American culture, that's not a terrible thing to me. I guess I'd say I have no regrets about being a former Christian, but I'm a better person now that I'm out of it than I was when I was in it.
    1 point
  35. http://phys.org/news/2014-01-instance-ball-lightning-captured-video.html http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v112/i3/e035001 For the first time the phenomenon known as ball lightning has been confirmed and caught on camera. It's been reported for thousands of years by humans. Often called Will o' wisp and given supernatural status in various folklore, the phenomenon has never been recorded until now and it's existence in the natural world has been unproven. Many instances of the phenomenon were attributed to hallucination. Scientists have been able to produce the phenomenon in small scale in laboratories, but until now there has been no concrete evidence that the phenomenon occurred naturally outside of hearsay accounts. One in every million bolts or so produces the effect making it extremely difficult to study outside of a controlled environment. In a dumb luck turn of events Scientists studying regular lightening caught the phenomenon on camera and also spectrographic equipment. Apparently it's made of really pissed off dirt. Hooray for discovering another awesome, dangerous, and potentially destructive phenomenon!
    1 point
  36. Teachings about honesty, forgiveness, mercy, and charity are all part of Xianity, but they aren't unique to the cult. Secular people can teach/learn them just as well, and they aren't motivated by fear of god. So I'd say some of the cult's teachings, but not Xianity itself (like the "sinner" doctrine) have impacted me positively.
    1 point
  37. Nope. I was always a pretty sensitive and kindly person, even as a small child. Christianity just made me terrified and neurotic.
    1 point
  38. Or you could use an umbrella or just go inside...
    1 point
  39. I love that conversation about copyright, don't you? "I'm sorry, this is a pest control business, and I doubt you have a release to put Mickey Mouse in a trap graphic." "Well, can you make your own version of Mickey Mouse caught in a trap?" "No, I cannot make a graphic that closely resembles Mickey Mouse, his clothes, or anything similar to him, in a trap." "Why can't you put your own version of him in a trap?" *Sight* "Insert explanation of copyright law here" "I don't understand. If you draw it, then it isn't theirs. Just draw him in a trap for our van logos." "So I guess you see nothing criminal with someone copying the Mona Lisa and leaving Da Vinci's name off of it." "Well, this isn't a Mona Lisa we are looking for here. Just an original version, drawn by you, of Mickey Mouse in a trap." "What is your fucking problem with Mickey Mouse????"
    1 point
  40. Jesus deserves to be dumped by text. Most people don't, but Jesus earned it.
    1 point
  41. Hang in there, AA. It does get better, I know. I'm at the other end from your age as I go through my deconversion. My advice to you, read and get educated. This site is excellent for sharing knowledge and whole-hearted encouragement for you and your journey. It is a journey so take it one step at a time. I wish you peace.
    1 point
  42. Like you I was put-off by the "Passion" film in many ways. It came out when I was a teenager and starting to question the things I had been taught. I thought seeing the movie would make me "a real Christian." Well, no. It was a very moving film certainly pushes the emotions to the limit. The torture was impossible to watch. A few years after seeing the film I started reading the actual gospels expecting an "encounter" with the Jesus I'd seen portrayed in the movie, and shockingly found the Jesus of the gospels night-and-day different from the Jesus in the Passion. Jesus in the gospels is harsh, scary, demanding. Calling people "snakes" and asking them how they are possibly going to escape the fires of hell. Jesus in the Passion movie seemed to be a whole different temperament, easy to love, handsome, very mild and loving man, never said any of the downright horrifying threats that Jesus of the bible said. It would be extremely easy to convert to Christianity based on the Passion movie alone but when delving into the actual scriptures you are going to see something else. I just would consider them two whole different religions so if you convert to the Jesus of the Passion film, I don't think that is equal to converting to the Jesus in the bible. In the end neither the film or the bible made a Christian out of me.
    1 point
  43. Your profile says that you're into music. That is reason enough to stay alive. Besides, at 15, you haven't had time to hear but a tiny fraction of all the great music there is out there. Frederic Chopin - Nocturne In E Flat Major, Op.9 No.2
    1 point
  44. When i see this on Facebook i always think of this pic.
    1 point
  45. You are so lucky to get out while you are still young. You've got a few years left of high school and then you are going to create your new identity. And unlike most of us you are not enslaved to Christianity at that age. Okay the bad news is that growing up sucks for everybody. That is just how it goes. But you have your whole life ahead of you and you don't have to wait for the dictator in the sky to tell you his plan for your life. Go out and live your own life the way you want.
    1 point
  46. Heard a very interesting podcast interview with Jerry Dewitt on Reasonable Doubts. Anyone mildly interested in ex-C issues give it a listen! I know many who would never set foot inside a church ever again, ever. Doesn't bother me as much and in fact I ALWAYS attend when someone invites me to visit their church or mosque or temple because I am fascinated by culture and what makes humans tick. Places of worship often me insight into these things. As would an atheist church. Though you *could* say I already attend an atheist church - Unitarian Universalist*. Lol! Hey, I work in front of a computer. Interact with software. Can go all day without talking to anyone in real life other than my family who live with me. I kind of need social engagement. I am a people person! I like singing together. Church is great for all that. Sermons are shared by our minister and members of the congregation who have something interesting to say. And we all get a chance to get up with the mic and say (briefly) what is on our mind. Interesting classes are offered, I have taught classes there, too. There are group meditation opportunities (for some reason quiet contemplation while in the company of others is a powerful experience). We also feed and house homeless people, financially support various causes (mostly anti-poverty and other social justice) write to lonely soldiers in Afghanistan, sponsor AA, have support groups for those who need them, even have Small Group Ministry, and of course Sunday School for the young ones. In my classroom (I teach 5th graders) we have a Bible and a Koran and Baghavadghita (sp) and shaman's items such as drums, Darwin's book on the theory of Natural Selection, etc. etc. I need community. I like church. It seems to me many of us are lonely, even those of us in the primes of our lives who are working as we are increasingly cut off from each other by technology. Without other people I would wither and die. And I can assure you that the ministers and pastors in our church have no particular answers to the difficult questions and challenges in life. However, being together, we can walk through life together and celebrate together the life passages - the child dedication ceremonies and the funerals, in covenant with each other ('in covenant' meaning we have agreed to be committed to acting kindly and with sympathy toward each other). There are plenty of ex-C's in a UU church, in fact right up in the pulpit. *atheism is definitely NOT a stated belief, a required creed, an implied doctrine with UUs - there are many believers of some sort in the UU community
    1 point
  47. 1 point
  48. I don't cringe when someone swears. I'm less judgmental and more understanding. I don't mock other people for their faith or lack of faith. I don't see things in black and white so much, and I like seeing all the shades of gray in between. I have more diverse friends, who I genuinely enjoy. I don't let people get away with being unkind or bashing people who they don't understand. I try to foster understanding. I'm less of a pushover. I have good boundaries. I stand up for myself and other people. I have more self respect and confidence now, and people are inclined to treat me more kindly and fairly, since I treat them kindly and fairly. I went from being a Republican to a Democrat... pretty much all the way across the board from fiscal to social issues. I'm far more educated. I'm not afraid to study (on my own) evolution, science, history, etc. for fear of reading something that goes against scripture. I've enjoyed studying psychology (on my own) and have a greater understanding of human behavior, which has helped me understand myself better, get along better with other people, and be a good mediator between people who aren't getting along or seeing eye to eye on something. I also learned how to recognize, avoid, and deflect destructive people and keep them out of my life and prevent them from ruining it while welcoming in good people whose lives enrich mine and vice versa. I've learned how to build and keep personal boundaries so that I don't take on other people's pain while I empathize / sympathize with them or help them, and I learned how to accept that there are people in the world who do bad things that cause suffering without letting that push me into depression if I can't do anything proactively good to help fix it. I do have personal projects and charities, and I take positive political action when I can. I can enjoy any movie / TV show I want, without worrying if it's too violent or contains nudity or sexually mature situations that could be displeasing to God. Ditto for books and internet. I can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a beer with friends without worrying that it's a sin. I get to wear some beautiful clothes sometimes, and I don't fret if a neckline is too low or a skirt is too short or my jeans are too skinny. (I used to wear some pretty dorky, frumpy clothes back in the day for the sake of modesty.) I'm comfortable in my own skin, in my own body, because I'm comfortable with my sexuality and humanity. I am not afraid to die, so I'm not afraid to live. I don't take crazy physical risks, but I have a list of things I want to accomplish before I die, and I'm working on them. My needless guilt and depression went away. I'm a better problem solver: I don't have to wonder if a choice is God's will or mine. I got a lovely tattoo that makes me happy every time I see it. I got my dream job, moved to NY city, met and married a wonderful ex-Christian man, and happily only set foot inside of a church now for special occasions like weddings or baby christenings. I feel overall more peaceful, joyful, and loving. I have more patience and understanding. I certainly have more knowledge and wisdom. I trust myself more and feel more pride in my work and in my own personal accomplishments, because I did them. Wow. That was a long list. Thanks for posting this topic: I really like reading everyone's responses!
    1 point
  49. Freedom to think and feel and love without God watching me like the ultimate creeper. Embracing a healthy view of love and sex. Becoming more compassionate and accepting about humans and their differences. Going from conservative Republicanism to being a liberal-leaning Independent who wants to help out the less fortunate more. No guilt. Transferring to a secular college for a better and more diverse education. Emerging from my parents' control. Becoming more open and honest about myself with others. Finding who I am.
    1 point
  50. Or perhaps even the wrong country. Even Christian women with atheist boyfriends/husbands is not all the uncommon here in New Zealand. My current girlfriend is a Christian and she knew I was an ex-Christian before we became a couple. She even got offended at some of the negative comments I made about Christianity. Now it's just a topic we tend to steer clear of.
    1 point
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