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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/30/2019 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    I'm going to go further than LogicalFallacy and Disillusioned and actually suggest you take the time to look at Christianity and ask yourself honestly if you believe the message is true or if you are perhaps more inclined to think it is just another religion made up by humans. I say this because in the event that you were to decide that Christianity was just a made up religion (as many here believe) then you could look at all the issues surrounding your being non-binary without having to twist them around all the superstitions and primitive beliefs of the bronze age tribesmen who wrote the bible. This would probably save you a lot of frustration and complex deliberation because much of that would become completely unnecessary if you looked at yourself with a fresh perspective outside the narrow lens of Christianity.
  2. 2 points
    Thank you to those who offered support and encouragement in the earlier version of this thread; unfortunately, the thread got hijacked, moved to the Lion's Den, and buried under pages of arguments, so all of that is lost. Thank you also to those who supported my original thread either staying in this forum or being returned here; also unfortunately, that's not going to happen, so I'll try one more time. If another troll appears, PLEASE flag the post but don't respond! I really do need one place where I'm not being stifled by some deluded Christian! I'm non-binary, in other words neither male nor female: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-binary_gender I've known this my entire life. I used to think it was only me, but over the past couple of years there has started to be a lot of talk about it, and when I checked it out I realized that they were talking about me. All well and good, until my pastor finally heard something about it, and started making an issue out of it during services, that if you have a womb you're a woman, and if you don't you're a man, and that is that. Totally aside from the fact that there are millions of intersexed people who are born with non-standard combinations of parts that don't match male or female: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex there are many people who, like me, know perfectly well that we're neither male nor female. And of course many transgender people whose bodies don't match their genders. You just can't argue that away! I can't begin to describe the feelings of betrayal I had, sitting there at service expecting to be lifted up, and instead being crushed down! That was absolutely the last straw, as far as I was concerned, and believe me there have been plenty of other straws as well. What makes this even worse is that my church is one of those that teaches the interpretation of Genesis that the original human being created was both male and female, which would inescapably mean, not only that men and women were created simultaneously and are therefore equal, but that combinations of parts, and we assume awareness of gender, other than just male and just female are possible. That was it for me.
  3. 2 points
    I respectfully disagree. Doing so just adds to the spread of the infection.
  4. 2 points
    My wife and I raised 3 children the youngest being 32 and all are atheist. I tried to be oh so respectful of the beliefs of others in allowing my children to make their own choices and believe in any gods they might want to but if I did it again I wouldn't much worry about that aspect. Children pick up on what their parents position is on really everything and pretty much start off with that as their position only moving away from those positions one at a time as they may come to question them. The point to keep in mind though is that although our Christian society wants us to be extra careful about not unduly influencing our children against Christianity the churches (definitely the evangelical fundamental varieties) consistently use every scare tactic, logic fallacy, deceitful manipulation, etc. to push their beliefs on our children regardless of how young they might be. The whole Christian argument about letting children decide for themselves is as phony an argument as you're ever likely to hear. I would be very afraid of letting a 6 year old of mine attend any non liberal christian church without quite a bit of forewarning about hell, original sin, the immorality of punishing the innocent for crimes of the evil doers, claims that myths are reality, etc. In fact I do not believe young children should be allowed to go to these churches because of the damage they can and often do inflict on children who take their messages to heart. If you do allow your child to receive this kind of indoctrination treatment I think you have an obligation to provide equal time explaining how wrong and harmful those messages are. I think you should always keep up with what your son is being exposed to and protect him appropriately from anyone actively trying to influence his thoughts.
  5. 1 point
    This post has been a long time coming, I feel it to be a necessity in order for me to truly move on. I joined this site June of 2013 and it served as a new community after severing ties with my church circles. Over time, I've talked to some incredible people, some I've had the privilege of meeting in person. I've even found relationships here, twice, something that I didn't expect from a forum of this nature. That's not to say that I've gotten along with everyone but that's inevitable when you gather many individuals with separate life experiences all in one place. Many who were with me on this journey are now long gone from the site and thus, perhaps it's time I follow in their footsteps. There are several reasons why I'm choosing this route. I see this site as a sort of medicine, a kind or treatment for people who have been negatively affected by Christianity. I'm at the point where I hardly think about it in a daily basis, the days where I was a church drone are in the distant past now as well as any residual emotions that came along with them. I think it is safe to say that I have completed the recovery cycle and have moved on to other things, other groups, other interests, etc. There is no sense in continuing to take the medicine if you aren't afflicted with the condition it was intended to heal. There is nothing more that I can gain from this site or contribute. Sure, I might encourage new non believers here every once in a while but there are those here who feel more passionate about it and thus will do a much better job than me. On top of this, an ideological rift has formed between me and the majority of the members here. I don't think these differences are reconcilable, the tribal nature of humanity precludes that from ever happening. I suppose that I've found my tribe elsewhere at this point. I would like to thank everyone who recently commented on the thread where my father passed away. I much appreciate the advice and encouragement. The same goes for everyone who is still reading me and have done the same in other instances. Right now I will reach out and say my goodbyes to some of the members here via PM. Once they all reply, I will ask Margee or one of the mods to permanently delete my profile. Anyways, that is all I have to say for now.
  6. 1 point
    Conjures up 1.285 billion Catholics. Conjures up 35 million non-trinitarians. Conjures up 200,000 Unitarians. Conjures up 14.8 million Mormons. Lord Jesus could you please send us a Christian with intelligence? Please please?
  7. 1 point
    To some of the most vulnerable people I might add.
  8. 1 point
    Precisely. When I say exactly what I mean, those around me don't need a hermeneutics course to understand me. Nor do they need skills in advanced exegetics to discern my meaning. The reason christians need a graduate degree in biblical studies to "properly" understand the bible is because god has a hard time saying what he means. Thank you for demonstrating my point with such precision and clarity.
  9. 1 point
    god the father said to honor your father and mother; jesus said if any man did not hate his father and mother, he could not be a disciple. Take your pick as to which one was the fool; but keep in mind, "I and the father are one."
  10. 1 point
    Actually, it's NOT obvious. Saying that hermaphroditea, a word which is no longer used and does not describe most intersexuals in any case, are that way because of something that you could call dysfunction doesn't change the fact that they are human beings, they exist, and they are neither male nor female, demonstrating that there are not just 2 genders. I have limited interest in simple communication, but a great deal of interest in accurate communication, and in order to do that, the term non-binary does need to be used. I appreciate all the other information that you passed along, but that kind of philosophical stuff is totally not my thing; maybe somebody else who likes philosophy will come along and discuss that with you.
  11. 1 point
    Thank you for your support of my thread not being hijacked again! The non-binary issue is one that virtually no organization has dealt with yet; even the LGBTQ folks either ignore us, or lump us in with the transgender crowd (some non-binary people do identify as trans, but they are very different things), and sometimes are openly hostile to yet another group trying to jump on their bandwagon rather than fighting for acceptance from a standing start. I think that pretty much everyone latches onto science or other verifiable information that backs up what they believe and ignores the rest, but certainly with something as important as religion, I think a higher standard should be adhered to… but it's not. The tricky thing about science is that you don't know what you don't know. Most people don't know about intersexuality, but since they don't know that they don't know, they aren't looking it up to demonstrate to themselves that there are more than 2 genders just looking at the bodies people are born with. But, if someone is going to talk about something in a public forum, especially when they are in a position of authority, I think they have a responsibility to do some research and make sure they have some idea what they're talking about before they take a position. And, before you take a public position in a large group that something is bad or wrong, maybe take a minute to think that what you're about to talk about might actually apply to someone in the group that has placed their trust in you? Talk about a kick in the head! There are a lot of things that I have experienced that I can't find a rational or scientific explanation for. If I just blindly dismiss those things, I'd be guilty of the same sort of behavior that is rightly criticized in Christians on this forum. I've seen posts from other people as well, who have been repelled by their treatment by so-called Christians and churches, but have experienced this stuff and don't know how to incorporate it into a worldview. All of that is for later, though, because my brain is stuck really hard on coping with this betrayal.
  12. 1 point
    Seriously, terribly shitty move for Christians to hijack a testimonial thread. That aside, I agree with what has been previously posted. If you still want to attend church, hopefully you can find one which is more open-minded. If not, perhaps consider leaving religion behind entirely. No judgement from me either way; I just think you might find that a truly secular community is more amenable to your identity than a religious one. In any case, if you want to chat, let me know.
  13. 1 point
    *Directs a withering glare to any Christian who would try and hijack this thread again* In my first response I mentioned something along the lines Derek has and agree with the suggestion. Your pastor appears to have a conservative interpretation. These types will happily point out science that agrees with them, but discount any that shows otherwise. Today we know that not everyone fits in a nice little box called man or woman. Some, as your pastor does, chooses to treat such as something akin to a disease to be eliminated rather than people who are different from the majority but who need the same support and love as anyone else. So finding that support I think is important for your wellbeing. And if you ever decide to leave religion entirely there are plenty of people here if you wish to discuss anything.
  14. 1 point
    If you still wish to attend a church, is there another church fairly close by with a more open-minded Padre? Your current pastor sounds quite closed off to reality. Open-mindedness seems to be a rarity in religious circles, but I suppose it is possible.
  15. 1 point
    And I should add that there are other things you could hide in there too.....
  16. 1 point
    Dreamer asked, "Would we just have to walk away from every conversation that starts towards conversion? "" Absolutely not. The initial conversation is the one where emotions will be running high and you want to be careful not to get tricked into saying things in anger. Your father {and mother?) will be feeling betrayed by you and responsible to god and the church for being incompetent parents. Your father will definitely be concerned about having to deal with his shame within the church community. He will be wondering how much this might affect his job and therefore his ability to provide for the family. Your father's roll as the patriarch of your family has been threatened by you and he may feel emasculated. It is because of all these undercurrents and more (child going to hell, for example) that I would suggest not defending you disbelief on the spot. Any and all points of contention will almost certainly lead to a blow up. He will want you to engage in an immediate debate because he'll want this troubling situation to disappear right away. He probably will want to intimidate you using his lofty position as patriarch of the family but nothing will work if you hold the simple position that, try as you might, you just can't make yourself believe what you don't believe. Apologize for all the collateral damage any emotional hardships but continue to be firm on the point that you don't believe because you just do not believe. If he thinks he has new evidence or evidence he believes you've overlooked you can possibly take notes on those points and look into it in the next few days. Your father needs to change your mind or force you to say you've changed your mind. If you don't allow either of these things to happen you win and your father loses. He is not going to want a long series of losses so I don't think he's going to keep bring this conversation up once he realizes that you plan to maintain your position of reasoned thoughtful disbelief. In the unlikely event he tries to prove to you that christianity is factual and truthful just take note of the points he makes and either look them up on the internet or bring them to us and we'll show you exactly why they don't hold water. I'd be very surprised if this went on for any significant period of time though. He'll figure out pretty quickly that it won't get him what he wants. He must be a very good debater so I would stay away from any debating. If he forces this issue just listen politely while acting subtly confused (like you don't quite get it) and promise to look into it. It's your mind that needs to be satisfied so again you have every right to say what works for you and what doesn't. Let me know if these suggestions seem problematic in certain ways or troubling or whatever. Just wondering if you think you could pull off announcing that you think you are experiencing a crisis of faith? If this were possible it could soften the blow when this drama packed conversation actually happens somewhere down the line.
  17. 1 point
    This is much better with the specifics. First off you should look hard at just not rocking the boat and going to church like they want etc. until you have a reasonable shot at financial independence. You can probably pull off going through a trial of faith or period of questioning to give yourself some breathing room but if not faking it could be your only course of action to maintaining a peaceful home life. You can always vent here. Don't contradict your father but a threat to "revoke a cosign" is an empty threat assuming the loan is with a bank or government agency. Cosigning creates a legal agreement that commits your father (in addition to your commitment the agreement holds your father equally and separately responsible) to make all payments until the loan is paid in full. He would need to file for bankrupcy to find out if he could persuade the judge to release him from that obligation and that would be an entirely different situation that almost certainly won't happen. But you probably don't want him hysterically trying to get back at you if you can avoid that. You father is trying to find a way to control your thoughts but he can't do that unless you let him. I know the power dynamics mostly all favor your father but that doesn't mean he has unlimited control of every conversation. Try to imagine that your father is the child and you are the adult. You love your child but your child has some crazy ideas that he is desperate to sell you on. You don't want to hurt your childs feelings but you don't want to go to the extent of saying you agree with what he is promoting. You clearly have all the power here and all you're hoping to do is let him know you don't agree without devastating your child or making him feel like you think he is stupid or even bursting his joie de vivre balloon. When you do have this conversation with you father this is the position you have. He can't force his will on you no matter how much he wants to or believes he can. The temptation is for you to go in with guns blazing and point out how ridiculous your father's thoughts are but it is better to bite the bullet and not engage on any specific topic. Always remember you control everything. This is your mind and your thoughts that are being discussed and they belong exclusively to you. You could say something like his questions may seem simple but in your mind they are complicated. You don't have a short answer. You respect that his view can be very different from your own. Offer to do, for example, an email response to any and possibly all specific questions he wants to email to you. Say you won't discuss any specifics until he does a sincere reading of such and such book or such and such video. Say you love him and understand his fears and frustrations but that you have spent considerable time and effort researching and reasoning and at this point are comfortable with the conclusions you have drawn. You have no need to sell you point of view to anyone else but it is your point of view and a considered opinion. You want to subtly suggest alternatives to disowning you like your acknowledging the he strongly disapproves of your position and for the sake of avoiding arguments no one can win agreeing to keep religion out of discussions with him unless you let him know you've had a change of heart. Whatever you do resist the temptation to say harsh words that can last a lifetime. After all he is your little boy.
  18. 1 point
    I think that's a brilliant idea. However, with your current situation with your parents, it may not be advisable. If they found out about it, then the shitstorm you'd likely face may be worse than what you've already experienced. Perhaps you could proceed with it after you're fully independent from them.
  19. 1 point
    To Blue and Dreamer, I had that conversation like 56 years ago with my parents and would approach it differently today. I was reckless at the time but it is wise to consider any financial or physical support that you might have to replace before having the conversation (like college funding, room and board, etc.). When you are ready I would suggest staying away from promoting or probably even defending your lack of faith in Christianity. This kind of news about their child rejecting the family beliefs is almost certainly more than they can process on the spot anyhow. At most I would have the name of my single favorite apostate book and/or video. Offer to have a second conversation in a week or so if they would like to go over specific questions they might come up with that they feel just need to be answered. Instead of engaging on those divisive topics stick with just explaining something along the lines of how you have researched and considered Christianity extensively and that you just don't believe that it is true and that you believe it is unlikely that new evidence will surface to change your mind. That is the only point along these lines that you need to make in this first conversation and they probably will need time to process that. You may have to restate this point several different times in different ways. Secondly you could discuss your concerns about causing a permanent rift in the family (assuming you feel this way). Say that you still love them just as much as always and that you will work to try to keep communication open in spite of the religious differences. Maybe mention the kind of family functions that you particularly enjoy and all the future events in your life you hope they'll still want to be a part of. You told them because you wanted them to know who you are and would never do anything to intentionally hurt them. If you can cover all this ground in the first conversation that would be awesome. There really aren't too many points so it doesn't need to take a lot of time. Mostly you just want to give them this new information and then give them time to digest it. Remember it takes both parties to have an argument so you have control of that by choosing never to engage. You can say you don't know or that they've put out a new idea you'll need time to think about, etc. The hard part is that this conversation typically requires the child to take on the roll of the adult but nevertheless if you set a positive tone you have a pretty good chance they will follow suit at some point. Good luck.
  20. 1 point
    It is interesting, for me at least, as I have started studying brainwashing via steve hassan and others, how much religious stories and stories in general construct identity, personal and collective. In that scenario people have fixed roles. You moved from the saved/ brethren role to the deluded by the devil / apostate role. Stories define roles and actions, results and expectations. Basically we live, most of the time , in our own fairytales, in our own fictions without realising. These fictions provide safety, order, and comfort. It is truly frightening to challenge them. You are, at least not in the same way, a son, a father, a wife/husband. Like in a classic bad guy good guy movie. And you became the bad guy., in a way.
  21. 1 point
    Fortunately I do not. It's hard to explain the process but it didn't take me too long to realize that it was all basically a false story and just stop believing. What I didn't realize until much later was everything that I was feeling after that, even though I had dealt with the beliefs rationally and they truly had no hold over me, was what I described as the "mourning process" (and it was more anger than depression). Once I had realized that god, and any meaning found therein, was really just empty and void it wasn't too hard to find meaning in pretty much anything I did since it was actually real so any meaning, however small or seemingly insignificant, was clearly far more meaningful than the empty nothing I had been finding meaning in all that time. So most of this sort of thing happened quickly for me, at matter of months maybe, but the anger took a very long time to get over (I was literally enraged for about a year due to this and other things in my life that I don't care to look back on) and it took quite a few more years to get it under some control (so I didn't lash out if someone touched some "religious" nerve). mwc
  22. 1 point
    God needs money because he spent his trust fund making the universe. It should be obvious his plans aren't very well thought out. mwc
  23. 1 point
    This is an interesting book for ex-Christians. Sex & God by Darrel Ray. Ray is a clinical psychologist. He was raised in a fundamentalists environment but is an atheists now. His book is about how damaging religion has been for human sexuality.
  24. 1 point
    Wow, so sorry this happened! I can relate to the purity bullshit. It totally fucked me up. It's a horrible, horrible thing and sabotages so many marriages - which is hard to believe since it has the appearance (at the time) of being nothing but good and honorable. Fuck religion and then fuck everything else while there's still time.
  25. 1 point
    If you haven't already, go find a hot man (or woman!) and have gratuitous sexual encounters. When a christian accuses me of "not believe because I want to sin" I simply respond: well, it's not the reason I don't believe, but freedom from magical thinking sure does have its benefits!
  26. 1 point
    Thanks, TF! My counsellor thinks I'm having a renaissance. I am hopeful that I will emerge into my new/real self through this process. :-)
  27. 0 points
    Thanks MOHO. Yes, it was an awkward conversation but also a huge relief for both of us, as neither of us has been happy for the past several years. The wheels had truly come off. Funny/or not--I moved out on our 19th wedding anniversary! The STBEH couldn't even be bothered to help--he went away for the day, leaving me to rely on my friends to help me move out.

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