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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/21/2020 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Just wanted to give a little update. The therapy and medication is definitely helping me stay positive. The intrusive religious thoughts seem to be getting less frequent and extreme. Unfortunately, I just had an argument about religion with my sister. The conversation started with us just trying to understand each other and get along better, but it ended up turning to religion. I tried really hard to be respectful, but she started using the same tired old apologist excuses, and it just went downhill from there. It would be really nice to get along with her better, I just don't know. Religious fundamentalists genuinely freak me out. On the plus side, I didn't have a major panic attack after the conversation like I would have before I started therapy. That does not change the fact that I still have a really strong negative reaction towards religion.
  2. 2 points
    Good luck but it appears to be a losing battle and here's why in my opinion: in America the Christian religion is still seen as the "norm," in particular among white people, a great many of whom have an interesting take on American history: that they and their norms (white Protestant middle class) are what makes America great, and that anything different (and true equality with others) is dangerous. Trumpism involves white evangelicals much more than black and for a good reason. I just watched The Great White Hoax, which examines why divide and conquer has worked in America historically, and why it's working now. Under such a system, how do you create change? Tell the people who their enemies are and the uneducated, dissatisfied, ignorant ones (there's a lot of them) will run with it, in particular when they are religious. It all explains why the current leader of the White House is where he is and why secret organizations such as The Family are rejoicing in that. The way I see it is that Americans are involved in an ongoing battle about what it means to be American: progressive multiethnic multi-religious, diverse society of equal rights and privilege (many whites refuse to see how white privilege operates) vs some version of a white Protestant 1950s style America as normative, that in it's most dangerous form is explicitly racist and has no shame about it. One only needs to watch Trumps campaign speeches from the last election to figure out which side of this battle he has appealed to.
  3. 1 point
    As a behavioral and social scientist I have mulled over this concept for years. Here is where I am at this time in my life. The words attributed to Jesus, "love your neighbor as yourself", (a.k.a. the Golden Rule, predating him by centuries) is a valid "truth", or philosophy, recognized by ancient thinkers, that is the "salvation" of humanity. Salvation, meaning the maximizing of human wellbeing, not a home in an afterlife. It is found through a balance of concern for self and others. Loving (taking care of) self, and doing what we can to help others do the same. A concern about WE. Not just ME. When we lose that balance, we have problems. Yes, there are times when it comes down to survival of self, but we are social creatures and need each other. We need that balance. For me, that is a valid "spirituality" for today. Comments?
  4. 1 point
    One difference between a Christian and someone who has never been one, is the never-been-one doesn't really think about purpose. At least I didnt...nor do I now (as an Ex-c). I was brought up as agnostic and to just enjoy the present moment. That's all we really have. You can certainly make goals for yourself if you are a goal-oriented person... If you deny this life's enjoyment in favor of some vague afterlife, then I think you're missing the point of being alive (personal opinion of course). ... Does being atheist mean you can't have an afterlife? Maybe there is a godless afterlife. I wouldn't stress too much about it, though.
  5. 1 point
    What about the purpose of living life to the fullest, having as much fun as possible while you're alive, and being the best person you can be, just because?
  6. 1 point
    I dont know about other branches of the US military but you have to take a test in the Air Force to promote through the enlisted ranks past E4. E1 thru E4 are just time-in-service promotions. My son who separated as an E5 three years ago didnt seem to mention Jesus. Granted, there are churches on military bases and there are definitely factions of high ranking evangelicals and I bet there are even some people 'pretending' to be evangelicals to get some good performance reports from their evangelical boss.
  7. 1 point
    What Fuego writes is, I think, very true. I just saw the movie 1917, and the line that stands out most in my mind is when one of the soldiers said, "Some men just want to fight."
  8. 1 point
    Here's one of the local GOP extreme Christian terror supporters: https://www.columbian.com/news/2020/feb/20/legislator-suspended-from-republican-caucus-to-emcee-local-gop-event/ And a link to his manifesto of Biblical war: https://www.spokesman.com/documents/2018/oct/25/biblical-basis-war/
  9. 1 point
    Many prisoners who get released find a way to go back to prison. The issue is that they got so used to the regimentation they never had to make and choices or decisions on their own. It's too big a transition for some people to make without professional help. I see many people who leave the church in the same situation; Who will tell me what to do? Who will tell me the approved activities? Who will tell me what to think? If you can't handle the sudden freedom and autonomy and are overwhelmed by having unlimited choices, perhaps some professional help is indicated. It's not a unique situation. Good luck.
  10. 1 point
    Although it helps, life is more than excitement and entertainment. We need to feel worthwhile. That takes each person doing something that helps them feel worthwhile. And being around people that contribute to the feeling. Others can help you in the process, but no One can give it to you. What do you have to offer to the world that would help you feel worthwhile? Helping people leave oppressive beliefs on this forum helps me feel worthwhile. Giving my kids and grandkids a good foundation to build their lives on helps with the feeling. But I can't give it to them. They have to complete the building themselves to feel a sense of accomplishment, and being worthwhile. And it takes more than just feeding your own wants. You do not leave yourself behind, but it takes getting outside of self and doing what you can to make this a better world to live in. What do I do for excitement and entertainment? Ride an Enduro motorcycle across country off road, or on back roads. Look "outside the box". Find something you are good at and enjoy. Even if others think it is crazy, like my wife and some relatives, GET OUTSIDE THE BOX OF YOUR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES. Use good judgement, but take what others want you to do with a grain of salt. By the way, you may never consider it, but riding isnt just for men. I occasionally ride with 2 women who are in their 50s. I am telling you this because the your options are almost limitless. But you will have to open your mind and get off the couch to find them.
  11. 1 point
    Why was life more exciting? I think you need to examine why. What emotional high did xtianity give you? Did you leave socially as well if all your friends were xtian and that is part of it? Did it affect your relationship with your family? These things can be replaced with other enriching things, it takes time, energy and perseverance and most of all awareness of what is missing in your life and a plan to improve it.
  12. 1 point
    A few days ago I engaged a believer in another guy's thread on FB. He kept repeating how they were ready for a revolution, a violent one they were willing to die in to protect their freedoms, how they are well armed and will protect those rights. I called him out on his violent attitude and lack of love, saying he was playing right into Putin's hands by wanting America in a civil war. He replied "Violent? I never said anything about violence. Putin? You people are weak." I replied with line after line of his statements about armed conflict, killing, and dying. Then I said "Those are your own words. You seem far more interested in shooting someone than in loving your neighbor." He actually toned down a lot after that, but a lot of believers across the country have become militarized since the 1980s. They see it as reclaiming their "heritage" of the pure white days of prophets Ozzie and Harriet (that was sarcasm, but they really do have a view of America that is idealized and idolized). They WANT someone to take a shot at the president to justify unleashing a bloody civil war against everyone that isn't like them. They WANT violence, not caring for the poor and needy. They eat up old testament stories of God giving victory in battles. They ignore all the words of Jesus in favor of stories like those. The military has strong groups of evangelicals that force recruits into church activities, and you won't get promoted without belonging to the cult. That is why the current president is their wet dream of power, boldness, brashness, acting more like a king than an elected representative. They worship a dictator king who demands absolute obedience, not that they give it other than what they want to give. But the power...they get off on the power. On the flip side, there are millions of us that want things exactly not like what they want, we look forward to the next election and hope that it isn't already too rigged. But my hunch is that if he retains power, we are on the brink of a new kind of fascism with all the tech in their control. The Oregon Republicans openly refuse to even allow a vote on subjects they hate. They literally get up as a group and leave the building, driving into the next state to prevent a quorum. Fucking cowards. Expect that in the federal level if they lose the next election. If they lose widely enough, it won't matter if they leave. It may devolve into violence and renewed open hatred of those who are different. The shot heard round the world could just as easily be at the dems, giving the right a signal to "go". Most days it all feels like we are pawns watching our people being ruined by those in power, and only being given a facade of choice, and the useful idiots who think Jesus is behind it all will push a crackdown on all the "witches and fags" who bringing god's judgment on us, and themselves as the warriors of GAWD upon whom he smiles. I suppose it's possible that there could be a hat-trick and the people at large get fed up with the shitstorm of corruption and do something about it daily. I hope that is still possible.
  13. 1 point
    Thank you for your kind words Dan. It is not easy but hopefully things will be better one step at a time.
  14. 1 point
  15. 1 point
    Could I give a little advice. Sometimes when we try new things but have set our minds with the preset "I'm likely going to fail" or "I'm probably not going to like this" it doesn't turn out too well because we have already half made up our minds before we begin. So it's better to just try things without any expectations at all and we might be surprised. As well, if you suffer from exhaustion and your mobility is limited, setting a one hour goal for exercise is way too much in particular if you're just beginning or trying to get back to a rythm. You'll become discouraged when you can't do it so you won't try again. Aim for 15 minutes or so and increase it gradually. Same goes for learning languages. We are all learners and can do it but it needs to be broken down into small objectives we can achieve, or we will give up. Starting out with flash cards or learning the language a fun way really helps. The key is don't put pressure or expectations on yourself and do it just to have fun. Therefore if you end up learning something it's just an added bonus.
  16. 0 points
    If god answers prayer, you’d think he would have answered these (in the affirmative): City that prayed, searched for missing girl to say goodbye https://apnews.com/ab23f1fc60e4a40e1240f96ca5c3cd18

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