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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/13/2021 in all areas

  1. Nobody here seems to understand that politics is directly related to wave/particle duality.
    4 points
  2. I was born in September of 1976, in the USSR, Kiev City that now is the capital of Ukraine. I’m the oldest of my 3 siblings. 1970s were the years of Christian persecution. I don’t remember the 70s much, but I do remember mid 1980s, with Gorbachev coming into power as the time of more freedoms for the Christians, especially the late 1980s that saw public preaching in the streets. As fate would have it, my parents were very active in the Evangelical Baptist church. My dad was very close with the Senior Pastor and my mom sang in the choir. Those of you from the US may not appreciate the church life in the Soviet Union compared to the US. Church in the USSR was a church on steroid. We are talking a typical of four services a week, each service being close to the 2 hours in length. There were two services on Sunday (AM and PM) and two services during the week. However, if you were a choir or a band member you would have to attend practices that typically took place during the other days, when there was no church. So the church literally consumed your life, in addition to your job and other activities. Unlike the American church, where the pastor preaches the only sermon for the service, the Soviet Baptist church service included at least 4 sermons by various lay preachers. Neither the pastors nor preachers had a formal education, not everyone was a skilled orator but that didn’t matter. Disciples of Jesus were also not very educated. This resulted in everyone, including kids that were present during the service to learn about doctrines that are probably buffered here in the US, doctrines like eternal hell punishment for everyone who disobeys God, a very confusing doctrine of salvation (i.e. what’s required to be saved? Repent? Believe? Be baptized, do good works, etc…?). So I remember my childhood as being fearful. Fearful of God’s wrath, eternal punishment, fear of committing an unpardonable sin, adultery (yep, looking at women was a sin). And much of this theological understanding came from my own processing of information. My dad was busy at his job, providing for his family, putting food on our table, and also spending lots of time in the church. He didn’t really have time for us kids, except maybe to discipline us (discipline was spanking, and, lets just say …I was very disciplined). So, religion was associated with fear for me. I developed OCD like symptoms where I’d stop at random places and pray for God to forgive me. There was no security of salvation for me. God was judging my every thoughts and deeds and punishing me eternally, if I were to die before repenting of my sins. IMMIGRATION In the summer of 1991, we were fortunate enough to be granted a refugee status and immigrate to the US. We came as refugees due to religious persecution we experienced. Coming to the US was a very joyful experience for me. I would escape the atheist Soviet Union and immigrate to the Christian US that has been so richly blessed by God. I was around 15 years old, soaking in the English language along with listening to the Christian radio stations, mostly the Moody radio, that I listened to virtually non-stop, soaking in sermons from preachers like Dr Tony Evans, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Dr Jeremiah, etc… A common theme among these preachers was eternal security for the believer. This subject gave me a little bit of a reprieve until I realized that the eternal security is not uniformly supported by the Bible passages. IMMIGRANT CHURCH IN AMERICA Although we were an immigrants in the US, we did not join an American church. We joined a fellow immigrant community that welcomed us with open arms. Most of these older immigrants arrived here after WWII and so became a bit Americanized, but my dad’s immigration changed them back. Instead of 1 Bible reading and 1 sermon, we were at 2 sermons on a Sunday AM service and 2 sermons in the Sunday PM service. There was one weekly service with 2 sermons. As I grew older, I started preaching in my church. Most of my sermons were ideas gathered from the Moody radio preachers. Before Sunday AM Service, we had an adult Bible study (apprx 45 mins) which basically allowed for theological debate/arguments back and forth. It’s during these debates that I have obtained experience and knowledge about issues with eternal security. I’d go back home and study the “problem” passages, usually struggling in the process as any doubts would bring me back to the turbulent times of my childhood. I remember thinking to myself..”Why did God not provide a clear path out of Hell? Why do we need to study the Bible and dig for answers?” The final straw for me, against the Eternal Security view, came with realization that Bible clearly shows a God who is changing one’s mind. He’d make a promise and then renege on it. The clearest one is 1 Samuel 2:30 “Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘I really did say that your house and your ancestor’s house would serve me forever.’ But now the Lord says, ‘May it never be! For I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed! If you go to the original promise that was given to Phineas, Numbers 25: 10 The Lord spoke to Moses: 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites, when he manifested such zeal for my sake among them, so that I did not consume the Israelites in my zeal. 12 Therefore, announce: ‘I am going to give to him my covenant of peace. 13 So it will be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of a permanent priesthood, because he has been zealous for his God, and has made atonement for the Israelites.’” And then later the Lord went back on his promise, saying that behavior is pretty important too. So a promise that had no conditions ended up having a condition. This left me shaken in my assurance and I started looking at the Bible differently, as a book written by humans rather than a consistent being. And it brought back the fear of Hell and feelings of uncertainty that were so familiar to me from my childhood. FINAL STRAW As part of my Christian life, I would strike up conversations with people, mostly at work about their faith. I wasn’t an overzealous preacher but was genuinely interested in why people believed what they did. I had some very good conversations with my Muslim co-workers and I was amazed at how sure they were about the existence of their God (Allah) who was a false God in my worldview! A good friend of mine was someone who was an Agnostic but who was brought up in the Hindu tradition. During one of my conversations with him about Jesus and evidence for the Resurrection, he pointed me to a www.GodIsImaginary.com website. He asked me to address the arguments. And I was floored after viewing that site. It summarized in a very logical fashion why God of the Bible cannot be a true and living God. This was the final straw for me. Coupled with my doubts and fears, I remember feeling a bit liberated at the realization that God is imaginary. MY LIFE NOW I wish I could say that all is well with my soul. Life has thrown a few curve balls at me, including a diagnosis that made me face a a real possibility of death. My Christian family has risen up to encourage my return to the faith and I am returning to the familiar feeling of uncertainty and fear about death. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same. I am now convinced that our psyche is responsible for these fears and our mind is very creative in being able to come up with reasons to keep us suffering. So the fear of Hell is now replaced with existential dread, and fear of stopping existing. This is something I’m still working through and hope to get better at with time.
    3 points
  3. Companies understandably don't want their public representatives pissing off their customers and advertisers. Political views are one thing but denying the Holocaust happened or encouraging others to promote a public health hazard or repeating dangerous debunked conspiracy theories are a bit different than "political views," don't you think? Cancel Culture isn't a real thing. It was a term made up to distract from legitimate criticism of mean, boorish and hateful behavior. I live in Florida, a so-called Right to Work state. You can be fired because the boss doesn't like your haircut. That, is cancel culture.
    3 points
  4. I tend to agree that the cancel culture is getting out of hand. We need to hear other views, even if they are weird. When they are advocating violence against certain people, then that is rightfully shut down. The problem with the Internet forums and places like YouTube is that they are owned by companies and have terms and conditions, with their own hammer poised over anything they don't like, period. I had two channels I watch shut down in the last couple of weeks for "promoting dangerous drugs". They were not, but YouTube/Google does whatever they want. It's their playground and their rules. Disney wants to avoid losing money. Anything that looks like it has potential to cause them bad press gets the hammer. They likely have that written into every contract. Firing Carano will bring them less bad press and financial impact than boycotts (cancel culture) over political statements. TABA's post about them and China is true, and it is true for several American companies. Much of our manufactured goods come from slave labor or nearly slave labor in China. Slaves have always been good for business, which is why we had a civil war over the financial impact of stopping slavery. If businesses started getting continuous bad press and boycotts over doing business in China, that would force a change (probably to India).
    3 points
  5. "Conservative", "liberal", "left-wing", "right-wing".. These terms are used as social weapons today. What do these words actually mean?
    2 points
  6. This is partly why I'm identifying with Conservatives (US) even though I'm not religious. I do like Canadian Jordan Peterson. It seems to me that the American Left can do and say anything and be okay. But a right winger better keep their mouth shut.
    2 points
  7. Let's start a trend. Let's stop giving conspiracy RUMORS a dignity they don't deserve by referring to them as "theories". Conspiracy rumors don't qualify as theories. Theories are supported by hard evidence. Theories are reasonable explanations. Theories can be tested and falsified. Conspiracy RUMORS do not make the grade. If we can get those around us into the habit of calling conspiracy RUMORS what they are, we may have greater leverage in snuffing those rumors out.
    1 point
  8. I saw that I can't edit my posts, so I'll add that the same author for www.GodIsImaginary.com also created www.WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com site. He used to have chat forums as well. I like his style of arguing for Gods being imaginary. Of course, these arguments only work for Gods that make promises to answer prayers or otherwise intervene in human affairs.
    1 point
  9. Hi Jadr. Welcome to Ex-C. First of all, congratulations on thinking your way out before you were 23. That makes me jealous. Yes, it's hard to lose what you've always known, but many of us have had to leave our birth family behind. It's natural for living things to remove themselves from toxic environments. My mind still knows what they think about me, but being physically removed from it is extremely helpful. My experience has been that discussions with family aren't helpful. Pointless is a word that comes to mind. What about the possibility of removing yourself from the situation. The planning of these things doesn't happen overnight, although the carrying through with your plan might.
    1 point
  10. An ACLU lawyer gives a very short chat (a couple minutes) on this issue. EDIT: I forgot I wanted to include this deeper dive into the 1st Amendment and free speech for those interested. mwc
    1 point
  11. It brings me great pleasure to know I can lock, or even delete, this entire thread any time I want to.
    1 point
  12. I'll be damned. I thought he didn't get fired. Well that's one lefty that got the ax. I fully supported him to tho. I figured whats the big deal? He's not standing for the anthem. So what. At least he's not blocking traffic or rioting. There was nothing wrong with what kaepernik did. So once again. Discrimination. I believe if I was in a position where I could influence a good number of people I would voice my views as well.
    1 point
  13. Colin Koepernik, who was fired from the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem, protesting police violence against Blacks.
    1 point
  14. So maybe the right to freedom of speech should apply to businesses as well. Freedom of religion applies. You can't fire someone for their religion like @Joshpantera pointed out. If the companies were unable to fire someone for voicing their political views from a discrimination perspective. Then the cancel culture couldn't hold that company at fault. Bye Bye cancel culture. Problem solved
    1 point
  15. Not more insane, but magnitudes more dangerous to the innocent bystanders who will be damaged by insufficient vaccination of the population.
    1 point
  16. Hi Jean, I'm so sorry you're experiencing all of this! You are not alone. I know it's already been said, but I'd like to add Recovering from Religion, too. Religious trauma is a real thing and RfR would be a good resource for you. RfR can be reached at 1-844-368-2848 and you can talk with an in-real-time live person who's trained in working with people in your very situation.
    1 point
  17. She's been going on like this for some time. She's been anti-vax along with the whole stolen election nonsense. All the crazy conspiracy shit. She's had the support of her co-stars and the show runners over the whole time. She appeared lined up to be involved with their new Rangers of the New Republic show. Word was she asked to dial it back on the rhetoric since it wasn't reflecting well on Disney or the franchise and, long story short, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. She made the fully informed choice to make some posts to social media over her career. This is a case of she made her bed and now she has to lay in it. If the folks who simply want to see this as another example of "cancel culture" want to turn her into another of their martyrs then so be it. I'm sure I'll enjoy reading their 'Fox (News) Book Of Martyrs' during the great persecution at some point in the future. mwc
    1 point
  18. Taken just as that comment, I agree with her. But what she interprets as "hate" feels like how Christians interpret things as persecution when they just don't get their way. She is an ardent supporter of Trump. And after the last 4 years of her ilk saying "fuck your feelings" and bulldozing their way over every sensibility, environmental law, and complete disregard for anyone who isn't white and rich, I'm over their whining.
    1 point
  19. No. No dates. Bypass that and go straight for the sex. No commitment required. But do it safely of course. Save time, money, and emotional energy.
    1 point
  20. I mean, see title. I've been an atheist for 14-ish years. I haven’t set foot in a church service since my niece’s christening 10 years ago. My husband is agnostic, my friends and family accept me. I get along well with my Christian coworkers and friends. I’m way past the angst of deconverting. so I don’t have an explanation for why, in Mid April, I felt like my soul started opening up. Yes, working through COVID has been stressful but I’ve been through worse. Stress doesn’t explain it. its a long story and if you want details, you can PM me. What ended up happening is, I’m now experiencing overwhelming unconditional love on a regular basis. It’s nuts. “ God” is what I’m calling the source of this feeling. I don’t mean Jehova, or a man in the sky or even a being at all. I mean the source of love. For psychological purposes, I picture Love as a being when I pray, but it’s just a placeholder. for the first 2 weeks, this scared the living shit out of me. I wasn’t interested in spirituality and wasn't looking for God because my prior experiences with The Spiritual were riddled with rules and shame and lies. No thanks. but I’m having nothing but positive experiences with what I’m calling God this time. No rules. No guilt. Just love and acceptance. And it’s healing a lot of psychological pain I’ve been carrying around. So yeah, I don’t even recognize myself at this point, but in a good way. I’m calmer. More patient. I would love to hear from anyone who can relate cause this is weird as fuck.
    1 point
  21. It's actually true. Oddly enough, getting into recovery is what led me to agnosticism; and, more recently, re-opened the door to spirituality. On a sad note, though. You're right; many of the people I know from college ended up involved in some kind of addiction, while the rest are still addicted to jesus. The behavior patterns are the same; but, instead of crack or porn, they get their fix from their imaginary friend.
    1 point
  22. Something similar happened to me. Similar; but not exact. I suddenly opened up to the desire to become a better person purely for the benefit of being a better person. This, in turn, opened me up to meditation (a practice I had publicly scorned prior) as a means of staying in touch with myself, as I tend to lose myself in work and family. I won't say I feel some sense of overwhelming love for everything and everyone; but I do feel slightly less repulsed by people, places, and things. Joking, of course. I feel more compassion and empathy. In this regard, I think @Weezer might be on to something. I was a very compassionate child before life started kicking my teeth in. Now that I have gotten comfortable with the idea that I am in control of life and life doesn't control me, I can start to express that sensitive little kid who has always been there. He's missed the sun and the smell of freshly plowed fields. Also, he has really weird tastes in music, so fuck him.
    1 point
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