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About Misterspock1

  • Rank
    Strong Minded
  • Birthday 11/07/1981

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
  • Interests
    RPGs (Final Fantasy, Skyrim), strategy games, Star Trek, football (Denver Broncos), writing
  • More About Me
    I was saved at age 7, but right after age 23 I finally saw the light and turned away from it. It has been about eight years and I now label myself as an atheist. I don't know if God exists, but I do not believe so.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Dan Barker
  1. Wow, it is hard to believe it has been eight years since I left my faith! The first couple of years were true agony. I almost killed myself once and wanted to on several other occasions. What do you do when all you have known for 23 years is an overwhelmingly Christian environment? What do you do when all of your strength, peace, and morality came from something you no longer believe? I did not know the answers to these questions and I agonized for a long time, often with a knife blade pressed against my chest. I had several friends and family eventually intervene, and throughout the course of several hospitalizations for depression I began to work through things. I eventually moved to the big city (KC...woohoo) and started a new chapter of my life. I had finally started to work through my depression, but I felt a change of scenery would help. I found a new girlfriend, a new job, and made new friends. A couple years after I moved, I became an uncle, which has been a truly rewarding experience. I still have questions and I will admit there are things I do not know. For example, I do not know if God exists or not. However, I have grown comfortable with identifying myself as an atheist. As I explore the questions more and more, the less I believe that God exists. I will not rehash my whole story about leaving Christianity (you can read my profile or my original post for that), but I have been gone for a while and I wanted to give an update. I mainly wanted to give encouragement and hope to new members and new exCs. It can take time, but the fear and the sadness do subside, and your new beliefs and your new self start to solidify.
  2. What you said makes me think of my sister. She became more involved in church, but it was never totally voluntary. A lot of times she received guilt trips and harsh rebukes (consisting of Mom yelling at her) about not being a good Christian. I think also a lot of it had to do with me, just because I had become very involved in church pretty voluntarily, and there were times when Mom told her to be more like me. It just makes it all the more ironic that I was the one who ended up leaving my faith first. My sister is pretty much an agnostic as well, but she hasn't made that public.
  3. Welcome to the forums, and thank you for sharing your story! You are more like us than you think. I saw some striking resemblances to my story. My mother didn't physically abuse me, but I did live a very sheltered life. I went to public school, but that was just because we moved a bit and there weren't always Christian schools in the area. Plus, for my young childhood we lived in Utah, and my parents didn't want any Mormon ideas rubbing off on me. Besides, my parents didn't exactly have the funds to afford private education. We went to church AT LEAST three times a week (Sunday morning/night, Wednesday night) but often more. My parents didn't force me to become involved in church, but there were pressures. A lot of it was also the fear of Hell, like you mentioned. That along with constantly being in church got me to become involved pretty voluntarily. I read my Bible all the time, memorized passages, did devotionals, prayed, got into youth group, etc. It wasn't until age 23 that I finally renounced my religion and officially became an agnostic. Regarding the sex, I was raised in a strict "abstinence only" home. I went to public school so I got a little bit of sex education, but even then the teachers stressed abstinence above all else. Whenever the topic of girls or sex came up, the pat answer I always got from my parents (especially Mom) was "Don't do it." Like you, though, I was a horny teenager with internet access, and so my nights (and any other times my parents weren't home) were filled with pornography and masturbation. I got pretty good at knowing what I needed to clear out so that they would never find out, but I did have a few close calls. I really only had two relationships that were somewhat serious, one of them I ended up becoming engaged to (though fortunately I didn't marry her). I moved out, but I still live about a half-hour away from my parents, and I think the apron strings are finally loosening. However, my mom has constantly lamented that she should have been more strictly religious with me so that I wouldn't have left my faith. I've tried to tell her that, first of all, leaving my faith was a good thing, and if she had been more strict about religion it probably would have pushed me away sooner.
  4. Welcome to the site, and thanks for sharing your story. Your story really struck a chord with me, because I also come from a very fundie Southern Baptist family. I grew up in church all my life, was saved at 7, was going to be a pastor, and was even engaged to a strictly fundamentalist woman. I went to public school, though if I had been born in more recent years I am sure my parents would have put me in a private Christian school somewhere. I never listened to any music other than Christian music, I was committed to staying a virgin until marriage, I read my Bible every day, etc. I "came out" to my family and friends a little over three years ago. My fiancee left me, many of my friends deserted me (most of the few left still try to re-convert me on occasion), and I became the black sheep of the family. You made a comment about not telling your mom because you think it would destroy her. I can understand that, because I can see what the news of my deconversion has done to my mother. She has had many sleepless nights since the news, and she has cried on the phone or in person to me many times. My mother can be very manipulative in what she says and does, and I hate it. I have had to limit the time I spend with her just for my own mental and emotional well-being. She has also been very outspoken in trying to re-convert me. I don't really like it, and it is hard for me to always have a positive view of my mom, but I still love her and it hurts me to know that she is hurting. However, I still know the decision I made to leave Christianity was the right one, regardless of what it has done to people. It was the step I needed to take, and the more time I spend away from it the more I realize how wrong Christianity is. For me, it wasn't something I could keep a secret. I had to tell everyone, especially those close to me, just because I felt it was something they needed to know. I sometimes wonder if I should have waited to tell them, but it only would have made it worse, I think. I was six months away from my wedding, about to make the SECOND biggest mistake of my life, and the truth had to come out. I am sure the day will come when your secret will become known, and that day will be a rough one. It is never easy to tell people you love that you have rejected their entire belief system, the belief system they raised you under. I have found this board as a great support group for the struggles I have had, and I hope you will be able to do the same.
  5. You will get no argument from us. Welcome!
  6. Wow, what a heartfelt story. I had a fiancee at the time I left my faith and had a similar situation when I broke the news to her. Props to you for having the strength and courage to share that with your wife. Your words show that you obviously care for her very deeply, and this couldn't have been an easy thing to do. If she loves you as much, and not for the religion you practiced, she will be able to get past that (though it may not be easy). You will find many people on this board that empathize. I hope you find a solution that works for you.
  7. Susan, you are truly a good person and a great friend. Your words and your experiences have really touched me. I am so glad to have met you.

  8. "What does God need with a starship?" Sort of like, "What does God need with a virgin?" LOL! Though that hits a little close to home... Damn you, Steve Carell and your The 40 Year Old Virgin movie!
  9. I also was in a severe depressive state after I left my faith. I had to break off an engagement with a fundie prude right after it happened. I was surrounded by Christian family and friends who did not (or could not) accept my deconversion, and so either distanced themselves from me or ostracized me completely. The ones that didn't have been treating me like their latest prospect for conversion, giving me tracts and trying to get me back into the fold. There have been a select few that have stuck with me through all of it without judging me or trying to reconvert me, which has probably been the major reason I have not killed myself before now. What I can tell you is that there is hope. For the longest time I couldn't see it, but I have finally gotten to the point where I am getting over my fear and have started moving on. I have found new friends since then (some Christian, some not) and don't feel quite so lonely anymore. I still am very hesitant to start a family for fear I will raise my children wrong and damn them to Hell. But for the most part I am starting to feel good about life for the first time in many years, and it can be quite exhilarating! Don't know if you (Anastasia) will read this or not, but I just wanted to offer my encouragement.
  10. I feel much the same way. Though I lost many friends after everything happened, I still feel that most of them were decent people. They just didn't know how to deal with my deconversion. Now I know some of it is just holding me at bay with the shield of kindness and decency, just so they can gut me with the sword of evangelism as soon as I let down my guard. But for the most part I think their intentions are pure, just misguided. Now this may change as I am away from Christianity longer...who knows. Ugh. That whole idea is just sickening. Without having the chance to even breathe, nevertheless accept Jesus, the child is doomed for Hell. Though as Monolith said, the whole "age of accountability" thing is equally ignorant and a product of trying to reconcile a wrathful God with a loving God. Neither one really works. This is something I struggled with even while I was still a very devout Christian. Yeah, I remember seeing pictures like that as a kid too. The one I remember was Jesus's parable about the rich man and Lazarus, how he begged for someone to give him a drop of water, or to have someone warn his relatives that were still living, but God "couldn't" do anything about it. There were always pictures of the poor Lazarus in heaven at the top and the rich man burning in Hell at the bottom. Though like many others on this board, I too am guilty of doing the same thing to people. When witnessing to people, I would talk about the gruesomeness of the crucifixion in detail, and come up with all of the worst analogies for Hell I could think of. I was in my teens and 20s during most of that, and most of the people I talked to were my age or younger. I participated in Judgment House (Christian haunted house) and did skits talking about it all the time as well. I am not proud of it, and if there is a god I hope he/she/it will forgive me for that. That is the problem, the same problem that took me sixteen years to stop. They have arrived at an answer that explains everything, and are afraid to question it because their entire foundation will collapse if they do. Many are afraid God will burn them in Hell if they have the audacity to question him, and others are in complicated situations where people will be hurt (sometimes badly) if they do. There are also many that have so much "faith" that they think doubts and questions are of Satan and will therefore refuse to entertain them. The closed-mindedness drives me nuts, though once again I was also guilty of it for the longest time.
  11. That's pretty much the same as my list. I always had a hard time deciding whether IV or VI was number 2, but I ultimately have to agree with you. II was just awesome. That's the best way to put it. Khan is the best Star Trek villain ever, none of the other movies come close on great space battle sequences, and there was so much drama and suspense. Characterization was also really good in this one. IV hit the nail on the head on characterization, there was definitely a lot of humor (Catherine Hicks slamming into a cloaked Bird of Prey), plus there are some of my favorite lines from the whole series ("everyone remember where we parked" or "I think he did a little too much LDS"). Plus, Catherine Hicks. VI had a nice battle scene there at the end, Christopher Plummer made an awesome Klingon, and it had some good one-liners as well. They also did a good job with characterization here, I think. The music for this one was just awesome as well. It was a fitting finale for the series. Oh yeah, and Kim Catrall. III was okay, but it got boring at times. It started out really slow and was kind of hard to get into. Though I still love the part where they break McCoy out of jail (don't call me tiny) and steal the Enterprise (Good Morning, Captain). This is the only reason I rate III higher than I, because it set up the scene at the end of IV where they read off the long list of charges. I was definitely a rehashing of "The Changeling," though again I have to give props for making the leap to the big screen. Plus, I still remember the first time I watched it and found out it was Voyager (well...one that hasn't been built yet). I loved studying the Voyager missions as a kid, and I was a kid when I watched it for the first time. V was...well...different. It really didn't fit in with the rest of the series. It did have a good spiritual message, which I view in a different light now that I am no longer a Christian. There were also some good lines, but something about it was just off. The acting also wasn't the greatest, either.
  12. Thanks for sharing your story, trekkie (almost feels like I'm in an AA meeting or something... ). I see some striking similarities in our stories. Neither one of us just one day jumped off the couch and said we were no longer a Christian. While we both "came out" to people when we more fully understood our beliefs (or lack thereof), the deconversion process itself took place over a longer period of time. I think a lot of Christians see ex-Christians as people who just one day decided to stop believing, for whatever reason (they often see it as selfish in nature). It's as if I was a Christian yesterday and today I am not. I don't know if this is their way to try to cheapen it, or just to more easily write it off as the work of Satan (a lot of it is probably simple closed-mindedness to stay secure in their faith), but they often see it that way. But the reality is that it is a process - a journey, if you will - just like everything else in life. I think this may also come from the fact that a lot of those people also see "getting saved" as someone coming down the aisle at church, saying a short prayer, and dancing out of the church as a new person. But even that is a journey. There is so much that happens before and afterward - that so often seems to go unnoticed - that has more to do with the actual "conversion" than the trip down the aisle. Pretty much every person who does come down the aisle has thought about doing it at least once before and didn't. When I was a Christian, I called this conviction by the Holy Spirit; now I just call it natural human hesitation and fear of the unknown. If more Christians realized this, I think they would be slower to jump down our throats and try to re-convert us.
  13. I thank you for your encouragement. Though you have only been on this board for a short time, I have already grown to respect and admire your opinion. I am glad that your wife has been so supportive during this time. When your perspective on life (or at least the way others see it) radically changes like in our situations, you can be very hard-pressed to find someone - anyone - who will stick with you through all of it. Fortunately for both of us, we have found somebody. For you it is your wife, and for me it is my sister. When I "came out" to my fiancee, she left me, and my relationship with my mom has not been the same since that day. At that time I truly felt alone, abandoned by everyone I thought cared for me. Without my sister, I don't know if I would have been able to make it these past few years without killing (or otherwise harming) myself. I have found other people who have supported me since then, though pretty much all of them are people I befriended after everything went down. My personal take on Jesus is that there most likely was a person named Jesus who walked the Earth, made some great teachings, did great things, and was probably a notable figure in history. He was probably a very decent human being, and someone to be admired. However, I think the Bible has skewed the true character of Jesus, trying to make him into something more (or at least different), and as a result he has become the figurehead of all the religious nonsense to go along with it. It is really difficult to separate fact from fiction in his case. And yes, I spent so much time trying to find that "magic bullet" for deconversion. But I quickly realized that the only thing that would suffice for a "magic bullet" (at least for me) was a 100% guarantee that I would not be going to Hell, something I knew that was impossible to attain, and so I fell headlong into a slump. Many times in my journal and aloud I would ask myself how I was supposed to pick up the pieces of my shattered life. Everyone expects you to just pick up and move on, but my foundation completely crumbled, and I had no idea what to do next. I don't know what it was that finally started clicking (I think it was something my counselor said), but I finally grew to the point where I realized that I no longer had to succumb to terrorism, letting myself be controlled by fear. Yes, it is still a very hard process, and still very painful at times, but I have finally started to move forward. And that line was from the best Star Trek movie of them all!
  14. Very similar to that quote in Braveheart, "Every man dies. Not every man really lives." But you are very right, TORM. I spent years trying to dig deeper into Christianity, trying to find answers, trying to find peace. For a time it was there, but only when I was surrounding myself with Christian ideas and basically brainwashing myself to believe it was there. After I got out of Christianity, I started "living it up" for the first time ever, and I found that the times I had the most fun was when I went out and had a drink with friends, or went out and did something else with friends, or just sat around and had heart-to-heart talks with people. This made me think back on my lifetime during Christianity, and I realized that it was the same thing back then. It was always when I was involved with other people that I was enjoying life. Sure, some of it involved the church, but a church is still people. It wasn't God or the religious aspects that were making me happy; it was the people. When I finally realized this, life became so much better. BTW, why is it that whenever I read your "Religion does not make people happy, people make people happy" quote I think of that gun rights saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"?
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