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Everything posted by Akheia

  1. Man alive, I just live for those moments when someone decides to lecture everybody about what TRUE CHRISTIANITY™ involves. When the lecture combines tons of unsupported assertions about the supernatural, I get just giddy. And when the lecturer decides to throw in some paean to whatever they think was the One True Original Christianity That Was Totally Corrupted by Evil BAD CHRISTIANS, guys, it is like Christmas to me. I'm not kidding. I'm laughing over here. What a load of horse bollocks. Dude has no idea in the world what the history of this religion is, much less how many squabbles about significant doctrines and practices existed from the get-go, but he's very, very sure that all these burned-down churches were obviously doing Christianity all wrong. Of course, those Christians would say he's wrong. And they'd have Bible backing them up too. But we'll ignore that. MUH CHRISTIANITY! All these versions of Christianity--many thousands of versions, many completely contradictory and competing--and not a single person believing in any of those versions can adequately demonstrate to any other believer why their particular quirky li'l take on the religion is truer to the original religion (whatever the hell THAT might be) than any of the other versions. It's the Problem of Wingnuts that I talk about sometimes, y'all. Without a tether to reality somehow, without being able to point to objective reasons for holding any belief, nobody can convince anybody else that they're wrong. Real talk: the big problem with Christianity is that there IS no original version of it, untouched and uncorrupted by evil nasty fake Christians. It was always a clusterfuck of (pardon the phrasing) biblical proportions. Nobody could agree on anything at all. Even in the Epistles, we see evidence of catfights between the earliest leaders in the religion. Sometimes those disagreements even got violent (St. Nicholas bitch-slapping Arius, etc.). Also, the Bibles that escaped burning are, as someone's noted, very probably printed on flame-retardant paper. Hardly a miraculous situation, so that kinda blow the entire theory of "my god wants his bibles to survive but not his churches" out of the water. Uh oh! Also also: PEOPLE'S BUILDINGS BURNED DOWN, BEVERLY
  2. This. He sounds pretty flippy-dippy to me. You may have dodged a bullet with this one. If religion's a dealbreaker for him, then he's not the one for you. But in the meanwhile, it hurts. It can indeed feel like having the rug pulled out from under you. You're right to feel that way. He started out the relationship on one footing, and then did a sudden 180 and now he's a religious fanatic upset with YOU and blaming YOU for something that isn't your fault at all, and worst of all expecting YOU to go through a song-and-dance to help soothe his weird freakout. Dude's a loony, and you're quite right in saying he needs to stabilize before you're willing to consider anything with him. Something's going on here and it smells wrong to me. Do not change your religion just to make a man happy. Do not change anything major about yourself just to make anybody else happy. He sounds like the kind who'll just find more drama to punish you both with later on down the line. If you're not convinced that Christianity's claims are true--and why on earth would you be, since they are false and quite preposterous besides--then you're fully within your rights to let him know that you're simply not willing to play his Adult Pretendy Fun Time Game with him, and then let him go find a religious nutter who'll indulge his drama. Good luck hon. Religion poisons everything, and it sounds like it's done to you what it's done to many many millions of other people. You're not alone here.
  3. Akheia


    My deepest, deepest sorrow for BAA's passing. I know I don't hang out much nowadays, but I always looked forward to BAA's very patient takedowns of Christian apologetics talking points. They were an education of inestimable value--just as he himself was an ex-Christian of inestimable compassion and intelligence. I cannot imagine the pain Maureen faces and offer my most profound condolences to her and the rest of BAA's circle of friends. I'll always remember this eulogy - and its optimism and forward-thinking. In these and many other ways, it was a perfect reflection of BAA himself. I will miss him.
  4. I wouldn't say that. Ever. If someone makes you feel bad and won't change the behaviors after you've made clear that those behaviors hurt you, cut 'em loose. You don't need to justify the decision to him either. You deserve good people around you who spur you to your best--not people who will trample you constantly. Don't take shit like that from anybody. He's not interested in your best interests. If you're not either, then you're going to see yourself dragged under by him.
  5. Let's just say these Christians were probably feeling a bit inadequate in their pants.
  6. FWIW, I think you did the right thing. That last conversation you recounted makes the guy sound very manipulative. He's still got his Jesus Blinders on, and he's acting super-Jesus-y, like a character in a movie--because he very likely sees himself that way. But to others, he comes off as, well, manipulative, creepily childish, and boundary-violating. You weren't asking him to put Jesus aside. You were just asking for the consideration anybody would ask for: to enjoy stuff you both like together. At least he's told you exactly where he stands. He's going to be rude, self-centered, and whiny every single time you two are together unless you do the stuff that only he likes and enjoys. How considerate of him! You can cut ties without a shred of guilt over the matter. I lost every Christian friend I had after I deconverted. Every single one. That's not uncommon, either. I know it hurts, and hope you'll find other good friends soon--people who'll give-and-take and enjoy the same stuff you do, and who'll gladly treat you with respect, courtesy, and compassion. You deserve people like that in your life. I just hope he was honest about not bothering you again. Let him instead go whine to his small group, his eyebrows squinched sky-high and amid maybe even some tears, that he'd faced real live persecution and demons had taken yet another friend from him for jus' bein' Christian, but he's planted a seed of faith in that poor heathen, and let him exult in their admiration. He's chosen his tribe. May he enjoy it. Oh, and the book at least that the movie's based on is pure bullshit. Steve Shives ripped it to ribbons on YouTube. This guy's an investigative journalist like I'm Betty Fuckin' Crocker.
  7. Most WTF: "God" made and planted dinosaur bones so that human beings would find them and work together to find out about Creationism. (From a guy who'd far rather have a trickster god than no god at all.) Yes, because that Bible-God dude is super into people learning stuff and working together, amirite? Most Blatantly Dishonest: Yeah, this older Christian Bible College student absolutely swore up and down that he had kept a prayer journal for a year and OMG YOU GUYS ALL HIS PRAYERS KEPT COMING TRUE. When I demanded to see a scan of the journal, he admitted he'd been lying. He made frequent miracle claims that were also obviously untrue and there was not a single fake-news story about such healings that passed him by that he didn't share with wide, astonished eyes. Most Oblivious: A Christian told this long, involved story that he said was a "parable" (his word, not mine) in lieu of a more substantive reason to oppose equal marriage. It involved two missionaries who went to two similar tribes of primitive African people who both practiced incestuous child rape. One missionary tried to understand their culture and didn't tell them that child rape is bad. The other insisted to his own tribe that it was bad and that the people must stop it immediately. The first missionary's tribe died out of disease and whatnot, while the second missionary's tribe flourished. So therefore same-sex couples shouldn't be allowed to get married and/or adopt kids. The Christian telling his story made it a lot longer than this summary of mine and got very touchy when a lot of people poked holes in it and pointed out how racist it was and how poorly it illustrated his point in the first place. It was very obvious that he'd told that story many times to very appreciative audiences of Christians! Most Infuriating: a very very very Christian forum dogpiled a friend of mine to insist that he might as well rape his wife as give her flowers now that he'd deconverted because now obviously he had no sense of morality and the one was just as okay as the other to an atheist. They were absolutely sure of this point. Most Unintentionally Telling: I've lost track of how often a fundagelical guy has told me I'll be raped in Hell by demons. Sometimes if I get lucky the guy doing it will even describe what a demon's penis looks like. It's like they go from Jesus wuvs you! to OMG DEMON RAPE in .08 seconds. Most Tiresome: I've also lost track of how often Christians tell me they sure hope I find peace one day, announce that they've found a new way to practice Christianity that I've never heard before in my life, or ask me why I'm angry at "God."
  8. By attacking your motivations, Mags is recentering the conversation on you and what she views as your suspicious motivations rather than on your concerns about the religion. She does this because in Christianity these attempts tend to be brutally effective. (Silencing tactics work much the same way, and are equally effective.) She literally cannot address your actual concerns, so her goal will be to make you feel bad for even doubting the nonsense you've been indoctrinated with--and if possible to get you to doubt your own common sense. After all, millions of Americans weren't abused as kids or suffered a bad home life, and they still have very negative views of Catholicism. Others were abused and are very firm Catholics their whole lives. Abuse has nothing to do with it, but Christians often think that it does. My husband is a near-lifelong atheist (rejected the whole stinking rotten mess of it in childhood) and had a fantastic relationship with both his parents and an idyllic childhood--and he just laughs when Christians try to imply that his non-belief has something to do with trauma from childhood. As you get to know more ex-Christians, you'll start seeing that "rebelliousness" is pretty much the opposite of what drives us out of the religion. For many of us, we actually sought the truth with all our might, and yet the more we learned, the more ridiculous and harmful it all seemed. I wouldn't doubt that Mags herself may have raised similar doubts once and been silenced in much the same way--or that she saw some unlucky fellow Christian do it and get slapped down, since Christians tend to lead with the arguments and tactics that they think personally are the most effective. Once you know what to look for, it'll become much easier to identify these attempts to get you to pipe down and quit asking who's standing behind that curtain over there.
  9. You may forget but

    Let me tell you

    This: someone in

    Some future time

    Will think of us



  10. Hey, CircesSong, I just wanted to say - I'm sorry you're going through this. Someone tipped me off elsenet that you were here and my heart just went out to you when I read your post. You're not alone. I'm the one who wrote the Promises post mentioned earlier and I still totally feel the way I wrote about a couple of years ago. I don't have specific advice beyond to proceed carefully, which it sounds like you're already dedicated to doing. Your situation is very serious and I agree with the earlier poster who thinks you could benefit from a secular counselor, whether or not your husband wishes to go with you -- but I do want to gently add to the excellent folks here that if you just muscle through this period and keep your head high and your feet on the high road, it will work out one way or the other. It always does. It hurts like hell along the way though. Only the person directly involved can know where their line is, and sometimes someone might choose to pay a price that others wouldn't pay, or balk at paying one that others would. It's your life, and your finite time on the planet: do what you think best. It can be scary at first but you've got a lot of company. Best wishes... and congrats on this heady new period of discovery!
  11. Joyce Meyers gets my blood boiling. Not only does she do that bullshit Prosperity Gospel, but she places all blame for all a Christian's problems on that Christian. Are you depressed? Clearly you just don't trust your god enough! Are you having issues in your life? You're not obedient enough! (Obedience is measured in great part, of course, by how much money you give to her "ministry".)She's nice and obedient (whatever that means for herself) so she gets a private plane and enough money to bathe in. If you don't have that, clearly you are doing something wrong spiritually and it's all your fault. I feel so awful for the Christians who don't know what a master fleecer she is.
  12. I read that piece; it's not bad, but like most fundagelicals he confuses "rights" with "privileges" even while trying to advise against trying to reclaim Christian privilege. Then he goes on to say that he doesn't like using same-sex marriage as a marker of whether or not a church is a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ church, and then goes on two fucking sentences later to use same-sex marriage as a marker of whether or not a church is a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ church: Cognitive dissonance: it's what's for dinner.
  13. Welcome And no, you're not dumb at all. The big problem (for the religious leaders) is that you do get it in a lot of ways. Some very similar stuff happened to me when I was first finding my way out of Christianity. Gaslighting is when an abuser makes you wonder if you're sane--if you can trust your judgement, if you can rely on your intelligence and moral/ethical framework. If an abuser can make you totally doubt yourself, it makes you much more likely to trust whatever the abuser is saying. Now imagine if that abuser was an entire religious mindset. I think you're on to something really important here. Please don't stop questioning and working on it. There's so much amazing stuff to be learned.
  14. I hear you. I try to plot my work so I know what happens in X chapter at any given point. If I run out of steam in one section I can take up in another. If you're flat not interested in what you're writing, people won't be interested in reading it either. Sometimes a particular genre of writing just isn't an author's strong suit though--so maybe play with other genres and see if that works better.
  15. Glad to help! The best tool in your drawer is education. The more you know about the Bible's claims and about real history and science, the better off you're going to be. Education is like a light being turned on in a big, dark basement; the more you know, the more lights you light up, and the less room that fear will have for lurking in and frightening you. There are some really great resources out there to help you--here and in many other places. Just say the word and we'll load you up. Remember, it can't be blasphemy if the Christian god doesn't exist. That's another fear tactic. Bet you can find more if you think about it.
  16. Anything that depends upon your fear is not something worth loving or worshiping. You cannot love that which threatens you. There's no proof that any hell or afterlife exists, and the idea of "Hell" itself only developed centuries after Christianity got rolling, so anybody who tells you differently is just guessing as much as you or I or anybody else is. But I'd say that anything that terrorizes a young person as bad as you have clearly been terrorized is something that can't stand on its own two feet without fear of punishment to hold you in thrall. I would call a religion that terrorizes impressionable young minds evil in the extreme, wouldn't you? Certainly no god who'd send a person there for even a heartbeat, much less for forever, for what amounts to thought crimes over a short lifetime would be anybody we should be calling good or worthy of our worship. And your grandmother has no idea who is going there or not, by her own Bible's admission--she herself might die and discover she did some minor thing wrong and is heading to Hell. That doesn't even make sense--that you could be doing everything you think is right, yet be wrong. What kind of asshole god does that to people? That's very obviously a doctrine meant to terrify people. I'll leave it up to you to wonder why Christians themselves have no idea who's going to heaven or Hell. But if anybody tells you they know for sure who is and isn't going to Hell, that's when you need to get really skeptical--because first, there's no evidence for Hell, and second, even if there were, nobody has any idea what's going to be required to avoid it because the Bible doesn't ever say for sure how to avoid it (probably because the Bible was written before the idea of Hell got solidified). I would gently suggest that you educate yourself about this doctrine that has got you so afraid. Once you learn what Bible scholars, historians, and scientists say about the idea of Hell, chances are you won't be quite so afraid. And the more you learn about the sheer crazy impossibility of anything else the Bible says as "gospel truth," the less you'll be afraid of this little bit of doctrine. Nothing based in fear can possibly be good for you. Acting out of terror will exhaust you eventually and wear you down like a rabbit being hunted by foxes. I hope you find peace, because it doesn't sound like this religion is bringing you the least little bit of it.
  17. Welcome! LifeCycle's a great person and has been so wonderful to get to know here. I hope you enjoy your time here as well.
  18. The only cool part of her reality series was when she had that insufferable twat with 8 kids, the lady with the weird hairdo, show up to go camping with her huge brood. It's a strange, strange day when Sarah Palin gets out-bitched, but Kate Whossname schooled her that day and Sarah actually came out looking kind of normal and maternal beside that coked-up Botox nightmare of brittleness and suppressed rage. (I suddenly feel sad for those kids again... dammit.)
  19. She gave a speech today in which she basically rehashed all her old talking points: Obama is evil and probably not "really" American, lawmakers are all evil bastards, guns are awesome, down-home aw-shucks snowbilly Alaskan proverbs about dogsleds, she is very pretty, she has tits (no, really), she is still bitter about 2008, she still thinks teleprompters are evil (I assume because they involve reading), the Midwest is Jesus-land and Midwesterners are the awesomest people ever, reality TV is evil and politicians shouldn't emulate it and she very much hopes we've all forgotten she left politics to try to have one of her own, and she is willing to TAKE A BRAVE AND NOBLE STAND by drinking a Big Gulp RIGHT THERE on stage, etc. I'm still wondering if it was an SNL skit and the GOP is miffed we all missed the joke. What really struck me most is that a big part of her speech centered around how the GOP should forget facts, figures, statistics, and consultants and just keep doing what they "know" is right. By that presumably she means the GOP should continue to be anti-civil rights and anti-women's rights, to keep picking at the Separation Clause, to keep pushing gun rights on a society sick of gun crimes, and to keep denying science so the fundies won't feel too threatened, and oh yes, to keep pushing candidates who are too crazy to win elections. No, she thinks it's genuinely shameful that some Republicans are starting to speak out against the GOP's habit of running ultra-fundie candidates and that some think tanks and advisors are advising against it. She thinks think-tanks and DC advisors are evil too, incidentally. Of course, one such advisory council got her to the vice-presidency candidacy, but like her failed TV show, she's hoping we don't remember that either. She still hasn't figured it out. Hell, the GOP in general still hasn't figured it out. Subjective feelings do not substitute for objective facts. There's a reason why focus groups, advisors, think-tanks, and pollsters are used. They work--which is why pollsters knew like a year in advance that Obama was going to win. The GOP itself has a tendency to shoot its messengers when the objective facts don't mesh with their subjective wishes. That's why six months after the election they STILL don't really understand why they actually lost! The GOP lost because people don't want what they're selling. Flinging shit harder at people won't make them open their mouths any more than flinging it gently did. Pandering to the Religious Right doesn't work. The solution is not to pander harder; the solution is to stop pandering. But the GOP hasn't heard the definition of insanity quite yet. They think there's a way to package racism, sexism, and theocracy in a way that will appeal to voters. Give 'em time; they're just now coming around to gay marriage. In 50 years they might be kind of okay with women in high office sometimes... IF they're married with kids, too dimwitted to be a real threat, very fundie, and also very hot. And: Only an American redneck could ever think that eating and drinking junk food is a noble thing that should be made a point of at a major political rally. Sarah Palin's last big stand involved eating fast-food chicken sandwiches, for chrissakes. I'm all for boycotting businesses whose practices violate my own conscience, but JUNK FOOD? What, is this Nazi Germany and she's scared that if she doesn't stuff her face with sugar and fatty food that next "they" could come for her radishes? Way to go, Sarah Palin. You sure showed us evil lib'ruls by ingesting a sugar bomb on stage. Her political showboating failed utterly; she just came off as a catty, not terribly bright, passive-aggressive soccer mom/ex-beauty queen type with an axe to grind and a desperate need for attention. It's just so sad that out of all the women in the GOP, *THIS* was what the GOP considers an ideal female politician. I don't think it's possible for the GOP to make clearer to America that they're terrified of women in power. I'm somewhere between absolutely disgusted and totally amused at this display of ignorance and fundie-pandering. The silver lining: if the GOP still thinks she's a relevant political voice, then women's and gays' rights and the Separation Clause are perfectly safe for another election or so. We ex-Christians can breathe easily.
  20. How dare Beyonce not look like a total hottie at all times! It must be demons! Wonder what this crazy fundie lady looks like when she's cleaning up dog poop or having an orgasm. Bet she doesn't look like a Precious Moments figurine at all times either.
  21. CS, nobody says you have to make a decision now about what you're going to do or believe. Christianity makes people feel like it's NOW OR NEVER, and that's not true at all. When I deconverted, I felt like a ship adrift for the longest time because I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with this great spiritual truth I'd discovered about Christianity being patently false. It sounds like you're there now. Christianity also makes people feel like it's either Christianity or nothing at all, and that, too, is a harmful myth. I got into Zen Buddhism for a while after leaving Christianity and it helped a lot to center me and calm me down. Meditation can be such a balm for the spirits after the storm of guilt, shame, judgement, and anger that encapsulates most churches. Some people here get into paganism, some into UU, some into atheism; post-Christianity, one size doesn't fit all. It's okay if you take a while to rest, and then maybe a bit longer to explore your options. You figured out that Christianity is fake, but now that you're feeling adrift, the only option you see is going back to that dog's vomit (to use the Biblical phrase). There is a huge middle ground, and there's no time limit on how long you can hang out there before doing something else. You're in the ice-cream shop and thinking there are only three flavors--why not sample the other flavors? Or just crack open a book and read in the shop a while before leaving? You don't have to label yourself anything for right now. You don't have to declare your major anytime soon. You can just rest. If I had any suggestions for you, I'd suggest continuing to educate yourself to catch up on the stuff you denied before. The more you know, the less likely you'll be tempted to return to a system you know is false and harmful to you. And don't worry about tying yourself to anything right now. Chances are you're going to grow a lot over the next few years; whatever you think works for you spiritually now might look radically different next spring. And that's okay. PS: Galien, thanks for opening up about what's going on right now for you. It helps a lot. You've been so over the top with the aggression and judgment lately that it's got me concerned too. FWIW, best wishes.
  22. All music is to some extent manipulative and written to appeal to very common emotions like "yearning for love" or "feeling kind of marginalized." They're like horoscopes that way. When real friends and lovers try to cheer each other up, they call or come over and hang out and eat Doritos and watch Thundercats reruns with you, not ask a DJ to play a song on the radio in the wild hope you'll notice at precisely the right time AND interpret the song the right way AND know who the song's from. What, is Jesus a middle-schooler now?
  23. I'm wondering how long it's going to take for the papacy to realize nobody gives a damn what they think about much of anything anymore. Let the little boys have their dress-up games and tea parties; the rest of us have work to do.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. milesaway


      yeah, it's hard to take an institution that destructive with anything more than a grain of salt.

    3. LifeCycle


      It's unfortunate they have so much power (enabled by their followers).

    4. kolaida


      It's amazing how much this is talked about at work. I was pretty surprised people at my work even cared.

  24. You can put them through Tesla coils too and wow it makes an incredible show. I've got a CD hanging on my wall in the study that got that treatment--it looks pretty cool. Lilith, it's more than her appearance here. This little girl is in pain and having a horrific existence even aside from her monstrous appearance. She can't even eat her own food but must get it through a tube. Massive amounts of surgery eventually gave her the ability to blink her own eyelids. From what I hear, she just got cheekbones and they're hopeful that sooner or later she'll get a jaw she can use. Not having bones in your head is important for a lot of everyday functions--think about it. Are you drinking a soda? She can't. Are there chips on your desk? She'll never know the fun of getting Cheetos dust on her fingers. Did you just blink? It took years for her to do that. Are you wearing earrings? Closing your mouth? Swallowing? Juliana's sadistic, egocentric parents inflicted this suffering on a child without even considering what her life would be like. It was all about them and their need to prove a point. And then the idea of Christians using such an image to score political points is simply disgusting. That kid's got it rough enough without being the poster child for forced-birthers.
  25. If that's Juliana Wetmore, that's exactly what happened. She's the worst case of Treacher-Collins in history--born lacking about half the bones in her skull--and here's the cosmic horror, here's the Lovecraftian ghastliness in all its dark madness: She's not brain damaged. Oh no. Whatever deity did this to her also saw fit to give her a fully-functional brain to go with that body. She's perfectly capable of seeing and noting her deformity; perfectly capable of understanding and comprehending the horror of her existence. Oh, I'm sure she gives thanks every single goddamned day for her life, every year after her 20-30 operations, every million dollars her parents get charged for her care (by the age of about 3 she'd racked up some $3MILLION--think her parents will be paying that?). And some fucking FUNDIE, some completely oblivious bubble-living ASSHOLE, decided to exploit her for a soulless political agenda and make points with a bunch of other chirpy fundies. ANY LIFE IS GOOD LIFE, huh? Fine, fundies. You fuckin' try it. I've got no way to process cruelty like this.
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