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About smellincoffee

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    Strong Minded
  • Birthday January 25

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    History, simple living, cycling, hiking, astronomy, sociology, philosophy, goes on and on.
  • More About Me

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Turtles all the way down
  1. I've been journaling since...seventh grade. I don't do it as much these days, largely because I enjoy life and have friends to talk to when things get rough, but in middle school and high school, my journals were my only way of speaking my mind. (I also have blog that allows me to exercise my interest in writing..) Fortunately not a lot of religious talk appears: for me, religion always felt like an act, even when I took it seriously, but its artificiality kept it from my journals. Reading through some of mine is hard, but I wouldn't dream of getting rid of them. I'm only concerned about what will become of them in the advent of my death -- there's stuff in my dozens of notebooks that I wouldn't want read without me there to provide context and damage control!
  2. I kept going to Godplace (a Pentecostal forum) for a while after my exit, but the environment is depressing. So much human potential and happiness is being crushed under fear, tradition, and authority. There's a reason I don't hang out with hyperreligious folk. I occasionally attend a local Episcopal church for various side-benefits (community, volunteer opportunities, music...), but they tend toward the saner side of religious life. Conversations about Jesus can be a bit awkward, though.
  3. smellincoffee

    What Made Us Different?

    I was raised in a sect that placed a lot of emphasis on emotionalistic worship: it was required to feel God and be saved. As a kid I learned emotional awareness and even emotional control, though, because it was the only way I had to resist bullying and the like. I was always so aware of when services were being arranged to manipulate emotions that I could never take it seriously as the move of God. I didn't realize that at the time, though: I just thought I couldn't feel God. That meant I was going to Hell, and further -- after 20 years of being ignored by God -- it sort of meant that God didn't care about my life. That made me angry and depressed, and eventually it got bad enough that I walked out. Disassembling the dogma came later and was not dramatic at all.
  4. smellincoffee

    How Have You Changed?

    First, I lost the misery, despair, and anger I lived under while as a Pentecostal. I found meaning, purpose, and hope in humanism, and freethought made me a strong and independent thinker. I have only grown in the years since. I learned to take charge of my life, and I continue to live to the fullest today.
  5. smellincoffee

    Checked The Facebook Of An Old Romantic Interest...

    Ah, finally someone who can empathize. You're from Alabama, your thingy says. Were potential mates scarce because Southern Baptists were averse to hooking up with Holy Rollers (Pentecostals)? In the L.A. area, people were a little less picky over denominational shit as long as they were close enough to the evangelical creed, it was just that people who believed in such a way in the first place were vastly outnumbered by the unsaved. In my case, it was a matter of being from a small town. There were five to seven of us in my youth group, and only two of us guys. Naturally my best friend (the other guy) dated several member, including the girl I liked. (That was an awkward few months.) There were more opportunities for dating at sectional rallies and district conferences, of course -- that's how my friend eventually got himself married. (Come to think of it, the rally where he met her was the last rally I ever attended, back in 2004 or 2005!)
  6. smellincoffee

    Jws Turn Tail

    I clicked this thread thinking I was going to read about "Jews" turning tail.
  7. smellincoffee

    Checked The Facebook Of An Old Romantic Interest...

    I grew up in a Pentecostal church with limited options for relationshps, as well -- and I was nuts for the preacher's daughter. In retrospect I was just a lonely guy who thought he needed a relationship to find meaning -- someone 'in love with love', you might say -- and I channeled those directions onto her, a girl who I didn't really know despite growing up with. When she left Pentecostalism, that was sort of the triggering for my own departure: I didn't have to pretend anymore. Eventually she came back, as she's rather emotionally dependent on her domineering parents, but by that time it was too late for me to deny that my religious life was over. I moved away and went to college; haven't seen her for five years. A few weeks ago, I looked her up on facebook and realized she's not that interesting a person -- she married young, to a Pentecostal naturally, and all she posts on facebook is bible verses, prayers, and football stuff. If we were friends on facebook I would have her blocked from my newsfeed. I don't like seeing a lot of pious posts clogging up my page.
  8. smellincoffee

    How Long Has It Been Since You Deconverted?

    I started leaving religion in late 2005, it's been 5-6 years.
  9. smellincoffee

    Any Students Home With Xtian Family For Spring Break?

    I've had to live with my very Christian (Pentecostal) parents since graduating university in the middle of a recession, but aside from the ocassional invite to church, I avoid most of the flak. Having to listen to prolonged discussions about the disaster-of-the-week and its significance in the destruction of the world tomorrow isn't exactly PLEASANT, though.
  10. smellincoffee

    Some Mistakes Of Moses

    Twelve years old and wanting to read Ingersoll? Your child has a bright future ahead of him. I'm no in position to offer advice, none responsible anyway -- I am not a parent, least of all one in a relationship with a religious partner. Ingersoll is...a rich author. I don't know what I would have made of "Colonel Bob" at that age, but the man was a master at oratory and the text reflects his strengths well. This kind of intellectual courage, that "championing of humanity"...for that alone I would recommend him. His life reflected the kind of character most parents want their children to emulate.
  11. smellincoffee

    Did Your Faith Get Destroyed?

    I grew up in the Oneness, Holiness Pentecostal tradition which places great emphasis on 'experiencing god' through tongues, dancing, worship, etc. I could never feel God, and by the time I was 20 this worried me considerably. I despaired at the thought of Hell, eventually became angry, and told God to piss off. ..and then a couple of months later I found a forum for freethinkers and it's been clear skies ever since.
  12. smellincoffee

    How Christian Was Your Family?

    United Pentecostal Church Internationale. Very strict. Other christians regard them as loonies. The particular congregation I was in became the private cult of the preacher, who turned a church of 100+ to a church of eleven.Those remain call him the best pastor ever. The church's failure isn't HIS fault, witches keep casting curses on it and his congregants aren't as radical as they need to be.
  13. smellincoffee

    How Do You React To

    My rule of thumb: it's more likely that somebody is mistaken, lying, or lied to than it is supernatural stuff happens.
  14. smellincoffee

    Having A Hard Time Attending Church

    Can you leave discretely once the music portion of the sessions are over? I visit my parents' Pentecostal church once or twice a year, and I do it "my" way: I come late to avoid the singing, I bring a book if the sermon gets boring, and I sit outside in the foyer if the "message" is too loud, hateful, or obnoxious.
  15. smellincoffee

    How Long Have You Been Here?

    Four years, not that I'm a terribly active member. I check in on Sundays to see if there are any recent refugees who want to talk with those who've been here longer. Same reason I check in at the Association of Ex-Pentecostals. I also come here after obnoxious encounters with evangelicals and fundamentalists.