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About DanForsman

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    San Francisco East Bay
  • Interests
    hiking/walking, vegan diet, smaller houses and less stuff, sustainable world population size, economy not built on growth
  • More About Me
    I am looking for something meaningful to focus on in retirement. I value independent thought and believe that world peace is an achievable goal.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No thanks; I have had enough now.

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  1. DanForsman

    'God' is killing my mother

    Hi Dexter. I’m sorry that you find yourself is such a perplexing situation at the same time you are having to deal with a very real possibility that your mother could die much too soon. I think it’s important to realize that your mother has not taken this situation lightly nor has she ignored the possibility of chemo. Looking back at the process you described it seems to me that she has used quite possibly every asset at her disposal to make a good decision. Truthfully none of us can know whether or not she has factually chosen the very best possible course given the 50/50 scientific prognosis. You have done your very best at playing the roll she asked of you in helping her make her decision. She probably understood very well what you were saying and became angry not really at you but at the difficult and possibly deadly decision forced upon her by this disease and the times we are living in. I don’t think you should feel responsible for not having tried harder in this situation. You can try gently suggesting she add chemo to the care she has chosen but if she rejects that I think you can feel at peace with supporting her well (from her perspective) thought out and researched decisions especially considering you would accept her decision if only she had approached it from a different angle. Most importantly your mother needs to feel like you trust her to be doing her very best to take care of herself. It may be worth while to research online how debts are handled after a persons death as I think passing on actual debt from a parent to a child (beyond reducing an inheritance) is uncommon if it is even possible. It’s clear you love your mother and your family very much and I wish you all the best in these difficult times.
  2. DanForsman

    Update left church

    Wow. Here you are facing all these very difficult situations just because you've trusted yourself to be able to determine what is and isn't true and found your religion lacking. I'm truly sorry for you, Mothernature, and wish you all the best moving forward. If the tension seems too great it may be time to make a move. It doesn't sound like you really know where your husband is going to go in response to your dropping out of the faith and he can't know where you intend to go with your new world view. He is worried and one part of the cross wiring job the church does is blame the husband if his wife (or children) fall away from the faith. My advice of late is to try to downgrade the tention by focusing on what you think can still be salvaged in the relationship. I don't think it is necessary for you to give specific reasons for losing you faith (potentially a source of bitter conflict) but rather just to make as clear as possible that after a lot of careful thought and research you have come to the conclusion that christianity is not based on truth. You appreciate how difficult this change in you is for him to accept.You don't look down on Christians but Christianity isn't something for you. You are completely fine with him practicing his religion; you're not planning on him changing his mind just as you don't want him working to change yours. A fight takes participation from both parties. Never raise you voice and try to hear what your husband is saying. Expect him to be on edge. On the other hand you don't have to discuss anything you don't want to and you don't have to know everything about why you've changed your mind. You can say I don't know and stick with that just as you can say I'll need time to think about what you're asking me now.Then hopefully you can agree that religion is going to be more or less an out of bounds subject and you can turn your attention to whatever positive interactions you envision taking place between the two of you now that the relationship has changed. Spend some prep time thinking of enjoyable things you can still do together (assuming you believe in salvaging the marriage). I think it would be too much to include negotiations regarding the children in the first discussion. Really if you are unable to see a mutually envisioned satisfactory relationship between the two of you and beyond defining it have also actually had enough time to try out the new arrangements and to have successfully made them work then prospects of working out reasonable agreements regarding the children won't have a very high probability of success.These problems come just when you deserve to be congratulated. You've absolutely done the right thing to ask honest questions and pretty much everyone here has come to the same conclusion you have. With more time you'll see that the puzzle itself is very simple to solve while the extreme complexities all have to do with the way Christianity is presented and packaged. You should be very proud of yourself for caring so much about the truth. You are moving forward with your life in the best possible way and will become more and more capable of dealing with difficult situations by continuing to rely on your own good judgment. Congratulations!!
  3. DanForsman

    Loosing my religon

    Welcome Tenebrae. It sounds like you had a very rough start of your adult life and I'm sorry for that. I'm so glad you were able to get back on you feet. Congratulations though on getting your nursing degree and also on finding your way out of the cults of christianity you got into. Is everything pretty much ok now or are you still substantially struggling? Glad you here to keep us company.
  4. DanForsman

    confused and conflicted!

    Hi REM123. I'll be totally excited to here back anytime you're feeling ready to respond. I thought you had possibly given Christianity another try so was prepared for a very long time of waiting before I heard from you again. Lately I've posted a few things after the first wave so it takes a little luck to have those things even looked at. I am in fact very well just now, thank you, and I hope the same is true for you and for sure you're very welcome.
  5. DanForsman

    Glad to be here

    It was a pleasure to read your story Jenstar. Very clear and nicely written. I was 15 when I decided I couldn’t pretend to believe any longer so when I told my mother whose job it was to tell my father I also think I put up a wall unnecessarily between myself and all the believers in my family. I was fully prepared to be shunned but their approach was to put me in the “questioning” category which I hated along with any praying for me remarks or I can see you’re not happy remarks. There was never an official rift between us but I think I assumed from my understanding of our evangelical christianity that they would necessarily put me in a crazy category so I just didn’t believe a meaningful relationship could work between a more cult like believer and a non believer. Today I think that those of us who leave the faith may have much more interest in the doctrine than those who stay in. I think that the double standard and logic falicies go hand and hand with belief so a loved one may very well find a way to fit you (a non believer) in if that’s what you want. I think that the only point you need to get across is that you are certain you don’t believe but that you hope that this one thing as important as it is doesn’t destroy your relationships with loved ones. I would say as little as possible about why you don’t believe and stick with that you have spent a lot of time considering and that for you it just doesn’t seem true. You appreciate you could be wrong and that there are many very smart people who are Christians. As quickly as possible I would move the conversation to how much your relationship with your loved one means to you and how much you don’t want to lose that. You may want to point out the many interests and concerns you still have in common and that your feeling toward the loved one have not changed in any significant way. This is a topic that comes up often so when and if you decide to tackle this issue please write back and tell us what happened and how you feel it went. Best of luck! Adding just a bit here. Things that a believer and an ex believer can still have in common include almost everything except church and evangelizing such as having a meal together either in or out, watching any movie that isn't religious, playing games (including videos) or puzzles, playing physical sport activities, going hiking or camping, swimming, fishing, attending a birthday or graduation, sharing stories or concerns, etc. etc. Clearly a workaround to no longer sharing a religious belief can be found if that is the goal of both parties so their is good reason to hope for a happy ending.
  6. DanForsman


    Hi MAAT5 and welcome. I hope you will find some comfort here. You introduction is a little short on details so it will take more guessing as to exactly what bad things are happening to you and what to suggest to help. A starting place might be taking a very close look at Christianity and Buddhism especially the supernatural parts and seeing if they are or aren’t possibly credible to you. What about morality? Did religion cause morality or something else? Maybe if you can better understand where you are on these things and where family members are on them you’ll be more able to address the concerns you seem to have. Most of us on ExC have spent a good amount of time examining and questioning our beliefs and that examination has taken us many places we never expected they would. I don’t know if you’ve already done this but if not maybe you could try it as a starting place. We look forward to hearing back from you and continuing the dialogue regarding what’s going on in your life.
  7. DanForsman

    Not One Answer to One Prayer For Healing : Giving Up On God

    Like everyone hear I am so sad to read your story. I think when things go very bad at a very young age it is incredibly difficult in adulthood to really accept yourself and all the abuse and just completely let go and walk away with that damaged or at least very changed person who remains. Then adding to that so many physical problems makes it hard for me to imagine what you have been through and still are going through let alone think of something helpful to say. I guess the best or maybe at least is that we are hear listening to what you say and wanting some good outcome for you. For sure most of us have been really disappointed to have put hopes into christianity only to discover that it is a sham and we have been duped. Maybe you would like joining in with us here and sharing some of your experiences with others trying to cope with various problems they are encountering as they work to free themselves from christianity. I believe you have much to offer from having traveled along such a difficult path. Please stay in touch if you can.
  8. DanForsman

    good without god, indeed

    Hello Book of Ruthless and welcome! Thanks so much for all those nice words and thoughts. It feels like you're already one of us. I think I lurked for over a year so a couple of even intense weeks hardly seems like lurking in my mind. You have things to say and I think from time to time you see deconverting ExCs that you'll want to share a thought or two with so hopefully we'll be hearing more from you, hopefully for a long time to come. You are a very kind and thoughtful person; we're lucky to have you with us.
  9. DanForsman


    Hi Questioning32. I'm glad you felt strong enough to write to us here on this site (even though we are representatives of those evil "voices" in your head). Isn't it strange how everything can turn upside down so quickly with religion? Here's a little something you might be able to hang on to if you feel at times concerned that you are on the wrong path. If there is a god the only spiritual sort of thing you can be certain that that god has given you is your mind and with it your ability to reason. Whether or not this god gave you the bible is not clear especially when you consider that two thirds of the presently living humans received a different book or oral tradition. For what it's worth I think you're on the right path for finding real peace and contentment. Please keep us up to date on what you're thinking what we might be able to help with.
  10. DanForsman

    My Long-Awaited Introduction

    Welcome Questioner. I'm glad you have taken the courageous step of trusting your own ability to reason above the pull of tribe to conform. I think the rewards of following the path that your own genes and (god given?) ability to reason have put you on are beyond compare. Good for you! I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well. I hope the time that you spend sharing with us will prove rewarding for you and perhaps provide some bits of relief to your daily struggles.
  11. DanForsman

    I Just Realized That I Don't Want to Be a Christian...

    Hi justasking. So nice to have you here. I am compelled after reading what you've written to say congratulations and that I want you to know that I've been on the path you've just begun traveling down for many many years now and I am daily convinced that it is the right one. I read an article yesterday that made the point that the biggest regret that people typically had at the end of their life was that they didn't do more of what they really felt compelled by their inner self to do, that they didn't ever really explore who they were. I looks to me like you are making a timely move away from this trap and I'm sure this change will serve you well. Don't let anything shake your confidence in your clearly excellent ability to reason things out. You're doing great so don't stop now!
  12. DanForsman

    confused and conflicted!

    Thanks for those wonderful thoughts and feelings MOHO! I am always excited to read you comments and I am so glad you haven't (yet at least) followed up on you thought of graduation from ExC and getting along without us. Once you are completely healed of you exc life you can still serve a valuable purpose here sharing you experiences (not least of which is your rich background in the ever popular unequally yoked conundrum). Thanks again my friend and thanks also for all that you bring to our little community. You most certainly do have a mind of your own.
  13. DanForsman

    confused and conflicted!

    I started writing a month or so ago and then so many distractions. This is what I had started with: So great to hear back from you REM123. Whenever i see what you’ve been thinking about I get so many ideas for things i want to say to you. I’m so glad you took what I said to be supportive rather than critical of you feelings. I totally mean to be supportive in my responses but I take chances because I hope I will hit on something that is meaningful enough to actually be helpful and, of course, there is always the chance that what I’m saying is completely off the mark or else poorly timed. Anyhow I’m glad you’ve put the anger thing in your head as a possibility just in case you find that knocking at the door more strongly down the line. Most importantly I want to be very clear that I don’t have any doubt that parting ways with christianity was the right thing for you to do and that your decision will serve you well throughout the rest of your life. In fact I hope you take it further and question every thought you have in the future where tribe might play a roll (family, friend, club member, political figure, etc.) and possibly cause you to favor cognitive dissonance over most probable explanation for whatever is happening. I cannot think of a circumstance where I myself would ultimately prefer to have used cognitive dissonance over reason no matter how costly it might seem at first consideration. I’m not sure that this will make your life any easier or that you’ll necessarily get the results you want more often but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are living you own life, expressing your own particular DNA. I believe you will at times feel extraordinary satisfaction in knowing you used you own mind and your own reasoning in a difficult situation to come up with the best solution your abilities and resourcefulness allowed. For me this feeling is unmatched and the assumption of personal responsibility unmatched by anything christianity has to offer. In a very real way leaving christianity is like what we imagine growing up is, putting yourself in charge of turning all the levers and working all the switches and then taking responsibility for your choices. Since I’m here I want to put in one of my favorite life lessons about taking full responsibility for your life and all your actions. The first part is drop the temptation to look at results when judging yourself. Society loves to do this so you’ll need to be very conscious of choosing to focus on your effort rather than how everything turned out. There are so many reasons for this like you could credit yourself for a good result that you had no part in causing or you could blame yourself for what was actually a case of going the extra mile and doing an extraordinary job of researching and reasoning when in fact the task you had taken on was simply not achievable or possibly most confusing of all everything looks wrong (or right) but the place in time you are judging from is too early and the results are going to be different in the future. To be successful at this you will almost certainly at times need the second part in order to be able to tell yourself you’ve done a good job when your world has been turned upside down by a bad result. If you’ve read much of my advice you will have seen this before but my recommendation is to seriously become you own parent, that ideal parent you strive to become or imagine you would strive to become when you have a child. Be patient, understanding, loving, forgiving, realistic, supportive,etc. because from here on out the buck stops with you and you will need the very best of yourself to fight another day regardless of how dire your situation seems at the time. So maybe for you right now this line of thinking might suggest you just to take pride in how far you’ve come and the effort you’ve put into doing the right things for yourself even though you have some uncertainty and down times. All you need to do is follow up as best you can on any questions that come up and give yourself all the information you can find so you keep putting yourself in the best possible situation to keep coming up with really good choices. I also was thinking of bring up the point Jostpentera brought up so I’ll elaborate a little on it as I think it is relevant to you possibly selling yourself short in a couple of areas. The idea is that if the holy spirit or some other supernatural force isn’t participating in the church services then those safe secure feeling you had when you prayed and that after church high you experienced and all other good feelings that came while a christian were courtesy of your own mind and therefore almost certainly retrievable if you can find a way to allow them to return. I think a lot of people are able to experience similar overwhelmingly protective feelings while out in some natural setting or during meditation or even after a physically taxing experience (an all day bike ride for example). One more thing relating to this is that it is possible that you were ready to make a step forward in resolving problems in your life and joined the church as part of that process. If this were the case (and it is likely because progress can’t come until we’re ready) then the church probably didn’t play as key a roll in helping you as it might appear and in fact your personal transformation might well have taken place through any one of a number of different self help forums or even all on its own. I hope you get this REM and wish you the best of everything as you continue your journey.
  14. DanForsman

    confused and conflicted!

    Hi REM123. I just though to take a look to find you and am so happy to see you are still posting. I got a small fracture in my elbow last Wednesday so my arm is in a splint and I've just begun getting back up to speed. I'm really sorry to see that you suffering to the extent that you are. I feel like I have so many things to say to you. First thing is that nothing you are experiencing has not been expressed on this site by others in the past. Pencil who arrived here two or three years ago comes especially to mind as he was torn so much by the comforting feelings he had received from his church and trying to reestablish those, and his separate new beliefs the christianity was basically false. My advice to him at the time he first came on and to you now would be don't be afraid to return to your church either to a limited extent or as whole heartedly as you are able. I can tell you the I recall Pencil returning I believe twice and one of those was for many months while we would not hear fron him at all. Eventually though he convinced himself that returning left him empty. Deconverting will likely last for quite a while more for you I think and it my help to see yourself more halfway between christian beliefs and complete deconversion rather than beyond the reach of christianity or having past up the possibility of reevaluating your faith. Christianity will accept you exactly where you are. Their position is you are simply experiencing a crisis of faith even including your unequally yoked situation so there is nothing dishonest about going back just to see if maybe something wonderful happens. I believe you have not yet experienced anger and that continuing the process will at some point bring you there. I hear what you are saying about how your church was there when you needed them and what good friends the experience generated and also how scary it is to speculate where you would be today if christianity hadn't been there for you. I also take into account that yours was a much less insane version of christianity than many of us have experienced. In spite of all these important considerations I think you are avoiding and shielding your christian experience from the very significant responsibility it has for your present state. What exactly is the crime you have committed? Why is it that you feel reluctant to turn to the friends your christian experience has brought you in your current very real crisis? Is it really OK to offer help with so many strings attached? Something else that made me think of you was in this really long piece titled "The Friendly Atheists Next Door". This family does eventually replace nearly or maybe completely their non family network of friends with atheists. But what might especially be of interest is that somewhere in the last third of the story Harry, the father and main character, takes on discovering what is that special warm safe feeling that the christian community provides so well and can it be reproduced? http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/03/living/friendly-atheists-next-door/
  15. DanForsman

    Shared Experiences and Hello

    So irregardless of how far along you are in your deconversion process I'm sure you have a lot to offer others traveling down a similar path. Maybe just keep an eye on the new posting and you might see a place or two where you think you'd really like to add something or move the conversation in a direction that seems to you to have been overlooked or you'll see something that you feel should be given more serious thought, or you'll have a question you'd like to ask, encouragement you'd like to add, sympathy you'd like to express, etc. It could turn out to be really special for you as it is for me. Thanks again. The Canada that you describe seems like a wonderful place to live (except maybe a little extra cold weather?). Wouldn't it be great if you could keep your church friends and get rid of the church?