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Everything posted by DanForsman

  1. Good for you! This kind of self respect will serve you well. It seems to me like you are still early in your deconversion process so you may experience a number of spiritual shifts before reaching more stable ground. As far as your kids go just be aware that even though they are young they could have as many questions as you do and could find hell and the bloody sacrifice of Jesus (to name a couple) ideas that are particularly frightening. The church will not encourage them to discuss any ideas that might conflict with church doctrine so they could hold in some very significant fears. Consider asking if they have any concerns and/or fears about things the church teaches from time to time so that they have a real viable way to address these. You’re doing great and I think it is so important to respect your own mind and thoughts as you have clearly chosen to do. If there is a god the one gift it has clearly given us is our minds and our ability to reason and we should never sacrifice those for any tribal group think. Nice to have you here and be sure to comment. Helping others with their concerns can be very helpful for you in clarifying your own views and concerns. Thanks for your post.
  2. Report post Posted 1 hour ago Thanks for the link DanForsman. I'd listened to Ken Millers presentation on this trial, but this helped get an overall sense of it. ID is such a strange movement to me, it seems like they embrace the archaeological record, and embrace microevolution, but never macroevolution. So they're left with the conclusion that every new species just poofed into existence the first time we see it appear. And then there's the inevitable question of which designer is it? Do other religions embrace this as science and then claim it's their designer, or is it really just a complicated argument made by Christians. Don't know if you got to watch this but the several day presentation put on by scientists who had volunteered to represent evolution had the judge and the media just mesmerized particularly when the altered chromosome that evolution had predicted was discovered. That engaging testimony had raised expectations for what the creationists would present. The thing that shocked everyone was how simplistic and easily disproved the "evidence" was that the creationists presented. Here was their big chance to demonstrate their alternative "science" and they had all their money and hired their best scientists but lacked the critical evidence. Creation scientists had absolutely nothing to present. The judge just ripped them in his decision.
  3. Marlene Winell has done so much good research specific to many of the things you talk about. If you haven’t already do yourself a favor and get a copy of her book, “Leaving the Fold”. https://www.google.com/search?q=Marlene+Winell+videos&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari&dlnr=1&sei=jIUPXaDkGbHd9APho7KIAQ&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgVuLRT9c3zEguNDIxszB7xOjJLfDyxz1hKYdJa05eY7Ti4grOyC93zSvJLKkU0uFig7KUuASkUDRqMEjxcaGI8OxiYgvLTEnNL17EKuqbWJSTmpeqEJ6Zl5qTo1AGFgcA-ezAgX0AAAA&ictx=1&ved=0ahUKEwjBgrW_4f_iAhUoHjQIHeZlBN4Qw_oBCHc
  4. Exactly to the point. Geography not supernatural powers determine which religions succeed. Another unrelated but significant unsubstantiated "truth" involves everything Christianity promises and spells out about immortality when we have absolutely nothing to indicate that immortality is even a viable concept. Here again Christian dogma races from zero evidence to spelling out every detail of what is nothing more than a concept. Without evidence of immortality every further assertion detailing a specific about immortality becomes just imagination with something close to a zero probability.
  5. This is so tedious but Christianity cannot advance from any point to another that is built on the first if the first point cannot be established as true. Is there some kind of god thing? Maybe but there is no particular evidence for this. Is this god thing a creator god? Possible but less likely because this adds a specific attribute of the unproven god thing. Is there a personal god? No. No Christian group can demonstrate special treatment in response to prayers whether protection from disaster or from disease or whatever. Some are very prosperous for a period of time but they fail also just as chance would suggest. Really this is already the end of the line for Christianity because it needs a personal god as a personal god is central to the bible story. There are many foundational points that are nonsensical. A man 2,000+ years ago is dead for three days (brain matter now liquefied), his dead body disappears, but he soon shows up alive somewhere near by and is supposedly seen by some or many which is recorded exclusively in the bible and then he flies up up and out of sight never to return (not yet anyhow). This sounds not just conveniently unprovable but made up to give the story a supernatural lift (I believe I saw at least 50 years after the fact). Since only 1/3 of earth's inhabitants are Christian then the Christian god was terribly unsuccessful with his human creations or maybe hell was his real interest rather than heaven. If there is a powerful holy (god) spirit that will enter the believer's body why hasn't this amazing wonderful experience spread from person to person like wildfire? Why is Islam the worlds fastest growing religion set to catch Christianity by 2050? Whose side is this holy spirit on? Why does archeology fail to support the Exodus or the flood? Here is the best question ever TinMan: What is the most compelling reason you know that will support claims that the the bible and Christianity are true? If you have something it will be the very first I have seen in my years here on this site but I definitely do want to see what you've found.
  6. I see it now. The important thing is you're not going into trance like states. Yes Christianity steals your good judgment like a magician and when you figure that out it leaves you wondering like where have I been all this time.
  7. Great job Luke. You are so much more studious than I am but I'm very glad the resources are out there for someone like you to get the information you need to sort through all the details regarding what is true and what is not. It is just shocking to discover how many deceptions are involved in keeping intelligent people from questioning their faith. A big part of learning from my Christian experience has been coming to terms with how I will accept things that are not only false but obviously false, hopelessly false and then continue the self deception going so far as to convince myself I have learned great truths and then continuing in this self deception year after year. Where else in my life have I chosen to do this? Why do I choose to put away reason sometimes and why don't I see it when I make the switch to this false reasoning? I think I wish it were really hard to figure out that Christianity is just another religion made up by some socially primitive, scientifically ignorant men but instead it is a case of "The Emperor's New Clothes". For the most part the Christians around you will misunderstand anything and everything you have to say about why you no longer believe in Christianity. After all their faith depends on never asking basic simple fundamental questions regarding whether or not the basic story is true so try not to let that frustrate you when dealing with your network of Christian family and friends. Everything that really matters involves where do you go from here and maybe what can you learn from your Christian experience to make your new life even better. Think about commenting on some posts from others who find themselves in situations similar to ones you've been in and above all enjoy and appreciate all the opportunities you've given yourself by choosing to look carefully at what you think you are seeing and asking questions including hard questions. I wish you all the best.
  8. Are you possibly going through a period of considerable stress? Your losing focus to this extent can be dangerous, for example, when driving. You should take this seriously and resolve whatever issue or medical problem is causing you to enter into these altered states before something seriously bad happens.
  9. Hi NuckC. Glad you got out. Oddly the most powerful revelation regarding my deconversion came more than 50 years after the fact. I stumbled upon this site and became fascinated by the large number of exchristians who were in so many ways just like me. At the time quite a few christians would also stop by and comment in the main area so this provided an opportunity for me to see their arguments. When I deconverted at 15 I believed as I had been told that there were many good historical, archeological, logical, etc. proofs for the truth of the bible and christianity. I had known at 15 that whatever these proofs were they would not convince me but now with the anonomous nature of the internet I would have a chance to see these proofs for myself and I was excited by the prospect. Well about 2 or 3 years after joining I was getting impatient to see some of these proofs so I finally put a comment on something the very reasonable long term ExC member WisenedSage had written asking what was the most convincing piece of evidence he had come across in all his years on this site in support of truth of Christianity. His answer was shocking to me in that it didn't have any proof in the ordinary sense. His answer was that he felt the King James translation of the bible was christianity's most powerful convincing force rather than a specific proof! No proof! So my discovery was that there is not even a single compelling proof of Christianity. I know that sounds impossible with all the appolegetic books and all the public debates but I think I can show you. How about if I show you how this would played out in a US courtroom? It just so happens that i believe I can do just that if you have a couple hours to devote to watching the PBS documentary, "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial", on the 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover Area School Board trial. Nova has taken it down but here it is on a youtube:
  10. Your understanding of your situation and what you've written about it here is flawless Xtina. I believe you understand your new relationship with this man as well as it could be understood. It looks to me like your inner self is telling you to get out . Reread what you have written and see what you think you are saying to yourself. With someone who is lucky enough to think as clearly as you do my advice is always to listen to yourself and follow your instincts. Trust yourself and see where that takes you. Don't allow a half crazy person to take away a substantial portion of who you could (should?) be. This is the only chance you're going to get to find out who you are. You partner seems to be a hopelessly lost sole. I seriously believe living by yourself would be a tremendous upgrade to attempting to drag this guy along with you. If you just give yourself a chance you may very well surprise yourself with how fulfilling and fun being you turns out to be. Good luck Xtina. I'm glad you chose to bring your story to us and please keep us in the loop for at least a while and let us know however you decide to proceed.
  11. Welcome former pk and congratulations on finding your way out. You will see there is so much variety in the way and extent that christianity has become intertwined in the individuals psyche that the possibilities are endless. Then add to this the many possible peripheral complications and in many cases potential for collateral damage that a deconversion or the outward acknowlegment of a deconversion might cause and it's easy to see how at least certain effects can last a lifetime. I think the most important thing each of us bring to the discussion is our unique perspective based on exactly what our experience was. So if you see something that is submitted that you can relate to particularily well then that is where your comments are most likely to make a difference in that person's life. This site has a huge archive of stories submitted by people in every stage of deconversion that I'm sure will be of great interest to you and provide so many unique answers to the questions you ask. I am currious as to why you feel the 6 years you spent in your own deconversion process was excessive. Christianity has so many subtle ways of planting blockades in the minds of believers that stop them from asking the bigger really difficult questions. What do you think could have happened to shorten that process for you? Anyhow I believe you are already well qualified to provide unique helpful welcome comments to those who stop by here looking for help or encouragement in their questioning or deconversion process. Glad to have you with us and I look forward to reading your future comments.
  12. Hi BlindFaith. I have been exchristian for 56 years now but I retired 4 months ago and in so many ways my work life was my social life so I too am looking to find at least a few friends that I can connect with in my retirement. My wife created a social network through an interest in distance cycling in her late 40's after we moved to a new community. She joined a couple of clubs all on her own and the months turned to years and she cycled (haha) through the Jesus types but found some really good friends and even wound up doing a great personal training job for the last 4 years or so working for a very nice couple she rides with. I don't need many friends but a couple of good ones would be great. My best idea to spend time with people I have things in common with is to start a Recovering From Religion support group here where I live. There are a ton of meetup groups out there and you can also start your our. Atheists are typically underground in religious communities and especially at work in order to keep from possibly causing friction but if they think it's safe they'll come out to a fellow non believer. From what I've seen on this site I'm quite sure that atheists and nones are living throughout all the states. If you happen to move again consider Austin. I think I could be happy living in the political climate they have going there even if it is Texas. Keep us up with the actions you ultimately take to address your concerns and how they work out as this issue you have raised comes up regularly here. Whatever happens you are free to use clear reason to help you find your way now that you have stopped trying to make yourself believe things that clearly are not true. Congratulations for choosing to walk away from the nightmare world of double standards, logic fallacies, patriarchy, etc.
  13. I must be really tough getting blindsided in this way. You definitely have my symapathy. Things are probably moving fast right now with everything so tentative in this most recent post of yours. The good news is you have a job and in a situation like yours that is everything. When the dust settles I’m sure you’ll be standing on your own two feet. Best wishes and good luck in this difficult time. Do keep us posted when you have time.
  14. Late picking up on this but i’ve read everything and i’m pretty sure this confrontation will be anti climatic and not very satisfying. Parents are just people who were sexually able to procreate so it’s a position that has no qualifications. We have great expectations for our parent growing up out of a need for self preservation but your father doesn’t seem like anyone interested in learning new behaviors. In the end you have to let go of all the built up anger for your own sake but it isn’t necessary to make peace with your father if it’s a one way street. I think forgiveness needs to be earned so yes going to counseling with a good objective counselor would be great for you and absolutely grab the chance if it comes but even there I wouldn’t hold out much hope of your father being someone you’ll be ok hanging out with. And with the forgiveness being earned in my mind that means it would only be possible bit by bit over probably years. I can’t see that happening because I think your father doesn’t understand the basics of what it would take and worse he seems to be putting all of his present efforts into changing you. Also don’t think for one minute the old Christian patriarchy isn’t at play here. He sees himself as bending over backwards to please you with the tiny bits he’s throwing your way but if came down to Him actually changing due to pressure from you that would take more stooping and giving away the authority god has given him than he would likely find acceptable. I must admit that although my father was a much different person than your father we were never able to bridge the gap between us and I most certainly never forgave him. (He came down supporting the molester in a family situation involving my niece and her much older brother in law but we were at odds on other issues even before that.) Interestingly I had it as a condition of our reconciliation that we go to some relatively detached counselor as I felt I was just wasting my efforts saying words that were dismissed or misheard. He never seriously considered this option. We rarely interact after my mother died which sadly was before the molesting came out. Anyhow I think you should continue to hold your ground and if he can’t or won’t come up to some reasonably acceptable standard then probably there is nothing left but for you to let the dream of a supportive relationship go and if something totally superficial and insincere doesn’t appeal then that may be the end of it. He always has the opportunity to change and you then will have the opportunity to reevaluate but your clock is running too and you can’t keep your life on hold for your father to come around. My father died at 94 and he never understood why I wasn’t able to move on particularly when everyone knows that time heals all wounds. Patriarchy and Christianity working together can allow and encourage a father to twist any situation to fit his needs.
  15. You have considerably more courage at this point than you give yourself credit for. You’re doing great Improbability! I’m 71 years old and one thing i’ve learned is that the future we foresee is rarely if ever what actually comes to pass. Just trust your instincts and move at your own pace one step at a time. You may look back and think this is the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself and wonder why you didn’t make the change sooner or not. That’s the interesting part is that we never know but taking control and acting on your own thoughtful decisions is incredibly rewarding in its own right. Good for you.
  16. So glad you’re out hyperholiday. How can anyone work on a real life when they agree to believe what they know isn’t true and then call that the greatest truth, etc. This is the best part of your life that’s begun with your awareness of how significant your own thoughts and feelings really are.
  17. I graduated from Fairhope High in 1965. My family is big into the Evangelical Free Church in Silver Hill. One of the hardest things I did was tell my parents at 15 (my sophomore year) that I didn't believe anymore and didn't want to continue going to church. At 11 I had stood in front of the church and rededicated my life to christ because I felt I had selfishly wanted to be a minister when perhaps god wanted me to leave the safety and comfort of friends and family and do missionary work in foreign lands. I didn't know what my parents would do after I broke the news so I had some backup living arrangements in my mind. Luckily it didn't come to that but the rift was giant and it never repaired very well. I totally love the sensualness of the warm Gulf air. You say, " Reason and truth mean more than delusion" which is I believe the main point for me. How could I ever hope to see and try to understand life if I told myself that what most apparently was not at all true was, in fact, the greatest truth ever told? Life is at times so difficult and confusing no matter how we try that I think believing those crazy stores would just destroy me or at least make me into something much less. Like you I don't want to try to live in a make believe world; I really really want to see myself as I am and the world as it is and to the best of my ability express my own DNA as it seems I was meant to do. Welcome Antares from Mobile, Alabama! I hope you'll hang around with us for a while and share some thoughts. (Just one more memory. Being quite crazy at 17 I rowed a leaky rowboat starting at dusk with a friend from Fairhope to Dalphin Island)
  18. So sorry to here all these sad and frieghtening thought and feelings you are having shydelight. Sweden! It is the last place I would think of to be having to deal with the Christian cult but there you are. First off I like dealing with things one at a time. In your case I think that is this depression. Why not leave concerns about where the marriage is going on the back burner for now and try to resolve the major disruption in your life, depression. I agree with Fuego that your therapist needs to address anything you feel like addressing or you need to move on to someone else. You don't need to be thinking about how your therapist feels about discussing any topic. You absolutely should read Marlene Winells book Leaving to Fold as it will help you understand how very psychologically damaging the Christian cult can be and help you find ways to cope with that damage. You're a very bright person and we need you so do hang in there with us. As MOHO said much better things are comming for you once you get the depression under control. If your husband says disturbing things to you maybe try to get him to back off by pointing out that these other issues are too much for you right now and that you need to focus on recovery from your depression that after you acomplish that you can discuss those religious concerns. I would think you could have better luck finding a non believing friend or two in Sweden than in many other countries so maybe you could join some Meetup (or similar) with people who have a shared interest and then only hang with non believers. Definitely stay with us for a while and maybe comment here and there. Marlene will do Skype and other things that don't involve travel so don't hesitate to contact her if you want to discuss anything in her area of expertise. Very glad to have you here!
  19. If she tells you she is at a crossroads in her faith then that is an opening for you to ask her what she means. If you want any relationship with her you will have to discuss her faith and all that comes with that. It is a peculiar remark to make for someone who is so god driven in her day to day life. Maybe she is having some doubts? Anything is possible.
  20. Just curious Bazz99 but have you ever tried filling out one of those incredibly detailed forms and giving the online dating thing a whirl? It is a modern wonder of our times after all and they would never match you wih a fundamentalist evangelical and there are some really terrific non believers out there. Whatever you do be careful because falling in love only last a finite amount of time and all the rest of those years together it will really matter about how many things you have in common. Not saying this love interest you presently have doesn't possibly still have tons in common with you I'm just saying look carefully because the odds are probably against it. If your possible love interest does allow you to do some conditional dating you still should possibly still consider filling out those forms and see who they recommend you go out with.
  21. MOHO knows what he is talking about on this subject whereas I have learned whatever I have based on reading on this site. If you totally want to persue this relationship I would suggest addressing the elephant in the livingroom. You have two ways to go. You can answer her prayers and get saved and try living the Christian life but unless this really appeals to you we would not suggest it because we found it as pretty much a complete obstruction to living our lives honestly and well. No matter what you do it would be good for you to read at least something on how this cult operates both from someone who loves it and from someone who doesn't (maybe Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins for example). I know this is massively boring but better to enter in prepared if that is what you choose to do. The second option may or may not be open to you and that would be persuading her to enter into an unequally yoked marriage (like MOHO and a respectable number of other on this site have wound up with). I would say that the only way you could get this to fly at all would be by saying something like although Christianity didn't seem very true to you you are madly in love with her and therefore would be willing to attend church with her and see what it's all about. What's best about this second option is that you won't need to throw your sanity out the window right away. As I say this it does sound like a pretty dicy proposition as she will try for a trial church courtship before committing to a marriage. However that would probably get your foot in the door to see if there really are any prospects of a relationship and clearly be a much better idea than jumping into a marriage blindfolded.
  22. Welcome to ExC dobokdude! Sometimes having a strong motivation to not do what you saw your parents do can work to help you create a better life for yourself. It will be a big challenge because we just naturally revert to what we saw growing up so you will need to be very careful and rely on your reason not your emotions as you create you own life separate from the very disfunctional lives of your parents. You have good ability to reason and are avoiding to many traps inherent in christianity; congratulations to you for that wise choice. At 18 you have your whole life ahead of you so you have plenty of time to make some good solid plans that can take you wherever you want to go. Attending community college sounds great. Keep us posted on your situation and consider joining in with us on encouraging others.
  23. Wow (once again) LostinParis how quickly things have changed for you! Good for you with your quick recognition of a potentially dangerous situation and making the appropriate response. Sadly so many women here in the US are unable to recognize or tragically underestimate the threat that domestic violence poses. " From nonprofit Violence Policy Center (FBI reports): in 2016 there were 1,809 women killed by men and of those 962 were wives, ex-wives, or current domestic partners. On average almost 3 women in the US are killed every day by their male partner." I doubt that the situation is very much better in Australia relative to it's smaller population. I see older posted a domestic violence helpline for here in the US so I will post an additional one for there in Australia: https://au.reachout.com/articles/domestic-violence-support I am sure you will have many challenges ahead in creating a new life for yourself and your family. Please know that my hat is off to you for the courage you have demonstrated in taking this on. Give yourself all the credit in the world because as difficult as this transition will be I believe the rewards will ultimately far outweigh the costs. There is nothing so exilerating and rejuvinating as taking control of your own life. This may seem a little premature but congratulations. I hope you have the very best of luck and are able to enjoy your journey whenever that is possible. I would suggest as little face to face contact with your husband as possible. If you do meet with him i think it should only be in a very public place and try to get a friend to go with you there and back home after. The next year will probably be the most dangerous time. Anyhow you are doing so great! Keep us up when you can.
  24. This topic may be a ways down the road for you husband. He has to decide if he is willing, considering the children and all the other things you have in common and your continued commitment to him, whether or not he is willing to give the unequally yoked situation that you are proposing a try. How trustworthy and how changed you are or are not can only be discovered through the trials of time. There is a starting over aspect with some genuinely new ground to cover so quite possibly the only way to move forward will be to go slowly one small step at a time. He’ll need to do some reconstructing of his doctrinal views (but in fact this is something Christians are pretty good at once they really want something) so just stay on your path and allow him the time and space to make a well considered decision. He has a lot to lose PurpleLilac so I think you can more or less hang back and let him figure that out for himself. It will quite possibly come up that you’ve broken a promise of commitment to God that he counted on as fundamental to the marriage and I do think you are on very solid ground there by explaining that your beliefs are not something you decide but are based on what you truly believe looking at everything relevant to the subject and that a lot of information regarding Christianity was not even readily available to you at the time of your marriage. I call this safe ground because you are not saying that your conclusion is absolutely correct you are only saying you have done your very best to come to a well considered opinion and at the present time you have no real choice but to stand behind that opinion. I’m sure we’ll all, including lurkers, be interested to find out whatever your telling about you counseling sessions. We’ll be pulling you; you can count on that.
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