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DanForsman

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Everything posted by DanForsman

  1. Do you or did you have work related to that christian education? If so how did you adjust? Congratulations on getting out! From totally brainwashed christian to atheist in only 3 years is really fast so you are very lucky. Glad to have you with us.
  2. Hi Kdeaustin. Change is always scary and the bigger the change the more scary. Nevertheless congratulations on trusting your own (god given?) reasoning abilities and gut feelings regarding right and wrong over the powerful influences exerted on you by you christian pier group to control your thoughts. As you gradually come to trust your own reasoning more and more your life view will become much more firm and reliable than one supplied to you by the group think church goers and the confusing contradictory "guidance" found in their bible. That new foundation will be one you can build on with thoughts than can be trusted and examined as closely as you choose and the fear (unfounded fear} will then start to fade. You might take some comfort from the fact that 2/3s of our present population on earth does not believe in the bible or christianity. If the christian god is so concerned for each and every human how can he do such an extremely poor job of reaching them and then the powerful holy spirit unleashed on humanity some 2,000+ years ago but Islam (which believes it is blasphemy to call the human Jesus a god) is the fastest growing religion set to catch the christian plurality by 2050. You are clearly having a dangerously difficult time with this transition so keep up with secular professional help until you find a safe place in your thoughts and emotions. I hope you will engage with us on the things that are being said here. The more we know about your concerns and what kinds of ideas you find helpful the more we'll be able to help you. We look forward to hearing from you when you have time. Thank you for sharing your story,
  3. I totally agree with TruthSeeker0. You've been sucked in by this trick that keeps you from asking the obvious questions Rickswordfish. If you want to figure out if christiany is true go back to the beginning, leave all the christian preconceptions and slights of hand behind and with a mind that is open to whatever it discovers ask yourself if this religion appears to come from something beyond the bronze age thinking that was common at that time and in the place it was written. Is the god they describe much different from and especially advanced beyond the men who were writing about him? In my opinion there is absolutely no chance that this story of christianity is true, and being untrue it's neither necessary nor valuable to look for extraordinary truths that might possibly be contained in the many confusing jumbles of words written by primitives living in a barely developed social structure. I guess if any of us were to stare at something, anything, long enough and intently enough something eventually will appear to take shape but what does that matter especially considering that there are so many more profitable and/or enjoyable ways for us to spend the precious bit of time we have be given.
  4. Great to hear a bit from you Blue! We all look forward to your update whenever you’re ready to post it. This is the right place to rant so definitely let that happen. It’s very good news that Dreamer is back at college and happy. Hopefully you will get some happiness coming your way. We’re all rooting for you. Thanks so much for checking in. Hopefully you have made some progress towards feeling and being more safe and accepted in your family’s home. You really do deserve much better Blue.
  5. Funny that this got so enthusiastically revived from December of 2018. It is timeless of course like most of the things we discuss here so the year doesn't matter nearly so much as the time of year anyhow. I've been deconverted for at least 56 years and my wife was never a believer (her mother went from marginal christian to atheist as my wife was growing up) and our 3 grown children are all atheist. (I deliberately moved far from my Christian birth family in order to not have to bother rehashing christianity over and over and also so as not to have to view intra familial relationships through the lens of patriarchy.) Religion wasn't a big topic in our house when the kids were growing and we didn't actually interact socially with many christians however we never ever missed an opportunity to have a little holiday together. Christmases were just great! Sometimes I read a seasonal story to the family. I especially remember reading Truman Capote's, "A Christmas Memory" one year. We did all the tree stuff and played and listened to the music and had presents and a special meal on the day. I honestly can't recall any conversation regarding the real meaning of christmas with the kids. We never went to church and I don't recall the kids ever asking about going or even much about what they did inside churches (probably flipping through TV channels provided enough insight on that). I expect we all still like most everything christmas including the songs but they are more just folk songs for us and don't go anywhere near opening doors to the supernatural. I have considered attending a christmas church service for the ambiance and theater of it but the pull so far has not been great enough for me to actually go. I do think the doctrine is without question dangerous and has proven to be harmful to some children and adults. That being said I think even the doctrine becomes pretty benign once it is seen for what it is so neither the church nor the (sometimes silly or gross) songs have been necessarily hands off for me for a long time now. Also I keep paying taxes for these christian institutions I might as well get what I can out of that unfortunate situation.
  6. It seems to me that the elephant in the living room is the fact that new contributions have slowed to a trickle when compared to even a year or two ago, and going back 5 or 6 years the new contributions were flowing like a river. Possibly those types of needs are just less as atheism begins to find a place in particularly the US culture. Whatever it means I just can't help but notice how the spaces between new posts by new posters have grown longer and longer. Also there do seem to be quite a number of first time posters who post something that appears to be wanting a response or suggestions but then the OP never engages beyond that single original post. Is that low level of engagement what these posters are looking for? There are still folks out there struggling with ExC type issues or related issues who find the type of deeper engagement they are seeking right here on this site but it seems that they are becoming fewer with time. I do think this site has already made a significant contribution to the online knowledge base that ExChristians need when dealing with the life changes caused by their new world view. Maybe that in itself has filled a significant need that was previously unmet especially when that knowledge is combined with the assurance (derived from lurking) that there is a place to turn to for personal support should they need it.
  7. Like Myrkhoos said, "As in I cherry picked the Gospels, added my own imagination plus other sources and feel good about believing he was like that." And don't forget to disregard all the utterly crazy and unloving things he tells you to do in the new testament. Those were just some misquotes that always just show up in old books like the bible. He's your Jesus after all.
  8. It isn’t completely clear to me what your question is. In terms of ending your relationship with god or Jesus you should keep in mind that it was always a one person relationship so any questions you have can most definitely be directly addressed be the person involved either you as your earthly self or you as the creator and puppeteer of your god. But maybe you are asking about a different issue entirely?
  9. DanForsman

    Hello all!

    I totally look forward to reading your extamony. I don't know what happened emotionally yet but any money you dropped in the plate previously investing in your eternal future can go into an IRA or 401K now and definately do something to make your future here on earth brighter. Everything is right about escaping the cult. Congratulations WillT.
  10. Hi surferdude. I think 47 is an ok age to start working on money and retirement issues. Personally I had a big loss in my late 50s so I had to put something together late. I have always been a saver and pretty good with money so with a little luck it fell together well enough so I was able to retire this year at 71. Too bad those churches don't emphasize a relationship with money the way they emphasize a relationship with Christ! There are a couple of books (check them out of the library and get started down the right path right away) that really influenced my thinking about money. The one with practical steps is Your Money or Your Life by Vicky Robin and Joe Domingez but that isn't all it has to offer by a long distance. It will show you how to take control of your spending by just rating how much value you place on all the various things you purchase throughout the week in relation to how many hours you spent working in order to purchase each item. It also shows a good way to set your own long term financial goal and track it on a simple graph. The second book (they're both old) is more just to get you thinking about what does it take to retire and it's called You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well. The author interviews some older retired folks that he really likes to find out what advice they have for his readers on what's important about planning for a good retirement. (Hint: money is never the first thing they bring up). I also like Bob Well's YouTube channel CheapRVliving to help you gain perspective on how much variety there is on what can be done to have a satisfying retirement even if it turns out you don't have much money. So there you have it, make a reasoned plan, keep close track of your spending and financial progress and don't stress if it doesn't work out exactly as planned. Making conscious choices is so rewarding and fulfilling in all areas of life because you end up knowing your are living your own life from your own DNA.
  11. DanForsman

    Hello

    Hi pkbutrfli and welcome. I'm glad you got yourself out of that non ushy gooshy non lovey dovey aspect of christianity your family apparently indoctrinated into. It's a much better kind of crazy out here in the world of free thinking. I hope you do have fun here and I look forward to hearing what things you have to share with us.
  12. Wow Distain. You sound so serious and caught up in this rejection of christianity. Good job on getting yourself out for sure. The world is a much more interesting place when you try to see it for exactly what it is. I think that since christianity is just made up bullshit there really is no need to try and undo the baptism as the whole idea is just about pretending, but, of course, you may find it emotionally fulfilling. I know you were just presenting a scenario regarding divorce but the choice you present is very rarely one that comes up from what I've seen on this site. Typically couples are able to find compromises that work for both parties. I hope you are finding joy in your new life without Catholicism.
  13. Being raised as a death fearing christian I thought death was just horrible but bit by bit I have come to see how wonderful it can be. Life can too often take us to someplace really horrible and even torturous from either physical or mental maladies. Death provides a bottom line where (I believe) pain and suffering are not allowed to follow. Even being erased from all memory has a beauty to it like wiping away the footprints we have left in the sand. We are limited by death in how much good we can do but importantly we are limited also in how much damage we can do whether deliberate or inadvertent. Death adds a kind of sweet tragicness to our lives as well if had been perceived as good people and if we were hated it provides a permanent complete obliteration. If none of this appeals there is the camaraderie of well over 100 billion humans who have gone before us already having accomplished this final task on everyone's bucket list. Death is part and parcel of this life that we have here on our earth, this place where we so clearly belong.
  14. Eternity has no use for us here and now if our eternal self isn't anywhere to be found in our earthly memory. Is our existence here then some kind of trick and are we sent off to different lives over and over each time disconnected from our eternal self? Maybe when this life is over our eternal selves can have a good laugh with other eternal beings over our blind man's bluff (or is it hide and go seek) game here on earth. Why do they keep adding more eternals to our little earth, 7 billion and rising? Super crazy game being played on this planet with everyone's eternal self being out of range with zero bars. Do we now have kind of a split personality or is the eternal part shut down or just sleeping or carrying on in the eternal existence?
  15. Welcome. I read about your troubles within your church life. What you can gain here is insight into the fact that Christianity is just man made rather than factual so you can be free to decide how to live in whatever way seems best to you. If you decide to go to church anyhow for the social aspects at least you will have the knowledge that all the claims of unseen forces and miraculous happenings are just woo and even the historical stuff is very often inaccurate or just made up. Hopefully you will come to the realization that it serves no purpose to suffer at all over church affairs or church doctrine that is not based in reality. Enjoy your time here and feel free to comment and ask questions.
  16. "Life will suck really bad when really old anyway, they can just push me out to the curb. I don't care." It's very easy to give something away that you don't actually have Jane. There is no way to know how you or anyone else will actually feel until the time comes so this particular idea doesn't provide support for your argument.
  17. Confusticating is a favorite with Christian apologists. It gives them that ultra intelligent aura especially in a debate format. William Lane Craig loves that approach. Putting your finger on exactly what mistakes are being made can be much more difficult than showing how to arrive at the most sound conclusion. Then when you choose an audience to be half Christians you create what looks like a stimulating debate even if the quality of the answers are completely unequal. (Not used in that clip but another Christian favorite is name dropping - so and so who heads the department of such and such at such and such prestegious university wrote extensively on this complex subject and came to exactly the opposite conclusion that you are stating here. This is an excellent tactic for replying to audience questions following a debate.) Luckily tricks don't work nearly so well in a court setting where all the time necessary to present an argument and refute one is given (days in this case) so the creationest, masquerading as ID, were stunningly outmatched by the scientists presenting for evolution and consequently defeated and even reprimanded by the judge in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case. There is no truly logical supporting evidence for Christianity and the more fundamental the beliefs the more illogical they necessarily are.
  18. There are many options left. Morality wasn't invented by Christianity and our earth is exactly the same place it was when you imagined everything was running according to a god's plan. Getting hit by an a massive asteroid as far as any of us are concerned is simply death and our death is certainly on it's way anyhow. I think when we first see that christianity can not be true we still have one foot standing on christianity and the other foot moves to stand on the no christianity side. With time those places our feet are on drift further and further apart until eventually we can't keep that foot on the christianity side at all and must put all our weight on the no christianity side. That's when it becomes clear that this place without christianity is safe and fine as can be. We don't have to choose to be immoral but we must think about each moral issue and decide if we think it has value or not. We do not lose any more meaning than we choose to let go of. We have never known anything of eternity no matter how hard we tried to convince ourselves so our focus belongs on this life we are living right now. We must look for meaning and beauty right here today as it appears that other living creatures do. We do belong and we are just as important as anything on our planet and quite possibly as anything in the universe. In fact we still have that same awe we had for god only now we see it was actually for the vast and mostly unknown universe. Our DNA may sometimes cause us to create make believe gods but also our DNA allows us to continue on, unharmed if we need to let go of that prop and look at exactly what we have here and now and see as clearly as possible what this place is where we find ourselves living. The reason Einstein was so misunderstood regarding christianity was because he was so mystified by the order he saw in the universe and he held an extraordinary reverence for the vastness of space. At the end of his life he felt compelled to clarify his certainty that the christian god and all the accompanying fairy tales were only made up stories. I'm sure that after serious thought you won't want to live in a world exclusively dictated by might makes right or where compassion has no place. It's just that now you must consciously choose to work to help make the kind of world you want to have and do it realizing you have choices. I find everything about this proposition much preferred to the chaotic patchwork morality that must be carefully extracted from the immorality crazily woven into the biblical texts. Clear thinking is truly beautiful Jane and that is something you can hang onto for the rest of your life. This is the time to build a world view that is actually solid and stays within the parameters of what you can know so that it will carry you through the remainder of your life.
  19. Haha; good one. Answered prayer! (All prayers get the yes, no or wait answer of course.)
  20. Yes I think for Blue and Dreamer even just knowing that they have good options to take recourse if/when necessary will make them stronger and better able to stand up for themselves. At a minimum the next time their father touches they can say, "Get your hands off of me or I'll make sure we end up discussing this at child protective services with my sister's support!"
  21. This is to Dreamer but I know you all read everything. I don't have personal experience but I believe if you and Blue went to child protective services you would be immediately heard and taken seriously. Unlike the church or the military, child protective services are trained to spot abuse and as a primary function expected to effectively stop it. I believe just the fact that both you and Blue find his touching uncomfortable and sexually suggestive is enough to confirm that it is inappropriate. The social workers jobs would be threatened if they appeared to blow you off and suggest you were making too much out of what was being done to you. In my opinion your father would in all probability not escalate his sexually inappropriate touching once officially confronted because to do so would put his reputation, employment and church status in jeapordy. So far he has enjoyed pushing the sexual touching as far as he can without doing (in his opinion) anything that could be called clearly sexual and he has escaped without so much as a scratch. Stepping out into the spotlight to force sexual groping on his daughters would be a very big and very dangerous step up in the nature and degree of offensive behavior he would be engaging in, leaving him very little room to escape detection and prosecution. (This is not to say that he won't keep pushing the envelope if nothing seems to be preventing him or exposing him). I would say that once child protective services contacted your family they would make it clear to both your father and mother (and to you and Blue) exactly what constitutes crossing the line at this point and that if he decided to go there they would take immediate action. If your mother ever saw anything suspicious and did nothing to intervene she would be complicit. Whatever child services decided to do it would be their job to see that you and Blue are not ever placed in harms way. I don't think this is at all beyond the abilities of child protective services. You and Blue have every right to expect to feel and be safe in your home without fear of sexual advances from your father. As I've said before you have more power than you have been led to believe by your controlling parents and church. Of course your father could withhold co signing on college loans but once child protective services has made contact with him any changes in his behavior that negatively effect you and Blue could well be seen as retaliatory and could cause your father's behavior to receive additional negative scrutiny.
  22. Congratulations Christopherhays! It really is amazing you were able to work your way out of that trap they had set for you. You sound so calm and settled too. I am always curious as to what could make Christianity compelling. After all that apologetic study what person/book did you find most compelling? What specific argument best supports believing christianity/the bible is true.
  23. Great job of dealing with a difficult situation Dreamer. Your boyfriend sounds like a very nice person from what you've said and a fantastic upgrade from your previous christian suitors. I applaud the support you've shown for your sisters and the wonderful bond you are creating. There is nothing in life more valuable than having a close relationship with someone you love and Blue sounds like some fantastic people to share time, thoughts, feelings, trials, victories, etc. with. I'm happy for all of you for gaining this distance from your parents sad depressing ideal home of control and domination. I hope you and your sisters always will be able to look out for one another and create a really nice family out of that twisted suffocating mind control culture you grew up with.
  24. Wow Blue, that is a lot to deal with! I may comment a few different times here but this is the thing that has my attention now, " Ever since sixth grade I have been struggling with anxiety, depression, and being suicidal." Depression can be a major concern especially if it sometimes pushes you toward suicidal thoughts. The very next time you feel suicidal or even leaning in that direction call the suicide prevention hotline, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. 1-800-273-8255. Perhaps you have already used this resource but if not you can feel confident that the professionals and trained volunteers that answer incoming calls really care about your situation and will most definitely listen to you. They can help you understand why you're feeling the way you are and assess how volatile you current state of mind might be. They can provide appropriate references for safeguarding your mental health and getting you the emotional support you might need to make it through a crisis. This service is designed for people (adults or children) like you who are substantially isolated as I believe your writing describes, so don't think you maybe are making too big of a deal out of your feelings or that you might be making too much of your current state of mind. If your aren't sure but think maybe you are feeling suicidal or heading that direction then just dial that number and explain your feelings and let them help you decide how serious your situation is. I want to get this out there for you so just quickly I'll add that you father is sexually off base and is too slow understanding what no means (even an implied no). Right now your best defense is letting him know that his touching isn't welcomed or appropriate as you've already begun to do. Don't let time pass enduring a wrong touch. If necessary just call him on it. Say you don't think it's OK and that you're going to go to child protective services and describe what he's doing to you if it doesn't stop immediately and forever. I know this is a huge step and defies the power structure but that is exactly why it will be so effective. You are quite a bit more powerful than you think just stay calm be deliberate and use your resources. I'm so glad you decided to share with us. Take care of yourself because really you're all you have. I believe you have a very exciting interesting life ahead that's well worth fighting for.
  25. The really good news for you offorrest is that there is nothing at all that would make an objective person think that the Bible is either extraordinary or true. Maybe that is why 2/3s of the humans on our earth believe something else better explains what the real truth is. A quick look will show you it looks manmade because it is.The fastest growing religion is Islam so if there is a Holy Spirit part of the Christian god it doesn’t seem to be very persuasive or powerful if a religion can do better without it. My point isn’t to waste valuable time studying every point but rather to feel confident that Christianity is just made up by primitive tribesmen as it appears to be so you are free to use you god given ability to reason to decide for yourself what if anything lies beyond what we can clearly see and even whether or not it matters. Fundamental evangelical Christian religions especially can create some amazingly joyless states in at least some of us so you were very wise to walk away from your church. Don’t bother to look back because there are so many better ways to guide your life that actually make sense.
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