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About Insightful

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    orange county CA
  • Interests
    Learning, Loving
  • More About Me
    38 year old male
    3 year crisis of faith
    Ended early 2015 with shift to agnosticism

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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903 profile views
  1. Insightful

    Been Lurkin'

    Glad to have you here!
  2. Insightful

    Religion, and what it did

    Religion convinced me that my precious daughters were sinners, deserving eternal hellfire and that, unless I hated them, I would spank them hard and often to get them to stop "sinning".
  3. Insightful

    Literary Quotes that Resonate?

    My all time favorite author is Robert Ingersoll. So many quotable words... This is a good one: "Is there a God?I do not know.Is man immortal?I do not know.One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be.We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine — with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy."
  4. Insightful

    A beautiful church

    Fair points for sure. The climate change comment I took as a reminder of the role we all play in caring for our common home - a way of caring for each other. And I took the "no human is illegal" point less literally and more reminding us of the humanity of even unregistered immigrants - that they are people first...
  5. Insightful

    A beautiful church

    I passed a church today on my way to a business meeting - and something totally caught my attention. The first thing I noticed was the brick building and the words Unitarian Universalist. Next thing I noticed- four or five black homeless people with their belongings hanging out in the front yard of the church. The church had set up a table and was handing out something to the homeless people I couldn't tell what. I went to my meeting. On my way back to the freeway I passed the same church. The table with handouts was gone but three of the homeless people were still resting on the benches on the church property. Then I noticed the sign hanging out in front of the church that I took a picture of and that I now share with you: This congregation believes: Love Is Love Black lives matter Climate change is real No human being is illegal Women's rights are human rights All genders are whole, holy, and good. Then I instantly understood why there were homeless people who felt welcomed there. And my eyes filled up with tears at the beauty of it all. 7 years ago I would have looked at that "statement of faith" and scoffed. Now I look at it and it resonates with me deeply. I can tell you this - my white Fundamentalist Suburban Church with a really long biblical and orthodox statement of faith never had homeless black people taking refuge on its property. In fact, the pastor of that church, a prominent Evangelical, was one of the key signers of the recent statement on social justice and the gospel - the document that warned Evangelical churches that an overemphasis on social justice would confuse and obscure the gospel message... Now I can see that social justice is a thing for the Evangelical Church to fear because the more we take up the cause of the hurting, the outcasts, and the marginalized, the more we realize that the only Justice that will come to this world will be at the result of our hands, our efforts, our toil.
  6. Insightful

    Recovering Preacher's Kid

    Hello mrspearl - Glad to have you. I spent a few years in the AoG from age 9-13. I struggled with feeling guilty that I couldn't speak in tongues. They really make you feel like a loser for that! I'm happy to know that you are seeing the world more clearly now.
  7. Insightful

    Hello all, glad to be here.

    Glad to have you, Fallen!
  8. Great post, Bug! Sounds like you've come a long way. I love that you can see and love the "human" behind the faith. That's why I still love my still-Christian friends - I love their humanity which is why we became friends in the first place... I echo your disdain for pastors who hijack funerals to preach biblical stuff while completely wasting the opportunity to truly honor the person's life. I experienced this at my dad's funeral. Thank goodness military cemeteries only give you about 30 min for the whole service so the pastor only got 10 min! All the best to you.
  9. Insightful

    An Athiest Too Late.

    Hi HB. We are here for you! I echo Mandy - you are super smart! Which can cause increased anxiety - knowing and being aware of all that could go wrong... It has huge survival advantages, but it stinks to live with! I envy blissfully ignorant people sometimes!! Anyway, there's a lot of good advice here. One thing I would say, being a smarter-than-average-anxiety-sufferer myself, is that my mind constantly inserts my present emotions into what seem like totally dispassionate, cool, logical thoughts. For example, when I am anxious, I can think of very rational, logical reasons to be concerned about the future - that seem totally legit. What I'm getting at: anything that you do that can elevate your mood will spill over into your logical assessment of your future. But you can't *think* your way into a better place emotionally. You're too smart and aware and analytical 😃 I recommend immersing yourself in things you enjoy - simple pleasures. For me it's a homemade espresso, my fireplace, playing the piano, and sitting with my dog. Eat well, exercise, and try to get a lot of rest. There is good evidence that taking care of your body will help your brain too. All the best to you.
  10. Insightful

    The holidays and how my parents visit went.

    TRUTH! My wife did this for awhile!
  11. Insightful

    How did you choose your nickname?

    Fun question! Insightful because I am an optometrist... and a deep thinker. I totally could have gone with "1or2" which would have been a fun play on the question optometrists ask and the many gospel discrepancies... How many blind men did Jesus heal? 1 or 2? How many angels were at Jesus' tomb? 1 or 2? 😃
  12. Insightful

    From Christian to Pagan

    Hi and welcome! Thanks for sharing your story 😀
  13. Insightful

    searching and asking and hurting

    Hello NeverHealed, Thank you so much for sharing that part of your story with me. How painful, awful, and sad. You are so right that those early childhood experiences really lay a foundation for our emotional framework - our sense of identity, self-worth - and prepare us to respond to life in a certain way. It's interesting that you mention dissociation. We see moments of that in our now 12 year old. How when things get stressful she puts on almost a persona - and it's so clearly a means of coping by Escape. We're under good care with a wonderful clinical psychologist. Sadly, though, these pieces will always be a part of her history, her experience, and her life narrative. I hate that Fundamentalist Christianity taught me to view my children as Sinners worthy of Hellfire, on a straight path to damnation unless we Godly Parents rescued them at all costs. Now I view children as morally pure as a flower seed - needing the human equivalent of sunlight, water and nutrients to grow and unfurl the beauty already contained Within. I wish you all the best as you continue your journey.
  14. Insightful

    searching and asking and hurting

    Welcome Myrkhoos! I think you are less confused than you think 😃 What I mean is that I think you are seeing things more clearly now than you ever did. You were more confused back when you thought you had it all figured out! And keep asking the really good questions that you are asking and continue to refuse to be satisfied by lame, non-answers. I spent several years in a similarly toxic environment (protestant in my case) where there was a strong hierarchy and if you were Godly you would listen to the elders and take all of their advice for all of the details of your life... Sadly when I adopted a child with behavioral challenges, my Elder's advice was to keep spanking her until I broke her will. This guy didn't have a freaking clue about attachment disorders and the way that early childhood trauma manifests as problematic behaviors... Wanting to be a Godly Man I listened to this knucklehead and spanked this poor child really hard and really often, crying afterwards and begging God to make her obey us. Then I learned about 3 Christian adoptive families that ended up beating their adoptive children to death because they thought the way to handle attachment-related behavioral challenges was to break their child's will. This was the beginning of the end of my faith. From that time onward I have resolved to trust and follow the good sense Within Me - and to read and learn from experts in their fields about psychology and parenting. I took back my mind and my autonomy and have not looked back. I'm full of terrible regret for how I parented my daughter in those early years but I'm so glad I got out when I did and she's doing so much better and I have an amazing relationship with her. And we've come up with a lot of great techniques to help her that don't involve spanking. You'll find that you will be your own best guide in this world. It's a shame that Christianity teaches us to distrust ourself. You said it so well "mind erasing, self-killing" All the best to you.
  15. Insightful

    Argument against evolution

    I would direct this person to the website "29+ evidences for macro evolution" by Douglas Theobald, Ph.D. I've got an M.S. in biochemistry (which I obtained as a believer in special creation) and I think his site is pretty irrefutable. I had to read it fully twice (it's the length of a book) to wrap my head around it... The most stunning sections to me were: 1. Endogenous retroviruses (pretty much the smoking gun) 2. Redundant pseudogenes 3. Similarities of phylogenic trees constructed from numerous independent features.