Insightful

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About Insightful

  • Rank
    Thinker

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    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

Previous Fields

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

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946 profile views
  1. Hi Agnostic, Thanks so much for sharing. I totally get what you are saying - I'm the one who has ruined my wife's dreams for having a strong Christian husband and I battle that guilt you describe. Not guilt for landing where I do, but sadness for having to be the "problem" for those I love. And I too have been told that unbelief is a choice! Ahhh. And I totally feel you on the pseudo-humility by THEM + allegations of pride against US. I think it takes an insane amount of humility and courage to admit that we were wrong for so long, to own that, and to expose ourselves to rejection by our closest loved ones... Their worldview doesn't have a nice option for us. We're to be pitied, blamed, shunned, or converted... =( And I agree that Margee-hugs are something special! She could charge for them. Maybe the website here can add "Home of the Margee-hug" as a tagline ;= All the best to you.
  2. Totally. There is a lot that is strange about the Tower of Babel story... Like you pointed out: first, the idea that there is a physical heaven that exists in the atmosphere immediately above the Earth. Then, the idea that God was so insecure that humans would somehow challenge his authority or position. As though though the perch that he ruled from could be climbed up to by a building that was tall enough. The strangest thing to me, though, is that if the whole reason he changed the languages was to put an end to building High Towers, we have subsequently built much much taller buildings and we've even gone so far as to put a man on the moon. So the story really fails on multiple levels: - it fails cosmologically - it fails theologically - it fails logically ( that would make a cute sermon outline!)
  3. I'm so sorry PL. Our family therapist talks about "traumaversary" being a real phenomenon. I'm in a somewhat similar (but less intense) situation in which I attend to be with my believing wife. But I have to be in a good place emotionally to be up for sitting through a sermon. Like you, I try to not pay attention - accept for the funny illustrations/stories! I skip communion. On days when I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed or discouraged, I skip service and hang out at the church's coffee shop (which has great coffee!) I think that with time, the intensity of those PTSD type experiences should hopefully diminish. Good for you to declare a break from church for now. I'm glad you have sufficient voice and self-care!
  4. An approach that I have learned to take with Christians is to NOT tell them about all of my best evidence against Christianity until/unless the reach a point when they are honestly questioning/seeking. Otherwise, if they encounter even the most convincing airtight arguments when they are not in a place of openness, they will devise a rationalization that satisfies them in the moment, effectively rendering that argument useless (for them). Better to save all of our awesome arguments until the door of their mind is open - then the arguments will be fresh and effective. Key to my deconversionwas encountering arguments I hadn't heard as a believer in my time of reevaluating my world view - I hadn't yet immunized myself against those great thoughts...
  5. Glad to have you here!
  6. 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".
  7. 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."
  8. 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...
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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?