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Everything posted by BlindFaith

  1. Thanks! This was a fantastic suggestion. I just found a local meeting of atheists/agnostics/humanists on Saturday... at the same time my husband teaches his bible study at the church, lol! If I didn't know better I'd think there'd been divine intervention.
  2. My next door neighbor is a 400 member Cowboy Church which I currently have a dispute with about impounding the run off from a huge arena they just built in violation of county ordinances and without proper permits... So I probably won't be making any friends on my street, lol!
  3. Prayer was like a pacifier for me when I was hurt, upset, angry. Even after I knew that no one was listening I still continued to pray. So I did a couple of biofeedback sessions and learned how to get in to a relaxed state without talking to an invisible friend. It helped me tremendously, although now that I'm not constantly worried about how I am disappointing a god I am a lot more relaxed and seldom need it.
  4. Best idea yet! I haven't tried it... but there is this hot barista where I get my coffee in the morning
  5. Church doesn't actually have any hold on me. I have not attended in 7 or so years and will never go back. And it's not that I'm surprised to be shunned, actually I'm happy about that part because without it I'd have people harassing me to come to 'friends day' or some other such shit. OTOH these are the people that have known me since I was a kid, the ones I went out to dinner with, played board and card games with, went to their weddings, baby showers, graduations, and funerals. And while in my perfect world there is another group of people that would babysit for me when I got called in for an extra shift with no notice, or come to see me in the hospital, or clean and cook for my family when my husband had health issues I needed to be elsewhere to manage, that are not religious... well, there just isn't. I've moved several times over my lifetime and there was always another group, just waiting with open arms to replace those that were far away. Now I can't seem to find a friend in my own town. No matter what hooey religion is full of, my hat is off to them for building community and they get an extra gold star for jerking the rug out if you question anything. Bowling leagues and birding are sure to be taken over by the religious here... and that is exactly the issue... there is no place that people in Texas do not feel like it's ok to want to put you on their prayer chain when you have a cold, if they don't want to just lay hands on you right there and claim your healing in Jesus name. I don't know anything about Elks, I thought Eagles were a 70's band, so maybe there are some possibilities there, thanks. The Masons are creepy AF with all their bizarre rituals. I'm not looking to turn in one set of crazy in for another but again I appreciate you tossing an idea my way. .
  6. I am hoping someone here can relate and might even have some answers. Some background. I am 50+. I broke free of fundamentalist christianity more than five years ago after a lifetime of being everything from somewhat religious to over the top preachy christian wackadoodle. I was even involved in ministry for a minute... I am still married to a believer who does not accept my deconversion and hopes that with the right hocus pocus I will be brought back into the fold. The problem is that I am having trouble developing a life away from religion/church, which has always been at the epicenter of my friendships. I've found that making new friends at this age is not as effortless as it was in my youth when any roomie, neighbor, or coworker was a potential friend. It is also not helping that I live in the buckle of the bible belt, where nearly everyone is religious, most are christian, and 'I go to this or that church' is often the thing people share right after their name. It's also a disadvantage that I am an ex-christian, because unlike the garden variety heathen or those of another faith I am unlikely to be won or proselytized. In other words it's not that I don't know what I'm missing and what a great deal salvation is... While I am not advertising my deconversion with T-shirt and bumper stickers, I am also no longer interested in religious discussion and will either try to politely steer a conversation in another direction or quietly excuse myself.. Further complications are that I live a more rural/agrarian lifestyle, although I do work 'in town' so have some human contact, I just seem to be missing connection. I've thought about something like a UU church but I am not even particularly spiritual anymore. I tried joining a women's travel and adventure group but found the facebook events page loaded with prayer requests and disproportionately large number of the membership evangelize at events. Homesteader and farming groups- super religious. I've joked that even our local bars are full of christians. So... for those of you who have moved away from church attendance, etc., were you able to maintain old relationships on new terms? Find new friends? Learn to deal with being alone more? I'd love some suggestions. TIA
  7. I could not wait to get rid of all the religious books. Sneaking the dozen or so bibles out of the house without my spouse noticing was another matter. Japanese tattoos are freaking awesome... I mean if you get bored and want a more permanent change...
  8. Right there with you. I'd also like to have the $100,000+ in tithes and offerings I gave over the years back...
  9. It's on a lot of forums. I belong to homesteding, farming, and livestock related forums... there are prayer requests for cows! I just pass them by if it's in the title. If it goes south (? North ?) once I'm involved in the thread, I try to ignore it... If it is about someone I honestly care about I just say 'thinking of you' or 'holding you in my heart' or something nice but not prayerful. It does get annoying when a the homesteader forum seems to morph into the christian homesteader forum... but I can always hang out here until it dies down.
  10. Glad to know that liberal use of that little drop down that includes 'I don't want to see this post' and 'Do not show me posts from this member in the future' is serving me well.
  11. I had an absent father. I think the complete lack of a father figure in my life made it nearly impossible for me to picture god as a daddy. I was constantly told by my pastor that this was how I needed to come to understand god... in a personal way... but I simply lacked the ability to relate. I always saw god as more of the wizard behind the curtain... An angry wizard. This lack really upset my husband, my pastor, my christian friends and anyone else in that world I confessed it to. I always thought maybe that is why god did not hear my prayers... Nice to know that those who did 'get' the daddy thing didn't have any better results.
  12. I had two feet cut off my hair two months ago. It is still waist length, so very long by most standards. Someone at work just reminded me that if I'm going to cut my hair it is OK to get a hair-STYLE so I've been looking at pictures and trying to decide.This is not an area where I want to have huge regrets even though others say it is only hair and will grow back. Still the length now only really allows for a smaller bun and not wearing it down. Maybe I didn't mention that all married women were required to wear their hair 'up' (not flowing like a harlot). Very matronly looking unless one spends a lot of time arranging an updo. Not practical for those who work. I also bought scrub pants for work and threw out my scrub skirts. I bought myself a simple wedding band and a pair of small diamond stud earrings.I think I look more normal already No make up yet.... I've got to get out and have someone apply it and advise. I have not worn it since I was a kid and I am not sure that what I did then would work on my now middle-aged face. I am thinking frosty blue eye-shadow and cat-tail eyeliner is probably not going to be in style anymore, lol! I just keep reminding myself that I was normal once and I will be again. BTW that hair did go to Locks of Love, the hairdresser asked if that would be OK and I thought it was nice.
  13. Fortunately my oldest (now 36, 35, 34 and 33 years old) four children were only raised in your garden variety Baptist church and broke away as they went to college and graduate school. My oldest son has a doctorate level education, the next two have masters degrees and none of them really have much to do with church. The last of the older kids married a Catholic and they go to mass on occasion and to the church bizarre, etc. but they are not rabid about it. My baby is 10 years younger (now 23) than the youngest of the four stair-steps. It was he who was raised in the cult. We chose to send him to University although the church pressured us to send him to our denominations bible college. After three years away from church (he went to University as a second semester sophomore thanks to dual credits from high school honors and AP tests) he seems to have gotten away from the worst of it. He does not visit church when he is home and even though the town where he now lives and works has a church from our denomination he does not attend it. I think he's been trying to figure out how to tell us that he is done with all that but hasn't found a way since during his upbringing it was the most important thing to us, that is that he be a fully immersed Oneness Pentecostal.. One of the reasons that I am not sure if I should share with the kids about my loss of faith is that I am afraid it will shatter my husband to realize that his entire family is 'lost'... His faith demands that he be the leader and a 'failure' of this magnitude (in his eyes) may be more than he can bear right now. I am sure that is much of what has also held our sons back. D is experiencing some health problems and may not ever be able to return to his job from medical leave... Devastating news for a very strong and healthy (till now) 57 year old man. I am picturing that among the kids there will be much back slapping and rejoicing ae they all celebrate my deconversion and share that they always knew mom was too smart to be overtaken by the bullshit forever.. Tonight D and I had quite a row about it all. He thinks I've lost my faith and he is by turns angry, sullen, over nice and back again. Breathing in and out and moving forward one tiny baby step at a time... it's all I can do.
  14. I think at this point I am mostly just writing to clear my head so if this is not the right place to do that please just say. Since I have no one to talk to reading this board is all I've got. I am trying to get up the nerve to 'come out' to my kids and am really, really hoping that they will feel OK to share where they are at (which I think is pretty over religion)... We've never allowed them to share and I think they have just pulled back from trying. I did notice they quit bringing the grandkids to spend Saturday nights when we insisted that they go to church with us on Sunday but since we stopped going the grands are back for weekends... and now I get it. After the Ah-ha moment we were in church another year. Our youngest son was a senior at the church school and headed to TAMU partially on scholarship from the church so we didn't want to blow that for him. That year, listening to preaching while not being hypnotized or whatever it is that happens to one with all that praise music... was eye opening. What insanity, what better reason to run screaming from religion than hearing the bible expounded. OPs pride themselves in preaching the OT... why had I never noticed how horrific and disgusting it was before... Many times I couldn't even sit through it, I had to go hide in the bathroom, queasy.I thought once we got out D would mellow and drift back into some more normal religious experience... but it was not to be. Instead he began studying conspiracy sites on the internet and became fascinated with the signs that these are the last days. He has gone round the bend far as I can tell...
  15. Yes amateur, absurd.... but really no more than your garden variety bible poo... snake in the garden, man in the belly of a whale, every species on earth in a boat... Same stupidity required really. And yes it is harmful... maybe in ways that people who have not been there can not imagine. Women who don't cut their hair have to do something EVERY-FREAKIN'-DAY with all that hair... Mine was down to my knees but I know women with hair that pools around their feet. Huge bee-hive sized buns and prom-going updos make one look super weird in the working world and that coupled with the lack of make-up or any jewelry can make one look truly bizarre. Finding a job can be really difficult, especially if you add in the 'dresses only' business because there are many things that are hard to do in a dress (I'm a nurse, believe me I know). Still I lived like this for over a decade believing I'd found what made god smile about women.... and the bible does support all of that without the 'twisting of scripture' that most mainline christians claim it takes. I think in general christianity is trying to distance itself from it's misogynistic roots but they are deep and sprout up in many of the fringe denominations like Oneness Pentecostalism. I am just so happy to be out and I know that nothing could drag me back... but I am not sure at this point that even 30 good years will be enough to hold us together as last night D quoted Matthew 10:34-37 to me " Do not think I came to put peace upon the earth; I came to put, not peace, but a sword. For I came to cause division, with a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a young wife against her mother-in-law. Indeed, a man’s enemies will be persons of his own household." and pretty much let me know that he will persevere to the end no matter what I do. I am trying to be gentle and kind but am being constantly pressured to say aloud that I believe in the bible and I just don't and just won't... what a painful mess.
  16. My children are grown and are, thank goodness, not particularly religious... Something that has turned out to be a very good although until now I didn't see it that way. I think they'll be relieved to hear I'm no longer a zealot... Except for the worry that this may cause a divorce. My husband is pretty much freaking out... I have kept it mostly to myself but because I was so over the top I think it shows anyway. I mean even my speech was always so 'Christian'... nothing was ever lucky, it was a blessing... I prayed before every meal and read my bible every day (well, almost every day) talked about God as if he was present in the room with us... And now that is just... gone. I still have some of the old speech patterns but I'm ditching them as quickly as possible. It's amazing what changes when your baloney meter sproings it springs like mine did. I guess I never said exactly what started it for me... We were in a 'holiness' denomination.... women do not cut their hair and recently there has been a big theological shift about hair that is even controversial within the movement and is known (by it's detractors) as the 'Holy Magic Hair' movement. Well... we were in church when our aged pastor told a story about a man who died of a heart attack... well that is he WAS dead until his wife threw her holy magic hair over his chest and... wait for it... HE CAME BACK TO LIFE! And suddenly I thought ... what complete and total BULLSHIT.... and then I had a flood of thoughts that included every time I had stuffed down that very thought... and I remembered all the people raised from the dead in the bible and how that should help me believe the pastors story... but it was just the reverse.... Realizing that HE had lied like a dog made me realize that the bible writers were simply full of the same shit... And then it all began to crumble. I sure wish D could have an Ahh-haa moment like that because then I wouldn't be so concerned that my marriage is about to be over.
  17. I touched a little on the fact that we've not been in church for a couple of years but for very different reasons... My reason is that I simply do not believe it any more and had not for at least the last year I was still attending. During that year I felt assaulted after each service. The screaming, vein-popping, ranty-preaching had become completely repulsive to me. The topics were, by turns, vulgar, cruel, stupid, and some times all of the above. I spent so much time in the bathroom to get away from the preaching that I am sure most folks thought I'd developed a dreaded colon disease. On the other hand my other half was becoming even more of a zealot. I mentioned that we moved about once a decade on the never ending search for 'the whole truth' and it was just about at the mark when we read Pagan Christianity and suddenly the big push was on to home church. Since I was just about to get in my car one Friday night and not stop driving until I got to the other coast I think it was this decision that saved my marriage. Personally at the time I did not care why or how we were getting out, only that we were. Now I'm not sure that I did not do us both a disservice by not jumping ship while D still had a support system. I have tried to open up the topic of my cold waxing faith several times but each time leads to drama and trauma. I am starting to feel that if I ever really take the stand I need to take things will be beyond repair. This is not something I can take lightly. We've been married 30 years and have five children and seven grandchildren that we love dearly. We love each other but D sees marriage as an eternal threesome with god.... and well... I don't... anymore... And that is what keeps me here, knowing how unfair it is that I am the one who has changed and knowing how I would feel if it were the other way. I see the confusion on D's face when I give even the tiniest hint that I no longer believe even the strangest things about the Christian faith... I think the kids will be relieved when I tell them... I think they are secretly unbelievers who have been politely hiding it from the parents!
  18. Thanks for the welcome. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all and reading your posts. Mel
  19. I'm hoping I picked the right place to introduce myself and share a little about my current situation. I have always identified myself as Christian, it's been my primary identity for five decades. So much so that I seemed to have jumped denominational lines every decade or so of my adult life looking for 'more of God'. Unfortunately (or possibly fortunately) the last jump landed me squarely in a Oneness Pentecostal cult. This was an incredibly exclusive and restrictive religion and one that literally controlled almost every aspect of my (and my spouses) life. Our children went to the christian school, we wore clothes and hairstyles that identified us with the group, gave up wearing all jewelry, even our wedding rings, and gave up all friends that would not be converted. Sadly I have to say I went into it with my eyes mostly open, although like most cults some of the weirder weirdnesses are only revealed once the hook is in deep. While it was a horrible experience that involved much spiritual abuse, it is also what has finally freed me in many ways. This particular church was so very demanding that it painted me into a corner where I never felt 'saved' or content no matter how hard I tried to live for god by living by the rules. My pain and confusion was the beginning of my questioning as I studied how this theology was so different from other Christian theology and how one "Christian" group could put other groups on par with those who do not know God at all or even believes them worse off. The driving force behind much of this was the death of my mother who had the misfortune to die a Baptist, so according to the churches teachings was forever consigned to the fiery flames of hell, having never spoken in tongues or been properly baptized. Once I realized how I'd been deceived about many of those finer points I began to see how much of my religion was simply habituated behavior and then I began questioning how much, if any, was genuine. At this point I am almost sure that I am no longer a Christian... although I find the thought scary as hell and have no one in the world I can articulate it to... Well, until I found you all here today. My spouse and I have not been to church in two years or more although each of us for very different reasons... Mine as above, I'll talk more about the rest later. Of course there are details galore... but that's it in a nutshell. Mel
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