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TABA last won the day on April 9

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About TABA

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  • Birthday September 24

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    West Virginia
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    Life, the Universe and Everything
  • More About Me
    From childhood Catholic to lukewarm conservative Christian. But now the spell is broken. I've come to realize I was probably always an atheist by nature.

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

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  1. You can also get Ehrman’s books for free at public libraries.
  2. Jane, I think you’d appreciate the books of Bart Ehrman. I just read one of his latest, “How Jesus Became God”. Absolutely fascinating. It’s a great read and I think it would answer some of your questions.
  3. I’m going with “grab your tinfoil hats - this guy is a fucking nut case”.
  4. Reminds me of one of my favorite memes: ”They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a jet ski - and have you ever seen a sad person on a jet ski?”
  5. First of all, welcome, Christopherhays! I hope you’ll share your story with us in due course, but since you started with a question, I’ll give it my best shot. No, I don’t think you should try to deconvert your family, as much as you - and I - would love to see them follow in your footsteps. We can’t deconvert anybody. Lots of people come here and we do help them through the deconversion process, but that can only happen when they’ve taken the first steps themselves and have begun to question things. If a believer does not have some openness to reasoned arguments, then any deconversion attempts are likely to fall on deaf ears or even to drive them deeper into faith. What you can do, depending on the situation, is quietly and politely defend your unbelief and answer questions. Do not be patronizing and adopt an “I was so stupid for believing too but now I know better” approach. And above all, Don’t be a Dick (my personal First Commandment). When a Christian has a loved one “fall away”, one of the things they have to deal with is the idea that he or she is now heading for Hell. That is likely to challenge anybody’s faith to some extent at least, without you having to say a word: could a loving god really send/allow Christopherhays to burn in Hell simply for not believing in Him? It helps if you don’t fit the common Christian stereotype of an agnostic or atheist: somebody whose life enters a downward spiral of drugs, alcohol and depression because that’s what happens when you turn away from the Lord, right? So you should take care of yourself, get comfortable with your new world-View and let them see that you are just as happy (hopefully happier) without Jesus as you were with him. That will make people wonder. And if at some point somebody takes you aside privately to ask you questions, you'll be ready to explain your journey. Just my take. Good luck and keep us posted!
  6. The main, overriding, paramount, tip-top purpose of this community is to help and support people who have deconverted from Christianity or who are somewhere in the process of deconverting, and generally provide a place for Ex-Christians to hang out. We generally don’t favor anything that gets in the way of that ‘mission’. Arguments over politics have been known to do that and very rarely a member is shown the door because they don’t follow the rules. We have a ‘Controversy and Conflict’ forum section that would be the place to debate/argue/fight over politics, but I think it’s now confined to premium members who contribute financially. Political and other off-topic subjects not related to religion, Christianity and Deconversion Should only be posted there. As for your politics, you would be to the right of most members here, very likely. Some atheist groups do seem to demand conformity with a rather left-wing set of views. I’d say this community is not that way, in general. In any case, ‘right’ and ‘left’ are not always as clear as they used to be. There’s no reason why leaving Christianity requires anybody to adopt a particular political position, but people do tend to align with one political tribe or the other, for better or for worse. It’s important to be open to differences of opinion. Whether it’s religion or politics, I think it’s important to know why we believe what we believe, not just going along with the majority view. So while I would discourage you from starting political arguments because it’s a waste of time in my opinion, that’s your choice. If you break rules, you’ll most likely be warned rather than kicked out. I think highly of the administrator and moderators here and I think they’re fair and reasonable. I hope that helped!
  7. Welcome to the Ex-Christian world, Jane. You’re among friends here and you can say whatever is on your mind. I think you’ll find it helpful to be among people who get what you’ve been going through. And believe me, we get it! Your experiences and your feelings are very, very familiar to me and no doubt to the others here too. You've already been given good advice here. You may not be lucky enough to have friends who are not believers at all (other than us at Ex-C), but hopefully you have some friends and acquaintances who are only casual believers. These people often don’t know or care what you do or don’t believe, and I would spend more time with them and less with the die-hard Christian types. Most of my friends are not atheists or even agnostics but they’re not fundamentalists either and it’s easy to be around them. Religion is just not an issue. We have better things to do and to talk about. I can reiterate that it does get better. Deconversion is a process: it takes time to reprogram your mind away from faith and in time you start to experience the benefits of being free of religious dogma. It certainly helped me to spend time here at Ex-C, reading and chatting with fellow travelers. I hope it will help you too. Looking forward to hearing more from you!
  8. Ehrman and Price would certainly agree with that. And it’s plain when you see how Jesus evolves from the Gospel of Mark to the Gospel of John.
  9. I think that is the most intellectually sound, honest position to hold, and the one held my most of us here, regardless of what labels - if any - we use for ourselves.
  10. If you think this place is populated by atheists who have not read, studied and examined the Bible, think again! We are Ex-Christians. We’ve talked the talk, walked the walk, and concluded our beliefs were unfounded. We know the Bible pretty damn well. We’ve also done more than our share of looking into history, archaeology, science, the evolution of monotheism and the concepts of Heaven, Hell and Satan, as well as the development of scripture and the slow emergence of Christian orthodoxy over the course of 300+ years, as well as its ‘reformation’ a millennium later. There are people out there who don’t believe in any god and who’ve never thought about it or examined the claims. Those people are not us.
  11. I don’t think your wife is wrong here. You don’t have to tell him it’s not true. Kids are likely to come to that conclusion if they are not indoctrinated with religious beliefs and they are guided to think critically about all kinds of claims. Promoting atheism per se risks backfiring. If at some point your son ASKS what you think, you can say that you don’t find the religious claims credible, but that he will need to make up his own mind. I would recommend the books by Dale McGowan.... https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=dbs_P_W_auth?_encoding=UTF8&author=Dale McGowan&searchAlias=digital-text&asin=B001JS5YU8
  12. I guess folks down under get to see the Milky Way more than us Northerners do: the Night side of Earth faces into the galaxy during northern summers / southern winters, so you get more hours of darkness to see it than we do. It would be weird to go down there, look up at the night sky and see NONE of the familiar stars or constellations. Plus, the moon would be ‘upside down’!
  13. Nice! Did you have to travel some distance to get away from artificial lights?
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