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ThereAndBackAgain last won the day on May 7 2017

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About ThereAndBackAgain

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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. ThereAndBackAgain

    Are atheists happy

    Leaving Christianity is a difficult process for most people. Some struggle for years because they can no longer believe in Christianity but have trouble living without a god in their lives. On the other hand, many of our members were unhappy as Christians and have found a happiness and peace outside of Christianity that they never experienced before. Some consider themselves atheists, others don’t. Speaking for myself, I was pretty happy as a Christian and I’m still happy as an atheist. Actually I’d say I’m happier overall because of no longer having to wrestle with the conflicts and other dilemmas of believing Christian theology and dogma. Leaving Christianity and a church community can leave some feeling isolated. We are social animals so a community like this one is very valuable for those who no longer have it. People who are just beginning to question the truth of Christianity can be really put off - even scared - by atheism. I was. I never imagined I could ever become atheist. But that typically changes as we move through the deconversion process. Now I’m more confident and comfortable as an atheist than I ever was as a Christian.
  2. ThereAndBackAgain

    “America’s New Religions”

    "We’re mistaken if we believe that the collapse of Christianity in America has led to a decline in religion. It has merely led to religious impulses being expressed by political cults." “Now look at our politics. We have the cult of Trump on the right, a demigod who, among his worshippers, can do no wrong. And we have the cult of social justice on the left, a religion whose followers show the same zeal as any born-again Evangelical. They are filling the void that Christianity once owned...” I don’t always agree with Andrew Sullivan, but he is always worth reading...
  3. ThereAndBackAgain

    A Marine’s Story

    I think most Christians go through some kind of mental gymnastics to cope with the idea that decent people they meet every day are headed to Hell. They find different ways to deal with it: some convince themselves that somehow most people aren’t actually going to Hell, or that maybe only those who “choose Hell” are going there. Many quit trying to think about it and go with the “God is Good” escape route. Some of us become ex-Christians and are happily done with tying ourselves in knots over this and so many other issues. Oh and one other thing . . . GO ARMY! BEAT NAVY!!!!
  4. ThereAndBackAgain

    just saying "hey" :)

    Derek, it’s good to have you here! Good that you figured it out at an early age: some of us are slower learners... People come here in various stages of deconversion. It sounds like you’ve pretty much completed the process and are reaping the benefits - congratulations! You will be able to help and encourage others who are just beginning the journey away from faith, so I look forward to hearing more from you.
  5. Yoga, meditation and anything that reveals the inconvenient truth that you don’t need Jesus or any god-belief to have a good life: these are all going to be attacked. If I were a pastor I’d be worried about yoga too.
  6. ThereAndBackAgain

    Women shoots, kills boyfriend

    Wowza. “Sabo told deputies Dion has a history of being violent with her”. If I had a dollar for every time I heard something like that, I’d be a rich man.
  7. Thanks for posting this Margee! It’s important to keep basic information like this readily available to people. While some folks come here after discovering these things, others arrive unable to believe but afraid to disbelieve. This can be very useful to them in getting over the hump and moving forward.
  8. ThereAndBackAgain

    Huge (I think) News from the World of Biochemistry

    Back when I was a Christian, news like this made me uneasy. Like there might soon be one less gap for God to hide in. It’s so good not having to fear new knowledge now.
  9. ThereAndBackAgain

    How did you choose your nickname?

    I figured he drove one of these...
  10. ThereAndBackAgain

    Wife Advice Needed!

    Another thing I learned just a few years ago is that most men often are thinking about nothing, while women generally are always thinking about something. I’ve asked quite a few male and female friends about this and the difference really is striking. The men typically are incredulous that women are always thinking about something and the women are skeptical that we are not. So no, ladies, we’re not always thinking about sex: sometimes we’re not thinking about anything at all.
  11. ThereAndBackAgain

    Wife Advice Needed!

    I appreciate everybody's feedback - thanks to you all! Maybe because my wife and I do see eye-to-eye in so many ways, I think I lost sight of how differently her mind works in some respects. I was bringing my Engineer mindset home from work, where it's great at troubleshooting stuff around the house, but not so good at dealing with the complex female mind.
  12. ThereAndBackAgain

    Wife Advice Needed!

    Problem is, when we're being clueless, we don't know that we're being clueless. It's like being dead.
  13. ThereAndBackAgain

    Wife Advice Needed!

    I don't often need relationship advice; my marriage has seemed strong in spite of my deconversion, but lately I've been at a bit of a loss. I'm hoping some of the wise and experienced husbands and wives among us might be able to advise me here... I've long known that a supportive husband (or just one who values his life!) doesn't offer criticism to his wife - even lovingly - when she's already upset. But lately my wife has become angry even when I've expressed some criticism even after things have calmed down. The background is that she's had problems with her younger sister. They've clashed from time to time as sisters do, but now they're barely on speaking terms. When my sister-in-law does talk to my wife, she seems to go out of her way to say things that will hurt my wife, but she does it in a passive-aggressive way, if you know what I mean. Maybe she doesn't even realize she's doing it, but I can see why my wife gets upset. She is convinced that her sister hates her now, in that passive-aggressive way. At the same time, I can see that my wife has often come across as bossy to her younger sister. My wife insists she's come a long way in improving her approach to her sister, but I still see this happen sometimes and I think it helps keep the shit stirred up. I do think her sister is mostly to blame though. Anyway, my wife has reacted badly to my suggesting that she might be adding to the problem in any way. She seems continually angry/hurt at me over this now. So I guess my question is: at some point does a good husband need to just take his wife's side without reservations, even if he thinks she's not totally blameless? To avoid offering less than 100% support? Not just when she's emotional but for the long term? You would think I'd know how to deal with this after twenty years of marriage, but at the end of the day I guess I'm still a clueless male. I do want my wife to see me as no less loving in spite of my deconversion, and this situation doesn't help that.
  14. Now you’re talkin! Stuff like this will continue to stir the soul (in the broadest sense of the word) for ages to come, even in those of us who believe none of the theology. BBC Radio 3 broadcasts a weekly Choral Evensong from locations around Britain. Fortunately it’s available worldwide:
  15. ThereAndBackAgain

    Am I An Atheist now?

    The word “atheist” carries a lot of baggage with it, a lot of ideas about what atheists are like. It says only one thing about you though: your lack of belief in a deity. I can and do use various labels to describe myself: man, American, Irish, engineer, military veteran, atheist. No one of these labels defines who I am, and even together they paint an incomplete picture. So it is for you, Aaron. In one sense your deconversion has changed you profoundly, in other ways you have not changed at all. Others may jump to conclusions about what kind of person you are based on your atheism, but you don’t have to conform to any stereotype. You are free to form your own opinions on political, cultural and social issues. You are free to chart your own course on moral questions without having to shoe-horn your conscience into an ancient theology. You are free to change your position on any issue as you travel this amazing journey that is human life. Aaron, I hope you’re experiencing this sense of exhilaration that many of us have felt. Letting go of theology reminds me of what it must have been like for citizens of the Eastern European countries when Communism collapsed: old certainties and securities had been lost; people had freedoms they were not used to - freedoms to succeed or fail. Along with the freedoms came greater responsibility for their own destinies. Scary to many, but for those with some courage it was an exhilarating experience. Feel free to use the atheist label when and where it’s helpful. Avoid it when it’s not. In any case I hope you’ll continue to be an active member of our community. It’s satisfying to see you grow into your deconversion and you’ll be able to see the same in others and maybe give them a helping hand along the way, to offer words of encouragement to fellow-travelers.