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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
  • Interests
    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

    What question could Christianity never answer for you?

    Those feeling are familiar to us all, I think...
  2. ThereAndBackAgain

    I have new respect for myself.. Thank God I am not her...

    I’ve always thought it’s too easy to reproduce. It should be harder to figure out.
  3. ThereAndBackAgain

    My Long-Awaited Introduction

    Hi Questioner, I’m so glad that you introduced yourself after years of ‘lurking’! I did the same for a year or two, as I think many others did too. It’s nice to be able to read others’ deconversion experiences while you’re gong through your own, without needing to declare yourself. But then it’s rewarding to start participating too, to feel like a member of the tribe. I’m so sorry about your health problems. I can’t say I know what you’re going through, but it does make me happy to know about the journey you’ve taken in your mind and the peace you’ve found. It’s wonderful that we life in a time when, through books and the Internet, so much knowledge and so many ideas are available to us without even having to leave the house! The mind can travel to places that no plane ticket can buy! Like you, my inability to take the concept of Hell seriously was a big factor in m deconversion. I never truly bought the idea - never. It was here in these forums that I learned just how flimsy and obviously man-made the very concept of Hell actually was: just like Satan you can trace how it clearly evolved through the Bible over the centuries. The fact that there are some people here who are still haunted by their fear of Hell is a testimony to the awful - and often destructive - power of religious beliefs. So I do congratulate you on your deconversion and I’m so happy you’re one of us. I understand that you won’t be able to post very much but I’m glad to know you’re among us just the same!
  4. ThereAndBackAgain

    Advice from the unequally yoked club

    Ann, I endorse every word RealityCheck wrote. Both the encouragement and the caveat. I still encourage you to continue and see how it goes.
  5. ThereAndBackAgain

    Advice from the unequally yoked club

    Well I can talk about that too... I deconverted within the past five years. Around the same time we left the fundamentalist church and started going to a Catholic church, which we still do and which I actually like in a way, even though I have zero belief in the theology. While my wife was never hardcore fundamentalist (neither was I) and is even open to questioning some aspects of Christianity, and even though our relationship is strong and we are each other’s best friend, there is always the feeling of walking a tightrope. On the one hand I think she loves me more than she loves Jesus (and I’m definitely better in bed 😈) and things are really good now, but I have this fear that if we were faced with some major crisis, like a terminal illness, then my lack of belief in God or in the afterlife could become a big source of sorrow for her. If if it was just me and her, I think she would likely get less religious over time , but she goes to a Christian ladies group and a Christian-leaning book club and I worry about the pull she might feel from those quarters. I just try to be the best husband, friend and lover that I can be. Right now things are good. I hope you’ll hear from other unequally-yoked ex-Christians. There seems to be a wide variety of experiences in that respect.
  6. ThereAndBackAgain

    Advice from the unequally yoked club

    Hi Ann, When you get back with ‘the one that got away’, my attitude would generally be ‘don’t let him get away again’. He sounds like a good guy and somebody you could share your life with. But before going any further, are you guys young enough to be having kids together? That’s the biggie. I’ve seen a lot of guys like him live ‘lives of sin’ (meaning that they’re normal healthy red-blooded men) but then turn around and become Full Christian when they have kids. Maybe it’s for the benefit of community, or maybe they think they can’t raise good kids without religion. Even people who never darken the doors of a church become religious when kids come along. And this guy is already going to church and fellowshipping with ‘godly men’ who are likely to influence him in the wrong direction. Surely you wouldn’t want kids of yours to be indoctrinated into Christianity. So I personally don’t think I could have kids with somebody with even his level of religiosity. Taking young kids to church would be out of the question. On the other hand, a guy like this could also go the other way, with some luck and if you don’t inadvertently push him toward Christianity. Christians like him experience pretty high levels of cognitive dissonance, enjoying certain sins but also feeling some level of guilt, believing but also seeing some of the more obvious problems with Christianity. Many of us here used to be that guy, and now look at us! So I’m inclined to advise you to wait and see. I would give serious thought to the implications of having kids with a believer. I’d strongly advise against marrying or having kids with him if he’s still going to church at that point. On the other hand, if you can show him - by example - the benefits of living free of religious dogma - and if he could bring himself to let go of Christianity and the cognitive dissonance, maybe you can one day introduce him to us as a new member of Ex-C! I think it’s worth a shot. Let know how it goes...
  7. ThereAndBackAgain

    Tolerance vs intolerance - where is the middle ground?

    This is pure gold. Wish I could use up all my likes for today on this one post. I’m glad to see that my native country of Ireland is getting ready to vote on removing their Constitution’s ban on Blasphemy. Originally inserted to protect Catholicism’s stranglehold on the country, there is now a danger of it being used to punish criticism of Islam too. THIS is the direction we should be going: removing hate speech laws, not adding them, the way the UK and Canada has been going. Some European countries too, with their asinine Holocaust-denial laws. Yeah, denying the Holocaust is appalling and stupid, but banning such talk is just as stupid and ultimately short-sighted. Shine a bright spotlight on bad ideas. Driving them underground just lets them grow and fester and become martyrs.
  8. ThereAndBackAgain

    Tolerance vs intolerance - where is the middle ground?

    I read a column in the New York Times by opinion writer Frank Bruni. Frank is pretty much aligned with the Democratic Party so I’m not in the habit of quoting him approvingly, but I think he was right on the money this time. Although he was talking about how some ways of opposing Trump are counterproductive, much of what he has to say seems like good advice regarding the recent turmoil in our ToT forum: ——————————————————- ”I get that you’re angry. I’m angry, too. But anger isn’t a strategy. Sometimes it’s a trap. When you find yourself spewing four-letter words, you’ve fallen into it. You’ve chosen cheap theatrics over the long game, catharsis over cunning. You think you’re raising your fist when you’re really raising a white flag. You’re right that Donald Trump is a dangerous and deeply offensive man, and that restraining and containing him are urgent business. You’re wrong about how to go about doing that, or at least you’re letting your emotions get the better of you. When you answer name-calling with name-calling and tantrums with tantrums, you’re not resisting him. You’re mirroring him. You’re not diminishing him. You’re demeaning yourselves. Many voters don’t hear your arguments or the facts, which are on your side. They just wince at the din.” “Enough with Hitler, too. Has Trump shown fascistic tendencies? Yes. Is he the second coming of the Third Reich? No. Nor are the spineless Republicans who have enabled him Nazi collaborators, not on the evidence of what has and hasn’t happened so far. I’m not urging complacency. But when you invoke the darkest historical analogies, you lose many of the very Americans you’re trying to win over. What you’re saying isn’t what they’re seeing. It’s overreach in their eyes.” ——————————————————- Here’s the full column:
  9. ThereAndBackAgain

    No longer triggered

    But seriously: pet giant snails? Did I read that right?
  10. ThereAndBackAgain

    No longer triggered

    Congratulations yunea! This makes me very happy to read. You’ve gone through the hard parts of the deconversion process and now you’re reaping the rewards. I would love to see every ex-Christian make it to where you are. I shared your post just now in a thread I started last year about the importance of ”full deconversion”, since you are a good example of somebody who has made this kind of satisfying progress. Your post above is sure to be encouraging to others starting down the road we have traveled. Thanks for sharing it with us!
  11. ThereAndBackAgain

    The Importance of "Full Deconversion"

    It was really gratifying for me to read @yunea‘s post today about no longer being triggered by Christianity. Read this post and you will see somebody who has progressed through the difficult stages of deconversion into a new confidence and a new comfort level with leaving her former faith behind. This is what “Full Deconversion” looks like. It doesn’t necessarily mean being hard-core atheist; it does mean that your mind has pretty much completed its reprogramming and that your indoctrination into Christianity has been reversed. Religious faith is no longer distorting your view of the world and you are free to draw your own conclusions and to forge your own path. Congtatulations Yunea!
  12. ThereAndBackAgain

    Trying to understand

    Well, it took a while to tease this out. In the following post he did reject OSAS, but it seemed possible to me that he was rejecting it more because it is a view held by certain denominations that he didn't want to be associated with, rather than rejecting the concept itself. So then I pressed him on the matter and asked if I was correct in describing his beliefs in the three points below. He answered "Yes..." Is this somehow different from OSAS? I don't see how.
  13. ThereAndBackAgain

    Trying to understand

    Hey end3, how long have you been here? Longer than me, I think. I would not want to be arrogant, but if we seem arrogant merely by virtue of asserting our atheism, so be it I guess.
  14. ThereAndBackAgain

    Trying to understand

    I can only speak for myself, but I’ve been truly trying to understand what Knott believes. Trying to tease out his position that there can be no Ex-Christians. I do think I finally understand what he’s saying now, in that regard at least.
  15. ThereAndBackAgain

    Trying to understand

    Knott, I'm struggling a bit to understand here. Let's see if I can restate your beliefs and you tell me if I'm understanding you or where I'm not. I think your position is as follows... Christ entered me (I was born again) when I first believed. After that happened, nothing could change the fact that Christ lives in me and that I am saved. In line with (2) above, even though I no longer believe in God and I now deny the divinity of Jesus, Christ is still in me, I am still saved and I am Heaven-bound. Yes? No? Please use as few words as possible 😀