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LongWayAround last won the day on August 14 2014

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About LongWayAround

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    Interested in the truth
  • More About Me
    I have come to the conclusion that there are no gods that we know about that are real.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No convincing evidence that any exist.

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  1. Thank you for the kind thoughts and the hugs. It is appreciated.
  2. This part of the forum is called rants and replies so I am going to rant. My dad is dying. He has been a faithful Christian all his life and an active elder in his church for at least 30 years. For the past few years, he has been battling prostate and lung cancer which has recently spread to his brain resulting in tumors and a stroke. Most of the time, my dad doesn’t know who I am, where he is, or what year it is. He is unable to walk unaided and does not have complete control over his bodily functions. My dad was a strong, proud man and to see him reduced to this is heartbreaking. As I visit with him at the skilled care or hospital, occasionally the minister or some other christian acquaintance will also be visiting and want to pray for him. It strikes me as so ridiculous I can hardly stand it. Here sits a “man of god” and god allowed him to be reduced to this? I have noticed that the person praying won’t be so bold as to ask god to heal him because they know that is not going to happen. Instead it some bullshit about praying that god be with him and with his family. Is this how god takes care of his most devoted followers? Of course the reality is that god doesn’t exist. How someone can witness my dad's decline and still believe there is a loving god that protects his people is beyond me.
  3. That is great news geezer! I am in a similar situation with my wife and I don't have any expectations that she will ever question her faith. I guess there is hope but I am going to keep my expectations at zero to avoid disappointment.
  4. I go to church with my wife. During the "worship" portions of the service I like to entertain myself by singing alternative lyrics to the songs. I either change the words to reflect what is really in the bible (i.e. "thank you for the way that you love us" becomes "thank you for the way that you club us") or I change the words to make the object of the song my cat instead of god. It is funny how much more real it is singing about my cat than it ever was about god. (i.e. "you are god alone.." becomes "you are cat alone..."). When I get bored with those, I sometimes resort to just inserting the word "fuck" or some derivation into most of the words of the song. The only bad part about singing like that is sometimes, I can't stop smiling because it is cracking me up. Luckily, the sound system is so loud that no one, including my wife, can hear what I am singing. During the sermon, it is a good opportunity to look at the story skeptically without the jesus googles on. I sometimes google questions I have to see what the non-believers have to say in opposition to the apologetics I am hearing from the pastor. And like others have said, it is a good opportunity to people watch. It is especially interesting to see who else is not bowing their head during the prayer and is looking around.
  5. Our firm provides building design. The majority of the congregations we serve feel that it is important that you are the same religion (and denomination) as them and that you understand their beliefs and can design a building that supports their style of worship. As a side note, church groups are probably one of the worst groups to work for. You generally have to deal with a large committee rather than a single point of contact and the people get so emotional during the process that sometimes it isn't worth it.
  6. I am one of several partners in the business. The other partners are catholic, methodist, and non-practicing baptist. I haven't told them about my deconversion because it quite frankly doesn't affect our work or our relationship except for this one issue. I am not sure how they would react. I won't lie about being religious or about what denominational flavor I am or was. Its not worth it to me. Having done work for many different denominations and religions in the past has been beneficial in that I know more about their beliefs and practices than the average person. It comes in handy sometimes when debating christians.
  7. I am in a business that provides professional services to many different kinds of clients including churches. The percentage of our work that is with churches is probably around 5 to 10% per year but varies. Since I have deconverted, I have not been approached by a church to provide services until this past week and I passed the project off to one of my business associates. On the one hand, I have no problem taking their money and providing a good service. On the other hand, I don't want to help them to indoctrinate kids or attract more people to their building. In the past, it has not been unusual for a church client to ask what denomination I belong to before hiring me, but the religious questioning has never gone past that. Some denominations would not hire me because I was the wrong denomination; others didn't care. It has been awkward in the past when I was a protestant, to do work for catholic churches when they knew I was not a catholic. They would start the meetings with a memorized prayer and it was obvious when I didn't know the words that I wasn't catholic. I imagine it could be substantially more awkward if word ever got out that the church was getting services from an atheist. Beyond the awkwardness, I think it is entirely possible that I could get fired from a job if the church found out midway through a project that I was not a believer. Would you work for a church?
  8. I am very aware of the tragedy in Orlando. My wife and I have been discussing this all morning. It is a horrific tragedy. We cannot even begin to imagine what the parents are going thru today. God did not do this. God did not ordain this tragedy. I mentioned once in a post here about how we lost our twin daughters. It was like being hit by a freight train. I’ve watched friends at a very young age die of cancer. I’ve had two friends who committed suicide. My parents both suffered and died from cancer. Two of my cousins died in a car accident. Five years ago I was diagnosed with a rare chronic disease called Bronchiectasis. The disease keeps the bronchial passages inflamed thus severely restricting breathing. My doctor says it may have been activated as the result of me working in a classroom for over ten years that was latter found to be infected with black mold. I I’m just like every other person. None of us are immune from sickness, suffering or tragedies. We all have experienced these unhappy things. I don’t blame God for any of this. This is the way it is in this world. I understand that you don't blame god for any of this but doesn't it seem like there would be a discernible difference between the amount of good and bad things that happen in a christian's life verses that of a non-believer? In my decades of experience, I have not seen any difference. It seems blatantly obvious that praying is completely ineffective and that god is imaginary.
  9. I wanted to join in to offer encouragement and to say good luck with whichever path you choose. I have been deconverted for a few years now. My wife continues to be a devote christian. When I first came out to her, we had a lot of in-depth conversations about what I believed or didn't believe and why. Then after a while, she did not want to talk about it any more. I don't bring it up either but will answer honestly and gently if she asks me a religious based question. When I came out about deconverting, my wife ramped up her at-home bible study and general religiousity to an even higher level. This lasted for at least a year and half but has tapered off now. I have read of similar occurrences from other christian spouses on this site. I felt guilty about deconverting and like I let her down because I know how important it is to her to be married to a devout christian man. As a compromise, I told her when I came out to her, that I would continue to attend the Sunday morning service with her but no other church related activities. We started attending a much larger church so that no one would notice at the old church when I was suddenly not participating. My overall focus with her has been to be the best husband that I can. I wanted to show her through my actions that belief in a god or trying to follow scriptures has no impact at all on my morals or my actions. I was very worried for a while that she would not want to be married to me if I was a christian. I don't really even think about that any more. I came out to the rest of my family about six months after coming out to my wife. My dad has been a leader in their church since I was young and my mom plays the piano. They want to debate evolution, existence of god, etc. with me but are really not knowledgeable at all about the topics other than what they have heard in church. The conversations are uncomfortable but they don't get ugly. They tell me quite often that they are praying for me. However, they have been really good about not letting our differences in believe get in the way of our relationship. Overall, I feel like I am able to live openly and honestly as who I really am. It feels very good to not have to pretend I am something I am not. My heart really goes out to you for that. Good luck with the counseling and with trying to work through the situation. I hope that you are also able to get to the place where you can live true to yourself.
  10. Yes, I do have kids and they are grown now so I have the perspective of seeing what worked in the long run and what did not. I stand by my original suggestion to be honest with your kids. Pretending to be something you're not or avoiding the hard discussions because they're difficult will just add to the problems down the road. That doesn't mean you have to be blunt or harsh or give your child more information than they can handle for their level of maturity. I agree with your closing remark Hockeyfan, Randinem knows her kids and will be the best judge of what will work for them.
  11. My opinion is to be honest with your kids about what happened. In the long run, I believe that they will respect you more. The situation presents the opportunity to teach them an important life lesson. That lesson is that is that no matter how invested you may be in something, if you acquire new knowledge that shows that what you believed is not true, you adjust your belief rather than adjusting facts to support your incorrect belief. The other aspect that will be important during this time is to continue to show your kids through your actions that you care for them and that your feelings for them and motivations for taking care of them have nothing to do with your belief or disbelief in religious things.
  12. It has been about two years now that I have been an ex-christian. It was about a three year process before that of reading the entire bible, researching various topics that I had questions about, praying that god would give me satisfying answers, then eventually coming to point where I realized I didn't believe. After reading a lot of posts on Ex-C, I decided that I was going to tell my fundamentalist wife that I no longer believed but I was going to do it slowly over time and in small bite size pieces. I started with expressing doubts about various christian topics then became more and more explicit about my unbelief. There were some tough discussions along the way and my wife was extremely upset at times but two years later, religion is rarely a topic of discussion between us and I believe she accepts me as I am. It was such a freeing feeling to be completely honest with her about my thoughts on religion. Each situation is different so you will have to decide which path is the best for you. Without a doubt, reading about other's experiences and thinking ahead of time about the best way to approach the situation is bound to increase your chances of success. Good luck with which ever choice you make.
  13. So, is this the antithesis of Vanna White...
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