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Bug last won the day on January 22 2019

Bug had the most liked content!

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About Bug

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    Reading, social work, volunteering, animals, video games
  • More About Me
    I'm an ex-Pentecostal, newly deconverted, and looking forward with hope.

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

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  1. Bug

    Finding Hope

    Hahaha, I actually really like Oklahoma and have a lot of good memories there. My family used to hate on it and then proceed to take us there every summer for family reunions and camping. I could have done without all of the Tornados, but that was more on my family for terrible planning. "It's storm season, time to go camp directly in the path of a twister and hope for the best! Let's be sure we take the whole family too so there will be more of us to scramble and make a scene."
  2. Thanks for bringing this up! I've been wondering about this recently too. Being newly deconverted myself, I agree with what others are saying about the importance of exposing people to new ideas even if they don't intend to hear it right away. The minute I had serious doubts, it was like everything every non-believer had said came rushing back to me. I started to consider the other side of some arguments I had and put proper time into researching ideas that initially felt scary and uncomfortable for me. I think most of us can agree that deconversion is often a rough and long process. It seems for many of us it isn't just a single conversation or new fact that we learn that changes our mind, but many of them combined. This whole idea also kind of reminds me about conversations on Sympathy vs. Empathy. Saying you understand someone is one thing, but actually feeling their plight and convincing them you do is another. There is only so much you can do and say to try to convey you understand someone's position, but I think when it is done with empathy there is a greater chance someone will eventually hear it.
  3. As a Christian, I somehow managed to escape having any knowledge about the Ark encounter or Ken Ham. I saw this video and learned of the incredibly expensive replica of one of man's more ludicrous creations ark a couple of months ago. When I saw the dinosaurs I actually thought it was a joke and I laughed so hard I was in tears. Those tears had a different meaning when I realized he is completely serious and that there are thousands of people who think, yeah, it all adds up to normal. But seriously, Bill Nye was a breath of fresh air in this video.
  4. Bug

    Finding Hope

    My goodness, I leave for a few days and come back to discover more warm welcomes and learn that New Zealand might actually be a real place. These are the discoveries I needed to make, thanks everyone! Hahaha, oh Texas! When I moved to Pennsylvania my partner was quick to tell me about how everyone here feels about Jersey: "They say NJ is the armpit of America and I can personally assure you that no one there can drive and just wait until you meet your first jughandle." I just laughed along and didn't take it too seriously or think about it much until I realized that NJ is just what Oklahoma is to Texas. Now I can't stop seeing all the hilarious comparisons and similar banter that occurs between the 2 states. I worked in a warehouse for a few months over in Jersey and they say the exact same things about everyone living in Philly. I've told all my Jersey and PA friends that we should just come to an agreement that none of them know how to drive.
  5. Glad to be here! Memories have always been special to me, but they've become even more significant since I gave up Christianity. I think it's a good and natural desire to enrich the lives of those around us, especially our loved ones. Faith was a big part of my Granny's story, but it won't take away anything else she left me with either. I actually believe that, out of all the great traits she had, her patience is something I will cherish the most. I'm glad it could help in some way! Family feelings can be the most complex of all. It's really interesting how that can be the case. I think if I were still Christian I would be having a more difficult time too. My Christian family members are having a lot of trouble right now because, in addition to this major loss, they now feel the need to indoctrinate themselves even more. They're all really struggling in an attempt to gain this same faith they also witnessed in my Granny, which is exactly what I would be doing as well had I not ever been courageous enough to question anything.
  6. Bug

    Finding Hope

    I didn't beelieve I would complete my life's work in one thread, but it seems I've done it! Thank you everyone, for helping me fulfill my true purpose.
  7. Bug

    Finding Hope

    I ant believe I finally found someone to use a bug I had completely forgotten about in conversation. How dare I be from the south and forget the nightly screams of the cicada.
  8. Bug

    Finding Hope

    Regardless, maybee you can find it in your heart to forgive me? I larva good conversation and this is a forum after all.
  9. Bug

    Finding Hope

    Sorry, I mite have taken it too far again.
  10. Bug

    Finding Hope

    Thank you again! So far everyone has been very welcoming and kind to me, which is always such a nice feeling. It's good to be reminded that community can always be found outside of church, especially if you're willing to look for it.
  11. Thanks for this, I watched it before I went to bed and really enjoyed it. I know exactly what you mean about the liberating feeling of having a clear head. In addition to learning new things, there are so many things to rediscover as well! Visiting any museum is going to be a totally different and awesome experience for me now. There is a bee exhibit coming up in February at our local Science Museum and I can't wait to go see it with a mind that is ready to learn instead of run away. It's a huge and fascinating world when you escape that bubble!
  12. If it hadn't been my Granny's funeral, it would have been comical to me. He literally worked himself into a sweat and said that we didn't need to worry because she wouldn't be in the ground long. "It's gonna be downright spooky when the rapture happens and people are driving by this cemetery. There will be twisted up metal and concrete from the Earth breaking!" Yeeeah, it's worth mentioning that my Granny didn't even believe that's how the rapture would work. I remember feeling so bad about it after leaving and my partner was speechless because he had never even been to a funeral, let alone a Christian one. Thankfully, my Atheist friend from High school managed to escape the crowd of otherwise Christian mourners and find me at my car. He said "So sorry for your loss, but that bit about the concrete breaking and that dude using the word spooky in a graveyard during a funeral was really something...." I couldn't help but laugh. And I know it's incredibly dark and inappropriate (and we would never say this to anyone else that wasn't in on the joke), but my partner and I occasionally tell each other to be careful when walking on sidewalks or passing cemeteries now... You never know when the Earth is going to burst wide open to allow everyone's great escape, but it sounds messy and spooky. Yes, I keep reminding myself that everything is just going to take time. I'm also hoping that when I go on my next awkward visit to see my family, we'll all find a way to just be together as our genuine selves. That might take a lot more phone calls and visits to achieve though.
  13. I'm finally ready to post this... Where to begin? I grew up in a very dysfunctional home with alcoholic and addicted parents who, despite all that, did their best to love me. As an adult I see my parents for what they really are: Humans who make mistakes. They never physically or verbally abused me, but there was a LOT of neglect and a lot of loneliness. My grandparents swooped in to save the day on many occasions and, as a result, I was very close to them. I spent at least some part of every day at their house and if they knew my parents were in a bad place, they would just keep me with them until something else was sorted out. They were kind, loving people who I looked up to with starry eyes and always looked forward to seeing. My Granny dedicated her entire life to religion, a fact I am now a bit depressed thinking about at times. She had a very tragic and gripping tale about how she lost a daughter in a car-wreck and became angry with God for many years. She said she one day found healing and rekindled her relationship with Jesus, remaining faithful until the end. When she passed away she was 93 years old. This story of hers, along with many others, always led me to believe she was an incredibly strong human being to have survived some of the things she did. From picking cotton in the southern heat as a child, to escaping a horribly abusive marriage, to somehow surviving the unthinkable and continuing to live after the loss of a child... Through all of this, she kept her faith. I wanted to be just like her. Oh, how I prayed for such strength and unwavering faith... The trouble was, I just couldn't be that faithful. I didn't have whatever it was that my Granny had that allowed her to remain a believer until death. When I was 17 I thought I was saved and born again, but I was never certain like my Granny. I believed very much in God and Jesus, but I didn't think I could ever reach the top of this faith mountain I had built in my head. I didn't think I would ever be good enough for God and that led me to some very destructive thinking that I will likely suffer with forever. I was incredibly depressed and anxious the entire time I was Christian, terrified that I had purchased a one way ticket to hell somehow and was well on my way, along with everyone else I loved. If only I could be stronger like Granny... When she passed away in August of 2018, I felt the weight of grief for the first time in my life. I tried to turn to God, but my deconversion had already begun. In the last few years of her life, my Granny suffered with dementia. This was something I knew she prayed to avoid for many years prior to getting it. She became angry and scared and was barely recognizable at times. I watched the light fade from her eyes and questioned how a God she had served so diligently for almost an entire century let her slip away with the one disease she begged to never face. At this point in time, I was already living with my Atheist partner who was there for me through every bit of the ride. He watched me cry countless nights and, of course, could not answer my questions about why this was happening. Why had God turned his back on my Granny, our family, on me? Somehow, through all of the pain, I had to start finding answers. The answers I found were not in God's favor, but they absolutely set me free. I sometimes feel I attended my Granny's funeral as a Christian and left as an Atheist. As if enough damage hadn't already been done, the Pastor who had supposedly known and loved her for decades said the names of her children wrong, gave a really BIZARRE speech about the rapture that took up far too much time, and generally dishonored her in every way possible. I was sad and offended by everything that took place, but I also wasn't surprised at this point. This was because I had already been asking questions, praying, and reading for years in an attempt to get my answers from God. Shocker, he didn't answer. So.. I then had this task to figure out how the hell I was supposed to move on. How would I live on this planet without my Granny and accept what had happened to her? How would I live with her passing now that I no longer believed in Heaven? I could no longer take comfort in knowing that she served God her whole life and was now enjoying paradise. I spent my whole life believing that the only way I could ever cope with anyone's death was by being certain they made it to heaven. Then one day I had a groundbreaking thought: My Granny's faith didn't matter in the way I originally thought it did. When I removed faith in God from the equation I realized she was still a strong, loving, patient woman who adored her family and did what she believed was best in her time on Earth. She laughed hard, helped anyone she could, and loved me more than words can describe. She cooked amazing fried chicken, could grow anything in her garden, and had an excellent sense of humor. She was still my Granny and I will always remember her fondly and strive to be even a tenth of the woman she was. I realized that all I want out of life is freedom, truth, and love. When I spend time with my loved ones, especially that pesky Atheist partner, I simply don't need God to be happy anymore. In letting go of God, I have gained so much more than I ever could have imagined. I get to share my life with people who love me for who I am and vice versa. I can look forward to constantly learning new information, growing, and changing my mind. I can help others solely because I feel it is the right thing to do. The anxiety and depression caused largely by indoctrination will continue to plague me, but I'm determined to carry on anyway. Seeing as I now believe I only get one shot at life, I want to make the most of it while I'm here. Goodbye means something different and more permanent to me now, but life just seems that much more precious as a result. I will never have that faith that my Granny had in God, but I believe in love, kindness, and hard work. For the first time in my life, I also believe in myself.
  14. I'm also experiencing a burst of learning lately and it's awesome! I'm 27 and I went to public schools my whole life, but because of the seclusion and indoctrinated teachers, I didn't learn much of anything. I recall my teachers physically ripping chapters out of our science books in middle school and being told by my family that if I heard anything about evolution to just ignore it because it's nonsense. I happened to live on a creek-bed full of fossils as a kid, so they couldn't really keep that away from me. I loved collecting them but only recently discovered how old they might actually be. I also always adored dinosaurs and space, but I guess these subjects were too "risky" to talk about so my current partner is teaching me more about planets this month than I learned in my entire education. I went to a state University, but my particular department was disturbingly faith based with an entirely Christian staff. They could only legally get away with so much, but it was plenty. I too have been enjoying AaronRa's content, so if you have any other similar discoveries you'd like to share I'd love to hear about them! I'll be checking back here to see what others say also, so thanks for this post. It's amazing that you're excited about learning and want your kids to have the opportunity to get a solid education and make their own choices. I find it inspiring that you're rekindling a passion you set aside and I'm willing to bet your children may also find that inspiring someday, if they don't already.
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