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Everything posted by L.B.

  1. Because it's all made up. There is no spirit, holy or otherwise, in people. Ages ago, our genetic ancestors started eating plants that had psychotropic effects, thus changing their brain chemistry and creating within us the capacity for abstraction and imagination. Ever since, mankind has done amazingly creative things with imagination, and has also been fooled into believing that there "must be" forces beyond us that make everything possible. It's ironic, but on the journey to expanded consciousness, we sidetracked and started believing there's something greater than that consciousness.
  2. Discovering that I was living a lie, both the lie I was told about religion and the lie I told myself (that I belonged there), coincided with, and actually forced, the revelation of ugly truths about me, and the desperate things I did to feel sane while trapped in religion. I may very well have lost my marriage and my family for good, but even if I could have them back instantly, in trade for believing the lie of religion again, I'd never make the trade. Let whatever in your life get torn down, destroyed, irredeemably taken away - don't risk your sanity, your health, your future, on caring what people think, or what an imaginary god thinks, insofar as they believe that religion is necessary to your identity. What is believed without evidence may be dismissed without evidence, and should be, no matter the cost. I wish you the best.
  3. Thank you all for your kind words. Yeah, so, the rental-car thing fell through. Long story. I am in for a long period of uncertainties and loneliness. I burned a lot of bridges over time, as the fake xtian life I tried to live was hollow enough that I made few friends, but was believable enough that my downfall has been a scandal that made people want to shovel dirt on my grave. I'll update when there's anything remotely forward about my progress.
  4. She's divorcing me. I was supposed to stay at my parents' house tonight, but my father owns guns. A friend - her pastor, ironically, who is a legit friend to me - is putting me in a hotel room tonight, and taking me to where I can rent a car for work tomorrow. I still have no place to live.
  5. Update: My situation went from devastatingly bad to unbelievably worse. I'm out of our home with two changes of clothes and my immediate personal belongings.
  6. No, I just mean things like whether or not either of us finds ourselves in a new situation... perhaps discovering a new friendship/relationship that is opening doors and encouraging growth... Maybe her god wants her to be settled in her religion and free of my wickedness. Maybe I just want her settled, in a stable home, so I can go be the man I need to be without a huge emotional collapse and more hurt feelings than are necessary.
  7. I blame myself for being a chickenshit for so long. I always knew I was choosing a bullshit story and a false, hollow, undeserved reputation as a good Christian man - all so we could get and stay emotionally and psychologically stuck for more than half our lives.
  8. I want to thank everybody for your encouraging words. I knew this would be a place where I can tell this story and find not only acceptance, but honest feedback. As to the question of whether I feel like my marriage is over, I'm not sure. I still feel like no matter how I feel about her as a woman, as a mother to my children, as a wife, the issue is that as a fellow human being, she is choosing to live her life based on the illusion that she, and I, are fundamentally flawed in and of ourselves. As far as I can see, it doesn't make any difference how much we compromised on her having her beliefs and me living rationally. The big hurdle, if it's ever going to be surmounted, is that idea that even if we love one another and want the best for one another, the sources of our individual life goals, encouragement, strength, and inspiration are two completely different things. I am never again going to spend a minute believing that I need some extrinsic Force to forgive me before it even begins to help me, or that this Force had been either directing or hindering everything I had done in my life. My wife says that she is willing to not think about or not talk about that conflict. I understand, because I know her so well, that her saying that is partly a defense mechanism against being alone. She's a people pleaser, and she knows it and will tell you so. Ultimately, however, I know in my heart that the time will come when some decision is going to come down to whether or not one of us believes that God or a god is in control of a situation, or whether she can allow herself to make or accept a choice that is in absolute conflict with what she believes is a holy book. I've already asked her how she can justify continuing to believe in a religion that says that my rejection of God automatically destines me for wrath and hell. It's not that I want her to quit her beliefs, I just want her to live consistently with them. If she listens to the crap about hell and eternity and resurrection and all, and she believes it's all true and applicable to everyone, then we will never be truly right together, because I categorically reject that thinking, but she believes that fate is mine, and is sealed, unless I repent and accept the zombie man. If she doesn't believe that, then I don't understand why she would constantly listen to such teachings and surround herself with friends who believe such a thing.
  9. Hey everyone, Since the last time I shared my back story in detail was probably years ago, I suppose a little summary is in order before I share what went on today. I'm in my mid-forties, adopted, raised in a fundamentalist Christian household. I got in a lot of trouble as a kid, did very poorly in school, and was never very good at typical good Christian Behavior. As a young adult, I moved out of my parents home and began to pursue a career as a songwriter and professional musician. I spent a couple of years actually paying the rent and feeding myself playing music and not having any other job. It was of course, not glamorous, but it was exactly what I wanted to do with my life, even after I had heard all the speeches about how unlikely it was that I would succeed at such a choice. I had a few opportunities to take giant steps forward in my music career, but for reasons that I am only just now beginning to understand, I undermined and sabotaged my work by not following through. Fast forward to my mid-twenties. I got married to a woman that I had known since I was a child, and had dated for almost seven years previous to our marriage. I decided, in a misguided attempt to conform my life to what I imagined my parents wanted from me, to quit playing music and settle down, or so I thought. I moved to the southeastern United States and went to Bible College, with an eye toward a degree and a position as a preacher or evangelist in a church somewhere. I involve myself in contemporary Christian music, on the local church level and also in an experiment to see whether my chops and experience would translate to the kind of thing that the Christian music industry recognizes as Talent. Lots of ups and downs, a few Church changes and more than a few struggles and arguments. What I did not realize, at least not to any real extent, was that I had attempted to conform myself to the imaginary standards of a god, and to the pressures and expectations of religious community, all for the sake of building some false sense of security oh, so that I would not have to fear testing my potential at the things I was really good at. I came to realize recently, after two bouts with severe, crippling depression, that I could no longer pretend that I believed or even tolerated the nonsense that had come to Define my wife's daily activities and inner life. Anyway, fast forward again, this time to this morning. Over the last couple of weeks, I had a sudden Resurgence of creativity after years of writer's block and near-total disinterest in my musical creative processes. I knew that I had to pursue this flow of creativity, and I had to be free of the self-doubt and fundamental self mistrust that typifies Christian religion. I told my wife this morning things that we had already discussed, things like the idea that we love one another, but are no longer in love, because we both silently understand that our lives are inevitably going in, and are meant to go in, two very different directions. I explained to her that it did not matter whether she was willing to continue to imagine that we still had a married relationship. Ultimately, I knew that her adherence to the Bible as the word of a god mint that regardless of how she tried to ignore it, her religion dictated that I am an outsider, failed, sinful, and Bound for hell, because I do not believe there is a God, let alone the Christian one. I told her that we needed to accept that, practically speaking, we were always going to have this huge difference between us, and that clinging to these beliefs is what has been helping her, while letting go of these beliefs is what has helped me. In short, we have reached the place where we both understand that if I continued to pretend that I can tolerate insinuating myself into her Social Circles, exclusively Christian people, which are the only friendships that she has, there would sooner than later, time when my attitude and our relationship would implode. I recognized, and told her as much, that I now understand my propensity for Bridge burning, and I wanted this to be an understanding, not a destruction. I want to be able to move forward in positive ways, and I want her to value the community and friendships that she has, that she will continue to have even if I am out of the picture. For all of their sincerity and conviction, none of the people that we are surrounded by have been inspired by their spirit to ever contact me, asked me to spend time together, pray for me, or in any other since be anything but friendly and smiley on Sundays. In other words, there's no reason for me to expect that this community of Christians is good for me, but that does not at all mean that I want to disabuse my wife of her beliefs, in so far as her involvement in the Christian world seems to be a source of comfort, safety, and worldview that she can be comfortable with. I am finally free, in the most honest sense, from any obligation to pretend that those beliefs and that environment needed to be meaningful to me at all. I have had the first important conversation about it with her. The next conversation will have to be with her and my children together. Then, there will be the conversation with the pastor of our local church, who admittedly has been compassionate and a good listener, even welcoming questioning, doubting, critical topics of conversation concerning the Christian religion and Church in general. I know this has been a long post. I wrote it to encourage anyone in a similar situation to embrace honesty about what they believe, or don't believe, rather than trying to handle the weight of how it is going to affect others. If, in fact, you really do not believe these things, you can be completely honest about it without having to scream, without having to blame, and without any expectation that the other people in your life are going to follow you down that path of thought. It's not necessary for anyone else to be convinced of your rightness... It is only necessary that you are honest with yourself and everyone around you, so that the cognitive dissonance and pressure of forced conformity do not bring about ugly, destructive, and scarring consequences. Thank you all for reading. Please feel free to comment or ask questions as you see fit. I'm sure I may have left out a detail or two in trying to explain this journey, and I'm more than glad to talk about it.
  10. If I play the game, I waste my life in service to a lie. If I tell the truth I kiss the world I've known till now goodbye. A weak and fragile peace A ceasefire, a detente, a lull in war. My one question is: Is there an outcome here that I want more?
  11. Our 24-year-old car's transmission died today. My wife was working, and a co-worker offered to give us a ride home. When my wife said it was a good thing her co-worker was there to drive us, and how convenient it was that they lived near us, the co-worker said: "God totally made it so that we could find out how close we live to each other!" She then proceeded to tell a story about how her father was trying to sell their house, but had no takers. Neighbors were unchurched people, uninterested in religion. The neighbor man was supposedly into "satanic-ness" (her word). Then, suddenly, one day the neighbor decided he wanted to learn all about Jesus. This woman's father "led him to the Lord". A couple of weeks later, the neighbor man was driving his delivery truck and had a heart attack and crashed and was killed. According to her, the Lord must have thought, "you know me as personal savior, so I'll take you home so you're not corrupted by the world". So, this "Lord" is breaking down the car of two self-employed people with children to feed, and he's giving lethal heart attacks and car crashes to his "true believers". How the fuck do people actually accept that kind of bullshit? I guess when you accept that this god's special plans include the rape of children and the murder of millions, this other shit goes down like candy.
  12. I posted this in another thread, but it bears sharing here: I just returned from an 8-day stay in the hospital after having a toe amputated. I'm more than ready for some Christard "healer" to pray to their god and ask him to restore my lost toe. I'll wait.
  13. Oh, yeah? I just got out of the hospital after having a toe amputated. Tell whatever magical healer people you know to come find me on here and schedule a healing. I'll wait.
  14. I suppose I could say I'm sorry you were disappointed with your experience here, but that would be insincere of me. This is a forum where people visit and post for a lot of different reasons. I, for one, desperately needed this place when I was actively involved in ministry and only just beginning to crawl out from under the mess I had gotten myself into. I also really needed this place when I needed to be pissed at the church and religion in general and needed a safe place to be able to vent, growl, etc, as necessary without fear that I was not conforming to "rules" other than the obvious ones the mods have established. Other than that, it's a wide-open space, and if you didn't find what you think you were looking for, perhaps you expected too much? Who knows. Anyway, take care, and please don't actively pursue opportunities to insert your non-belief position into encounters with everyone you meet. That's just being a non-religious asshole, the same motivation that drives the so-called "believers".
  15. @Lerk Their god "fixed the stars in the firmament", literally, according to their writings, hanging the stars in the sky like decorations. The heavens, after all, were a solid, physical barrier between the earth and the waters that rained from the sky - if there is no water coming down right now, it must be because the god has closed the magic door that allows the waters to flow from above the heavens. The materialistic and dualistic worldview of these primitive people is astounding. Flesh bad, spirit good - but the spirit world, or 'heaven', is just a perfected earth that they can comprehend, with a city and streets, etc, but away in the sky someplace. Good people go 'up' and bad people go 'down' to the bad place.
  16. I was actually ignorant of the stupid sheep-breeding story (I didn't remember reading it before; honestly, most of the OT put/puts me to sleep when it's not prima facie idiotic. Upon Googling "striped sticks sheep breeding", I came across some website/forum where people actually defended Jacob as practicing genetic engineering and selective breeding, because progesterone in the wood, putting it in the water fed to the sheep, etc. More gymnastics than a fucking Olympic telecast. Some commenters there actually said that the colored sheep were bred because there were sheep with recessive genes for coloration, but Jacob used the sticks because folklore/folk-magic. OK... so, the entire STORY isn't just folklore - apparently, these sheep were ready to breed according to those recessive genes that had been ineffective every other time the sheep got it on, until RIGHT then, when the story needed the "miracle" to happen at the command of Yowee, Right.
  17. Ever notice the "oh, shit" moments that YHWH has in his storybook? The man was threatened with death if he ate from the Tree of Knowledge... did so anyway. God's response (Gen 3:22)? "And the LORD God said, "OH, SHIT!! The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." Why were Yowee and his pals afraid of the mudman he/they had made? If Adam knew good and evil, and could live forever, wouldn't that mean he had achieved the same status as Yowee? The god of the OT is able to feel threatened... Then there's Genesis 11... 6And the LORD said, “If they have begun to do this as one people speaking the same language, then nothing they devise will be beyond them. 7Come, let Us go down and confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” Again, this god and his cohorts are afraid that men will, what? Reach the heavens, certainly only a few hundred feet over their primitive heads? Why Christians are so quick to accept these stories at face value is beyond me. These are the folktales of a primitive religion peopled by men and women who had no idea the world was much bigger than the boundaries of their grazing grounds.
  18. I have to object slightly - not ALL religions teach that obeying rules brings reward and disobeying brings punishment. There is a philosophy/religion that teaches that "disobedience" is really more just a matter of self-sabotage - in other words, you don't get "punished" by some standalone god-being somewhere; rather, you just don't grow and advance in all the ways that are possible. It's just like eating crappy. processed foods - yes, they can nourish you to a point, but the crappier and less natural your food choices are, the less good they will do, and the more side-effects you'll have to deal with. Making the better choices just doesn't have a down side. Hope that made a little bit of sense.
  19. (NOTE: I'm going to try to keep this coherent, but since it's both a very compelling set of ideas to me, and I don't have the benefit of real-time back/forth in convo with anyone, it may seem a bit disjointed and ramble-y. Please forgive me. Or not.) I've always been attracted to a few different ideas; one being that everything which exists in this material world emanates from something, and has a common source. We are "stardust", "billion-year-old carbon", as Joni Mitchell so aptly put it, even if her math was wrong. I love the idea that the source of everything is impersonal - that explains why evolution and all the other biological processes we can observe are seemingly only randomly beneficial to humankind. We are at the mercy of the natural world, and we benefit from it, just like every other living thing. Along with the impersonal Source of everything, there are also personalities - yes, each of us is just a functioning carbon-based organism, but there is also the intangible nature of "personhood" - the thing that trips everyone up when it comes to life-support machinery, etc. When is a person "there"? Are they "alive" because their brain is still functioning without aid of support, even though they no longer speak, interact, seemingly sense anything that we can gauge? Yes, there's Ego - the false notion of the separately-individual self; think of a basketball team. There are individual players, but they must also have a unified identity, no one player emphasizing and insisting upon their own gain and superiority at the expense of the team's success. Each player is, at one and the same time, an individual self/ego AND an indivisible part of a whole that rises or falls together. Of course, the different players have different tasks, differing skill sets and levels of ability, but each has the goal of self-improvement in mind, which is also unavoidably team improvement. No one can truly gain in skill and ability if their efforts are not directed at being useful and beneficial to the entire team. I believe that we must both recognize our absolute connection with/sameness with all other living things AND our individual roles, much like trees give and take carbon dioxide and oxygen. The process is necessary both to the existence of the tree and the existence of other living things that benefit from what the tree does not need. My goal in this life is to navigate the unique struggles, challenges, obstacles and questions that are before me - situations that are unique in detail, perhaps, but also having qualities which every person's situations possess. For instance, I am considered a nice-looking man by some, and I am considered witty and intelligent - characteristics that make for currency in romantic pursuits. I am also dealing with physical issues and health problems - things that offset or negate in some ways my physical attractiveness. It thus behooves me to ask daily how I can improve myself physically and in terms of my health, but also to ask daily how I can make my mind, attitude and outlook more positive, relegating my physical appearance to a far-less-significant place in my own (and others') estimation of me. In my growing awareness of my essential oneness with all things and people, I am trying to judge less, understanding that this material world is full of sense-pleasures that trick us into believing in our separate individuality, promoting selfishness and greed. For instance, it might feel luxurious and decadent to eat your favorite ice-creams and rich foods all day long, every day, but the resultant issues with your health would be coupled with increasing addiction to those foods and the sensations they bring - think of Gollum and the One Ring; the attraction to it was delightful at first, then more and more powerful, forcing him to forego relationships, well-being and empathy in an effort to keep his "precious" all for himself. There is so much more that can be said about the idea of the essential unity of all things - imagine if each of us embraced that idea; we could start to see so many other issues in sharper relief, making us more aware of our interconnected existence. Is it possible that "spirituality" is really just the pull of our essential unity, calling us away from ego-self desires and drives, and that there are stories, ideas, philosophies that can illustrate the truth of oneness and teach us about how to seek a deeper awareness of our unity?
  20. @duderonomy I get it now!!!! I finally get it!!! Hallelujah! Bottahonda! Shoodabottahunday! Jesus is SO real to me - even more real than any fictional characters you read about in books! I mean, you can GO to the places that are mentioned in the stories about Jesus - not like on Law & Order - Special Victims Unit, or something, where those are real places but not real characters! It's so obvious that Jesus is real, just like Jerusalem is real! I am so refreshed in the Spirit right now.
  21. Pretty much sums up: 1) why, if there was a god, it would want ongoing sacrifice, like the Catholic god, not impossible-to-prove assertions of belief like the Protestant god and 2) why I refuse to have anything to do with agreeing with or promoting the asinine "religion" known as Christianity. I believe that one of the most powerful pieces of evidence disproving Christianity is the existence of two MASSIVELY-influential, globally-ubiquitous movements, both claiming to be truly Christian, which are entirely irreconcilable.
  22. From everything I've read, and based on deductions I've made from actual history (not the bible), I've concluded that there were apocalyptic preachers at the dawn of the first century (easy to demonstrate), and that there was an expectation that the religio-military hero "messiah" expected by a subset of the Jews was to be named Yahshua/Joshua ("Jesus" is such a corruption that it's laughable). With all that said, the earliest artifacts relating to "Jesus" in Israel are all related to the religious figure, the Catholic Jesus, the savior-hero-god-man character; there are no artifacts, historical sites, etc pegged as describing or being connected to a different person. I hope what I'm saying makes sense - I'm fighting a cold. In other words, what I posit is that nobody who knew a REAL, historical person named Yahshua (or whatever), attributed any supernatural or world-changing significance to that person, insofar as they never memorialized that person with shrines, plaques, etc (probably because Jewish people would have considered that close to idolatry, anyway). The "Jesus" that anyone can point to is memorialized by sites related to the bible stories; the bible stories weren't based on events, but the places mentioned in the stories have become significant BECAUSE of the stories - like a 1st-C. 221B Baker Street.
  23. UPDATE: I'm scheduled to see a therapist on my own. I'm looking forward to being able to share my feelings with someone who has more of an objective view. Too many people in my life have been too invested in the "me" that existed when I was in religion, the "me" that believed I owed it to a god, and to others, to think and behave in so many ways that ran counter to nature, to my instincts and to my goals in life. She says she feels encouraged that I am going to be able to deal with these issues and adjust and heal - I still worry that she thinks I will return to religion, or that somehow if I don't, at least maybe I'll be OK enough somehow. One step at a time.
  24. Please fucking do, and take your thread-hijacking airplane-analogy bullshit with you. The bible makes clear that god is going to judge people based on sin, which is something that the bible says MANKIND IS INCAPABLE OF AVOIDING. See? God "cursed" Adam and Eve with death as a result of sin - and let thousands of generations of people be born in a damned condition, inescapably, unless they beg this god to be "cured" of a condition they were born with and COULD NOT AVOID. Your grandparents smoked crack, and subsequent generations of children have been born deformed, but if they go to your GREAT-grandfather and beg his forgiveness, they can somehow magically be restored to full health and normalcy as if nothing had ever happened. The only OTHER problem with that idea is that it only deals with some nonsense "spiritual" condition. Your Christards still die in floods, in fires, from wasting diseases, from starvation, from the corrupt cops who act as paramilitary units for the oligarchy in our country... why can't Magical Great-Grandpa just "zap" all the ACTUAL problems away, too? Nooo... that would be too easy. We have to have "faith" and struggle through all the SAME shit that believers in hundreds of other religions go through, and things that non-believers go through... wow - it almost seems like the circumstances we face, and our chances of facing them and surviving them, are - wait for it - RANDOM AND ARBITRARY, and not the whims of an omniscient being. This shit is fucking retarded, and so are all the attempts to re-frame this shit so that you can try and cover all your bases. It's a fitted sheet for a mattress that's WAY too big for the sheet. Give up already, at least here.
  25. I don't get it - why would I want to talk to a counselor who is a theist of some kind? Not saying I absolutely wouldn't, but I'm wondering why I couldn't insist on a strictly secular foundation for our therapy.
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