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upstarter

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  1. Don't forget me. I'm in the 'burbs of Vancouver. Haven't been around much lately, but will try to check in regularly now for a bit. Just met another ex-C in real life yesterday, had an amazing conversation. Told her about this place, so she may check it out. Heather
  2. That was highly entertaining. But by far the best laugh I got was over these two lines: Brilliant. Thanks for the laugh, Heather
  3. We also keep ours for reference. They are on a shelf with the atlas and the dictionaries. If we had a mythology section it would probably go there. You never know when those pesky xtians are going to throw a reference at you that you need to look up. Heather
  4. I love the opening post. It would be great to compile these kinds of quotes from those of you who still have to attend church. I love reading this shit! Keep it coming. There has to be some benefit for those of you who are chained to those seats every Sunday! Heather
  5. This made me remember another annoying thing that my parents did when they were here. No matter what the circumstances, when something good happens or someone does something nice... it's a miracle from Jesus. On the way here they had a stop over in Calgary for 3 hours. So they went to the airport food court for lunch. When they got on their plane they realized my mother had left her jacket in the food court. There was very little time left before the plane took off, so one of the flight attendants took off running from the plane and retrieved my mother's jacket! Now, I think this is a great story. I think the flight attendant and the airline deserve koodos for great service. Do my parents think that? Oh no, all they kept talking about was the "miracle" of my mother's returned jacket! WTF? Where was the miracle? Did Jesus make that flight attendant run to the food court? Or was the miracle that Jesus didn't allow anyone to take your jacket off the chair? Then while they were here we went to a restaurant for dinner and the next day my dad realized he didn't have his ATM card. This led to their second "miracle". The card was still at the restaurant from the night before! Oh Wow! Jesus protected your ATM card. Nothing can happen simply because there are decent, caring people on the planet. Everything is about Jesus. *sigh* Heather
  6. Thing is my kids really enjoy Veggie Tales. Grandma has been sending them for YEARS. And we even think they are pretty funny. I mean if you think of the stories as fiction (as we do of course) then you can enjoy the humour of them as much as anything. I mean really, the Veggie version of Joshua and the battle of Jericho is very funny and really points out the utter stupidity of the bible story, IMO. My kids have mostly outgrown them now, but they don't mind watching them. I don't even mind watching them as long as Grandma isn't here, chiming in about "god's book".
  7. They leave today. And part of me will miss them. But I'll tell you what I won't miss. I won't miss stupid shows on my TV every day, like The View and Dr. Phil. I won't miss the constant parade of Veggie Tales videos my mother insists on watching with my children who are too old for them now. And I really really won't miss my mother calling the bible "God's book" whenever she talks to my children, like they are some kind of morons. Such as, "in God's book Goliath was 9 feet tall", "In God's book David wore a fancy coat". I have managed to dodge most of the religious nonsense my mother has tried to engage me in, like the constant poking about how I need to teach my children about Jesus. Blah. I'm sure she thinks I leave the room whenever religion comes up because "God is convicting my heart" or some such drivel. Whatever. I feel no conviction... other than the conviction that getting out of xtianity was the best thing I ever did. I survived two weeks. Two weeks without a major blowout with my mother. I'm proud. Heather
  8. So, as I posted earlier this week, my fundy parents are visiting. I have to preface this by saying I do not watch The View, EVER! But my mother does. So this morning the first topic was about some teacher who is under investigation because he told his class that creation is "superstitious nonsense". I practically ran out of the room so as not to be dragged into a conversation about whether I agreed with the guy or not. So I only caught the beginning. Does anyone have more details on this teacher? Any links to the real story? I care not at all what 4 windbag women on TV have to day about any topic. I really care even less about what they have to say on this topic. But I'm very interested to follow what happens to this teacher. Heather
  9. It's getting harder and harder not to be out. After 20+ years I'm reaching my limit. My parents arrived on Tuesday for a two week stay. And at times it is excruciating. For the most part they know not to bother having religious conversations with me, because even though they don't know I've deconverted, they know we don't go to church and really don't follow the faith anymore. But sometimes they can't resist. Yesterday there was an ad on TV for some dinosaur stage show and it said something like, "see these majestic animals that haven't been seen for 65 million years ". And Mom looks at me and says, "Do you believe that?". I sighed internally and said, "Yes, I do". So the conversation ensues... "they went to the moon and they expected it to be much older than it turned out..." I can't even tell you what she said as I tuned out for my mental safety. Ultimately her argument was simply that the earth can't be that old because it's simply too much time for a "simple mind" to imagine. I took another internal sigh and said, "so you can wrap your head around an infinite god, and being in heaven forever, but you can't imagine 65 million years?" She didn't answer. This is day two of 15 days. Oy. This on top of conversations about how my son is old enough to understand now and I better be making sure he knows Jesus in his heart. It's getting harder and harder not to roll my eyes. I really just needed to vent. Thanks for listening friends. Heather
  10. I believed in them all and my children do too. I think it's all part of the magic of childhood imagination. I would never deny my children the fun of these myths. Learning that Santa wasn't real was quite traumatic for me. But I never equated any of these beings to god, or a belief in god until many years after I deconverted. Heather
  11. Ah the legions of darkness. Welcome. The best thing (okay one of many many good things) about throwing off the mantle of xtianity is getting rid of paranoid delusions like the legions of darkness. *sigh* Every time my sister gets sick (and lately for some reason that is often), she is "under attack". Wow, can't you just see a doctor like the rest of us? I'm so happy not to be constantly looking over my shoulder for the demons that are coming after me. Anyway, I agree with you decision not to debate your brother. What would be the point really? I long ago gave up the practice of whacking my head on brick walls. And really, nit picking with every little bible contradiction (bats, birds... who gives a flying F?) is such a waste of time. Those things are not every going to deconvert anyone. Heather
  12. So, one of my co-workers was singing in a special Easter choir at her church and invited people from work to go listen. I was reluctant of course, but I like to support my friends and colleagues in their creative pursuits and I like them to come to my performances, so I decided to suck it up and go. Well the music was fantastic, if you can overlook the words, which I could. Then the pastor got up to give his message. It was about "The Ultimate Stain Remover". All about how we are born broken and we need god's forgiveness and wasn't it wonderful that Jesus died so we could all be cleansed of our sins. Blah blah blah, we've heard it all before. But the crux of his message was that in order to really feel free we must be released from the guilt of sin. Yes!!! I couldn't agree more. I never felt free until I realised that the whole concept of sin is a crock of shit! Sin is a construct of religion. And without the guilt of sin I am free! I sat smugly in my seat, nodding my head and thinking how simple it really is to be free from the guilt of sin. And it doesn't require me closing my eyes or repeating any prayer. Hallelujah! Heather
  13. Fire in NYC! I think ol' Dave fell asleep watching an episode of Heroes! I must say that I too fall into the camp of people who love Wilkerson when I was a young xtian. That Nicky Cruz book meant more to me than the bible for quite a few years in my youth. I always secretly wished I had a testimony like that! Shit will happen, and people like Wilkerson will claim they saw it coming. There's no point in fearing what hasn't happened. Heather
  14. This started as a rant about my neighbour and people like her who pollute their children with all their ridiculous beliefs. And then I realized I'd better be careful because I might offend someone. And then I thought... wait, why is it okay to bash xtians and make fun of their wacky beliefs and laugh openly at them, but not at other kinds of wacky beliefs? I am a non-believer, I do not believe in anything that has no basis in science or reason. I do not believe in spirits, or forces or energies or unicorns or spells, or witches or black magic, or reincarnation or chi or chakras. I think it's all crazy, wacky and silly. There I said it, if I offended you, so be it. I don't understand why it's okay to say that worshipping the sky daddy is wacky and silly but believing in chakras is something I'm supposed to walk gingerly around. Nope, no more. My neighbour is a nutjob. She is a bandwagon jumper and she believes in all number of wacky things. The latest thing is that she has become a practitioner of reiki. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, here is the Wikipedia description: Yes, that's right, healing energy through the palms. These people charge big bucks to wave their hands over your body. Not only that, my neighbour who is sometimes too poor to feed her children properly, paid big bucks to learn how to wave her hands over people's bodies. And now, she is going to take her 11 year old son to a course, and pay more big bucks for HIM to learn how to wave his hands over people. What a waste. And on top of that, she wants me to babysit her two younger kids for 4 hours while she takes her son to this course. Blah. Heather
  15. Oh that's us all over... the awesome brain trust. But yes, I think that's essentially it. They all assume that we must just be deluded or not heard the "right" message and that all they need to do is drop in their pearls of wisdom and we'll all open our eyes and shout Hallelujah. When that doesn't happen, they have nothing more to offer. Most of them don't even wait around to see if their brand of The Truth does it's work. Heather
  16. OMG... thank you to whoever recommended Meetup.com. I found a local group of Ex-C, atheist and agnostics. Who knew? Yippee. Heather
  17. This topic comes up again and again. I don't want to insult anyone, I'm sure your struggles are very real. I just don't understand why anyone would need to find a "church" substitute. There are a million things in this world to be involved in. Why are you looking for another religious organization to join? Simply to fill a social void? I just don't get that. What do you love to do? What is your passion? What interests you? Go out and do it and you will meet people and you will fill you social void. Volunteer somewhere, take a course, join a club that plays a game you like, take up running, or volleyball. I don't know, the possibilities are endless. The idea of exchanging xtian church or some other church is just alien to me. I have plenty of friends and opportunities for "fellowship" and I have not darkened the door of any religious institution for a very long time. Expand your thinking. Heather
  18. Does this person think that "killing" is the only thing that counts as violence? If you want to see violence done in the name of Jesus just look at those lovely people from Westboro Baptist. I'm sure your fundy adversary will lump them in with the "idiots" and dismiss them, but regardless, they are committing violence in the name of Jesus. And how about abortion clinic bombings? No one has been killed, but I think most people would agree that bombing is an act of violence. I've often said that arguing with fundies is a lost cause and I stick to that opinion. If you like banging your head on brick wall, have at it. Nice to see you back around here my dear. Heather
  19. I seem to have joined this thread late, after it skipped the track and went to hell (so to speak), but I wanted a chance to respond to the OP. I echo Hans almost exactly. This was the one question I struggled with more than any other when I was a xtian. I answered more alter calls than I can count. I said prayers quietly in my own room and in my own heart. I was desperate for some confirmation that I was doing it right, that I was saved and would go to heaven. I was looking for the peace that passeth understanding... and it never came. I never felt whatever it was that the people around me were feeling. Then in my teens I encountered the idea of the unforgivable sin and I was pretty sure from that point on that I was doomed. To come out the other side of it and realize that it was all bull to start with and that I was struggling to feel something that was as real as pixie dust, that was the beginning of real freedom and peace. And just an aside, why doesn't this Badger creature have a squiddie? Heather
  20. You guys have a powerful story. I think you have a lot to offer the world. I certainly hope that you find gainful employment. And I hope that the ensuing storm of family confrontation (that your wife anticipated in another thread) is not as bad as you fear. My thoughts are with you. Heather
  21. Personally I use xtian because I'm lazy and frankly it appeals to me and really the only place I'm chatting about xtians these days is here and no one is offended by it. But I use xmas freely in my life, always. It's a reclamation of the word for me... I am purposely removing Christ from Christmas. If people are offended no one has ever said. I celebrate xmas and will continue to do so. Frankly I'd celebrate --mas if I thought anyone would know what I meant. I'm all for not offending people, and if you want to engage in dialogue with xtians (though I have no idea why anyone would) then I suppose you have to play by their rules and not get them hung up on the details. I agree that they probably latched onto the petty words because they had no reasoned response to your post. Heather
  22. I spent many (read every) happy summers in VBS. I remember that every year we'd wait with baited breath to find out what the "theme" was going to be and to get our hands on all the shiney new handouts and projects. I have no bad feeings about VBS... it was like fun, free day camp. It was no more indoctrinating than sunday school, and it was a whole lot more fun. I do remember that lots of "unchurched" friends would come to VBS... because of course it was free childcare for their parents. Maybe that's why it was more fun than sunday school. We also had this missionary who would travel around in the summer. He spent the cold part of the year doing missions in Mexico and then he'd appear in the summer and do a week of children's programming at all the little rural churches. He had a parrot that said things like "Praise the Lord" and "seek and pray". We couldn't wait for him to arrive every summer. Every session ended with us all singing "Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam"... the lyrics of that song are stuck in my brain even after more than 30 years. Sorry if you were looking for angry tales of childhood brainwashing. While I admit there was probably plenty of that, there was so much of it in my childhood that I can't say VBS was a particular source. As a kid I hadn't started questioning yet, so I loved it all. Heather
  23. I think the thing to realize is that as atheists we don't believe in a higher power... therefore, everyone who ever succeeded with AA or any other method of addiction recovery did it without God's help! They may have believed with all their hearts that they were being helped by a higher power, but there IS NONE... therefore all the help they got, they got from within and from the people around them who gave them strength. Best of luck to you on this journey. Heather
  24. I would have to say that this passive method has been what I've done. I left xtianity more than 20 years ago... I also moved 3000 miles from my family about the same time. So I have been able to simply live my own life with very little interference. My parents believe in "once saved, always saved" so that helps. They know that I do not go to church, or take my children to church. Neither of my children was baptised, christened or dedicated. I know my mother is not happy about this, but she doesn't say much. She tried for a while to tell me I should be taking my children to sunday school, but my son has some physical handicaps and I always used that as an excuse not to take him. She used to send a lot of Veggie Tales videos to my kids, which we all enjoyed actually. I have no problem with my children being exposed to stories of the Old Testament, anymore than any other classic work of fiction. Veggie Tales have gotten more preachy over the years, but in the early days they were pretty amusing. I think my parents know that I am at least a very backslidden xtian (I don't think they can imagine the idea of an ex-C) and I'm sure they pray for us a lot. But mostly they don't talk religion with me. Or if they do, it's about other people, not about my beliefs. They tell me they are praying for someone or they tell me about "miracles" that happen to people in their church. But that stuff doesn't bother me, it's who they are and they are happy. They never ask me to pray for anyone or ask me to pray with them. In fact, when I am visiting them they don't even say grace at meals, and years ago they stopped expecting me to go to church with them. Most of the time when I visit they don't even go to church themselves, preferring to spend precious time with me. This has evolved over a very long time! But it's much more comfortable for me than it would have been to have a big, overt confrontation about the fact that I don't believe any longer. My sister is a much more outspoken Jesus Freak, but even she has started to understand that I simply am not interested in conversations about Jesus or her medical miracles. I nod and smile and make small non-commital sounds when she starts to go on. Her husband and both her sons are non-believers, so she's used to it. I say live your life your way and let the chips fall. Why have a bit "outing" conversation? Everyone has to choose their own path but I choose the path of the lazy I guess. Heather
  25. OMG... I so want to hear the sermon "God: That crazy SOB will squash you like a bug." Please please write it and post it! That would be such a good laugh. Heather
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