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ClaraOlive last won the day on August 23 2010

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About ClaraOlive

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    its turtles all the way down

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  1. I recognize what you're saying. When I left Christianity, I wanted to give my father a good faith effort to read a Christian book that he wanted me to read. I put a lot of time into responding to the book as if I were discussing it with him (I sent him a 20 page letter) before realizing that he never had any intention of discussing it in that amount of depth. When I realized that, I also had the realization that spending so much time engaged with Christian vs. atheist arguments wasn't as the OP said, enjoyable or meaningful to me anymore. It took me a long time to find my own identity
  2. I don't respect Christianity. I respect people's freedom to make their own decisions about what they believe. Different beliefs serve people in different ways over time. The way I think of it, most everyone here at one time was a Christian. While many have said and done things they regret, did we all magically go from being worthless stupid people to people deserving of respect? Or are we the same people who've changed in some ways and stayed the same in other ways over time? Deciding whether to respect people based on a single label and considering them to be inherently other than ourselves i
  3. When I first left Christianity, I had this feeling like I couldn't fit in anywhere because no one else had the right combination of interests/personality and no one else could possibly understand me. It turned out that people weren't as judgmental as me as I was of them. Over time, I've become much more ok with accepting that friendship happens on different levels. When I met one of my friends, many years ago, I immediately assumed that she wasn't worth getting to know because we clearly had little in common. One major thing is that she watches a lot of TV and I don't watch any, and she li
  4. I stopped being a True Believer as a pre-teen, so had no choice about going to church. If I had a choice, I wouldn't have gone. I found Sunday school dumb, the service boring, the prayers endless, and I'm not particularly drawn to music. I wasn't part of a big peer group either - the one girl I liked moved out of state in middle school and the few other kids my age were unappealing. The people who say that only boring people are bored were not forced by their parents to go to three church services every week! After 8 additional years of brainwashing, I thought it was on me to prevent my p
  5. After a freakout from my parents, as a young adult, I broke up with an amazing atheist boyfriend, and I regret it to this day. Not because I believe that he and I would have stayed together forever (I used the inner knowledge that we weren't going to be permanent as an excuse to myself), but because it was a truly shitty thing to do to him, to myself, and there wasn't anything honest or courageous in it. I believed that I could save my family from being hurt. Looking back, on one hand, it's a people pleasing issue, but on the other hand, it's pure arrogance and hubris. My sacrifice of pretend
  6. I went to Baptist school. Girls couldn't wear pants. It was ok for teachers, even (especially) male teachers, to make a girl get down on her knees in front of him to make sure her skirt touched the floor. If your skirt didn't touch the floor, you were sent home to change and got detention, where you had to write out Bible verses about what you'd done wrong. I cared desperately how other people perceived the way I looked, because the way I looked was "Little House on the Prairie" and the image it projected was everything I didn't want to be associated with. I got some clothes from Goodwill
  7. In the case of the ex-Christian community (I am not thinking of anyone specific here, honestly), the "system" that I see is one where men blame women for their problems, which benefits them by not having to take responsibility and by having an outlet for their anger. For example with the aforementioned dating threads, if the response to a guy having trouble meeting women interested in sex or who wants to date him is "women don't want sex, they want to manipulate you into paying for things" or "if you're nice to them, they'll put you in the friendzone and end up with some asshole", this doe
  8. I don't see you as trying to stir up shit. I'm kind of wondering how long it was since you deconverted. It was really hard for me to navigate casual sex/casual dating at first. I think difficulties men and women face are sometimes different in this regard, but for both, there's an aspect of coming across as someone who is confident about their sex choices instead of being Christian-awkward (which both tends to be a turn-off to normal people and attracts crazies and really clingy people).
  9. The plural of anecdote isn't data. What you seem to be saying is that you personally don't have any women in your life who are interested in casual sex. Yet there's plenty of evidence given by people in this forum, including some in this very thread, that either they are women with a serious interest in sex or personally know women with a serious interest in sex. I guess I would know more about my sexuality than a man who's already determined that as a woman, I fit some stereotype. It's pretty clear that statistically, most women have had sex outside of marital sex.
  10. I married the first time because I was depressed and desperate. Not desperate to be married, but desperate to find a way to be a "real Christian" and be in the Christian community. I took the "you are what you do" approach. My family was happy, my church was happy, my friends were happy. The marriage was relatively happy for six months and lasted for two years. I started seeing it as a death sentence, one where I'd have to kill myself or him to be free. Divorce can be a wonderful thing - one day after he called me a racist slur, I discovered that I had the option of walking out the door, which
  11. I smile warmly and say "I'm an atheist". If invited to church, the answer is "thank you so much for inviting me, but I'm an atheist and I'm not interested in going to a church". I've definitely noticed regional differences. When I lived in rural Virginia, the question of religion or church came up all the time (so did inquiries about my race), sometimes from complete strangers. Since moving away from that area, I can barely think of a time when it's come up. I have friends here who are Christians and theists who I had known for months or years before anything about their beliefs came up at
  12. I'm glad that this is being discussed here at ex-Christian, but I feel like there's a double standard here from what I've seen in comments (although maybe it's two completely separate subsets of commenters). On one hand, I feel like whenever there's a discussion about how Christianity hurts women, everyone chimes in to agree how pernicious it is that Christians treat female sexuality as evil and try to push women into a submissive role, and in many more conservative churches, entirely discourage women from working outside the home at all. OTOH, I feel like I see generalizations about women in
  13. This is scary to me. I think given what you've told us, earthmama, that you're on a good path with becoming financially independent and waiting until you're in a stable place to see what happens. But don't hesitate to leave if you think you need to. I don't want to be negative or make you feel pressured here - I support your decision - but I don't see from anything you've said, any reason to stay with someone who disrespects you, yells at you and doesn't parent his own child.
  14. Wasted time. The idea that it was a time of personal growth doesn't resonate with me because there's no reason to think that I wouldn't have experienced growth or learned anything about life without spending that time in the church. I didn't take much if anything away with me. I was a good student and my education at a Christian school was sub-par compared to if I'd had the opportunity to take AP classes and be involved in academic interest groups and projects. Most of my friends drifted away when I deconverted and my former best friend told me that I was going to hell in a cowardly wa
  15. It's always useful to understand how other people think and why they believe the things they do. It's interesting to see how people try to twist a historical account into something they can weaponize in modern culture. The Bible has a lot of similarities to the Code of Hammurabi. I believe that it shares a few myths with the Epic of Gilgamesh (which also has a flood story, IIRC). I don't know that I'd classify those as "useful" or "useless" exactly. I find it interesting that no one gets really upset about Shamash (one of Hammurabi's gods), calling him a tyrant or the worst serial kill
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