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Fuego last won the day on July 23

Fuego had the most liked content!

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About Fuego

  • Rank
  • Birthday 03/18/1964

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Vancouver, WA
  • Interests
    singing, writing, computer geekery, cooking, science experiments, foreign languages, photography, gemstones
  • More About Me
    Was an "on fire" Christian for 30 years, now I lean more towards a pagan-ish bent. I have been in transition since October 2007, so I doubt that I've stopped changing just yet.

Previous Fields

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

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  1. Why do you assume we didn't read it? Because we had a different reaction? You seem predisposed to believing things and then fearing them despite evidence to the contrary. None of the apologist claims are new to us. There is nothing we overlooked. Many of us spent decades espousing those beliefs, and found good reasons (like the ones I mentioned) for leaving belief and embracing fact.
  2. What makes you think that the book of Ezekiel was written before Tyre was invaded? It is easy to write "prophecies" in retrospect. It is like the entire book of Exodus (none of which happened in actual history) which is made to sound like it fits into history, but is completely invented. Daniel is another made-up book. The common thought is (others on this site can confirm or deny) that most of the writings were invented around the Babylonian exile in order to give the people a feeling of continuity from ancient times. This is also likely where the "star of David" originated, from Babylonian magic rather than anything to do with David. The Revelation purports to talk about the end time, but seems to clearly point to Rome as the evil thing, and they are not really a world power anymore. Other examples: The "prophecy" about the virgin birth of Jesus isn't related to Jesus at all, but to some unknown kid born or a girl centuries earlier, not a virgin. The "prophecy" of Herod's slaughter of children has no bearing at all on Herod, and the prophecy even says that the children were kidnapped and later returned, not killed. The Bible is full of made up stuff. Apologists ignore that and start with the idea that it is true, then look for things to make it seem factual.
  3. The comments... the endless comments, each one with "the answer". Nothing about the utter failure of god's promises, the utter emptiness of the constant shell game of god's silence somehow being his perfect answer despite promises to the contrary, nothing but conform to the faith, rebuke for straying publicly, can't trust your mind even though your mind just said that...
  4. I've found that purpose is what I make of it. There are character qualities I want to embody, and some that I don't. Sometimes I have to choose moment by moment, but it is something that I want to do, not to please some bloodthirsty deity, or to make a church-goer happy with my conformity. Helping other humans is approved by all faiths, so kindness is a good thing to embody. Self-direction can be hard at first because we were used to being given "answers". And part of self-direction is also cutting yourself slack when you aren't 100% going after your goals of being. What do you enjoy doing? I like to sing, so I regularly meet with singer friends of mine to listen to them, and they come to hear me also. That helps to form community, and friendships. Joining with others makes us feel like part of something bigger, especially if there are noble goals added to the mix. If travel is your thing, learning languages can be a way to meet up and practice. Most animals don't seem to ponder meaning in being, they find their food, try to get a mate, feed their young, squabble with each other, and eventually die. Humans make a big deal out of there needing to be some overarching meaning. But I think that finding meaning and making meaning is what works best, rather than knowingly embracing myths and insisting that they are true. And it does take time to change old habits of thinking, and especially the programming of faith and religion. They get hooks into our brain's survival software, and that makes the malware harder to remove. It's taken 12 years for me to get over some of it, and there are days where songs from the past pop into my head. I enjoyed those songs at the time, but now I see how they were part of my old programming, and contain false information.
  5. Cool! I've also been intrigued by tholins and their amount on other planets, and how they could be a stepping stone for life.
  6. Many protestant ministers are like-minded. Some are in it for money, some for power over others (or both), some are not even believers, they just took it as a job and now can't leave because they have no other life-training. They will try and sell you their latest video or book about subject __, they will have a lackey listen to any complaints and recommend that you would probably be happier elsewhere, just as many abusive preachers as we've heard about priests in the news, others have very questionable "discernment" practices where they simply proclaim that you have a demon of ___ because you watched a movie with a sex scene or some horror scene and then pray in tongues and make you feel like shit for bringing anything up in the first place. All of these sorts of things are common in any religion or denomination. Are there some valuable lessons in the Bible? Yes, but they in no way require belief or ritual. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sharing from abundance with those who have nothing, showing compassion and empathy instead of building monuments to religion, choosing kindness over cruelty or apathy. All of these make humanity a better overall species. Just recognize when someone is abusing it, draw good boundaries and do what you can rather than expecting a god to reward you. Being kind isn't being a doormat, and we don't need to "take up a cross and die daily". When I recognize qualities, emotions, thoughts, desires, etc in myself that I find shocking, I take time to explore them, to find out what attracts me to them, why I find them bad, why there is a disconnect, and sometimes just leave it alone for a while. Introspection is valuable for understanding ones motivations, and sometimes things pop up that I had no idea were there. Sometimes I have dreams that cause me to start asking myself questions. This is a valuable practice and carries no judgment, sin, confession, or appeasement of deities. I ponder what it is I think I am, what I want to embody, what I want to become, and then take tiny steps in that direction. None of it requires that I spill my guts to anyone. Besides, they are all on similar journeys whether they know it or not. And if they think they have a pat answer or judgment ready for me, they can keep it. There are things inside them that would horrify others, so they know to keep their own mouths shut. I follow the same practice for things that delight me, that I find attractive or wonderful. Again, I wonder what the qualities are that draw me and if they are what I feel like I want to be or embody. This way seems to work for me.
  7. Hi, Welcome to Ex-C! My best buddy went from cultic Protestant Pentecostal (Maranatha on a college campus) to Catholic because it was calm and the rituals gave him some sense of comfort and stability. He never could bring himself to part with the idea of a god in charge. I think that would make him feel like the world was too chaotic. We don't talk about it much these days, just grab a beer and chat about life. I left the faith after a year of solid questioning. The questioning started when I was "shook" by finding a trusted preacher was lying repeatedly about miracles and healings. His whole thrust was that god was blessing them because of their ultra-committed stance that didn't coddle sin (as opposed to the fat comfortable Western church). It was a message that sold well, and I promoted him worldwide for 9 years. Then I finally caught him making up a long involved tale about a coven of witches in Germany (the charismatic churches absolutely love hearing about witches). My worldview began unraveling, and hundreds of questions I'd built up over the years began falling down off the shelf where I'd put them. After a year, I found this website and read what others had come through, and I completed my de-conversion from Christianity. That was 12 years ago and I have a far more stable and happy life that isn't governed by invisible creatures at war, where I no longer treat my natural desires as evil, and I don't spend thousands of dollars yearly promoting my imaginary friend. We come from all walks of life, and all flavors of Christianity. Again, welcome.
  8. It often takes decades to deprogram emotionally charged "lessons". I find that I (and some other guys) still have a nervous expectation of bullies following me into the bathroom at work, and that shit stopped 45 years ago with grade school. Fear is a powerful thing. Christianity makes us feel guilty and shamed for normal desires, and invents a whole world of invisible creatures good and bad, and puts us in the midst of a constant war over invisible souls, none of which exist. The bible has all kinds of "great and precious promises" that fall flat as soon as you try to claim them, and any recognition of that fact starts a deluge of excuses and accusations by other believers (and silence from god). It is crazy-making, and the god of the bible is an evil narcissist with a psychotic love of blood and burning flesh. I just had a dream last night of my aging cat being really old and in pain and I was praying for his healing. I woke up and realized, this is just my mind expressing compassion and not to worry about it or get angry. I've had other dreams where my subconscious is working through the ooga-boogas of my former faith, trying to find anything of value and wondering how I will react to various scenarios that play out in dreams. It is my mind sorting and purging old programs, and getting on with life.
  9. The US military has an extremely strong hyper-evangelical web that will protect its members, much like the Catholic hierarchy has protected pedophile priests as holy even though they are clearly evil SOBs. There is resistance building to it from within, but there is only so much that can be done, and is usually the result of lawsuits not just talking to someone. The cult always places blame on the victims, because they don't believe their god can fail. Their god is just an imaginary friend, so any abuse they want to dole out is doled out and they get a pass from their invisible buddy. Any non-conformance is punished, and again the victim is blamed. I have to disagree with nontheistpilgrim's last post about going further into church activities. They want conformity of thought, emotion, and action, and they always always protect pastors as "anointed" by god, so you are toys to them from the outset. I'd suggest finding secular authorities or attorneys to try and get out of the house and away from your family early. But I also know from personal experience that a lot of government authorities and police are in the cult also. They really can't see that their missions are insidious. The cult has a default respect in American culture, one that it doesn't deserve.
  10. Wow. The cult never ceases to amaze me. My niece and nephew were raised with very strict filtering. Now that they are teens they are getting out more, but still have a filtered view of reality. I remember as a believer studying cults and then trying to relate how they operate to my fellow believers, and being asked "How is that different from what we do?" Oops! It took another 25 years before I realized I was part of a cult, a big one but a cult.
  11. I find myself with that attitude a lot lately. Way too damn many humans, and the industrial processes we have for feeding ourselves and making endless shit to buy (especially plastics and plant/insect poisons) are trashing the planet. Humans are just other animals on the planet. Some are wonderful beings worth helping, others are like cancer or predators in society and we'd be far better off without them. Just an observation, not a full philosophy.
  12. Here's an insipid response from "Murica Magazine: https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2018/07/26/what-fivethirtyeight-gets-wrong-about-catholic-hospitals "In any case, the question that really matters is whether religiously affiliated hospitals can be forced against their will to perform abortions and the like—and the answer to that question is no." So the only thing that matters is what matters to us.
  13. The thing that stuck in my craw was that it was a giant contrived lie. And I believed it because so many others who were nicely dressed and generally sweet also believed it. All of us were duped, and because so many others were there, I kept convincing myself from time to time that they must be right and I'm just fighting demons/depression/"going through a desert time"/blah blah. Then when I got enough of an emotional slap in the face, I realized that there was a real problem and that I couldn't turn away from the problem and pretend. After a year of really looking for an answer, I realized that I'd figured it out long ago, that the bible is myth, the god of the bible is a jerk, a blood-loving psychotic narcissist that hurts people and then rages at them for not loving him enough. He's evil, and happily doesn't exist, and never did. Here's a link to an article I wrote about his nastiness: The God of Abuse Do what makes you happy. Find peace, maybe in nature, getting your hands in the soil. Some of us have various kinds of spiritual beliefs, mostly with no deities in the regular sense.
  14. That is perhaps why the Greeks and Romans had religious brothels, as both an outlet for urges and a way to legitimize it as part of a society. The orthodox Jews in Israel visit brothels, though I don't know how it is viewed there. The prostitutes are not Jews, maybe Gypsy. I lost track of the article I read interviewing the girls.
  15. The wife would love to have a horse. Me...
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