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Fuego last won the day on December 14 2017

Fuego had the most liked content!

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About Fuego

  • Rank
  • Birthday 03/18/1964

Profile Information

  • 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. Yep. I recently saw a singer friend convert due to family pressure. Now she's a bot, a liberal bot, but still insistent that her invisible friend is there for her. Fitting in is a huge social pressure, fitting in with family even more so. I gave her a brief account of my deconversion and she seemed frustrated that "a man caused all this", meaning the preacher who was lying about miracles. She didn't get the real story, mostly because she didn't want to, as it would cause emotional turmoil. A recent testimony on this site talks about the power of emotion in keeping people dedicated even when they are fairly sure it isn't real. There is anger and resentment when anyone suggests that a believer was tricked. People really don't want to hear that, perhaps because of pride or shame of having been duped. I've seen the same thing when people are duped by phone calls and emails telling them they've won millions of dollars and to send $30 to claim it, and then another $20 processing fee, and then... They are so blinded by the fake prize that they keep sending money expecting a big payout that will never happen. Even when a police detective shows them clear evidence that the person behind the scam is just a lying criminal, they can't let go of the idea that they really won the big payout, and are still willing to send more money. It's like hackers finding a serious flaw in a computer system and exploiting it for all they can get. Humans have a flaw in our thinking/feeling system that lets religion flourish despite physical and historical evidence that contradicts it. Having other humans that gather together to celebrate and sing about the fake payout makes it seem even more real.
  2. Welcome! Your story shows the power of that parents have on the emotional development of children. Even when you could see through the myths, you were still compelled internally to follow and rededicate yourself. Then the mixed bag of emotional reactions to Maher and Dawkins showed that you were genuinely angry over something saying you had been tricked into believing in a god by well-meaning people that you love, until you could conclude that yourself based on evidence. I hope that my hyper-intelligent niece and nephew can find their way out of the cloistered upbringing they have currently. (On one hand they have not been raised using the Internet or social media, have never heard pop music of any generation, and are learning classic languages like Latin. On the other hand, they are being taught to think through problems, though NEVER to question god. I'm hoping that someday they will break through that wall. I told their mom that she must teach them to think critically, and she replied "I CAN'T do that, they might question God". Mostly they fear their dad's disapproval, and that holds a ton of emotional power. Even a look from him can cause them to back down.) Some of us still wonder if there is more to us than the biology we see. That is why there is a "safe" part of the forum dedicated to exploring such ideas where overt criticisms and insults are not allowed. But most of us don't believe in any kind of actual "person on a throne" kinds of gods anymore.
  3. I think the whole MeToo has gone overboard. Weinstein was clearly a predator and abuser. But it seems like a mob mentality has formed and now any guy (take Al Franken who posed as if he were going to grope a woman, and who may have touched someone's but during a photoshoot in which she is smiling) is getting taken out of a job over relatively nothing. A famous French actress has come out against the MeToo movement because it is trying to make men not be men. It is right to call out the problems, it is wrong to equate sexual abuse and a hand around the waist during a photo-op. She also said that men aren't even allowed to defend themselves against accusations, but are expected to fold and disappear. Any resistance and social media goes insane and shouts them down. The other side of the issue is that women have put up with a ton of shit from guys forever and were largely ignored when they wanted justice for being fired, demoted, or treated unfairly. Women tell me that guys are giving them a never ending advertisement for dick daily and guys are offended if they refuse. Saw that happen yesterday evening in a shop where a guy who thinks he needs to be an asshole to get what he wants was being rude to multiple women and got rejected. I've seen some women come unglued if they think an older guy is paying attention to a younger woman, not even an underage woman. One said that Finnian's Rainbow (movie) was disgusting because 60-70-something Fred Astaire was courting a 20-something female. Others say that children today are sexualized, and to some extent that is true, but the reactions are overblown except where is is harmful to the children. Social rules are in a flux as usual.
  4. They've Addicted You...

    I don't like having "friends" that I've never heard of or met in real life. I also look at their page and there's nothing there but updated profile pics every year. What's the point of such a person (on FB)? I should probably purge a few now that I think about it. Then again, I don't post anything there (or elsewhere) that I wouldn't want shoved in my face in court. I've been the most open here on Ex-C because some posts call for relating actual life experiences. I use FB to stay in touch with musician friends mostly, and to find out when their shows are happening and to share my own.
  5. Nobody has to know.....

    Welcome! Sorry to hear that your husband became so biblical, so harsh. Pentecostals have all kinds of magic beliefs and get very angry if someone doesn't go along with their superstitions. But it is good that you have seen through the lies of Christianity. There are others here in similar situations, so I'm hoping they will reply with suggestions.
  6. Jesus, if he existed, was bipolar

    Possibly, if he existed at all. Although the hypersexuality part I don't buy. Mary of Magdala showed tears of repentance, rather than lust, and honor to Jesus rather than plying her trade. The lowest of society's totem pole often tend to show the greatest devotion to those who are kind to them.
  7. Double Mindedness

    Many cultures recognize that we each have a dominant personality, and sometimes several not-as-dominant personalities (or facets of one personality). Some people manifest these strongly, one taking over and then another, but that is far more rare than simply recognizing that we are complex beings with different "characters" inside. Fiction writers use this to develop characters for books or movies, saying that the characters seem to spring to life and write themselves, or object when the author goes against character. Many people have sexual fetishes that are not part of their everyday life, but come out in the right setting, and they find deep satisfaction in pursuing those things (there are hundreds of kinds). Some truly enjoy being shamed, others like being spanked or whipped, some enjoy the idea of raping or being raped, some are more obscure like popping balloons or certain kinds of textures that bring excitement. Religion often creates a light/dark conflict, but observing Christians who are told they are light, pure, unblemished, etc and seeing that they behave as badly as any other humans should be enough to demonstrate that the "cure" of Jesus is hogwash. They remain mere humans despite any claims of being born-again. All of us here know that there was no change from Jesus, and many of us wept bitterly over what we thought was sin dominating us, when all along we had been lied to about sin even being a real thing. We are animals with passionate drives, sometimes seething anger, we have what the Germans call schadenfreude or enjoying other people's suffering (why is slapstick comedy so popular when it depicts people being hurt repeatedly, why are gore movies popular, why are scary movies popular), so we are complex emotional beings and Christianity tries to label it all impure or bad. It just "is". How we actually behave and treat others represents a choice we all make daily. I have envisioned so many horrible things against my bullies for decades, but never did anything. I've envisioned all kinds of things I won't go into, but haven't done any of them. It provides an emotional outlet to imagine things. Fetishes in sex provide a means of expressing those desires with another person or persons. The more violent fantasies are better left fantasies because of the real-life harm it would cause others, and then because of the crime, cause harm to us for doing them. So our choices of behavior are far more important than fleeting or even recurring imaginary things. I have found it helpful to explore the "why am I enjoying this", not to judge myself but to try and better understand myself and the nuances of emotion that lead me this way or that.
  8. 1. Drain the swamp. Did he? No, he added to it. 2. Show his taxes. Nope, refuses. 3. Build a wall. Why? Will it work, no. Is he doing it? No. Will Mexico pay for it? Of course not. Yes, he is doing some of the things he promised. But the changes aren't necessarily going to do what his supporters think. The tax changes will, according to all I've read, likely bring a lot more money to those who are already rich than to starting businesses in America to employ the average people. I see the way I phrased the racism part was not quite what I intended. I meant that his supporters felt a new freedom to express their xenophobia.The nazis and southern white supremacists found new boldness in 2017 and came out of the woodwork repeatedly since his election. It was public shaming of individuals that finally started silencing them. I never said all of his supporters are racist, but a lot of them are, and they see immigrants as a threat. Yes, people are angry over the tolerance of crime and the increased homelessness and crumbling infrastructure of the USA, and a lot of them felt like he would get the banks out of control of the government and rebuild the coal mines and basic infrastructure of the country. He has no intention of doing any of that. He and the GOP are claiming it will trickle down, but with the offshoring of jobs and the offshore tax shelters, plus the new tax breaks, there will be a vacuum of tax monies and a further decline of infrastructure, plus a huge increase of homelessness. If I'm wrong, I will be happy. I mention fundamentalists because they represent a huge part of his support. The Roy Moore types who apparently make up about half of Alabama are his support. Trumps unwillingness to outright condemn the Nazi groups show he doesn't want to alienate them. I mentioned cruelty, again because of the xenophobia and the threats and treatment by his supporters and not directly by Trump. I mention willful ignorance, again for his supporters. I recently responded to an article in the paper about a Muslim man jailed for sex abuse. All of the comments attacked his religion rather than the man. I mentioned 25 Christian pastors jailed for the same thing and the response was vitriol and diatribe accusing me of "protecting" a fake religion and blah blah blah. I get a lot of that from fundies and frankly both sides of the political world. Anyway, sorry I commented. I usually avoid political threads and will do so from now on.
  9. I think more and more, it was simply the "art of the deal" he's done so many times in business. He lies to the gullible and angry, telling them he'll give them all they want and more, and boom, he wins. He never once intended to give them any of it, but got what he wanted. There is no recourse, and he knew that. But it does indeed show how much of America applauded the guy mocking a disabled reporter and so much more. The trenches of racism, fundamentalism, cruelty, and willful ignorance run quite deep.
  10. Christians and flat earthers

    It would be one thing if they did it as a lark, but to actually believe it is a sad commentary on either the human mind or dismal education. I've found that people often don't want to be bothered with learning what is real because it takes too much time and seems difficult compared to believing something else. For example, the often misused references to "quantum physics" in the New Age circles.
  11. Paganism

    I remember that shortly after deconverting, my wife took me to a New Age crystal shop. I gravitated to the witchcraft aisle and the pentacle rug. No idea why, but it felt like home, rather strongly. I told the shop keeper that it felt like being hugged by mom. Since then I've been a lot more Earth/nature oriented.
  12. Anyone dealt with conspiracy theories?

    All entertainers like that go for shock value. The wrestling guys are legitimately huge and can smack people down, but they do a lot of it for show. Black Sabbath did it to sell records, not because they believed any of it. Blue Oyster Cult's logo of un upside down cross with a question mark at the bottom was rumored by Christians to be "questioning the crucifixion", but was really supposed to be the old alchemical symbol for lead (a "heavy metal"). Groups like Maranatha staged lots of seminars on all the allegedly satanic things they found in rock music, and the vast majority were either false or put there specifically by the bands to stir up controversy and thus free advertising.
  13. (Regarding LF's Harry Potter post) "Got to go beat a couple of bludgers" "Got to go tame my dragon" New euphemisms!
  14. I had some benefits from my 30 years of faith, mostly a nice non-fundy church to start with that helped me get out of my extreme shyness and talking with people that were generally kind and pleasant. I don't know if that would have happened otherwise, since I was very much like a clam, inside my shell and feeling safe there. I also gained a first-hand understanding of how the mind can be willingly deceived, even when evidence to the contrary is presented (I recall visiting some atheist forums and being struck that I could not answer their questions or thoughts). I hoped to use that understanding to write a book that would show the inner-world of an average believer to the rest of the world, and show how the Bible re-defines reality for them, and how that altered view is used to shape the laws and culture of our nation. I did write the book, but it needs more of me in it, and less philosophy to make it more interesting. Not really motivated at the moment, but it could help the public to get some insight into the current elections. What I did lose was spending years subservient to superstitions that defined my reality. Like most guys, I was HORNY with a capital H, but also was supposed to be this born-again creature, not controlled by the flesh, a light shining in the darkness, blah blah blah. I was just a guy who thought "the Spirit" would give me a new life outside of standard humanity, but was sorely disappointed. Of course, I blamed my self, not the failed promises of scripture and the absurd lies it promotes as truth. Now that I'm out, I sing on stage, go to jazz clubs, and have a lot of fun that would have been just horrible to contemplate previously while I was trying to be "holy". If church were replaced by people with a simple goal of being generally kind and generous, the whole world would be a lot better off, especially for those who are part of the church.
  15. Merry....Whatever!!

    Much love to you Margee! You have a very balanced and kind approach to everyone.