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Everything posted by Fuego

  1. Yeah, my main goal in this is to translate the "Where the hell did this come from?" that I keep hearing. I've had one more comment from a lady that saw someone actually say that abortion clinics were offering babies to Satanists. That's a less common myth in fundy circles, but not entirely uncommon. In my experience with church, "I heard" often equates to "fact" in the minds of many. I guess that applies to social media also.
  2. Dude! The guy is having a serious issue every day and you make fun of it? Knock it off. And you don't have to quote the entire post to make a response.
  3. So far no reaction at all from the SIL. Of the two posts I've made, one said "Thanks for educating me" and the other said "That's terrifying". Meh, it's a start.
  4. One of my early crushes, along with Debbie Reynolds. I remember my mom seeing Doris and Rock Hudson snuggling on Doris' daytime show and exclaiming "Why don't they just get married?!" Well... if I had even suggested that the well known movie hunk was not seen with any women outside of movies, I'd have been sent to my room. But they were very sweet together in films. I've raised some eyebrows snuggling with a local lady singer, but she's gay and monogamous. We just like to flirt a lot for fun, and she's one of my dearest friends.
  5. I've found myself holding my tongue rather a lot lately. Many of my pagan and non-Christian friends on FB are mystified at the anti-abortion laws being passed in the Bible Belt, and are asking a lot of questions about the male-dominated views. I've kept from responding for a while, but today decided to start giving some insights into the mindset of believers (invisible kingdoms of angels and demons and such). My sister-in-law is going to notice and likely chime in about my words. I really can't be silent about it any more when people are trying to make sense out of what they are seeing, and they really have no clue how bizarre the personal worldview of believers is, and how much it affects the laws and culture of our country. My motivation for silence has been to be an influence on my young niece and nephew, but they are in their teens now and I rarely see them. I want to educate people about the mindset of serious believers, and why it is important to understand why they do what they do. This is one way to start unplugging the undeserved default respect and honor that church has in the culture.
  6. Our minds evolved enough to give us a great edge on the other creatures, but they don't always work very well for finding the truth. Even when we developed rules of logic over the past few thousand years, most of us never bother to learn the rules or to recognize when logic is violated. We tend to focus on how someone/something makes us feel, and we get suckered rather often by manipulative people. And the flaws in our thinking are almost as well documented as the rules of logic. For example, "magicians" exploit how humans focus on things that seem important to hide things that are actually important, and can even do so in front of a large live audience. I watched a master slight-of-hand guy do some amazing things, but from an angle where I could see what he was actually doing, and how the others couldn't detect his technique. Fascinating. Magician James Randi pointed out how mentalist Yuri Geller was able to whip up an audience to the point where he could bend a spoon manually in front of them even while denying that he was doing so, and they emotionally couldn't see what happened and attributed it to psychic power. We tend to see what we want to see, and ignore red flags to the contrary.
  7. One would think that there would be more deconversions based on the complete lack of response by a god to endless prayers for knowledge, healing, food, and so on. Promise after promise that sound so great when read, but which fell flat when we finally asked, and asked, and asked, and... then other believers make excuses, make up reasons, anything to fill the silence with evidence that they still believe even if this guy is doubting. It is a cult, entirely unworthy of any respect or nostalgia. Our culture gives it default honor and acceptance. The county jail has a Christian chaplain, piles of books to hand out to try and convert the inmates. They'd be better off with a secular psychologist to help them get a handle on making good choices instead of trusting an invisible fake friend in the sky.
  8. Now that you are not leading a pre-programmed life, life is yours to explore. What things resonate with you? What things attract you? What would you enjoy doing? What makes you recoil? Find things that you like to do, and others will likely be doing them. For me, I took dance lessons and voice lessons just for fun. I had fun and got out of the house. Now I have a circle of singer friends and we go to each others gigs at jazz clubs (not so much bars as restaurants with live music). I found a lady friend who likes to dress me more fashionably than I would have dressed myself based on my introverted upbringing. I found work with computers, and eventually with building maintenance. Not thrilling, but steady work and very practical. I learned to invest money instead of giving it away to churches and weeping missionaries. I don't really hang out with ex-Christians except on these forums, but most of those in my circle (though not all) are not believers. Most animals on Earth are concerned with eating, finding a mate, and surviving day to day. That's pretty much what humans do also, except that we add a lot of other things to our lives for education and entertainment. Some people love to wallow in politics, others would rather make a nice garden. That is why it is important to ponder what you'd really like to do. Sometimes though you have to push the boundaries of your comfort to grow. I was very shy, so getting up in front of people and singing was a big deal. Now it is second-nature. Dancing was awkward at first, but I stayed with it for a while and got better at it. You have so much life ahead of you, and so much of it depends on your own decisions now instead of trying to please a myth, and people who are controlled by the myth.
  9. Hang in there! No one deserves that kind of treatment, certainly not a child. Big hugs! I've only recently realized how human my parents were. No abuse, but sometimes their faults and behaviors are startling in retrospect. Kids expect their parents to really have a handle on life, but then we (or other basic humans we know) become parents and we see how they stumble through it all. That's normal parenting. What you had was and remains a very messed-up human who isn't a good parent or human, and caused a lot of trauma to you. I hope you can keep processing all the crap, and find comfort for yourself. You are on a great path of life now, discovering your real self and self-worth.
  10. We were supporting a couple of girls through Compassion International, one was forcibly married off, but we kept supporting the other all the way to college. Then we quit Compassion. She found me on FB, and she made it through college and recently got married, so we wired her a significant wedding gift to get them established. Other than that, I give to those I know who are in real need. One is a single mother who works HARD and sometimes doesn't have enough. She's vetted herself to us through years of personal interactions. I occasionally give to GoFundMe things. Nothing is a regular charitable giving anymore. Now we watch our money a lot more carefully, and I try to be more careful at work, or working on my roof. One fall and it could bankrupt us. It is weird to feel that close to the edge, but there just aren't really any safety nets left.
  11. Starts in Genesis. "The snake was more clever than the other animals..." Not evil, clever. And what was the tree to avoid "Knowledge of good and evil". He wanted pets, not children. When people got together to do a big project, he felt threatened and brain-zapped them with other languages, otherwise "nothing will be impossible for them". Then his first believer Abraham was told to do psychotic things. "Sacrifice your son to me", "Ok, nevermind that. But cut part of his dick off or I'll kill you." And this is the father of faith. David echoed this "Trust the sky-jerk with all your hear and don't trust your own understanding". Paul exhorted believers that "worldly wisdom" would destroy them, and God would save those who are "fools for Christ". It is a constant mind-fuck to make people look past the obvious myths, psychotic god, mass-murders and rapes of the Israelites, impossible things like the Exodus that history shows never happened, and take on faith that it's all real and they will be rewarded with a big lottery at the end. Untold millions have fallen for it, and some of them are in power in governments around the world today making laws to please the sky-jerk so he won't hurt them.
  12. Welcome back! Wow, he's controlling, manipulative, passive-aggressive, crazy-making, gas-lighting, blame-shifting, and you are so very much better off without him or anyone like that in your life. I only had to deal with a housemate like that. He used to go through my stuff, looking for porn I think, and justified it by being "my brother's keeper" when he really just wanted wanking material and didn't want to pay for it. I once set up booby-traps in my room when I went on vacation, he set them off but never mentioned it. He had actually gone so far as to remove the insulation from the walls trying to see if I had hidden anything (I didn't have any to hide). He stored junk mail that came to me for months and demanded that I come get it. I told him it was junk mail and to toss it. He whined about it not being his responsibility to manage my mail (I'd already put in a change of address and all my actual mail was changed, but not junk mail). He would threaten violence with a smile, like he was something to be reckoned with, but was sickly, went around in a bathrobe all day unless a woman he was manipulating happened to come over. He scammed businesses out of money by selling them outdated computer hardware he picked up for pennies and billed them for thousands.
  13. When I was a believer, that was a prominent thought in my mind, which is why I have a hard time with the church behaving like they don't believe that at all. They emphasize judgement, the 10 commandments (monuments usually), and are happy just mocking anything that isn't echoing their beliefs. It's like church doesn't even teach the words of Jesus anymore unless it is about tithing and giving more than a tithe. I returned a bit of that attitude to this one lady by laughing at her dull-minded pro-Trump stance, but then thought "What is the damn point of my opinions on social media anyway?" I have started purposefully not commenting every time I see the stupid mocking laughing-face on FB, and I don't want to embody that mockery attitude. They aren't interested in dialog, just feeling good by laughing at others (being a bully, essentially). I resist even starting the FB app now, and only use it to keep in touch with musician gigs and to exchange humor with friends.
  14. I echo Florduh, believers have one objective, submission to Jesus. Counselors that have a Christian label will think of their work as a "calling" by the Imaginary One to base everything they say on the scriptures, as though they have a magic cure in them. There is no magic. In a relationship, there is compromise as you work together to form a household. But if you are pulling in very different directions, you need to reevaluate the point of being together (although being together lets you act as a faster reality check for the kids who have to deal with his crazy-making). Considering the other things you've posted about your husband, he has some serious behavioral issues around the kids. It's a hard situation.
  15. Nicely captured. There are so many kinds of mental/emotional otherness. I used to study schizophrenia because it is a fascinating breakdown of the mind. One of Poe's stories "Berenice" captured it well. Part of the reaction of the reader depends on societal conformity of thought and motivation, and so the insane who don't fit that mold at all are fascinating even while repulsive. Last night I was reading about a non-insane form of otherness, that of pimps, specifically those that traffick children. The heart and mind of someone who chooses not only to not care about the fear and pain caused to an innocent, but purposefully create it for profit over and over again. Along with that goes the mind and emotions of the Johns, the men that pay to rape them, some of them well-to-do businessmen, pastors, priests, police, politicians, etc. People that otherwise appear normal, but on the side have found a very exciting hobby and business, and all that participate are subject to absolute ruin if discovered. That part leads to the side business of blackmail. Humanity is just a commodity, and personal gain is all that matters. The similarity between the insane and these are that normal social constructs are seen as artificial rules and agreements, something for others, not for them. The story of Westworld was largely built on the idea that normal people would love to throw off the constraints of society and be able to do whatever they want with no consequences, sex with saloon hookers, rape, gunning down someone for fun, taking on a persona as an escape from mundane normal life. The modern series took that one step further, capturing the actions and emotions of the people engaged in these activities for use later, again playing the societal constructs against the idea that it doesn't apply to them and profiting from the result.
  16. I first thought it was going to be a movie, then found that it was being released to YouTube as a series (you have to be a premium member, I think $10 per month). It might be the only thing worth watching on the premium YouTube... The basic storyline follows the original characters (without Miyagi who died), where they are now, and how they get back into karate after years of neglect. As you might guess from the title of the series, Johnny starts up the old dojo causing Daniel to be irritated enough to try and stop him. I think it is really well done, true to the characters, and is telling a good story. They are taking their time to really develop the characters. I just finished watching season 2, which amped things up considerably and brought back some of Johnny's old buddies. My hunch is that season 3 will be the last, but they might be able to squeeze one more season out of what they've built. (Like most martial arts films, I think they take a lot more hits than your average person could take and keep going.)
  17. Now that season 2 is over (and what a chaotic season it was), Gaiman is getting the director of Dexter to do the last season and wrap it up. Even he admitted that they need better storytelling, and a director with a clear vision and goal. I think I already see how the Laura/Sweeney part of it will play out, but won't go into that here. Ooh, I just hate waiting...
  18. It sounds like you may need a new therapist. Her likes or dislikes aren't why you are seeing her, as if you were her therapist. You need to be able to unload the tremendous emotional pressure that comes from both the religion (and the people who think it is real) and the stress of your own imbalanced chemistry.
  19. This seems to be the crux of the Ex-C life. We always wonder if there is a magic key that will cut through the programming of religion, and will undo both the myths and the person's unwillingness to question. Is there anything we can do or say to trigger it in others? This religion emphasizes belief as super important for survival, and I've heard it said that once the brain is convinced of a survival-level thing, it becomes by nature something that is very difficult to un-believe (since such belief is a mechanism of evolution needed for survival). Then add to it the tribal inclusion that often happens with new believers, and the sense that there is now real magic, a purpose to life, joining Hogwarts, a real god that hears my prayers and has promised to answer, and there is strong motivation to find out exactly how to please this god and fit in with the others. Those are all very basic goodies to the human psyche, even years after they are obviously not actually really working. The hope that they someday will all perfectly happen is enough carrot to keep most people going, AND to fend off things that would seem to rob them of the promised paradise and love and answered prayers and and and and and... It takes that internal change, perhaps an error-checking program of sorts, that raises a red flag and says "This really doesn't make any sense. What about ____? And what about _____?" That seemingly small correction is the thing we want to create in others, and that seems to darn elusive. It gets past the mental defenses because it seems to come from inside and is therefore trusted at some level. I keep hoping that there is a way we haven't yet discovered that will consistently trigger it.
  20. I just encountered a believer online (in a friend's thread on Facebook) that was defending the idea that Trump was placed there by God, his chosen servant... And she thinks Obama kept kids in cages. She thinks lots of other things also, but even having been a die-hard fundy myself, I cannot fathom where the church has gone in the last 10 years to defend this guy as a believer set there by the bible god. There have always been useful idiots, but they really cannot see anything being real but their own bias. Lately I keep trying to see if I missed anything or am doing the same, but I haven't found it yet.
  21. It's...ok. I far preferred the original writers. The author Neil Gaiman said it didn't matter, but there is clearly a difference in quality. They lost actors Kristin Chenoweth (Ostara/Easter) and Gillian Anderson (Media), and seem intent on introducing as many new characters as possible without really creating much depth. Thor/ came and went in one odd show. The New Media is a good character, more modern. They already started setting up the end, so I assume they will either finish with this season or maybe have one more. It has diverged from the book rather a lot at this point, but carries the same themes. They are spending a lot of time on racism in this season, probably because the original monologue by Mr. Nancy had a profound effect on many blacks who watched the show. They want to keep that audience stoked.
  22. In the video I watched (Kansas, I think) the church ate up his story and probably gave lots of money to his "mission". He was a great storyteller, so his many claims always seemed possible and amazing to those willing to believe (like I did until I caught him red handed). His compound in Mexico is run very tightly. The women are rather robotic, and the men very macho, only subservient to him. And the men seem to be all angry all the time, part of the macho package. They are all serious believers, but it is a cult. I don't know if it will survive once he dies. I hope not.
  23. I started studying the cults back as a believer in the 80s to try and learn the differences between Christianity and "them". When I described how they often get converts through love-bombing, a friend asked me how that was different from what we were doing. That made me pause. But mostly I just assumed that we had it right and the big difference was what we believed, not the entire mindset of making belief critical instead of demonstrable facts. Whenever I spoke with JWs or Mormons at the door, it was always about doctrines or exposing the corruption of their leadership rather than going after faith in myths being critical to a god's judgment of my life. I was a strong believer for 30 years, the last 9 of which were spent promoting a particular preacher from the south who claims thousands of outstanding miracles, the most notable being several people raised from the dead. While I promoted him and defended him online against critics, I brought up comparisons to the faith we put in the Bible where we didn't see those miracles either but have no doubt they happened. I pointed out that everything he preached was biblical, that he was going to "the least of these", and showed a life of utter commitment to Jesus. Then one day I caught him making up a long involved tale about a witch coven challenging the power of god at one of his services in Germany. I had just watched those services on video, and no such thing happened. His translator had trouble understanding his southern accent, that was all. But he turned it into a huge tale about witches falling under the power of god and all getting born-again. That was the slap in the face I needed. It began a year of questioning why he would need to make up anything. Keep in mind, I had felt power in his services, the body shaking and trembling like electricity was coursing through my body. That was unique from all the other church involvement I'd had. But this fact staring me in the face couldn't be denied. During this year of questioning why, the evening news was reporting about the Oklahoma polygamous cult and I wondered out loud "Why would anybody believe such crazy stuff?" Then I realized with chagrin that I had believed some outstandingly stupid things. Then I asked the most important question, "I wonder what else I've believed that is a lie?" I had a visceral reaction to that question, actually squirming, because I knew it struck at the root of my own faith. But I persisted in the question, and lots of other buried questions began resurfacing. Why is the god of the bible such an arrogant asshole? Why are all the obvious myths of the bible "true"? Why is the church divided instead of filled with almighty power and doing miracles? Why are most prayers for healing completely ignored? Why is hell not mentioned in the old testament? On and one the questions came. I revisited why I had first believed. It was out of a childish fear of monsters. When I'd see a monster movie (not the campy Godzilla ones) that monster was real and waiting for me in the dark hallway. When I saw an advert for The Exorcist, I felt a cold fear to the core of my being and read the Bible looking for protection. That was it. A stupid childish fear led to 30 years of committed belief, thousands of hours or praying to no one, tens of thousand of dollars given away to promote the cult, my own sexual life messed up with rules and fears of demons and judgments. I went searching online for "ex-christian" and found this site. I realized in short order that these folks had the same kinds of experiences, and I then posted my own realization that I was no longer a Christian. I was part of a cult called Christianity, and the last decade was part of a more classic cult with a charismatic leader that couldn't be questioned by his closest "fellow missionaries". It took an emotional shock to get me to even start questioning the faith. I also realized that reality hadn't changed at all by my deconversion, but that I had taken off a blindfold or filter through which I had interpreted reality. The same question "I wonder what else I've believed that is a lie?" still applies daily because I spent so long assuming I had things right. It applies to culture, politics, and science because where people are involved, there can be falsification of evidence, people seeing personal wealth at my expense, and so on.
  24. Kinda my point. He was one among many originally, but then was promoted as the one and only. El Elyon is a title, god most high. I guess the LDS church might be down with plural gods, but Judaism wasn't, especially after they were sacked by Babylon. But all the evidence points to Yahweh being one among others originally.
  25. The story shows that Yahweh, like most of the ancient gods, was not very kind or good or secure. He could be ousted from his position by competing gods, like the Titans that lost their place when the Olympians took over (Zeus replacing Chronos). This is why Genesis has Yahweh saying about Adam and Eve "Let us make man in our image" and later "They have become like one of us". Yahweh was originally one of the pantheon of Middle Eastern gods and later was promoted as the top one, and then the only true one. And the story isn't just about people cooperating and really getting stuff done, the name Babel (Bab-El) is "gate to god" so they were trying to make a stairway to heaven. The concept of up and down are primitive, such as when Jesus (and Mohammed) ascended "up" into the clouds and apparently into Heaven. This shows that the primitive mindset regarding cosmology was still strong 2000 years ago (and most believers never think to question these tales). Mostly it seems like a fable about why there are so many languages, much like "why the snake crawls on his belly and flits his tongue", and "why is life so difficult, and is there anyone to appeal to for an edge on survival".
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