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The Needs Religion Fills In One's Life... What Were Yours?


Sawu
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Well ironically for me, religion filled my sense of being important, through feeling like I was studying or doing something worth doing rather then just selfishly pursuing ones path in life, since really acquiring a bunch of money and lots of toys, while appealing to many just wasn't all that fulfilling to me. I wanted to solve real world problems, like poverty and unethical human behaviour that leads mankind to exploit one another.

 

I also found that it was my 'self-esteem' replacement, the irony of religious delusion is that it helps people with no self-esteem immensely in the sense that they 'have to better themselves' for god, and their 'eternal survival' (or state of survival if you believed in heaven/hell, instead of a literal kingdom of israel restored and scientific death) is at stake.

 

It quelled my fears about death to some extent but never fully, since my mind could never fully believe 100%, but religion does give peace of mind to the minority of more studious bible students out there who didn't fall for the "poplar" false doctrines of immortal soulism, heaven and hell. Although I was never raised in a group of christians that believed in hell or immortal soul, how was your peace of mind for those that did believe in these things?

 

Next it made life seem like it had meaning, since most of us will never live to see or even if we did be able to afford life extending technologies should they become available.

 

Also, living a short brutish life in which much of your time is devoted to work and not what you really want to be pursuing because you 'have to support yourself' can be pretty depressing. One works to live, but in modern times it often seems 'one lives to work'. Not that I had a need for it but Religion helps one cope when living in harsher economic conditions, it's basically the most elaborate compensation mechanism for humans at the bottom of the socio-economic order, and also for those who are persecuted, ostracized, outcast or hated.

 

If I think of anymore I'll be sure to post them.

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It gave me a sense of community. The church I went to was really warm and open.

 

Plus it put me on the “map” in high school. I was clearly distinguished from all my high school classmates (they were sinful heathens! :fdevil: ). I was known as “the gothic Christian” in my school. I was proud of that title.

 

It gave me a sense of direction because back then I wanted to grow up and be either a Christian singer with my own record deal, singing and saving souls …or be a missionary in foreign lands, saving the souls of savages who never heard of Christ. :rolleyes:

 

It was my security blanket whenever my phobia or anxieties threatened to overtake me.

 

And it was my leaning post every time I fell into a depression.

 

At times I still miss the sense of community and the security blanket, but most of the time I’m relieved as hell that I no longer need or want religion! :woohoo:

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Career and community. My degree is in Music Education, but I abhored teaching in the schools. I could still be a rehearsal leader, musical director, etc. without the nightmare of the public school system. Plus, of course, I was doing it "for the Lord," so I got a nice helping of self-righteousness in there, too. Not wasting my gifts and all that rot.

 

Oh, it was also a place to perform/lead worship/whatever you were allowed to call it at the time.

 

And of course, community - somewhere to belong. A place where supposedly, you were openly greeted and loved...

 

...what I found out was that you were openly greeted and loved IF you conformed in every way, shape and form.

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I liked that at the time it gave me a sense of meaning to myself and my life. The notion that god created me, died for me and wanted to have a relationship with me was sort of romantic to me back then. I liked the thought of an afterlife, xianity did work for me because back then things sucked for me so it was a crutch and I used it well. I could go to god and pray over anything and then go on with my life.

 

Like saxyroze, I'm relieved that I don't need or want religion. Its been about 2 years since I deconverted and I could never go back. I know now that I'm better off without religion and any deity. I can live for myself now, I can enjoy my life and have fun. I have a sense of true freedom and peace now, I never had that with xianity, which is why I can never go back.

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It gave me a sense of belonging, but I eventually realized that I would never truly belong. For how can one belong to a group when one's belonging is based on lies?

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It was how I started out in my search of the deeper meaning of things. Unfortunately, for me, Christianity had all the depth of a pie-tin. It also did serve to assuage some fears I had, until I could become more comfortable with death, and the fact that it's going to happen to me one day. (Note that this is far different from dying...)

 

It is also important to a lot of my family traditions. In a way, it did help my understanding of those things.

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For me it was some kind of "superiority complex." I had my own insecurities, but I hid them with Christianity. My self esteem was low and the only way I could feel better was only if I could make someone feel bad about the lives there were living. I was about ten years old, I used to point out various sins people were committing without really knowing anything about them or what their struggles in life were. I just wanted to feel superior and Christianity did that, at times I was often told that "I'm a child of God." Meaning, other people were heathans and they were going to hell.

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Xianity made me feel special. Sometimes I wonder, if I hadn't bothered to study the Bible I might still be a Christian to this day. I might feel more secure even if it was only a delusion.

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Ah religion. Thanks to religion, I believed that no matter how screwed up things in life, or in the world got, there was someone who had a specific plan for it all. That no one would receive more shit in life than they could truly handle......you know? Just the comfort that we may all be screaming along at 35,000 feet, and while none of us know how to fly the plane, I was comforted by the notion that there was someone in the cockpit with their hands on the controls.

 

I believed that as a good christian....god would protect me from harm. Fortunately it did not take complete and utter disaster and harm to my person for me to realize this was not true, and never had been true. I was interested in atrocities and would read up on them. It came to me that god sure as fuck hadn't protected any one of millions upon millions from harm (holocaust and various other monstrosities visited upon people).

 

I realized my own survival and security was entirely dependant on me. Since leaving christianity, I'm much quicker to defend myself and my friends from perceived threat. I see this as a very good thing. I no longer hesitate for the several critical seconds at the onset of potentially bad shit (waiting for 'someone' to save me or make it all go away), I get my ass in gear and do what has to be done. Obviously life threats don't happen every day....but that's simply the extreme example. The everyday example is....I don't think anyone or anything owes me shit. I am not entitled to any more than I myself work for.

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If I think of anymore I'll be sure to post them.

 

I haven't read the rest of this thread yet, so maybe others will have posted pretty much the same thing already. Anyway.

 

In sharp contrast to (I guess) many others here, my christianity didn't fill any holes I felt. Of course here in Germany christianity is totally "lukewarm™" compared to the US, but still, I was a bit more zealous than your average nominal German christian. But I didn't really feel like the cult filled any void within me. I mostly considered it to be a worldview of love, even without any supernatural considerations. Hey, "love your neighbor" isn't that wrong, is it? ;)

Now, referring to my Asatru faith, I can say with conviction that being an Asatruar makes me feel home at last. A wonderful feeling, whatever the origin may be. ;)

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I was born into a Southern Baptist family. We were at church a lot. :HaHa: I remember being taken out into the foyer to be spanked because I wasn't sitting still enough. We took church seriously. I walked the aisle at 5, confessing my sins and my belief in Jesus. I was baptized then and two more times over the years(this was due to my fear that I wasn't REALLY saved) and attended youth camps, Sunday School, revivals over the course of my growing up years. Being Baptist and Being "Saved" were just part of family life. It was a strong bond between family members.

 

I've always fantasized about Heaven. Knowing that I would be going there one day filled me with joy. No more tears and I would be with all my relatives, worshipping God in the most beautiful place ever, no more war or famine. Perfection! The idea of Heaven gave me MUCH hope and kept me going when I was sad.

 

Prayer filled a huge need in my life. A need to have someone help me and those I loved. A need for someone to listen to my deep, innermost struggles.

 

Religion gave me direction. I could find all the answers in the "Good Book". haha

 

Those are a few of the needs religion filled in my life.

 

WakingUp

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All it gave me was a sense of never-ending axiety. I don't think it fulfilled any needs for me to be honest. I didn't choose it, it chose me and I don't miss it.

 

Oh, it did give me a false sense of hope so that I didn't take any responsibility for my future when I was younger. I guess I have religion to thank for that.

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