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Comanche

How Queer...

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Hello, I'm new around these parts. I've been lurking for a while, just now convinced myself my experience constitutes that of an ex-Chrisitan.

 

I am actually 14 years old, something I wouldn't normally admit to, but I feel comfortable saying it here. I am an aspiring writer, who has in fact been homeschooled for the past year. This year has been one of many discoveries about myself and who I intend to be when I get older, and also the climax of my deconversion.

 

I guess I was what you would call a sort-of Christian - I believed in God, I celebrated Easter and Christmas, I had no problem with reciting any sort of prayer or doctrine. I don't, however, know if I was ever baptised as a child. I suspect not, as my parents are sort-of Christians as well. I also never bought into "eternal hellfire". I thought it was silly, and I got detention several times for laughing loudly in the middle of my third grade class when my teacher told me I shouldn't speak of it. I just didn't fear it the way other people did, and I was always dumbfounded and thinking "People actually take this crap seriously?"

 

We went to a small Unitarian Church when I was really little, though we stopped going when I was around six for reasons still unknown to me. The people there were nice enough, definitely not fundies in any shape or form, yet I was still amused as a six year old by their voodoo chanting and what-not. In Bible-School, which, at this church, was more of a place for the kids to go while their parents did all that boring serious stuff in the main room (I really don't want to know), we would sit around and do crosswords and I would laugh and laugh at the expense of the teacher. This was great! Free entertainment away from your parents! And there were COOKIES! And silly stories about people magically popping up and the earth being only six thousand years old! (I knew better than this, of course, and am still infamous here for being able to name every dinosaur by their latin name since I was three.)

 

It wasn't until I got to sixth grade, just two years ago, that I realized just how different I was. I had a boy in all my classes, who will be called 'P' here, who was extremely fundamentalist. He constantly harassed me about our science and world religion classes, telling me I was "enjoying them too much" and that I was "going to burn in hell". This time, when I laughed, he had the nerve to threaten me about it. I began to feel insecure about it. What if there really was a hell? What if I was going there? What if the earth really is 6000 years old? I began to try to ignore him, but he kept coming, and each time it was harder and harder for me to put up with his arrogant, spoiled brat behavior.

 

Who helped me? The world religions teacher. When he saw what this was doing to me, he took my side and started to fight in a way that I had yet to figure out - with logic and reason. He didn't insult P, but he got him into serious discussions. This teacher had been an idol to me even before this (he would try to answer any question as best he could, and seemed to have a wealth of experience, not to mention speaking what seemed like a thousand languages), but now he was showing me how to defend myself against arrogant fundie pricks.

 

Soon, I began using the same approach with P. When he accused me of believing we came from monkeys, I would calmly tell him that if we came from monkeys we would have tails, and that we came from apes instead. When he said there was no difference between a chameleon and an iguana, I would calmly tell him each and every difference. When he said that girls were weak....well, I would not-so-calmly kick his ass.

 

In my seventh grade year, my mom began to suggest that we attend church again. I wanted none of this, for reasons I couldn't figure out at the time. At first, I told her that I might want to be Jewish, since I went to a Jewish pre-school and enjoyed in greatly (even though I didn't get much out of it). She respected that. A while later, I realized I didn't want anything to do with any sort of religion. But I had always been told that atheist was another word for dictator, and I had never even heard of agnostics, so I just told my parents that I wasn't sure I believed in God. They took it very well (probably somewhat because my mom is a teacher and my dad is a chemistry professor) and told me that it was my decision.

 

Then my Grandfather died. My step-grandmother (looooong story), instead of grieving, bragged about how he finally accepted Christ into his heart on his death bed. This was the same lady that, when I had visited her, had been very nice, is very nice, but has no concept of reality. I remember seeing a rainbow while in the car with her and her railing on about how it was "God showing us all his wonders!" and thinking "Whoa, lady, are you off your rocker? It's called light and refraction and all that good stuff!" I discovered that yes, I loved her, and yes, she was very nice, but her faith pissed me off. My Grandfather, a man I respected deeply, a man who I wrote a biography of later that year, didn't need some washed up two thousand year old hobo in his heart to not burn in hell!

 

As my homeschooling began, I started to hear about all the Golden Compass controversy. I looked up some of the terms they were using, and, lo and behold, atheists were not in fact evil dictators! I began to consider myself an "agnostic leaning towards atheist". Then I read the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman (I always read the book of something before I go see the movie about it), and that pretty much sealed the deal. I decided that yes, I was an atheist, and no, I wasn't going to be ashamed of it.

 

My parents and my best friend (a creationist!) know I'm an atheist. I think everyone else could guess. I've only read parts of the Bible (I tried, I really did, but I found it more revolting than my first health class and had to put it down). I only know a 4-H prayer, which I refuse to say anyway. And yes, I know I'm young, but I'm here to be taken seriously (since, apparently, even though I watch more politics than both my older sisters combined, I'm not "developed" enough to vote).

 

So, I'd say I was an atheist in denial from day one, and am an outspoken one now. Whenever I go to the book store or somewhere else where my not-secret isn't safe, and I start getting uncomfortable about having a run-in with a mental theist, I tell myself "Suck it up and bring it on!" and think of Darwin. :grin:

 

I do still have some theist issues - namely the fact that I can't seem to shake my belief in ghosts. I figure I'll take it as it comes.

 

....That was way longer than I thought it would be. How liberating. XD

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Guest eejay

Hi Comanche. Welcome aboard. I haven't been on this site very long, but had the same doubts as yourself for most of my life. You are very fortunate that your parents themselves are okay with what your beliefs are, because you will probably be in their home for at least a few more years. That's where our similarites ended. As I got into my teens, my Mom went from a moderate Catholic to a full fledged, fanatical fundy x-tian. This made my years in your age group extremely trying. You will find there will always be a x-tian that you will run into, that will make you try to feel badly about who you are and push a guilt trip on you. Many of them are very good at their tactics. I've found though that there are people on this site who are exceptional at going at it in standing their ground against x-tians. It has been very enjoyable to read and relate to their stories. It should help you out a great deal in continuing your deconversion. You are very wise, and I admire your guts.

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Hi Comanche. Welcome aboard. I haven't been on this site very long, but had the same doubts as yourself for most of my life. You are very fortunate that your parents themselves are okay with what your beliefs are, because you will probably be in their home for at least a few more years. That's where our similarites ended. As I got into my teens, my Mom went from a moderate Catholic to a full fledged, fanatical fundy x-tian. This made my years in your age group extremely trying. You will find there will always be a x-tian that you will run into, that will make you try to feel badly about who you are and push a guilt trip on you. Many of them are very good at their tactics. I've found though that there are people on this site who are exceptional at going at it in standing their ground against x-tians. It has been very enjoyable to read and relate to their stories. It should help you out a great deal in continuing your deconversion. You are very wise, and I admire your guts.

 

Thanks for the warm welcome. I still have a long way to go, but I know it will at least be a little bit easier once I gain the experience this place will bring. As for guts...well, I usually call it a sense of poetic justice.

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Commanche,

 

My son, "Beastie", is 15, and I'd like it if he has such a potent pen as you've got.

 

He's never had religious things jammed down his craw as a *way of life* "OR ELSE!!!!!". We've always been agnostic, or just lazy atheists, not caring. Now that he is in High School, freshman year, he gets to talk to quite a few folks who have something to discuss/debate/argue with him.

 

Welcome to ExC, it is a good place for folks to settle in at and learn, share, and flat out enjoy.

 

kL

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Commanche,

 

My son, "Beastie", is 15, and I'd like it if he has such a potent pen as you've got.

 

He's never had religious things jammed down his craw as a *way of life* "OR ELSE!!!!!". We've always been agnostic, or just lazy atheists, not caring. Now that he is in High School, freshman year, he gets to talk to quite a few folks who have something to discuss/debate/argue with him.

 

Welcome to ExC, it is a good place for folks to settle in at and learn, share, and flat out enjoy.

 

kL

 

kL,

 

I know the feeling. People close to my own age tend to be amusing, to say the least. Again, thank you for the welcome.

 

Comanche

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My son, "Beastie", is 15, and I'd like it if he has such a potent pen as you've got.

 

I agree, Comanche. You have a hell of a writing style and it shows. It's refreshing to read SOMETHING on the 'Net that doesn't contain the stereotypical teenage shoptalk with all the wacky symbolism and mutilated prose. Thank you for proving to me that there teenagers out there who care enough to be excellent, respectful students.

 

Sorry for the gushing, but I am an educator by trade.

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My son, "Beastie", is 15, and I'd like it if he has such a potent pen as you've got.

 

I agree, Comanche. You have a hell of a writing style and it shows. It's refreshing to read SOMETHING on the 'Net that doesn't contain the stereotypical teenage shoptalk with all the wacky symbolism and mutilated prose. Thank you for proving to me that there teenagers out there who care enough to be excellent, respectful students.

 

Sorry for the gushing, but I am an educator by trade.

 

I figure that the English language (and language in general) was created for a reason, so why not use it correctly. Words were developed to put an end to cryptic sounds and symbols, not so the youth thousands of years later could butcher it and regress to "lmao u r 2 pwned". That's still high praise coming from an educator, so I thank you. Breaking stereotypes is what I'm all about.

 

Comanche

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Finally, somebody who came in here who had the same age as I was when I first came here! Welcome Comanche!

May you have a long and satisfying stay at EXC as I had!

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Congratulationss on finding out so early in life mate! I only really left (in my mind) last year (at 19), I was a doubting cn for most of my cn life anyway.

It's slightly disconcerting for me I guess in telling my parents because although I'd still class them as intelligent (they are at least well educated, being both doctors), they still believe the whole creation story is inherently true. Even when I DID feel I truely believed, I never got my head fully around that. But I was a curious kid, and even though I classed myself as a believer, I guess there were some things I could never really accept- and not just in the scientific sense.

 

In the moral sense some of what they tried to preach didn't sit well with me. Particulary those regarding homosexuality. That probably really speeded up my deconversion actually (one of the last 'youth' group meetings I intended touched on that topic- basically said "although it's not popular to say so, Homosexuality is wrong").

 

No, deep down I guess I never really believed that.

 

 

Anyway, welcome to ExC! Hope you have a good time here.

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Welcome aboard, Comanche!

 

Like you, I'm not sure whether I ever really believed in god (other than the two years wher I was a fundy...) but I too was 14 when I turned agnostic and then atheist. My parents have a problem with that, even though it rarely comes up and we're not particularly religious.

 

Good to see I'm not the only teenager who ditched Jesus. Hallelujah!

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Welcome aboard, Comanche!

 

Like you, I'm not sure whether I ever really believed in god (other than the two years wher I was a fundy...) but I too was 14 when I turned agnostic and then atheist. My parents have a problem with that, even though it rarely comes up and we're not particularly religious.

 

Good to see I'm not the only teenager who ditched Jesus. Hallelujah!

 

Or, as they'd say around here, austa la vista, mi amigo loco! Hallelujah!

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hasta la vista?

 

i liked your story!

 

as for ghosts, you might try reading Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World" if you haven't yet. good book

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Good to meet you.

 

I, too, was quite impressed with your writing ability. When I was fourteen I was horrible at witting.

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hasta la vista?

 

i liked your story!

 

as for ghosts, you might try reading Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World" if you haven't yet. good book

 

Oh, duh. This is why I take French instead of Spanish. I know how the latter sounds, but I can never spell it.

 

I'll check out that book.

 

Good to meet you.

 

I, too, was quite impressed with your writing ability. When I was fourteen I was horrible at witting.

 

It's nice to meet you, too. :)

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Guest graaaaaaaagh

Hi Comanche, welcome to the board. I noticed some parallels of your story/life with mine:

I'm 13.

I have been homeschooled for the past few months.

I live in East Texas (Houston).

I renounced Christianity pretty recently.

I had a brief Jewish stint.

I have a high IQ and a fondness for science.

My mom wants us to go to church again too.

My parents are sort-ofs, but a bit more devout.

We left our last church when I was like six or seven.

And I am one-fourth Comanche. (My grandfather.)

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Guest graaaaaaaagh

Oh yeah, I have an ultra-fundie Grandmother who I still love, and I've had a lot of face-offs with holier-than-thou fundie pricks, and I am obsessed with politics. Except I'm a guy.

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So, I'd say I was an atheist in denial from day one, and am an outspoken one now.

 

Welcome and greetings from Germany.

It is always a pleasure to meet people with convictions. I hope you will enjoy your stay here.

 

Looking forward to read more from you.

 

 

Btw. what are you going to write? Novels or poems or something else?

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Comanche, your experience is so much like my own: the early skepticism, the harassment by classmates, the lukewarm nominally-Christian parents. You seem much more mature and eloquent than I was at your age. I must echo the praise others have offered for your writing. This is top-drawer high school prose; you could have convinced everyone here you were forty, not fourteen.

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Hi Comanche, welcome to the board. I noticed some parallels of your story/life with mine:

I'm 13.

I have been homeschooled for the past few months.

I live in East Texas (Houston).

I renounced Christianity pretty recently.

I had a brief Jewish stint.

I have a high IQ and a fondness for science.

My mom wants us to go to church again too.

My parents are sort-ofs, but a bit more devout.

We left our last church when I was like six or seven.

And I am one-fourth Comanche. (My grandfather.)

 

Wow! We have a lot in common. I'm not actually Comanche - it's a screen name I came up with a while ago. Long story short - Texan, horsewoman, enjoyed history unnaturally much. Nice to meet you!

 

 

Oh yeah, I have an ultra-fundie Grandmother who I still love, and I've had a lot of face-offs with holier-than-thou fundie pricks, and I am obsessed with politics. Except I'm a guy.

 

Nice to meet you!

 

Welcome and greetings from Germany.

It is always a pleasure to meet people with convictions. I hope you will enjoy your stay here.

 

Looking forward to read more from you.

 

 

Btw. what are you going to write? Novels or poems or something else?

 

Novels, most likely. I've written poetry, but I think prose is much more challenging (ironic, no?) and a lot more fun.

 

 

Comanche, your experience is so much like my own: the early skepticism, the harassment by classmates, the lukewarm nominally-Christian parents. You seem much more mature and eloquent than I was at your age. I must echo the praise others have offered for your writing. This is top-drawer high school prose; you could have convinced everyone here you were forty, not fourteen.

 

I'll admit, I've pulled it off before. People don't tend to want to talk seriously with a teenager, so I have bumped up my age. Just a tiny bit, though. Mid-twenties, usually. Thanks for the high praise!

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Welcome Commanche! Congratulations on figuring out this 'Chrisitian' thing years before I did. You will have a long, and happier life for it. And I have to agree with everyone else's assessment on your writing skills. You are talented in that area. Keep practicing it. Who knows what kind of literary giant you may one day become. Again, welcome.

Elana

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Welcome Commanche! Congratulations on figuring out this 'Chrisitian' thing years before I did. You will have a long, and happier life for it. And I have to agree with everyone else's assessment on your writing skills. You are talented in that area. Keep practicing it. Who knows what kind of literary giant you may one day become. Again, welcome.

Elana

 

Thank you for the warm welcome. I fully intend to keep practicing. There's always room for improvement when it comes to writing.

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I know I'm young, but I'm here to be taken seriously (since, apparently, even though I watch more politics than both my older sisters combined, I'm not "developed" enough to vote).

 

Age is not an indicator of wisdom.

 

Nor does knowledge guarantee intelligence.

 

Luckily you seem to have a healthy dose of both.

 

Welcome!

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Guest reap_and_rave

You arent alone! Im only 17 and have been a closet atheist (well until recently) since 15. Though unlike you, my parents are very fund. and very active about it.

 

I'm still struggling with their constant "bible-throat pushing" and stuff but I find it strange....

 

While attending bible studies, youth group meetings, sunday school, etc. one lesson that i was taught often was "dont let your age get to you faith", they said when someone argued that "you are too young and dont understand life, you should fight for Jesus and defend your faith" Then they gave some verse saying something about how the young voice is strong. Now these same people are telling me..."you dont know life yet, you are so young, you cant know if there is a god or not"

 

I dont know if ironic is the right word....maybe its just something i found strangely humorous.

 

So now i fight for my belief. I dont care when people say im only 17. I understand i havent gone through most of life experiences, but we all have to start with some state of mind...and im choosing the atheist state of mind.

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Fantastic -- Comanche, then a whole waterfall of bright young'uns! We'll benefit from the fresh insights of all of you. Welcome!

 

(If you're interested in writing libretto, Comanche, you can start by slashing through the Gordian Knot I'm working on currently. :blink: )

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I dont know if ironic is the right word....maybe its just something i found strangely humorous.

 

So now i fight for my belief. I dont care when people say im only 17. I understand i havent gone through most of life experiences, but we all have to start with some state of mind...and im choosing the atheist state of mind.

 

Condescending is more like it. I agree - I know I haven't experienced everything in life, but I know what I do and don't believe in. I believe in Tabula Rasa, that our wisdom shapes and changes through all our life experiences, but that we all have a default setting we develop early on that is only changed by something monumental. In the case of the people here, something monumental has changed their default from theist to atheist/agnostic/pagan, etc. In the case of young ex-xians like ourselves, our default setting has been changed earlier than most, but that doesn't change the fact that we know and understand why we've chosen that default. Because we do have a choice - the choice to be people who either pander to the masses or people who stand up for reason and logic.

 

...Was that even remotely intelligible? I'm rambling again...XD

 

(If you're interested in writing libretto, Comanche, you can start by slashing through the Gordian Knot I'm working on currently. )

 

Opera really isn't my thing. I'm afraid my Italian is a little rusty, though if it's in French I may be able to help you. :HaHa:

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