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I Get So Sick Of Hearing...


Prysm
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During our deconversion, I get SO TIRED of hearing the same accusations and ad hominem attacks over and over again.

 

Your "heart condition" is getting between you and god.

You're being deceived by satan.

You just don't want to submit to god's authority.

You really just don't want to believe it, and all this "evidence" is just to support what you already wanted to believe.

You're just biased.

You say this is an intellectual issue, but I know there must be a deeper issue at work here.

You're thinking too much about this. You don't allow any room for faith, do you?

You're just angry.

You're so prideful and arrogant. Who are you to question god? Can the created question the creator?

"Oh those questions aren't show-stoppers, but it sounds like you're already talking to a lot of people so you don't need me to answer them" (or) "oh, I could go in depth and answer those questions, but I don't think that's really what you need right now" or "I could work through these with you but I don't think your heart is ready to accept them right now" or some other variety of claiming to have the answers but not providing them.

 

 

(things said to my husband about me)

You know, she works at a university, and those are spiritually dark places.

Have you considered xtian marriage counseling?

I know she's a really smart and independent woman, but...

If you were more convinced of the faith and she was less convinced, would there be a battle at home?

(from the in-laws) You know, it's just really strange that the two of you would just happen to have these questions at the same time. You never had these questions before you got married...

 

These things just make me so ANGRY! They wonder why atheists are so mad? Xtians take anything atheists do as offensive, even if it's merely existing in their general vicinity. All this crap makes me want to become more evangelistic about my non-belief. I know you've all heard stuff like this... well, maybe not the deceiving Eve sort of accusations, but still. Have you heard any ridiculous accusations?

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Yes pretty much all of the above...in fact, I THOUGHT those same things when I was still keeping my head anchored firmly in the sand. I think it's pretty much a lost cause to conversate with them. They have no intention of actual thoughtful give and take.

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It wasn't really ridiculous per se....one event DID spark closer investigation....but my mother using it like an excuse....pretty tasteless.

 

"You are just angry because [best friend] killed himself."

 

My best friend killed himself in 1994. I did not fully deconvert until 1999. I was not public about that (didn't tell Mom) until 2001 or so. Those years in between were busy years of taking care of college, and private research.

 

And she was sitting RIGHT THERE in 1994, when my friend's older sister told us they'd found a bible my friend had gone through with a pen writing in the margins about how this verse and that verse justified his self-hatred, and the margins were full.

 

And did this information make me take a closer look at the bible (no I NEVER saw the one he wrote in)? Yes when I had the time!

 

It's those years in between of research and soul searching that were important to my deconversion. But mom disregarded all that in favor of it being ALL because of the suicide. Acting like it was some instant snap judgement on my part.

 

She tolerates my deconversion. Occasionally she tells me I AM a christian...to which I respond with "News to me.". I don't think she realizes it, but what she is telling me is that I'm a good person with a moral base. She equates that with the "christian" label. That's how she defines it pretty much.

 

I've even told HER more than once that neither she, nor my dad are christians...and she responds with "But we believe in god" (dad stays mysteriously silent on that score...interesting). She's a soft Deist if anything.

 

I think there are a LOT of people like dear mom. They revere the Label above and beyond the label's actual content.

 

Baby Steps.

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Y'know, Prysm, when I read those sentences of actual feedback you're getting from xians, I realize that with just a few adjustments here and there, they're exactly the kinds of things brutish guys who just want sex say to girls unwilling to give it to them.

 

Curious, huh?

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I understand your feelings. Now try and understand theirs... they can not understand how you could reject what they have tried all their life NOT to reject. MOST Christians that I know cling very loosely to their beliefs until they are threatened by reason, rejection or both. Then they get stupid and defensive, and they get angry and frustrated.

 

Remember Plato's Allegory of the Cave? In the story one escapes from the cave and sees the real source of the shadows and eventually the real source of everything. When he goes back into the cave to share his discoveries they want to kill him. AND YET... Plato says we must go back into the cave... for how can we enjoy the fruits of our discoveries our freedom and NOT try and share them with those we love and with whom we live. We have to try and drag them out into the light, one by one if necessary.

 

You are free and they are still chained in cave. Enjoy your freedom and make plans to eventually go back into the cave to lead someone else into the light.

Here is the version I show in my class:

 

here is another:

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Props to Plato, but personally? I'm perfectly fine living outside the cave, and have absolutely no desire to soil myself climbing back down when I know the journey will likely end with me tied to a stake surrounded by a big pile of small sticks.

 

If the folks I know manage to claw their own way out, I'll be perfectly happy to welcome them into the sunlit world, but that decision is theirs to make. I stopped believing in being a missionary when I stopped believing.

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You're so prideful and arrogant. Who are you to question god? Can the created question the creator?

 

Yes! It shows independence of thought. Can a child question a parent? Of course they can. A reasonable parent will listen and correct when necessary and then let go when the child is no longer a child...

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The statements they make are typical of any cult system. They are on the inside looking out through a filter of fear, social structure, and years of conditioning. It gives them a sense of place in the world, a feeling of special status (children of God, chosen by Him and dearly loved), and a means to interpret life and events in light of a bigger picture of "the kingdom of God". For those who really have a desire to know the truth about reality, it can still take an emotional shock to make them willing to give up the comfort of the filter they have. That is what happened to me. I had decades of study of the scriptures and cults, but it wasn't until I was slapped with the shock of having my main spiritual leader turn out to be a fraud after having defended him against vicious accusations that I was able to step back and see that I had been tricked and had basically followed a budding cult leader. A few months later I was able to take the next step and see that I had been tricked by the Bible also, and my own willingness to cower in fear of an imaginary devil.

 

I still don't know if there is a way to convince others that aren't ready for it. It is very much like the Christian concept of the seed falling on different kinds of soil. If they aren't ready to receive it, the truth will just lie there are rot or be gobbled up by birds. I'm trying to formulate a set of probing questions in the form of a Bible study to send to some believer friends of mine. If I have any luck, I'll let you all know.

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I'm trying to formulate a set of probing questions in the form of a Bible study to send to some believer friends of mine. If I have any luck, I'll let you all know.

 

That sounds really interesting- keep us posted! :)

 

Deb

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(things said to my husband about me)

You know, she works at a university, and those are spiritually dark places.

 

In my humble opinion, if somebody uses the phrase "spiritually dark" to refer to a place of higher education....that's a fairly good indicator that the person in question is a grade A fucknut

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You're so prideful and arrogant. Who are you to question god? Can the created question the creator?

 

You're so prideful and arrogant. Who are you to speak for "god"? Do you know what a creator would want?

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Guest QuidEstCaritas?

Prysm,

 

I think what you listed is largely a self fulfilling alarmism that X-tians get caught up in. So they piss the atheist off enough and then they point at him/her and say "See something is wrong with you, you must be emotionally wounded so come back to God". They just keep doing this, and it can get to be very manipulative on their part. What I like to do is visualize them as little children in a schoolyard who are all bullying the odd child and then blaming it for feeling angry and resentful for being bullied:

 

"If you weren't so short then maybe you would get your turn Johnny!"

"Hey that makes me angry give me that back!"

"Oh come on now Johnny you know better than to be angry like that, just get taller and you can have it back and play the game with us!"

"But I want it back"

"Now Johnny, you know it's not our fault that you are so short."

 

 

It's the same thing with X-tians and the same thought process essentially. They just bully you or attempt to and any emotional hole they find they try to open. What I usually do is just agree with them in ways. If they want to "pray" then I let them "pray" for me or with me and they are thinking "Wow, he is such a tolerant atheist/non believer" when what I am really doing is just letting them be themselves and get to level 99 holiness or whatever the fuck they think they are doing in their head. Since religion is basically a sort of "D&D" that people take for real, I just let the believers seal themselves off in their own little deluded world where they think I "respect" them. Outwardly I do, but inwardly I despise their beliefs and what they do is something that is utterly unacceptable, childish, and absurdly egotistical. It's also thoroughly delusional. I learn to respect that which is them apart from their beliefs. Seeing as how fundies have a particularly hard time relating to things outside of what they believe and since they have a hard time not pushing that belief onto others, I usually stay away from them or don't emotionally attach to them much at a minimum.

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Y'know, Prysm, when I read those sentences of actual feedback you're getting from xians, I realize that with just a few adjustments here and there, they're exactly the kinds of things brutish guys who just want sex say to girls unwilling to give it to them.

 

Dang.

 

I never thought of it that way.

 

Excellent observation, pitchu. And creepy.

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Thanks, gwenmead!

 

Having any of my observations called Creepy has always seemed high praise to me. (And I mean that sincerely!)

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All those worthless phrases, never forget this!, are designed to not understand the other side.

 

The morontheist state of mind is an unstable one. Prolonged contact with reality will eventually shipwreck it. Therefore the system is carefully set up so that any contact with reality is as brief and inconsequential as possible.

 

The best way to convince someone of something is to first understand where she is coming from and then adapt to her situation. To the morontheist, however, any understanding is a mortal peril. Therefore within the cults cookie-cutter explanations are thought up so that the morontheist can explain to herself why the "target" is not a cultist. As the morontheist "knows exactly" already why the "target" is an unbeliever, no questions need to be asked, and reality need not be confronted.

 

It's all about keeping the morontheist's brain from searching for any reasons and explanations that might not jive with the cult's dogma. They seem like they want to discuss stuff with you but never forget that this is just a sham.

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Same with the similarities to the babble of horny males who want to screw a female no-matter-what, as far as I can tell (I've never tried to do that myself so I'm using conjecture here). In a genuine discussion, he would try to understand whether she might be willing to hop into bed with him, and if not, why not. Aaaaah, but he does not want to understand but to get into her pants, so he does the very same thing morontheists do - use phrases that sound like a decent conversation for a while (well if he's a skilled one... not always the case by far) but that are really just designed to provide an explanation for her refusal, any other explanation than "I just don't want to have sex with you!".

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Guest QuidEstCaritas?
Same with the similarities to the babble of horny males who want to screw a female no-matter-what, as far as I can tell (I've never tried to do that myself so I'm using conjecture here). In a genuine discussion, he would try to understand whether she might be willing to hop into bed with him, and if not, why not. Aaaaah, but he does not want to understand but to get into her pants, so he does the very same thing morontheists do - use phrases that sound like a decent conversation for a while (well if he's a skilled one... not always the case by far) but that are really just designed to provide an explanation for her refusal, any other explanation than "I just don't want to have sex with you!".

 

That's it, in a nutshell.

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(things said to my husband about me)

You know, she works at a university, and those are spiritually dark places.

 

In my humble opinion, if somebody uses the phrase "spiritually dark" to refer to a place of higher education....that's a fairly good indicator that the person in question is a grade A fucknut

 

 

LOL, this "grade A fucknut" was one of the executive pastors! Beautiful. I'm always going to remember that when I think about him now!

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Y'know, Prysm, when I read those sentences of actual feedback you're getting from xians, I realize that with just a few adjustments here and there, they're exactly the kinds of things brutish guys who just want sex say to girls unwilling to give it to them.

 

Curious, huh?

 

 

You know, I've thought about two different outlets for literary theory in relation to xtianity. If I ever take a seminar where I can develop a paper from a feminist perspective on xtian gender roles or a postcolonial view of short term missions, I'll have to post it here. I think there's some very valid stuff in what you said. It makes me think of a dysfunctional, abusive relationship with a borderline personality disorder partner. Cycles of love and abuse could probably inform deconversion experiences. Hm... I wonder if any psychologists or sociologists have produced serious studies on deconversion without joining a new religion. Hmm... now you have me thinking...

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You're so prideful and arrogant. Who are you to question god? Can the created question the creator?

 

Just a little FYI:

 

This one is actually the easiest to refute, because you are not actually questioning God at all. You are questioning the believers absurdly limited interpretation of what God is, hence, their religion. You are not questioning or being arrogant towards any higher power. You are an atheist. You cannot be arrogant towards what you do not believe exists.

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It makes me think of a dysfunctional, abusive relationship with a borderline personality disorder partner. Cycles of love and abuse could probably inform deconversion experiences.

 

Look at you! Already putting that Spiritually Dark University intellect to work for the Dark Side! :HaHa:

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You know, I've thought about two different outlets for literary theory in relation to xtianity. If I ever take a seminar where I can develop a paper from a feminist perspective on xtian gender roles or a postcolonial view of short term missions, I'll have to post it here.

 

I'm an ivory tower dweller myself. I gotta say, there is a definite shortage of "former insider perspectives" about fundamentalist/orthodox Christianity. Most the shit I've seen written was by some functionally agnostic grad student from Long Island who did an ethnography at a MegaChurch as if they were going to Burma to live with an exotic tribe. Most people in academia were sheltered from that kind of shit throughout their childhoods and have no idea what it's like to experience it subjectively, and that's just for starters. Also, most the big time theorists of religion were these tweed jacket Cambridge/Vienna types from the early-mid 20th century as opposed to some disillusioned refugee from the Bible Belt, whose big-haired mother used grandpa's glass-doored wooden gun cabinet to showcase her Franklin Mint collector's plates with schmaltzy Jesus themes.

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