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Not Really An Ex-christian...


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Hi everybody!

 

I'd like to tell you my story. It's very different from most I've seen here. For starters, I've never been a Christian. For as long as I can remember, I've never taken religion seriously. Second, I've grown up in a very different society than the ones I've read about in these testemonies.

 

So why am I posting my story? I really don't know. Maybe I wanted to share with you how life is in a secular society. Maybe I wanted to give you hope, to give you a glimmer how your life could be if your society wasn't in the grip of religious fanatics. I know, it's a little bit (no, it's allot!) arrogant on my part, but I must confess I feel some kind of a smug superiority when I look at the societies you describe, of people devoting themselves to dogma and banishing reason and inquiry. Mostly, I feel lucky I wasn't born there. But deep down, it scares the S#!@ out of me!

 

So what's my story?

 

I was saved before I could even read. And when I say saved, I mean from religion.

 

The first book I remember counsciously picking up and leafing through the pages (for the pretty pictures, of course, this was when I was 4 or 5) was an old book about astronautics from a collection about Sciences my mom had. I'd sit for hours gazing at the pictures of the Vostok rockets, the Gemini pods, the space monkeys, Sputnik 1, Yuri Gagarin, that space pioneer, the Lunakhod rover, the Apollo ships, the Earth from the Moon, the Skylab. I gazed at those wonderful sights of a misterious Universe, and every answer leds to two more questions.

 

The pivotal moment for my non-belief was when I was at my grandma's house and I heard someone had died. Then, with a child's innocence, I asked my grandma that typical question: "What happens to people when they die?" "They go to heaven", my dear, dear grandma said. Since the word for "heaven" is the same as the one for "sky" in portuguese, I began to draw the conclusions my childish mind would allow: "People go to heaven? Then why haven't the astronauts seen them up there? Does that mean astronauts go to heaven too?" After giving it a little though, I just dismissed it as a silly idea.

 

I live in Portugal, a country with a great Catholic tradition. From the early 30's to 1974, the country was ruled by fascist dictatorship that was greatly supported by the church. Communists and Socialists were persecuted and tortured. That dark age came to an end with the great Carnations' Revolution, carried out by left-wing forces in military, which were tired of a seemingly unending 14-year old Colonial war on 3 fronts. Liberty ran rampant. The old order crumbled.

 

I live in a country where evolution is taught as what it is: the best existing explanation for the diversity of life on this planet. I live in a country where the revelation of one's atheism is greeted with a thundering "meh". I live in a country where so few want to be priests that the church has to "import" priests from Spain to fill the positions! I live in a country where a priest said, in sunday school: "If you have to choose between being a good christian and a good person, be a good person". I love in a country where a kid can openly say in sunday school that they don't belive god created the world, the big bang did.

 

You can say what you want, believe what you want and everyone will be equally indifferent! :P

 

That's my story, any comments?

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"I live in Portugal, a country with a great Catholic tradition. From the early 30's to 1974, the country was ruled by fascist dictatorship that was greatly supported by the church."

 

The Catholic church has a long and sordid history of supporting oppressive regimes as long as it got what the Vatican wanted out of the deal. One only need look to your neighbors in Spain to remember what happened during the Spanish Civil War. The church openly supported Franco's brutal repression of any kind of leftists with the help of their fascist German and Italian friends.

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"If you have to choose between being a good christian and a good person, be a good person".

 

I love this quote! I wish this was an acceptable choice in America. Here, most people assume that if you are a good person you MUST be a christian.

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"If you have to choose between being a good christian and a good person, be a good person".

 

I love this quote! I wish this was an acceptable choice in America. Here, most people assume that if you are a good person you MUST be a christian.

 

Feel free to use it! I promise not to charge any royalties! :P

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That's my story, any comments?

 

Do you know if Portugal has a liberal immigration policy? With Bush out of office, things might look up for heretics in the U.S.A, but it'd still be nice if we knew any places that aren't OMG MUSTBELIEVEINJAYSUS! My other choice'd be Japan, but you have to have a college degree to get a job there and all I've done is graduate high school and get a couple years in college.

 

Be VERY glad, you never fell for the bullshit , Scorpion. A lot of us have got some serious mental scars from what we were raised to believe.

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Do you know if Portugal has a liberal immigration policy? With Bush out of office, things might look up for heretics in the U.S.A, but it'd still be nice if we knew any places that aren't OMG MUSTBELIEVEINJAYSUS! My other choice'd be Japan, but you have to have a college degree to get a job there and all I've done is graduate high school and get a couple years in college.

 

Be VERY glad, you never fell for the bullshit , Scorpion. A lot of us have got some serious mental scars from what we were raised to believe.

 

If you really mean that, Tabula Rasa, be warned, it may be a largely secular society, but it's from being heaven on Earth.

 

That would be Scadinavia! xD

 

Anyway, here the taxes are high, the wages are low and unemployment is up. However, we do have free health care... Well, not free. I have to pay two bucks everytime I go to the doctor! :s And the immigration policy is very lax. How else would we get all the africans and eastern europeans to work at construction? :P

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