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Push Or Pull?


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Immigrants from poor countries to (for example) the US because they can have a "better life" here when they come and get a job, an apartment, a car, a TV set, etc. That's what we call "pull" factors. Something about the new place you want to go to is attractive to you.

 

Immigrants sometimes leave their countries for specific reasons having to do with their country. For example, the civil war in El Salvador made many Salvadorans immigrate here as fast as they could. Those are what you call "push" factors. The place where you're at is really starting to suck, and you just wanna ditch it.

 

So when it came to leaving the faith, how much of it was "push" and how much of it was "pull"? What were the push factors, and/or what were the pull factors behind your deconversion?

 

Or was it something else entirely, and neither "push" nor "pull"?

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Raised in religiously abusive on-its-way-to-culthood school where I was told humans were fundamentally undeserving of love.

 

Also, turned out gay, despite church assurance that it was completely a choice and god would never make anyone gay.

 

So basically, I'm told I'm basically unloveable for years, and then, when I'm finally getting loose of that, that I'm worthy of death (thank you Paul!) for the way I was born.

 

Yeah, we're talking push, and survival as the pull out.

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It was pretty much all push for me. I saw the hypocrisy present in the religion, the mound of evidence against the bible was stacking up and I couldn't ignore it anymore, my life was crap and my self-esteem was nil, and I just couldn't take it anymore. That was how I got away from the religion, but I still wasn't an atheist yet. Then I read the really evil parts of the bible, like Exodus, Levitical laws, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the human sacrifice in Judges. I saw some atheist documentaries, like Root of All Evil, Religulous, and The God Who Wasn't There and that was enough to push me to become an atheist. I wasn't even counting on my life getting better. That was an added bonus.

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Raised in religiously abusive on-its-way-to-culthood school where I was told humans were fundamentally undeserving of love.

 

Also, turned out gay, despite church assurance that it was completely a choice and god would never make anyone gay.

 

So basically, I'm told I'm basically unloveable for years, and then, when I'm finally getting loose of that, that I'm worthy of death (thank you Paul!) for the way I was born.

 

Yeah, we're talking push, and survival as the pull out.

 

I hear you. Same for me, except that I was in a real cult after I left my conservative church. Fortunately, I did not go to a religious school as well. But yes, I was unloveable, worthy of death, and told I was not gay because there was no such thing. Only the devil put such thoughts in my head, and Jesus would remove them. :lmao:

 

It's mostly push here. Reason was screaming at me even as Christians were screaming at me, and I could no longer adopt a Christian mindset. I also needed to regain my mental health from the number Christians did on me, and rejecting the internalized homophobia the church and society created in me, the images of hell, and the crazy beliefs about myself as a horrible person were all part of it. Further, I needed a better life (spiritually and mentally, not physically), so I guess there is a bit of pull in my equation as well.

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For me it felt more like my lover had gone mad. I was very much into church and didn't really have many bad experiences. Someone I trusted lied to me and it set me to thinking. Then when I looked at the roots of the faith itself, I found that I had been lied to again, and that all that I thought was real about God was simply a fantasy shared with others, and fueled by fear of devils and sins. I felt my grip on Jesus purposefully slip, and I began backing away. Then it all looked like a mannequin that someone set up as "The Bridegroom" and it took on a Twilight Zone feeling. I looked around for truth and found this forum and a bunch of websites and books that gave me a new foundation. So I don't know if it was push or pull or some of both, or maybe something different.

 

edit: spelling correction...

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... ha. Yes. I didn't even find out about the extent of the lies until I'd left the faith.

 

I'd been raised on creationism, you see. And every single distortion, mistruth, myth, and fable that went with it.

 

A college-level biology course completely humiliated me. I had to listen to the prof give lectures and mention casual asides of what everyone should know, and I didn't, because it in some way supported evolution/misfit a seven-day framework. I had to not only catch up, but unlearn things.

 

It's still happening. I was raised in the bubble, and I was told that coal was laid down after Mt. St. Helens erupted. Um, no. Peat.

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It was all pull. I often commented to my friends when I was still a believer that had it not been for my parent's sincerity and kindness I would probably question my faith a lot more than I do. IOW, I thought their character was some sort of proof for the truth of their/my faith.

 

Eventually the questions just grew too big to ignore, so I definitely wasn't pushed in any way shape or form.

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I perceived no problems with my (now former) church until I came into contact with Asatru. The disgust et al came after my deconversion.

 

I guess I can say with certainty that it was "all pull" :)

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I was pushed onto the path of reason when I realized I was gay and was rejected by the church for it. Then I started pulling for information to help me deconvert that eventually lead me to becoming an atheist, so it was a combination of both that my deconversion was pushed that made me start pulling.

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Pulled by relief from guilt and living by reason not superstition.

 

Pushed by xians and their attitudes, inconsistencies in the babble, living life according to a fairy tale.

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There was a little bit of push when my Dad decided one morning I was going to the temple with my mom or else (fortunately, she realized the only reason I was in the car with her was because he'd essentially forced me), but it was mostly pull. As I've said so many times, laziness started the ball rolling, and from there it was just the steady realization life without belief was virtually the same as with, except I no longer had to get up early every Sunday to overdress and apologize for being human.

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It was mostly push for me by the insanity of it all. There was nothing really pulling me toward agnosticism until the last minute when I felt like there was no other rational option.

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My de-conversion was mostly a push. As I developed my reasoning skills, I became less able to accept xtianity without first jumping through mental hoops. I slowly started rationalizing away bits and pieces of xtianity until I realized that what I believed was not really xtianity at all. When I started looking into the arguments against xtianity, I was pulled by the reasoning I found since it was more mentally fulfilling.

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I would say push. As my life dwindled down to just me, my wife and my kid with no real church influence anymore, I began to see for myself that God was not there for me. The best explanation that fit all the facts was that God does not exist. This is a universe with no compelling signs that there is a God.

 

Churches were not supernaturally energized entities ("Gasp!!") where the power of Christ was the evident factor that made them superior to other collections of human beings. Everything that went on with these people could be explained in terms of economics, sociology and psychology. There was no "JC" factor involved. They were no better or no worse than any other human organization made up of basically decent people.

 

For me it was push, push, push. To be honest and true to myself, I dropped all notions that Christianity was true.

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Pretty much all push for me.

 

Having been told as a child that I was going to hell for not being perfect enough (repeatedly), being in a church that literally believed in hell doctrine and condemned various minority groups, all were factors in my leaving.

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