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My Introduction And Such


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Hello everyone! Well I’m new here, so I’ll regale you all with the tale of my religion issues and subsequent predicaments.

 

In terms of my deconversion, I don’t think I ever really had one, because I don’t think I was ever really converted in the first place. I was raised in a Roman Catholic family, but thankfully never had to endure catholic school at any level, at least not full time. But I did go to Sunday school through the eighth grade.

 

Looking back on my formative years, it seems that even then I had a sort of agnostic outlook on things. It was strange though; I would basically flip-flop between total belief and total nonbelief. Basically, sometimes I would believe the stories they told us from the bible and such, and other times I would think that they were just another, much older, version of my fairy tale books. I enjoyed hearing the stories sometimes though, even if I didn’t always believe them. You know, the nice ones, like Jesus telling people to be kind to each other and giving food to everybody and stuff. After all, a story doesn’t have to be true for you to enjoy it, right?

 

But as I entered into my teenage years, I started believing less and less. I didn’t really think about it much though. I had a lot of other things happen during that time that sort of put my thoughts about religion on the back burner. My younger brother was diagnosed with epilepsy, my parents got divorced, and my so-called father turned out to be an enormous prick. But at least all that’s been over for awhile now, so I’m much better. Plus, as luck would have it, all this gave me an excellent excuse to skip confirmation once I finished Sunday school. And fortunately nobody in the family really remembered about it later on. I guess confirmation isn’t that important after all. ;)

 

Well anyway, on to current times. I’m mostly still “in the closet” so to speak, but I’m out to my mother now. She found out through just about the most idiotic means possible though: facebook. To this day I have no idea why I did it, but awhile back I stupidly listed my religion as “agnostic” on facebook. (Don’t worry, I’ve taken it off since then.) I guess I figured only my friends would look at it or something. (I know, I know, don’t expect any privacy when you friend your parents on facebook.) Well, long story short, my mother did look at it. The thing is, I didn’t know that she saw it for quite awhile. I don’t even really remember how it was brought up, but awhile after that, we got talking about religion somehow and she just dropped the bombshell on me. She just came right out and said “Well you’re agnostic, aren’t you? That’s what it says on facebook.” No really serious repercussions came of this (like yelling, preaching, completely trashed relationship, etc.), but I still think I should have just lied and said it was a joke or something. The problem is my friends and I don’t do that sort of thing. Anyway, I admitted to it and she was obviously upset. She knew what agnostic meant, but that didn’t help at all. My mother felt she had failed in raising me, and that I didn’t have an anchor to cling to during a storm, and that sort of thing. Completely ignoring, of course, that I’ve been through several “storms” over the course of my life and am still perfectly fine. All without any help from, as George Carlin so eloquently puts it, “some spooky incompetent father figure who doesn’t give a shit.”

 

My mom was more sad and disappointed than anything else I think. But the most hurtful thing was when she said “Well you’re open to stuff right? So that means that you’re open to the devil as well.” It was just so insulting, to think that I’d be open to some lunatic who wreaks havoc and destruction on the world, and who tortures countless people while they burn in a lake of fire for eternity. The fact that it’s just a stupid fairy tale is immaterial; my mother wholeheartedly believes it’s all true. So then I explained that (obviously) just because I was uncertain about god and open to stuff didn’t mean I was open to evil stuff like that. And because I was angry and hurt I said “It’s nice to know what you think of me.” That shut her up.

 

We didn’t really talk about my agnosticism for awhile after that. We still don’t really talk about it, to be honest, unless you count occasional passing references. I’m not sure if she’s really accepted my agnosticism though, or if she’s in denial or something. Because a few weeks later, she mentioned some person who was having a rough time with something in their life. I don’t remember the details, just that it was some distant relative or family friend or something. Upon saying this she said that we should pray for said person, but then backtracked and asked me if I believed in prayer. I didn’t really give a real answer, I just kind of shrugged because I could tell she was thinking less of me at that particular moment.

 

Now whenever she mentions someone that apparently needs praying for (which happens every once in a while), she’ll say we should pray for them, but then say something like “Well, I’ll be praying for them.” I notice that same judgmental attitude that she had the first time around. At times like this it sometimes seems like she thinks that I don’t care about people anymore, just because I don’t pray for them. But who knows, maybe I’m being too sensitive or something.

 

But ever since all this happened, I’ve found myself often wishing that I could just undo telling her, because things were so much simpler beforehand. We don’t really talk about religion that often, we never have, and we only go to church when my grandparents come or when we’re visiting them or something; we didn’t even go last Christmas. But occasionally we will watch it on tv (the one for shut-ins).

 

Luckily, my mother has agreed to not tell anyone else in the family about my agnosticism. I don’t have any intention of ever telling them, because it just seems like it will do more harm than good. They are all catholic, just like my mom, and they would undoubtedly be quite upset. We don’t see them all that often, since they live so far away. My grandparents are the family we have the most contact with, and they will likely be dead and gone in 20 years anyway. It’s much easier to just let them believe I’m still catholic.

 

Apart from them, I don’t really have anybody to worry about to speak of. My father and his idiotic family aren’t in my life anymore (thank god), so it’s not as if I’m going to worry about telling them. The only people left apart from that are my friends and immediate family. My mother already knows, as I’ve said. She’s also told me that she hasn’t told my stepdad. To be honest I’m not sure if I should tell him or not. I don’t really know anything about his religious beliefs to speak of, apart from the fact that he’s Christian. But he doesn’t seem too hardcore about it or anything. He doesn’t whine about us not going to church, anyway.

 

My brother, on the other hand, is probably the most difficult. He has autism (PDD-NOS for those of you with knowledge of such matters) in addition to his epilepsy, so it’s rather difficult for him to understand these sorts of abstract ideas. And things seem precarious enough with my mother already; I don’t want my brother suddenly blurting out something about my beliefs in front of her, or asking her lots of questions about god and stuff. It’d probably just upset her even more. But I do want to talk to him about it someday, because I don't feel good lying to him about it or keeping it from him. The main problem would be trying to explain these kinds of things in a way he could understand. I don’t think that he would ever hate or think less of me for being agnostic, even if he understood my beliefs completely. To be honest, I think he’d be more curious about why I believe (or rather don’t) the way I do than anything else. If not, he’d probably just be confused and move on to something else.

 

In terms of friends, I only have one really good friend, and she already knows. She’s atheist, in fact, so she obviously doesn’t have a problem with all this. I didn’t even know she was an atheist until recently, because we never really talk about religion, but we got talking about politics and laws and such, since she’s recently moved to Sweden, and religion got dragged into it somehow. She just casually mentioned she’s atheist and that she was happy because she felt more comfortable talking to Swedes about it as opposed to Americans. I mentioned my agnosticism in the context of the conversation, and we moved on, no harm, no foul. Of course I didn’t expect her to have a problem with my agnosticism, since she’s open minded and such.

 

This whole situation is sort of difficult though. I just want to get along with everybody in the family, but it’s hard when I remember that I don’t believe as they do, and that they would likely be either angry or crushed (or both) if they knew. As if to underline our differences, I recently went to church when we were visiting my grandparents, and for the first time, the service really bothered me. I suppose it’s possibly because it was the first time that I really thought about and paid attention to it, apart from simply thinking “This is so stupid and boring…when will it be over?”. The readings, the songs, the rituals, everything bothered me. I’ve never liked all the rituals at church, even when I was little, but this was different. For the first time, my eyes were really opened and I saw it for what it was…an indoctrination ceremony, the same sort of ceremony used for thousands of years to control the masses. What really struck me though was how many children were there, and how young many of them were. Right in front of me was a girl that couldn’t have been older than three.

 

Don’t get me wrong…I’m not anti-religion. I just don’t think it’s right to impose it on children. If an adult chooses to be part of a church, that’s fine. But they have no right to try to indoctrinate their children. Why can’t they simply explain the concept of different beliefs to their child, and let them choose? It’s what I would do. Take the kid to church or whatever if they ask to go, but don’t force it on them. Personally, I wouldn’t even go to or talk about church unless my child showed interest in it. I’d explain the different beliefs people have, then explain my own and tell them why I think the way I do. Apart from that I’d tell them to think about it and do what felt right to them.

 

That’s how I came to believe what I do. Basically I would call myself atheist instead of agnostic, because I don’t believe in god and the bible and whatnot, except for that I just can’t rule out the whole “afterlife” thing. I don’t mean the typical “heaven and hell” afterlife that Christianity preaches, in fact I find all that rather stupid. I mean just some kind of existence after death, but if that was the case, I don’t think it would be something that we could really understand until it actually happened to us. But I also acknowledge the possibility that this is it. I don’t think that anybody can really know what will happen after death until they die.

 

Anyway, this whole thing just makes me glad that my family doesn’t go to church every week. After the church service with my grandparents that I just mentioned, I don’t think I could take it. Perhaps the worst part of this was that I thought I had a pretty tolerant, unprejudiced family. Apparently I was wrong. They’re only tolerant of what it’s popular to be tolerant of. And the longer I think about all this, the more I hate them, all of them. I can’t wait to move out and go far away, and just start over. Nobody that I care about staying in touch with is going to be sticking around for very long anyway, if they’re even still here. I don’t think I’ve come across anybody who actually likes living in my hometown.

 

Wow. Well sorry for being so long-winded, but I often am with these kinds of things. And also sorry for my whining and bitterness; I just hate all the intolerance, and want so badly to get away from all this. If you’ve made it this far through my rambling I congratulate you.

 

Hopefully though I can find some people here who I can talk about these sorts of things with. As of now I don’t really have many people I can talk to about it, so I’m really glad I found this forum. It feels great to get these things off my chest. :)

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Welcome to Ex-C insaneloner!

 

There are many here who can relate to your situation and you will be sure to find a lot of support here.

 

As you have found out Facebook is not a safe place to post your religious preferences unless you want the world to know. Heck my fundamentalist Baptist parents weren't even "friends" and my nephew, who was, showed them my Facebook page!! The cat is then truly out of the bag, so to speak.

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insaneloner (love the name!:grin:) Welcome to Ex-c!

 

Thank you for taking the time to write out your 'testimony'. I really enjoyed it. The more I read as new people come aboard - the more I don't feel so all alone. I related to so much you said. It really is so weird how you can state an opinion or belief about something else (like politics or abortion, etc) and the world world does not come to a stop!! :twitch: We may even have a nice, little heated discussion about everything else........and we tend to 'agree to disagree'. But, let it be about god...... ....State your non-belief and watch the faces!!! :twitch:

 

When I was a 'born again christian', a whole bunch of everybody thought I was crazy including my husband. I always thought to myself, ''why do I always get involved with things that are so different from everybody else''?

 

Now - I'm a non believer - different again!! Damn! This time, I'm tryin' to be quiet - shut my big mouth :vent: and come here on EX-c to post how I feel.

 

I'm so glad you're here. I would have died without the site in the last 7 months. Looking forward to hearing from you again!

Best of everything to you.....

 

Sincerely, Margee

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The readings, the songs, the rituals, everything bothered me. I’ve never liked all the rituals at church, even when I was little, but this was different. For the first time, my eyes were really opened and I saw it for what it was…an indoctrination ceremony, the same sort of ceremony used for thousands of years to control the masses. What really struck me though was how many children were there, and how young many of them were.

 

First, thanks for sharing your story and welcome to this site; I'm new here too. Second, I have to say that what you've said here is really kicking my ass! You are exactly right. It's a weekly indoctrination ritual. Group indoctrination..... which works a lot better. And you're right about it having the most harm on kids, like you said you weren't ever converted, the religion was just bred into you, like it was to me, it's all I ever knew. These kids don't have a chance as long as they are in that echo chamber. That's why public education is so important, especially teaching critical thinking skills and science. If I had been taught evolution earlier I never would have gone through my evangelical phase.

 

Perhaps the worst part of this was that I thought I had a pretty tolerant, unprejudiced family. Apparently I was wrong. They’re only tolerant of what it’s popular to be tolerant of. And the longer I think about all this, the more I hate them, all of them. I can’t wait to move out and go far away, and just start over.

 

Yeah, I thought I had a decent family too, until I started thinking differently and asking questions and disagreeing with them. Then all of a sudden you're the bad guy who's gone "astray" or is given over to "sin". What extremely weak claims. I hate my family too sometimes because they seem so stupid and closed-minded. But then I think about how indoctrinated they must be and how salient all this religion garbage has been for humans for millennia, and I just feel the deepest regret and pain over how pitiful they really are, and how they'll never know what they are.

 

Here's a good video on the religious indoctrination of kids:

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Feel Welcome insaneloner!

 

ExC is t h e place on net to get you along in your life sans majik sky people ans strange air beings,,,

 

:)

 

kevinL

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Hey everybody, thanks for the warm welcome! It's nice to know I'm not alone. :) I could relate to a lot of what you all said...it seems, unfortunately, as though just about everything else apart from atheism is at least tolerated, if not accepted by most people. I mean races, genders, sexual orientation, cultures, political views...even other religions! It's sad.

 

By the way, thanks for that video, HistorySkptc! Really eye-opening as to how serious this problem of indoctrination is. It really says something that all these churches feel the need to "get 'em while they're young". If what they were preaching made more sense, perhaps they wouldn't need to indoctrinate children in order to keep the religion going! I was never indocrinated into the believing that evolution happened, and I don't know anybody who was! It's very simple: people explain it and give evidence for it, and it makes sense! What a concept, huh? :twitch:

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I was never indocrinated into the believing that evolution happened, and I don't know anybody who was! It's very simple: people explain it and give evidence for it, and it makes sense! What a concept, huh?

Exactly!

 

I really cannot fathom how anyone with a proper basic education in the sciences can deny it.

 

Even more ironic the huge amount of data that shows clearly that the earf is older than 6000 years old.

 

I have seen this from folk that are in their late 20's and with all this plethora of info just a click away, it boggles the mind.

 

BTW welcome

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I did the whole roman-catholisicm thing too! I went through all the motions, the sacrements and church every sunday. I did get confirmed...you didn't miss out don't worry. The more I think about my outlook of life when I was young the more I realize that I too had that similar agnostic outlook on things. I just did was I was told (to believe in god), even though I didn't buy it.

 

Sadly enough I still have only come out to a few friends. I'm afraid to tell my mother because of a similar reaction that you got with yours. It sucks that the whole religion shindig is so important that I have to tread lightly on the subject, especially with family.

 

Anyway welcome, we're glad you made it to this place. Its nice to chat with people who think like you.

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