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My Eximony, Part Ii


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I remember in the pentecostal church I attended when I was a teenager, people were constantly giving their testimonies. If memory serves me right, it had to be a weekly ordeal for some, delving into the minutiae of their purported walks with god.

 

It has now been five years since I joined this site and gave my original eximony, so I suppose I can venture an update without overdoing things. :) Besides, folks have come and gone and there's mostly a different audience now from when I arrived.

 

I had already been deconverted 21 years when I got here, it has now been 26 years. This time, my eximony will focus on the last five years, so I suppose it will be a lot shorter.

 

I sort of thought of myself as a veteran apostate when I came here, but the past five to seven years have brought a surprising amount of new insights. Five to seven years ago, I was a non-believer to be sure, I would not have been comfortable with the label at that time, but I was an atheist then. I may have identified more as an ex-pentecostal who happened to be a non-believer than an ex-christian, at least at first. Since then, while I think that moderates are less demented, the moderate version of belief is no easier to defend, and I worry that moderate xianity can provide a foundation to prop up the activists.

 

At the time, I was just beginning to find the resources that have kept me absorbed since then. First and foremost was this site: I found that it was a sanctuary and I hope that I was able to give as much as I got from this site. I have read the bible from cover to cover, for only the second time in my life. The first time was to get my bible badge as a Royal Ranger. How I wish my young mind had not glossed over the cumbersome KJV text while I only made the motions of reading. I know more about the bible now than I ever did as a xian, and I've also read the apocrypha that I could easily find and extra-biblical material. The past five years I have read a lot more skeptic books and websites and eventually finally revisited apologetics and found it shockingly disingenuous compared to the first time around, when I could not cast my eyes upon anything that was not consistent with the teachings of the church because it was "of the devil." I have also spent a lot of time thinking, and critically examining what I read, what other people say, and my own ideas. As a result of this exercise I learned a lot and I would say that I have come to value critical thought even more, if that is possible, not just in matters of religion, but in all matters.

 

I've finally come to a point where I consider my self "done" (in a way) with my assessment with xianity. I started reading the book of mormon a few months back, and found it to be poorly written enough and so unbelievably absurd that I stalled about half-way through. I have read a lot of other things since then, generally unrelated to religions or skepticism, but I plan on returning to finish the BoM at some point for my general education, although it is tedious trudging through such an obvious snow job that builds upon two previous layers of snow jobs. I also plan on reading the koran some day: I am looking forward to an experience no less tedious and a snow job no less obvious than the bible and the book of mormon. From there I may read some texts from non-abrahamic religions, but I could spend the rest of my life reading most of it, and I think I have other things to move on to.

 

I kind of wish I could be like an atheist from a secular country where I just feel like a normal person, and was never estranged from family members because I didn't believe in fairy tales, and didn't run across people that have the gall to cram a message down my throat that I deserve to burn eternally in a lake of fire because I am so evil that I do not believe in an imaginary god which they have no evidence for, and where I didn't face the religious reich trying to encroach upon my life and everyone else's in an attempt to turn the U S of A into a theocracy.

 

My life, and lots of other people's lives would be better spent if nobody needed to worry about the good folks who brought us the Inquisition and their cousins who fly airplanes into buildings. Alas. But since we have this legacy, I think it is worth it to learn about what went wrong with our world.

 

I know I have a lot less of a presence at this site than I used to. I do not know whether my presence will eventually dwindle away, or whether I will continue to check in for a long time to come. If I do eventually move on, I know that I will leave behind a good community where ex-christians can rant, exchange ideas, and offer support where needed.

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Doh, there's no way to edit a topic title, is there? It's never come up before, but I forgot that the board automatically sets the first letter to each word to a capital letter, and the rest of the word to lower case. In retrospect, Roman numerals were not the best choice for writing numbers!

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Dear SNM, I did not think for one minute that your testimony was part lie !

 

I can identify with everything you said. I come from one of those secular countries you yearned for (the UK) and I consider myself lucky after hearing some of the testimonies on this site from the US. So my deconversion wasn't problematic from a relationship point of view but I do feel slightly damaged by the whole experience.

 

I too went to a pentecostalist church for a while - the biggest set of humourless, Onanistic programmed loons I have ever encountered although I'm sure there are worse Xians out there.

 

Keep supporting this site, even if it's only occasionally. It's a good sanctuary for ex-Christians and a safe environment in which to vent and be facilitated through deconversion.

 

Whenever I feel a Xian rash coming on - I keep reminding myself of Mark 16 in which the Jesus character states the signs associated with true believers - casting out demons, laying hands on sick people and curing them & drinking poison and living to tell the tale! I don't know of any Xians (or indeed anyone) who has done that. This means that Jesus was either badly mistaken or else there is no such thing as a true believing Christian! Christianity does not exist! Checkmate!

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Just realised when I referred to you as SNM it sounds a bit like S&M - sorry about that - it was unintentional.

 

Although I've always thought that in order to love someone that you fear requires a bit of a sadomasochistic tendency. If Xians feel that way why don't they just visit a dominatrix?

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I've finally come to a point where I consider my self "done" (in a way) with my assessment with xianity.

 

That's a good place to be, isn't it? The angle that I'm currently coming at it is this - how did religion begin, how is it that religion can be so controlling over people, how can the leaders justify some of their heinous acts (Catholic priests), etc. Organized religion has nothing for me anymore. Your original was posted long before my arrival, so I've not read it, but certainly enjoyed your update. Thanks.

 

 

 

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Just realised when I referred to you as SNM it sounds a bit like S&M - sorry about that - it was unintentional.

 

Although I've always thought that in order to love someone that you fear requires a bit of a sadomasochistic tendency. If Xians feel that way why don't they just visit a dominatrix?

Oh yeah, I guess you're right! Others have called me SNM, I've called myself SNM, but never made that connection before. Not my cup of tea, really. I know the love/fear thing didn't work out very well with biblegod!

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