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2Honest

Here's To You, Ex-christians....

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I haven't been on this road long, but it's been long enough to make some observations. This is coming partly from my own experience, but mainly from the experience of others here on Ex-C.

 

I've just been thinking about how much non-believers must lay down our own sense of authenticity, honesty, and even integrity - for the sake of sparing people we love. We all know that if we really got into it with a Christian friend or family member, we could pretty easily tumble their house of cards. But we don't. We love them too much. We know that it is a personal journey each one of us must find on our own, and it is not to be forced on anyone.

 

But our believing loved-ones don't know this. They don't know how many times we bite our tongues. They don't know how much of ourselves we must hide from them. They don't know how lonely we are. They don't know the struggles we have gone through and the damage that has been done to us by religion. And they don't know how much better off we are now...they may see a change in us...but they don't know why it's there. They may think it's because of all the prayers they've been praying for us. And we must let them believe that.

 

On the flip side, some of us have come out to people. And we are ridiculed, judged and made to feel as though something is wrong with us. And still, we don't use our pain as motivation to try to de-convert those who abuse us.

 

It frustrates me that people view ex-c's so harshly. They have no idea the struggles we face and the lack of support we have.They have no idea what amazing, loving, caring, considerate people we are. They don't know that we live our lives being misunderstood.

 

Well I just want to say today that I appreciate every one of you on this forum. I DO see what amazing people you are and I understand the shit you have to go through. I understand the sacrifices you make for the sake of the people you love (and even the ones you don't!). And I know what it will be like for some of you as you hang out with your family and friends this Christmas, hiding this huge part of yourself. Or maybe some of you have come out to people and you will be alone this Christmas...or even worse, spending time with people who are judging and ridiculing you.

 

Here's to all of you...you are beautiful people and I'm glad to have found this forum. clap.gif

 

Much love,

2H

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58.gifbeer.gif

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Yeah, I've said it before. Christians don't know what it's like to be persecuted, until they have walked in an Atheists shoes.

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...what she said ;)

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Hear hear!

 

Additionally, I think we restrain ourselves because our lives up until deconversion were filled with telling people their worldview was wrong. We're not inclined to make that mistake again, I hope.

 

Cheers, to the good folk here at Ex-C! beer.gif

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I haven't been on this road long, but it's been long enough to make some observations. This is coming partly from my own experience, but mainly from the experience of others here on Ex-C.

 

I've just been thinking about how much non-believers must lay down our own sense of authenticity, honesty, and even integrity - for the sake of sparing people we love. We all know that if we really got into it with a Christian friend or family member, we could pretty easily tumble their house of cards. But we don't. We love them too much. We know that it is a personal journey each one of us must find on our own, and it is not to be forced on anyone.

 

But our believing loved-ones don't know this. They don't know how many times we bite our tongues. They don't know how much of ourselves we must hide from them. They don't know how lonely we are. They don't know the struggles we have gone through and the damage that has been done to us by religion. And they don't know how much better off we are now...they may see a change in us...but they don't know why it's there. They may think it's because of all the prayers they've been praying for us. And we must let them believe that.

 

On the flip side, some of us have come out to people. And we are ridiculed, judged and made to feel as though something is wrong with us. And still, we don't use our pain as motivation to try to de-convert those who abuse us.

 

It frustrates me that people view ex-c's so harshly. They have no idea the struggles we face and the lack of support we have.They have no idea what amazing, loving, caring, considerate people we are. They don't know that we live our lives being misunderstood.

 

Well I just want to say today that I appreciate every one of you on this forum. I DO see what amazing people you are and I understand the shit you have to go through. I understand the sacrifices you make for the sake of the people you love (and even the ones you don't!). And I know what it will be like for some of you as you hang out with your family and friends this Christmas, hiding this huge part of yourself. Or maybe some of you have come out to people and you will be alone this Christmas...or even worse, spending time with people who are judging and ridiculing you.

 

Here's to all of you...you are beautiful people and I'm glad to have found this forum. clap.gif

 

Much love,

2H

 

2H, your words call to my mind something Abraham Maslow said:

 

"The exploration of the highest reaches of human nature and of its ultimate possibilities . . .

has involved for me the continuous destruction of cherished axioms,

the perpetual coping with seeming paradoxes,

contradictions,

and vagueness,

and the occasional collapse around my ears of long-established,

firmly believed in

and seemingly unassailable laws..."

 

All things change but for me an "undivided life" means reassessing the virtues and truths I inherited form my parents and my culture.

 

Autonomous maturity means for me assessing and reassessing, reconstructing, destroying and supplementing cherished values and "truths" I have so blindly thought were my own!

 

To be "born again" means something entirely different for me at this juncture in my life.

 

To authentically be "born again" means, for me, to take the responsibility for being the father and mother of my own values and truth and to then hold what I find up against what "exceptionally psychologically healthy" people tend to agree upon!

 

The "truth" dwells among us and is not exclusive to any one of us! To have "mirrors" and "sounding boards" all about is a good thing!

 

I too am glad to have found this "place!" A place where "exceptionally psychologically healthy" people abound!

 

One can never be '2Honest' with themselves!

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I vote pin.

 

Truly eloquent 2Honest.

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I vote pin too!

Great post, 2Honest. And we are very glad to have you here!

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And I am very thankful to have had this place. Without it, I know my journey would have been so much more difficult, if not impossible. You guys are great. Thanks everyone.

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Thanks, y'all! Wow, if I got pinned I would feel so special! EthelCGoldMedal.gif

 

 

 

 

Additionally, I think we restrain ourselves because our lives up until deconversion were filled with telling people their worldview was wrong. We're not inclined to make that mistake again, I hope.

 

 

 

Positivist - I agree that's definitely another deterrent!

 

 

2H, your words call to my mind something Abraham Maslow said:

 

"The exploration of the highest reaches of human nature and of its ultimate possibilities . . .

has involved for me the continuous destruction of cherished axioms,

the perpetual coping with seeming paradoxes,

contradictions,

and vagueness,

and the occasional collapse around my ears of long-established,

firmly believed in

and seemingly unassailable laws..."

 

All things change but for me an "undivided life" means reassessing the virtues and truths I inherited form my parents and my culture.

 

Autonomous maturity means for me assessing and reassessing, reconstructing, destroying and supplementing cherished values and "truths" I have so blindly thought were my own!

 

To be "born again" means something entirely different for me at this juncture in my life.

 

To authentically be "born again" means, for me, to take the responsibility for being the father and mother of my own values and truth and to then hold what I find up against what "exceptionally psychologically healthy" people tend to agree upon!

 

The "truth" dwells among us and is not exclusive to any one of us! To have "mirrors" and "sounding boards" all about is a good thing!

 

I too am glad to have found this "place!" A place where "exceptionally psychologically healthy" people abound!

 

One can never be '2Honest' with themselves!

 

asanerman - thank you. I love what you wrote and totally agree. And love the quote from Maslow. I think jblueep loved it, too. It is now his facebook status. smile.png

 

 

This thread makes me think of one of my favorite songs:

 

 

 

Made For You

One Republic

I was writing thinking with my long hand

Put dream to paper everything was sinking

Then start to wonder how you're gonna handle me

When I'm under, swimming in the darkest sea

 

Everybody wants to make it, it's all yours

Everybody wants to take it, it's all yours

Everybody wants to make it, it's all yours

 

Can you feel all the love?

Can you feel all the love?

You feel all the love

Can you feel all the love like it was made for you?

Like it was made for you

Like it was made for you

It was made for you

 

Tell me something, something that can move me

T-tell me lies and I swear you're gonna lose me

Like an ocean jealous of the fish

It feeds you devotion, swimming inside of me

 

Can you feel all the love?

(Everybody wants to make it, it's all yours)

Can you feel all the love?

(Everybody wants to make it, it's all yours)

You feel all the love?

(Everybody wants to make it, it's all yours)

Can you feel all the love?

(Everybody wants to make it, it's all yours)

 

Like it was made for you

Like it was made for you

Like it was made for you

It was made for you

 

Can you feel

Can you feel

Can you feel

 

All the right friends in all the right places

All the right moves in all the right faces

All the right friends in all the right places

All the right moves and all the right flaces

(Can you feel all the love?)

All the right friends in all the right places

(Can you feel all the love?)

All the right moves in all the right faces

(Feel all the love)

All the right friends in all the right places

(Can you feel all the love?)

All the right moves and all the right faces

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PIN.

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Pinned. Fantastic OP.

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Thanks, Antlerman! yellow.gif

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Thank you 2Honest! Its nice to be appreciated thanks.gif

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That was beautiful, 2Honest! And I definitely agree with Positivist, I am forever turned off from trying to shove my beliefs down anyone's throat. I was never very good at it as a Christian either, which made me feel guilty for not spreading the "good news". No more guilt for me :D

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It was good to read this this morning. I appreciate everyone here as well. It's good to have a place where I can know that I'm not alone.

 

Thanks for sharing 2Honest.

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This has made me feel slightly better today.

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:)

 

I think of it as not running around telling every toddler I meet that Santa isn't real. I figure that would be a shitty thing for me to do. It can be frustrating sometimes. After all, toddlers don't have positions of authority in our culture and many times literalist Christians do. (I find myself always specifying literalist Christianity because I honestly don't care if extremely liberal Christians are in positions of authority. I may not follow their faith but they aren't the level of insane that fundamentalists and literal bible believers are.)

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My best friend won't talk to me and I needed those words right now

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My best friend won't talk to me and I needed those words right now

 

prplfox, your words and videos really helped me when I was in the hardest part of my de-conversion process. So I'm honored and thankful that what I wrote was meaningful to you. I'm sorry about you and your friend. From what I can tell, you are a caring and loyal person who would be a very good friend to anyone. Hope it all works out.

 

2H

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Okay dammit... I'm in a tell it how it is mood right now. (i'll be lying soon enough.)

 

That was among the best OP's I can ever remember reading here.

 

And I really wish I had written something like it first.

 

My deep admiration for you 2Honest.

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Wow! Thank you, Legion! biggrin.png

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Wow! Thank you, Legion! biggrin.png

Thank YOU 2Honest! Please just keep on doing what you do.

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We all know that if we really got into it with a Christian friend or family member, we could pretty easily tumble their house of cards. But we don't. We love them too much.

 

So am I a complete bitch because I actually enjoy pointing out the shortcomings of my former faith to those who are still in it? A large percentage of my FB friends are former church peers and some of their FB statuses deserve a reality check. Perhaps it's my evangelistic zeal still bubbling within me, but I really don't see how it's loving to let a grown adult continue to believe imaginary nonsense - especially if they are in the business of promoting the Christian faith and evangelizing others.

 

And still, we don't use our pain as motivation to try to de-convert those who abuse us.

 

I don't think it needs to be a vindictive thing. Sure there are a lot of arrogant Christians who have wounded me for years with their call for my repentance. I've spent years dealing with health problems from head to toe, all while suffering the aftereffects of physical and emotional child abuse, the loss of my fiance and the murder of my best friend, among other tragedies. All the while these Christians have thrown fire in my eye by trying to convince me that God was allowing suffering to get my attention (which he already had - I was a child convert!) or because he was trying to use it for some greater purpose. As far as I see it, taking their faith down a couple notches just might save someone else from being fed the god-loving bullshit that I was.

 

I would not compare a Christian's faith in God with a child's faith in Santa Claus. A child's faith doesn't cost us anymore than some misplaced gratitude for presents. If an adult's faith merely meant that they felt a sense of peace that the universe was ordered by a loving being who was taking care of them regardless of the ultimate end result, I would say "sure, why mess with that?". So they live with the hope of seeing uncle Bill again in their after-life? Harmless....

 

But much of what Christians do and say is NOT harmless. When they're out condemning my homosexual friends and fighting to prevent them from marrying, when they are voting for morons simply because the moron says "I love Jesus!", and when they look a dying person in the face and tell them that God wants them sick for his purposes and that they should be happy and praise God for their illness - that is not harmless, that is abusive.

 

So maybe I am a bubble-popping bitch. But the next time a friend posts a FB status like "God only allows us as much pain as he knows we can handle", damn right I'm going to speak up! Because as far as I see it, while I was asking questions and struggling silently with my own doubt, other atheists and agnostics were busy poking holes in what was left of my own bubble - and having now escaped the bubble, I am quite grateful to them for having spoken up. Our polite silence isn't necessarily a kind thing.

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You wrote EXACTLY how I feel...that is truly amazing......everything you said, about biting our tongues, lonely, being so much happier.....that applies to my situation with my family perfectly

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