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Goodbye Jesus

My Life Among The Swamp People


thetourist

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Hello!

 

I come here as an "intellectual type" twenty something who was raised in one of those super devout Christian homes where we had every version of the bible kicking around somewhere, several Bible studies meeting in our living room on various days of the week, and something like ten copies of the fucking Purpose Driven Life and all of its spin offs. My parents sent me to a non-denominational Christian school from grades 6 through 12. While I readily admit that this place could have been MUCH worse in terms of fundamentalism, it still fed my teenage self a fairly skewed perspective on the world around me. I was very active in the faith community around me; as a music student, I ended up being a worship leader in a church of around 2000 people. In other words, not only was I a Christian, but I was a high visibility one in my community.

 

Despite the fact that I was pretty sold on the idea of the Christian faith, I always had a multitude of doubts, both about specific theological beliefs and the whole damn thing in general. I openly admit that I'm not usually very cool with authority, but not in the sense that most teenagers are. Instead of just being like "fuck the man" and funneling some beer and doing stuff with girls, I rebelled on a deeply philosophical level, questioning everything I was fed (homophobia, global warming denial, political conservatism, Calvinism, Bush/Reagan worship, etc.). My beefs with this stuff were pretty legitimate. To my surprise, this sort of disagreement gets you in WAY more trouble with pastors, teachers and other Christian authority figures than sex drugs and rock and roll. I almost got kicked out of school for this stuff.

 

For some reason, I held on to the idea of Jesus Christ through all of this until my freshman year of college. I was in my first year of a degree in Philosophy (which I am just about to finish in my 5th year of college) and was, as I was instructed, asking tons of fundamental questions about the nature of the universe. My loss of faith wasn't some big dramatic thing (not that there's anything wrong for it being that way for somebody else), it was a process, and at some point, the ideas within Christianity started to seem so absurd that I just couldn't hold them to be true anymore.

 

Fortunately, the university I attended was secular, and I found myself very supported in this decision by the people around me. My family knows and while they are upset, they try not to hold it against me, which I think is because they think that I will return to the faith eventually. I have the kind of relationship with my parents where we can still get along despite our fundamental disagreements about life. Because I lived a few hours from where I grew up and didn't keep in contact with many people from when I was younger, I was able to essentially slip into post-Christian life smoothly. It took a while for the inevitable issues associated with loosing one's faith to catch up to me, but they did eventually. Currently, I find it difficult to find friends whom I can be close with. While some of my Christian friends still see me occasionally, it's tough for us to be close because I know they are judging me and fully believe I'm going to rot in hell when I die.

Recently, I have been encountering a new, unforeseen issue in my relationships. A girl I was dating up until a few moths ago had the opposite issue that my Christian friends had. She was among the vast number of people who has been hurt by the actions of Christians (understandably so), and despite the fact that I lost my faith four years ago at this point, she held the fact that I was at one point a Christian against me. This hurt me rather profoundly, as I feel like I can't help the way I was raised, but can only evaluate my life, leave behind the things I feel are wrong, and move forward in my quest for truth and understanding of the world around me.

 

Essentially, I stumbled across this forum in search of like minded people who can understand both why I was at one point a Christian, and why I decided to not to be. I look forward to getting to know you all and sharing our experiences, insights, and of course, some ridiculous bullshit, because seriously, who doesn't love ridiculous bullshit?

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Goodbye Jesus

Welcome to the site! It sounds like you are in a very good place as far as letting go of the delusion early in life and having a supportive family. I'm sorry that the girl you were dating was so wounded that she couldn't accept your past. Stick around. I think you will find like minded people and plenty of ridiculous bullshit to keep you entertained.

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Welcome to EX-C Tourist. Stick around and make some friends :)

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Welcome! Glad you found the forum. Good for you for questioning everything and being willing to walk away from your old belief system. You're lucky that you made the transition while your so young. I'm sure it's been painful at times, but you've been spared from a lot of heartache!

 

I'm sorry about your girlfriend. I agree that as Ex-C's it can be difficult sometimes to find people who we really connect with. But I'm sure you'll find a group of friends that you can be yourself with, just be open and give it some time. And hey, you've already got some instant friends right here. Hope you can stick around and kick it with us for awhile. :)

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Welcome bro!

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Welcome, and I love the title of your extimony!

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Welcome from another ex P&W leader, yeah it sucks, going from the most known musician in that clique to a nobody. I was older when this happened and I miss the music the playing mostly. To the almost detriment of my family, I was too involved with the music ministry and b/c I was so visible got sucked into leadership too.

 

Enjoy your stay, I like hearing stories from ex P&W folk. We kinda were forced to know the scrips the songs were based on. Oops!

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I had to re-read your comment a couple of times about your ex-girlfriend holding it against you that you were once a Christian to make sure I had read it right. That sure confuses the heck out of me. I would have thought she would have had the opposite reaction and congratulated you on being able to reason things out for yourself despite your indoctrination! That, in my way of thinking, should have been a big plus and not a minus. I just don't understand her rationality at all. Blaming you for falling victim to the way you were raised? Illogical and unfair. Sounds more like a made up excuse for breaking up with you than having any real validity. That is the cynic in me coming out. Sorry.

 

In any event, thanks for sharing and welcome!

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Welcome to Ex-C, thetourist!

 

I can relate to your story a lot. I was also a worship leader. I am a multi-instrumentalist and miss playing with other musicians. I miss being in the groove! (And I miss emotionally manipulating the congregation...but only in retrospect do I see that...)

 

I am saddened to hear about your GF rejecting you based on your former beliefs. I hope it never "comes out" with my friends in the gay/lesbian community that I used to lead worship for an Exodus type group. eek.gif I am certain this knowledge would destroy some relationships (I have several gay and lesbian friends) and that would devastate me. Right now I'm just so glad my (new) friends accept me as an atheist-with-a-past. I wish your GF would accept the new you, who has forsaken so much in pursuit of your new truth. Maybe if she holds your past against you, she irrationally will hold other things against you....

 

I hope you hang out with us! We have a pretty good bunch of folks here and always new folks too!

 

Welcome!

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Thanks for the warm welcome!

 

To answer the girlfriend question, she thought I was a dumbass for ever having believed any of it and couldn't get past it.

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Hi, TheTourist, and welcome to ExC.

 

Your post was interesting and I enjoyed reading it. You mentioned how asking deep questions about the religion got you into trouble more than might sex, drugs and rock and roll (you sound like a young person from the 60s :lol: ). I'm sure you know the reason. It's because you questioned the very foundation of their beliefs while those who just want to have fun are seen as people who, one day, will calm down and fall in line with the religion.

 

Glad you made it out.

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Hi and welcome! I can't imagine the bravery involved in breaking out of such pervasive indoctrination. I'm sorry to hear the ex couldn't handle your past, though I wonder if she's aware that there are tons more ex-Christians than lifelong non-believers in this country!

 

I hope you enjoy it here. And you're right: we do love us some resplendently ridiculous bullshit.

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Thanks for the warm welcome!

 

To answer the girlfriend question, she thought I was a dumbass for ever having believed any of it and couldn't get past it.

 

Welcome, Tourist! (Do we have to add the word "The" when writing your name? ha ha)

 

It will be good to hear some contributions on philosophical questions as you go along on here.

 

Just from what has been said, it sounds as though your girlfriend was the dumbass. Anyway, there are a lot of fish in the sea.

 

I can relate to feeling adrift from other people after your ideological friendships of Christianity drop off when you switch out of the ideology that provided the framework for them. I found that I made a good set of new friends at my first job, where I sort of put together my adult self with the Christian crutches kicked away. Things will fall into place with time and as you demonstrate interest in and concern for people around you.

 

Cheers!

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Thanks for the warm welcome!

 

To answer the girlfriend question, she thought I was a dumbass for ever having believed any of it and couldn't get past it.

 

 

I guess she hadn't heard that the majority of new atheists and freethinkers in the U.S. are former dumbass christians. (Very uneducated of her.) Oh well, her loss.

 

Glad to have you here. I have tremendous respect for people who are smart and brave enough to escape from religious BS.

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  • Super Moderator

Congratulations on escaping christinsanity! Welcome to ex-C.

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