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It All Just Got Goofy


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Hello, I've spent some time on this site reading many topics in different forums and decided it was time to become a member and speak up also.  After reading different ex-c's testimonies I am heartbroken over what some of you have endured in your lives because of xianity.  I have had it easy, and as I try to compose my thoughts to write this I am more and more grateful to my parents who were truly nice people, sane, and raised us with much common sense and a sense of humor.  My mom died 30 years ago and my dad died four years ago, and my last grandparent died when I was 10 years old, so I have to rely on memories, which may or may not be accurate, but like my dad would say, "are close enough."

 

My parents, as far as I understood, were agnostics.  My dad's father died before I was born, but had been exiled from Russia in the 1920's and became a shyster lawyer in the U.S., an ambulance chaser who wrote fake Wills and caused much trouble in the family until he abandoned them.  My dad's mother I believe was catholic but also went to fortunetellers, and the only thing religious I ever heard of her saying was, "Only rich people can sin; the poor can't afford it."  She was very poor and had a rough life all around.  I understood what she meant, I know logically of course poor people do wrong, but the rich, back then same as today, can get away with it.  I never knew my grandmother because she was senile my whole life, but the few stories I knew of her made me wish I had known her; she was a spitfire!

 

My mom's parents left the Old Country in the late 1920's and one time my mom told me, "They left because the catholic church wanted everything.  They were from a very poor town and the church kept taking more and more from the people.  So when they came, first to Canada then eventually to the U.S., my father vowed to never set foot in a church again.  But they lived in a house across the street from a roman catholic church and he befriended the priest.  He'd invite the priest over for drinks all the time and tell the priest, 'Sneak me in the back door when I die.'"  They never did step foot in a church again, well, except for weddings I'm sure.

 

My parents took us to a Methodist church.  We went on Sundays and for pot-luck dinners.  My mom would sit through the sermons and my dad always volunteered in the nursery with the babies and I joined him; my sister quit coming to church when she was about 15 and got no grief about it as she stayed home, slept in, and did our laundry, which was nice.  I was told years later, when I was a teenager, that the only reason they went to church was because our neighbor asked them when they moved in, and my sister was in kindergarten at the time and loved going to the church kindergarten where she apparently spent her time crawling under tables and getting very very dusty and dirty.  Since my sister enjoyed that, we stayed at the church.  I now remember one of the fun things we would do after eating at the pot-luck dinners was my sister and I and a couple of her friends would have crawling races under the pews of the darkened sanctuary while the adults were still downstairs.

 

Life went on and when I became a young teenager I went through some hard times at school (public school, we never had to deal with xian school or anything like that through the week) and at one point I became born again.  I took it really seriously, but kept it to myself because in my family you really didn't talk about it.  Not like we were weird about not talking about it, just that it wasn't something that came up; it was very normal to me.  Being born again and having my invisible sky-friend to talk to was very helpful for a couple years.  I guess talking out my problems to God (to myself) made me come up with ideas to solve the problems and be brave enough to try them, so they worked and things improved in school, and I relatively enjoyed high school.

 

I remember, from a very young age, having questions that I didn't ask but tried to make sense of on my own.  I'll try to think of some examples from my youngest days.  I remembering thinking it was strange that Adam and Eve were embarrassed at being naked after eating the fruit.  I didn't know why because it was only the two of them and god.  My parents didn't run around naked or anything, but I was well aware that when they were together in the bedroom getting dressed, they were usually laughing and talking, not acting embarrassed ever.  My dad had a prism when we were very young and showed us how it split the light and explained it, and explained that's how rainbows worked -- the sun shining through the misty air after rain was the same as a prism which separated the colors.  I didn't understand how there could have been NO rainbows before Noah when it was just a fact that rainbows worked because of a prism effect; it's not magic.  I always loved bugs and read that there were over a million species of beetles, and I couldn't understand how Noah could have gathered pairs of over a million beetles, let alone the myriad of other animals, and made anything big enough to house them all, AND carry enough food and clean water for the length of time they were on the ark (longer than forty days -- it RAINED for 40 days, then they drifted around another hundred).  That was the beginning of me attempting to wrap my mind around crazy ideas.  I figured the old testament was full of myths, not true stories, trying to explain where people had come from.

 

When I was 18 my mom died from breast cancer and it was all horrible, but one thing that freaked me out was that I did NOT want her communicating with me, or giving me any sign, from the Other Side.  I don't know why, but that idea freaked me out.  Like I said, I was 18, so 'nuff said.  But from the day she died, I quit praying because I didn't want to encourage her to give me a sign.

 

Years passed, I went to college, got married, had a couple kids.  My ex-husband (who, by the way, was always atheist but went along because he was a nice guy but a rotten husband) and I joined a church, went on Sundays, and I taught 4-year old Sunday school there for ten years.  Teaching and having to read the bible is what made me go, "WHAT?" to a lot of the stories.  They sure do pick out the nice part for the kids (or the congregation) and leave out the goofy/evil/nonsensical stuff.  I started realizing it was all just TOO goofy.  My mind could only do so many mental gymnastics to make xianity actually make sense.  I completely quit believing somewhere in there, I didn't mind going to church in general, it wasn't at all fundy and it was fairly liberal, except the sermons would sometimes make me try to make sense of nonsense until I finally gave up and would mentally roll my eyes. 

 

What finally got to me was that if one was going to take xianity seriously, then they should be SERIOUS about it and study it and follow it and live it.  But there are too many contradictions, way too-vague rules to be able to do that.  "Thou shalt not kill" -- straightforward, right?  NO!  What about self-defense?  What about soldiers?  Police officers?  A horrible accident where it is considered manslaughter?  What about animals -- did god want us to be vegetarians?  Hindus don't eat meat and walk barefoot so they don't even kills ants -- now THAT is not killing.  Is that what god wants from us?  I couldn't figure it out from the bible.  "The only way to salvation is accepting Jesus" -- straightforward, right?  NO!  What about severely mentally handicapped or mentally ill people who simply cannot understand an abstract concept?  A baby who dies?  Someone who has lived a life of such abuse and torture from the time they are born that their very brains are altered, and who would blame them for never accepting a loving sky-daddy when their own father abused and tortured them?  And what about stories about demons in the new testament?  They are so irrelevant now that we know that it was mental illness or seizure disorders, NOT demons, making people do things.

 

I obviously took everything too seriously and wracked my brain with trying to answer unanswerable questions for years.  Years.  It never occurred to me to ask anybody like a pastor, since remember growing up we never talked about this stuff, which I'm glad I did, as I didn't have to try understand a pastor's answers about faith and mysteries, and pepper him with more questions til he told me to go away.  

 

I should have been like my parents.  They joined an adult study group at their church at one point and my parents came home laughing the first night.  My mom told us, "The group decided we needed a name, so one woman said we should be called the 'Contemporary Adults' because even though we're mainly in our 40's and 50's we're not 'old' and are trying to keep up with new ideas."  Both parents start laughing and snorting at this point, thinking about the actual individuals in this group.  My mom finished, "On the way home I said they should call themselves the 'Constipated Adults'!"  Laughing even more joyously, my dad chimed in, "How about the 'Contemptible Adults'!"

 

Oh no, not me.  I couldn't just join a group, laugh at them at home, then continue to go every week to enjoy the show and come home with new fodder.  Nope.  I had to actually ponder what people said.  Like the week the leader in my group said, "People relate to god the father as they do to their own father.  If their father was full of rules, then they see god as more like the old testament god, and if their father was more loving, they see god as more like the new testament god."  I thought that made perfect sense, since I could easily see that in my life and a few others I have spoken to.  I knew that god loved me no matter what I did, just like my own dad.  My own dad was the nicest guy, always willing to help, a very big man but very gentle, super nice to all kids, and patient with us.  To get my dad to yell at us took major work and effort on our part; we'd have to spend the better part of an evening fighting and bickering with each other, very purposefully and blatently not doing anything we were asked, and it was generally too much work to bother because he could smile through almost anything.  We had really good parents and we were generally very good kids. So of course I saw god as just smiling down on me and loving on me no matter what I did or didn't do.  But that doesn't make sense with the actual bible and wrath and vengeance mixed with dysfunctional love -- the bible says nothing about god being like our particular father and different to different people.

 

Then not long ago my current husband (who is pretty much xian-lite and spent years not going to church, believes in something but isn't too concerned about details) and I went to a non-denominational church to try it out.  The week that the pastor went on and on about abortion, at one point saying, "If you believe in abortion, then you are not a xian," I got up and walked out and haven't gone back (I went alone that week as my husband was working).  The pastor just declared me to be not a xian, so I was done.  Now I am not starting an abortion debate; the pastor included any and all abortions during this ultra-long sermon, and I have major trouble with major medical issues.  Like what if I were pregnant and during an ultrasound they found that my baby's brain was developing outside it's body?  An abortion is the only humane thing to do at that point, in my opinion (others have their own opinion).  For the pastor to make such a sweeping statement, with no interest in debating or discussing actual issues, then I feel he is an unreasonable person who is unwilling to debate or discuss.

 

Besides, he said I was not a xian, so there you go, I'm not.

 

I'm done trying to wrap my brain around utter nonsense and goofy stories.  I walk away smiling and (finally, my dear parents, finally!) laughing and I call bullshit.

 

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You might ask yourself what are the reasons you remained involved in your particular religion(s) over all those years, e.g., peer pressure?  socialization desire?  nothing else to do?  fear of death?, etc.  Next, you might ask yourself whether you should remain involved (at whatever level) or not.

 

At least you were not indoctrinated into a particular religion as a child.  That is a rather difficult influence to overcome.

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Well, as a kid it was mainly fun going to pot-luck dinners and crawling under church pews with no parental supervision.

 

The first time I was married, my atheist husband wanted to hear a particular minister whom he had heard before, and liked his views on things.  He was an excellent speaker and was reasonable, and there was definitely a social aspect of being in a church with other young couples with little kids.  I never minded teaching sunday school, as I love little kids and they're so fun (usually!), and although we followed a curriculum we were very free to spend a large amount of time on fun glitter craft projects and snack time.  I don't think I tortured kids with horrible brainwashing.  It also got me out of having to go to adult sunday school!  Being with the kids was way more fun!  

 

After getting divorced I pretty much worked every weekend, and now I still do, working usually seven days a week and definitely all weekend.  I wouldn't go back to church.  I didn't mind checking out that last one with my new husband (he's only gone back once since I walked out a good six months ago, at least).  It was interesting seeing the changes -- the stodgy Methodist church, the even stodgier Presby church!!!!, then the non-denominational church with the rock music and lights and professional video presentations!  I wouldn't have been able to understand it if I hadn't seen it in person.  Honestly, like I said, if one is going to be a xian then one should take it seriously, and the rock show and video presentations come across as entertainment to me.  As a teenager, I went with friends to a pentacostal place a few times and I was freaked out by the speaking in tongues stuff.  Again, it was interesting to see on a social anthropology level.  It's hard to believe people do that stuff until you see it.  

 

My parents were so laid back about everything, and willing to check out new things, that it doesn't bother me to check out new things.  I don't have to buy into any of it, just check it out and see what I think.

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amateur: Welcome. I already like you because I can relate to what you've said easily.I also could not

quit thinking while in church or discussing religion. How can anyone be a good Xtian and think at the

same time? Something's got to give. I think virtually everyone involved in a Xtian church either feels

too comfortable to question the doctrine seriously, takes their religion too seriously or bows out one

way or another. Most don't go so far as to declare themselves atheist or agnostic, but just stop being

engaged in the sermons or doctrine intellectually (let their minds go blank in church). Or they just

stop going except on Christmas and Easter, maybe. But it takes real courage to challenge the Faith

directly and that's what most of us here have done. And that's what you have done. Xtians don't

understand that it takes courage because they are intellectually dishonest.

 

Beginning steps of Xtians withdrawing from the faith can be by searching church after church for just

the right church without ever finding it. The Xtians are few indeed who actually study the bible in

whole as it is written for their own edification. Ok I'll stop rambling. Again, welcome to exchristian. bill

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Welcome, amateur!

 

I can relate to a lot of what you've said.  It was reading children's Bible stories that finally allowed that "still, small voice" of reason to whisper to me that none of the magic-y stuff in the Bible could possibly be true.  And all of those vague rules, right??  You would think that an omnipotent, omnicient God - one who knows humans better than they know themselves - would be able to communicate more clearly to us.  And if the message was getting misconstrued through the years somehow, that he'd figure out how to step in and clear things up.  So, if God exists, either he can't do better, or he doesn't want to.  An impotent God seems pathetic and mean -  he expects us to be perfect, yet he is not perfect himself.  An uninterested God is just cruel and heartless.

 

A nonexistent God makes a lot more sense to me.  Suddenly, all of the mental gymnastics are at an end.

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Then not long ago my current husband (who is pretty much xian-lite and spent years not going to church, believes in something but isn't too concerned about details) and I went to a non-denominational church to try it out.  The week that the pastor went on and on about abortion, at one point saying, "If you believe in abortion, then you are not a xian," I got up and walked out and haven't gone back (I went alone that week as my husband was working).  The pastor just declared me to be not a xian, so I was done.  Now I am not starting an abortion debate; the pastor included any and all abortions during this ultra-long sermon, and I have major trouble with major medical issues.  Like what if I were pregnant and during an ultrasound they found that my baby's brain was developing outside it's body?  An abortion is the only humane thing to do at that point, in my opinion (others have their own opinion).  For the pastor to make such a sweeping statement, with no interest in debating or discussing actual issues, then I feel he is an unreasonable person who is unwilling to debate or discuss.

 

Besides, he said I was not a xian, so there you go, I'm not.

 

I'm done trying to wrap my brain around utter nonsense and goofy stories.  I walk away smiling and (finally, my dear parents, finally!) laughing and I call bullshit.

Just a note about the pastor who said this.

Abortion is perfectly acceptable to "God" if a woman has been impregnated by a man who is not her husband.

A husband can demand a trial by ordeal if he suspects his wife has been unfaithful and if she is pregnant with a child from another man the fetus is aborted as a result.

There are no stipulations about how many weeks pregnant she might be.

This is according to the law of jealousy, as defined in Num 5:11-31. 

The reason I mention this is because very few Christians are even aware of it.

This is a part of God's moral law, it's not merely a custom.

This pastor was playing mind games with you.

He's fundamentally dishonest.

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Then not long ago my current husband (who is pretty much xian-lite and spent years not going to church, believes in something but isn't too concerned about details) and I went to a non-denominational church to try it out.  The week that the pastor went on and on about abortion, at one point saying, "If you believe in abortion, then you are not a xian," I got up and walked out and haven't gone back (I went alone that week as my husband was working).  The pastor just declared me to be not a xian, so I was done.  Now I am not starting an abortion debate; the pastor included any and all abortions during this ultra-long sermon, and I have major trouble with major medical issues.  Like what if I were pregnant and during an ultrasound they found that my baby's brain was developing outside it's body?  An abortion is the only humane thing to do at that point, in my opinion (others have their own opinion).  For the pastor to make such a sweeping statement, with no interest in debating or discussing actual issues, then I feel he is an unreasonable person who is unwilling to debate or discuss.

 

Besides, he said I was not a xian, so there you go, I'm not.

 

I'm done trying to wrap my brain around utter nonsense and goofy stories.  I walk away smiling and (finally, my dear parents, finally!) laughing and I call bullshit.

Just a note about the pastor who said this.

Abortion is perfectly acceptable to "God" if a woman has been impregnated by a man who is not her husband.

A husband can demand a trial by ordeal if he suspects his wife has been unfaithful and if she is pregnant with a child from another man the fetus is aborted as a result.

There are no stipulations about how many weeks pregnant she might be.

This is according to the law of jealousy, as defined in Num 5:11-31. 

The reason I mention this is because very few Christians are even aware of it.

This is a part of God's moral law, it's not merely a custom.

This pastor was playing mind games with you.

He's fundamentally dishonest.

 

 

You will never convince a modern christian of this regardless of what the book says. It will turn into a cherry picking session until you have enough for 10 pies 3 breads and a gallon of jam.

 

Most modern christians I know ignore anything they want in the old test. while taking what they like and mostly buying into the further ridiculousness of the new test.

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Just a note about the pastor who said this.

Abortion is perfectly acceptable to "God" if a woman has been impregnated by a man who is not her husband.

A husband can demand a trial by ordeal if he suspects his wife has been unfaithful and if she is pregnant with a child from another man the fetus is aborted as a result.

There are no stipulations about how many weeks pregnant she might be.

This is according to the law of jealousy, as defined in Num 5:11-31. 

The reason I mention this is because very few Christians are even aware of it.

This is a part of God's moral law, it's not merely a custom.

This pastor was playing mind games with you.

He's fundamentally dishonest.

 

You will never convince a modern christian of this regardless of what the book says. It will turn into a cherry picking session until you have enough for 10 pies 3 breads and a gallon of jam.

 

Most modern christians I know ignore anything they want in the old test. while taking what they like and mostly buying into the further ridiculousness of the new test.

 

I fully agree that a believer will create any form of the Bible that suits their needs.

But exposing them as doing exactly that can help break the death grip that this religion has on so many minds.

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Thank you everybody for welcoming me!  

 

To william7davis and new2me:  yeah, I find it hard to understand how anybody can stay a xian if they actually think about what they hear, or especially read.  Like I said, as a young teenager I went through a very hard time and became "born again," and really, seriously tried to understand what was expected of me, and to understand the bible.  Like a lot of people on this site, I did not get any answer from god, and always knew I was making my own choices which did help me, and the bible stories are just too weird and rambling and end up with god smiting people because he got mad (this was helpful to me at 13 how?).  Then I tried just going with the flow, and not trying to understand anything beyond "god loves us and wants what's best for us," but again, I just felt like I was making my own decisions while purposefully ignoring glaringly inconsistent bible teachings.  Which I was.  I mean, what young teenager or teenager ANYWHERE doesn't go through a very hard time at some point?  I happened to be a young teenager that was basically a really good kid with really good parents, so I made really good decisions.  What's funny is a few years after my teen years, I actually wondered if my mom hadn't pulled some kind of reverse psychology on me -- I knew better than to tell my parents I was "born again" because my parents were basically agnostic and didn't trust the church (re: my mom's story of her parents leaving the Old Country), but she knew I was taking it more seriously and she actually warned me against that!  So of course it made me sneak to my bedroom and read the bible more!  So that was my "teenage rebellion"  -- reading the bible instead of doing drugs or being bad with the boys!  Since my mom had died by that point, I never got to ask her if she was truly against the church and getting more involved, or if it was reverse psychology.  Whatever it was, looking back it was very effective as I was a good kid.  (On a further note, a couple years after the born again experience, and still trying to take xianity seriously, I got into punk rock -- this was 1979 and the Sex Pistols had quickly come and gone but made a huge impression on me along with lots of other bands.  I saw no problem having both xianity and angry punk in my life together, as I was trying to work on my "loving and forgiving" side with xianity, and the punk let me let loose with lots of screaming anger and teenage angst.  Both were useful during those early teen years.  The xianity has come and gone, but I do still enjoy good, old school punk.)  

 

After getting divorced at 40, I finally caught up with "being bad with the boys!"  I would say that waiting til 40 when I was single, had a job and car, could stay out all night without permission, or stay up all night and crawl to work the next morning smiling, was probably more fun than trying to do it as a teenager.

 

To centauri:  I didn't know about Num 5:11-31.  I guess I could've yelled "NUMBERS 5:11-31" as I walked out the aisle of the church that evening!  I've had my own opinion about abortion for decades, and don't need any preacher, especially an older male one, telling me what I (or young women) can or can't do with their bodies.  He just kept going on and on and ON about how abortion is always, always, ALWAYS wrong, so when he got to the "if you're for abortion then you're not a xian" I just lost patience and left.  I'm always willing to listen to a reasonable discussion, but he lost reasonable after the first half hour of repetition.  "Constipated Adults" indeed!!!

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Abortion issue aside, I find it "amusing" that a pastor thinks he can decide "if you believe in x or y than you are not a Christian"....the thing that gets me is that they are then thinking for you. Nobody should let anyone do that. Welcome to the world of thinking for yourself.

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Just a note about the pastor who said this.

Abortion is perfectly acceptable to "God" if a woman has been impregnated by a man who is not her husband.

A husband can demand a trial by ordeal if he suspects his wife has been unfaithful and if she is pregnant with a child from another man the fetus is aborted as a result.

There are no stipulations about how many weeks pregnant she might be.

This is according to the law of jealousy, as defined in Num 5:11-31. 

The reason I mention this is because very few Christians are even aware of it.

This is a part of God's moral law, it's not merely a custom.

This pastor was playing mind games with you.

He's fundamentally dishonest.

 

You will never convince a modern christian of this regardless of what the book says. It will turn into a cherry picking session until you have enough for 10 pies 3 breads and a gallon of jam.

 

Most modern christians I know ignore anything they want in the old test. while taking what they like and mostly buying into the further ridiculousness of the new test.

 

I fully agree that a believer will create any form of the Bible that suits their needs.

But exposing them as doing exactly that can help break the death grip that this religion has on so many minds.

 

 

One can only hope but then don't forget about the vulnerable minds in the third world that do not all have the education or position in life in those areas to resist this very easily. They are the ones that truly need outside help to be given the freedom to choose all on their own without tyranical and obtuse sociatale constructs getting in the way.

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To Gingernut:  Yes.  Not only was that pastor thinking and deciding for the congregation, but using guilt to do so.  Thta's wrong on every level.  But for the children and young teens in the congregation, especially the sensitive ones and ones that want to please the adults in their lives, that's (like gall said above) tyranical.  

 

The same pastor, in another sermon (or maybe the same, since it was about abortion again -- surely he didn't go on and on about abortion at every sermon, did he?  I didn't go to that many services, no more than half a dozen, if that) kept saying that with the upcoming presidential election (last one, obviously, 2012) that we should vote only on the pro-life position.  Of course, pastors aren't allowed to publically endorse a specific candidate, as it will screw up their tax-exempt status, and I listened really carefully for him to slip up and say "Vote Romney" or "Republican" but he didn't.  He just kept repeating that the only important issue was abortion.  Really?  In 2012?  The economy?  Jobs?  Interest rates?  The never-ending war?  Any of those ring a bell?  

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To Gingernut:  Yes.  Not only was that pastor thinking and deciding for the congregation, but using guilt to do so.  Thta's wrong on every level.  But for the children and young teens in the congregation, especially the sensitive ones and ones that want to please the adults in their lives, that's (like gall said above) tyranical.  

 

The same pastor, in another sermon (or maybe the same, since it was about abortion again -- surely he didn't go on and on about abortion at every sermon, did he?  I didn't go to that many services, no more than half a dozen, if that) kept saying that with the upcoming presidential election (last one, obviously, 2012) that we should vote only on the pro-life position.  Of course, pastors aren't allowed to publically endorse a specific candidate, as it will screw up their tax-exempt status, and I listened really carefully for him to slip up and say "Vote Romney" or "Republican" but he didn't.  He just kept repeating that the only important issue was abortion.  Really?  In 2012?  The economy?  Jobs?  Interest rates?  The never-ending war?  Any of those ring a bell?  

 

The only important issue is abortion...so if you need to elect hitler to do so...shit I can't even type this without laughing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey amateur,

 

I decided to come and read your testimony after reading your Did God Ever Speak To You? thread.  Am I glad I did!  You have one hell of an interesting story and I like your perspective and intelligence.  Yet, you have the heart of a child.  I never would have thought you were 49 years old (my age).  Lots of wisdom in you.  Thanks a lot for sharing and welcome to the site (sorry I'm three weeks late).  GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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Hi Denyoz!  Thanks for the compliments!  And ain't it grand getting to turn into an Antique next year when we're 50??!!??  You have any plans for that monumental occasion?  I'm 16 months older than my husband, so we're splitting it down the middle and taking a 2-week trip to Oregon next year, tripping up and down the Pacific coast, staying at four beautiful oceanside resorts with decks overlooking the ocean, where we're planning on sipping champagne and looking for whales.

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Hi Denyoz!  Thanks for the compliments!  And ain't it grand getting to turn into an Antique next year when we're 50??!!??  You have any plans for that monumental occasion?  I'm 16 months older than my husband, so we're splitting it down the middle and taking a 2-week trip to Oregon next year, tripping up and down the Pacific coast, staying at four beautiful oceanside resorts with decks overlooking the ocean, where we're planning on sipping champagne and looking for whales.

 

Sounds like a great trip.  I actually turned 50 five months ago, so I'm already an Antique LOL.  And I'm 16 years older than my wife!

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OH WOW!  I AM WRITING THIS ALL IN CAPS SO YOU CAN HEAR ME!!!  I FEEL MUCH YOUNGER NOW!!

 

yelrotflmao.gif

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