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Goodbye Jesus

For Those Who Grew Up In Religion...


bleedblue22

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Ever think that your parents were willingly trying to decieve you into believing in God to behave? I remember one day as a little kid at church as I was being wisked away to Sunday school wondering what all the adults were doing while the kids were gone. I imagined them all sitting around waiting for us to leave and then breaking character and laughing at the absurdity of all the religious nonsense. They would then discuss how their kids had been behaving and come up with stories or get them from the bible to tell their kids to instill moral values.

 

In other words, I had this sneaking suspicion that god and church and all that was some sort of glorified version of Santa Claus except much more important to keep under wraps because it had far more moral instilling potential. I just struggled to understand why they would spend so much time and effort on the facade.

 

Growing up, I was waiting for that one day when my parents would finally open up that , yes, I was right. It's all made up, but that doesn't matter because the lessons of honesty, compassion, and love were real. However, that day never came and I became more confused as to why people would actually believe this.

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Goodbye Jesus

Ever think that your parents were willingly trying to decieve you into believing in God to behave? I remember one day as a little kid at church as I was being wisked away to Sunday school wondering what all the adults were doing while the kids were gone. I imagined them all sitting around waiting for us to leave and then breaking character and laughing at the absurdity of all the religious nonsense. They would then discuss how their kids had been behaving and come up with stories or get them from the bible to tell their kids to instill moral values.

In other words, I had this sneaking suspicion that god and church and all that was some sort of glorified version of Santa Claus except much more important to keep under wraps because it had far more moral instilling potential. I just struggled to understand why they would spend so much time and effort on the facade.

Growing up, I was waiting for that one day when my parents would finally open up that , yes, I was right. It's all made up, but that doesn't matter because the lessons of honesty, compassion, and love were real. However, that day never came and I became more confused as to why people would actually believe this.

Your thinking was right in a way. I just think that they dont realize they are fooling themself also.

 

I never really felt part of the group because i couldn't get past the fake actions people in the church displayed while there. There seems to be a "fake niceness" going around and after church things were back to how they were before church. I guess that always put me on guard.

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I think my parents and relatives honestly believed in what they taught us even though it has been more talk then living out "the truth". Of course the moral stories etc. come in handy but I don't think if you are right in your mind that you could pretend a believe system just to teach your children how to behave. And even though my parents are weird in many ways I don't think they are that mental to tell us things they don't believe in just to make us do what they want us to.

 

But who knows.

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I know everyone in my community believed things were exactly the way they were taught. They were dead serious about all of it. I was the opposite of you, bleedblue. I expected to find the evidence one day to prove all the stuff they were teaching and preaching. Without the evidence I was unable to truly believe. I accepted their teachings until in my forties but by then I realized it wasn't going to happen. When I was seventeen they said when we get older we will understand. I knew that forty was "older." And when it still made no more sense than it did when I was first told that Jesus had to die so we can get to heaven, i.e. that a dead body could somehow help human souls get to heaven, I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel.

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I don't mean to say I don't think my own parents believe. I just had this constant suspicion throughout my childhood and when I got involved in youth group when I hit my teens I gave up the hypothesis because it would've been way too elaborate. I'm wondering if this is a common suspicion for kids being raised in a religious household though

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Ah ok. Don't know. I guess I had many other things that troubled me so I never had that suspicion. To me it all seemed legit but I also believed in Santa way longer than the normal kids...

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That is an interesting suspicion that you had as a child.  I never had it, because I tend to be more gullible and accepting of what other people tell me.  I'm too easily lied to.  But you develop effective "hunches" that lead you out of lies.  Awesome.  I'm pretty sure that all our reasoning operates on hunches.  Reminds me of the Ricky Gervais video:  "My mum lied to me only about one thing":

 

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I don't mean to say I don't think my own parents believe. I just had this constant suspicion throughout my childhood and when I got involved in youth group when I hit my teens I gave up the hypothesis because it would've been way too elaborate. I'm wondering if this is a common suspicion for kids being raised in a religious household though

 

I felt the same way as you as a child, bleedblue22. I was raised in a conservative Christian family (the fundamentalist "Church of Christ") and felt that people just needed the myths / moral stories to make them behave better. By the time I was a teenager, I realized that no, a lot of these people are totally convinced that the Bible is literally true.

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Good to hear I'm not alone.

 

I agree that a lot of our thinking is based on hunches. We tend to think we arrived at our beliefs by purely rational inquiry and following the evidence, but at the core of a lot of our beliefs is simple gut feeling.

 

I think this could be cuz our subconscious works far quicker than our conscious thoughts. Most of our reasoning process is probing our subconscious to put into organized thought/words why we don't trust a certain conclusion or why we favor others

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Ah Martin, I missed your response earlier. I don't think we're quite as different as you might think. Once I was confident that the adults weren't making this all up in a vast conspiracy, I looked for some reason to actually believe. Prayer and the usual emotional stuff that makes people say they "feel gods presence" did nothing for me. Instead, I looked for rational reasons to believe.

 

I decided one day that because matter cannot a be created or destroyed, there must have been a God who brought it into existence in the first place, otherwise there would be nothing. Then I went to high school and started looking into philosophy and the mind/body problem. I became intrigued by NDEs and was convinced that humans had some sort of soul and Christianity was the only alternative to materialism in my mind. These reasons never made me honestly believe in Christianity, I just came up with them to rationalize the fact that I could be a Christian without ever experiencing God. But without any sort of experience of God, or what you think is god, it's impossible to believe it. I realized my reasons fell flat, and God had always been dead silent to me so I was left with nothing to hang faith on. Any God that you're supposed to have a personal relationship with yet is completely silent for 20 years clearly is suspicious.

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Ah Martin, I missed your response earlier. I don't think we're quite as different as you might think. Once I was confident that the adults weren't making this all up in a vast conspiracy, I looked for some reason to actually believe. Prayer and the usual emotional stuff that makes people say they "feel gods presence" did nothing for me. Instead, I looked for rational reasons to believe.

 

I decided one day that because matter cannot a be created or destroyed, there must have been a God who brought it into existence in the first place, otherwise there would be nothing. Then I went to high school and started looking into philosophy and the mind/body problem. I became intrigued by NDEs and was convinced that humans had some sort of soul and Christianity was the only alternative to materialism in my mind. These reasons never made me honestly believe in Christianity, I just came up with them to rationalize the fact that I could be a Christian without ever experiencing God. But without any sort of experience of God, or what you think is god, it's impossible to believe it. I realized my reasons fell flat, and God had always been dead silent to me so I was left with nothing to hang faith on. Any God that you're supposed to have a personal relationship with yet is completely silent for 20 years clearly is suspicious.

 

 

Oh, NDE's are intriguing! But even if we had some type of continued existence after death (I still think that is doubtful, but I'm open to the possibility, if we could ever get really good evidence, somehow.), that would not necessarily validate any one religion and its dogma. Fascinating stuff, though...

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My adoptive parents and their church community believe literally in the Bible.  So no, they were not faking it.  However, they would take advantage of it.  They would hand us children all manner of rules: big rules, small rules, ridiculous rules, to live by, which they exempted themselves from.  For example, a-mum did not allow me to date boys because it would lead to "immorality and sexual sins."  I could not go on one innocent date with a boy to go out to eat or anything.  But a-mum herself dated boys when she was younger and went to prom and all of that.  I could not "disobey" my adoptive parents but they could beat the shit out of me for anything.  The belief was real, and so was the hypocrisy.   They used the easy, iron grip of Biblical rules and threats, rather than the hard path of teaching, explaining, and guiding the children.  I'm grown now and the result is that I never developed a relationship or respect for my adoptive parents.  They are just living, breathing, walking Bibles to me.  Empty inside!  "We are the hollow men, we are the stuffed men." 

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After I found out about Santa Claus, my faith in religion dropped considerably. I had a very strong suspicion that religion was all made up to get people to behave. I thought that many church members knew this and just went along with it anyway to either control the rest of us, or just so they could fit in with the group and be part of the community. This belief lasted for several years until someone tried to convince me that Satan was causing my irrational conspiratorial thinking. I agreed there was a possibility of that being the case and I dropped it.

 

 

I do remember some adults using made up stories about demons and Satan to get me to do minor chores and tasks and just behave in general. My parents didn't do this, but other adults in the church did.

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I think it's impossible to be taken in by that satan is decieving you nonsense after being exposed to how other religions have built in mechanisms to make you feel bad for doubting. Doubting Muslims will hear that their doubts are the whispers of shaytan which is the Arabic word for satan. So if you're a Muslim considering Christianity you'll be told satan is getting to you and vice versa for a Christian considering Islam.

 

Ultimately they cancel eachother out and it's exposed for what it is: a way to discourage dissent through fear. Religions tend to have perfected this art

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In some ways, yes. Fear is a great way to control kids, and Christianity has the market cornered on that concept. lol

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I never had any suspicions as a child. My entire family was so devoted to xtianity that I became that way too. We were a whole bunch of utterly deluded people, till I had the chance to move a way to college and use my brain by myself. Lucky you for being such a clever child and seeing through it all. I feel like I had thick mud slopped on my eyes from birth, and my whole family has always had their heads shoved in the ground. They truly believe in all of xtianity. Christianity really obstructed thinking for me and my family :/

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I was a naive kid (and adult for that matter).

 

Okay, perhaps not naive, but way too trusting. I could not fathom the possibility that adults didn't know everything. I just assumed that adults knew what they were talking about and that they would never lie about any of the things that were taught in church (or about life for that matter).

 

Boom, suddenly I'm 32 years old and my world implodes when I realize that not a single one of those fuckers knew any more about life than I did.

 

All those morons and their lies turned me into a bloody misanthrope.

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I identify with you GraphicsGuy.

 

Finding out that confident people are usually wrong was a huge shocker for me. All the confident church people had me suckered. I thought they had some divine wisdom that god had revealed throughout their lives.

 

I used to strongly believe that people didn't lie. What purpose is there in lying about god? The 10 Commandments forbids it. But people will lie just for the heck of it. Even when there is no reason to be lying.

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Lucy: "Finding out that confident people are usually wrong was a huge shocker to me".

 

Yep. Also, over the last 3 years or so that have 100% fully deconverted I find myself speaking with a greater degree of confidence, and with zero anxiety. And...WOW... I can not believe how much more my Xian friends and aquaintances seem to like me, respect me, and want to carry extended conversations with me. I was not expecting to have a higher level of respect after I deconverted... I was quite concerned that the opposite would happen. Now, I have not "published" the new me, so this is all on a false foundation. But, still, it is clears that confident and self assured is valued in my Xian community, while meek and self sacrificing is not... pretty much the opposite of what Christians are told to be in Mathew 5 and 6.

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