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Weezer

Par for the course??

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It seems to me that the elephant in the living room is the fact that new contributions have slowed to a trickle when compared to even a year or two ago, and going back 5 or 6 years the new contributions were flowing like a river. Possibly those types of needs are just less as atheism begins to find a place in particularly the US culture. Whatever it means I just can't help but notice how the spaces between new posts by new posters have grown longer and longer. Also there do seem to be quite a number of first time posters who post something that appears to be wanting a response or suggestions but then the OP never engages beyond that single original post. Is that low level of engagement what these posters are looking for? There are still folks out there struggling with ExC type issues or related issues who find the type of deeper engagement they are seeking right here on this site but it seems that they are becoming fewer with time. I do think this site has already made a significant contribution to the online knowledge base that ExChristians need when dealing with the life changes caused by their new world view. Maybe that in itself has filled a significant need that was previously unmet especially when that knowledge is combined with the assurance (derived from lurking) that there is a place to turn to for personal support should they need it. 

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Just a few minutes ago I looked at the numbers of people on the forum.  There were 4 members, and 24 guests.  Several times I have checked those figures and got similar results.  So there are lots of people visiting, but very few participating. Hopefully they will find rational, respectful conversation going on.

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This topic has come up 2 or 3 times since I've been reading/posting for 4 + years (first time around with different but similar screen name). The response has been "This happens each Summer as folks are distracted but they always return in the Fall."

 

The numbers are, however, dwindling each year.

  • Are people more comfortable with expressing their disbelief?
  • Are there other methods, online or otherwise, for seeking emotional support when "coming out" ?
  • Is coming out as a former Xtian more readily excepted?
  • Is the current administration motivating people to stay in the fold?
  • Are current events motivating people to stay in the fold? (It's icky out there!)

At Mrs. MOHO's church attendance hemorrhaged from 2008 ~ 2012 when they eliminated one of their two Sunday services. Since then it seems to have settled. ( I have not set foot inside that place in about a year and half so...maybe the sheeple are even fewer in numbers).

 

Interesting topic, though, and I am very interested in the answer(s).

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Definitely a feeling of heard it all before.  Every apologist, Christian article or AiG newsletter is just the same old rehashed lines over and over.  Very hard to get motivated to watch the talk back shows or another debate when you can already guess what will be said and all of the obvious issues with those statements before they are uttered.

 

I remember as a kid going to the public library and looking in the religious section.  Dozens of books from every religion but finding a single one that gave an opposing view was like finding a needle in a haystack.  Now it is quite the opposite with tons of atheist books, websites, videos and speakers.  Just look at the advertising for the books that pops up on this forum, tons of interesting titles of deconversion and anti-Christian literature.  I feel like being born now the information and counter-apologetics are so easily found and well stated that I would have been declaring myself an atheist much faster.  It is no longer a case of being the black sheep, but instead you can know you are part of a huge group that share your disbelief.

 

I guess its just a case of what's left to say?

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56 minutes ago, Wertbag said:

  I feel like being born now the information and counter-apologetics are so easily found and well stated that I would have been declaring myself an atheist much faster. 

 

👍  Ditto. 

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11 hours ago, Weezer said:

Just a few minutes ago I looked at the numbers of people on the forum.  There were 4 members, and 24 guests.  Several times I have checked those figures and got similar results.  So there are lots of people visiting, but very few participating. Hopefully they will find rational, respectful conversation going on.

Anonymous lurkers are likely visiting here in larger numbers than most of us would expect. I think that's a good thing. It also takes a lot of guts to post extimonies publicly and become a member. I remember when I signed up I was anxious to avoid posting anything that might have even the slightest amount of detail identifying me. Now I laugh it off, I've come out as agnostic to the people that matter, and I could care less what Christians I know think of my perspective. I do think people need this site less as they transition into non belief. For me, I stick around because I'm not tired of the debates yet and I don't have an established support network after leaving my ex church, so this place and our chat room helps fill the gap a bit. 

 

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On 9/7/2019 at 2:14 PM, Weezer said:

LOL, are we (at least I) becoming those old codgers we used to joke about?  Things are changing too fast.  Just as i get used to doing something, they up and change it.

 

What was wrong with usenet, dag-nabbit!? I remember being really annoyed when my ISP dropped everything "alt." because, ostensibly, alt. was somehow illegitimate and there was lots of illegal file sharing going on. I was big into alt.autos.corvette at the time. I could get to it on Yahoo! through a web browser, but I really preferred using Outlook Express.

 

It surprises me that people text when they could Skype or Facetime! I do actually text quite a bit, but I do it when the alternative is no contact at all. I text about things I wouldn't bother to call about. Texting has really replaced email in that way. I text a few high-school friends (from the 1970s) whom I had basically lost touch with before Internet email came around. I text my kids, too, when I see something that I think they'd think is interesting or funny. Sometimes a link or photo is involved, or sometimes just a comment, but it's stuff I wouldn't bother to call about.

 

I post to Instagram sparingly, and follow it mostly to see pics of my grandkids. I follow some other folks, too, whom I've never met but who are interested in the same things I am. I started that before I had grandkids, and then went private (but didn't kick people off of my feed) afterward.

 

Facebook -- I got into it when non-college-students were first allowed. Now I'm on it only to keep up with my 2nd and 3rd cousins (I don't have 1st cousins) and moreso because they're interested in how my mother is doing. Once she's gone, I'll probably delete the account. (Hope that didn't come out as callous -- she's on hospice but doing much better than a few months ago, and I know that some of these cousins are interested.)

 

Texting each other in the car does seem rude, though. Like you said, it's like whispering.

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On 9/10/2019 at 11:40 AM, DanForsman said:

It seems to me that the elephant in the living room is the fact that new contributions have slowed to a trickle when compared to even a year or two ago, and going back 5 or 6 years the new contributions were flowing like a river. Possibly those types of needs are just less as atheism begins to find a place in particularly the US culture. Whatever it means I just can't help but notice how the spaces between new posts by new posters have grown longer and longer. Also there do seem to be quite a number of first time posters who post something that appears to be wanting a response or suggestions but then the OP never engages beyond that single original post. Is that low level of engagement what these posters are looking for? There are still folks out there struggling with ExC type issues or related issues who find the type of deeper engagement they are seeking right here on this site but it seems that they are becoming fewer with time. I do think this site has already made a significant contribution to the online knowledge base that ExChristians need when dealing with the life changes caused by their new world view. Maybe that in itself has filled a significant need that was previously unmet especially when that knowledge is combined with the assurance (derived from lurking) that there is a place to turn to for personal support should they need it. 

 

I personally have a lot less to say than when I first joined! In fact, I was off of the site for several years. But as things in my life get more "normal" I have less of a feeling of need for camaraderie. I actually got back on 3 years ago when a major upset occurred. But my anecdote is just evidence of the symptom, I suppose. I agree that part of it may be that the need is just less now than a few years ago. Seems like there was a mass-exodus from belief about that time -- a societal shift. Religion is still bleeding members, but the surge is maybe past.

 

So the second part, as some have suggested, is that this type of forum isn't where people turn so much any more.

 

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On 9/10/2019 at 11:20 PM, TruthSeeker0 said:

Anonymous lurkers are likely visiting here in larger numbers than most of us would expect. I think that's a good thing. It also takes a lot of guts to post extimonies publicly and become a member. I remember when I signed up I was anxious to avoid posting anything that might have even the slightest amount of detail identifying me. Now I laugh it off, I've come out as agnostic to the people that matter, and I could care less what Christians I know think of my perspective. I do think people need this site less as they transition into non belief. For me, I stick around because I'm not tired of the debates yet and I don't have an established support network after leaving my ex church, so this place and our chat room helps fill the gap a bit. 

 

 

I think I'm close to that day. My son who is a minister isn't questioning belief, but he's seriously questioning the denomination our family have been members of for generations. I actually told him the other day that I had visited an Episcopal church, something I'd not have felt comfortable telling him until recently. True, I'm still not telling him I'm an atheist, but I'm thinking that it won't be too long before that would not hurt our relationship. (In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he deconverts, but he isn't close to that yet. He still holds some awfully conservative views, even though he's let go of some.)

 

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I've been pretty busy lately (new baby this year!) and pretty content in my ex-faith situation. I drop in from time to time if something comes up or to see what's going on. I try to limit my screen time around my kids so it's hard to keep up, especially when I'm doing well and finding support elsewhere.

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On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 3:04 AM, Derek said:

I've also noticed that 1 or 2 veterans of this site haven't been posting much lately...such as my fellow eastern canadian Margee...but like DestinyTurtle said, life does get in the way sometimes.

 

I think that after a time older members (Older as membership not age) tend to only post to topics that really interest them, or that they feel they can really add something. At least that's what it's like for me.

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On 9/30/2019 at 10:10 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

 

I think that after a time older members (Older as membership not age) tend to only post to topics that really interest them, or that they feel they can really add something. At least that's what it's like for me.

 

Also true for me.  So many of the threads and posts get to be basically the same stuff, over and over. 

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Yes, some posts are getting redundant.

The new kids still need to hear them.

 

I am mostly here for them.

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29 minutes ago, ConsiderTheSource said:

Maybe it is the competition, such as r/exchristian

I know some people love Reddit, but I could never stand the format.  Just an ugly wall of text, a random jumble of articles where finding the quality articles is like mining for diamonds.  Still always good to have more ways to reach the people that want to discuss the subject.  r/exchristian has 54k subscribers, so it does have a level of popularity.

 

I tried a Facebook search and found this sites content, but from there you could link to lots of other pages with similar content: "Life after god", "stupid church people", "Religion hurts humanity" etc.  I guess there are dozens of other sites with similar themes, which is great to see.  Personally I prefer the nice clean layout of these forums without the trolls, complaints and pages of irrelevant articles.

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Being new to the site myself I feel that I can contribute something to this thread, but I want to do so delicately so as not to have it taken the wrong way.

 

I think one issue may be that some who leave Christianity but embark on a different type of theology/spiritual path may see a lot of the posts here and get the idea, or the feeling, that this is essentially an atheist site and assume either that they couldn't make a connection here or that they just wouldn't be welcome. I'm not presuming to speak for anyone, nor am I trying to criticize; I'm just putting this out there as one possibility to consider.

 

Perhaps if there were more focus on some common ground beyond just being ex-Christian, something everyone here could tie into as a uniting force? Not to leave the non-Americans out, but I think that a rally around the Wall of Separation would serve well in that capacity.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Moonobserver said:

I think one issue may be that some who leave Christianity but embark on a different type of theology/spiritual path may see a lot of the posts here and get the idea, or the feeling, that this is essentially an atheist site and assume either that they couldn't make a connection here or that they just wouldn't be welcome.

 

You make a very good point.  I know there are several Agnostics here like myself.  There is something "out there" we don't understand.

 

5 hours ago, Moonobserver said:

Perhaps if there were more focus on some common ground beyond just being ex-Christian, something everyone here could tie into as a uniting force? Not to leave the non-Americans out, but I think that a rally around the Wall of Separation would serve well in that capacity.

 

I'm not sure I am following you with this statement.  Could you explain further? 

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7 hours ago, Weezer said:

 

You make a very good point.  I know there are several Agnostics here like myself.  There is something "out there" we don't understand.

 

 

I'm not sure I am following you with this statement.  Could you explain further? 

The constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State has never been harder to protect than it is right now. We have an administration which panders to a theocratic element in Christianity which wants their religion to be the nation's official faith, and that should certainly be of keen interest to everyone here. How about some threads pertaining to the preservation of Jefferson's Wall of Separation? (And if there are such threads already and I've missed them, do let me know.)

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8 hours ago, Moonobserver said:

The constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State has never been harder to protect than it is right now. We have an administration which panders to a theocratic element in Christianity which wants their religion to be the nation's official faith, and that should certainly be of keen interest to everyone here. How about some threads pertaining to the preservation of Jefferson's Wall of Separation? (And if there are such threads already and I've missed them, do let me know.)

The thing that continues to astound me is that there are ex Christians who are extremely partisan in their politics, and if they belong to the conservative side of the spectrum they may stubbornly refuse to see how the current administration panders to that element. Shooting themselves in the foot so to speak, that's what it looks like to me. 

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On 10/4/2019 at 7:39 PM, Moonobserver said:

I think one issue may be that some who leave Christianity but embark on a different type of theology/spiritual path may see a lot of the posts here and get the idea, or the feeling, that this is essentially an atheist site and assume either that they couldn't make a connection here or that they just wouldn't be welcome. I'm not presuming to speak for anyone, nor am I trying to criticize; I'm just putting this out there as one possibility to consider.

 

To be fair, there is a whole forum on this board dedicated to precisely that: "Ex-Christian Spirituality"

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53 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

 

To be fair, there is a whole forum on this board dedicated to precisely that: "Ex-Christian Spirituality"

Hmm.....I hadn't gotten to that one yet. Thanks for the re-direct.

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14 hours ago, Moonobserver said:

 How about some threads pertaining to the preservation of Jefferson's Wall of Separation? (And if there are such threads already and I've missed them, do let me know.)

 

I also am concerned about church and state issues, but it is my understanding that this forum was designed to basically be a support group for those leaving Christianity. (and other religions??) 

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9 hours ago, Weezer said:

 

I also am concerned about church and state issues, but it is my understanding that this forum was designed to basically be a support group for those leaving Christianity. (and other religions??) 

I thought it would make a good topic for the Lion's Den; I was just mentioning it here because I saw this topic as kind of leading into that.

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