Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
AcrobaticDetective

Opening the Pickle Jar - Catholic to Orthodox to Atheist

Recommended Posts

My moment of clarity came while watching a documentary aboard a plane. The documentary was on the Greek gods. Stories I've read many times before. A documentary I've probably seen before. But for some reason, on this flight, I was suddenly struck with the realization that my God was no different than any of the other Greek gods. But why did it click this particular time? I've been thinking about that question. Here's what I came up with.

 

First of all, I don't think it was as sudden as it seemed. It was more like opening a new pickle jar. You struggle, adjust your grip, tap the lid, double down on your grip and eventually it suddenly opens. The process is slow and difficult. There's nothing really sudden about it. So in simple bullet points, I'm going to try to list those things that worked on loosening my jar (so to speak).

 

I course questioned many things as a child. It's hard to believe in my current reality, but I am naturally inquisitive and sceptical. However, there was some point where I stopped critically question my faith and the Church. These bullets will start about ten years ago when I went from a delighted devout Catholic to something different.

 

  1. The first crack was when I asked myself the question, "If Christ welcomed everyone, why did we have a closed Communion?"
  2. I met and friended several gay people. They were all awesome. Not a one was an evil person.
  3. I spent hours debating the Bible with one a lesbian friend. She was an ex-Christian due to the way she was treated because of her homosexuality. 
  4. After that summer, I began to struggle reconciling my church's teachings with my own sensibilities and notion of love.
  5. I sought out spiritual direction to help me with my inability to "reconcile my inside world with the outside world."
  6. I converted to Orthodoxy in hope of finding peace.
  7. Obama became president and I saw Christians accuse him of being a Muslim, a non-citizen, wearing a tan suit, and putting fancy mustard on his hamburger.
  8. Then Trump was elected. I saw Christians throw away everything I thought they held dear just to elect a Republican. ThisChristians began to say Trump was sent by God.
  9. The previous two points helped me begin to see that Christianity was more about building boxes and walls and ways to say "we're good because we're not one of them" than actually living like Christians. It was an old boys club.
  10. I saw the divisions within Orthodoxy...divisions based on culture, race, and politics. Moscow stopped recognizing the EP, and so on.
  11. I converted back to Catholicism in hope of finding peace. 
  12. Discussions with a good friend (an atheist) helped me begin to see that even my special brand of Christianity shared similar origins to the others. He also helped me see how religion can be a harmful force and how the recent election proved it. Rational thinking was replaced with mob thinking.
  13. My son told me he didn't believe in God because "It just doesn't make sense."
  14. I put on a documentary about the Greek gods. 
  15. Pickle jar opened.

 

It seems clear to me now that I was, for those ten years, unsettled because I was trying to do the impossible. I was trying to reconcile rational thinking with religious belief. 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, @AcrobaticDetective,

Thanx for posting your extimony.

It's helpful, not only to the poster, but for those who might read this and realize they are not the only ones who see tones of B.S. in the doctrine and how man has utilized religion throughout history, to control the masses.

 

Yes, it is scary to see how politicians exploit religious fever. It's also scary to see how they exploit hatred of anyone who has more than they (the voters) do and how replacing one form of nationalism with another will resolve all issues.

 

I understand your quest to find peace. I was raised LDS and, feeling anxiety over it's exclusionary rules, looked to the charismatic Christian religion to try to find peace. Then we jumped head long into an exclusionary flavor of fundamentalist xanity here in Oregon that immediately turned me off. Mrs MOHO, however, found home with these people. I expressed a desire to find a more welcoming and open church and what came next helped me to realize that it there were, in fact, a number of differing versions of the religion. Mrs. MOHO said "You had better find a church and version of xanity that you can live with!"

 

Waite!

What ?!

 

Anyway, story on it's own.

 

Thanx again for the post.

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, MOHO said:

Hey, @AcrobaticDetective,

Thanx for posting your extimony.

It's helpful, not only to the poster, but for those who might read this and realize they are not the only ones who see tones of B.S. in the doctrine and how man has utilized religion throughout history, to control the masses.

 

Yes, it is scary to see how politicians exploit religious fever. It's also scary to see how they exploit hatred of anyone who has more than they (the voters) do and how replacing one form of nationalism with another will resolve all issues.

 

I understand your quest to find peace. I was raised LDS and, feeling anxiety over it's exclusionary rules, looked to the charismatic Christian religion to try to find peace. Then we jumped head long into an exclusionary flavor of fundamentalist xanity here in Oregon that immediately turned me off. Mrs MOHO, however, found home with these people. I expressed a desire to find a more welcoming and open church and what came next helped me to realize that it there were, in fact, a number of differing versions of the religion. Mrs. MOHO said "You had better find a church and version of xanity that you can live with!"

 

Waite!

What ?!

 

Anyway, story on it's own.

 

Thanx again for the post.

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)

 

It is my pleasure (apart from all of my typos). I wrote it for those same reasons. I hope it will help someone else, but it had the added benefit of being cathartic for me too.

 

If you ever write your story down, I would love to read it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   Thanks for sharing your story and particularly this aspect of your story regarding the more significant events that led to your realization of disbelief. You ran into some very independent thinking friends along the way whose opinions you allowed to have weight which is to your credit. I'm so glad your son's admission of not believing didn't make you feel like you needed to dig in your heels and become all the more christian in response. So many families are torn apart when children don't buy into their parents beliefs. With time I think you will be much more comfortable with this choice of not believing (I know I am) because it does not take effort and you are free to spend the time you previously dedicated to making christianity seem plausible and functioning to moving forward with life and discovering our world and our lives as they actually are playing out.

   It does seem to me that in this case you have to work so long and so hard to open that pickle jar only to discover that there aren't any pickles inside. That's the true story of christianity of course. It's really good to have you here and thanks for leaving those much appreciated responses like the one above.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, DanForsman said:

   Thanks for sharing your story and particularly this aspect of your story regarding the more significant events that led to your realization of disbelief. You ran into some very independent thinking friends along the way whose opinions you allowed to have weight which is to your credit. I'm so glad your son's admission of not believing didn't make you feel like you needed to dig in your heels and become all the more christian in response. So many families are torn apart when children don't by into their parents beliefs. With time I think you will be much more comfortable with this choice of not believing (I know I am) because it does not take effort and you are free to spend the time you previously dedicated to making christianity seem plausible and functioning to moving forward with life and discovering our world and our lives as they actually are playing out.

   It does seem to me that in this case you have to work so long and so hard to open that pickle jar only to discover that there aren't any pickles inside. That's the true story of christianity of course. It's really good to have you here and thanks for leaving those much appreciated responses like the one above.

 

Thank you. I have been lucky to have a few independent thinkers in my life. If my son told me just a few years ago that he didn't believe, I may very well have dug in. But by the time he said it, I had given up on certainty. I had been wrong too many times before.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excelent way to summarize your de-conversion. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Weezer said:

Excelent way to summarize your de-conversion. 

 

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing your story! I enjoyed reading it. It is good to be free from religious beliefs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Tsathoggua9 said:

Thanks for sharing your story! I enjoyed reading it. It is good to be free from religious beliefs!

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also enjoyed your story. I'm glad you were able to break free from the prison of religion, Welcome to freedom!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, AyahuascaPhoenix said:

I also enjoyed your story. I'm glad you were able to break free from the prison of religion, Welcome to freedom!

 

Thank you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was insulated against the issue of non orthodox being " kind"  as proof of smth better by two things. 1. Every religion has traces of what was called adamic revelation aka pieces of what the orginal Adam thought . 2. That letter of St Paul where he says pagans also have conscience. 3. A bit in St Ignatius where he makes a definitive split between the goodness of the fallen nature which leads even more into sin like poisoned food and the goodness of the Gospel, which could and seems often ludicrous to outsiders. 

          About Othodoxy. I also found its strong links to nationalism highly disturbing. Although it is officially declared a heresy. But that was not the big issue.  Intra church conflicts are a very old problem indeed if one searches for church history. My problem was often not noticing very big differences from the outside world.  If you are the carriers of God s grace, why does that grace NOT work?  Why do pills work but communion does not for healing sickness? I saw that the arguments offered to me, personally, could have been used for every belief system. And actually are used. How can a priest be a carrier of such grace, but which does not affect his sinful nature as defined by the church itself? How can God coexist with sinful energies, which Paul said it cannot be? So my problem was that the church descriptions and prescriptions were confusing to me. It seemed to take and abandoment of thinking and volution and emotion to do it but that still did not solve the impracticabile nature of it to me, or the fact that any sort of religion could ask the same. So no clear pathway to truth did I see there and still do not see.

        Religion is a vast subject and I would just pass it off as a simple control system. Even control system are necessary to live in a comunity

 Many secular people treat the UN declaration of human rights as somehow binding reality while it is JUST  a human construct which gathered significant consensus. I think religious behaviour is natural in humans. History is on my side here. All cultures sermed to have developped religious thinking. Shared values, speculating on the origins and end of things, psychological coping and motivating systems, interpretation of awe experiences, etc. Even hard core atheist scientists have these but express them differently. Scientific facts were and are distorted today for private gain although no one disputs the whole scientific discipline.  Which again is as old as thinking man himself.

     I see religious stories and practices to have some use, but their generalisation,  rigidization and absolutization causing more problems than it solves for the religious themselves. But I think all people religious, in the broad sense, they just choose different words to describe it. Like one of my favourite - worldview. I mean what is having days in calendars dedicated specifically to certain glorious figure from the past if not a sort of ancestor worship? And for crying out loud the "founding fathers of america" ? :)

    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.