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Nine years in the wilderness


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Howdy ExChristians.  Some of you will remember me as Rank Stranger.  I was a regular on this site for about a decade.  I started out here young and dumb, and even to this day the people and perspectives I've encountered here have had a profound impact on my world view (in a good way).  I often find myself wondering what the good folks at ExC think about (insert insane recent event here).  So I'm back for now, and I swear to Jesus that I will avoid bad-faith political trolling :jesus:   It's a vice of sorts... fun at the moment, self-destructive in the long run.  IMO.

 

It's been a long and strange 9 years, and I'm not too proud of my behavior back in 2013 (here and elsewhere).  For those I've been an ass to, I'm sorry.  I was in a bad place personally at that time- in a variety of ways.  I took it out on other people and deliberately pushed people away- not just here.  But things have changed, and I'm in a better place these days.  I don't want to go into details right now, but these days my health is much better than it was at that time.  And I'm still actively working on it, because I can really see how it affects people around me.

 

Years ago when I posted here regularly, I was a strict materialist.  I believed in logic (as I understood it), reality (as I understood it), skepticism... and little else.  During my time in the Wilderness, I've had some experiences that have led me to question some of that, and I hope to explore that here in the future. 

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Welcome back, Rank.  Unfortunately, we don't yet have the technology to play your theme song every time you make a post like they do in pro-wrestling; but, we're working on it.  In the meantime, enjoy...

 

 

 

 

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Well hey!

 

What's new in history, religion, cooking, psychology, current events, computers, fish, ranching, home improvement, doom-scrolling, or auto repair?

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4 hours ago, alreadyGone said:

Well hey!

 

What's new in history, religion, cooking, psychology, current events, computers, fish, ranching, home improvement, doom-scrolling, or auto repair?

Well I helped a buddy pull the engine out of his Mercedes Sprinter van the other day.  He drove it into flood water and now the engine is locked solid.  As much as I love to hate German engineering, it really wasn't too difficult- one afternoon and we had the engine sitting on a stand.  Next we'll remove the oil pan and inspect to see what's broke. 

 

Thoughts and prayers are appreciated 😆

 

 

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Hey @RankStranger, welcome back! I’ve been here “only” since 2016, so I missed your original incarnation.  Hope you’ll stay around and get to know the “newcomers”!

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Welcome @RankStranger I am new here myself but understand where you come from.  For a long time, I was into apologetics myself back in the day, not here.  Oddly, being involved in that is a long process to eventually reaching unbelief because you are forced to examine beliefs by exposing them to others. 

 

As for recent events, I am not from the US but I am really frankly shocked and so are many of my fellow citizens.  To me, America was one of the few leading countries for separation of state and church. I would not be surprised if it actually accelerates unbelief among young people in the long term because young people are very sensitive to hypocrisy.  Also the internet is something very powerful that is difficult to control.  

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On 7/2/2022 at 10:52 PM, Henndigo said:

Welcome @RankStranger I am new here myself but understand where you come from.  For a long time, I was into apologetics myself back in the day, not here.  Oddly, being involved in that is a long process to eventually reaching unbelief because you are forced to examine beliefs by exposing them to others. 

 

As for recent events, I am not from the US but I am really frankly shocked and so are many of my fellow citizens.  To me, America was one of the few leading countries for separation of state and church. I would not be surprised if it actually accelerates unbelief among young people in the long term because young people are very sensitive to hypocrisy.  Also the internet is something very powerful that is difficult to control.  

 

Yeah, as for hypocrisy regarding recent events- so many Americans just don't see it.  Mostly older people. 

 

They got the unrestricted gun rights and forced-birth laws that they wanted.  And made a lie of their supposed principles to do it.  Inflicted a toxic would-be Mussolini on this country, and they're fucking proud of it.  And what really gets me about the whole thing is that Evangelicals LOVE Trump like no other leader.  They preach his lies in church.  It's straight up idolatry... if you're into that sort of judgment.

 

And they don't see it.  But their children and grandchildren see it.

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On 7/2/2022 at 5:28 PM, RankStranger said:

 

No, not Montana.  This here is Dust Bowl Country aka Kansastan.  Where tumbleweeds and errant fundies roam the land...

 

Southwest Kansas?  I'm in Wichita, and surrounded by Catholics, except for an agnostic neighbor.

 

WELCOME!

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Welcome back @RankStranger. Like TABA, I've only been here since 2016. (2016 was a good intake year :D )

 

Yes, we did find political and hot topics to be ultimately destructive. I think there is something about engaging anonymously online that brings out the worst in people that discussing the same topics with the same viewpoints face to face would not.

 

Look forward to seeing you around.

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18 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

Welcome back @RankStranger. Like TABA, I've only been here since 2016. (2016 was a good intake year :D )

 

Yes, we did find political and hot topics to be ultimately destructive. I think there is something about engaging anonymously online that brings out the worst in people that discussing the same topics with the same viewpoints face to face would not.

 

Look forward to seeing you around.

 

Thanks LF.  I wish I could disagree with you on the bolded part, but I can't.  The comments section after any article tends to become toxic pretty quickly... and that sort of (often bad-faith) sniping can destroy any sense of community over time.

 

Still I think discussions like that are really important... if they can be made less toxic.  When people are de-converting, it's not just about the religion- they're often questioning a whole world-view.  I know I was.  And it really helped to read other peoples' takes on current events and whatever was being discussed.

 

I grew up deeply conservative, reflexively xenophobic, and with sortof a default contempt for pretty much any part of the world outside my little corner of Southern Appalachia.  Even though I hadn't really believed since I was 13 or so, I still held most of that world view into my early 20's.  I can't over-state how much the people on this site helped change that for me.

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