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Guest capitalist

Greetings From Newbie

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Guest capitalist

Hi all,

 

I just stumbled across this site this morning and spent a while reading through the Forum, and I thought I'd join up. I too am an ex-Christian and am glad that there's a support community like this online.

 

My story, briefly:

 

I was raised in a church-going Christian family (Methodist), and they were very active members. My father served on several commitees, my mother sang in the choir, and both were youth ministers. I also participated, but mostly out of compulsion - acolyte, childrens' choir, and later the youth groups (which my parents still ran).

 

Aside from a few friends I made there, I hated church, and I hated being railroaded into participating. It was embarrassing, almost like being a preacher's kid, but without the understanding that comes with it. If you're a PK, you have no choice, and people give you some slack; if you're the kid of moral-high-horse volunteers, it's humiliating. It got worse as I got older, since the other teens (it seemed) were out making their own friends, dating, and becoming independent, and I was stuck hanging around with little old ladies, babies, helping out with Bible school, and other activities. Every time someone did something that was outside the narrow moral compass of the church, they were called all sorts of ugly names, and I was taught to never associate with ther kind. "Good girls" were chaste girls who didn't let boys touch them, and anyone else was a filthy slut; "good Christian boys" didn't have "those thoughts".

 

When I went to college things changed. I was glad to be on my own, and began delving into philosophy. I was introduced to Ayn Rand by a high school friend, and I began reading and studying Objectivist literature. A year after leaving church, I disavowed my belief in God, Satan, miracles, prayer, faith, and anything supernatural. A brief period of anger and bitterness followed, but I soon refused to live my life pissed off at something I could do nothing about (my upbringing), and started pursuing my own happiness. I've never turned back, and despite the struggles since, I'm a happy, halthy, and well-balanced individual.

 

Even though I grew up in the church I understand why; my folks just wanted me in what they felt was a good environment. To their credit, nothing bad ever happened to me, and I've managed to stay out of trouble my whole life. I love my family and I know how important their church life is to them, and so - quite irrationally, I suppose - I've never revealed my atheism to them. I probably won't, either, until it's necessary. [A cousin of my mother's once revealed herself as an atheist, and has received 25 years of cold ostracism for it. Of course, her coming out as a lesbian, then having a child via in vitro fertilization didn't help matters ... but none of that should matter. I wish I knew her better.]

 

Now 32, I live alone, working on my career in another city, and I see my family about twice a year. We speak often on the phone, and maintain a friendly, loving relationship. I once tried to get into therapy to help purge the feelings of guilt and unworthiness associated with Christianity, but there are few mental-professional resources for atheists in the South. I got where I am on my own, and it's mostly out of my system. It's taken years of comtemplation, self-analysis, study, and actively seeking growth experiences to do so, but a lot of residue remains. Old habits do die hard, but the good news is that they can die. I'm hoping that this community can be a place where I can explore those horrible remnant ideas, and maybe get some guidance on how to overcome them.

 

Well, that's all for now - I hope I didn't ramble on too long. I look forward to participating and very much appreciate this site.

 

Cheers!

Capitalist

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Welcome capitalist!

 

I love your story. Yours and others I've read recently have helped understand that it will take a long time to rebuild my life. Currently, I am trying to do what you did,

 

"It's taken years of comtemplation, self-analysis, study, and actively seeking growth experiences to do so, but a lot of residue remains."

 

I am looking forward to reading your insights on the issues that are raised around here.

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Wow. That was well written, and I love the story. It is always great to see individuals who leave the religion because they are strong enough to think for themselves and question the whole religion. I am glad your life is going well.

 

I really do look forward to your contributions to this site!

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Guest revpo

Enjoyed your story, you used logic and reason and followed your own way...great

 

 

revpo

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Welcome to the ExChristian forums. Hope you enjoy your stay here, and find the support that you (like us all) need! We've got some other libertarians on board, I'm sure you'll run into them sooner or later.

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Welcome to the forums.

 

It takes a great deal of courage and mental discipline to examine what you were brought up to belive.

 

I'm glad that you have a good relationship with your family, and I hope that continues. This is definately the place for understanding and support, and I hope you stay and add your point of view.

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