Author Topic: Is this forum an appropriate place for a topic on how Christians have abused me?  (Read 4980 times)

TheWalkingContradiction

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Greetings.

As I wrote in my introductory thread, I joined this board in order to get support in the face of ongoing attacks from Christians.  It was a particularly vicious attack the weekend I joined that prompted my first post.  Then on my second day here...  Well, you know that story.  

If I don't talk about what Christians did in the past and what they are doing to me now, then I am cheating myself.  I have nowhere else to tell my story.  I am all for socializing and having a mostly 'feel good' board, and I will gladly continue to do whatever I can to support others here.  But I am afraid that if I follow my original aim I may be inviting trouble--and I may lose any positive karma I have built up in my short stay here.  

For these reasons, I need to ask, before I take any action, if it is considered appropriate and in good taste for a topic in which there will be almost nothing positive about Christians as I share my personal story. There are Christians on the board, and while I cannot understand what they are doing here, I realize I need to respect them the way I would anyone else here.  But that could present a problem, as respecting them could mean editing myself and watering down events that are quite painful for me.  If I have to water them down, the topic is not worth posting.

So...  Is there a section here where such a topic can be started?  If so, where is it?  And if so, should I post a warning for Christians at the beginning of post one, urging them not to read the topic since they might find it offensive?

If this board is not the place for that--which I can understand and respect--can someone direct me to a board that is more appropriate?  
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 04:24:58 AM by TheWalkingContradiction »

Ecurb Noselrub

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As a Christian, if you have complaints about Christians, you should be able to express them. On behalf of Christians, I apologize to you for whatever evil they/we have done. As with all stories, yours should be told.

Stevil

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The "Life as an Atheist" section seems appropriate.
This forum is for you to discuss openly your atheism and experiences as an Atheist.
Hopefully you will get much support, you may get people criticising your generalisations and you may get a Christian or two offended, but who cares...

markmcdaniel

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There is no reason for you not to use this forum to discuses any such abuse. However, be warned that while you will receive lots of support here you may not like all that you hear.
It appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against Christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public; and freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds which follows from the advance of science - Charles Darwin

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the object of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a god, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism. - Albert Einstein

Religion is a by product of fear. For much of human history, it may have been a necessary evil, but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn't killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity. - Arther C. Clarke

Faith means not wanting to know what is true. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Recusant

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I'd say that Stevil is correct: the "Life As An Atheist" subsection would be the right place to talk about your experiences with Christians.

I'm writing as a member here, but not as a member of staff.  I hesitate to speak on behalf of the staff and management of this site without having previously discussed this issue, but I think that generally the staff here would agree with the following:

The Christians who are currently members of this site are not fundamentalist; I would describe them as moderate. My understanding is that you aren't aiming your posts at them. As well, your intention is not to attack Christianity, but rather to describe your experience with Christians, and the feelings and thoughts which have resulted from those experiences.

It's true that some of the things posted here over the years have offended some of our Christian members, but offending Christians certainly isn't the objective of this place. As I said, it seems to me that offending Christians is not the motivation for your writing, so I don't see any reason you can't write about your experiences. I understand that what you say may offend Christians, and that it may be unavoidable; I think that your idea of posting a warning sounds reasonable.

Though things we say and images we post may on occasion offend some Christians, I don't endorse a "who cares" approach. While I don't think that Stevil intended that to mean "anything goes," somebody might construe it as such.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 05:37:44 AM by Recusant »
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
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Stevil

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I don't endorse a "who cares" approach. While I don't think that Stevil intended that to mean "anything goes," somebody might construe it as such.
LOL,
You seem sincere in your desire to discuss your experiences, they are your experiences and I assume you will tell the truth to this regard. I also assume you won't get personal with attacks towards specific forum members and I assume any generalisations or emotion in your posts will be with regards to your current state of being and understanding. To this regard i am saying "who cares", you can't be overly worried about offending someone, it is sometimes unavoidable. Just be open, honest and sincere.

This is an atheist forum, you can "get away" with open honest atheist discussion here, which may otherwise turn into a flame war if had on a theist forum.

My only real suggestion is to not be too detered or defensive if a Christian member does say something you feel is untoward. You might be trigger happy at the moment based on your current state after spilling your self into this thread(I don't know). But if you feel a Christian member is crossing a line, I would suggest taking a deep breath and maybe discussing it with a forum moderator via Personal Message before getting into an argument, in your thread, otherwise it can quickly derail what you are setting out to acheive with your thread.


En_Route

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I don't endorse a "who cares" approach. While I don't think that Stevil intended that to mean "anything goes," somebody might construe it as such.
LOL,
You seem sincere in your desire to discuss your experiences, they are your experiences and I assume you will tell the truth to this regard. I also assume you won't get personal with attacks towards specific forum members and I assume any generalisations or emotion in your posts will be with regards to your current state of being and understanding. To this regard i am saying "who cares", you can't be overly worried about offending someone, it is sometimes unavoidable. Just be open, honest and sincere.

This is an atheist forum, you can "get away" with open honest atheist discussion here, which may otherwise turn into a flame war if had on a theist forum.

My only real suggestion is to not be too detered or defensive if a Christian member does say something you feel is untoward. You might be trigger happy at the moment based on your current state after spilling your self into this thread(I don't know). But if you feel a Christian member is crossing a line, I would suggest taking a deep breath and maybe discussing it with a forum moderator via Personal Message before getting into an argument, in your thread, otherwise it can quickly derail what you are setting out to acheive with your thread.



There is a difference between being personally offensive and espousing  views which offend other people's sensibilities. Free speech inevitably implies that some people will voice sentiments which others may find objectionable, even abhorrent. In that context, why should anyone care?
Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them (Orwell).

Ali

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I agree, you should be able to express your experiences and opinions openly as long as you aren't just going out of your way to offend the Christian members of the board.

Tank

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TWC

If what you tell us is the truth and deals with the behaviour of individuals towards you then you may reveal and discuss whatever you like without fear of retribution from the staff or other members, Christian or not. You may also speculate and express opinions about why those individuals did what they did because they were Christian. The one thing you should not do is transfer your feelings of dislike to those individuals that have hurt you to the Christians on this forum, because they as individuals have done you no harm.

Does that make sense?

Chris
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Sandra Craft

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There is no reason for you not to use this forum to discuses any such abuse. However, be warned that while you will receive lots of support here you may not like all that you hear.

I'd like to re-emphasize what Mark wrote.  Most, if not all, the atheists here have had our share of run-ins with Xtians and we can certainly understand others feelings about going thru the same.  On the other hand, if you kinda asked for it, or had it coming, you will be told that.  Not saying that you did, but since we all know there are at least two sides to every story it's something to consider.
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Firebird

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There have been a lot of people here who have talked about their negative experiences with religious people, or religion in general. And one of the major attraction of this forum, at least for me, was to blow off some steam about that. I originally joined after a US State Department employee tried to pressure my wife into saying "under God" as part of her citizenship oath. Pissed me off to no end.
Please share your story if you feel comfortable with it. The Christians who are on this forum are, I feel, understanding that many of us are here due to negative experiences with religious folks.
"Great, replace one book about an abusive, needy asshole with another." - Will (moderator) on replacing hotel Bibles with "Fifty Shades of Grey"

TheWalkingContradiction

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Thank you, everyone, for these responses.  

I now have to think very carefully about how to approach this.  I want to spend time on it, but right now I am in the middle of directing students on projects and also recording sound files for them (the bulk of my on line time right now plus a huge chunk of my time at work).  I need to force myself onto my bike before I sleep, but that, I believe, will be the last of my energy.  As much as I want to start tonight, it is just not possible,  

I also have to make my story long enough to say what I want it to say but short enough so that people will read it.  (You may think some of my posts have been long, but I am sure anyone who knows me in real life would question why I kept them so short...  for me, that is.  Again, I want people to read them, and I realize there is a limit to how much I can cram into a post...)

The "Life as an Atheist" section it is, then.      

I am not concerned about atheists who say things I may not want to hear; I am, after all, looking for insight.  I am also not concerned about civil Christians; if they have also been through abusive Christianity they may have good things to say.  (While I do not know Ecurb Noselrub apart from this thread and my having seen that she also likes Mrs. Slocombe, she would seem to be one.)  

My concern is that it would be five years ago all over again, and Christians with agendas on an atheist board would be picking me apart once again while failing to hear my pain, failing to understand that my being gay is not up for debate, failing to comprehend that I have heard about Jesus all my life and have had quite enough, or failing to see that I write, either to myself or to others, to make sense of the world.  As I tell my students, when I start to write I have only the vaguest idea what I will say; when I finish I have learned something about myself.  When others comment I learn even more.  But when others mock me, I shut down and no more writing and learning is possible.  

Now the part I don't tell students.  When I am mocked I get very aggressive.  I have a long history of being mocked by extended family, schoolmates and, especially, Christians.  Where the church should have been my refuge, it was just another place to be told again and again how worthless I was and how undeserving of Jesus' love I was.  Don't even get me started on what happened when I came out of the closet.  

How do I post without attacking Christianity?  I won't attack the people on this board, nor will I attack my parents, sister and friends who are still trapped in that religion--but if I am to speak honestly, to discuss my experience as an atheist, I must take Christianity to task.  I refer to its us vs. them mentality, its lip service to love while fostering hate, its twisting of dynamic children into broken adults...  And how all this affected me.  I believe that Christians do what they do because they are Christian and are following a book I have found hateful since I was a child.

To be silent is to give Christianity a Get Out of Jail Free Card, and I for one don't subscribe to the tiresome Christian argument about "True Christians" vs. "Pharisees" and how only people who were not "True Christians" hurt me.  I have heard this same argument from Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Liberals, Moderates...  Anyone they don't agree with is not a "True Christian" since one size fits all.  Everyone from Fred Phelps to John Shelby Spong could conceivably use this argument, so what does it really mean?

I just don't see "True Christians"; rather, I see some people who are good people and are also Christian--just as I see some people who are good people and also atheists, Hindus, or Wiccans.  Or subscribers to John Locke's philosophy.  Or practitioners of Cognitive Behavior Therapy.  Or martial artists.
 
Now you see why I am asking questions before going ahead and writing.  This is the way I analyze what was done to me, and I need to know if it is too offensive for this board.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 04:52:30 AM by TheWalkingContradiction »

Stevil

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I once had a manager that advised me it is better to ask forgiveness that it is to ask permission.

Asking permission can cripple progress, there needs to be a level of trust given to people, you won't always get it right, but generally you will, over time you will learn from your mistakes.

I am sure the Forum Moderators will give you plenty of feedback if necessary and they generally only progress to official warnings and banning if their feedback is frequently and blatantly ignored.

If you are really worried you could PM your post to one of them first and see what they think. I wouldn't recommend this as a common practice as it borders on censorship, but if you are really worried, it is an option. Otherwise, don't worry about it, just post what you would like and expect the moderators to comment if they have any issues with it. Before long you will understand how the rules of this forum are applied.

Sandra Craft

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(While I do not know Ecurb Noselrub apart from this thread and my having seen that she also likes Mrs. Slocombe, she would seem to be one.)  

While I'm sure he won't take your misperception the wrong the way, I'm as certain as I can be in an online community that Bruce Burleson is a man.
Sandy

  

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Tank

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TWC

You are perfectly at liberty to attack the ideals, tenants and dogma's of any Institutionalised Superstition (aka Religion). An idea has no feelings to hurt and cannot take offence. If people take offence because an abstract idea is being attacked that is their problem and not yours.

Chris
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“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
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Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.