Author Topic: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer  (Read 3950 times)

Asherah

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2012, 02:35:20 AM »
I think leaving religions puts many people in the grief stages where they must come to terms with a loss.  Hopefully your family is being supportive by not giving you a hard time about it.  If you need someone to talk to in person see if there is a Recovering from Religion group near you; they don't push people attending towards any certain path it's just a place where it's safe to be honest about how you feel about religion. http://recoveringfromreligion.org/

Personally I can just wish you the best because my situation was different so I have no real advice.

Cool, Whitney. Thanks for the link. My family isn't going to be supportive of it, but they aren't going to be nasty or anything. They'll probably want to take my kids to church and evangelize them. And, they'll want to have an ongoing conversation with me about my reasons for unbelief. And, they'll probably give a book here and there to read or talk about some experience they've had. They'll continue to try to bring me back in a gentle kind way. They are really great parents and I love them dearly. And, the rest of my family will be disappointed as well, and some will want to talk. But, i don't have any mean people to deal with. So, I'm pretty lucky. However, I do have very strong Christians to be around and that'll be hard until I can become more confident in who I am.
As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. It subverts science and saps the intellect. - Dawkins

Asherah

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2012, 02:37:58 AM »
I'm glad to hear that this little community has given you some of the support you need. It was easy for me to become an atheist, considering that most of my family consists of non-believers. It is a much more difficult thing to proclaim your beliefs in your situation. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you, but I have so much respect and admiration for people such as yourself who stand up for your beliefs, as difficult as it may be in that environment. Just remember that you are not alone.

Thanks for the kind words, Firebird. I can't imagine a situation like yours either. Actually growing up without religion........that would be pretty cool.
As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. It subverts science and saps the intellect. - Dawkins

Firebird

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2012, 03:04:48 AM »
I'm glad to hear that this little community has given you some of the support you need. It was easy for me to become an atheist, considering that most of my family consists of non-believers. It is a much more difficult thing to proclaim your beliefs in your situation. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you, but I have so much respect and admiration for people such as yourself who stand up for your beliefs, as difficult as it may be in that environment. Just remember that you are not alone.

Thanks for the kind words, Firebird. I can't imagine a situation like yours either. Actually growing up without religion........that would be pretty cool.

Well, funny story; i did grow up with it. I was raised reform Jewish and got bar mizvah'd and all that. But I began to sense when I was around 10 or 11 that I didn't actually believe all that god stuff, because who really could? Turned out my father definitely didn't believe and my mom mostly didn't either, nor my grandmother. Yet for some reason, we were going to temple anyway. Culturally jewish, I guess. My father had even converted because he felt more comfortable being jewish. It made sense in our little world. By the time I got to college, though, I was't even very culturally jewish anymore.

I only recently realized how weird it really is. My wife is a secular atheist too (technically Muslim but never in practice), and she just couldn't understand how you could not believe and still consider going to temple and participating in a seder as important. And I realized I really couldn't either. Yet I still think of myself as jewish in some way. It's embedded in my identity in some way, to a point.

The only time this caused conflict was recently, when my mother insisted we should do a seder, even though we hadn't done a real one in years. For some reason, she thought it important to share this tradition with my wife, who was secretly very uncomfortable with the idea. Fortunately my father and brother convinced her it wasn't worth the hassle. My mother has a weird relationship with religion. But that's a story for another time.
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Sweetdeath

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2012, 03:07:03 AM »
If your kids are young, it will be easier to.break  them out of the brain washing dellusion state.

Remember, you are their parent, and no one should be dragging them to church. Let them.be children for pete's sake!! :(
Law 35- "You got to go with what works." - Robin Lefler

Wiggum:"You have that much faith in me, Homer?"
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“I was thinking that perhaps this thing called God does not exist. Because He cannot save any one of us. No matter how we pray, He doesn’t mend our wounds.

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2012, 03:22:59 AM »
Glad to hear that things are a bit better for you today :)

Out of curiousity, how long have you been a true believer, comfortable until you started to seriously question your belief?
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Recusant

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2012, 04:30:09 AM »
I hope you have/had a fine time in church, and a good Easter.  ;)  As somebody who attended church as an atheist for years and years when I was much younger (and still does, when the occasion arises) I'd say that you made the right choice. There's nothing at all wrong with being with your family in the place that they want to be, and want you to be with them. Personally, besides reciting the creed, the only thing that I can't bring myself to do is accept the eucharist. I feel that doing so would be disrespectful of myself and of the sacrament. That may be the case for you, too: If you're used to the dance, then stepping gracefully to one side when the time comes can be done without fuss. (Let the pew file out, then kneel or sit in your spot till they return; stepping out to let them file back in and taking your place again.)

Don't let them (lovingly) bully you into talking about your falling away from belief unless you're feeling up to it, though. Sure, they love you and want to bring you back to Jesus, but if they're as nice as you say, then they should be willing to respect your wishes when (and if) you say, "I'm not ready to talk with you about this. Please give me some time to come to terms."
"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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Asherah

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2012, 04:18:01 AM »
I'm glad to hear that this little community has given you some of the support you need. It was easy for me to become an atheist, considering that most of my family consists of non-believers. It is a much more difficult thing to proclaim your beliefs in your situation. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you, but I have so much respect and admiration for people such as yourself who stand up for your beliefs, as difficult as it may be in that environment. Just remember that you are not alone.

Thanks for the kind words, Firebird. I can't imagine a situation like yours either. Actually growing up without religion........that would be pretty cool.

Well, funny story; i did grow up with it. I was raised reform Jewish and got bar mizvah'd and all that. But I began to sense when I was around 10 or 11 that I didn't actually believe all that god stuff, because who really could? Turned out my father definitely didn't believe and my mom mostly didn't either, nor my grandmother. Yet for some reason, we were going to temple anyway. Culturally jewish, I guess. My father had even converted because he felt more comfortable being jewish. It made sense in our little world. By the time I got to college, though, I was't even very culturally jewish anymore.

I only recently realized how weird it really is. My wife is a secular atheist too (technically Muslim but never in practice), and she just couldn't understand how you could not believe and still consider going to temple and participating in a seder as important. And I realized I really couldn't either. Yet I still think of myself as jewish in some way. It's embedded in my identity in some way, to a point.

The only time this caused conflict was recently, when my mother insisted we should do a seder, even though we hadn't done a real one in years. For some reason, she thought it important to share this tradition with my wife, who was secretly very uncomfortable with the idea. Fortunately my father and brother convinced her it wasn't worth the hassle. My mother has a weird relationship with religion. But that's a story for another time.

Ah, okay. Interesting story you have. Your disbelief started so young, good for you! I think it is really cool when a kid can see through the myths. Sounds like you haven't had to deal with any religious zealots, so that makes things easier for living out your convictions.

I just had a friend invite me to a Passover seder Saturday night. I had never even  heard of the word until last week! I told her I didn't want to come, though. There was going to be a guy there talking about the parallels between Passover and Jesus and I couldn't bear sitting through it all.

Thanks for sharing your story. :)
As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. It subverts science and saps the intellect. - Dawkins

Asherah

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2012, 04:27:24 AM »
If your kids are young, it will be easier to.break  them out of the brain washing dellusion state.

Remember, you are their parent, and no one should be dragging them to church. Let them.be children for pete's sake!! :(

So true!!

Glad to hear that things are a bit better for you today

Out of curiousity, how long have you been a true believer, comfortable until you started to seriously question your belief?

10 years of being a devout Christian before I starting questioning.

I hope you have/had a fine time in church, and a good Easter.  Wink  As somebody who attended church as an atheist for years and years when I was much younger (and still does, when the occasion arises) I'd say that you made the right choice. There's nothing at all wrong with being with your family in the place that they want to be, and want you to be with them. Personally, besides reciting the creed, the only thing that I can't bring myself to do is accept the eucharist. I feel that doing so would be disrespectful of myself and of the sacrament. That may be the case for you, too: If you're used to the dance, then stepping gracefully to one side when the time comes can be done without fuss. (Let the pew file out, then kneel or sit in your spot till they return; stepping out to let them file back in and taking your place again.)

Don't let them (lovingly) bully you into talking about your falling away from belief unless you're feeling up to it, though. Sure, they love you and want to bring you back to Jesus, but if they're as nice as you say, then they should be willing to respect your wishes when (and if) you say, "I'm not ready to talk with you about this. Please give me some time to come to terms."

Thanks for the advice! Today went okay. I didn't stay in the service the whole time, though. I went and sat outside my kids' sunday school room and listened to what they were being taught.

My family was totally cool today. They didn't push any uncomfortable talking. We just had a good ole time :)
As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. It subverts science and saps the intellect. - Dawkins

Asherah

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2012, 04:31:45 AM »
Last night I talked with my mom for about an hour and explained my unbelief. It went really well, actually. But, she was really sad for me. Apparently, she called my brother and told him. And, he texted me today and said that he wanted to talk to me. So, I just got off of the phone with him and GUESS WHAT?!!!?!?! He doesn't believe any of the Bible either!! He is more agnostic, though, than atheist. He said he has never told our mom because he didn't want to hurt her. He lives a state away, so it's easier to get away with. So, we had a really long talk about how ridiculous the bible is and we laughed at all the stupid shit in there. So, I guess I'm not alone after all! He said he wants to talk to me more often now that we have even more in common than we thought.  ;D ;D ;D
As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. It subverts science and saps the intellect. - Dawkins

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #39 on: April 09, 2012, 04:39:41 AM »
Last night I talked with my mom for about an hour and explained my unbelief. It went really well, actually. But, she was really sad for me. Apparently, she called my brother and told him. And, he texted me today and said that he wanted to talk to me. So, I just got off of the phone with him and GUESS WHAT?!!!?!?! He doesn't believe any of the Bible either!! He is more agnostic, though, than atheist. He said he has never told our mom because he didn't want to hurt her. He lives a state away, so it's easier to get away with. So, we had a really long talk about how ridiculous the bible is and we laughed at all the stupid shit in there. So, I guess I'm not alone after all! He said he wants to talk to me more often now that we have even more in common than we thought.  ;D ;D ;D

That's awesome ;D An ally :P
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Amicale

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #40 on: April 09, 2012, 04:41:17 AM »
Last night I talked with my mom for about an hour and explained my unbelief. It went really well, actually. But, she was really sad for me. Apparently, she called my brother and told him. And, he texted me today and said that he wanted to talk to me. So, I just got off of the phone with him and GUESS WHAT?!!!?!?! He doesn't believe any of the Bible either!! He is more agnostic, though, than atheist. He said he has never told our mom because he didn't want to hurt her. He lives a state away, so it's easier to get away with. So, we had a really long talk about how ridiculous the bible is and we laughed at all the stupid shit in there. So, I guess I'm not alone after all! He said he wants to talk to me more often now that we have even more in common than we thought.  ;D ;D ;D

Very, very cool! :)

I know how great it feels to have an ally in the family!


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Sweetdeath

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #41 on: April 09, 2012, 04:46:57 AM »
Last night I talked with my mom for about an hour and explained my unbelief. It went really well, actually. But, she was really sad for me. Apparently, she called my brother and told him. And, he texted me today and said that he wanted to talk to me. So, I just got off of the phone with him and GUESS WHAT?!!!?!?! He doesn't believe any of the Bible either!! He is more agnostic, though, than atheist. He said he has never told our mom because he didn't want to hurt her. He lives a state away, so it's easier to get away with. So, we had a really long talk about how ridiculous the bible is and we laughed at all the stupid shit in there. So, I guess I'm not alone after all! He said he wants to talk to me more often now that we have even more in common than we thought.  ;D ;D ;D

I'm sure your brother is very glad you broke the ice to your mom! Lol :)
Law 35- "You got to go with what works." - Robin Lefler

Wiggum:"You have that much faith in me, Homer?"
Homer:"No! Faith is what you have in things that don't exist. Your awesomeness is real."

“I was thinking that perhaps this thing called God does not exist. Because He cannot save any one of us. No matter how we pray, He doesn’t mend our wounds.

Tank

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #42 on: April 09, 2012, 09:06:32 AM »
Last night I talked with my mom for about an hour and explained my unbelief. It went really well, actually. But, she was really sad for me. Apparently, she called my brother and told him. And, he texted me today and said that he wanted to talk to me. So, I just got off of the phone with him and GUESS WHAT?!!!?!?! He doesn't believe any of the Bible either!! He is more agnostic, though, than atheist. He said he has never told our mom because he didn't want to hurt her. He lives a state away, so it's easier to get away with. So, we had a really long talk about how ridiculous the bible is and we laughed at all the stupid shit in there. So, I guess I'm not alone after all! He said he wants to talk to me more often now that we have even more in common than we thought.  ;D ;D ;D



You know I bet there a milions of atheists like this where they're sitting next to other atheists in church all going through the motions because they don't want to be the first one to stand up  :D
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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #43 on: April 09, 2012, 11:07:49 AM »
Quote from: Tank
You know I bet there a milions of atheists like this where they're sitting next to other atheists in church all going through the motions because they don't want to be the first one to stand up  :D

That's just what I was thinking.  So, if someone could just get the ball rolling ...

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Re: Well....I have to come out this Easter as a non-church goer
« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2012, 02:31:20 PM »
That's awesome Asherah. That should make things much easier for you.
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