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Author Topic: I now identify as atheist  (Read 261 times)

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Offline Laurie

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I now identify as atheist
« on: December 24, 2019, 01:13:56 PM »
  I grew up with an open attitude towards religion. christian that is.. Every Sunday we listened to bible story records and we enjoyed doing so as a family. During the summer, we hosted 'Vacation Bible school" in our living room, where a lady would come into our house and teach us and the neighborhood kids about her god, jesus and the Bible. She had us learn verses, played various bible verse learning games, and awarded stars for doing well.
  My parents never(to my memory) attended church themselves, nor did they attempt to stear us kids to any particular church. I attended several different denominational churches on Sundays as I grew up. Bible schools and regular services were there and available to me. There was a yearning to become a part of a religion and put my faith in what I was learning about religion. Alas the search continued.
  As a teenager I attended a Baptist church in Hawaii. I was a regular there for several years. I went to bible study, morning services, evening services, and the youth group afterwards. I even dated a deacon's daughter for a time. Every other Sunday I attended the "Youth for christ" meetings at the salvation army in Honolulu. There were many teen church outings I went to and a church summer camp. I went as far as taking the church's prep course they had to join the church. When it came down to it I still had doubts and questions that they were not able to answer other than the stock answer of "You have to have faith" Well I didn't. That was not good enough for me. I needed answers.
  Eventually I stopped attending. I began to identify as agnostic. The search continued. Over the years I've attended many different services of many different faiths. None appealed to my yearnings. Some we laughable, entertaining as they were so different from what I was familiar with. Some I have nothing but contempt for. Some are downright hateful towards others. I continued to identify as agnostic.
  I settled on being agnostic. It seemed I would never find a religion or a church I could believe in and join. I continue to attend services with friends when invited, but no longer feel that pull or yearning to be "a part of". Over the years I've had several "Bad" experiences with people who are religious. I no longer see my daughter or my 5 grand children after coming out to my daughter and her husband as transgender. My daughter told me there much be something wrong with me, but that it could be fix IF I would only give myself to god. That was the last time I saw or spoke to them. They made it clear that I was no longer welcome there. My marriage broke up for many reasons and yes I own a part in all of them. One I became aware of was that the jehovah witnesses had infiltrated my home and fed my wife with their bullshit. she became hook on their pap and since I would never go along with their beliefs, they advocated divorce. They are very high on my shit list. I wish I had a truck full of dynamite every time I drive past one of their churches. sigh
  I have only recently identified as atheist. I thank this current government administration from the prez, vice prez, and cabinet, on down to the hate filled evangelicals, ignorant racist bastards, nazis, and white supremacists / nationalists that support him. Their anti trans hate based on white evangelistic bible cherry picking that they used to "justify" they inbred hatred towards anyone different than them has pushed me over the edge. I denounce all gods and religions. they are all evil. they are all scourges on history and responsible for most of the persecution of others, murders, genocide, and wars throughout our history. I want no part of them.

Laurie

Offline Katie

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2019, 01:39:48 PM »
Hi, @Laurie , thanks for sharing your experience. I don't hide my beliefs, but you won't get any grief from me. My life experiences went the opposite direction from yours. I was raised by an ardent atheist father and an agnostic mother. I took after my father and was on my way to being a radical atheist. Long story short I ended up becoming a Chritian.

Please feel welcome to continue to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences here.
"Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop,
Within a yard of hell".
C.T. Studd

"Redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die".
William Cowper

Offline Laurie

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2019, 03:12:14 PM »
  Thank you @Katie for your thoughts.
 I am not too likely to go further with my own thoughts on this subject here. Though I do have very strong feelings on the subject. I will save my rants for faceplant. They would not be welcome here and rightly so. tRump, his administration, and my religious feeling can, and do, get me in trouble. I was a moderator on that other site and know well how such things get out of hand and cause headaches for those that are on staff.I promise to try not to cause this site those problems.

 Hugs,
  Laurie

Offline Linde

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2019, 05:18:55 PM »
Laurie, my life was pretty much like yours.  My grandmother's dream was that I would become clergy, like her brother and two of her cousins.  Wel, i did not become a person of the frock, but drifted away from organized religion.  I would call myself agnostic, because I believe in some kind of God, but I do not think that this god is very interested in my daily life.
The only religious person I adore is one of my nieces, who is a methodist pastor.  She was the first person in the entire family, who accepted me, and she prepared my pah to come out to the rest of the clan.  She did a great job, and i did not loose any of my (actually my wife's) family.
she still calls me on a weakly base to chat with me and encourage me to be myself.  if all clergy would be like her, religion would something really wonderful!

The opposite experience was with a couple who I considered to be my best friends.  They were reborn evangelicals, but we never talked much about any religion (as I do not talk with Katie much about it), and when I came out to them all hell broke loose!  They told me that I have a mental problem, and that I should be put into an institution, and that I should not contact them anymore until I am"healed" and am a "normal" person again, etc.  They knew that I am a medical professional, and I tried to rationally explain to them about intersex, etc., but nothing was accepted by them.  We were very close friends for more than 25 years, and the friendship ended within 1/2 hour of talking!

The fell for the entire radical evangelical bull!
If life deals you lemons, make the best out of them, make lemonade, or put them into your bra to make it look like you have big boobs!

Email contact through linde@transrefuge.org

Offline Katie

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2019, 06:45:06 PM »
@Linde , aren't transphobic evangelicals a hoot? I had a heated exchange with a former friend of mine today about his nasty comments about transgender people. I'm pretty sure he'll feel the heat of hell before those he hates.
"Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop,
Within a yard of hell".
C.T. Studd

"Redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die".
William Cowper

Offline Linde

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2019, 07:35:17 PM »
@Linde , aren't transphobic evangelicals a hoot? I had a heated exchange with a former friend of mine today about his nasty comments about transgender people. I'm pretty sure he'll feel the heat of hell before those he hates.
Well, I don't know if I want to call them to be a hoot, cause I was hurt pretty much from their reaction.  When you see a deep friendship of many years go down the drain within a few minutes, it is not really fun!
I hope they will come around one of these days, cause I really don't want them to be in hell!
If life deals you lemons, make the best out of them, make lemonade, or put them into your bra to make it look like you have big boobs!

Email contact through linde@transrefuge.org

Offline Katie

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2019, 07:37:13 PM »
@Linde , hoot was a facetious description.

Sent from my SM-A205U using Tapatalk

"Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop,
Within a yard of hell".
C.T. Studd

"Redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die".
William Cowper

Offline Lucy

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 10:26:47 AM »
Sounds like a pretty similar path to mine. Raised Lutheran because that's what mom was, but dad was non-religious. Did the Sunday school and confirmation thing, and decided in confirmation that the church was not for me. My pastor was actually fantastic and we had some great philosophical discussions, but looking at both the bible and the church I concluded that even if they existed the Christian god was not something I could follow or worship. Went through a couple years of paganism to animism to settling on secular humanism as basic philosophy seeing no evidence for any god or supernatural entity in the world but valuing humanity and its potential. I occasionally envy those with faith and the comfort it can provide them in hard times, but I'm pretty much incapable of faith and struggle to even understand the basic concept of it. I do still attend a church service once a year when a cousin who is an ordained UU minister leads a service at our family chapel, but the UU Church is quite a different animal as churches go.

Offline Kiera

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 10:53:40 AM »
     *OUCH* Well that was one heck of a note  . . and just before "Christmas"? ACHM Even though everybody already knows that Jesus was NOT really born on "Dec 25th"!

     I'll stick with "Catholic" regardless because my school says "your ok" and that new, liberal Jesuit Pope of ours now endorses "me" too!
So who am I to argue? (is Kiera just "hedging" her bets?)
Who do you think you're foolin'?
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But you're busy going nowhere
Just lying in the sun

Offline Thessa

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2020, 10:57:15 AM »
I denounce all gods and religions. they are all evil. they are all scourges on history and responsible for most of the persecution of others, murders, genocide, and wars throughout our history. I want no part of them.

This sentence could be mine.
So many wars and dead people in the name of one god or another.
I left church 20 years ago but after my coming out I saw and felt first hand what bigotry is.  :(
I don't want to associate with such people.


Offline Katie

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2020, 12:07:35 PM »
Lucy and Thessa, thanks for sharing your experiences and viewpoints. It's one of the things I enjoy about forums like this. It's kind of like the Areopagus where the apostle Paul went. It was a place where people told and heard diverse ideas and subjects.
"Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop,
Within a yard of hell".
C.T. Studd

"Redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die".
William Cowper

Offline Lucy

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2020, 12:08:49 PM »
This sentence could be mine.
So many wars and dead people in the name of one god or another.
I left church 20 years ago but after my coming out I saw and felt first hand what bigotry is.  :(
I don't want to associate with such people.

I don't tend to give religions either that much blame for the bad or that much credit for the good people do in name of their gods. For the most part, I think the religion just forms a convenient justification for the actions people want to take anyway, with a healthy dose of using the social structure the religion creates to co-opt a bunch of people into causes for good or for ill. The desire to belong is a very strong one in humanity in general, and that desire will be abused for terrible things whether the group is based around religion, race, nationality, or any other basis you can think of - religion just happens to be ubiquitous enough in human history that it's been used that way a lot.

That said, I don't tend to associate with people who have a strong desire to push their religious beliefs, nor do those people tend to wish to associate with me as when pushed I will push back and it's fairly rare that makes for a great friendship. I do have a number of strongly religious friends from a wide variety of faiths, we're just all the type to accept that others are welcome to their beliefs as long as they don't proselytize to or look down on those who don't share them.

Offline Linde

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2020, 05:06:29 PM »
I was raised catholic, and my grandmother always hoped I would step into the footsteps of one of her brothers and her sister (clergy and nun).  Well, that  did not happen, and I would consider myself to be mostly agnostic these days, if it would not be for my niece (actually the blood relative of my ex).  She is a Methodist pastor (of the progressive arm); and she was the first one who accepted me as a woman, and it was she, who came out for m to all the rest of the family members!  I did not loose my very good relation with any of them because of this wonderful pastor!  She calls me weekly and gives me hour long pep talks, and she is my remaining connection to organized religion.  If all clergy would be like she, we would not have any problem to be accepted by any domination!
I love my niece very much!
If life deals you lemons, make the best out of them, make lemonade, or put them into your bra to make it look like you have big boobs!

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Offline Lady Sarah

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2020, 10:14:25 PM »
I was raised Catholic, and could see their teachings seemed full of flaws. My adoptive father remained faithful, even after his wife became Atheist.

While homeless at the age of 19, I learned about a different type of Christianity, and was baptized as Baptist... before they started their anti LGBTQ rants. I will not turn my back on Jesus. While my life is far from perfect, it is much better than it was before I accepted Him as my Saviour.

Offline Moni

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2020, 05:07:12 PM »
Ha ha, there is nothing like the Catholic Church for producing Atheists! I meet them all the time,  and yes, that was my path as well. There are a couple rules I go by and then I will respect you with whatever you want to believe. One, don't try to stick religion in government! Two, don't use it to hurt others, especially the underdog. After that, believe as you will. I find it interesting when people think a belief in God or Gods is something one can switch on, or off for that matter. I don't believe and whatever pressure someone might put on me will not change that. If I suddenly said, "Oh, you're right, I get it, I believe!" I would be lying. I will not condemn anyone for their beliefs though if they don't violate my rules above. Part of my belief system is respecting others with different views. That doesn't mean I won't ask challenging questions as I enjoy a good religious chat. I once made up that I worshiped a chair, and took it rather seriously, just to spark conversations and ask questions leading to thought. I don't try in win over anyone, but if I can get them to think about a potentially narrow minded view, I consider it a days work. I did consult with my Holy Chair and she likes this. As Ringo says, "Peace and love, peace and love!"
HRT June 11, 2015. - FFS in late June 2016. (Dr. _____=Ugh!) - Full time June 18, 2016 (Yeah! finally) - GCS June 27, 2017. (McGinn=Yeah!) - Under Eye repair from FFS 8/17/17 - Nose surgery-November 20, 2017 (Dr. Papel=Yeah) - Hair Transplant on June 21, 2018 (Dr. Cooley-yeah) - Breast Augmentation on July 10, 2018 (Dr. Basner in Baltimore)

Offline Katie

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2020, 06:01:50 PM »
I have observed the same thing. Nearly all of the professing atheists I am friends with are former Roman Catholics.
"Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop,
Within a yard of hell".
C.T. Studd

"Redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die".
William Cowper

Offline Linde

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2020, 06:19:41 PM »
I have observed the same thing. Nearly all of the professing atheists I am friends with are former Roman Catholics.
As a person who grew up catholic (yes, my Jewish mother was catholic), but more in the way the Jesuits or Dutch Franciscans teach it, with not seeing the pope to be the highest power in the church.  I was shocked when I came over and did realize that type of Catholicism is that what we would consider 150 to 200 years old.  That was not my kind of church I wanted to be associated with.  The family of my wife was Methodist, and I found this version of Christianity way better than the American version of Catholicism. 
But the entire family were not church runners, and everybody was surprised when my niece became a clergy after having have been a teacher.  These days I would call myself to be agnostic with a slight Methodist tilt.

Hugs
Linde
If life deals you lemons, make the best out of them, make lemonade, or put them into your bra to make it look like you have big boobs!

Email contact through linde@transrefuge.org

Online OzGirl

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2020, 07:31:22 PM »
Interesting! I was bought up as a Catholic, taught by nuns I primary school and then by brothers in secondary school. As my mind started to try to make sense of things, I found too many holes in my religious learnings. I asked about this holes only to be told I needed faith in the teachings. My analytical brain lacked faith, and the more I learned of science and physics, the more I strayed from religion. It came to a head in year 8 when a lay science teach taught us the matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, but only changed in their form. So I asked 'does that mean they have been around forever, and will be around forever?' and the teacher answered yes. A few days later in Religion class, our brother teacher said that only god was eternal, and I couldn't help myself. I explained what we had been taught in science class and asked why we should believe god was eternal. Of course I got no answer.

The result of this was a punch up in the staff room between brothers and lay teachers, and then I was excluded from most classes for the remainder of the year. I was sent to the Parish priest who tried to talk me back onto the path, which I hadn't actually said I had left. I told him I only wanted answers, and he also said I only needed faith. I said to him 'so you've got nothing. You want me to ignore the evidence of science to blindly believe in something I can't see, feel, or touch.' He basically said yes, and immediately gave up on saving me, spending the remainder of the session trying to recruit me to his football team.

At the end of the year I sat down with brother Mathhews, who had been a supporter of mine throughout the year, and he said I was a victim, and did not deserve the treatment I got. He asked me if there was any way I could come back to religion. I told him that I had never said I was going away from religion, I just needed some answers, but the behaviour of the brothers and priests had caused me to question religion. I had come up with the realisation that religion had started with man's inability to accept the finality of life, and through time had been distorted by men into something which justified what they wanted to believe, but none of it had any basis in fact. I wasn't against people believing in something that helped them avoid a terrible truth, so long as it also caused them to respect their fellows, and not use religion to justify hurting others as I had learned from history lessons, and had seen first hand at my school. I heard that a couple of years later, brother Mathhews left the brotherhood and got married.

So the net result was that a Catholic education also made me an atheist.

Allie 
Knew I was a girl in 1958, told my mother. Dressed regularly at home from 2000, started HRT March 2019, FHR Oct 19 Full time Jan 2020, new BC Feb, new p’port March 2020, GRS scheduled for some time in 2021

Offline Donica

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2020, 07:33:51 PM »
I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church because my mother was Catholic. My father was an atheist until his final years. My mother drag me unwillingly to church every Sunday morning until I was old enough to decide for myself what religion I wanted to follow. Of course, that meant I stopped going to church all together. My ex and her family are still very active at the very same church I was raised in. I started attending again after our marriage and baptized my children into Catholicism. As my mother did with me, we did the same with our kids, and let them choose for themselves when they were old enough.

Long story short, the kids grew up and then the divorce came. And then my coming out, The Catholic church that I had been a member of since I was 5 years old, decided they didn't want to have anything to do with me. I have since left the church, and now days, I wouldn't say that I an atheist like my father, but have been agnostic most my life. That's not to say I believe in a God like being however, I take a more scientific approach and believe God is all the unexplainable forces in the universe.

I have recently found an all inclusive Christian church just down the street from my old church. United Church of Christ (UCC) with a congregation of folks from all walks of live and all gender identities. The pasture herself is a married lesbian and her wife attends the services every Sunday morning. This is the same church that I participate in a monthly FFLUID support group. Although I will always lean more towards science, I think I will stay with this new church. Their services come straight from the Bible, and not from opinions or personal beliefs.
Rebirth June 9, 2017. Started HRT August 22, 2017. Came out June 16, 2017, Full time July 9, 2018. Started FHR August 9, 2018.
Started VFT September 19, 2018, Name and Gender change October 19. 2018, FFS 09/06/2019, Progesterone 10/18/2019.

Online OzGirl

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Re: I now identify as atheist
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2020, 07:45:02 PM »
Their services come straight from the Bible, and not from opinions or personal beliefs.

Yeah, that was the other thing I questioned. Who actually assembled the bible and translated it from the many languages and dialects it was originally written in, and how many scriptures were left out as they didn't fit the desired outcome? Nobody answered that for me. Later in life I got involved in reading government reports, up to 17,000 pages long. I saw similarities in these to the bible, as they were assembled by people with an agenda, interpreted to suit an outcome, and had lots of text which could never be verified. The size of the government reports were intentional, so nobody would really read the lot, and followed the distorted logic that if the report was so big, the conclusions must be right. They weren't.

Allie 
Knew I was a girl in 1958, told my mother. Dressed regularly at home from 2000, started HRT March 2019, FHR Oct 19 Full time Jan 2020, new BC Feb, new p’port March 2020, GRS scheduled for some time in 2021