Please help me maintain some sanity... It just isn't true!

I'm 60 something and a quilter.  Also a former math teacher with a lot of other things that I enjoy.  I belong to some online quilting groups that I enjoy as they give me information that I can't obtain anywhere else.  HOWEVER, on one of my favorite groups someone has a tagline that reads "Life's biggest decision is what you do with Jesus."  And now someone has replied " I love your line 'Life’s biggest decision is what you do with Jesus.' How true." 

I see where this is going, having tried to join quilting groups where everyone asks me "what church do you belong to?".  I'm ready to explode!  I love this group but I wonder if I should:

a. Have a tagline of my own (suggestions?) 


b.  Just write that I wish we could be members of a wonderful quilting group such as this and leave religion at the door?   I'm afraid that if I make this request I will be rejected and then will have to join as a new member keeping my real identity a secret.

What do you think I should do?  I'm afraid of making the wrong decision and having to leave the group but on the other hand, I need to grow a pair (as they say) :) and tale a stand! 

Please let me know what you think as I can't seem to decide.


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Thank you, Jay.

I've been trying to do that in a way but haven't spent a lot of time thinking about all of it, just that I don't believe, never really have since I can remember.  I lead my life and am most definitely not the best person in the world but am still a work in progress. 

I can't reply anything about Satan, however, as I certainly don't believe that myth either and don't want to perpetuate the myth that atheists or humanists must be Satinists!

I know there are many atheists who have spent a lot of time questioning and reasoning and trying to prove that there is no creator.  It was never something that I questioned or needed to question.  I'd love to be that intellectual about it all and able to recite a list of concrete, concise reasons for what I believe (or actually don't) and admire greatly those who can do this.  It was never on my agenda so now I can just say that I don't believe and live your life as best you can- I see no point in expending my intellectual energies in this direction as there are other things that really do interest me.  This is embarrassing to admit as I feel that to belong here, I should be able to contribute but it doesn't hold an interest for me.  So I'd like to find a canned, off the shelf tagline that brands me as a nonbeliever and does not offend the children out there who must have their Easter Bunny, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and god.  I can't comprehend their belief but am tired of it invading my life.

What are your options? 

1. Say nothing. Suffer in silence. Be a victim. 

2. Say something about your needs, wants and desires. Make a clear statement of what it is that you do not like, how you would like the group to function. 

3. Talk to the leader. 

4. Find an ally so you don't stand alone against the group. 

5. Look for another group who is not participating in talk of no interest to you. 

6. If you find that they continue with JC talk, rethink why you want to stay and is your feeling so strong you willingly continue to feel victimized, or decide to change groups. 

#6 is a false dichotomy; there are other options open, changing groups being only one. 

The point is, whatever you choose to do, make it a choice in which you do not feel like a victim. Victim mentally can get to be a habit. Habits are learned behaviors and can be unlearned. Learn how to be a victor in all challenges of life. Sometimes it means reframing one's experience, ie. Change I HAVE to go to work, to I WANT to go to work. Nothing else changes except attitude. Change the attitude to change the feelings that result from the choices one makes. 

Another process is when faced with a challenge, stand tall, head held high, shoulders back, imagine a backbone made of steel and arms made of velvet. The personal image helps to create a positive fame. 

Research from years ago, I forget the citation, had mountain limbers verbalize their thoughts into a recorder as they tackled a hazardous climb. Researchers analyzed the words of climbers and discovered that those who said something to the effect of, "I can't do this" quit the climb before climbers who said something to the effect of "I can do this".

Change negative language into positive and the thinking tends to follow the words. Thie is called neurolinguistic programming. Language influences the thinking brain. There is dispute in the research as to whether this works or not. You might give it a try and see if it helps. 

"Neuro-linguistic programming(NLP) is an approach to communicationpersonal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States in the 1970s. Its creators claim a connection between the neurological processes ("neuro"), language ("linguistic") and behavioral patterns learned through experience ("programming") and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life.[1][2]"

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)

Joan, I appreciate your taking the time to help me with this.  

#1.  I have done for too long.  Time to take a stand.

#2 and 3 .  I did communicate that I thought it was not appropriate for the board to be turning into a religious discussion and my post never appeared, nor did the moderator contact me.  However, the religious references have stopped except for one post by the woman who still retains her religious tagline.  I can ignore it as it’s her right to identify herself if she desires. 

4.  A tagline for myself might accomplish this and the line “I have a personal relationship with Reality” speaks to me and might just be what I wanted.  I bet some might think I was into reality tv.

#5 Is not an option as this group is unique and invaluable to me. 

What I most wish to thank you for is the bit about negative language and neurolinguistic programming.  I do tend to see the negative side of things and not have much of a backbone, or when I do I tend to focus less on my wants and become negative and nasty.  That’s because I’ve let things stay inside for too long until they boil out.  With the “I can do this” attitude, it’s up to me to find a way to achieve what I want and getting upset won’t do that!  Thank you so very much for this personal insight.  You must have a talent for reading between the lines. 

Ceil, I am a trained counselor who spent 20 years working with battered women, children, husbands, families, in boys' ranches, at prisons for federal, state and municipal prisoners, and have heard just about every way a person has problems, feels helpless and desires a better way to live.

If I helped you sort out the options, I am very glad. It is not that you do "not have much of a backbone", it is that you didn't know how to strengthen your backbone and thinking processes. What I have to offer are learned ways of living a healthier, happier, more productive life. 

There is a concept called the "Pinch Theory" that means something little happens and you feel a pinch and ignore it, another pinch and you ignore it, more pinches that you ignore, until one day you blow up and the fecal matter hits the fan, big time. A blow up that is all out of proportion to the most recent event. You have this backpack of manure that you carry around and it festers. You add to it over the years. When the explosion happens, people experience fear, then anger, then you wonder why relationships do not provide the support you need and deserve from them. Pay attention to the little pinches and the bag doesn't have a chance to grow and fester. 

You are doing fine. You will feel more confident and less helpless. We on A/N stand with you as you experience the transformation from using learned behaviors that may have served you as a child, but no longer produce the healthy life you can have.   

Thank you Joan!

Are there any specific places here that you would recommend I look at?

Hi Ceil. Don't take the Satan thing too seriously. I was just being facetious to lighten the mood. Being Canadian & polite what I often tell believers is "Sorry, but I just don't share your beliefs" & leave it at that. If they push I gently, but firmly, tell them that my beliefs are private & not up for discussion. If they're still bugging me then I go all Satan on their ass! Not! Just kidding. If a believer does not respect my boundaries I know that person is just a Bible Bully so I refuse to talk to them or, if they won't stop harassing me, report them to whoever is in charge.

Please note that I rarely have to do this do this. My social circle is made up of artists, actors, & other creative people most of whom are openly agnostic, atheist & even rabidly anti-theistic.

Incidentally, I sometimes refer to myself as an "Atomic Realist". It's catchy & a nod to the greek natural philosophers known as Atomists. It's also easier to say than Metaphysical Naturalist.

My current favorite tag line "In the age of information, ignorance is a choice"

Love this!

In the age of information, ignorance is a choice

Not just yes but HELL, YES!  Ignorance as a choice is a boat anchor on all of us, holding us back, restraining progress while failing to recognize the ubiquity of benefits science and informed, disciplined knowledge has brought us.  Such people want to wear blinders, "god glasses," as Seth Andrews calls them, either because they have been taught to be fearful of knowledge or because they have an agenda which depends on maintaining the tunnel vision of others.

These are people who want to live life sleepwalking.  Methinks it's time to wake 'em up!

Here here, I'll drink to that! My favorite journalist, Charles Pierce with Esquire Magazine, sometimes refers to weaponized ignorance, and he's got a point. It's not only a choice for the gullible followers, it's a choice for those who intentionally cultivate it as well. The corporate world and the religious freaks learned this trick originally from the tobacco companies and it's now refined into the art and science of twisting the truth and casting doubt on expertise known as marketing, which has become a synonym for brainwashing.

Ignorance has nothing to do with anything. Religious people are religious because that is what they were taught and the first things people are taught are usually the things that stay with a person no matter what new information the person learns; when religionists learn why religion is false/ bad for you, they still have to do their religion in order to avoid feeling too guilty due to the possibility of not doing what they were taught to do. There are multiple kinds of intelligence
- data-information-knowledge-wisdom;
ability to learn new skills one is taught(tying knots, playing musical instruments);
Ability to invent new skills or techniques or games or discover new information;
Instincts, ability to do basic living functions, ability to avoid feeling guilty for having basic needs, and so on;
Ability to use logic/ rational reasoning/ cause and effect.
Ability to distinguish between fact and fiction, what is healthy and what is bad for you, what is real and what is imaginary, between what behaviors hurt other people and which behaviors are neutral or help other people;
Ability to prevent oneself from doing what one was taught which is bad after one already knows it is wrong...
To say religionists are ignorant might or might not be accurate and it is too simple and does not tell you which kinds of knowledge any individual can or cannot handle...



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