Deconverts: What part of Christian culture do you miss the most? Is there a worship song or hymn you find yourself humming? Do you ever get sentimental over an author or children's book? Do you miss the after church/bible study coffees and potlucks?

I realize there is plenty to NOT miss, but for those who were in the faith longer than out, i'd like to hear about the cultural soft-spots you have since leaving the faith.

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I'm working on creating a group/gathering of the deconverted near me. I have met separately with fellow deconverts and it is actually very refreshing to have the shared experience of christianity - to compare notes. We all know what it is like to leave the community of christ behind - as you say it was "a little band of brothers and sisters who watch out for each other". I don't know if I can find that level of camaraderie among born and bred atheists... but willing to try.

o = and yes to the books and hymns. did you ever read Jeanette Oke?
peple gathering can always be fun but i like to try and get other atheist to group together and volunteer. So far turn outs have been low but i think we need to put a Secular face on Donations, food drives and other programs becuase when your down and out is usually when the churchs come in and get a chance to start Converting those who if they had other means wouldn't find themselves staying or eating at a "place of god". Did a Cook out for any one and everyone a few years back with normal bob pamplets and other secular info out to let people Know they dont need God, then again alot of atheist didnt like me doing this becuase it was too religious like lol. I also rubber band Normal Bob Ministry Pamplets too candy bars for holloween, revenge on all the christian who put pmplets in my holloween bag as a kid except i atleast still attach candy.
I honestly can't think of any aspect of Christian culture that I miss. I mean, I am still surrounded by it, but I intentionally choose to have as little to do with it as possible.
That's understandable - especially if you're still in close proximity to it. I probably miss the "fellowship" the most - as in - the fellowship that was enjoyable and not judgmental backstabbing fellowship... and not forced niceness ...

obviously there are a lot of exceptions to the rule :)
for me thats the weird thing is i always found people in the church and christian groups at school to be so judgemental and exclusive about how they delt with people i never felt a family style ties with kids who bullied and made fun of the other kids who didn't fit in. Even Bible study groups seemed all freindly as long as you were drinking the same Kool Aid, but as soon as you asked why they thought the bible said this or that they showed their true colors and would get angry and treat you as an outsider who sudenly doesnt get the bible. I have workd in and out of food banks and have had alot of occasion where i need a hand up and i have always found one weather i was christian or not or if the other people helping were or were not christian. It's funny part of my deconversion programn for non religious christians is to take them to church to show them how and what other christians think and alot of them get shel shocked and step further away from the religion after experiencing some church as an adult.
had to go in further about Bible Fellowship group, I have personally never had an issue with homosexuality. As a Christian i had beleived it was sin but didn't think it was all burn in hell or be straight. Some one was quoting Leviticus behind the reason why Gays were going to hell and i asked why we ignored most the laws of Leviticus yet still got to pick and choose what ones we followed. Every one banded together against me and didnt even except what i had said or tried to explain it further they just treated me suddenly like i was niave and ignorant on the bible, when i was the only person in the group that had actively read the entire thing.
I like the deconversion idea for the half-assed christians who don't really know what they believe in. I can see how this could be quite effective - make them sit through some revivals.
My older brother had gone thru, after he had given up on the chruch, and started to try and use the bible to re invent his beliefs. so i walked him thru the reality of how foul the bible was and pointed out at some other churches how some people know this is here in the bible yet beleive it any way, now he see Rev. Phelps in every Xtian. I went on to take over his Bible youth group an actually paid position in a lutheran church after passing a test where for 8 months i pointed out all the worst passages in the bible had them write reports and give current examples of those sins in todays society and how we ignore the laws of god. we had the girl leave the girsl who were on the dirty time of the month seperate from the end of the course i had weakend their stance for the kill, i pointed out how if they followed the bible like that they would be expected to kill this and that rape victims should marry their Attackers, So deconverted 12 teenagers 8 of wich i know are still atheist today. I keep trying to find new and usefull ways to do this i cant stomach church enough to play religious for people to do it manipulatively anymore though.
Now that is some organized atheism I can hang my hat on. Give me community over ideology any day. That was what was so awesome about a Grateful Dead show back in the day. Little kids dancing with their grandmothers. People letting their guard down - and not needing to keep it up. (that and those funky hippy chicks ...)
Agreed- where there is two or more gathered together for food, there I am also. - Food does bring people together - I remember christians joking about not being able to live on bread alone - and the same is true for atheists - Can we bond and grow without feeding each other - not just our brains?
Is it wrong to make an allusion to Frank Zappa's portrayal of Catholic Girls? (sorry - couldn't help myself.)

Mass did have an aspect of community that could be rather secular. Pancake House breakfast after was a treat. Like Tim Minchin says in 'White Wine in the Sun', I liked some of the songs 'but the lyrics were dodgey.' Actually, some of the lyrics were just fine - stripped of the the dodgey ones -

'Where there's despair in life let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness - only light,
And where there's sadness, ever joy.'

I'm good with that. I'm good with the 'sign of peace' even when it was ritualistic, rote, and lost some sincerity in translation - it was still the most valid part of the mass to me. Beats flipping each other off and having a turf war.

Also - for a long time, I attempted to reinterpret the Bible to fit my sensibilities - so, for example, to me, "salvation" meant "no need to fear death - so get on with your life". It turns out that Atheism does a better job of that for me. Life is far more precious when you accept you only have one. And death is far less fearsome when you stop and think - 14 billion years of oblivion BEFORE I was born didn't seem so bad.

Early on (when I was still a believer - lol the first 30 years of my life) I always had "Safety On" when I was around fellowships and gatherings.

The last time I was inside a church (accompanying a friend who was a believer and had cancer,) I wanted to burn it. Maybe I missed blaspheming the dude on the cross right in his own turf.


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