I feel like I recovered from religion a long time ago, as I became a nonbeliever many years back, but I've had to hide my light under a HUGE rock for as many years. I live in a small, rural town in the heart of the southern bible belt. There is literally a church on every corner and street in my hometown. The local a.m radio station starts at 7 am on Sunday morning and broadcasts from churches all morning long, and the afternoon is spent playing nothing but gospel music.
I joined Facebook back in June and I"ve enjoyed meeting up with lots of folks I haven't seen in years, including 5 first cousins that I hadn't seen since childhood. The problem is, most all the postings of folks on my friends list are very heavily religious. Everyone is always praying for someone, and asking for, "god's help," etc. etc. Not only does it irratate me, but I just want to go on there and say, I don't believe the way you people do, yet I know I would be shunned and most all those friends and relatives would withdraw their friends requests.
I am lucky that my husband and I believe the same way, and we've raised our daughter free from church and religious doctrine. One of my coworkers is, "holiness,". Anyone that doesn't know what that is, she hasn't cut her hair in 10 years, wears nothing but skirts, isn't allowed to wear makeup, or go to the movies. She is allowed to wear a watch and wedding ring, and that is the extent of her jewelry. She and I get along well, and I"ve pretty much told her I am, "different," in my beliefs. I didn't have the courage to just state plainly, I don't believe in god, jesus, the bible, etc. I don't believe she could stand hearing the all out truth of my beliefs. With me being vague, she and I can have a good and friendly working atmosphere.
I think that I will spend all my life, recovering from religion. I was raised in the church and during my youth bounced between Methodist, Baptist, and holiness churches. My maternal grandparents were devout Jehovah Witness. I began to question the bible when I was in my late teens. I am an only child, therefore, I read a lot. I stumbled upon a book on reincarnation at around 18, and everything started to change for me.
I am now 59 and I see the bible as a book written by men, and is as much a myth as the Greek mythologies. I was interested in Wicca at one time, but drifted away. Anyway, sorry to ramble on, but it feels really, really good to be able to speak my mind without being shunned. I'm so glad to find this board.
PS. sorry for any misspelling. I hate doing that, but I don't have a spell checker.
Anita, what a wonderful website this is. Most of us know exactly what you've been going through because we share similar experiences.
The universe just is. The universe just is. The universe just is. The universe just is.
Why the fuck can't these religious assholes just accept this simple truth.
Anyway, welcome to this great website.
I am new on here too. I found this just a few days ago. It is funny, because I have been atheist longer than I was admitting it to myself. I think a lot of the things I was raised with in Christianity have a lot to do with why I took a long time. I was raised basically baptist, and I married a Catholic who never goes to church. Between my mother telling people who she thinks are people who are going hell, and my mother in law telling me what I would do if I was a good Catholic, I had my fill of it all before I told anyone.
I think for me, the beginning of admitting what I believe, which is there is no proof there is a god, was when my daughter began to tell everyone, including both of her grandmothers, that she was an atheist. The kid has guts, and would not mince words. She is who she is, and had thought it all out carefully. It made me look it all over. I didn't have the nerve she did for a long time.
Anyway, here I am. I still haven't told my mom, or my mother in law, because they won't like or accept that I am, in their eyes, going to hell. Since I don't think there is anything after this, I don't believe in hell. My hubby is just glad that I don't force anything on any one. He still doesn't go to church, but he also still hasn't gotten to the point of not believing in god. Things take time.
Thanks for letting me join, and letting me vent.
Hi Rhonda, nice to meet you. I've been a nonbeliever for many years, but I wasn't able to tell anyone. Here in the heart of the bible belt, you will do well to not let anyone know. I've aluded to friends that I don't exactly believe everything the bible says, and some of them have stated they don't believe everything it says either, but I've never openly said, I'm an atheists. My husband is also an atheists, and we raised our daughter (21) free from church, religion, the bible. We've always encouraged her to think for herself. If she had chosen to become a christian we would have been okay with it. That's how most atheists are, we don't try to shove anything down the throats of others. My daughter is agnostic. I am so glad to be able to come here. It's liberating!!!
A warm welcome Anita. That is why we are here, because many of us are surrounded by religionists and have no one to talk to or share thoughts, ideas and frustrations with. Hope you find some friends here. We are always interested in hearing others stories. Feel free to share as much or little as you like.
Dr. Darrel Ray, author of The God Virus : How religion infects our lives and culture, founder of Recovering from Religion
This is a great testimonial and is easy to relate to, Anita. I've started to call myself a nontheist in only about the last year. I had doubts for a long time, but when my christian faith really started falling apart was when I started to consciously look for the truth. I even prayed for the truth and it seems to have revealed itself to a much better degree than before. One of the first things that's easy to run into is that nobody knows who wrote the book of genesis. to me that ruins its credibility instantly. Another is the commandment "thou shalt not kill" but the rest of the bible sure has a lot of killing for a lot of reasons. There's lots more but I don't have to convince anyone here. So, I started looking at other forms of spirituality, some eastern and other more western occult type disciplines. I actually still enjoy tarot, not that I think there's some ju ju making the cards do things, but it can be a good tool for introspection or looking at issue's from other angles. It's an old world type of psychiatry as far as I can tell. But the more I looked at various spiritual ways of thinking, it all started to seem just flat out false. You can see where one religion became another, the early christian church was saturated with what fundamentalists now would call witchcraft, and on, and on, and on. The last straw was going through some financial and personal crisis, (which I'd like to keep private) and I thought to myself, "Isn't god looking out for me? I've worked hard and saved. Why did this situation happen to me?" The evident truth, that I had been looking for, for a number of years was there isn't a big guy in the clouds to help me or hurt me. I wasn't being punished for being a bad person so being resentful would be useless. I would just have to be a bit sharper about my dealings in life.
This, to me is a really cool discussion group. Thanks, Anita and everyone else for a spot to say what's on my mind.