Jodi Nautilus
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New Atheist Here....

Started this discussion. Last reply by Gwaithmir Apr 7, 2016. 21 Replies

Salutations all,Call me Jodi. I am a new Atheist. Raised in a xtian household.  I am interested in making some friends in the atheist community and learning more about the world I was denied learning…Continue

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I am a new atheist, deprogramming myself from being raised in religion.

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At 11:29pm on April 5, 2016, Joseph P said…

Jeeze, I just keep going, once I get started, huh?  Sorry I overloaded this thing.  I tanked the 5,000 character limit and will have to split it up a bit.  Let's see if you make it all the way to the bottom without falling asleep.  :-D

Read the lower comment first, since I posted them in order, and they move down the page from newest to oldest.

I'm not really out-out to many people.


You have to do it. over and over for the rest of your life, sometimes. always new people to meet, and situations to either be true to yourself or lie and hide who you are..etc.

Yeah, coming out is gradual and conditional.  If you're at all financially dependent upon your parents still, it's a good idea to keep it to yourself.

That's what I've told the handful of high school students and college students I've encountered who aren't sure what to do.  If you aren't absolutely sure how your parents will take it, you stay the hell in the closet until you're able to deal with the consequences on your own terms.  Some kids have been kicked out of the house and disowned before they even finished high school.

Honesty is the best way to go, usually, but if coming out as an atheist is going to impact your life that badly and cause you financial hardship, you lie your ass off and keep going to church if necessary.

I don't even make any kind of deal about it, usually, in a professional setting.  Best to minimize and not annoy people.  If someone specifically asks, I'll be absolutely honest, but I'll try not to be judgmental about the other person's beliefs.

My private life, though?  Yeah, the gloves are off.

But still, we have the reactive position, since we don't believe what the other person probably believes.  I wait until someone else brings up the subject of religion.  My mother and my siblings know better than to bring it up, so it never comes up at family events.

You're really lucky to be a 'natural born skeptic'  as it were.. I'm a bit late to the party, but it's better than not getting an invite at all, right?

Well, when I say "born," I mean sometime before I had any real sense of self.  I'm sure that my gestational brain-development had a minimal influence upon the situation.  It was probably a mix of at least half a dozen influences, when I was very little.

My parents were really good at raising us.  We didn't get slapped down for repeatedly asking why or how.  They encouraged our curiosity.

My father was also a fan of ancient mythology.  I was exposed to a lot of Greek and Norse mythology when I was very little, so I got an early introduction to the concept of religious stuff that no one believes anymore.

Also, I was taught to read, partially from 100-or-so science books that had been purchased for my older brother.  Some Time-Life series of educational books for children or something.  A few dozen National Geographic books mixed in there too, I think.

Also, Doug Henning was big, when I was very young, and he had a magic special on TV, at least a few times a year.  My father was a big fan of magic, so we watched pretty much every one.

After watching a half-dozen ladies get sawn in half and and put back together, all of the miracles of Jesus weren't so impressive.  That's still my favorite trick to this day.  There were plenty of other tricks that put the Bible miracles to shame, too.

That also follows a trend, since a large percentage of magicians are skeptics/atheists.  There are a lot of magicians at TAM, every year.

And yeah, we're glad to have you, whenever you can make it over here.  I almost envy people with the history of having been a real believer, since they c

At 11:16pm on April 5, 2016, Joseph P said…

The experience of coming out of indoctrination is a rocky one.  Cause I was deep into the faith game.

Yeah, I've heard some crazy stuff from some people.  There are a few who have full-blown PTSD, as a result of their brainwashing.  Rich Lyons, of the Living After Faith blog/podcast comes to mind.  He was a Pentecostal minister for something like 20 years, before snapping out of it.

His wife was a real mind-job, too.  I think he said that they had sex 17 times in their 20 years of marriage.  I can just imagine the other extreme stuff that went along with that.  His current wife is a bit better for him.

But what got me out, was ... well, being in college AWAY from my parents, I was free to question things.

Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.

That reminds me of something that Josh McDowell said, a few years back:  Essentially, that and similar statements from other faith leaders amount to an admission that their beliefs can't stand up against free access to information and opposing viewpoints.

Why don't they just come out and admit that they're the heads of a cult?  That sort of information control is one of the primary characteristics of cults.

It lead me down a path of paganism, and then later non-theism.

I did some of the same sort of thing, in my late teens and very early 20's, too.  I was never actually a pagan, but I adopted the trappings of paganism and hung out with a lot of them.  They were just as silly but were more pleasant than the Christians.

Honestly, if I had known that coming out of the closet as a firm atheist would have bothered my mother so much, I could have just skipped the whole paganism thing entirely.  The paganism was the best thing I knew of to accomplish that goal.

I still respect the Earth and think we should take care of it, so I took that aspect of 'paganism' with me, but none of the gods or goddesses truly felt right.

I wouldn't call that paganism, as much as I would call it sanity.  Until we have self-sufficient societies on other planets, if the Earth goes down, we go with it.

And the Earth is kind of cool in general.  I'm a fan, even if it seems determined to kill us, a lot of the time.

I still struggle with the more subtle conditioning/programming of being indoctrinated soooo young ...

Some of that is fine.  I still have characteristics of having grown up Catholic.  My preferred form of cursing, for example, is classically Catholic.  I lean more towards profanity, rather than vulgarity.

It's just a matter of stripping away the things that actually affect your behavior and that actually hold you back from something that you otherwise want to do.  A lot of that is just a matter of time.  When you've only sorted out your thoughts and beliefs within the past year or so, all of your previous beliefs still hold a lot of emotional sway.  Give it 2 or 3 years of not believing the stuff, though, and the emotional ties fade over time.

I've heard that from other people, and that's my own experience, at least in non-religious matters.

At 1:27pm on April 4, 2016, Joseph P said…

Sorry, I kind of tuned out there a bit, for the weekend.

Hmm, I had to look up the Disciples of Christ.  New one to me.  After looking at their official website and the Wikipedia article, I can see why.  I spent a good while looking for their statement of faith or anything along those lines, only to come to the conclusion that they don't really seem to have one, if the Wikipedia article is accurate.

With a preferred name of "The Christian Church," I guess that would be the case.  Seems a little presumptuous of them, though, co-opting the name of the entire religion.  :-D  I mean, I guess I'm all for being inclusive, guys, but way to muddy the waters for everyone else.

I'm guessing that your father's Pentecostal practices take precedence whenever the two come into conflict, given your mother's nondescript denomination?  Or are they no longer together, so they never really come into conflict?

I guess I meant what the experience was like, coming out of your religious indoctrination.  I'm always curious, since I was never really a believer to begin with.  I was raised Catholic, but I have vague memories of deep doubt, going back to around 5 or 6 years old.  By 10 or 12, I was more or less certain that I didn't believe any of the silly stuff they were telling us, any more than I I did the Greek or Norse mythology that I had read.

I guess I was just a natural-born skeptic or something.  I always wanted to look one layer deeper to figure out how people know what they claim to know.  Probably a result of all of the science books that I learned to read on, even before kindergarten.

The moment someone fell back on "mystery" (one of the favorite words of the Catholic church) or "faith," I immediately became suspicious.  It's one thing to admit that you don't know something, but to claim knowledge with that kind of non-answer ...

At 4:52pm on April 3, 2016, Dr. Terence Meaden said…

Hi Jodi  

Make yourself at home on Nexus. Welcome to this friendly Internet community of rationality and peace, common sense and freethinking evidence-based wisdom. 

We invite you to visit and join the busy group "ORIGINS: Universe, Astronomy, Life, Earth, Humans, Religion, Gods, Atheism, Evolution, Darwin..." with 1100 discussion topics and 4190 members.

There are over 1100 groups in Atheist Nexus. Do go visiting and try "Hang with Friends".   


At 3:45pm on April 2, 2016, Ruth Anthony-Gardner said…

Welcome, Jodi! Glad you could join us. :D

Please consider joining a group to meet people and talk about anything that's on your mind, Hang With Friends. You might also like Women Atheists, Female Atheists, and possibly Feminist Atheists.

I also recommend Eco-Logical and Climate Concerns, since the Texas climate is changing so drastically.

After you've searched for topics of interest in "Groups" above and in the "Forums", don't forget to look at recent activity which hides along the right margin of the page all the way at the bottom.

At 1:10pm on April 2, 2016, Joseph P said…

Nice.  Welcome to the non-dogmatic side of the fence ... or at least if an atheist manages to do atheism dogmatically, that atheist is doing it wrong.

What sort of religion did you break out of?  Pentecostalism or Southern Bapti ... stry ... ism ... ianism.  What the heck is the organizational term for Southern Baptists?  Southern Baptism seems like the obvious one, but that's already taken.

Anyway, one of those, some other denomination, or some other religion entirely, like Islam, Hinduism, or Paganism?  How are you liking the experience, so far?

At 12:29pm on April 2, 2016, Joan Denoo said…

Hi Jodi, welcome to Atheist Nexus. This is a lively bunch with many groups and forums arranged by topic. You can browse around all you want and you can respond with your comment. Newcomers to atheism sometimes feel overwhelmed. Just sit back, take a deep breath, relax, and have fun. We get serious about serious matters and goof off when the mood hits.   




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