I've never been part of a group and AN feels like a support group right now. Thank you. I've had what I thought were unique and sometimes humiliating experiences that I'm going to get off my chest today. Pardon my french because this post will be peppered with profanity.
I lived in Houston and the folks I worked with felt the constant fucking irritating need to pray for me, often at work. I was dealing with some serious issues with my son and in a moment of weakness after 4 years of "You have to visit my church" and receiving calls from coworkers where they just started praying while at work I super-reluctantly capitulated and went to church. Little did I know it was a damn setup. My coworker had spoken to her pastor and arranged for him to lay hands on me. Thus he did. I suppose I was to feel the spirit of God moving through me and convulse and dance. The thought of behaving in such a foolish manner embarassed me and I was humiliated at having let myself down and allowing myself to be talked into this shit and I started crying. I'm not finished yet. The pastor came over to me and laid hands on me and I guess I was supposed to fall back into that damn wrap that they had placed behind me. I refused to fall and stubbornly stood 3 times until the pastor pushed me back into the blanket. Fucking utter humiliation. Of course I never went back to the church and my coworker stopped engaging me after a few weeks since I refused to agree that it was all a divine experience.
At a friend's funeral service 10 years prior to that I was blocked from entering the stage by 3 male pastors, until I - torn with grief - could assure them I was not gonna bring some baby momma drama. WTF. I looked at the 3 church idiots like they had lost their heads. I didn't miss the irony that these were supposed to be the 3 wise men, lol.
Why are some atheists as judgemental [about the beliefs of believers] as believers are about non-believers? I personally don't give a shit what anybody thinks as long as it doesnt encroach upon what I think. I respect the beliefs of others until they try to persuade me to believe as they do. I think that 80% of people need religion to guide their lives and give them hope and dictate how they are to behave. They would be lost without religion to somehow shape them and help them make it. Let those who need it have it. I don't need or want it.
Last week, when one of my Christian friends asked why I didn't believe in God my mother yelled "she wasn't raised like that!".
I think all this religion stuff was created to control people and keep them in line. Unfortunately most people wouldn't know what to do without someone telling them but this goes back to paragraphs 2&4. Scare folks into submission. Ever seen the movie The Village? There, I said it.
If only I could be comfortable lying to myself and others I could be living a fairytale. But alas I refuse to be a believer. And I refuse to be a hypocrite. And I refuse to compromise my beliefs and opinions. I'm standing for something.
I wonder what would happen if I made an announcement to my family that I am an atheist.
Back in the day I wondered why most pastor's sermons were qualitatively poor speeches. Mediocre showmanship and poorly developed/supported content. Little substance - sorry that's the atheist coming out in me.
I'm gonna shut up now before my mouth gets me in trouble. Do let me know your experiences. I know I can't be the only one...