The part of TN I live in does not atleast. I would love to move to another state somehow, to a more liberal community. That's a world I've never had the privelege to experience. I live in the backwoods with churches around every corner. Now, I'm being kicked out and losing my boyfriend of almost 2 years because I refuse to follow the christian lifestyle that he and his family are deeply involved in. He says the devil has a stronghold on me and its very frustrating. I'm suffocated by this fantasy cult community. And to boot, all of the shelters are faith based and require chapel attendance in return for food and a bed. So, yes you may be able to see why I'm searching for support on the internet lol.
This town is so small and the people are so narrow minded. There's practically a church on every corner and unfortunately, I'm not exaggerating too much, they're everywhere. I also have the added "benefit" of living with hyper religious Mormons who are all too pleased to casually spout their nonsense, but clam right the hell up when I get all secular on their asses.
Its almost next to impossible to even find a university professor outside of more liberal universities or colleges like UP who doesn't frown upon atheism . There's always been a stigma that being godless is equal to being immoral or innately evil. I have to fake faith and its churning my innards every time I have to go to church.
Hi! No, I'm not Latina suprisingly! I used to tutor Spanish-speaking ESL students, and when I'd tell them my name ("Hola, soy Christiana"), they'd nod and smile and look at me as if to say, "Oh, you're a Christian, that's great... but what's your name?" lol. I was named after my British great-grandmother, who we think was named from the book, "Pilgrim's Progress." The main character's name is Christian and his wife is Christiana. :) Nice to meet you!
Thank you for your kind comments. I just don't believe in the supernatural, never did and never will. I am running out of roundups. It goes so easy on my mind that when I die, it is lights out. No afterlife, no pain total non-existence. That is incredibly comforting. It also makes me cherish every moment and live for the minute.
I don't consider six years a short while. I wasted so much time, money, and energy trying to live for an imaginary deity who never existed in the first place, except in my mind. I wasn't raised in a religious household whatsoever. In fact, it was the complete opposite. I was raised in a completely dysfunctional household saturated with abuse and domestic violence. As a child I spent some time in foster homes and a mental hospital before the shit-storm finally calmed down, and I settled down with my dad who was a recovering alcoholic. It was too late by then though. I was a mess and my life became even messier as I became a teenager. My teenager years are nothing but a blur thanks to the abuse of drugs and alcohol. Luckily I graduated HS by the skin of my teeth and managed to escape the hellhole I was living by joining the AF. My troubles and addictions only followed me from there though, and I got very close to getting kicked out of the military. Fortunately they decided to pay for me to attend rehab. During this time I was very unstable psychologically and vulnerable to religious zealots who would want to convert me. And that's exactly what happened. I came across some christians in rehab (and after) who played upon my vulnerability and before you know it I was a baptized, bible thumping, religious crackpot with no idea what I had gotten into. It didn't take long before I was telling everyone I met they were on their way to hell, giving half of my income away, and depriving myself of everything earthly thing I once enjoyed. I became a hardcore street evangelist that carried around obnoxious signs and yelled the "gospel" at everyone that passed by. I spent a ridiculous amount of time praying, reading the bible, and attending bible studies and church. I eventually became one of those people that loved studying theology and church history and found myself adoring people like John Calvin, John Knox, Johnathan Edwards, etc. In other words, I was a "Calvinist." I also eventually finished my enlistment in the AF around this time and decided to move back to NM from Idaho. I wanted to come back here so I could attend school and be closer to family; and so I could witness to them and try to help turn them away from their sins lol. It was hard to leave at first because I had countless christian friends, many of whom were accountability partners with me and knew my deepest and darkest secrets. I still do love a lot of these people like my own siblings but I can’t stand to be around them anymore because they still believe all that bullshit. I forgot to mention this earlier, but my dad also became a hardcore christian after I did and still is to this day. Sometimes I can’t stand being around when he starts trying to preach to me or talk about Christianity. He’s so dogmatic and there is nothing you can say to him that will change his mind. After I moved back down here to NM I didn’t have any christian friends down here whatsoever. To put it simply, I didn’t have anybody down here to encourage me not to question Christianity. Somehow, someway, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Matt Dillahunty found their way on to my computer screen, and before you could recite John 3:16 I was a full blown atheist; it literally happened within a few months. Well, that what those six years looked like in a nutshell. There is a lot I left out, but I think you get the gist of it.
Thank you for the heads up. I sure am glad I didn't post my street address. I wonder if I'll have any interesting mail this week.
Mormons and Muslims -- believe in a book sent by god with the unaltered word for his chosen people. Same idea, different language. There are comparative religion books juxtaposing these two that go in much more depth on their similarities than my brief comment.
I'm pleased I feel no attachment to either, well, except that I have family members in both still. Shari'a might be illegal, hopefully, but not Islam.
ha ha...no I was not thinking atheist-like when I mentioned Carolina Rebellion, but I'll bet there will be a few of them there.
No, no Disturbed. I think they've stopped making music. They are one of my favorites, but I am psyched about seeing Godsmack (love that name), Chevelle and SlipKnot, not to mention the other awesome groups that'll be there.
Are you a metal fan? Meet us there!
I see in one of your pictures you look like you're on your way to work - the badge kind of gives you away. What do you do?
Hi Joseph. Yes, I live in the northern suburbs, specifically the northeastern suburbs. The suburbs in Atlanta vary greatly when it comes to land land home prices and new urban planning polices.
The older pockets of suburbs can be quite inexpensive to buy a home that includes fair sized grounds or yards (an acre is not unusual). There are lots of trees in those older pockets and neighborhood sections of housing The older Atlanta suburbs were tree happy to say the least.
Of course, older homes require expensive upkeep and these types of neighborhoods are often in decline, though I guess that's basically pretty par for the course, anywhere.
All of the newer developed areas and neighborhoods in suburban Atlanta are VERY expensive, mind blowingly expensive. That's fine and well for people who can afford it, but it pushes many middle class families into deteriorating neighborhoods, with high crime rates. I guess that's pretty much what is going on everywhere, also.
Inner southern suburbs are awful but as you get out further, they are quickly becoming indistinguishable from the outer northern suburbs. I am generalizing and I'm no expert. It's my general impression. It's not something I particularly keep abreast of. ,I could be wrong about what's going on, especially in the southern suburbs. I'm not as familiar with them. I go there only occasionally.
Hi Joseph, Agency detection is certainly important, but humans also have unique abilities to create mental simulations of other minds which are important in supporting our complicated sociality. I think this plays a part in creation of gods. Chimps have similar abilities, but to a significantly lesser degree. We say things and think about what others are thinking about what we are thinking. This looping can go on to four or five orders. In a sense, we live in a world populated by complex simulations of other invisible intelligences, so it isn't too large a leap to create invisible intelligences in the form of gods and spirits out of nothing to explain things. About 80% of children have imaginary friends which is just this process in action. Apparently most of us forget these friends which often show up before the age of three.
I was born into an Adventist family and was so convinced of it as a child because my parents taught it to me (seriously, that was my lack of logic) and was a pianist in the church. However, as of 2010, I had my sincere doubts about the faith, and began questioning. After reading Acharaya S's treatise The Christ Conspiracy, I was blown a terrible blow, and then, to confirm my own beliefs, I found an apologist who debunked and tore her apart. To be honest, she was dead wrong. I took this as license to continue my faith. It is an Adventist tradition to select church officers every two years towards the end of the two-year term, and I was selected to lead the Youth Department (AYS, for you ex-Adventists), to be head of musicians, and to be head of religious liberty. I really believed that I was right, all because of what I felt was my calling. i even thought the "Spirit" led them to select me. As of the beginning of this year, however, the doubts returned, and then i realized... we are all practical atheists, buying insurance, and when the church prayed, I saw that the results were left up to randomness, to chance. It spurred in me the impetus to research again. This is when I concluded that I had been so closed minded, been hit with the truth so often, that I didn't want to accept it but the truth was FACTUAL and not FAITHDRIVEN.
So here I am, in a family of 7, and they all are Adventist, and I live with them. I am making moves towards independence, but Im an outcast in my own family. I already know the truth, and when I bring snippets of it to the family, the reaction is willful ignorance or shunning, or the declaration that Im too young to know or that I don't know everything. I cannot wait until I am completely out of this, but out of a sense of obligation, I am still serving as the head of these departments. I will excuse myself when the half-term (one year) evaluation comes, and it is terribly difficult for me to do so, as my patience is running thin. If you have any advice for how to weather this out, I would love to hear it.