Just a little support, please

Peppermint42
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Just a little support, please

Hi there!  I'm Gallowsbait and I'm 23 years old.  For the first 22 years of my life I was a true believer in God, and up until the end of that 22nd year I never wanted to question the faith I was raised in.  My entire family is Christian, and my boyfriend and his family are Christians, and I really don't know anybody personally who's an atheist.  The people I respect the most are members of the church I grew up in, and I feel so much dissonance because I don't think I can ever bring myself to tell anybody (except my boyfriend, who went and told his older brother, who I'm sure went and told his wife but I don't think it's gone past them) because I just know they'll start some lecture on how I should read the Bible.  Only problem with that is I have read the Bible (ALL OF IT) and the only way to actually believe most of the crap in there is to either say it's "symbolic" and not a literal representation of historical events, or to say that whatever passage is "no longer relevant" or something, and that's pretty funny coming from people who also preach that you can't "pick and choose what you want to believe in".  I can't believe it took me practically my whole life to wake up from the self-destructive nightmare that is religion, but now that I'm out I have to face my fear of being an outcast, and as many times as my family has been there for me in the past (what with really bad relationships and financial problems), I don't know if they'll ever understand my leaving the faith. 

When my boyfriend told his brother on the phone that I was an atheist, he told me later that his brother thinks that it's "an empty and unfulfilling life" or something like that.  And when I asked how he felt about it, he said he was worried about me going to Hell.  And so I told him that if God is as merciful and forgiving as he's supposed to be, then He'll judge me by how I live my life and treat other people, not by whether or not I believe in Him.  And considering my past and my own personal struggles, I came to the conclusion a while ago that if there is a God, he certainly doesn't care about me, anyway.  Not to mention all the pain and horror that goes on all over the  rest of the world.  And so my boyfriend just shrugged and said "Oh, I'm not an expert", implying that he wasn't going to change his mind, but he didn't have anything to try and change my mind with.  I'm just afraid the rest of my life is going to be full of conversations like that.  I can't even imagine how we'd ever raise kids together.

So anyway, if there's anyone else in this forum who has been through this kind of thing or anyone with some words of courage that don't have to do with "God has a plan", then please respond ASAP.  Thanks!

 


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Hi and welcome,Well, when

Hi and welcome,

Well, when you're surrounded by seemingly heavily religious people, then it's only natural to fear being ostracized. Still, going by your boyfriend's reaction, I don't think that's going to happen. He seems to be like most people, i.e. he doesn't care one way or the other, at least not enough to really bug you about it. As for his brother, if he really wanted to know what your life was like, he would ask you. His "empty and unfulfilling life" line is just wishful thinking on his part.

As for your family, that will take time. If you don't like conversations about your atheism, rest assured, they probably won't like it much either. But eventually, if they're honest, they'll have to acknowledge that you're still the same person, just a little happier maybe.

 


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Welcome, congratulations,

Welcome, congratulations, and my sympathies.
I've never believed in a god. The beauty of it is that it's the only way to have meaning and fulfilment in life. Those that believe in gods give up both credit and responsibility for their actions. When one of them accomplishes a difficult task, they say god helped them, or did it himself. They are unable to take credit, denying themselves. The same goes for responsibility. Instead of facing the music, they think that asking for the forgiveness of their god makes it alright. Instead of trying to fix a problem, they get on their knees and pray. When something happens that they don't understand, god fills the role of the unknown. It's a cop out.

"told him that if God is as merciful and forgiving as he's supposed to be, then He'll judge me by how I live my life and treat other people, not by whether or not I believein Him."

A great answer to Pascal's wager. Smiling
Another is to point out all the people who weren't raised on belief.

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If the christian god were

If the christian god were real, and not believing in said god equated to eternity in hell, then the vast majority of human beings are in hell. Everyone born before the so-called events of christs birth without exception, and the vast majority since. After all, the indians in North America weren't told about christians until a few hundred years ago. Until they were told, none of them believed in christianity. That's enough to be sent to hell? To be born in the wrong part of the world? What an evil and vindictive god christians claim to love.
The worst part for you has to be the isolation. I'm sure there are other atheists around you, and most of them probably face the same feelings.

"I can't even imagine how we'd ever raise kids together."

A feeling I share. I've long known I could never have a lasting relationship with a theist. We see the world through different eyes.

Having never been a believer, I'm not the best to help you get through this difficult time.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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You share this difficult

You share this difficult experience with a number of people here though, and they are always quite willing to help people going through what you are. I do what I can, but on some level I am so far removed from belief in the unbelievable that I can't comprehend it.

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I only know for a fact that

I only know for a fact that if and when I have kids, I'm teaching them to think for themselves.  I was brought up believing that to doubt was to be condemned.  I never want my kids to be afraid of asking questions, or of eternal damnation for petty "sins".  My life might have been so much better if I hadn't spent so much of it keeping myself from THINKING.


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Gallowsbait wrote:Hi

Gallowsbait wrote:

Hi there!  I'm Gallowsbait and I'm 23 years old.  For the first 22 years of my life I was a true believer in God, and up until the end of that 22nd year I never wanted to question the faith I was raised in.  My entire family is Christian, and my boyfriend and his family are Christians, and I really don't know anybody personally who's an atheist.  The people I respect the most are members of the church I grew up in, and I feel so much dissonance because I don't think I can ever bring myself to tell anybody (except my boyfriend, who went and told his older brother, who I'm sure went and told his wife but I don't think it's gone past them) because I just know they'll start some lecture on how I should read the Bible.  Only problem with that is I have read the Bible (ALL OF IT) and the only way to actually believe most of the crap in there is to either say it's "symbolic" and not a literal representation of historical events, or to say that whatever passage is "no longer relevant" or something, and that's pretty funny coming from people who also preach that you can't "pick and choose what you want to believe in".  I can't believe it took me practically my whole life to wake up from the self-destructive nightmare that is religion, but now that I'm out I have to face my fear of being an outcast, and as many times as my family has been there for me in the past (what with really bad relationships and financial problems), I don't know if they'll ever understand my leaving the faith.

Hello Gallowsbait,

If only everyone would actually read the bible they'd realize their 'faith' is an illusion. Ironically the bible might be your bridge of communication with your family and friends. If they question you about your lack of belief just whip out the ol' bible and point out the contradictions and absurdities and ask them what they think it means.

I good place to find material to back up your point of view and the problems in the holely (purposely spelled holely) book I suggest http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

Quote:
When my boyfriend told his brother on the phone that I was an atheist, he told me later that his brother thinks that it's "an empty and unfulfilling life" or something like that.  And when I asked how he felt about it, he said he was worried about me going to Hell.  And so I told him that if God is as merciful and forgiving as he's supposed to be, then He'll judge me by how I live my life and treat other people, not by whether or not I believe in Him.  And considering my past and my own personal struggles, I came to the conclusion a while ago that if there is a God, he certainly doesn't care about me, anyway.  Not to mention all the pain and horror that goes on all over the  rest of the world.  And so my boyfriend just shrugged and said "Oh, I'm not an expert", implying that he wasn't going to change his mind, but he didn't have anything to try and change my mind with.  I'm just afraid the rest of my life is going to be full of conversations like that.  I can't even imagine how we'd ever raise kids together.

So anyway, if there's anyone else in this forum who has been through this kind of thing or anyone with some words of courage that don't have to do with "God has a plan", then please respond ASAP.  Thanks!

 

A good discussion to have with your boy friend is ask him why is there evil in the world while this god is doing nothing about it, after all, this claimed god is supposedly all powerful and all knowing, right?

 

 

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Hi Gallows,I was also raised

Hi Gallows,

I was also raised in a very religious family and believed it wholeheartedly until my 20's.  I knew the bible pretty thoroughly and my parents thought I would one day be a preacher or missionary.  During that decade of my life I began to dwell on various aspects of the logic surrounding my faith and slowly moved from theist to deist to finally atheist though I didn't admit that even to myself until my 30th year.

It's hard in a lot of ways because my mother always talks about god, god's plan, and asking me to pray for whoever all the time.  One of the most difficult things is that I'm a big enthusiast about evolution and human evolution especially, while my mother doesn't even believe in evolution.  And this is a woman with a Masters Degree that is the director of a University library!

A few years back she came to visit me, started talking about some scientific study that pushed back the common ancestor between man and chimp a couple more million more years, and said, "See?  I knew there was no monkey."

I blurted  out, "WELL THERE HAD TO HAVE BEEN ONE BACK THERE SOMEWHERE!"

I didn't even think, I just reacted.  But then we both had an "Oh shit" moment and just shut up about it.

I've had fights over religion with my older brother before.  It's tough, this stupid belief in this ancient religion driving a wedge between you and your family members and loved ones.  That's one of the things that gets me riled up when I'm displaying an "angry atheist" characteristic. 

The way I've dealt with it is that I usually just ignore my mother's god talk.  When bringing the kids to visit her I will go to church, I'll let her take them to sunday bible school in the summer, etc.  I'm not opposed to my girls learning about religion.  When they are around me I teach them about science and other religious beliefs including non-belief.  And then I will let them decide what they decide to believe  One mistake I will not make that my parents have made is that I will not let differences in belief of religion be a problem between me and my kids.

They can be mormons for all I care.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Gallowsbait wrote: When my

Gallowsbait wrote:

 

When my boyfriend told his brother on the phone that I was an atheist, he told me later that his brother thinks that it's "an empty and unfulfilling life" or something like that. 

 

It's amazing how much you can fill up your life when you don't have to spend any time on imaginary people in the sky.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


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Welcome to the forum,

Welcome to the forum, Gallowsbait!

Many members of this forum used to be religious, so you're definitely not alone. Even at least two of the moderators/admin, Sapient and Hamby, were Christian at one time.

Again, welcome. If you have any questions about these topics, don't hesitate to ask. 

Quote:
I'm just afraid the rest of my life is going to be full of conversations like that.

Sigh...there will be fun and productive conversations sometimes, but yeah, it's going to be like that with most Christians.

Quote:
I can't even imagine how we'd ever raise kids together. 

You don't have to listen to anything I say, but here's my opinion.

It's my impression that some people with different religious beliefs live together happily until they have kids, because this is not something that they can agree to disagree on. They separate because they can't handle not teaching their children their beliefs or allowing their spouse to. If you're planning to have children with him, and this is going to be the situation, then you should dump him now. You don't want to do it when you're married with kids. So, ask your boyfriend whether he would raise your children as Christians; talk to him.  

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Gallowsbait wrote: I can't

Gallowsbait wrote:

 I can't even imagine how we'd ever raise kids together.

 

This is definitely a conversation you'll want to have sooner rather than later. My wife and I have been married for almost 10 years. She's a theist, and I am not (though I'd classify her as a really weak theist). But we had the kids conversation before we got married and agreed that we'd both present our views to the kids over the years and let them decide for themselves. Frankly, if my kids turn out to be the same brand of theist as my wife is, I'll be fine with that. My wife readily admits that religion doesn't have all the answers and she's a total lefty liberal. I don't know where your boyfriend falls on the scale, but if you can't agree to how you raise your kids then you should probably get out while you can.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


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Yeah, I've considered

Yeah, I've considered that.  I don't want to jump to any decisions like that, though, because in all honesty when we first started dating I was still claiming to be a Christian (although at that point I was beginning to really doubt and I just didn't have the guts to say anything about it).  He's a really great guy and he's a vast improvement over the men I've been with in the past, and he dotes on me.  I want to believe that if I'm patient and explain why I'm atheist to him well enough he'll see the light, but he strongly believes in "ignorance is bliss" for some reason (that's not just pertaining to religion, btw) and he doesn't like to read and he's got selective hearing really bad.  I guess you'd call that confirmation bias. 

*sigh* I know, I know.  It's not like I've never had to break up with someone because I'd changed my mind during the course of the relationship before.  I guess I just want it to work out because he's been so good to me and with him I feel the security I'd been seeking in other relationships but never achieved. 

Usually I'd talk to my mom about something like this, but she's a devout church-goer (she's been the music director there since I was, like, eight) and we're really close and I don't want our relationship to be strained at all.  She's the one I call during my chronic depression episodes and when I'm facing a big decision and when something exciting happens to me and when I'm confused about something and when I just feel like talking.  Plus, I don't have any girlfriends so if I lost her I'd be stuck with just my roommate and my dog to talk to, and while my roommate is a great guy and a lot more open minded than my bf, he's also really good friends with him and I don't want to hurt their friendship at all.  Besides, guys don't like to talk about feelings and stuff.  And my puppy dog is ADHD so even if he knew what the hell I'm talking about he'd be too busy licking the sofa or doing his ritual kibble dance (he is the only dog I've ever known to play with his food) to pay attention.  Sticking out tongue

Anyway, thank you for all your support.  It's good to know I'm not alone.

 

 


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Congratulations on your deconversion

 

Gallowsbait and welcome to the real world. I had the same upbringing as you, my family are rabid fundies and express constant regret they will have to spend eternity in heaven knowing I am in hell.

Odd they express no concern over the billions of screaming individuals in the hell-to-be they have never met before but that's the shallowness of human nature for you.

My experience with deconversion is that it's a process. You will need some support from normal healthy human beings especially as those closest to you are on the other track. This site and others like it are

very therapeutic I find. It gets better over time - you get stronger but it's hard to break completely free from the fear of it, so if you can't, don't think you're alone in that struggle.

I'm not sure about the relationship with a christian thing. I could never truly trust a christian or a muslim. Knowing my partner, in their quiet heart, believed I was evil and deserved to to be the main event in some

hideous inquisition, with screaming, sharp instruments and all that red hot metal, would be the end for me. And if they were diffident about it or claimed not to be an expert, or otherwise begged off, from an issue this big -

that would probably be worse.

You need to consider whether or not you want your kids raised in an environment of fear and self hatred. Fundamentalist religion is child abuse - you'll need to think about that.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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http://www.rationalresponders

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Admins should open a new

Admins should open a new forum and call it Group Therapy.


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It's a bit personal, but

It's a bit personal, but where do you live? Maybe a change would do you good?

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............

Hey Gallowsbait,

 

Welcome to the forum.

I hope you can find a way out of what sounds like a very negative environment. It may sound simplistic but if you've managed to get to where you are now you may want to push a bit more and move somewhere that people are a little more open minded.

 

All the best!

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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Two things:First, You've got

Two things:

First, You've got your thoughts in the right place, in my opinion. All of the issues you've brought up should stay on your mind even after you make any decision. Doubt is a human's greatest ally.

Live, learn, question, repeat.  - Easiest instructions for operation ever.

 

and

 

Second/last, I am married to what I fondly refer to as a hypo-christian. We have four wonderful children, all are skeptics that I have all but forbidden calling themselves atheists BECAUSE they need to investigate that side for themselves and get 'responses' from both mom and me.

Essentially, my spouse and I treat them as an audience. It is so easy to begin a discussion and force each other to speak with a modicum of decency when there are children present. lol. She and I grew up similarly, but I had grandparents to take care of me 50% of the time.

Asking questions that cause people to make reasoned arguments, rather than yes/no answers, has solved every parenting issue I have encountered TO DATE. It's called 'The Socratic Method'. Learn that and don't worry about ideologically 'mixed' children.

Take comfort in the fact that YOU grew up religious and worked your way out of it. Have a little confidence in the next generation and your effect upon it.

 

 

My question:

Obviously, you still call him 'boyfriend' so ideology has not effected your feelings toward him, why does it seem like you're afraid his feelings toward you have changed? Or have I made an incorrect assumption?

 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


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I actually have done a lot

I actually have done a lot of moving around my whole life.  But at the moment I live in Houston, TX.  Hooray for the bible belt, "y'all". 

Okay, I'll be honest, my feelings have waivered quite a bit ever since I really started questioning my faith, because I was afraid he wouldn't even try to understand.  But sometimes (like just a while ago) we'll be alone together and everything's all quiet and we're able to have a really good discussion and at first, yes he seems pretty closed-minded, but after I show him how well I understand the Christian point of view (because I was a good, church-going, bible-reading, Jesus-loving girl for 90-something percent of my life) and counter it with logic and reasoning, he kind of opens up.  Then again, he might just be letting me have my say so I'll be done and go away.  :P  I dunnow.  Part of my doubt in the relationship probably does stem from psychological issues, too.  I've been through some effed up situations with guys before.

But anyway, I've decided to wait it out and see what happens.  It's not like we're planning on getting married soon, let alone having kids.  As far as the rest of my loved ones, I read on a different site that it's best to be open from the beginning, because family, especially, will feel more betrayed if one tries to keep it a secret.  That's like lying to their face, right?  So I might not just come out and make an announcement, but if the subject comes up I won't try to hide my feelings.  I'm sure they won't like it, but they won't stop loving me.  I hope.  :S


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darth_josh:  it's awesome

darth_josh:  it's awesome that you don't label your kids.  Kudos, dude.  I respect that to the highest degree.


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 Welcome Gallowsbait!I wish

 Welcome Gallowsbait!

I wish I had some experience to share with you but personally, I wasn't raised in a 'religious' household ~ although hell was threatened often and we were told to walk to church and Sunday School every week, growing up it was pretty much silence about religion (and politics)

Hope you find this to be a place you can come to vent, gather ideas, and find solace  Smiling

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http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


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male

Gallowsbait wrote:

Okay, I'll be honest, my feelings have waivered quite a bit ever since I really started questioning my faith, because I was afraid he wouldn't even try to understand.

You obviously misunderstand how male understands things - pussy first, religion and football later. So, as long as you don't make him appreciate #1, he will feel free to be childish about #2.

Gallowsbait wrote:

But sometimes (like just a while ago) we'll be alone together and everything's all quiet and we're able to have a really good discussion and at first, yes he seems pretty closed-minded, but after I show him how well I understand the Christian point of view (because I was a good, church-going, bible-reading, Jesus-loving girl for 90-something percent of my life) and counter it with logic and reasoning, he kind of opens up.  Then again, he might just be letting me have my say so I'll be done and go away.  :P  I dunnow.  Part of my doubt in the relationship probably does stem from psychological issues, too.  I've been through some effed up situations with guys before.

Once you get to know people in this forum, you will know that most of them use to be religious. Their own religious experience tends to be unpleasant or even traumatic and this clouds their judgement about function and nature of belief in general. It can easily be the case with you. This can bring you on thin ice in discussions, so you are best served with a bit of distance to the subject when it comes to boyfriends.

Of course, this information is only useful if you know the nature of male. Rule #1 in cross-gender discussion: don't get condescending or become emotionally involved - male vanity is a fierce opponent and they will play on your "female hysteria" instantly. Make certain that he understands your values - don't back off an inch unless you agree with his argument. The easiest way to do this is to argue FOR, not AGAINST. Examples: argue for better health care for women and quality of life for children, not against "anti-abortion lunatics"; argue for better health care and education for young adults, not against abstinence; argue for equality, civil and human rights for homosexuals, not against "anti-gay lunatics"; argue for pro-life position in domestic judicial and foreign policy, not against death penalty and war; ...

Naturally, lunatics will implicitly be discredited and called on their hypocrisy and you can feel free to say that opinions in disagreement with the core values you just presented are not something a grown person would accept without further inquiry.

You can add that his willingness to inquire and distrust authoritative narrative is admirable in a man. He will eat out of your hand.

If he doesn't, stop the discussion with a smile - he has obviously not understood what you just told him, is being stubborn and should be treated gently, but like a kid nevertheless. Naturally, you don't think such behaviour is particularly sexy either, so odds are nothing will happen tonight.

Gallowsbait wrote:

But anyway, I've decided to wait it out and see what happens.  It's not like we're planning on getting married soon, let alone having kids.  As far as the rest of my loved ones, I read on a different site that it's best to be open from the beginning, because family, especially, will feel more betrayed if one tries to keep it a secret.  That's like lying to their face, right?  So I might not just come out and make an announcement, but if the subject comes up I won't try to hide my feelings.  I'm sure they won't like it, but they won't stop loving me.  I hope.  :S

Family is where most males differ and are alike at the same time. Many males are family pussies and impressions matter much. Other males are not family pussies, but they are someone else's pussies, and families tend to exploit that - a male does not want his family bad-mouthing anything about his life to, say, his first crush from high school. Therefore, no matter what your male says about it, family pressure matters and will have effect on your relationship.

You can change this with time by upgrading him from male to man, but no one can teach you that.

 

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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From what I remember there

From what I remember there is a very large atheist meetup group in the greater Houston area. Watcher and I live about 100 miles Northwest of Houston. I remember there was a lot of useless drama in the Houston atheist meetup group but that was over a year ago, things are most likely resolved.

 

http://www.meetup.com/find/?keywords=Atheists&country=us&locationPickerRef=0&dbCo=&dbOutsideUsLink=&zip=77036&submitButton=Search&...

 

We had a meetup group here in Aggieland, but it fizzled out when all the members moved back to Houston.

Your god's silence speaks loud and clear


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Yeah.  And when the local

Yeah.  And when the local Applebee's closed down.  I'm convinced that's what killed it.


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It was Bennigan's, you

It was Bennigan's, you insensitive clod.

Honestly though I couldn't stand that place. I still infrequently converse with the local atheists that I know, but wish we could get some semblance of a group back together.

Your god's silence speaks loud and clear


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dead_again wrote:It was

dead_again wrote:

It was Bennigan's, you insensitive clod.

It was at Bennigan's?

.

.

.

THAT'S WHY NO ONE WAS EVER THERE!

Well mother fucker...

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


NoMoreCrazyPeople
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Welcome.  I have to agree

Welcome.  I have to agree with another poster for the most part when dealing with raising children.  As far as i've seen strong atheists and theists cannot raise children together happily, it simply doen't work, your man seems to be a weak theist so this is a grey area you have to work out with him (NOW, not when you have kids.)  If he is dead set on raisin them christian i can assure you it wont work out between you two if you have deconverted, it will only be one argument after the next, and thats not good for the children. 


Brian37
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We are not professional

We are not professional therapists. We can only advise you from an atheists viewpoint . Ultimately you have to decide for yourself.

Having said that, you mentioned "if you have kids". Even outside the issue of religion, I think it would be best to think about that first. That is an 18 year anchor on your life even if you married an atheist and had a kid. BUT, we have all heard horror stories where people have intermarried only for the kids to be used in the middle of warfare during a divorce. Not just atheist/theist marriages, but life in general.

We cannot advise you on staying or leaving this relationship. But there ARE and will be problems in any relationship and being aware of what can happen before hand may help you decide if you are willing to take that risk. But be pragmatic about it. No matter how much you may love someone , you don't have to sacrifice your happyness, neither do they. And the best thing if you do decide to stay with someone, is to accept that the future is not certain and things can and do change. But once you have a kid, stay or go, that kid has to know that they will be loved by both of you, and any differences you might have must not  blow up into a war that the kid gets screwed up over.


 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Peppermint42
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I'll have to check that out

I would like to get together with some fellow atheists. 

Well, things have been going smoothly lately with my boyfriend.  Over the last several weeks we've had abbreviated conversations about religion and I've explained to him why I deconverted, and I think he's kinda starting to see things from my perspective.  I think it helps when I tell him just how in-depth I understand the faith because I was so involved and well-educated by my church and family, etc.  I've read the entire bible, I've studied all kinds of Christian texts, I've prayed and sung hymns and been to some 20-odd different churches in my life... 

And we don't argue about stuff.  We're both the type who sit and talk calmly about our differences, and even if we don't agree we're not sitting there yelling and screaming about it because we're adults.  So he listens when I tell him that, according to Christians, everyone who dies not even knowing about Jesus will go to hell, including babies and vegetarians and people who live in obscure villages not yet discovered by civilization.  And also when I tell him that it's really cruel to tell CHILDREN that they'll go to hell for anything. 

Of course, he's not denouncing his faith or anything, but this weekend after we visited his family he told me that church really wasn't that important to him.  I'm slowly and surely breaking down his reasons for believing.  And I'm not the type to shove what I believe down other peoples' throats, either.  He's really willing to hear me out, and my willingness to listen to him and go to church with his family probably puts him more at ease with the subject in general.

 

On an unrelated topic, I hate Houston with all of my being.  I've only lived here for about a year, but I'm still shocked at the amount of people EVERYWHERE.  I don't know how anybody can live here and not feel incredibly claustrophobic.  Plus, it takes FOREVER to get anywhere.  I have to leave an hour early to get to class in the morning.  Not fun.


Adventfred
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well you could tell your

well you could tell your family that hell is from greek mythology and was added into the bible in 600bc


Watcher
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Gallowsbait wrote:On an

Gallowsbait wrote:

On an unrelated topic, I hate Houston with all of my being.  I've only lived here for about a year, but I'm still shocked at the amount of people EVERYWHERE.  I don't know how anybody can live here and not feel incredibly claustrophobic.  Plus, it takes FOREVER to get anywhere.  I have to leave an hour early to get to class in the morning.  Not fun.

There are two types of Texans.  Those that are from Houston, and those that hate Houston.

I wouldn't live there for anything.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


fortitude
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Gallowsbait wrote:I only

Gallowsbait wrote:

I only know for a fact that if and when I have kids, I'm teaching them to think for themselves.  I was brought up believing that to doubt was to be condemned.  I never want my kids to be afraid of asking questions, or of eternal damnation for petty "sins".  My life might have been so much better if I hadn't spent so much of it keeping myself from THINKING.

The same 'feeling' or 'instinct' is what drove me to start examining what I accepted and what I didn't more closely.  When you have children, these things become more than trivialities.  The values that you pass on to your children both intentionally and by example become very important.  So one of the main problems with being with a theist is that it's hard to predict whether there will arise a conflict over the children's religious education or lack of it. 

My family hasn't accepted my atheism.  At best we have an uncomfortable agree to disagree situation.  I was faced with having to defind my right to leave the christian religion while my late husband was dying of cancer.  And defend it to my mother and sister, who should have been supporting me in whatever I needed, rather than trying to defend their religion against apostasy.  I will not say it is an easy road to follow - to become an 'unbeliever' surrounded by well-meaning believers.  It was very isolating for me as well.

You can be congratulated for finding the 'narrow path'.  There are others of us on it as well.

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right." Martin Luther King