Hello from Kansas

benmcd
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Hello from Kansas

Hello, all. I'm an atheist in Newton, Kansas. If you don't want to read a long, boring, rambling story about who I am and how I came to be that way, read no further.

My grandfather was an Assemblies of God pastor, and I went to a Foursquare Church as a kid. Our local church was filled with people who believed in Foursquare and Pentecostal worship (like speaking in tongues), but who didn't do it much. There was some anointing with oil, clapping, raising hands while singing, etc., but usually it was pretty tame on Sunday mornings. (It was less tame on Sunday and Wednesday nights, when we had just the hardcore Foursquare folks there.) I never did speak in tongues, but I did try really hard to become "anointed by the Holy Spirit."

When I went away to college, I started attending a Nazarene church. I got married when I was still an undergraduate to a woman I had been dating since high school. About a year after getting married, I was trying to decide whether to go to KU Law School or Nazarene Theological Seminary after graduation. Around that time, I had to take a basic science course for a degree requirement (I was an English major). I was a young-Earth creationist, so I decided to take a geology course so I could see for myself just how deluded and disingenuous those atheistic geologists were, and how they twisted geologic facts to fit into evolutionary biology paradigms.

Within a couple of weeks, I realized that standard geology was not crap, and that geologists believed only what the evidence told them. I was shocked to learn that geologists knew Earth was billions of years old long before Darwin. And my faith quickly crumbled. I had been taught for years that the young Earth was crucial to the Eden story, and that the Eden story and original sin were the necessary back story for Christianity. Without Adam and Eve, there was no reason for God to send Jesus. Once I figured out that the young-Earth creationists had been lying to me about geology, I knew Jesus wasn't real and that Christians had lied about everything.

After a terrible two weeks of introspection and fear of hell, I finally (secretly) called myself an ex-Christian. After a few more days, I told my wife. This was right after our first anniversary. She was devastated, but in time she got over it, and now, although she doesn't call herself an atheist, she admits that she "lives her life as though there is no God."

A few things in my life changed immediately. I was no longer homophobic. I no longer hated "foul language." But I did not consider myself an atheist. I didn't want to choose a new worldview on the rebound, so to speak, so I decided to read about science (a subject I had always loved but been afraid of) and religions. A few months later, I realized I was an atheist. This was ten years ago.

Other changes took longer. I had been a member of the religious right, politically very conservative, like Mike Huckabee or the new version of Mitt Romney. I became something like what we Americans call a libertarian after my deconversion, but I was still very Republican -- on the side of power (police, big business, etc.). I was for the death penalty, against abortion rights, and in favor of a strong U.S. military imposing its will around the world. Over the years, I became more and more liberal, until now I'm a socialist, pro-choice feminist, pacifist, ACLU supporter, against the death penalty, in favor of strong unions, environmentalist, gay ally, animal rights supporter, etc.

Miscellanea: I sing in a barbershop harmony chorus, and I've sung in several barbershop quartets. I have bipolar disorder, and it has taken over my life. I rarely have manic symptoms anymore -- I'm just depressed all the time. It is so severe that I can no longer work (I've never been able to keep a job, but now I don't even have the energy to apply for them), and I am on disability until (if ever) I can find the right medication to bring me out of my unrelenting depression. I went to college for 9 years. I have degrees in Music Education, English, and Law. I am a licensed attorney. I have Asperger's Disorder. I've never posted on these forums before, but I've been posting on the About.com Atheism/Agnosticism forum for years. My online friends are atheists, and my real-life friends are Christians. I need some real-life atheist friends. If any of you live near Newton, Kansas, let's hang out!

If you've read all this, sorry it was so long and boring. But don't say I didn't warn you!

"Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers." -- Stephen Fry


cj
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hi

We have a few things in common.

I lived in Salina, KS for a year in 1975-6.  My ex was a Marine and he was a recruiter there.

I went to Foursquare Gospel while I was in junior high - my best friend was the preacher's kid.  Once her family moved on, I discovered I have no connection to their beliefs and so I quit.  My family was of the "believe in god but not religion" variety so they didn't care whether I went to church or not.

And I once sang in a Sweet Adelines group for a while.  I had to quit as I had little children at the time and the hassles were not working out.  I enjoy Barbershop Quartets and the music.

Have you read Glenn Morton?  Not to say you have to believe in Old Earth and be a christian, but he does have an interesting experience.  I don't know if he has written a book, but he does reference some of his research here:

http://home.entouch.net/dmd/gstory.htm

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


benmcd
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Thanks

Thank you for the reply. It's neat that we have those things in common. Also, I lived in Salina for a year or two when I was a kid.

I had not heard of Glenn Morton before. He does have an interesting story.

"Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers." -- Stephen Fry


cj
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When you first sign on, on

When you first sign on, on the left is a link to Recent Posts.  That will pull up all the hot topics, so you don't have to search though all the forums.

Have fun, post often.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


benmcd
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Thanks

 Thanks for the tip -- I was having trouble wading through everything!


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Welcome to the forum, and

Welcome to the forum, and sorry to hear about your tough luck.  I can't help you with the real life thing since i live in Ontario, Canada, but you can join us in attempting relatively rational discussions.  I think you'll fit in nicely.  One thing that helped me through my depression was the epiphany inspired by this poem:

Quote:

Self-pity

 

I never saw a wild thing 

sorry for itself. 

A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough

without ever having felt sorry for itself. 

 D.H. Lawrence  

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


benmcd
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Thanks

 That's a good poem. Thank you.


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Welcome to the forum.

Welcome to the forum.

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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Welcome to the forum. I'm

Welcome to the forum. I'm new here myself.

I live just a state away to the south, with Bible thumpers all over the place, although we had a Freethinkers group that met locally for awhile. It died when the old guard didn't want to do it anymore, and there was too much resistance when new people tried to take up some of the group's operation. Typical problem for humans, irrespective of religion.

 

It gets a little lonely being the only one among the people you know who does not have an imaginary friend, and doesn't want to discuss the "truth" about imaginary friends.

 

I'm moving away from here, where there aren't quite so many fundamentalist Christians. Still, there a few real wing-dings everywhere.

Beth

How's my proselytizing? Call 1-800-FANATIC

Beth


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benmcd

 

 

 

               Welcome to the forums. You will find like minded and sympathetic people here.   

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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"Beth I hear you calling....."

BethK wrote:

Welcome to the forum. I'm new here myself.

I live just a state away to the south, with Bible thumpers all over the place, although we had a Freethinkers group that met locally for awhile. It died when the old guard didn't want to do it anymore, and there was too much resistance when new people tried to take up some of the group's operation. Typical problem for humans, irrespective of religion.

 

It gets a little lonely being the only one among the people you know who does not have an imaginary friend, and doesn't want to discuss the "truth" about imaginary friends.

 

I'm moving away from here, where there aren't quite so many fundamentalist Christians. Still, there a few real wing-dings everywhere.

Beth

[/quote

 

 

 

               I once saw a video of Christopher Hitchens signing his book   "God is NOT great"  IN Alabama;  there were  dozens of people lined up for an autographed copy.  Hitch was there for six [6] hours!!!!   This anecdote points to a larger number of 'atheists'  in the bible belt then people realize.

 

 

               What the world of 'rational' thinkers needs is for atheists to standup to theist bully's.    So for you BethK  after you have done your 'atheistic' besty;  where are you moving to?

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?