Inviting all to tell their stories on how religion has negitively affected them.

Brian37
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Inviting all to tell their stories on how religion has negitively affected them.

In light of recent events I find it highly important for both the atheists and theists that we know and love to read these stories.  Please post your personal story about how religion negatively affected you below.

I'll start with my own personal experience. Now, when someone is so obtuse and cant be reasoned with, what do you do?

Now some here have doubts as to tactic and seem to think we should always be polite. I now think about my own encounter which what some do not understand was a CHRISTIAN boss who defended me. I worked in a "right to work state", which basically is cover for the boss to fire you and lie about it because you cant prove otherwise.

I worked at a pizza place and had a simple black and white bumper sticker on my pick up on the back window that said "www.atheistnetwork.com" . A parent wanted to have me fired because he was offended by it and his kid saw it too. Must have hated "Daddy, what's an atheist"?  It didn't say "fuck" or "Shit" but the mere presence of "atheist" TO THAT GUY it might has well been porn. He called to try and have me fired. So if people want to know why I am so harsh on religion, that is just my personal story, thats not even the worst that goes on every day arround the the world in the form of violence and war and murder.

Now, what you don't know is that it was a CHRISTIAN who defended me, my boss at the time. Now, there are places where a fundie might be a boss and the atheist could get fired without even ever knowing that was the reason, especially in a right to work state. I just feel lucky that I had the boss I did at the time.

If humans would learn to separate the person from what the person claims and treat each claim as a separate issue, things like what happened to me, and far worse things that happen even to theists all over the world, could be avoided even more. It is because of blasphemy and ridicule that keeps fascism at bay, ANY TYPE of fascism, state or religious.

I know of an atheist a long time ago, when I first got online we found out that he was kicked out of his apartment because his landlord found out. I have also seen the story of an atheist girl on a public school basketball team get victimized not only by other students, but by the teachers themselves. These are just a couple of stories I know of. I am quite sure others here can tell their own, of what they have had happened to them or what they have seen in the news themselves.

Now, to say I am harsh on religion for no reason is absurd. I also am inviting theists here, who have dealt with their own discrimination from other theists. Say for example anti-Christian Muslims or anti-Muslim Jews, or anti-Muslim Christians. The point in this thread is to show that LABELS do not make someone automatically good or bad, not even atheists. I see it in the actions of theists on this website sometimes, but I also see the hate that exists from all labels. To say that this does not deserve harsh treatment or a taboo should be set up does a disservice to our species. When there still exists today, cultures who teach their men that women can be shot to death on a soccer field with no trial for the accusation and mere "eyewitness testimony" of other men taught that Allah gave them the right to treat women as mere baby factories, what do you want me to say to things like that? To claim we should be always polite is absurd.

But no religion, no politician no individual deserves special treatment, not even atheists. My tactic here isn't to offend simply to be a dick "just because I can". It is a display in the value of scrutiny. That as long as we are ALL free to say what we want, the harm of dogmatism and fascism cannot nor ever can take hold. It is also SHOW that absurd claims on a mass scale can and do cause harm. And as long as any human has the ability to make absurd claims, it is important to be able to thrash those claims.

There ARE Sunnis in Iran and non-Muslims and even gays in Iran, who to get along, cant do it through consent, and are forced to get along through silence. Shiites in Saudi Arabia and non-Muslims have to do the same. Arab Muslims living in Israel have to do that and non-Muslim Arabs in Palestine have to do that.

I want to foster a better attitude for our species. One were we treat each other as individuals. I will not say I am sorry when the core claim of all of this starts with the idea of a non material invisible brain. It is one thing to claim it and as much as I hate the claim itself, I am well aware that there ARE good people who do make these claims. But we cannot make blanket statements about words or tactics as absolute solutions when the world is diverse and problem solving is never always as simple as "be nice no matter what".

So even in a "free speech" country it is still possible to get fired for being ANYTHING, when people complain about me I think about the atheists and theists who have it far worse than hearing "bullshit". In a lot of places around the world being on the wrong team politically or religiously can get you arrested, censored, or even murdered.

Freud said it best "The first person to hurl an insult instead of a stone, started civilization." I wont get rid of religion, I know that, and there are lots of religious people I love. I merely would like to help foster the attitude that a harsh word is far better than a bullet or bomb and if the majority of our population would think like that, the horrible actions humans inflict on each other in our history could be minimized. Setting up taboos is not the goal we should have. Recognizing that we are all human should be our goal, both recognizing the good and the bad our entire species has always had in common.

Now I've told you a couple of stories I know of and my own personal story, I am opening this thread to all, both theists and atheists. Tell me how you have been harmed by theism. This does include theists too.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Sapient
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 Brian, I made the changes

 Brian, I made the changes you asked me to make and cleaned it up a little.  I also posted this in 3 facebook groups.  I encourage people to submit their story of how religion negatively impacted their lives.  If we get a bunch maybe it could be an opportunity for me to try and make a free e-book.  We could offer it as a free download on kindle and e-books with google.  

- Brian Sapient


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Vastet
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You'll find the edit button

One of my earliest recollections was a person acting as a teacher (may even have been a teacher, but this is the only memory of the time and the location that I have, and it isn't enough to say) yelling and screaming at me because I had no idea what the fuck she was talking about, telling me I HAD to believe in a higher power, and to tell her what it was. She wouldn't leave me alone, and I was a mixture of scared and angry and confused as to what a higher power even was. Eventually she suggested nature and I jumped on the chance to say something she'd accept without streching the truth to the breaking point. Of course I was a kid, and my logic was understandably flawed, but the main thing was to escape her craziness. I take my inability to give her the answer she wanted to hear as a good sign my ethics were already firmly established, and that the idea some theists promote (everyone knows god), is so ridiculously stupid........






...that no word in the English language can convey the actual stupid instilled in the concept.

 

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Brian37
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Vastet wrote:One of my

Vastet wrote:

One of my earliest recollections was a person acting as a teacher (may even have been a teacher, but this is the only memory of the time and the location that I have, and it isn't enough to say) yelling and screaming at me because I had no idea what the fuck she was talking about, telling me I HAD to believe in a higher power, and to tell her what it was. She wouldn't leave me alone, and I was a mixture of scared and angry and confused as to what a higher power even was. Eventually she suggested nature and I jumped on the chance to say something she'd accept without streching the truth to the breaking point. Of course I was a kid, and my logic was understandably flawed, but the main thing was to escape her craziness. I take my inability to give her the answer she wanted to hear as a good sign my ethics were already firmly established, and that the idea some theists promote (everyone knows god), is so ridiculously stupid........






...that no word in the English language can convey the actual stupid instilled in the concept.

 

First off, to Brian, thanks for fixing that. But to Vaset. You were lucky enough to simply say to yourself "Just get me away from this crazy person" Some kids have parents like this who don't say that to themselves and actually take that fear expressed by the adult as absolute truth and end up wanting to believe out of fear that they might be doing something wrong. This goes on in every religion around the world. The undue protection it gets is the taboo society gives it in the false guise of "freedom". For freedom to make sense it can only be fair when dissent is allowed, even blasphemy. Imagine if someone had had the ability to shout at her "What the fuck are you doing, he's just a kid".

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Vastet
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My parents never discussed

My parents never discussed such things with me at that age (I was between grade one and three). Not that I recall anyway. There are many things they did wrong over the years, but the fact they never indoctrinated me in anything (other than societal ethics, which is every parents responsibility) is something I'm grateful for, and easily allows me to forgive their flaws.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Impact statement...

First of all, I have to say that the preacher never touched me in a bad place, I wasn't beaten and forced to attend church and all and all, except for those suckers trying to drown me, TWICE, my early church experience wasn't bad. Free food, companionship, pretty girls in nice clothes, singing... Up until the point  coinciding roughly with puberty that I discovered that I didn't actually BELIEVE in a god... not bad.

It was the cumulative effect I think more than anything else that made me the anti-theist curmudgeon you see before you today.

I've buried a lot of people, and over the years, the religious intrusion on personal grief has gone from an annoying background buzz to a droning whine that blocks out all thought. Funerals are all but an hour long infomercial for religion. Not long ago (two years), my beautiful, vivacious daughter went out for some fun with her boyfriend and his mom, downed a lot of shooters, went home, fell asleep on the couch and never woke up. We buried her on her home reserve along side of her Mom, grandparents and several uncles. She was native, and most of the 4 day wake involved native spirituality ceremonies geared to allowing grief to be expressed and families to reconcile over their shared emotions. On day four, the local christian contingent insisted on getting in on the act. Cindy was never a christian, didn't attend church in her life. But there they were. Most of us went out for an extended smoke break except for a few of the polite elders... Yeah, I have resentments.

Digressing a bit, I remember watching the chaplains going up and down the flight line, blessing bombs, rockets and ammo cans for use against them godless communists... the righteous cause that we and much of my generation was fighting and dieing for... The funny thing... the crushingly ironic thing was, that in our holy crusade against the godless (and I do so remember the Baptist preachers on the radio, railing long and loud that it was our Christian Duty to Kill them All!), there was always at least ONE Atheist in my Foxhole.

Back to now. Just up the hill from my house is some Reserve Land, a School, a store and some Business offices for one of the local First Nations Bands. It sits on the site of a Residential School. Now, for those of my brethren in the US not aquainted with the Residential Schools, a quick and dirty run down. The Anglican and Catholic Churches, in collusion with the Government of Canada embarked on a crusade to assimilate or eradicate the Indigenous people of Canada. They gathered, by force of law and outright kidnapping a huge portion of the entire younger generation of Indian people, and forced them into what was called the Residential School Program. Children were abused, tortured, killed. The death rates in some of the schools due to neglect and medical maltreatment was over 80%... 80% of the young children dragged from their mothers arms in the name of Jesus, died.

Eventually, the government and the Churches were forced by the courts to acknowledge the evil that the system was, the damage done... But an entire generation of people were forever changed.
Suicide rates, drug, alcohol addiction, crime and incarcerations are skewed off the charts. The last school closed in 1996.
My wife was once married to a sweet, gentle little man. A man of great humor, strong love for his family and a huge heart. He also suffered from alcohol addiction, traced many would say to his years spent in that Residential School up on the hill, just out of sight of my house.
Martin fought the good fight for years, but in the end, he fell. I don't know if it was just the addiction, or if it was the memories of the sexual and mental abuse he had endured. He died alone in the police cells. No priest or vicar came to see him. He's buried there on that spot of ground where we later buried my (our) adopted daughter.

That's all for now.






 

Christianity: A disgusting middle eastern blood cult, based in human sacrifice, with sacraments of cannibalism and vampirism, whose highest icon is of a near naked man hanging in torment from a device of torture.


Brian37
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Sorry to hear that about

Sorry to hear that about your daughter. That really sucks. No one likes to bury their kid.

I still bite my tongue weddings and funerals because there is still plenty of time outside those venues to talk about the absurdity of religion and god belief. Humans are still going to hold absurd beliefs no matter what and you cant lack compassion just because of that.

BUT, can appreciate your infomercial example. My own brother went way beyond advertising god giving the Eulogy at my Grandfather's funeral. My Grandfather believed, but was much more relaxed and when I first met him, he was merely happy to meet me and didn't give a fuck what I believed.

My brother however, knowing I could not respond to him at that moment, looked me and my cousin in the face knowing we were atheists IN FRONT OF EVERYONE, and said "Granddad would want you to find god". I cannot tell you how fucking pissed I was that he turned that funeral into a personal beef with me. The other people simply spoke about him or god but did not pull that crap. I really wanted to beat the shit out of him at that point. Not that I could, or would, just metaphorically. I was really pissed at him for holding me and my grandfather hostage like that.

 

I expect the infomercial crap, but that went way beyond.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Negativity of Religion

 When I was very young my best friend was a Hindu boy from across the street named Vishu - one of my earliest memories is of the older boy next door coming over to us as we played in my sandbox to let us know that my friend was going to spend an eternity being burned and tortured in Hell because he didn't believe in Jesus.  As a Catholic at the time I still found this very disturbing - probably not as disturbing as my good 8 year old friend Vishu.

Growing up Catholic I was also taught a healthy fear and disgust of masturbation - apologies if this is too personal.  However, this very natural activity caused me great psychological pain all through my teenage years.  The beginnings of my deconversion were at the hands of a theology teacher my Freshman year of High School who screamed at me when I asked about a contradiction in the Bible we were studying: "BULLSHIT! THAT IS BULLSHIT!!"  Embarassing as a teenager for sure.

I felt guilt and pain and worry as a result of the indoctrination I was subjected to for the first 2 decades of my life for a looooong time.  In my 30s, having finally freed myself as much as possible from these ill psychological effects I was then confronted with co-workers who, upon finding that I was an Atheist, would try to speak to me as little as possible and others who would passive aggressively try to show me religious symbols or other iconography in some silent strange attempt to shame me, beat me down, or belittle my world view.  Others would post loudly their religious convictions online but simultaneously try to beat me up if I shared my own philosophical beliefs.

Having lost my job to the economic downturn I relocated and rented a house for my family and myself near my new employer who turned out to be a rabid Baptist who frequently leaves me tracts and advertisements for their local church.  As president of a local Atheist group I now also fear that my activism will ultimately put my family out on the street - and I'm too strong an activist to let it stop me.