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Conversion - De-conversion *Long*
#1
Information 
Conversion - De-conversion *Long*
My youth is probably a familiar story in regards to religion.  I was indoctrinated since before I had any strong memories and accepted the protestant variety of christianity (to my current embarrassment) without question.    Moving on. 

I was exposed to critical thinking, science, various philosophy, cultural anthropology, ect., in college but never decided to question my religious beliefs. (again to my embarrassment)  However, my religions beliefs, during this time, were receding to the rarely used depths of mind and possibly loosing some certainty if I had thought to look at them. But, now we must necessarily take an unfortunate turn on the road of life.

Most of my adulthood has been particularly difficult. Family issues, bi-sexuality, drug abuse, and  risky behavior in general played major roles in this difficulty and also, I think, kept me away from the church or even thinking about religion and god . Details are fuzzy but I can honestly say that I did not take religion seriously during this time. The exception being ‘fox hole’ prayers and pleading with god during times of crisis or pain. I vividly remember telling my NA sponsor, over the phone, that I was an atheist, as I waited in a gas station parking lot for the dope man to arrive.  At the time, I used the word atheist more for shock value than its actual meaning. I did not want to hear anything about how I was doing the wrong thing in gods eyes whether it was true or not, so it was easier to just say I didn’t believe any of that bullshit and it usually shut them up.  This generally sums up what I believed until we get to the next stage which I hope you find interesting if not amusing. Oh, and if you are still reading, pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.  Rolleyes

Many of you might have guessed or indeed know from experience that drug abuse doesn’t just go away, it’s not something you can grow out of like jnco jeans or wearing ladies underwear... Of course, the drug abuse got worse and I found myself at a rehab “ministry” in the mountains of North Carolina.  This program is faith based and was not my first choice or even on the list but there was no waiting and the price was right.  So, off I went with the intention of just making it through the program and not assimilate into any of the religious nonsense. That’s not what happened.  The program lasts 12 months including church twice a week, devotions every morning, and some kind of spiritual activity every evening except for Saturdays. I never saw it coming; by the 8th month I was a born again, holy roller, servant of Jesus.  HALLEJUJAH!  PRAISE HIM!!   I believed, a lot, and fuck you in particular for not believing. I was ready to spend the rest of my life in the service of god. If you want to cringe a little, read that last sentence again and know that is was the truth.  In fact, I had already taken the first steps towards working and living in ministry.  Looking back, I think its safe to say that my experience is a testament to the power of indoctrination.  Not that I had any special intellectual powers that allowed me to resist brain-washing;  it didn’t occur to me at any time that brain-washing was exactly what was happening.

A bible verse was the flash point for my de-conversion and my desire to defend christianity was the catalyst.  The senior pastor at church recited what he called “a failed prophecy,to some people”  but of course he wasn’t talking about his audience, he was talking about most of you, you wicked ,wicked heathens.    (Matthew 24:34 if you care)  He explained why it was not a failed prophecy using the most graceful theological aerobatics I had ever heard.  I wanted more. Fortunately, my critical thinking skills were re-emerging, about to save me from a lifetime of enslavement. I looked at every “failed prophecy” I could find and had several what the fuck moments that slowly chipped away at my certainty.  Unfortunately it wasn’t like flipping a light switch. Six months past during which I consumed many books, many more debates, lectures, and conversations with non-believers and believers alike.  And now, we get back to familiarity at this point in the story so I wont bore you, if I haven’t already.  Eventually, I conclude that there is no reason for me to believe in a god and no longer accept christianity or super-nature.

I am still clean today and have been for years. I appears that I didn’t need god to save me from addiction after all.

Be gentle.   I'm new here Group Hug
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#2
RE: Conversion - De-conversion *Long*
Welcome. I hope you like the company here. I think you have the makings of a good contributor. You sound like you need a little time in an oasis like this one.
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
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#3
RE: Conversion - De-conversion *Long*
Ooh, that was a nice read! so since you are not using it anymore, can I have your soul? Tongue

Welcome to the dark side. Big Grin
Quote:To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.
- Lau Tzu

Join me on atheistforums Slack Cool Shades (pester tibs via pm if you need invite) Tongue

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#4
RE: Conversion - De-conversion *Long*
(February 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm)Aoi Magi Wrote: Ooh, that was a nice read! so since you are not using it anymore, can I have your soul? Tongue

Sure
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#5
Welcome back to critical thinking!
Congratulations on rejecting the "Beautiful Fantasy". We may be genetically geared to believe that 
we are more than flesh and blood. We must be immortal because we can think and dream and conceptualize 
abstract ideas. We are self obsessed and often have inflated notions of our own importance. That leads, not only
to inflated egos but to some wild speculation regarding a life after death, and a glorious one at that. 
Loving father figure included (Though, not much mention of the soft bosoms of a Goddess figure to take care of us guys). 
Maybe that's what it would take for me to buy into the Eternal Dream, you know like the 67 virgins promised by Muslim extremists. 
Well that number is way too high and kinda scares me to death, along with the idea of eternity with my deceased
relatives. Many of which, I didn't care for in the first place. Eternity is a really, really, really, (I could keep writing really's
forever here) long, long, long............................................time!!! I will pass!
I love the idea of working on an intense appreciation of what this life does offer. The beauty of nature, our friends, loved 
ones, our physical beings, our abilities and our apprehensions. There is plenty to deal with here and now to make a life 
from. An eternal struggle to be the best human beings we can be!
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#6
RE: Welcome back to critical thinking!
(March 1, 2018 at 5:25 pm)searcher2018 Wrote: Congratulations on rejecting the "Beautiful Fantasy". We may be genetically geared to believe that 
we are more than flesh and blood. We must be immortal because we can think and dream and conceptualize 
abstract ideas. We are self obsessed and often have inflated notions of our own importance. That leads, not only
to inflated egos but to some wild speculation regarding a life after death, and a glorious one at that. 
Loving father figure included (Though, not much mention of the soft bosoms of a Goddess figure to take care of us guys). 
Maybe that's what it would take for me to buy into the Eternal Dream, you know like the 67 virgins promised by Muslim extremists. 
Well that number is way too high and kinda scares me to death, along with the idea of eternity with my deceased
relatives. Many of which, I didn't care for in the first place. Eternity is a really, really, really, (I could keep writing really's
forever here) long, long, long............................................time!!! I will pass!
I love the idea of working on an intense appreciation of what this life does offer. The beauty of nature, our friends, loved 
ones, our physical beings, our abilities and our apprehensions. There is plenty to deal with here and now to make a life 
from. An eternal struggle to be the best human beings we can be!

I thought it was 72 virgins.... anyway, I think more than 10 would be annoying unless you could have a group meeting to let them all know at the same time what your preferences are. 

Also, did you know that there is a site called wikiislam . net ?......  there is a wiki for everything now days. Welcome to AF.
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#7
RE: Welcome back to critical thinking!
(March 1, 2018 at 5:38 pm)rskovride Wrote:
(March 1, 2018 at 5:25 pm)searcher2018 Wrote: Congratulations on rejecting the "Beautiful Fantasy". We may be genetically geared to believe that 
we are more than flesh and blood. We must be immortal because we can think and dream and conceptualize 
abstract ideas. We are self obsessed and often have inflated notions of our own importance. That leads, not only
to inflated egos but to some wild speculation regarding a life after death, and a glorious one at that. 
Loving father figure included (Though, not much mention of the soft bosoms of a Goddess figure to take care of us guys). 
Maybe that's what it would take for me to buy into the Eternal Dream, you know like the 67 virgins promised by Muslim extremists. 
Well that number is way too high and kinda scares me to death, along with the idea of eternity with my deceased
relatives. Many of which, I didn't care for in the first place. Eternity is a really, really, really, (I could keep writing really's
forever here) long, long, long............................................time!!! I will pass!
I love the idea of working on an intense appreciation of what this life does offer. The beauty of nature, our friends, loved 
ones, our physical beings, our abilities and our apprehensions. There is plenty to deal with here and now to make a life 
from. An eternal struggle to be the best human beings we can be!

I thought it was 72 virgins.... anyway, I think more than 10 would be annoying unless you could have a group meeting to let them all know at the same time what your preferences are. 

Also, did you know that there is a site called wikiislam . net ?......  there is a wiki for everything now days.  Welcome to AF.

Seventy two! What if they’re all Ed Sheeran fans? That's not heaven that's hell!Panic
And welcome to both your sorry arses.
It's amazing 'science' always seems to 'find' whatever it is funded for, and never the oppsite. Drich.
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#8
RE: Conversion - De-conversion *Long*
Actually it's not "72 Virgins". It's "a 72 year old Virgin"...
Jeff a.k.a. wheatpenny

"If God sends me to hell I will start a commune there. And it will be the greatest commune ever because all the best people will be there"
(Osho)
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#9
RE: Conversion - De-conversion *Long*
(March 4, 2018 at 9:45 pm)wheatpenny Wrote: Actually it's not "72 Virgins". It's "a 72 year old Virgin"...

Dang, looks like I'm gonna have a lot more time on my hands.
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#10
RE: Conversion - De-conversion *Long*
(So, basically, someone got sold the chump's package with 5 less virgins Tongue )

Rskovride,

Thanks for having the courage to share your story. This place is a great to decompress from all that pressure to believe. As you know, disbelief is not "belief in something other than God." It's the freedom to believe whatever you perceive as true--whether it agrees with somebody's doctrine or not. It's mental freedom. It's the freedom to consider all possibilities about the world. It's the freedom to question whether the moral dictates listed in the Bible are really moral or not. And it's the freedom to take a good look at what's true and what isn't, and live your life accordingly. A lot of people use the term "freethinking," but I prefer "mental freedom" because it's more of a state than an activity.

Addiction can be a terrible thing. I've experienced it myself and have suffered because friends and family in my life were addicted. Addiction masks over one's true identity and replaces it with that of a a single-minded automaton. Addiction causes one to think that immoral actions are perfectly justified. Addiction can consume one's life. Addiction causes one to shut out true friends in favor of the company of other addicts. In short, addiction can be quite destructive. Although not in all cases, all these things can be true of addiction. But guess what? All these things can be true of religion, too.

You have heard that it was said, "Narrow is the gate." But I say, "Wide is the gate, and wide is the world. And free is the mind which can perceive the world as it truly is."

I can't believe I missed this thread! Thanks for posting. And welcome to AF.org.
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