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escaping the Mormons
#11
RE: escaping the Mormons
Well done ... I was brought up in religion (Catholicism ... perhaps worse than mainstream Anglicanism but nowhere near as bad as your experiences) and sent to Catholic schools all my life. I could easily have fallen to another religion (I experimented with UFOlogy, gods as astronauts and so on, which I now consider to be a religion almost as much as others) but, daft as it sounds, Science Fiction saved me and opened my mind to science and from there on it was all uphill. Anyway, welcome to the forum Smile

Kyu
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#12
RE: escaping the Mormons
Scary stuff. Congratulations on your strong will and commitment to reason. I read stuff like this and I sometimes feel as if we're all living in a crazy dream world where stories like yours can come to pass... How can this abuse still be tolerated and encouraged? Bizarre.
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#13
RE: escaping the Mormons
I think most things have been said but, it's worth saying congratulations. I don't have to tell you how hard it is to do what you have done. I for one am impressed.
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#14
RE: escaping the Mormons
Showed a great deal of courage that's for sure. It must take a lot to escape a situation like that.
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#15
RE: escaping the Mormons
Thanks for sharing your story. It only confirms why I am an atheist and why I am not a big fan of religious tolerance. How can a society tolerate oppression and discrimination of anyone let alone an innocent child. Do you have a relationship with your family now?
"'God is as real as I am', the old man said. I was relieved since I knew Santa wouldn't lie to me."
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#16
RE: escaping the Mormons
A very rocky relationship. I live a couple of hours away from them, so I don't see them very often. Two of my brothers live in Utah, and I went to visit them last year at their request, but it was just a week-long debate about religion, with their training as missionaries it was pretty frustrating trying to get through to them. They have a canned response for nearly anything you can say. There was a point of silence after I had said my piece when one brother had nothing more to say in defense of religion. I think it was because he was used to defending the Mormon religion, not the existence of God. That was the last time I spoke to him. He was with his temple bride-to-be at the moment. I had many MANY arguments about religion with my father, who held that crap over my head my entire life until I told him not only did I not believe in "The Church" as they call it, but I had no belief in any superstition. He looked like he has just had the wind knocked out of him. Since I laid that out on the table for my family, my father hasn't been able to guilt trip me with all that stuff or criticize me the way he used to, and my mother has come out of her trance and stopped going to church as often and told me in confidence that she actually has some sort of vague belief in a higher power that isn't necessarily the God of the bible, but that's hardly the nonsense of the Mormons, so I consider that a great thing although I told her I couldn't help but still feel a bit angry over the years of religious abuse she helped to put me through. She said she really just wanted a structure for the family. NOT A GOOD ENOUGH EXCUSE! And sadly she still pretends to believe for my father. I know because I find the magic mormon underwear in their house and trust me, you don't wear those just cause you like them. It is sad, and I have been involved in trying to create a support group for people with extremely religious families who are alienated as a result of their non-belief. It is really a shame. I used to be gentle about it, but that only kept the situation going. I think for your own peace of mind you cannot be silent and you absolutely cannot humor them (if they bother you). It makes it seem like you are ashamed, you know? You must be up-front and unashamed. We are the good guys!

to make a long story short, I am still on speaking terms with most of them, but there is a disconnect there and I just can't feel good being around them.
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#17
RE: escaping the Mormons
Thanks again for giving me an insight into your world. In Australia we still have our share of fundies but generally speaking they don't make much of an impact. I grew up in a JICC(Just In Case Christians) household that only go to church for the usual weddings, christenings, funeral etc. I remember at public school we had what they called 'Religious Instructions' once a week. My mother would always tick Church of England but as a child I dearly wanted to be Methodist because they played with plasticine. But eventually as I got older, I asked my mother to write a note that excused me from these classes, no, it wasn't pre-emptive atheism but rather boredom. She agreed seeing that the alternative was an hour in the library and she thought that couldn't do any harm (btw thanks mum). Though looking back now I ponder the reason why the lessons bored me when other kids happily joined in with wide-eyed enthusiasm. To me, the whole talking snake thing was stupid and I questioned things like if 'God sees all' then how come he let awful things happen. Well, I'm seven at the time and didn't think in terms of free will, lessons and other excuses.

So as an adult raising three sons I had to consider how to handle the religious issue with them. My decision was, even in hindsight, one that I believe has provided them the freedom to make their own decision. When discussing the existance of a god, I would say this..."in my opinion (very important) *insert atheist viewpoint* but its best if you look into it yourself and come to you own conclusion" I would say this too in regard to politics.

Footnote: When my eldest became old enough to vote, he voted the same as me. I was delighted that my liberal views had rubbed off and was feeling quite chuffed that I had raised a child with a social conscience, yada yada, pause for slap on the back. When it came time for my second son to vote, he voted conversative, naturally I was dumbstruck, how did this happen? It was only when I calmed down did I realise the enormity of what had happened. Pause for more slaps on back. Proof that I had raised my sons to think for themselves!!!! Sure it is a two edged sword when you teach your kids independant thought but surely it is the best way.
"'God is as real as I am', the old man said. I was relieved since I knew Santa wouldn't lie to me."
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#18
RE: escaping the Mormons
(January 19, 2009 at 11:48 pm)True Unbeliever Wrote: My mother would always tick Church of England but as a child I dearly wanted to be Methodist because they played with plasticine.
That's the best reason for choosing one religion over another that I've seen! Worship

(January 19, 2009 at 11:48 pm)True Unbeliever Wrote: So as an adult raising three sons I had to consider how to handle the religious issue with them. My decision was, even in hindsight, one that I believe has provided them the freedom to make their own decision. When discussing the existance of a god, I would say this..."in my opinion (very important) *insert atheist viewpoint* but its best if you look into it yourself and come to you own conclusion" I would say this too in regard to politics.
Almost exactly the same thing I did with my kids. It seemed like the most sensible way really.
I did also add "...you might see things differently when you grow up, but that will be up to you".
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#19
RE: escaping the Mormons
I have often wondered about the best way to approach the subject with children. I don't have any of my own, but my six year old nephew did ask me while we were walking one day why God made the sky blue. I told him I didn't know that he did, and that I had never seen him and didn't think he was even real at all. I could just see the little wheels spinning in his mind as he thought that over. He told his mom, my sister, and she said "of course she believes in God! she was just playing with you!" and told me never to tell him that again. I told her that he deserved to know that people think different things, but she said to let her raise him her way.. blah blah blah... anyway, I still wouldn't lie. I have been afraid before that I'd have a kid that has a rebellious streak and turns religious! But seeing your happiness in seeing your kids come to their own conclusions makes me think differently about it. I guess independent thought is really the most valuable and satisfying thing you can teach. If only there were a way to make sure every kid could have that chance! I have yet to come up with a workable idea to protect kids from parents who will mold their poor little minds with religion as a heavy influence. The best idea I've had so far is a mandatory class about the history of the religions of the world. But it must include philosophy and all of the popular religions, at least. I know everyone would be in a big upset over how this one or that one is portrayed, and everyone would want to be able to opt out, so I don't consider it a really good possibility. Perhaps if the class was respected as a standard subject for high schoolers it would have some success.
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#20
RE: escaping the Mormons
(January 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm)IamAwake Wrote: He told his mom, my sister, and she said "of course she believes in God! she was just playing with you!" and told me never to tell him that again. I told her that he deserved to know that people think different things, but she said to let her raise him her way.. blah blah blah... anyway, I still wouldn't lie.
It doesn't matter what you say, she is raising her kid *her* way. There is no way you should lie to the kid, especially if they bring the subject up!

I used to help at a local Cub Scout group and, being a religiously based, the question of beliefs did arise every so often (for cetain badge work eg: world relgions). If I was dealing with a group of kids and having to tell them about religion I would always preface it with "*Some* people believe..." if they asked me directly I'd say I didn't believe.
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