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Maggotymaggots

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Apr 18, 2018
54
I want to preface this by saying I know that faith is very important to many people, and provides them with a sense of meaning and security. I can respect that. I was brought up in churches of the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist variety, so needless to say, my experience with religion left a pretty bad taste in my mouth.

All the typical shit: everyone who doesn't believe exactly the same as our particular religion's denomination's subsect is going to be tortured for all eternity in the worse manner possible for their ignorance, homosexuality is an offense to god, women should be subservient to their husbands, etc, etc.

I particularly remember this one preacher who, among other things, believed that the country (United States) had started going down hill when women were given the right to vote. Now, to be clear, he was particularly extreme, but tone it down from an eleven to an eight or nine, and those were mostly the kind of people I knew. Of course, I was like that then too, but I was a stupid child that believed whatever it was told, so I don't feel too badly about it.

Speaking of which, I was terrified of burning in hell as a child. The thought of it kept awake at night. What would happen if I just randomly got hit by a car or died of a heart attack, and it turned out the Methodists were the ones who had it right all along? There was no way I could know until it was too late. I don't like how the idea of hell is used to scare people into believing. The resulting anxiety can really fuck with you, especially in the case of children.

Anyway, the memories have just been rolling around in my head lately, and I was curious about the experiences others have had. I mean, mine were probably fairly run-of-the-mill, really. Sorry, this is a bit long, and might be a bit rambly. I just kept thinking of more things to add.
 
athousandsorrows

athousandsorrows

Member
Jul 5, 2018
70
My father is Jewish, I've mentioned this in a post before, and my mother is Catholic. Both me and my brother were raised in such a way that we'd learn about both religions and get to choose the one we thought we liked best. We chose neither and we aren't baptized.

I went to a German school and Lutheranism was the main religion taught there, though there were supposedly Catholic (I'm thinking more like Christian) religious classes for those of us who weren't German, and by default we all had them. I didn't have an issue with religion as a subject, until the preacher that gave the class started telling us that Satan was tied to a bed, and whenever we cursed or did something bad his ties would get looser and looser until one night he's come get us for being bad children. Looking back on it now, I laugh, but at the time it terrified me. I came home and told my dad and he immediately wrote the school a note that since he was Jewish he didn't want me taking religion in school, so me and the only other Jewish boy in that school would spend the time everyone was on religion in the library.

More as a grownup, I had a relationship with a Christian man, and I even went to some Bible classes to try and understand his beliefs, but everyone would harass me about "accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior" every time they saw me, and it was very uncomfortable for me since I just wanted to learn a bit more. Then he found out I read the Tarot as a hobby and immediately condemned to an eternity in the river of fire (not kidding, he actually used those words) for being a pagan witch.

So, yeah, my experience with religion, though not traumatic like some others have sadly experienced, has not been a good one. One of my best friends during childhood was a Buddhist and so was her mom, and her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer not once but twice, and both times she cured herself just by meditating. It was huge news and everyone was amazed. I guess I don't really agree with any of the religions because I see them as a way to control the masses; though, as you said and I've said myself in my own post before, I often envy religious people because they always have their unwavering faith to fall back onto, and I have nothing because I believe in nothing.

I do, however, believe that the mind is incredibly powerful and holds secrets we have no idea about.
 
Temporarilyabsurd

Temporarilyabsurd

NOISE:signal
Apr 27, 2018
440
let the anti religion bile flow.

My mother was a crazed Jehovahs Witness and my father watched me and my brother get brain washed.

Life defining experience .

Fear fear fear fear fear fear.

Destroyed my ability to trust.

Who do you believe when everyone is calling each other a liar ?
 
skyofAuroras

skyofAuroras

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Apr 10, 2018
136
I'm atheist, but I was raised Catholic. From my church specifically, I saw that a lot of people valued their religion and beliefs more than their own children. I had to go to catechism classes as a kid and as a teenager. I don't remember much so I can't accurately say how it was when I was a kid. By the time I was a teenager I knew I didn't believe in god. However I was still forced to go. I did it just to make my parents happy, even if I was miserable.

Now I see people still value religion over others. I hate it. I hate that when I opened up about my depression the first thing I was told was that I was depressed because I wasn't "close to god." Religion has been nothing more than a pain in the ass for me.
 
YaYaDr

YaYaDr

Student
Jun 26, 2018
128
I was lucky to not have been indoctrinated by my parents as a wee lad. When I met my first gf, I tried to be a Christian to show her I was genuinely sincere in our relationship - big mistake. I remember the first time I read apologist Lee Strobel's Case for Christ. At first I was excited at the prospect of a purportedly skeptical reporter applying the discipline of journalistic research to the question of whether Jesus was God. As I made my way through the book, I grew more and more frustrated that a supposedly unbiased reporter was not interviewing nonbelievers. When I finished the book, I being completely disillusioned declared the book a work of blatant propaganda.

Later as I read more and more of the bible, I found more reasons for disbelief than belief. Here is a book that claims people lived over 900 years old, that donkeys and serpents could talk, that light was created before the sun and stars. Here is a book where a "moral" god commanded the genocide of entire groups, endorsed rape, incest, and slavery, and damned people because he was jealous. Even if I set aside the Old Testament, the New Testament was no better. In it, a "moral" Jesus told slaves to obey their masters, claimed that he was a sword meant to drive apart families and not the bringer of peace, and damned a fig tree for the simple crime of being out of season. Never mind the underlying message being reprehensibly flawed - that you can escape accountability for your sins through the death of someone else.

For far too long in America, religion has occupied an unjustified privileged position in society. Churches don't have to pay any taxes and tithing doesn't need to be accounted for in any way. This has led to the rise of mega-chuches like Joel Osteen's Lakewood Ministries who couldn't even open their doors to parishioners after hurricane Harvey last year. This has led to the idolatry of charismatic pastors like Creflo Dollar who preach the prosperity gospel to justify buying a personal jet. This has led to the rise of charlatan faith healers like Peter Popoff who bilk the poor for every last cent. Religious people like to point the finger at fundamentalists like Westboro Baptist Church and say it's those people who are the problem, not us! But the truth that they don't want to admit is that those fundies are the ones who are really practicing what's in your bible. Ironically, they are less hypocritical than their critics!

Oh, but look at all the good churches do, they say. Look at all the great people who were religious like Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler or Rene Descartes. How better off are we as a society that God saw fit to bless us with Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. They claim all this with a straight face as if these people actually had a choice. One wonders what sort of masterpiece we were denied had Michaelangelo not been required to paint for the Church to make a living. This was what darkmatter2525 meant when he said: Christianity fights progress. When it finally loses, it pretends the fight never existed and claims credit for the progress.

Luckily, secular humanists have declawed Christianity in America at least. It is no longer the imposing force it once was in the past. But like a cornered beast, religion will fight tooth and nail until its last breath. In the past years we have seen a glut of legislation passed under the guise of religious freedom. These laws far from protecting liberties seek to undermine the separation between church and state. So much for rendering that which is Caesar's to Caesar and that which is God's to God. The fight can be compared to Sisyphus and his stone. I will not live to see the end of the religions we have today, but even then, who is to say some other religion will not rise up to take its place. Still, one can hope.
 
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Michel Angelo

Member
Jul 5, 2018
46
Religion's one of those amorphous things encompassing a wide gamut of causalities, to satisfy various human needs, and the like. Grew up Catholic and our old priest was arrested a while back, he was clearly using the cloth to get laid as much as he could, he always came off as a shifty bastard to me (even when young) and lo and behold here we have a touchy feely guy (probably an infp) who could never make it in business / leadership, so becomes a priest - ie, satisfying his own personal needs through an existing institutional religious structure, fucking married wives predominantly. (he was just arrested again, if curious - https://www.churchmilitant.com/news...on-leave-remains-listed-on-diocesan-directory

In all what a religion professes, and what people get out of it can be entirely different, just as the practitioners of faith get different things out of it, obviously varying per individual. Laity are generally stupid peasants, I used to not think that but after going back to MN various times I must say they can be best encapsulated as "monkey see, monkey do." Anyone who wants a life different (or better, I would personally say) gets the fuck out of rural areas (generally speaking) and goes to a decent city - new york, chicago, seattle. Minneapolis is a cultural cespool as well, there's more going on in providence ri on any given night than in the twin cities area -
 
Fylobatica

Fylobatica

Inactive
Apr 1, 2018
365
I'm not fond of religion because in whatever form it teaches people to be satisfied with not knowing things in their most articulate and complex form, rather imagining them in the way they want everything to be.
It's just wishful thinking that doesn't provide any answer.

"After death I'll go in a heaven made of marshmallows" - oh, good for you. What does this solve?

I won't mention specific cases when religions inspire people to believe in plain stupid things or to commit atrocities.
 
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typx

Specialist
May 4, 2018
381
I’ve never had any real problem with religious people in my life. In fact, nearly everyone I’ve known who has been highly religious has been kind and gentle and filled with love. I sincerely wish I believed in god in the way they did. It seems to fill them with a sense of belonging, of safety, of being loved. And that’s love and safety in them is something they can give to others. And it builds and builds. They give what they have and it’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve hated and talked shit about mainstream religions like every angsty “nonconformist” but that’s on a vague “the system” level. On a personal level, I wish I’d been given what they have.
 
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Michel Angelo

Member
Jul 5, 2018
46
I’ve never had any real problem with religious people in my life. In fact, nearly everyone I’ve known who has been highly religious has been kind and gentle and filled with love. I sincerely wish I believed in god in the way they did. It seems to fill them with a sense of belonging, of safety, of being loved. And that’s love and safety in them is something they can give to others. And it builds and builds. They give what they have and it’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve hated and talked shit about mainstream religions like every angsty “nonconformist” but that’s on a vague “the system” level. On a personal level, I wish I’d been given what they have.

Ironically enough, it's the conconformists who are religious now, and the conformists who aren't....
 
CJM

CJM

Experienced
Jul 13, 2018
246
I grew up religious, small catholic school, was an Altar service boy even.
To be honest I didn't really have any negative experiences, it was normal to me, the people were actually pretty good, we were a tight knit community.
We didn't get hell or anything shoved in our faces. I've grown up out of religion now and consider myself agnostic. I don't hate it, I just sit on the fence with things.
 
BaconCheeseburger

BaconCheeseburger

Comfort-eating
Aug 4, 2018
689
Jewish family, I went along with the rituals and lifestyle when I was younger because I went to a Jewish school and didn't know any different.

When I became a teenager I began to experience mental illness and a new sexual identity, both of which Judaism didn't seem to either agree with or support me on. I also got bullied and moved schools so I moved to a Christian-ethos school where my mind was blown by the diversity of the world that I'd been shrouded from. I was suddenly a minority and I realised that Jewish people don't have the best reputation amongst 'the others'. I didn't feel that the Jewish community had prepared me for the outside world, and I began to resent them for their 'them vs us' attitude which prevented me from forming meaningful relationships with others.

Following that, traditions and holidays became mundane because my closeness to the faith dwindled and I couldn't believe that a 'god' would want their people to be so cut off from the rest of the 'normal' world.

My family are still religious but it makes me uncomfortable. I posted a thread the other day about how my family will grieve and pondering what my funeral will be like because I don't know whose wishes will be followed when it comes to how much religion is involved in my ceremony.
 
worldexploder

worldexploder

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Sep 19, 2018
2,823
I was first introduced to religion by my biomom. She would take me to those “fire and brimstone” places. I’d cry as the preachers were screaming about how THE END IS NEAR!

I had this one nutjob Sunday school “teacher” when I was 9 tell me Armageddon is already starting in Israel. Then I feared the end of the world till I was 13.

That shit is child abuse.
 
worldexploder

worldexploder

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Sep 19, 2018
2,823
It hurts to see my 5 year old niece sometimes singing Christian songs while she's playing. It's straight up brainwashing, little kids should be taught critical thinking. Religion should not be presented as fact to them.
I absolutely agree. But it’s hard to convince parents of that when they think it’s a fact.

I was thinking, if I ever had kids (which I won’t I swear. I’m an antinatalist) not only would I try to teach them critical thinking, but I’d tell them straight up that Santa, The Easter Bunny, God and Tooth Fairy don’t exist. Why would I want to knowingly lie to my child and tell them some old man in a red custom comes down the chimney ever year.

A child’s brain is growing rapidly during that stage of development. If a child’s brain is wired to believe in fairy tales, who says that same wiring won’t lead them to grow up to be another statistic in Jonestown 2.0.
 
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polyswarm

Member
Sep 8, 2018
66
I absolutely agree. But it’s hard to convince parents of that when they think it’s a fact.

I was thinking, if I ever had kids (which I won’t I swear. I’m an antinatalist) not only would I try to teach them critical thinking, but I’d tell them straight up that Santa, The Easter Bunny, God and Tooth Fairy don’t exist. Why would I want to knowingly lie to my child and tell them some old man in a red custom comes down the chimney ever year.

A child’s brain is growing rapidly during that stage of development. If a child’s brain is wired to believe in fairy tales, who says that same wiring won’t lead them to grow up to be another statistic in Jonestown 2.0.

Recently came across antinatalism, it's a really solid philosophy. Adoption seems a much better choice than having kids of your own, if someone wants to become a parents.

It's all fun play-pretend, Santa, Easter Bunny etc. Just like how kids pretend to be a nurse or a police officer. That seems like a good way to explain those things to them.
I can't remember those feelings myself, maybe I had them maybe not, but I bet a lot of children feel a sense of betrayal towards their parents after finding out Santa isn't real.
 
worldexploder

worldexploder

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Sep 19, 2018
2,823
Recently came across antinatalism, it's a really solid philosophy. Adoption seems a much better choice than having kids of your own.

It's all fun play-pretend, Santa, Easter Bunny etc. Just like how kids pretend to be a nurse or a police officer. That seems like a good way to explain those things to them.
I can't remember those feelings myself, maybe I had them maybe not, but I bet a lot of children feel a sense of betrayal towards their parents after finding out Santa isn't real.

I remember when I first found out. It didn’t effect me because I was still getting the goods. I agree I think it’s healthy to play pretend as a child. Sometimes a child can believe something using their own imagination. I just have a thing about purposely convincing a child that these beings are real.
 
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polyswarm

Member
Sep 8, 2018
66
I remember when I first found out. It didn’t effect me because I was still getting the goods. I agree I think it’s healthy to play pretend as a child. Sometimes a child can believe something using their own imagination. I just have a thing about purposely convincing a child that these beings are real.

Yes, I couldn't bring myself to knowingly lie to a child.
 

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