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Any former religious types here?


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Member · Posted

What could possibly go wrong with this thread?

Okay, I know this has great potential to get spicy so mods please shut this down the second you feel it’s necessary.

I don’t intend for this to be a place to bash our religious members. I grew up an evangelical Christian and de-converted a few years back for reasons. When you grow up in an environment like that, it has lasting effects in your mind for years even after you leave. Now I’m thoroughly interested in having discussions with other formerly religious folks.

The effects of such an environment can be wild depending on what kind of church you came from. Me? If I was still religious I wouldn’t be able to touch something as benign as Devil World on Famicom. That’s how intense it was for me. It still took some time after leaving the church to be comfortable with stuff like that.

I would love to hear experiences (non-traumatic of course, I don’t want to ask you to relive anything awful) from people with similar backgrounds just as a means of interesting discussion.

(In case anyone was wondering, it’s the religious response to Lil Nas X and watching that with intrigue that prompted me to start this thread.)

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I'm a very religious guy (Roman Catholic if anyone's curious). And while I don't like to come off as imposing my beliefs on others, I have a few points that I think most people could benefit from hear

People take religion too personally. I never found an issue bring religious and never had it negatively impact my life. It sucks when I hear ppl struggling with living a normal life and having faith.

My grandfather was a pastor in the ‘80s and ‘90s up until the day he died. He always preached about loving one another, and was a follower of the teachings of Jesus. As a child I was interested i

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Member · Posted
4 minutes ago, DefaultGen said:

I’m was never in one of them, but I enjoy ex-cultlike religion Youtube channels for whatever reason (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons) like Lloyd Evans. The way they control thoughts and actions and develop followings is pretty interesting. 

I’d like to think my denomination wasn’t “cult” status but I think a lot of people on the outside looking in would say they were. You ever see Jesus Camp? That’s what my church was like. Growing up in it you don’t think much of it, I guess.

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When I was in college, I was bored and a guy kept telling me how great this church he found was, so I went with him. It was much different than the church's I went to growing up. They were set up on a big stage and played "rock" music most of the time. When it came to the sermon, I will never forget the "preacher," talking about buying credit in heaven before they passed the donation tray around. 

Edited by Californication
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Here is my "I have Aspeger's so I am very much like Sherlock Holmes, which is a family-based irony, but still make a point of respecting it from a more philosophical point of view" kind of response:

1) Christianity is not tied to Judaism, but rather the Muslim faith. Prior to this point, both the Muslims and Jews agreed with those they claimed were brought by God. When the prospect of Jesus being born popped up, it was the Muslims who thought God was going to give them a new Prophet. The Jews, at worse, simply disagreed because there was nothing documented saying this was the case.

2) Despite being born Jewish, and a perceived threat to the Roman Empire, both Jesus and His mother were given Muslim names. Are considered Muslim by many. And a small portion of Quran is dedicated to quotes, etc. The church, after Christianity became an organized religion, ignored this among many other things. Which I will not get into because even the Bible says he was a Liberal Jew when it comes to this type of thing.

Add every issue that Thomas Jefferson brought up, among other things, and you will find that I am far more spiritual than religious just because things that they are doing can often be proven as contradictions to their own faith.

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47 minutes ago, RegularGuyGamer said:

People take religion too personally. I never found an issue bring religious and never had it negatively impact my life. It sucks when I hear ppl struggling with living a normal life and having faith.

When I was a kid my mom came back from what would be my church for the first time, she went digging through my closet and asked me if I had any DnD or Pokemon stuff. That we needed to get rid of it all because it’s all Satanic. I told her I wasn’t into DnD but Pokemon wasn’t going anywhere.

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Administrator · Posted
1 hour ago, RegularGuyGamer said:

People take religion too personally. I never found an issue bring religious and never had it negatively impact my life. It sucks when I hear ppl struggling with living a normal life and having faith.

^^^Same.

I'm also one of those that doesn't beat you over the head with it like some of the examples given, so that probably helps.

 

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Member · Posted

When I was a kid we were nominally catholic.  Mom‘s Jewish though so that probably contributed some to the pretty mild role it played in my life.  Went to the  psr classes and stuff until about 10.  I‘m a pretty firm and unsympathetic atheist.  I‘m going to tread very lightly in this one.  

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2 hours ago, FenrirZero said:

Add every issue that Thomas Jefferson brought up, among other things, and you will find that I am far more spiritual than religious just because things that they are doing can often be proven as contradictions to their own faith.

Maybe you should base your personal beliefs on the tenets of whatever religion/denomination you adhere to rather than on the actions of other contemporary (or historical) human beings who are just as fallible as you are...

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Member · Posted

I live abroad and I've found religion to be quite beneficial to me over here, especially since my religion and ethnicity are both minorities where I live.

Attending church allowed me to meet a great batch of people, and make a bunch of connections that have time and time again helped me out here.

As I tell my brother, just try to be a good person and follow whatever your teachings / beliefs to the best that you can / desire. One of the core aspects in my religion is forgiveness and redemption, so if I behaved perfectly, then what need would there be for religion in the first place? No need for getting radical, about anything.

On a different note, I'd personally never consider marrying an atheist, though I'd have no qualms about marrying out of faith, i.e to someone that worships Mazu or whatever, as i think the general teachings of religion are quite good.

 

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34 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

Maybe you should base your personal beliefs on the tenets of whatever religion/denomination you adhere to rather than on the actions of other contemporary (or historical) human beings who are just as fallible as you are...

Which is contradiction just because all religions were created by many contemporary (or historical) figures that are just as fallible as I openly admit to being. And as per the original Jewish faith, God was not shown as being a being of great insight when it came to Lilith. Which was all denoted by those who are no different than I am. 🤔

Which is why I chose to be spiritual. Religion, as it stands, is its own form of philosophy. No religion can offer me what I want, but to deny the spiritual aspects they all offer can take away most of what I need to feel whole. Plus if you knew what it is to live with my variation of Asperger's...

Well...

You would know that being a spiritualist is my only safeguard. 😅

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I grew up homeschooled for a decent portion of my life, not by choice, but because I grew up in a very small town and our only local school had mold in its basement from a flood. It was a huge case where there was negligence by the principle and staff, people didn't want to pay to clean it up properly so they tried to cover it up, etc. etc. Two teachers died from Legionnaire's disease and my brother got asthma. It was a bad situation. 

Point being, we were forced to be homeschooled for most of elementary and middle school. My mom wanted us to have a normal upbringing so she tried to contact as many homeschool families as possible to get us a social life. We ended up forming a "co-op," which was really more like a homemade private school. One mom had her PhD in physical sciences, she was our science teacher. One dad was a pro broker, he taught consumer math. Etc. Etc. Kind of cool when I think back on it.

Anyway, a lot of the parents in the homeschool community were crazy religious, though. There were countless kids I wasn't allowed to hang out with because my mom was pro-choice or because I was allowed to read Harry Potter. 

I'm a spiritual agnostic today, who leans towards a mild and undetermined atheism. I actually love the idea of learning theological perspectives, but damn if converative-American-evangelicalism isn't terrifying as all hell.

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11 hours ago, Californication said:

When I was in college, I was bored and a guy kept telling me how great this church he found was, so I went with him. It was much different than the church's I went to growing up. They were set up on a big stage and played "rock" music most of the time. When it came to the sermon, I will never forget the "preacher," talking about buying credit in heaven before they passed the donation tray around. 

My mother tries to convince me to go to church with her with this. “They play rock music, you’ll like it” No mom, I don’t think its the same, I doubt their talking about hookers and blow in their rock music.

Ive never really been religious, and I can probably say my mother badgering us with it as kids pushed me away from it. But I cant say Im atheistic either. I associate atheism with the people who want to take Christmas trees out of a school or other ridiculous non-issues that they create.

I developed this mental hurdle to believing in what most consider a god anyway. Which is a being that knows/controls all. It’s fine for those who need to believe there is something watching over them or to believe that there is a greater purpose for various events I guess. But to me that also means one would have to give up their right of accomplishment because you didn’t really do anything it was already part of the big plan. Which is something I can’t accept personally. I believe my achievements AND failures are of my own making and of my various decisions made over time. I can’t and wont give credit or blame to anyone/thing for them.

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Member · Posted
10 hours ago, RegularGuyGamer said:

People take religion too personally. I never found an issue bring religious and never had it negatively impact my life. It sucks when I hear ppl struggling with living a normal life and having faith.

How personal don't nationalists, feminists, vegans take their views? But with religion you also have the added factor of the creator of the universe supposedly interacting with you and offering continuation after death. I could see the ingredients for intolerance blossoming. 

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13 minutes ago, cartman said:

How personal don't nationalists, feminists, vegans take their views? But with religion you also have the added factor of the creator of the universe supposedly interacting with you and offering continuation after death. I could see the ingredients for intolerance blossoming. 

Ingredients for intolerance from a doctrine that says only God is the one who can judge us and that all people sin? Seems like a misinterpretation of the text to me. 

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I just can’t fathom that in a universe so vast and complex that in all probability we are biologically incapable of truly understanding it‘s workings and complexities, that anyone would be satisfied with the answer of it’s magic.  Im staring at a giant nuclear reaction more than a million times the size of earth and I’m supposed to base my worldview on Bronze Age literature thats worried about me chopping off my foreskin?  I’m sorry but I don’t understand how you reconcile a world with satellites and indoor plumbing with that.  If there were some sort of entity manipulating our reality I find it pretty unlikely that it is in any way connected to any of the religions we’ve come up with.  

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Member · Posted
56 minutes ago, RegularGuyGamer said:

Ingredients for intolerance from a doctrine that says only God is the one who can judge us and that all people sin? Seems like a misinterpretation of the text to me. 

That can be one take on it but with unquestionable and eternal morals there's a good chance that those who follow them will feel some type of way about those who don't.

Besides it's not only "god judges" either there are some laws that people are expected to enforce.

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1 hour ago, cartman said:

Besides it's not only "god judges" either there are some laws that people are expected to enforce.

Seems like there should be some scripture to go along with this claim. 

Also:

"There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?"

 

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Former Christian, current atheist here. 

Fortunately, my mother was not militant about it, and when I decided to do my research in my teens, and asked to stop going, she didn't put up much of a fight. I think there's a part of her that is "worried" for me now, but she mostly doesn't show that. 

As a grown adult, I just have a lot of trouble understanding how someone can believe in any type of God. I get the concept of "faith", but it's still pretty mind boggling to me. To me it feels a little like willful ignorance. 

I personally do not need a set of morals provided to me to be a good person. I guess that some people do. Fear of God? I don't know. I guess if it works... but I'm not a huge fan. I wish humankind could be kinder on their own. 

However, if someone's life is better, and they are a better person, because of their faith, does it truly matter if what they believe in is real or not? I say no, because really I'm only worried about what can affect me in that regard.

However, the problem is when someone is a worse person because of what they believe in. Religious terrorists, evangelical scam artists, rapist priests and nuns, etc. All in the name of Religion. I've seen enough to have the opinion that Religion does more harm than good. I also hate when Religion gets the credit of things in the name of science. Thank the Lord you came out of that operation? No, that the doctor who performed the procedure and the science that allowed him to do it. 

I'm of the opinion that religion should be a deeply personal experience. If you do believe in God, I don't understand why that has to be shared with others, and pushed onto others. I feel the same if you don't believe in God. I can't stand atheists who constantly challenge and question their religious friends. Unless they are hurting someone or themselves, let them do/believe what they want. However, I'll still stand by my opinion that organized religion is a huge scam. 

I am not trying to offend anyone here and I hope no one is. I just wanted to offer my perspective to the OP since they asked.

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Member · Posted
55 minutes ago, cartman said:

That can be one take on it but with unquestionable and eternal morals there's a good chance that those who follow them will feel some type of way about those who don't.

Besides it's not only "god judges" either there are some laws that people are expected to enforce.

It's human nature to judge others, with or without even looking at religion.

Some vegans judge meat eaters for slaughtering innocent animals, some meat eaters judge vegans for being freaks. Some exercise junkies judge fat people, some people are judged based on the clothes they wear or the car they drive. Some are judged or judge others based on their sexuality, it goes both ways. The list goes on.

So yeah in religion some people will judge others, but thats literally the same as every other thing in life too.

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Member · Posted
7 minutes ago, fcgamer said:

It's human nature to judge others, with or without even looking at religion.

Some vegans judge meat eaters for slaughtering innocent animals, some meat eaters judge vegans for being freaks. Some exercise junkies judge fat people, some people are judged based on the clothes they wear or the car they drive. Some are judged or judge others based on their sexuality, it goes both ways. The list goes on.

So yeah in religion some people will judge others, but thats literally the same as every other thing in life too.

Yes i know but religion adds divine justification to it wich entrenches the views harder. Then like everything else it will depend on the individual what he does but i'm talking about the foundation itself.

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9 minutes ago, cartman said:

Yes i know but religion adds divine justification to it wich entrenches the views harder. Then like everything else it will depend on the individual what he does but i'm talking about the foundation itself.

Somebody been watching too many cartoons.

https://dragonball.fandom.com/wiki/Light_of_Divine_Justice

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