I was brought up in a strict christian household. In hind-sight I don't think it was a good thing to be told that if I don't believe I'll burn in an eternal pit of fire from as young as I can remember.  Please share your experience with religion and explain why it was bad, or maybe not that bad, and what pushed you to stop believing in it.

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David, Here's a good one:  tell your father you're an adeist, as opposed to an atheist.  Let him try to figure out what the heck that means.

 

 

All I know is that it's going to sever almost all my childhood relationships. It also almost made me spend my whole life in search of something I wouldn't have proof for or against until after I died.

Plus there's all the money I've already given as a Baptist teenager.

Feeling that I should suppress my attraction to the women/girls around me, or only be attracted to one (because, of course, we have to be jealous of our partners) is another effect.

God, I can't stand thinking about it any more. *Magically gets rid of all superstition in the world*

Minor Trend? I would call it one of the major themes. After all, in a way, wasnt Jesus a martyr too...

M.

I went through the same thing.  My fundamentalist parents have a profound mistrust of the medical profession, especially the sciences of the mind.  They really believe in harassment and possession by demons and when both my brother and I developed PTSD and panic disorder from their crazed, cultic obsessions, we were treated with more guilt and remonstrations, for we had obviously "tread on Satan's ground" or "opened our minds to the devil".  Both my brother and I spent years suffering from these conditions as adults, not even knowing we should seek help or that these conditions are among the most treatable.  I absolutely believe that SSRIs and EMDR saved both of our lives.

I was a fundamental baptist pastor / missionary for 8 years.  I believe that propagating religion seriously harmed other people and enslaved them.  I jumped ship back in 2003 but oftentimes feel guilt for those whom I helped enslave.

I get that "guilty" bit as well, which is partly why i am active in other ways now. I also think many Christians keep on doing their thing because they would feel like they 'let down' the people they saved/enslaved.

M.

I really can't remember what pushed me to stop believing, it's been so long.  I know it had something to do with comparing God to the bullies at school.

Yes, I believe that my parents religious indoctrination was directly responsible for me developing anxiety and panic disorder and PTSD, along with some other factors.  They are to this day members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and impressed many scary and limiting beliefs upon me:

1)  The world is headed for a time of great disasters, social unrest and religious persecution, of which the SDA faith will be the main focus.  Every untoward religious statement of other religious leaders and politicians was immediately seized upon as evidence that this "Time of Trouble" was imminent.

2)  Demon possession and harassment by demons are a very real phemomenon and can happen to you if you do anything bad.  This was a constant threat from my parents, often screamed at us, that we were on the verge of giving ourselves up to demon possession.

3) Cancer and other degenerative diseases are 100% caused by departures from the very strict lifestyle prescribed by the Adventist prophet Ellen G. White, which include proscriptions against "unnatural excitement", any stimulants in the diet (caffeine, chocoloate, tea, etc), masturbation, laziness, etc. This was constantly reinforced in nagging sessions and I learned to dread any communication from my father, as it was almost always either scary, shameful or embarassing.  I still live in constant fear of getting cancer.

4) Corporal punishment was a big part of my childhood.  Whenever we were disobedient, even in public, my parents would force us to drop to our knees in public, pray to god for forgiveness of our sins and spank us in public.  My mother was particulary egregious in this regard and the abuse I suffered at her hands has given me a deep and enduring distrust of authority figures in general.  It's made dealing with bosses, girlfriends, landlords, etc particulary hard, since my first instinct is to make myself invisible, rather seek them out and open a dialogue.

5) Anxiety and panic disorder has a strong genetic component and both my parents and my grandfather on my fathers side suffered from the condition.  Genetic predisposition doesn't guarantee the condition will manifest itself, but that in combination with a harsh environment generally will.

6) Both of my parents are insufferable control freaks.  Everything resembling heresy, secularism, humanism, independant thought, etc. was stamped out by any means possible.  Removal of priviledges, spying, cultural isolation, twice daily family worship (read: religious indoctrination), home-schooling, corporal punishment and general physical abuse were all employed by them in an effort to control every aspect of their children's lives.

7) Everything was treated as a panic situation: water dripping on the floor, food particles being scattered, an object about to fall on the floor, etc. would result in a panicked, screaming reaction from one or both parents.  I learned to live in a constant state of near panic or "hyper-vigilance" as psychologists call it.

Most people, even with a rocky childhood, have a loving bond with their parents.  I don't.  I don't trust them. They manipulate social situations to enable them to proselytize my brother and I, which creates a lot of resentment and a real aversion to spending time with them.  I have several other adopted families that I generally spend the holidays with.  I feel guilty about this, but it's better than being told that the solution to any problems I might have is to go back into the prison their cult has waiting for me.

The recovery from all of this damage has been hard-won and long.  I began realizing that things were amiss in my early twenties and it took my until my early forties to really start experiencing freedoom of thought and expression, a realistic view of the world and healthy relationships.  I don't think it's an overstatement to say that religion has destroyed the better part of my life.

I think that'll do for now...

Thank you for sharing this.

<they must be insane or very sick of mind>>>

 

The following is from Mirror Reversal which will be on Kindle shortly:

 

The above quote from Robert F.’s post, I feel is narrow-minded and unjust.  Ever notice that theists view any non-reproductive sex as sinful?  A Catholic woman can’t even fellate her husband without feeling guilty about it.  Even wearing a condom which helps assure safe sex and prevent unwanted pregnancy is considered wicked and sinful.  Religions encourage followers to “be fruitful and multiply” so they can rule over as many as possible.   

 

With world population recently exceeding seven billion and thousands of children dying of starvation every single day, it could be argued that traditional, face-to-face, church- and Koran-approved coitus is “insane or very sick of mind.”  Humans are causing the extinction of over a hundred species daily, annihilating the rain forests, poisoning the oceans and rivers, and yet religious leaders refuse to say a word to help prevent cancerous, runaway human population growth. 

 

Many states still have anti-sodomy laws which they define as any “unnatural” sex act.  I have news for the law makers of these states:  Causing the extinction of thousands of species is unnatural.  Half the Amazon Rain Forest is already destroyed and degraded.  Half of the planet’s biodiversity has been lost forever.  There’ve been five previous extinctions, which can be considered natural, buy never has one species been the cause.  This is unnatural.   

 

The day has to come when zeitgeist changes and straight sex is looked at with aversion and distrust—just as gay sex is today.  Abomination means “to be hated or loathed.”  In my opinion, what humans are doing to the planet is to be hated or loathed.   

 

***

 

Just an aside and anatomical point to Robert:  waste material is stored in the colon, not the rectum. 

 

Reply by Richard Goscicki 25 minutes ago

 

Composer wrote: <they must be insane or very sick of mind>>>

 

Richard Goscicki responded: The following is from Mirror Reversal which will be on Kindle shortly:

 

The above quote from Robert F.’s post, I feel is narrow-minded and unjust. 

Composer responds: Having already read your reasons your conclusion is spurious!

 

Richard Goscicki responded: Ever notice that theists view any non-reproductive sex as sinful? 

Composer responds: I never even hinted at that! I correctly pointed out that males choosing to penetrate another man's anus/sh_t expunger is a sicko!

 

Masturbation could be deemed an acceptable form of ' pleasure ' however shoving ones penis into a bucket or container of sh_t is sick and probably insane!

 

Richard Goscicki responded: A Catholic woman can’t even fellate her husband without feeling guilty about it. 

 

Composer responds: Changing the subject to what catholic Females can or can not do is diversionary and frankly dishonest!

 

Richard Goscicki responded: Even wearing a condom which helps assure safe sex and prevent unwanted pregnancy is considered wicked and sinful.  

Composer responds: More diversionary tactics!

 

Richard Goscicki responded: Religions encourage followers to “be fruitful and multiply” so they can rule over as many as possible.

Composer responds: They don't encourage that amongst their Priests (wanting them celibate) so your point is somewhat lost! 

 

Richard Goscicki responded: Many states still have anti-sodomy laws which they define as any “unnatural” sex act. 

Composer responds: How often do you engage in anal intercourse?

1. With Males?

2. With Females?

3. Other?

4. Is anal intercourse with animals (sex just for fun you say) acceptable fun for you?

 

Richard Goscicki responded: The day has to come when zeitgeist changes and straight sex is looked at with aversion and distrust—just as gay sex is today.  Abomination means “to be hated or loathed.”  In my opinion, what humans are doing to the planet is to be hated or loathed.   

Composer responds: Correct however a man sticking his penis into a pile of sh_t for fun is equally sick and should be hated and loathed by decent minded societies.

***

Richard Goscicki responded: Just an aside and anatomical point to Robert:  waste material is stored in the colon, not the rectum. 

Composer responds: So? Isn't the anus directly connected or the pathway of said waste material?

Bottom-line (LOL!) - If men want to stick their dinkies in a receptacle that discharges faeces - excrement, then they deserve what awful diseases they get and society should expunge them from amongst them!

 

 

Why should you care if someone has anal sex or not?  And to say that men deserve all the diseases they get from practicing anal sex how about the myriad of diseases that are acquired through 'normal' sex?  Also, is anal sex with a woman ok?  I've got two friends that practice that.  Or is that wrong too?  How about oral sex?  Both the penis and vagina eliminate waste; why should you want to put your mouth on something that discharges urine?  Come on!  What does this discussion have to do with being atheist anyway?!

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