I just joined this group today. I have been looking for a "safe" place to discuss/share my skeptizism (sp?) in god.Specifically, how to deal with my family who are either evangelical christians (my wife and two children-one adult one teenager), or church-going catholics (my sibilings, mother, cousins). I am finding it increasingly difficult to attend service on Sundays (to appease my wife)-and suffer the endless praising,singing, and ridiculous sermons. It is getting more and more difficult to sit through-and "communion day" is the worst, as you sit there alone singled out as the only one not partaking in this ritual (I dread Sundays, to be honest). I hope you all can give me some guidance, or at least some sympathy! Thanks

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Thank the zombie jesus she has her parents to go to church with.  A haven't had a theist gf for a long time.  I don't think I'd take one on, at this point in my life, because I have noticed that common atheism is a really great thing to bond over.  But I certainly wouldn't let religion ruin an existing relationship, or I'd try not to.  Sounds like you have a good understanding of what you need to do to keep things together.  Keep up the good work, and good luck.

Hi Ted!

You and I have a lot in common with respect to our relationships with our wives. And i think you have handled it beautifully.I have gone through much the same  internal debate with myself on how to deal with my wife's beliefs and I will really take to heart what you are saying. I think that yours is a perfect way to keep the marriage moving forward, without having to compromise one or the other's core values. I wanted to share with you that I sat though a sermon yesterday (it was easier to go than deal with my wife if I didn't) where this preacher/minister spoke on the importance of bringing non-followers to christ (I got this creepy feeling that he was talking about me, as there were few (none?) other non believers in that crowd). I thought that it was ironic that he was trying to persuade my wife and others to re-double their efforts to convince people like me to "join the party", when all that would do is cause more conflict, at least in my home. I know his heart is in the right place, in that he thinks he is trying to "save" me (and why people still think that by god sending himself down to earth to get himself executed would somehow "pay" for our sins"- is still beyond me- the pre-planning kind of negates the whole idea of sacrifice). Anyways, I digress-  the thing i was struck by was the emotional chord that these people (preachers) are able to touch (heck, it almost got to me-I wouldn't want to spend a week locked up in a room with that guy- I am afraid i would come out a raving jesus freak) and why it is very hard for me to imagine my wife ever 'coming around"-there is simply too much re-inforcement in her life (church services, books, Christen radio,etc). but I will follow your example and just chip away at the mountain as best I can.

Hey, Mark!

The thing is, religion was born in and thrives on emotion.  Strong emotion is the only thing that can turn our brain off.  Fear of the unknown is a killer.  I've known preachers like that.  Hell, I've been one a few times. lol  From the pulpit side the preacher watches and performs based upon crowd reaction.  At least the effective ones do.  My poor brother has such a heartache to fix people he used to drone on and on while we sat out there and went, "ok, bro', we get it, can we go eat now!" lol  His mentor, though, was tough, at least on an uneducated audience.  I thought he was just nuts sometimes with the antics he used but poor, dumb, country folks were always sucked into his whirlwind.

I understand their side very well.  I've always had a "savior complex."  Still do.  Having crashed into an assortment of brick walls it has made me very cynical.

At least my wife is not so immersed in christian bullshit.  That's the thing these days, the hierarchy is becoming desperate so they've built such a closed, encapsulated culture these days.  Even when I was a christian I saw that growing with dismay.  The "us" and "them" mentality of the American christian community is astounding and really spooky.  They operate on an entirely different set of ethics, science, thought, you name it.  And it's all predefined, too.  There is no free thought, just dictated answers.  

Only thing we can do is show how life in the real world works, that there's value to live, reasons to live, and purpose, and most important, once we get past our own doubts and struggle, there's no fear.

Good luck, dude.

Welcome Mark, you have found the right place!~Melinda

Thank you much- it is nice to not feel like an outcast in society.

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