My name is Oliver and I'm from Germany, probably the only country in the world where the government collects church tax on behalf of the two big churches which is not the only "sin" against church/state-separation in this country, but one of the most obvious ones.
I have been a nominal atheist since 1990 which doesn't mean however that I got rid of unconscious religious desires, misconceptions and superstitions planted in me in my childhood by just leaving my mother's creed.
This mindset made me vulnerable to supernatural seductions based on the so-called and presumed "law of attraction" and "non-religious" spirituality. Interestingly enough, my roman-catholic wife believes less in supernatural powers than I used to do.
I finally had to develop a full-blown depression in order for me to start admitting my unconscious supernatural belief system to myself.
I consider myself an atheist and a nontheist. I don't believe in any god and I don't think religion has any inherent benefit that couldn't be provided for otherwise, such as community or morality.
But make no mistake: Religions misconceptions run very deep in the human mind. At least, that's my experience.
Looking forward to fruitful discussions.
P.S.: So far, I have failed to upload a profile picture...
Hello, Oliver. Welcome to Atheist/Nexus. I hope you enjoy your experience here. It's always nice having new members join us.
You mentioned that the German government collects taxes on behalf of the "two big churches," which I assume to be the Catholic and Lutheran churches. Correct? I'm curious, does that mean all other religions are exempt from taxation?
churches approved by the government as "public institutions"are entitled to church tax. This holds true for the Catholic and Lutheran churches. Of course, other religions and even cults are trying to get that status to tax their members. Good luck it's not written in the constitution...
Of course, people can easily avoid church tax by just leaving their church. I have never paid church tax.
An interesting side note: To formally leave your church, you don't have to go to the office of the church itself, but to the local court (!) of the district or town you're living in which is, in fact, a government agency. Yet another example of how church and state are intertwined with each other in this country.
Hi Oliver, welcome to A.N.
Why don't you check out Les Athées Napoléonienne
Have a nice day.
Glad you found us Oliver! I'm Mindy. I think you'll find it very interesting here on AN. Lots of great people. Jump right in!
I lived in West Berlin when I was 11, for the school year. I have fond memories of it, people were very nice. I got plunked into a German school and learned German by immersion. I still know some German.
We went to East (Communist) Berlin once, I remember it being very drab because there was no advertising.