I'm a former general baptist xtian. I was raised in southern Indiana attending Otter Creek GB church and also attended Warrick Christian School during my High school years. We were borderline evangelical. I remember going door to door trying to proselytize for our youth group.

Evolution made me question a lot of things, and I can remember trying to marry evolution and my religious beliefs. I was in and out of belief during my teen and college years. I even married an evangelical Christian while serving in the Coast Guard.
While in the military, I learned physics, and got very interested in science in general.

The first book that I picked up was Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted world". This was the turning point for my religious beliefs, and I haven't looked back since. Since then I have read Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris, along with many others. Each has added to my arsenal of knowledge about the fallacies of religion.

That knowledge has saved me from being a Xtian and using my religion as an excuse to be immoral and selfish (for me, I could justify stealing as long as I asked for forgiveness later). It's a double-edged sword as well, isolating me from family and friends.

I started this group in order to meet like-minded people. Too long we have lived quietly and with too few people can we actually talk with regarding our lack of beliefs. Many people in this area hear "agnostic" or "atheist" and respond with anger or hateful looks. We need a group that will cater to non-theists, whether the life-long atheist or the first-time questioner that needs to see that it's okay to be godless.

I'm not here to bash religion, nor am I here to push non-theism on the tri-state area. There is enough information out there for that and by people with better writing skills. This is a gathering of freethinkers. Maybe we can all go out and get a beer or even grill in my backyard. Maybe just chat or have a contact list or someone to call if they need a hand.

I have only met one other atheist in the Tri-state area that would admit it to me and intend to add to that this year. So please invite your non-theist friends, whether the atheist, agnostic, freethinker, or humanist, and lets all get together.

Tony

Anyone posing as a non-theist or harassing other members here or on Facebook is subject to deletion. I won't tolerate flaming or anything else or that nature. That goes for gay-bashing, racial comments, or anything else inappropriate. Nuff said.

Tags: Evansville, non-theists

Views: 21

Replies to This Discussion

I was raised in a secular household. My mother never really discussed belief in a positive or negative way, it seemed to me that worship was irrelevant to her life. At an early age, I was exposed to Southern Baptism from spending Saturday nights over at a friend's house, and having to go to church with him the next morning. Of course, as young as I was at the time, I hadn't reached the age of reason, and who wants to fry in hell for eternity? I remember the moment my friend's father "saved" me, and I took Jesus Christ into my heart.

Problem was, after I started going to the church for a short time, even at a young age, I began to smell the rat. I asked tough questions, and never got satisfactory answers. After a while, I just stopped going to church all together. I don't think they minded me leaving, either. That boy thinks too much.

Church remained completely irrelevant in my life until about age 14. One of my classmates asked me to go to her youth group with her. I wasn't so sure about it. But, I used to play guitar with her dad, and he convinced me that I'd like it. After all, the youth group pastor also played guitar, and they had a drummer, and they sang songs, and there were lots of chicks my age (which was the main selling point). I ended up going. I found out that it was a pentecostal youth group when they started speaking in tongues, falling out into the aisles, and a bunch of goofy nonsense like that. It was the last time I ever attended a church. At 15, I sat and read the King James bible cover-to-cover. I haven't believed in a Christian god a day since.

I toyed with other forms of spirituality into my 18th year, reading about Wicca, and Druidism, and beginning to seek other sources of spiritual knowledge. One by one, they all failed the "makes sense" test that I was building ever stronger. Gradually, through observation of the known universe, the exercise of reason, and tempering my beliefs in the fire of skepticism, I began a process that I still follow today. In essence, I discovered what it is to be an atheist.

Last year, the first year of my divorce, I began meeting local atheists, and gathering them together, usually for a beer and a slice at Turoni's now and again. We might be guilty of a little religion-bashing, but usually our conversations range widely. It is great to be a member of such a diverse group of freethinking individuals. Every one of them is intelligent, witty, funny, and though we may disagree politically, we still enjoy every conversation. I'll try to get them to join up on here when they get a chance.

Tony, Great to meet you. Know that you are not alone. There are more of us out there than anyone yet realizes.

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