Life After Christian Fundamentalism

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Life After Christian Fundamentalism

Recovering from the side effects of Christian fundamentalism is not easy.

•The ongoing fear of Hell
•Rejection from family members
•Ongoing guilt
•Loss of community

If you can relate, join.
This is not a debate group.

Members: 506
Latest Activity: Oct 31

Welcome to "Life After Christian Fundamentalism."

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This group was born out of my meeting with Nate Phelps during the American Atheist Convention in Atlanta.

My wife Angela and I took Nate and his fiancée Angela out to enjoy the evilness of The Varsity. Almost instantly we hit it off, and felt like we had been friends for years. Not only did we have similar backgrounds, but we all shared the desire to help others who were leaving Christian fundamentalism.

I asked Nate to write about his experiences in Atlanta on my blog Life Without Faith. He graciously accepted and you can read it here.

As support for this group, Nate has graciously allowed Atheist Nexus to post the entire transcript of his Atlanta speech. It is long, emotionally moving, and a must read. Check it out here.

Below is a documentary on Nate's Family entitled, "Fall From Grace." Play All Videos In Order (8)

Here is a recent news story featuring my former church:

Brother Richard

Nate's Website: Nate Phelps
My Personal Website: Life Without Faith

Discussion Forum

Video: "Coming Out" to your Evangelical Family

Started by Richard Haynes. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jun 2, 2013. 8 Replies

UU Church

Started by CD Free. Last reply by Dan Tabor Apr 24, 2013. 4 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by Kristi Leitholt on July 13, 2009 at 7:24pm
To address Franklin's question, I can't speak for everyone else, but the kind of Christian fundamentalism I'm coming from involved rejecting the theory of evolution as an explanation of our origins; interpreting the Bible as God's literal Word, infallible and without error; preaching condemnation and repentance to non-believers and more liberal-thinking Christians; and rejecting media that was "tainted" by heretic non-believers (listening to only Christian music, etc.). And I grew up in a Lutheran church.

I think the definition of "fundamentalist" may be a little different for some people than others, but the fact remains the same: it is something traumatic to leave that all behind and free yourself of the brainwashing that came as part of it. Leaving fundamentalism can cost a person their relationships with friends and possibly family. I don't really think it matters too much what sort of "fundamentalism" someone is coming from because all of it has a basis in myths and lies that someone else has presented as absolute truth. That can cause emotional and mental problems down the road when someone leaves it in favor of rational thinking. So whatever kind of fundamental past you had, you're welcome here, because we're all recovering together!
Comment by Chris Highland on July 13, 2009 at 6:07pm

I recently invited my young nephew, who was homeschooled on the bible, to scan over my Natural Bible. He, like many young people, seem hungry for someone to ask questions with, to be open about doubts and learn to reason. Maybe we need no more "bibles" but I find it helpful to take John Muir's "Bible of Nature" to the next steps. Any comments?
Comment by Franklin Bacon on July 13, 2009 at 5:05pm
Although it's hard to tell exactly where the message will show up, I wish to address lacf.

I always wanted to meet others who may have had experiences similar to my own, but...

I suppose there are more than one single type of Fundamentalism. I can only imagine the myriad ways which various Fundamentalist groups may emphasize different portions of scripture. Each type of emphasis would lead to a different lifestyle in the particular group emphasizing a particular point.

So, when Christian Fundamentalism is mentioned as the topic of this forum, exactly what type are we talking about?
Comment by Robert Tobin on July 11, 2009 at 7:18pm
My religious education never included the bible. The Roman Catholic Church does not want its faithull reading the bible. The only Scriipture we had at Roman Catholic School was the New Testament. The Church does not like its faithfull finding out for themselves. They may read other approved religious books, lives of saints etc. but reading other books that might lead to embarrising questions is discouiraged. A little knowledge is dangerous. According to the Church no knowledge makes a good Catholic.
Comment by Kosak Grabovsky on July 11, 2009 at 4:09pm
Yeah, when I was young I always thought about things that didnt make sense(like predestination/free will paradox), but always just accept what they told me. That's one of the reasons I wanted to read through the bible. And with a more reasoned outlook on life, the irrationalites and outright cruelty found in the bible are just downright wrong.
Comment by Kristi Leitholt on July 11, 2009 at 11:22am
I'm always a little surprised when I hear people say that reading the Bible lead to their atheism. When I was growing up a good little church girl, I'd ask questions about certain things and I'd always get some weird explanation that sort of made sense but not really, but I never thought much about it and just accepted it as truth because, of course, the Bible was God's Word and it was true and right and without error.

Now I look through the Bible and find not only more irrationalites, but that the answers I was given when I was younger are completely baseless. I'm pretty excited to be able to read it now and watch my blinders fall off.
Comment by Kosak Grabovsky on July 11, 2009 at 4:12am
Actually reading the bible is what lead me to my atheism. When I found the Skeptics Annotated Bible, it was a great asset to helping me understand what was wrong with what I was reading.
Comment by Robert Tobin on July 10, 2009 at 8:45pm
I don't recommend Asimov: "Guide to the Bible". It seems to be in defence of Judeo/Christianity and is as nearly as hard to read as the bible.
Comment by Pixy Giggles on July 10, 2009 at 8:33pm
Kristina, thanks for posting that link to the Skeptics Annotated Bible. That's exactly what I've been looking for. I have a copy of Asimov's Guide to the Bible; but I have yet to be able to wade all the way through it. I get distracted way to easy, lol. That link is an excellent resource to have.
Comment by Kristi Leitholt on July 10, 2009 at 10:58am
I understand that, Kosak. I consider myself a "student" of Atheism. I've read Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris, I've had conversations with other atheists and I'm always studying up on the latest scientific breakthroughs so that I can logically and clearly answer people who challenge my non-belief. I've never been a great debator and I'm way better at putting my ideas into writing than I am at speaking them.

I am so grateful for this site because it puts me in contact with so many atheists who have "been there" and who can point me in the right direction when I have a question. If that moment comes when I can't hide from my parents anymore, I feel like I'll have a pretty good understanding of why I don't believe and be able to put it into words.

Have you heard of the Skeptic's Annotated Bible? I just discovered that gem yesterday and it has been an amazing tool for me. I've been hesitant to read my Bible again because 1) of all the brainwashing that happened to me all my life, that keeps me from formulating my own arguments about the Scriptures, and 2) because of all my old notes and highlightings. Makes me want to punch myself. But the SAB has tons of margin notes that help point out clearly the problems inherent in the Bible and it's given the book a whole new look to me. Here's a link: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

I wish you well in your studies!
 

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