I was brought up in a fundamentalist family.
Anyone still dealing with any issues from religion?
Do you fear the result of coming out Atheist to your family?
Any thoughts are welcome.
Wow, Steph, I was just writing about this very topic, editing my eBook, High School With Rudy Giuliani, A National Problem.
Here’s the very paragraph I was working on. See if you agree.
Later on when I became an atheist writer I became troubled by the very idea of “original sin.” Many families are forced to send their kids to Christian school to avoid tough public schools, even at their children’s most tender, impressionable stage. This gives the clerics a chance to write anything they want on the child’s innocent “belief space,” as an incompetent teacher would write on a blank blackboard with indelible chalk. In return, teachers instill pernicious concepts which stay with young students their entire lives, no matter how free thinking and independent minded they may become. Elementary school kids become indoctrinated with thought that they are naturally evil and if they don’t obey God’s commandments they will suffer unimaginable, unbearable, eternal hellfire. Christian school kids become hadephobes, subconsciously fearing God’s wraith their entire adult lives. Kids are even afraid to think freely, fearful that God might intercept some “covetous” thoughts.
That’s basically the national problem referred to in the title. Clerics are indoctrinating children at a tender age and leaving indelible fears and traumas which stay with the victims their entire lives no matter how liberated they may become as adults.
The national problem is that many city public schools are so tough and violent, concerned parents are forced to send their kids to parochial schools just to avoid the gangs and malevolent people.
It needs a better title, the one you have gives people no idea what the book is about.
Laura, my main idea was to bring attention to the national problem and my own life was an example of it. And I was in the high school class of 1962. The national problem is as troublesome now as then.
Precisely: the public school system is so inept, dangerous, and anti-intellectual, that parents rather send their kids to parochial schools, even at the cost of letting kooky oddball clerics indoctrinate their kids with bizarre superstition, as well as have to pay hard-earned cash.
The only answer is to improve the public school system. Otherwise, many people will have Steph's complain that they were indoctrinated as children.
"Forced into religion by our public high schools". Something like that, would give people the gist of what it's about.
For me, I didn't really fear coming out but I did put it off completely until my Baptist preacher father died. They all know that I don't go to church, so I just left it at that. I actually want everyone to know that I'm Atheist, but I still haven't used that word with family members and I'm now 67 years old. My excuse is that Mom is still alive. When she's gone, I might just make a big announcement on facebook. In the mean time, my brothers and sisters are getting book recommendations from me and a few other hints. It won't be a big surprise when the time comes.
I came from a Baptist family too Roy. I too have those same issues you have. My mom is alive too - so now would not be the right time to come out completely. One day I will be completely out.
My mother just went into an assisted living facility a couple of weeks ago. Hate to see that happen, but I do feel a little more at ease about telling family members that I'm Atheist.
I can only speak for myself.
Recovering from religion isn't something that just goes away.I would like for it to disappear but, this is my wishful thinking.
I live with it 24/7.
Sometimes its very painful.
I fear coming out Atheist.It is very lonely being an Atheist.Even here I find it painful.There is no one thing to point a finger.
I think of myself as a Spiritual Omnivore/cultivator.I love Humanism.Plain & Simple.
This is all I wish to share at this point.
Thank you Richard. I agree that recovering from religion is not something that just goes away. You do have to live with it. I am glad you are on the site and we are here for you.
I always thought that the real proof of your god was in your holy book. Once study has shown the book to be flawed and untrustworthy then god belief goes right out the window along with your scriptures. Raised Pentecostal and having studied for the ministry, that seems logical to me. Today I'm finding that so many people claim this doesn't prove anything about god existence. They still want to believe there is a gorilla in the room through some supernatural means, hocus pocus, or hocus focus. Listening to Craig or some other apologist. Such ideas are totally rediculous! This will always be a "pet peeve" with me and keep me more centered around bible falacy to prove god is imaginary. Logic rules but others will take a different route just depending on their upbringing.
It's because of the above that I no longer can enjoy a sci-fi or horror movie these days. They used to be my favorite and now without "magic and supernaturalism" I'm reminded of how stupid they are. I can't watch them today. They went out the window along with god and my bible belief.
Even though I am 68, I fear that coming out atheist has cost me my job. I'm vocal about it but not offensive. Even so, living in a small community others can figure out your possible identify just by searching a name and coming up with a blog post. I used to be on A/N with my full name, but no longer. A Google search brings up the blogs.
I'm out, or presumed out as atheist to most of my family. The only ones who do not know for sure are the ones who would have trouble dealing with it. My own personal trouble dealing with it is that I feel I have to talk about god, religion, and atheism constantly. Everyone needs to know that god is imaginary.
I have no doctrinal hangups from recovering from religion. It's obvious that a non existent being cannot send you to a non existent place. If there is no god then it follows logicly that nothing else in the bible is real either. It's all make believe and needs to be added to the books on Classical Mythology.
I've recovered a lot. My fear is all gone, guilt has very little hold on me now, depression & stress have declined dramatically.
However, I think I still have lots of recovering to do, and won't come close to getting it all done before I'm gone, but that will be instant full recovery. (Smile).
Part of my recovery is eliminating all people that are a negative in my life. I think that includes all my siblings and mother who are still religious. I've explained to them my conclusions about god, so I'm fully out to them.
Last weekend, I attended the wedding of my favorite sibling, my youngest brother. He gave-up mormonism long before I did, but unfortunately, he still believes the bible. I wanted to let him know I still cared for him, and thought I might have a small chance to talk to him about religion vs science & logic. As I expected, there was no time for that, with all he had on his plate with the wedding and reception.
It saddened me to see him becoming more immersed in religion. The wedding was in a salvation army church, and he was married by a salvation army captain who it appears was my brother's wife's last religious leader before she moved.
The ceremony was very religious. Everyone was given a little bag with a cross and a scripture in it when arriving, along with the program. The captain who married them quoted lots of scripture and when it came time for the exchange of vows, he made them take vows to god more than to each other.
Needless to say, it was very annoying, but I managed to get through it without making a spectacle of myself.
I rode with another brother on the 4 hour trip each way. On the way back, he brought-up religion and told me of a couple of experiences he had that convinced him that god was looking-out for him, often pausing while his emotion and tears made him. I let him have his say, then gave him some explanations of how they could have occurred without god, as well as taking the opportunity to explain why reason, logic, and a huge amount of scientific evidence made it clear that mormonism was false, and that there was no god, but it didn't seem to get through to him.
It appears that my family, like most religious people are more impressed by emotion than reason, logic, and scientific evidence. They are brainwashed every sunday with emotional stories. No way can I compete with that.
It was not a pleasant experience. I will probably write him and the rest one more letter, giving further evidence that the leaders of mormonism are fakes, but after that, I think I'll give-up on them.
If any of them want to talk with me more about it in a logical fashion, I will talk, but if they just want to give me emotional stories as evidence to believe, I will say no. I've had enough.
Tom Flynn, a member of A|N I think, had some advice in a column he wrote, advice we all need to keep in mind when dealing with religious people. Flynn said it is useless to argue with dogma. Now, some might think this obvious, but it took me a long time to catch on. Take that, plus Franz Fanon's definition of cognitive disconnect and you can see you waste a lot of time arguing with these gullibles.