Recovering from Religion

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Recovering from Religion

Unless you were raised by atheist parents, you probably had some recovering to do when you left religion. The purpose of RR is to provide a landing place for people when they jump from religion. With local support groups throughout the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, and real-time resources accessible to everyone, RR is where to turn when faith has lost its luster.

Website: http://www.recoveringfromreligion.org
Location: International
Members: 549
Latest Activity: Nov 21

Discussion Forum

In what way are you still recovering from being brought up religious?

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Richard C Brown Aug 30. 57 Replies

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.Continue

Catholic Family / Atheist Wedding - HELP

Started by Megan. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck May 31. 4 Replies

Any one else out there still recovering from Catholic guilt??I come from an extremely Catholic family/upbringing. In 6 days I will be the first person in my entire extended family not to marry a Catholic in a Catholic Church.My biggest source of…Continue

Anyone still deal with anything like this?

Started by Starland Seay. Last reply by Matt Skaggs Aug 26, 2013. 27 Replies

One thing I have noticed is a tendency to "doubt" my new path in life. I still want to reach for the Bible sometimes. I still hesitate somewhat when someone mentions Pascal's "Wager"...LOL! Even though I know that science teaches this and that no…Continue

"Thief in the Night"

Started by cbenhamcox. Last reply by Luara Aug 18, 2013. 2 Replies

Last night I was reading Seth Andrew's book, Deconverted, and I almost fell out of my chair when he discussed being forced to watch the end times film from the 1970's call "A Thief in the Night."  He described some of the scenes, and I had a…Continue

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Comment by Joan Denoo on June 25, 2012 at 5:09pm

Darrel, very wise counsel! Realizing anger is a necessary and not sufficient stage of growth, it does get a bit tiresome. I look to the day when I can read, hear, or see some evidence of abuse and not have such a knee-jerk reaction. Thanks for the encouragement. 

Comment by Darrel Ray on June 25, 2012 at 3:40pm

If you are angry as a result of the deceptions of religious indoctrination and training, you are in good company. I have noticed as people come out of religion that they go through stages, much like the stages of grief and loss. Anger is a big part of shedding religion. Do not minimize your anger, don't try to ignore it or pretend it is not there. Let it be a part of you and respect it. You will learn a lot by listening to your anger. You will learn what you have missed in life and what you want to do with the rest of your life now that religion no longer dictates. Eventually, you will find places you can direct your angry energy, in ways that affirm you as an ethical and moral person without religion. Listen to your anger, but don't judge yourself and try not to judge or condemn others. Parents, relatives, even priests and ministers, had the best of intentions when they infected you.

200 years ago, before the germ theory of medicine, father's, mother's and doctors often gave children diseases with the best of intentions. They used contaminated spoons to give medicine. They used dirty knives to cut out splinters. They offered medicine that made an illness worse or did things that today we know encourage disease. They did not know better, so how can we blame them? We can blame pedophile priests and abusing ministers, they commit their crimes despite their scriptures. But for parents, relatives, and many religious people, they were infected just like you. Unfortunately, they never had the opportunity or did not have the intellectual tools to question and ultimately reject religion. Compassion must be part of the process. Understanding, "But for the grace of reason and critical thinking skills, go I" - goes a long way toward helping channel anger.

I have been enjoying reading these posts about what made you angry and I would like to hear more. It gives us an opportunity to see how others are experiencing and expressing their anger.

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 25, 2012 at 3:04pm

I'm angry for being programmed as a child to think incorrectly, waste a lot of time and resources, and carry with me for 55 years, a huge amount of guilt and fear for never being good enough.  

I'm also angry, as Joan D said, for the abuse of so very many other children.

Comment by James M. Martin on June 25, 2012 at 12:45pm

The concept of "sin" is entirely an invention of religion and is a false construct.  Without God, there can BE NO SIN.  One of the reason I respect Buddhists is that they have no concept of sin.  When one does something wrong, one commits "error."  My only problem with Buddhism is its metaphysics, the twin cocepts of karma and reincarnation, which I cannot accept (thought they make as much sense as going to Heaven or Hell).  Buddhism teaches that the only way to prevent error is to meditate.  The purpose of meditation, it seemed to me (when I spent about a decade studying Buddhism) is to be aware of thoughts as they arise so that one becomes slow to anger and maintains equanimity and the ability to nip harmful behavior in the bud.  "Sin" is just too stupid to bother with.

Comment by James M. Martin on June 25, 2012 at 12:35pm

@ Tomlyn: The reason the priest's breath was foul was that he forgot to use mouthwash after sucking ejaculate out of the altar boys.

Comment by James M. Martin on June 25, 2012 at 12:32pm

@ Richard: Ah, you would remind me of Dubya talking it over with God before bombing the shit out of Baghdad.  Did God tell him it was OK to lie to the American people and the U.N. General Assembly in order to justify the incursion?  Doesn't make much sense: Jebus is God's son, and Jebus said turn the other cheek. 

Comment by Tomlyn McAllister on June 25, 2012 at 12:27pm

I was "confirmed" a long time ago as a good little Catholic boy.

I always tried to be kind to others and not hurt anyone...until I began going to confession every Thursday. That is- when as all good little Catholic children do..was mandated to proclaim "bless me father for I have sinned".

Most 7 year old's have no idea of the concept of sin so we always had to make one up in order to satisfy the nasty foul breathed priest behind the curtain. The problem with this -other than we were committing another "sin" by lying- was that each week you had to come up with a "new" amplified sin in order to satisfy the prurient interests of a man concerned with the innocent thoughts of a little boy.

One day I felt compelled to"confess" that I had stolen Billy Smith's bike. For that the Priest gave me a stiff penance that had me saying so many rosary's that it took me hours to get out of that awful place.

Of course, neither Billy Smith nor did the stolen bike ever existed, yet I was compelled to "repent" for the transgression.

What struck me most was the fact that this priest never implored me to try to atone to "Billy" in any way. Had he demanded that I immediately return the bike and sincerely try to amend "Billy"s anguish in any way possible while learning from this event...knowing full well I could never be completely absolved of my guilt. That would be, for me, truly a moral lesson.

And that is the whole problem with the Christian concept of vicarious redemption. The totally immoral concept that you can be absolved of all transgressions and wrongdoings through the absolution from someone other than he to whom you have transgressed. That you can be absolved of all your sins by believing that someone else has suffered your obligation for you is morally obscene...and is the central core of Christian doctrine.       

Comment by Richard Goscicki on June 25, 2012 at 10:23am

James, Joan et. al.,  I had a different view as far as anger goes.  Even in Catholic grammar school I never bought into the belief system.  I couldn’t connect the dots.  Adam and Eve eat the apple, God gets pissed, so He kicks them out and makes them work in the mud. What the heck is the matter with knowledge?  So to set things straight He makes his own son become human to get crucified to atone for the sin.  What the heck for?  God could have just let it slide and saved poor baby Jesus a nasty beating, right?  But no.  He had to be a hard ass.  I couldn’t even understand why God needed to be worshipped in the first place. 

So my attitude to teachers and classmates was: I don’t care what you believe, just leave alone with my teenage daydreams.  If I saw people were believers I’d never try to talk them out of it. 

But President W. Bush changed everything.  Talking to God and getting the American people involved in a never-ending war in the Middle East is unpardonable.  And the bit with Opus Dei in 2004 really pissed me off.  When W. was losing in the polls to Kerry, he solicited the help of Pope John Paul II to help turn the tide.  Both were adamant over the abortion issue.  The pope referred the matter to Cardinal Ratzinger who wrote letters to American bishops instructing them to intercede in favor of W. from the pulpit. 

To show his gratitude, W. broke protocol a year later and greeted the new pope at the airport. The Vatican changed the course of history as it did many times in the past.  American soldiers are still dying because of it.

Ever notice there’re no priests listed on the U.S. Sex Offender list?  Now that’s a couple of dots I can connect.  That’s when I became a militant atheist.  Not violent, just actively trying to change things. 

P.S. Fellow non-believers without Christ, help keep this anti-ministry alive.  Click on the "Atheist Novel" at the right. It's a fun read and I'll keep buying ads on AtheistNexus. 

Comment by Lillie on June 25, 2012 at 8:43am

Thank you, James and Joan, for verifying my truth. Joan, I am very interested in your use of the word "abuse."  I had never thought of this before.  We are all alert to any evidence of child abuse these days when we never think about the abuse religion is heaping on children with all of their talk of sin, hell fire and damnation.  There should be a law against it.

Comment by James M. Martin on June 25, 2012 at 8:15am

Makes two of us, Joan.  I believed for about 60 years, although with a healthy dose of doubt.  When I finally read Sam Harris's first book, I realized I had been had.  That is where the anger comes from, realization that one has fallen for the oldest con there is: the religion grift.  Part of the anger, of course, is at the self.  You bear some responsibility for being fooled all that time.  I looked back at various events in my life and thought that instead of saying, "Oh, so sorry, I will say a hundred 'Hail, Mary's" and pray the rosary for 48 hours straight -- and I wasn't even Catholic --  I should instead have said: Fuck You!...And the donkey you rode in on (on Palm Sunday).

 

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