Michael Stephen Bell Jr.
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  • Hot Springs National Park, AR
  • United States
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Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s Discussions

I am the family pariah.

Started this discussion. Last reply by Nicole Apr 2, 2011. 17 Replies

  My family has ostracized me for my disbelief in a higher power, and so I am no longer invited to family functions etc.  We were raised highly religious and some part of me just never was a…Continue

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Dennis Smith replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"There you go....   "I've discovered that I make some religious folks uncomforable because my lack of belief seems threatening to their "faith" (aka state of denial and belief in supernatural fairy tales…"
Apr 1, 2011
Dennis Smith replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"Actually their behavior while despicable is really VERY Christian. It was Jesus who said the following which it not often trotted out by believers. This is Christianity's view of the world and people in it.   Matthew 10 34 “Do not…"
Apr 1, 2011
Dennis Smith replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"I'm very sorry to hear what you are going through. Ostracism is a very "tribal" sort of response to fear. They may not describe it as such but that is what it is. They are afraid of what you represent as a challenge to their…"
Apr 1, 2011
Phister Gagghol replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"Sorry to hear that.  My parents didn't freak out too badly.  My siblings just think it's a 'phase', at least the ones that know.  That just comes with being the youngest.  Most of my friends were atheist…"
Mar 27, 2011
Grace Fitzpatrick replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"My family rejected me long ago before I was an atheist, so I can't say that was it.  I think it was because I was the straight laced smart one who cared more about knowledge than money (a serious crime in my family).  Although, I know…"
Mar 27, 2011
Michael Stephen Bell Jr. replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"I can understand your point (as well as Ashleigh's) and you have to make the choices you feel are in your best interest.  I would posit that living a lie does indeed hurt you however, just in a different way.  Just speaking from…"
Mar 27, 2011
Michael Stephen Bell Jr. replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"That is an interesting perspective on what might constitute the underpinnings of ostracism for divergent beliefs, though I don't think it is particularly relevant to my personal difficulties.  The religious institution we were raised in…"
Mar 27, 2011
Michael Stephen Bell Jr. replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"I can understand your reticence in "coming out of the closet" so to speak, as I went through a period of saying the right things in order to just keep the peace as well.  However, in response to your question I do feel it was worth…"
Mar 27, 2011
k replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"Michael I feel for you man.  I don't dare tell anyone because I know it would end badly.  This is probably pretty cold but like Ashleigh said in her post I need these people for the support they offer.  I'm fully…"
Mar 27, 2011
Gary Burk replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"I don't think that it is usually the lack of belief that alienates families from secular members.  Rather, it is frequently the desertion of the apostate from the family culture that invokes such hostility.  We tend…"
Mar 26, 2011
Ashleigh Carter replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"I haven't experienced anything like that yet, but I don't think it's too far off to say that I'm in the situation you were before you told them. I too was raised in a 'highly religious' family but unlike you I…"
Mar 23, 2011
Michael Stephen Bell Jr. replied to Valles Marineris's discussion Childhood beliefs...Stupid tradition or age of innocence?
"  I was never raised to believe in Santa Claus and the like so I cannot speak to how the child would feel, and I have never raised my son with that belief either as I dislike lying to children if I can avoid doing so.  I am having a…"
Mar 21, 2011
Michael Stephen Bell Jr. replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"Thank you for your reply as well.  Your points about developing other relationships is well taken, and thankfully I have a loving wife and some friends that I have been able to make outside of the church setting.  As for your thoughts…"
Mar 18, 2011
Michael Stephen Bell Jr. replied to scott martins's discussion IS EVERYBODY 100% POSITIVE THERE IS NO GOD?
"Oh I understand the concept of infinite regression, I simply find that most people that try to prove the existence of god fall on extremely vague definitions in order to avoid the easy counters and so are basically left with the word god meaning…"
Mar 18, 2011
Michael Stephen Bell Jr. replied to eric stone's discussion Why free will from god is not really free
"Oh, I absolutely agree. I have often argued the same point with many Christians only to receive something similar to the reply I made to you, and I was merely curious as to how you would respond to this particular line of reasoning. From that…"
Mar 18, 2011
damian replied to Michael Stephen Bell Jr.'s discussion I am the family pariah.
"I couldn't imagine being excluded from family functions, so it's hard to give advice. Try to build your network of genuine supportive people. Family doesn't always have to be a blood relative. It doesn't seem like the christian…"
Mar 18, 2011

Comment Wall (4 comments)

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At 2:20pm on May 27, 2011, Ruth Anthony-Gardner said…

Greetings, Michael! I notice you haven't been active at Atheist Nexus lately. <sigh> Sometimes it can seem a bit fragmented, with different groups for every interest. Please consider a group for socializing, where we talk about whatever's on our minds, Hang With Friends. :D You might feel more at home.

At 10:06pm on March 18, 2011, Sentient Biped said…
You know of course that highly intelligent brains generate so much heat that the follicles die.  It's a proven fact.
At 3:27pm on February 25, 2011, Dr. Terence Meaden said…
Hi Michael. Welcome to this rational world of Internet atheism----a haven from the superstitions and fictional gods of the masses.

We invite you to make good friends by joining the busy group "ORIGINS: Universe, Astronomy, Life, Earth, Humans, Religion, Gods, Atheism, Evolution, Darwin..." with its 400 discussion topics and 2400 members.
http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/originsuniverselifehumankindanddarwin

Terry Meaden
At 6:04pm on February 21, 2011, Ken said…
Hello and welcome.  We are happy to have you join us.
 
 
 

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