I've never been part of a group and AN feels like a support group right now.  Thank you. I've had what I thought were unique and sometimes humiliating experiences that I'm going to get off my chest today.  Pardon my french because this post will be peppered with profanity.

 

I lived in Houston and the folks I worked with felt the constant fucking irritating need to pray for me, often at work.  I was dealing with some serious issues with my son and in a moment of weakness after 4 years of "You have to visit my church" and receiving calls from coworkers where they just started praying while at work I super-reluctantly capitulated and went to church.  Little did I know it was a damn setup.  My coworker had spoken to her pastor and arranged for him to lay hands on me.  Thus he did.  I suppose I was to feel the spirit of God moving through me and convulse and dance.  The thought of behaving in such a foolish manner embarassed me and I was humiliated at having let myself down and allowing myself to be talked into this shit and I started crying.  I'm not finished yet.  The pastor came over to me and laid hands on me and I guess I was supposed to fall back into that damn wrap that they had placed behind me.  I refused to fall and stubbornly stood 3 times until the pastor pushed me back into the blanket.  Fucking utter humiliation.  Of course I never went back to the church and my coworker stopped engaging me after a few weeks since I refused to agree that it was all a divine experience.

 

At a friend's funeral service 10 years prior to that I was blocked from entering the stage by 3 male pastors, until I - torn with grief - could assure them I was not gonna bring some baby momma drama.  WTF.  I looked at the 3 church idiots like they had lost their heads.  I didn't miss the irony that these were supposed to be the 3 wise men, lol.

 

Why are some atheists as judgemental [about the beliefs of believers] as believers are about non-believers?  I personally don't give a shit what anybody thinks as long as it doesnt encroach upon what I think.  I respect the beliefs of others until they try to persuade me to believe as they do.  I think that 80% of people need religion to guide their lives and give them hope and dictate how they are to behave.  They would be lost without religion to somehow shape them and help them make it.  Let those who need it have it.  I don't need or want it. 

 

Last week, when one of my Christian friends asked why I didn't believe in God my mother yelled "she wasn't raised like that!". 

 

I think all this religion stuff was created to control people and keep them in line.  Unfortunately most people wouldn't know what to do without someone telling them but this goes back to paragraphs 2&4.  Scare folks into submission.  Ever seen the movie The Village?  There, I said it. 

 

If only I could be comfortable lying to myself and others I could be living a fairytale.  But alas I refuse to be a believer.  And I refuse to be a hypocrite.  And I refuse to compromise my beliefs and opinions.  I'm standing for something.   

 

I wonder what would happen if I made an announcement to my family that I am an atheist.

 

Back in the day I wondered why most pastor's sermons were qualitatively poor speeches.  Mediocre showmanship and poorly developed/supported content.  Little substance - sorry that's the atheist coming out in me.

 

I'm gonna shut up now before my mouth gets me in trouble.  Do let me know your experiences.  I know I can't be the only one... 

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Comment by Norma Lee on March 1, 2011 at 10:58pm
I am with you all the way. Don't pray for me or say god loves me makes me want to throw up.
Comment by DanDare on February 28, 2011 at 9:08pm

I don't think "80% of people need religion". That's an unfair judgement. I think religion is introduced too early and leaves a dependence on it, certainly. For religious indoctrination to occur as part of the war for children's minds, there is a need to turn off a child's critical thinking abilities and stop their desire for personal liberty. With such a legacy its understandable that many find it difficult to see their way out of the maze set for them.

Comment by Alona Naga on February 28, 2011 at 3:35pm
I had damn near that exact same experience (pastor trying to push me down while laying hands)
Comment by Alona Naga on February 28, 2011 at 3:34pm
hell no your not the only one.
Comment by Karen Loethen on February 27, 2011 at 8:06pm

A person of integrity will ALWAYS despise falseness in people.  No wonder you can't stand it!

I have to admit that I have never, ever gone back to a church since becoming atheist and I never will for any reason, except for friend/family ritual celebrations OR if my children were to request it for their own edification.

It happens, though, forgive yourself!  You didn't know and your friend was the dishonest one.  Though, I'm certain that she meant it to be a kind thing...

Anyway, WELCOME to AN and consider yourself part of a group if you wish!

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on February 27, 2011 at 4:04pm

Lynn- You have hit on a topic which is oft debated on this site. It definitely gets emotional. Attacking a theists' theology will typically cause the theist to either shut down or attack. That is why I think it is better to educate the theist and avoid the theology.

It is clear that atheism cannot be imposed by the state. That failed in Russia. If you take away a person's religion you can substitute a cult or an ideology. Atheists, on the other hand, tend to be more skeptical. During the Korean war our POWs were subjected to mind control by the Chinese. Religious folks succumbed. Atheists did not.

Comment by Lynn on February 27, 2011 at 3:38pm

Glen - The root of what I was thinking is there must be a mutually respectful way of disagreeing and debating our positions.  Namecalling in any situation makes the intended recipient shut down.

 

I think folks need religion because they haven't developed other living skills and there would be a whole lot of aimless people without religion or something to guide them.  I think they can live without it but they haven't figured out how/that they really want to do so.  I would love to read about a social experiment where religion is taken away from the religious to see how they behave over time. 

 

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on February 27, 2011 at 2:06pm

Those are tough bananas.

But I take issue with two ideas. First you equate atheists and theists in being judgmental about each other's world view. I would not give a shit if religious beliefs were private and churches did not  prosletyze and impose their backwards "morality"and fuck civilization for centuries. But if you want a just culture free of discrimination for blacks, jews, gays, women, mentally ill it is incumbent upon all of us to call them out.

you say 80% need religion. If you read the stories on this site of deconversion you will notice nearly unanimous liberation feelings being expressed. I have no reason to think this perception would be unique after a mass-apostasy.

Comment by Catholic Hostage on February 27, 2011 at 9:56am

im not sure how i came across this post but i do  have something similar to add.

my catholic parents dont know im atheist and would kill me if they found out. so im forced to go to classes twice a week to make my confirmation and im forced to pretend like i believe this shit. I decided not to hide my atheistness from my friends (who are also catholic). But my extremely religous friends dont like the fact that im atheist. Theyre always trying to convert me and one of my other friends is trying to convince me to tell my parents and not make confirmation, which would not only start huge family problems with my parents, but my entire family too. not only that, my friend's mom works with the church, and they arranged for  me to go on some retreat. And if  i decline, i cant make confirmation! I am all for religous tolerance and I never judge someone by what they believe, but my friends are doing the exact opposite to me.

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