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I got to tell you because of the freak fundies; I have walked away from my childhood beliefs.

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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:02 AM
Original message
I got to tell you because of the freak fundies; I have walked away from my childhood beliefs.
Actually that isn't 100% true. I started questioning my beliefs here. I was not educated past high school.

However the christian taliban originally caused my search for other options. Upon discovering that you either have to choose history and science, or folk tales; I selected the former.

This has had devastating effects in my personal and spiritual life.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. I recommend
you try the unitarian church. Open minded and inclusive. You can have your spiritual beliefs and your science. It is organized religion that is the problem. Heck, they even let our pagan groups hold our rituals at their church. Truly, I'd give them a try.
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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Mojo...
I actually did that. I took this survey of my current beliefs about a year ago. I found that I would be most compatible with either the Unitarians or the Quakers.

I searched out a Unitarian church as the only Quakers were kind of far from where I live.

This was right before the election in 2006. One Sunday a man talked about a voting pamphlet from the pulpit that would be available on the table outside after the service. It was from the Women's League of Voters directing the members how to vote for the California Props.

I was appalled. After all the time I have spent here and reading about churches dictating to their congregations how they should spend their votes. I left after my third Sunday following that incident.

I prefer to have my politics and spirituality distanced from one another.

Not to say that all Unitarian congregations do that. But it was the first time I had stepped into a church since I was married years and years ago.

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BleedingHeartPatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. I grew up with rock and roll, which had lots of references to Jesus.
Jesus as comforter, Jesus as healer, Jesus as champion of the poor.

Jesus in opposition to war.

But, nowadays, Bush says he and Jesus are BFF.

I know what you mean. The compassion and caring of Christ's message is something which sustains many of us.

Look to yourself for strength and don't worry what the money lenders say.

:hug: MKJ







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democrat2thecore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Pardon the pun...uh...but.....AMEN
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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. Jesus as a teacher.
I can get behind that. But not that son of god, died for your sins kind of stuff.

Not anymore.
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BleedingHeartPatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. Sorry if I angered you.
You seemed quite genuine, I don't recall mentioning anything about "son of god, died for your sins".

MKj
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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. OMG. Not at all.
Your response was so kind.

When I think about the Jesus that I was taught about as a child; I think of the martyr that was nailed upon the cross to die for all of my dirty sins.

I am sorry that you took it that way. It is just how I see the Jesus thing.

I know that his teachings of how to live your life are beautiful. It is just those were never emphasized.
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BleedingHeartPatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. Es no problemo, amigo or amiga.
I reference the Book of Matthew, especially the Sermon on the Mount as a reminder of the power of love and compassion. Please don't let Bush's craven attempt to ally himself with Jesus and/or God greatly disillusion you.

This WH administration is as clear an example of money lenders in the temple as one could envision. MKj
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emilyg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #2
21. Jesus told me he doesn't know Bush.
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daninthemoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. If you care to throw in some conspiracy theory/antichrist slant , one
Edited on Sun Sep-16-07 12:11 AM by daninthemoon
can't help but wonder if the pervasive rw zealotry and televangelism of recent times might not be actual devil's work. It's certainly hard to maintain faith when such evil hypocritical buffoons claim to be the true Christian believers while spewing intolerance and fomenting wars for profit.
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DemGa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm a deeply spiritual agnostic
Perhaps there are other options. Just sayin'.
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
5. The first steps of enlightenment:: discarding the tenets of your mind-model
of your universe. Look for the space of calm between perspectives.
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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. ???
Sorry, I didn't understand.
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #5
24. The space between
Amazing what one can find there.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
8. I say....
...that you don't allow nutjobs to determine your spiritual beliefs.

The Fundie nutjobs have derailed Christianity. The only reason that they have
any leverage at all--is because Bush legitimized them. He did this to get their
votes. He pretended that he was one of them--because he knew that demographic
voted in high numbers.

The world is going nuts. Nutjobs are positioned as the keepers of the morality
keys--and that the rest of us hate families and want mass orgies in the streets.
They're using PR-agency strategies to convince the world that their way is right
and our way is evil on steroids.

Do not let these snakeoil salesmen affect anything in your life--especially something
as sacred as your spiritual beliefs. That's too important and too personal.

Maybe you are questioning your faith right now. Sometimes we need to break it all down
and put it back together again. It sounds like you've broken some of it down, and
that you're feeling a bit on hold in the spiritual department. That's ok. It's
normal to feel that way when we grow and shed old ideas.

You're not falling apart. You're falling together. Do it in peace and with people
who are kind, compassionate, loving and truly spiritual. You'll be just fine.
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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. That was so sweet.
Thanks you sparkled thing.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Awwww....
...yer so nice!

A million sparkles of beautiful light...coming your way!

:)
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sailor65 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
13. You DON'T have to choose one or the other
your mistake was looking to man to uphold your faith; you looked in the wrong direction.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
15. Just be the best person you can be, as much as you can.
The truth is that no one here knows what the truth is for sure, and I've learned not to trust the people who say they do. Don't even worry about it. Just do what you can to do the right thing. Setting an example is way more effective than telling other people what to do, and it contributes to making the world a better place. And don't beat yourself up when you screw up, just try again. If there is a God, Goddess or Cosmic Muffin, surely they'll understand.
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jacksonian Donating Member (699 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
16. let's face it
if organized religion was anything like what it should be, George Bush wouldn't like it at all.
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ScooterFibby Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
18. I'm sure you are not the only one...
... to question the way fundamentalists are glorifying violence, war, and killing.

Just remember that real religion and real spirituality are primarily very, very personal things. What you find as real, inside your heart, requires no church, no agreement. A few simple things from Jesus such as "Love thy neighbor" are all you need to get to the right place.

God bless you on your journey.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
19. i'm an agnostic bordering on atheism, i'm still figuring it out but anyhow
even though i'm not religious i really hope those of you that are can somehow take your faith back from those who use is as a platform to spew hate. The problem seems to be coming from the ones that get the megaphone and abuse it. it's unfair but hopefully the pendulum will swing back.
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eagler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #19
31. I used to be an atheist but am now totally Christian and find no
sign of Him in the fundie movement. They, as a group, pervert the faith and make it extremely difficult for other believers.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
20. You're not alone.
I didn't grow up a fundamentalist or in that environment in my family, I grew up Catholic. The church before recently had a sense of social justice and such and was usually against war. However, with the advent of the bush regime and the treatment of the prominent Catholic Democrats by the US Bishops has pretty much lost it for me. My wife wants me to continue with Church and also my sons, so I am but I have no feeling of belonging to it anymore because when I go, it always puts negative thoughts in my head. This just isn't a healthy way to exist. Nothing has any meaning or comfort anymore. I'll probably need to seek professional help at some point. Life doesn't have it's lustre like it used to. That's what living in a lie does.
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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. I feel ya.
Everything is crazy inside and outside of my world.

I feel like I have been lied to my whole life. Not just by my family, but by my teachers, by my husbands, by the church, by the media, by the government et al.

It is an awful feeling to realize that everything that you thought was true, turns out to be a gigantic lie of epic proportions.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
25. If so, you're still misunderstanding true spirituality -- IMO.
True spirituality comes from within -- not from organized patriarchal religion, not from middlemen.
Not from hierarchies.

Nor does it have anything to do with "god" myths --

For instance, challenging "Manifest Destiny" and "Man's Dominion Over Nature" may bring you to a closer connection and understanding of nature. Pagan religions were nature-based.
Manifest Destiny is merely a license to exploit nature, natural resources, animal-life -- and even other human beings according to various myths of inferiority.

Separating from patriarchal religions could bring you into a more harmonious position with females.

And perhaps even with animal life -- understanding that animals have spirits and personalities, much as we do.

Perhaps you'll reconsider animal-eating -- and if you do, there will be a spiritual rejuvenation.

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Fading Captain Donating Member (895 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
26. I am not sure what you're talking about, exactly
But I work in a town filled with the "personal relationship with Jesus" types.
I mean, I have a hard time keeping a straight face when people lob that line at me. It almost seems like they have a hard time saying it. Alas, these relationship types tend to distrust science. An intern where I work started talking about using the Bible in science class and, I hate to be a jackass, but I just can not take that person seriously about anything. Ever. Again.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. Living in right-wing towns/communities can be difficult for anyone --
often it's a town combining military and Jesus freaks --

Keep educating yourself -- keep being open to enlightement -- and try to get out of that town.

But, what I was especially talking about was that when you separate from the myth of organized patriarchal religions, that there are GREATER spiritual rewards --

and, I outlined some of those --
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Fading Captain Donating Member (895 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 02:13 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. I live in Ann Arbor but work in a small Christian town
It might as well be the Bible Belt, and its only 40 minutes away.

But I'll tell you what, working with right-wing conservatives has been enlightening and maddening at the same time.
I'm constantly re-examining my beliefs and developing a respect for the "humanity" of the other side.
I know that sounds ridiculous to some, but it's the truth.

Now, a lot of that respect goes out the window when i here empty talk about staying in Iraq for no other reason than to win. Or, when I hear them talk about Chavez like he's Adolph Hitler.

But still, it's hard not care about them and grow to like them, even if every political discussion turns into a bloody argument.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 02:20 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. When you're first educating yourself and breaking free, it might be difficult . . .. .
to also try to educate right-wingers you work with.
Yes, I understand the humanity of everyone; in fact, I think that Larry Craig should give himself a break and admit that he is only human -- and probably homosexual.
I don't know, of course, if his persecution of himself results from a religous background, but often that is the case.

I think many of us here can identify with your last sentence -- YES!!

Good luck to you in your new wisdom --


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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 01:31 AM
Response to Original message
27. You are by no means alone..
Your experience is not uncommon. Deconversion can be a world shaking traumatic event if a lot of your self image is wrapped up in your faith.

Perhaps sharing the experiences of others may be of use to you.

http://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml8453.htm
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tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 01:40 AM
Response to Original message
28. We are here for you brother (sister?)
Trodding the highway of life as an Atheist/Agnostic is not an easy path to choose, but be comforted that you are at least being true to yourself.

It gets harder. Death for example becomes a highly offensive and egregious insult to sentient beings, rather than a gateway to eternal life full of golden streets, surpassing wisdom, and free pizza. It is worth it though, to me at least, and you have company.

:hug:
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 01:45 AM
Response to Original message
29. This new breed of fundamentalists hammered in the final nail for me
I was already questioning.

My mother is a fundamentalist whacko (thought I was possessed by demons...), but I still had a glimmer of hope in faith.

It's gone.
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 02:10 AM
Response to Original message
32. You know, the people I worry about are

the ones who never question the faith they were raised with. Questioning can be painful but think of it as growing pains.

You can be spiritual without a church. You can learn about different types of spirituality through the internet and through books available at a public library. You don't have to have a college education to learn things. If you can read, you can learn just about anything on your own. If you want a teacher, you'll find one somehow, through a church or college, perhaps.

You may eventually find a church you like, but never expect a church to be perfect. A church is like any other group of people and you will meet mostly good people in a church, or most other groups, but there are always controversies, always some people who drive you nuts, etc.

Good luck in your searching. O8)
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 02:22 AM
Response to Original message
35. Most people walk away from at least SOME of their childhood beliefs as they get older.
It would be the rare person who continues to believe everything just as they did when they were six years old.

Most of us no longer believe that there is a Santa Claus or Easter Bunny.

Right? Right? :shrug:
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 02:55 AM
Response to Original message
36. I had similar experiences...
...I was always a free-thinker, so my departure from the church was pretty much expected from the family. My nuclear family was part of a larger fundamentalist family; we were not as rigorous as the others, and were taught to think for ourselves (big plus for me).

Still, the lessons you learn from all your family haunt you, especially in dealing with fundamentalist religious principles. For example, I know that each and every aunt and uncle and cousin think I am going to hell; it does wear on you.

A book I found helpful was "Ten Things I Learned Wrong from a Conservative Church" by John Killinger. Refreshing look at someone who took the journey. All the best to you as you embark on your own path. :-)
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