Atheist/agnostic people?

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nevergoodenough

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Atheist/agnostic people?
« on: June 10, 2014, 09:57:43 PM »
Hi everyone,

Mods informed me that my first thread on this topic was way off base - whoops. Should have read the rules first! My bad.

Anyway, just wondering if there are any atheist/agnostic types here and how you cope with people telling you to find god when dealing with your PD'd person.

People doubting their faith but still churchgoing also encouraged to post. :)

PS - not intending for this to be a religion debate thread. Plenty of other forums for that.

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MajorMalfunction

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 11:54:44 PM »
I used to be one of those annoying new atheists that are so smug and like to argue with religious people on the internet. I got over that, now I don't know what I believe. I am, however, completely non-religious, don't go to church or anything like that. Though it does make me uncomfortable when people around me insist on praying and try to get me to join them, I don't really have the right to tell other people how to believe or act in pursuit of those beliefs, so I either keep quiet or as gracefully as possible leave the area. Even when I was a believer I felt prayer was something that should be private, not public, at home or in church or to oneself. Isn't there a Bible quote about that? Yeah, I looked it up, it's Matthew 6:6.

I've told friends of mine when they're trying to get me to find god that while I appreciate that they believe in whichever version of god they believe in, I don't. I try to thank them for their concern and then change the subject. If someone insists I usually get a little more firm, and say that my beliefs are my own and I'd appreciate them keeping theirs to themselves when I'm not asking for it. I remind them that I'm not trying to get them to change their beliefs and to grant me the same respect.

I think generally people mean well by it, they are just trying to offer you something that comforts them. Just sometimes it's lost on folks that what one person finds comforting, another person might find uncomfortable.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 12:08:54 AM by MajorMalfunction »

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Nicholas

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2014, 01:18:16 AM »
Well, I'm Buddhist and I take their wishes with the positive spirit intended.

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AugustJoy

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2014, 08:27:32 AM »
Hi Nevergoodenough, I didn't deal with it too well while I was still enmeshed with my NPD (and maybe some uBPD) family dynamics.  For my NPDm, religion is one of many ways for her to establish her superiority.

I think the work that I've done to come OOTF has really helped me a lot.  I tried checking out some churches that were a lot more liberal than the one I was brought up in, and I'm finding that while I can deal with other's beliefs in a more healthy way, I just don't think I'm the church type anymore.  There are churches around me that encourage people to doubt and figure out their own beliefs, but without the fear of eternal damnation, I'm realizing its ok to not commit my limited time and disposable income to attaining any kind of label.   

Regarding the prayer, I've been a caretaker for my DH when he was seriously ill with cancer.  He has the same beliefs as me and when people offered him their prayers, he mostly appreciated it.  I can't put it into writing, but we could tell who was sincere and who wasn't.  As the caretaker, the insincere ones with their own agenda stood out to me the most.  These were the ones who were in a position to offer me help with child care and home maintenance, but instead just wanted to push their religious agenda on me.

Best wishes in your healing journey.

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nevergoodenough

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2014, 03:18:26 PM »
I used to be one of those annoying new atheists that are so smug and like to argue with religious people on the internet. I got over that, now I don't know what I believe. I am, however, completely non-religious, don't go to church or anything like that. Though it does make me uncomfortable when people around me insist on praying and try to get me to join them, I don't really have the right to tell other people how to believe or act in pursuit of those beliefs, so I either keep quiet or as gracefully as possible leave the area. Even when I was a believer I felt prayer was something that should be private, not public, at home or in church or to oneself. Isn't there a Bible quote about that? Yeah, I looked it up, it's Matthew 6:6.

I've told friends of mine when they're trying to get me to find god that while I appreciate that they believe in whichever version of god they believe in, I don't. I try to thank them for their concern and then change the subject. If someone insists I usually get a little more firm, and say that my beliefs are my own and I'd appreciate them keeping theirs to themselves when I'm not asking for it. I remind them that I'm not trying to get them to change their beliefs and to grant me the same respect.

I think generally people mean well by it, they are just trying to offer you something that comforts them. Just sometimes it's lost on folks that what one person finds comforting, another person might find uncomfortable.

Oh yeah. We have a saying in my atheist group at school: "Never be an Internet Atheist."  :tongue2:

I'm also a former believer so I don't usually get irked by suggestions of prayer from well-meaning individuals. What DOES bug me is when someone already knows I'm an atheist and self-righteously tells me to find god anyway in dealing with life challenges. I am from the south so it happens more than you'd think.

Well, I'm Buddhist and I take their wishes with the positive spirit intended.

That is admirable and I guess I would say I do the same most of the time. The problem is that there is often NOT so much of a positive spirit behind it - as AugustJoy mentioned many people will use "I'm praying for you" in a time of crisis to avoid doing any tangible help.

Hi Nevergoodenough, I didn't deal with it too well while I was still enmeshed with my NPD (and maybe some uBPD) family dynamics.  For my NPDm, religion is one of many ways for her to establish her superiority.

I think the work that I've done to come OOTF has really helped me a lot.  I tried checking out some churches that were a lot more liberal than the one I was brought up in, and I'm finding that while I can deal with other's beliefs in a more healthy way, I just don't think I'm the church type anymore.  There are churches around me that encourage people to doubt and figure out their own beliefs, but without the fear of eternal damnation, I'm realizing its ok to not commit my limited time and disposable income to attaining any kind of label.   

Regarding the prayer, I've been a caretaker for my DH when he was seriously ill with cancer.  He has the same beliefs as me and when people offered him their prayers, he mostly appreciated it.  I can't put it into writing, but we could tell who was sincere and who wasn't.  As the caretaker, the insincere ones with their own agenda stood out to me the most.  These were the ones who were in a position to offer me help with child care and home maintenance, but instead just wanted to push their religious agenda on me.

Best wishes in your healing journey.

Me too! uBPD dad used it to try to make me conform to his indomitable will. I stopped going at 14 though, because I was tired of being told I was destined for hell due to my sexual orientation and political beliefs.

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Nicholas

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 07:32:57 PM »
That is admirable and I guess I would say I do the same most of the time. The problem is that there is often NOT so much of a positive spirit behind it - as AugustJoy mentioned many people will use "I'm praying for you" in a time of crisis to avoid any tangible help.

I get where you are coming from. One of my longtime friends posted on Facebook that his mother had shingles and asked for our prayers. While shingles is horrible, it's treatable, and my saying prayers 3000 miles away isn't going to help anybody.

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Just Jay

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2014, 03:49:16 PM »
I'm a Christian. In my denomination, we are required to share The Word. There is a BIG caveat to it, though. We are expected to put The Word out there, but we are also told that the very second someone shies away from it, we are to stop talking it, change the subject, and then try to have a friendly conversation about whatever the other person wants to talk about. Basically, we're told to be a friend first and foremost.

I think it's rude for people to try to force it on you, or argue with you about it.

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Hawkie

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2014, 07:39:47 PM »
Hi nevergoodenough,

I'm an atheist with agnostic tendencies, if that makes sense. Maybe a soft-line atheist? Anyway, I do know what you mean by people telling you to "find God" or "accept God's commandments" or "obey God" etc. Like the problems you've suffered at the hands of a PD is somehow your fault because of your beliefs. It's insulting and frankly imo it's inappropriate and ignorant for them to say.

However, I do separate that from the people who say they will pray for me, when it's a sincere show of support and concern. I take that as they are holding me in their thoughts, and it's always appreciated when I know someone has taken the time. It's a nice gesture. Of course that's different from the insincere people who smirk and say "I'll pray for you" because they think I'm an unsaved heathen and they are God's chosen.

Anyway, I got it the most when I was young and there wasn't much "coping" for me to do, other than feel worthless for not being a "good child". We started out Christian and I was told that God commanded me to obey my abusive PD mother, then we joined a cult and I was commanded to improve myself. Now that I'm an adult I can politely but firmly say "I'm not Christian" or "we're not of the same faith". If you say it with conviction I've found people back off because they think you could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Jain... or a devil worshipper.  ;D I'm not in the South, though, so it may not be as easy there to get Christians to back off.

Anyway, please hang in there and know that the PD person in your life is not your fault, and it's not up to you to fix them, whether by praying to someone's god or any other method. It is wrong for anyone to push their beliefs on you. You are good enough just the way you are.

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bruisermel

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2014, 10:00:15 PM »
I am a fellow atheist here, but truthfully I'm not on the boards too much (as much as I've found incredibly valuable information here, I often feel more anxious if I spend much time on here!).

I'm pretty much a closet atheist. I very much fear losing some people I love should I come out to them (namely my sister-in-law and mother-in-law...I was full-blown hardcore christian like them when i met them 10 years ago). Most of the people in my life who offer to pray for me are very well meaning and have no idea I'm atheist (I was a christian until about 16 months ago) and I thank them for their thoughts. I haven't had to deal with anyone telling me to find god or turn to god.

Even though there is no part of me that thinks any of the thousands of religions/denominations are true or necessary, it is hard for me to be upset at any individual for perpetuating them because, well, that used to be me preaching christianity. So, I tend to not get upset with the well-meaning people who kindly offer prayer and god thoughts and bible verses.

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Just Jay

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2014, 02:12:49 AM »
bruisermel, you are very cool. Thank you for being understanding on both sides.

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timetobeme

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2014, 09:54:21 AM »
I am a non-theist.

I was raised in a cult and have gone through a very painful de-conversion process about 8 years ago. The treatment I had 13 years ago for my PTSD actually helped me in escaping the cult mindset - same tools prooved to be useful.

After leaving the cult, I looked into various other religions and believe systems but found none that suited my spiritual needs. I don't think I have many spiritual needs and the ones I have can be met by music, the arts and just enjoying nature.

I am not a militant non-theist or anything. If someone finds peace and solice in a believe system, I am not gonna take it away from him.

I am very allergic to people trying to reel me into their churches, though (our cult was big on 'missionary work'; it was required of all members).

My standard answer to someone trying to convert me to anything - or trying to force a religious discussion on me - is this: "If you don't try to get me into anything, I won't try to talk you out of anything". That line gets delivered with a wink and so far, it always resulted in a chuckle and moving on to some other topic.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 10:54:21 AM by timetobeme »

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inaswarnofbees@gmail.com

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2014, 03:49:28 PM »
I'm basically in alignment with everything Hawkie said. I'm not explicitly atheist/agnostic - I fall somewhere more in the spiritual/pantheist area, but I definitely do not align myself with Christianity or other traditional strict religious philosophies. I do think that there is a larger force in the universe that is compassionate and creative. I just have issues interpreting it as a rule-making, selectively condemning pseudo-parent in the sky.

It's also sort of a double whammy for me with this conversation, as any "I'll pray for you" or "you need to find God" sentiment expressed to me as a means of dealing with uBPDm is probably coming from someone who isn't aware that I'm gay and would likely consider me the wayward child in need of reform and repentance rather than NC for my safety if they were aware of my sexuality. I think having the sexuality issue as an added layer helps with knowing how to respond to that sort of sentiment, because when the topic of religion comes up with people whose views may be different than mine, I'm already instantly looking for (verbal and non-verbal) cues as to how accepting or intolerant they might be with regard to people not sharing their religious and social stances, how much they're offering something they genuinely see as beneficial and supportive or how much they're looking for a foot in the door to a conversion speech or condemning tirade, etc. If they generally align with the former ideas, I'm not uncomfortable at all with them expressing a suggestion or offer that they personally find to be positive and beneficial. Generally speaking, people who try to pull victim-blaming attitudes of "you could find the strength to endure your PD's abuse if you turned to God" are going to fall into the latter camp rather than the former, and aside from the fact that I have absolutely no tolerance for victim-blaming, if they can't respect my viewpoint and beliefs, then I don't see the need to give theirs the weight to hurt me (or if need be, the presence in my life to continue expressing them against my wishes).

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Brandybear

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2014, 02:34:45 PM »
I'm an atheist. I used to be a big time Internet atheist and would get offended if someone said they were going to pray for me... Or actually if someone said they were going to pray for anyone or anything. This is probably because I always knew my mother's religion was just a big act that she put on to look good and torture me, and naturally extended this to everyone else. (In the same way I assumed that no one liked me, everyone was judging me, etc.) Any mention of religion would trigger me, though I wouldn't always say anything. I've mellowed when it comes to other people's beliefs, but still consider myself a "strong" atheist, which means I actively do not believe in a god or gods. (A weak atheist believes it can't be proven either way but it is more logical to live as if there is no god.) I guess I consider my own life to be all the proof I need that God doesn't exist.

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lumbre

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2014, 06:24:04 PM »
Agnostic atheist here too.

Have been a Christian, full heartedly before leaving Church and going on a journey of loosing faith...ending up atheist.

I hate when people try to talk me into going to Church with them or to find God. It is kinda frustrating because everything you say is proof to them that they are right and you just did not really know God as they do. The conversation get awkward when the God topic comes up.

My parents leave us alone with it but once a year it becomes a topic...that is Christmas. My mom thinks it is the one opportunity to "preach" the gospel by telling a manipulative story or analogy about God and his love. While we are having a good time usually, that's the moment the evening turns awkward for a moment. It is the moment I fear every year because it provokes those feelings of unease and I would love to scream out about how disordered my parents all where and how stupid they are to believe in such bullshit...while having all those unloving events and behavior piling up in my head...thinking they serve the God of love...

Actually I think Religion plays a big role in the dysfunction of our family, of my parents. Both grandparents where having weird believe systems and psychological issues where part of those families without ever talking about them...I mean Christians don't have psychological issues...I could vent a whole book about it but well...that is my business.

Just want to say: I understand where you are coming from.

PS. I think God as he is portrayed in the Bible is the narcissist of narcissists...and it is why narcissism happens a lot among religious folks. My opinion though, take no offense if you who reads this happen to be a christian.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 06:31:20 PM by lumbre »

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Brandybear

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2014, 09:43:57 AM »
PS. I think God as he is portrayed in the Bible is the narcissist of narcissists...and it is why narcissism happens a lot among religious folks. My opinion though, take no offense if you who reads this happen to be a christian.

That Old Testament God. I kind of recently reread the story of Cain and Abel, and I really think it was hearing this story as a child that made me stop believing, if I ever did. At church and school it was always pounded into us that God Our Father Is A Loving God, but this story is not about how a loving parent behaves. It IS how my mom behaves, however.

Quote
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

No explanation, just nope, wrong offering. Suck it up. Pfft, farming. Maybe try slaughtering lambs like your brother, I liked it when he did it. Don't you dare be mad at ME, that's a sin.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2014, 11:31:53 AM »
There's many Old Testament accounts that were difficult so I examined them in light of other scripture to understand. It helped me to take the bible as a whole complete book and compare, to reconcile.

I get that with the Cain and Abel story and learned it a bit differently. First the account tells it was Abel who gave the best his flock had to offer - firstlings - whereas Cain just gave some fruit, implying not the best. God never asks for more than we can give, just that we try our best rather than throwing him lame leftovers. Other scriptures tells us God reads hearts so knew Abel offered in faith whereas Cain didn't - Hebrews 11:4 and 1 Samuel 16:7

However, I so get where it appears as playing favorites with Cain and Abel and respect you feel that way about the story. Many read the God of the bible as PD and I understand why.

Personally I need to keep in mind, despite the fact uPD mum thinks otherwise, that she doesn't read hearts or minds - her magical thinking makes me sick. For a while it affected my faith and beliefs. Then I took a closer look at things for myself more objectively and have rejected her magical thinking idea. That's not what my relationship with God is about, he doesn't speak to me in secret code so only my eyes see things others can't. That's mum, that's not me.

One thing I love about this forum is the mutual respect and acceptance. It's good for me to see how others view things different and it's still ok. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 11:33:53 AM by SpringButterfly »
Each and every contact with a PD person results in damage. Plan accordingly and make time to heal. See Toolbox for tips. Individuation is the key to emotional freedom.

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lumbre

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2014, 01:23:09 PM »
The reason I lost faith is not so much the bible nor OT God. It happened very differently...by recognizing that there was no relationship with God. No matter how hard I tried. But it would be too much I guess to go into it more deeply. Just now that I have come to admit that I am atheist I can see how weird this religion is/has become. But as I said, no offense to those who still see value in it.

My opinion about God as the narcissist isn't so much based on Old Testament stories. But the bible as a whole.
I mean: He creates the universe with the earth, with plants, animals and Adam and Eve...all perfect but all set up for failure. The tree in the midst of the garden where they would see it all the times and be reminded of how God was the taskmaster of the game.
As we know the story, Adam and Eve eat the fruit and therefore bring misery into all humanity. God wipes out humanity with a flood, later on destroys whole cities, choses a people as his own, lets them go into slavery to show them how mighty he is...how he would deliver them, kills the Pharao and many Egyptians by performing the plague, parting the red sea, lets them walk in the desert for forty years, totally dependent on his providing, giving them the ten commandments after he demonstrated his powerful appearance and intimidated his own people to death...installs a priesthood, a holy tent and later on a temple, where only the high priest could go in to where his presence supposed to be once a year and only if he was pure otherwise he would die...and thousands of animals being offered to God...many cruel wars and weird stories until he finally realizes his mighty plan of salvation he already had in mind before all that tragedy happened. And that plan: Impregnating a virgin (and those where pretty young back then...) with himself as his son in order to walk this earth for three years and make himself known and be a living sacrifice to himself so we could have a relationship with him. And we aught to be thankful for that, praise him, follow him, become like him...

I actually became atheist because I left Church...I had to leave because I realized that I would not find God and his reality there. Being out of it for a while I realized how crazy it all was. To sing songs like: Here I am to Worship, or all the "use me lord" songs...The not trusting in your own heart mentality...the still small voice that never really talked but when it did it was hard to actually know what he really meant...
Then all those rules that where no rules but where rules...like tithing. Yes it is free to everyone to give his tithe...but if you consider yourself a member you tithe or God will not bless you...the giving to receive messages, heard them so many times...
If this all comes across a bit harsh I have to add that this all is a big part of my family's dysfunction and my own issues I am left dealing with.

I have tried to find a different way to relate to it all but the more I distance myself from Christianity and believing in an afterlife and supernatural powers etc. the more I feel alive and well. Can't really go back to any of it. I have not opened a bible for six years and just the thought of it makes me feel weird. I have read the bible more then once in different translations before I left Church. So I am pretty familiar with the stories and the different views on them. All I can say about it is, that I think it is more a collection of how people imagined God to be, how they tried to explain certain phenomena that they had no scientific explanation back then...edited by influential people to fit their style of leadership etc.

Now I leave it open if there is a God or not, I just have no interest in actively looking for him.
When I left Church I did not think to end up where I am now...I thought God would show up and let me know he was there etc. But months passed by and my faith just vanished to nothing. While my understanding of my family and myself has grown.
And that said I want to add, I did examine my believes from what my parents believed and found my own way to relate on it. I did not just go on with what my parents told me or anything in that direction. What lead me away was not my first crisis of faith, my first reexamination of it all.

As long as no one tries to proselytize me I am good with whatever people chose to believe. But when I see that line crossed I might get a little uncomfortable.

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AugustJoy

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2014, 08:46:59 AM »
Lumbre, I lost faith for the same reasons as you.  I also tried so hard to feel that relationship but couldn't.  It started around 9 or 10, probably when NPDm started scapegoating me.  I don't think I was a true scapegoat until then - I hit puberty early and that's when it started.  Maybe I showed more of an interest in church in an effort to gain her favor back, which I never could.  Perhaps if I were a GC, I would feel differently.

Now, as an adult, there are many, many more reasons for me not to belong to a religion, and you've written about most of them.  One other reason is that someone I know and love very well has confided in me his abuse by a Catholic priest.  For me, that was the final straw.  Its a topic I've dabbled in a bit on this forum, but no one seems to want to go there.  The victims of this particular brand of abuse have been gas lighted so much, that I feel the need to add here that I've seen legal documents from very reputable lawyers who helped this victim, so its credible.  What I know about the inner workings of this scandal is one more reason to feel left out and alienated by religion. 

One of the most insidious beliefs that got me to try again at church is that kids need to be raised with some kind of religion.  I have a small child and while I never adopted this mindset completely, I still didn't want him to feel shunned and left out.  I recently tried to find a place for him and just couldn't follow through.  He's still young, but I'm finding his behavior and development have not suffered one little bit from this.  I'm finding its much easier to teach him morals and proper behavior without being weighed down by all the religious baggage that I've acquired from my FOO.  The good news is that where we live, even though most people will say they belong to a religion, they don't attend or practice it, except for major events.

With all of this, I can't call myself atheist and I have hope for an afterlife.  I'm currently trying to focus on the good from all of the major religions, and lately, I get some comfort from some of the developments in science that at one point or another were considered science fiction. 

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whataboutbob

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2014, 05:54:48 PM »
Tao Te Ching: "(S)he that says (s)he knows does not know. (S)he that says (s)he doesn't know? Knows". We are all agnostics or else dogma perpetrators.  Atheists are reactive to dogma. However, there is order in this Cosmos. My personal opinion is that when we personalize God we get into a projection of our own ego; or worse, begin to be manipulated by a personality cult. All of us here in gentle recovery are secondary PDs (micro personality cult) victims. Now, together we will be free. God doesn't have an ego and can never be personified. When we personify God people start getting killed by the millions. :-) Oops, did I say justification and rationalization? Remember your current or past experiences with a mis aligned ego? That is not God. God is love.

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maevie

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Re: Atheist/agnostic people?
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2014, 09:17:28 AM »
This is a really lovely thread the way it's evolved.

Born into Presbyterian parents' abusive household.

Tried to fit the mold by being acolyte, youth group, etc.

Married narc Evanglical...I mean he was NPD'd/Antisoc PD'd but Evangelical as well.

Converted to R Cath.

Have lapsed completely with divorce, 2 very failed r'ships since then...

but my agnostic/atheist stuff came up a few years ago when my kids'  teen years really hit hard and I asked myself how a supposedly loving "Father" as one post here mentioned it created this "set up for failure" creation - every last single thing kept spiralling out...fallen angels...fallen human creatures, then a Man/God who has to die to save supposedly omnisciently foreseen fallen humans...etc.

If I parented like "HE" parented...oh wow, I'd be just like my ubpd'd mother and indifferent NPD'd father.

Falling down on the job if not downright *abusive*

That "I'll pray for you" in place of *real* compassion - check.

Just sick of the system and some of the most money-grubbing, money/power-loving folks on this planet quote that book.

My indifference has hardly seemed to cause me more pain and suffering than what came my way when I was devotedly and unabashedly knocking on doors decades ago to spread the good news.

In fact as my family here fell apart, the less I worried about that religious crap, the more I seemd to speak up for myself, make better changes or choices.

Or not...but at least I wasn't blurring any lines being "faithful."

I have fought the good fight. It's not taking my life as a dear loved one did who was better than me, way way better, yet tattered to shreds emotionally by these very same types.

I'm bitter. I'm angry. I am a loving devoted friend who will speak up for you to do what you need to do. I am a gardener, nature lover, horse lover, dog lover, as that's where my succor has been found. And in the faces of my magnificent incredible kids who have chosen their paths with decency and wisdom for all their young years.

If it's not here at my fingertips, or in the hearts of nearby loved ones, I don't need it.

Peace be with you.  Namaste.