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Old 02-07-2013, 03:03   #1
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Atheists, what was your worst experience with religion?

I was raised a JW so I proudly walked around with that stupid card they carry that tells EMS not to give blood even in a life threatening situation. I remember my aunt having a hell of a time getting a simple surgery done because she couldn't find a surgeon that would do it without blood. One lady in our church died from him hawing around way too long on the blood/surgery issue. She was really heralded as a devout follower for that one.

I remember my grandfather telling me that ************ led to being gay, which only had me wondering how many times would it take locked in the bathroom with the JC Penny catalog before I was flipping over from the women's underwear section to the men's. In true Christian hypocrite fashion, grampa could regularly be found up late watching Skinemax.

Then there were the holiday issues. No holidays for JW kids, not even birthdays. One year in 5th grade we had a Christmas tree in class that was just a tall cardboard tube that you'd stick wires twisted up with tinsel into. There was one wire for every kid in class so I took mine and walked up and stuck it into the tree. Later I got a spanking for helping to "decorate" that tree when my stepfather went to the school for a conference and the teacher mentioned that he was surprised to see me help out on that.

I suppose the worst thing religion ever did to me was splitting my whole family up. My dad got shunned by the church for some perceived moral issue and from there on it was nothing but "he's a bad influence!" and "he's a worldly person! Of the devil!" from everyone else. Turns out it's hard to be a dad and be around for your kid when you have a kid's entire family going to court to tell them what an evil influence you are. He finally got fed up with it and ran off to another state and I only just got in contact with him about a year ago. Found out a bunch of interesting stuff about my nutsack family ant their church BS.

What about you? What's the stupidest thing you ever did or put up with in the name of god before you saw the light of reason?
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:25   #2
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Actually I've not had many bad experiences with religion. At least nothing that would be considered "traumatic".

Probly the worst has been those people that just won't get it thru their thick skulls that I'm not interested in joining their particular sect and I don't need them to "save me". I usually have to get rid of them.

Then there are the folks who find out I'm an Atheist and look at me as if I might rape their wife and kill their kids on the spot. Usually they go away by themselves. Thankfully, there aren't very many of these.

I'm fairly certain my soon to be ex-MIL still believes I'm possessed and still holds a grudge about not forcing her granddaughter to attend church. But she learned long ago that she fails miserably when trying to argue with me about it so she stays quiet.

Very few religious folks have made me angry, and fewer have actually known it. Someday I may tell the story about me pissing on a guy in KY cuz he wouldn't leave me be.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:18   #3
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Actually I've not had many bad experiences with religion. At least nothing that would be considered "traumatic".
I can't say that I have either. I guess the worst was watching my mom use it as an excuse to not engage in life. She would never step up and take responsibility for her own life but instead would "leave it to god" to sort out. You can imagine how that went for her.

Her only other behavior that really bothered me was that after my parents divorced, I routinely got the "You know your father is evil, right?" The thing was, my father was also a christian and a much healtheir role model so I simply followed his lead and tuned her out. I was never really angry with god about that, just my mom.

I stayed a chrsitian for most of my adult life and only abandoned it when I went back to college to finish my undergrad at a christian university. I had intended to deepen my understanding of the bible, but as an adult the whole thing seemed hollow, simplistic, naive, and oftentimes self-destructive.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:19   #4
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Actually I've not had many bad experiences with religion. At least nothing that would be considered "traumatic".
...
Same here. I am atheist because I care about what is true.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:13   #5
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I wouldn't say I had a "worst" experience. Rather, I was turned away from religion by the willful ignorance displayed by the fundamentalists. No evidence in the world can make them question their bible or their faith. Science is viewed as nothing more than a tool to discredit their god instead of a system created to expand our knowledge. They take their literal interpretations of their books so seriously that they think their particular myths should be taught in our schools. I have several other issues with religion, but the complete disregard for facts or logic is too absurd to be forgiven.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:27   #6
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Probly the worst has been those people that just won't get it thru their thick skulls that I'm not interested in joining their particular sect and I don't need them to "save me". I usually have to get rid of them.
There were a couple of Mormons that knocked on the door one day, and wanted to talk to me.

Now, I smoke cigarettes. It's something I know I shouldn't do. But I came out onto my porch to talk to them, and I went to light one up - and they objected like mad, as though I was being terribly rude to them.

We're at my house, on my property - and they are acting as though lighting a smoke up is the most terrible thing I could do. He was saying something about smoke being the influence of the devil. They may have thought I was possessed, or something.

I was kind of like 'WTF, whatever' internally and just didn't light up because I actually was in a mood where I wanted to talk to them, and "Look, this is my house, my property, you want to talk to me you can deal with it ..." didn't seem like the best lead-in.

During the course of the discussion, they made some claims about their church being the first entity (not the first church, mind you - but the first entity - something like 'back in history everyone thought tobacco was fine and even healthy", etc, although it was so long ago I'm sure I'll never remember exact words) to object to tobacco, or something like that, as proof that supported their belief in their book. I told them I'd check that claim out. They came back a couple of months later - and I'd actually checked their claim out and found evidence indicating otherwise, and gave them that evidence (mainly the mere existence of King James IV's "A Counterblaste to Tobacco").

I haven't seen them since, that was a couple of years ago.

I wouldn't call that my worst experience, mind you - that's a tricky thing to figure out. But it was funny, and illustrative.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:41   #7
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I guess I should add to this that my curent employer (a large school district) has actually had "calls to prayer" at the office during business hours at district endorsed functions. I've never objected. I just lower my head and let them finish, but I have to wonder how they have would react if I did? Would I be shunned? If I filed an EEOC complaint with HR would it be handled fairly? Also, how do they rationalize exposing the taxpayer to that kind of legal liability should someone else actually file suit over this (I have no such intentions)?
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:09   #8
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There were a couple of Mormons that knocked on the door one day, and wanted to talk to me.
Ah yes, I almost forgot the years spent every Saturday morning going around neighborhoods as a good little brainwashed Jehovah's Witness knocking on doors. My job was apparently to rouse angry and hung over people at about 9-11 AM with my poorly rehearsed spiel about the good news of our lord. I spent maybe 5 years doing that bit and never once did somebody actually want to listen let alone come to the church. Inner city Chicago is not a good place to find church attendees.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:27   #9
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I'm not an atheist, but can I play the game too?

..

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Old 02-07-2013, 11:45   #10
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Sure. What was your worst experience with religion?
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:48   #11
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I didn't really have any negative experiences with religion growing up. I was completely indoctrinated. I guess I'm just an example of how you can dip someone a little too far into the Jesus pool. I went to church camp, bible study, vacation bible school, all that crap. I was about as devout as you could get. I'm the kind of person that if something is a passion of mine... I want to know everything I can about it. Take guitars for example... I not only know how to play them, but I also dove in and learned how to set them up, repair them, customize them, and am nearly set up in my modest little wood shop at home to start building them. I was consumed with learning everything I could about my religion and that ultimately became the problem. I find for the perfect christian... it's important to maintain the proper balance of faith and ignorance. You wanna know just enough about the things in the bible that are accurate to believe it... but not so much that you begin to see that much of it was written in crayon.

I'd have to say that the most negative experience I had was when I came out the other side a non-believer. I felt empty for a while. There was a sadness because I really felt like I had lost a parent in a way. I thought God was always there for me. Every good thing that happened in my life I gave credit to God for and felt this weird benevolent sense of providence. And for all the bad things I blamed Satan for putting obstacles in my way or exploiting my weaknesses to tempt me or pull me away from my Savior's love and grace. When you realize that's all garbage it's like losing a parent almost. Geko put it best... I was mourning the death of God... and I was the one that killed him. Right around that time many of my family members and friends bailed on me because they thought I was somehow now evil or corrupt because I no longer believed. I wasn't really mad at them. They were good people to me when they thought we were on the same team. It's religion that really poisoned their minds and caused them to turn on someone that the very day before they called brother or friend. That's a prime example of why I see religion as poison. It turns otherwise good people into mindless hate drones driven by fear and ignorance. And they feel backed by the authority of God so they have a divine purpose about it. Because I refused to stay in the mud of ignorance with them, they decided they could no longer accept me as a person. Some have later come back around but it's not like it used to be. And I try never to engage them about the falsehoods of their mythology. That doesn't stop them from engaging me though... and it usually winds up with them getting angry and storming out. So is the life of non-believer in a believer's world.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:04   #12
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Sure. What was your worst experience with religion?
Even though I'm a hard core Bible thumper myself, I see things a little differently than most Christians. No, I see things a lot differently than most Christians.

I have a big problem with today's institutionalized religion and those multi-million dollar churches they build. TV televangelists just torque my cojones something fierce.

There's a church near my house that has a cafeteria, a swimming pool and a tennis court. All for the exclusive use of church members.

And the members who tithe the most get to sit in the front row. According to Jesus's own words that's where the sinners should sit.

All that money could, and should, be spent on the homeless and needy.

Churches today are just country clubs for the rich.
They're worse than the NRA when it comes to begging for more and more money.

The Gospel of Thomas, that was excluded from the Bible, sounds better and better each day.

..

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Old 02-07-2013, 12:19   #13
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Sure. What was your worst experience with religion?
One night during college, I had a nightmare that I think was something like a mini-post-traumatic-stress event related to the religion of Atheism.

It was like a scene in the 1950s movie, "All the Young Men", set during the Korean War. I was a US soldier in a freezing foxhole, when masses of atheist communist soldiers bearing AKs charged my position. I kept shooting, but more kept appearing. It was a human wave attack.

A year or two earlier, I actually had served in the US Army in Korea in the late sixties. I had climbed some local hills and seen old trenches and foxholes. I had read Farenbach's (sp?) book, "This Kind of War", about the Korean War. The atheist communist North Koreans, upon occupying areas in South Korea, had purged (murdered) academic, governmental, and religious people. They also murdered quite a few US POWs, some for machine-gun target practice. The Chinese atheist communists didn't do so much firearm-murdering of US POWs, but they did let starvation and disease kill many during the winter of 1950-51. They used starvation to force prisoners to accept atheist communist indoctrination.

Sadly, we've let atheist Marxists infiltrate many high offices in our society, leading to today's decline that is apparent all around us. But one bit of good news: in Texas, lawmakers have decide to rein in CSCOPE ('liberal' or cultural Marxist) teaching plans, which seek to influence impressionable young minds with subversive stuff such as, "Allah is God", asking children to design a flag for a new socialist country, comparing the Boston Tea Party to an act of terrorism, Wicca being taught alongside Christianity, that Christianity was a cult (under 'Classical Rome'), and linking a BBC article saying early Christians were "cannibals" for the Eucharist.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:25   #14
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Nothing real specific, I just realized in about elementary school that the people telling me about religion (they had prayers and bible reading in public schools I went to in the 70's and even had school assemblies for a local evangelist) had no evidence and what they said wasn't logical. No intelligent person could believe it and none do.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:26   #15
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One night during college, I had a nightmare that I think was something like a mini-post-traumatic-stress event related to the religion of Atheism.

It was like a scene in the 1950s movie, "All the Young Men", set during the Korean War. I was a US soldier in a freezing foxhole, when masses of atheist communist soldiers bearing AKs charged my position. I kept shooting, but more kept appearing. It was a human wave attack.

A year or two earlier, I actually had served in the US Army in Korea in the late sixties. I had climbed some local hills and seen old trenches and foxholes. I had read Farenbach's (sp?) book, "This Kind of War", about the Korean War. The atheist communist North Koreans, upon occupying areas in South Korea, had purged (murdered) academic, governmental, and religious people. They also murdered quite a few US POWs, some for machine-gun target practice. The Chinese atheist communists didn't do so much firearm-murdering of US POWs, but they did let starvation and disease kill many during the winter of 1950-51. They used starvation to force prisoners to accept atheist communist indoctrination.

Sadly, we've let atheist Marxists infiltrate many high offices in our society, leading to today's decline that is apparent all around us. But one bit of good news: in Texas, lawmakers have decide to rein in CSCOPE ('liberal' or cultural Marxist) teaching plans, which seek to influence impressionable young minds with subversive stuff such as, "Allah is God", asking children to design a flag for a new socialist country, comparing the Boston Tea Party to an act of terrorism, Wicca being taught alongside Christianity, that Christianity was a cult (under 'Classical Rome'), and linking a BBC article saying early Christians were "cannibals" for the Eucharist.

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Old 02-07-2013, 12:28   #16
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JBnTX, the Gospel of Thomas is pretty amazing. Have you done more research into other gnostic gospels? Do you know of the Gospel of "Q" theory? The history of the Bible (not Bible history), is pretty interesting.
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Old 02-07-2013, 13:35   #17
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This is the kind of person who drove me away from religion:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow...3Rpb25z;_ylv=3

I have seen far too many just like him...ignorant.
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Old 02-07-2013, 13:56   #18
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Very few religious folks have made me angry, and fewer have actually known it. Someday I may tell the story about me pissing on a guy in KY cuz he wouldn't leave me be.
I need to hear this one.

I say this every time the topic comes up but I was never raised Christian, or with any religion for that matter, and don't call myself atheist. I just abstain when possible.

I don't have any bad experiences. When I was little my friends would call the house and invite me to church. Sometimes their parents would call and ask my parents if they could bring me. I never went.
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Old 02-07-2013, 14:43   #19
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Originally Posted by JBnTX View Post
Even though I'm a hard core Bible thumper myself, I see things a little differently than most Christians. No, I see things a lot differently than most Christians.

I have a big problem with today's institutionalized religion and those multi-million dollar churches they build. TV televangelists just torque my cojones something fierce.

There's a church near my house that has a cafeteria, a swimming pool and a tennis court. All for the exclusive use of church members.

And the members who tithe the most get to sit in the front row. According to Jesus's own words that's where the sinners should sit.

All that money could, and should, be spent on the homeless and needy.

Churches today are just country clubs for the rich.
They're worse than the NRA when it comes to begging for more and more money.

The Gospel of Thomas, that was excluded from the Bible, sounds better and better each day...
Despite the times I am convinced you are completely bonkers, this is the reason I have more respect for you than I do anyone else from RI/PI that I disagree with. You get what you get, don't what you don't or don't want to and are seemingly 100% honest about such.

And from time to time hit the nail on the head.

OT I find myself in company with most of the posts. Never had any traumatic or bad experiences with religion. Just that I found religions to be lacking, full of BS and counter productive.

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Old 02-07-2013, 15:28   #20
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I don’t reject religion because I’ve had bad experiences; I reject it because it’s nonsense.

I actually read the first few books of the Bible when I was eight years old and could see even then what an inconsistent, absurd crock it was. My Sunday School teachers were no help. They wanted me to just accept it all and not ask any questions. Sorry. No can do.

I’ve studied several religions, from Christianity to Hinduism to the magic-based religions of East Africa. They’re all equally valid. Their roots all trace back to stone-age people trying to explain the world through the supernatural because they didn’t have anything else.
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