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Klimtology

Is Atheism Irrational? NYTimes Opinion Piece

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I think that would make for an interesting spinoff thread (and maybe its been done). For the atheists of FBGs..are you "open"? Does your spouse/SO know? (Probably). Kids? Other family? Friends?

I keep it to myself unless someone asks but most people know. My daughter is 6 and has never heard of religion.

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I'll share. Sounds like Buck is struggling a bit with some of the stuff many of us have been through already, so hope it helps.

I was raised Catholic and never thought to question it until I got to college. I took an anthropology course that shocked the heck out of me and got me questioning everything. It was a slippery slope and pretty soon I cast off religion, and never looked back. It just doesn't make any sense when you look at it objectively. I've heard it referred to as the adult version of figuring out there's no Santa Claus.

My first wife knew about my beliefs before we were married, wasn't all that religious herself, but we decided to get married in the Catholic Church to appease our families. We were even living together before we were married and had to lie and hide that from the priest. When it came time to raise a family and choose schools, my wife convinced me to send them to Catholic schools, even though that meant a lot more hiding, lying, and faking. But I agreed it was the best for the kids.

Now that my kids are older and out of Catholic schools, I am slowly starting to reveal my true beliefs to them. I'm still not "out" to my parents, sisters, etc, though I'm at the point now that I wouldn't hide it if asked.

The only thing keeping me from being completely out at this point is my current wife is now a teacher at a Catholic high school. This pretty much means I still can't openly discuss in public, which is why this board is such a great release for me.

Bottom line is it's still not acceptable in some circles, maybe most circles, and you therefore have to weigh the risks involved with sharing too much. Sometimes it's best to hide it. The key is to find a few close friends, a spouse, a message board, or some circle you can trust and share thoughts and ideas with.

Thanks man. Yep. Not only has this board provided me an outlet.. but it made me an atheist in the first place (slight exaggeration but reading through here helped the transition).

Thanks a lot jerks!!11juan

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Weird about the idea of being out as an atheist. I didn't realize untill reading this that people would be uncomfortable about this.

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totally depends on the area. really dangerous for teachers in some places

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Weird about the idea of being out as an atheist. I didn't realize untill reading this that people would be uncomfortable about this.

Absolutely, it can be very uncomfortable. I was raised in the Catholic church...Catholic elementary/Jesuit high school. Much like Steve Tasker's story, it was in high school when I realized that the Catholic/Christian story just did not make sense to me. It is ironic that it was a Catholic education that trained my thinking skills which ultimately lead to a rejection of the faith. Anyway, being in a Catholic family and a Catholic school, you definitely feel like the odd man out as your way of thinking is no longer the norm from those that surround you continuously. You are told what you should believe from a very young age. When this is all you have known, the journey in the other direction takes some time to evolve. While I knew I was no longer Catholic in high school, it wasn't until the end of my college years and shortly after that I began to realize it is not a Catholic thing, but ALL organized religion that no longer made sense to me.

My wife is Catholic. We have two children who are now 12 and 10 yrs old. They are being raised in the Catholic church because of a promise I made to my wife. She was well aware of my views before we were married, but I put on a charade for our families and went through a Catholic ceremony. It just didn't really matter to me at the time, but it was important to my wife. I agreed to allow let the children be raised in the church, because I felt that I somehow emerged from that environment and so to would my children if I fostered their critical thinking skills along the way. I sort of regret this decision now. It sometimes eats away at me a little, but 12 years later we are still going. I don't really participate at all in their religious education. My wife takes them to church every Sunday, but I do not go except for the big holidays. My oldest son is now starting to question things for himself. I try to encourage him to learn all he can and make decisions for himself. I am careful not to put down the religion, but I do answer him honestly when he asks about my beliefs...or lack thereof. My wife sees him starting to question and drift away just a little bit from the all accepting mindset of a child. I can tell this causes her some concern.

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Great thread guys. Much better when I'm not mucking it up.

And Jayrok, you are still the FBG I most want to have a beer with someday.

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I was raised Catholic also, but never really bought in. I don't think my parents did either, they just wanted to get me into Catholic school. They were successful and I did 1-12, but always strongly disliked the entire religious aspect. I begged not to be confirmed. Fought it tooth and nail. In the end, I did it because I didnt want to leave my friends and enroll at a different school. Overall, I thought the teachers were really accepting and never pushed an agenda beyond love, forgiveness and acceptance. That part stays with me, but from the time I was old enough to talk, I was expressing a real dislike for church and church related activities. However, I have no concerns about telling people I don't believe in that faith. Never have.

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Great thread guys. Much better when I'm not mucking it up.

And Jayrok, you are still the FBG I most want to have a beer with someday.

No worries. I know I've probably been a jerk to you at times when the discussion gets heated, contributing to the muck. My apologies. Much better when we all get along and have a serious discussion.

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Young Life retreats are where I realized everyone else actually took the stories in the Bible seriously (literally).

Purgatory ski trip #2 I apparently asked too many questions and I have never accepted "because" as an answer for anything. Was asked not to come back.

I had never noticed I was coming from a different place before this. Never occurred to me that people actually took things in that book literally, never occurred to a lot of them I didn't.

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Praying to an imaginary "God" is more irrational than Atheism.

How so?

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Weird about the idea of being out as an atheist. I didn't realize untill reading this that people would be uncomfortable about this.

Agree with Ninja and the others. Location/environment is a huge factor. Born and raised in South Carolina to parents who were fundamental baptists active in the church, my childhood was somewhat sheltered, though at the time I didn't see it since it was the norm to go to church on Sunday, Monday (visitation with youth group) and Wednesday. Looking back, I don't feel like I missed out on much socially speaking. Had lots of friends, played sports year round. I was really never tempted to smoke or drink... until college. The biggest thing for me as a child was the guilt of going through puberty, I guess. I didn't have a problem with acne, but like most all kids at that age I had some here and there. When I got a zit or two I honestly thought it was because a masturbated or had impure thoughts or something like that. Loco I know.

Anyway, yeah.. If I came out like that to certain members of my family, it would be tragic. Religion in the south is like... a religion. Like high school football down here and in Texas. If you call yourself an atheist, it isn't perceived that you don't believe in God. It is perceived that you are deceived and confused by the devil. Bizarre, yes, but that is what it is in many cases.

When I was 11 or 12, our youth group went to a debate between a Christian (forgot who it was) and an atheist (Madeline Murray O'Harra). She was murdered later in life but at the time, Madeline was an outspoken atheist. I don't remember the whole debate but will never forget one thing she said and how it was taken.

She was asked "if God didn't create you then how did you get here?" She replied "well, one night my parents were in the bedroom ####### and..." Our youth minister gathered us and we left. We were shocked and appalled. Language was one thing, but we thought how could she mock God like this?

I look back now and think how silly that question really was. She was not some demon possessed maniac sent to mock God and his believers. But as a child, that's what I thought.

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Great thread guys. Much better when I'm not mucking it up.

And Jayrok, you are still the FBG I most want to have a beer with someday.

I would like that, GB. Very much.

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Young Life retreats are where I realized everyone else actually took the stories in the Bible seriously (literally).

Purgatory ski trip #2 I apparently asked too many questions and I have never accepted "because" as an answer for anything. Was asked not to come back.

I had never noticed I was coming from a different place before this. Never occurred to me that people actually took things in that book literally, never occurred to a lot of them I didn't.

I never had quite an experience like this, but I did have an incident in 8th grade that I'll always remember made me question the Catholic Church. I went to a K-8 Catholic school, small school, my graduating class was 21. Every year, the 8th graders go on a "retreat" on one of the last days of the school year, which basically just means you spend the day at the church with a priest rather than in class. It was basically a day full of sermons and other religion-related activities.

At one point during the day, we were given a matrix - "strongly disagree - disagree - agree - strongly agree" - and were asked a serious of pretty heavy questions for a bunch of 8th graders. We each answered the questions independently and got back into the group. For each question, we would have to separate into 4 quadrants around the room and would discuss why we answered how we answered. Two statements I will never forget..."Abortion should be legal" and "The death penalty should be legal." (note: I am not going to debate these topics, don't read into this)

I "strongly agreed" with both. Every other person in the class either disagreed or strongly disagreed with both. I basically had to stand alone on an island and debate why I felt these things should be legal, with a group of 20 classmates and a priest basically belittling and insulting me. I remember feeling pretty embarrassed and ashamed, and thinking to myself after the fact "did they want us to answer the questions with how we really feel, or how the church would want us to answer them?" To this day that remains a sticking point of how I came to the realization that they didn't really take too kindly to independent thinkers. It was the first time I ever felt that they were borderline trying to brainwash kids. That may be a little harsh, but I'll never forget how bad I felt about myself that afternoon.

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It was the first time I ever felt that they were borderline trying to brainwash kids. That may be a little harsh, but I'll never forget how bad I felt about myself that afternoon.

Borderline...

:lmao:

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Young Life retreats are where I realized everyone else actually took the stories in the Bible seriously (literally).

Purgatory ski trip #2 I apparently asked too many questions and I have never accepted "because" as an answer for anything. Was asked not to come back.

I had never noticed I was coming from a different place before this. Never occurred to me that people actually took things in that book literally, never occurred to a lot of them I didn't.

I never had quite an experience like this, but I did have an incident in 8th grade that I'll always remember made me question the Catholic Church. I went to a K-8 Catholic school, small school, my graduating class was 21. Every year, the 8th graders go on a "retreat" on one of the last days of the school year, which basically just means you spend the day at the church with a priest rather than in class. It was basically a day full of sermons and other religion-related activities.

At one point during the day, we were given a matrix - "strongly disagree - disagree - agree - strongly agree" - and were asked a serious of pretty heavy questions for a bunch of 8th graders. We each answered the questions independently and got back into the group. For each question, we would have to separate into 4 quadrants around the room and would discuss why we answered how we answered. Two statements I will never forget..."Abortion should be legal" and "The death penalty should be legal." (note: I am not going to debate these topics, don't read into this)

I "strongly agreed" with both. Every other person in the class either disagreed or strongly disagreed with both. I basically had to stand alone on an island and debate why I felt these things should be legal, with a group of 20 classmates and a priest basically belittling and insulting me. I remember feeling pretty embarrassed and ashamed, and thinking to myself after the fact "did they want us to answer the questions with how we really feel, or how the church would want us to answer them?" To this day that remains a sticking point of how I came to the realization that they didn't really take too kindly to independent thinkers. It was the first time I ever felt that they were borderline trying to brainwash kids. That may be a little harsh, but I'll never forget how bad I felt about myself that afternoon.

That sucks that they did that to you.

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Sorry this is wordy. Like I said, I like these topics.

I was raised and K-12 educated Catholic. I don't know that I ever really believed...it went from something that a kid just parrots ("I believe in Jesus") to something that I started to really question in high school ("why am I saying this if it doesn't make any sense to me?"). I informally decided I could no longer call myself a Catholic sometime during college. I don't really label myself as an atheist, and I say agnostic if anyone asks, but in reality my beliefs - or lack thereof - fit pretty well with most people who call themselves atheists.

My fiancée knows; she considers herself Catholic but she goes to church on Christmas only. She doesn't care. My immediate family knows. My mother has taken it pretty poorly ("are you a devil worshiper?") but she's gotten better over time. I think for a year-or-two there, she was embarrassed that her kids are the "weird ones", because everyone in her friend group is Catholic, or at least pretends to be. It was like my lack of religion made her look like a bad parent. My brother is very vocally atheistic, whereas I don't really talk about it, so it's taken the brunt off of me a little bit. A handful of my closest friends know.

I got engaged about 5 months ago, the topic immediately came up about getting married in a church, and I "pulled off the bandaid" and revealed to my fiancée's immediate family my lack of religion. Her mother is not taking it well. I've heard the rumblings that she called all of her sisters and her other 3 daughters and basically bared her soul about how sad she was that her oldest daughter won't be married in a church and is marrying someone who doesn't believe. She hasn't said a word of that to me, and I've never had a problem with her, but I can tell she's half-stunned, half-upset about it. Like RHE says, I think they're probably dreading the prospect of baptism and such going forward, should we ever have kids.

I remember when my grandmother (dad's mom, RIP) was getting older and more frail, we knew she didn't have a lot of time left. She would spend her weekends at my parents' house, and my brother and I were over for dinner. My mom got on the topic of religion again, and made a comment to my grandmother about how my brother and I are going to hell because we don't believe. My grandmother, this tiny woman, super super devout Catholic, turned to the two of us and said something to the effect of "as long as you're both good people, live good lives, and you're happy, who am I to judge or tell you what to believe?" And that was that. She still loved us and it didn't change a damn thing. I'll never forget that. I wish everyone could have her mindset, whether they're a believer or not.

GB Grandma :thumbup:

and that's how people should be. I have been watching a few of those reality Amish shows where, if you leave and become ex-Amish, you are shunned for life in most cases. How is that a logical belief system? You just cut ties with your kid? Harsh and dumb.

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Location/environment is a huge factor.

It certainly is. I was raised Catholic in Denmark, went to Catholic schools but never felt the full force of the dogma as many have described.

The jesuits that ran the school I went to the last 5 years must have been among the most liberal imaginable as they - even in religion classes - encouraged independent thinking.

I have since then rejected organized religion but I wouldn't mind my kids going to the same schools as I did.

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That sucks that they did that to you.

I can't say I'm really scarred by it, but it was an eye-opening experience for me. I didn't really fully process it until a little later, but I remember I was pretty upset at the time; I was the outcast of the group.

Like Msommer indicates above, I went to a Jesuit high school and it was a great experience. They were extremely liberal in their teaching, and we learned about all different world religions, theology, actual science classes, etc. I'd have no trouble sending my children to that school. The grade school was like a little Catholic cocoon. Jesuit high school was not...it was a good education.

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Churches and people in churches can be really, really awful to people sometimes. While not on the same level of being an atheist, there have been a lot of times where I have been ostracized or condemned by friends and family for drinking alcohol. Many churches either implicitly and some even explicitly teach that any consumption of alcohol is a sin. Never mind that Jesus' first miracle was providing some really potent wine to a bunch of already drunk people at a wedding, that Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine and the drink at the last supper was, in fact, alcoholic wine.

I once even had a good friend from college refuse to hang out with me at all because he knew I drank beer on occasion. Not because I wanted to drink around him, had a drinking problem or because he was an alcoholic, but because he didn't want my lack of spiritual strength to bring him down.

Christianity can bring in all sorts of crazy at all levels. Once people lose sight of the two basic commandments, it all goes downhill fast.

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Churches and people in churches can be really, really awful to people sometimes. While not on the same level of being an atheist, there have been a lot of times where I have been ostracized or condemned by friends and family for drinking alcohol. Many churches either implicitly and some even explicitly teach that any consumption of alcohol is a sin. Never mind that Jesus' first miracle was providing some really potent wine to a bunch of already drunk people at a wedding, that Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine and the drink at the last supper was, in fact, alcoholic wine.

I once even had a good friend from college refuse to hang out with me at all because he knew I drank beer on occasion. Not because I wanted to drink around him, had a drinking problem or because he was an alcoholic, but because he didn't want my lack of spiritual strength to bring him down.

Christianity can bring in all sorts of crazy at all levels. Once people lose sight of the two basic commandments, it all goes downhill fast.

The bolded could be said about pretty much any group of people.

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Lots of ex-Catholic stories. What about ex-fundamentalist or evangelical? I'm at about step 1 of 25 in Jayrok's progression myself.

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I think that would make for an interesting spinoff thread (and maybe its been done). For the atheists of FBGs..are you "open"? Does your spouse/SO know? (Probably). Kids? Other family? Friends?

I keep it to myself unless someone asks but most people know. My daughter is 6 and has never heard of religion.

At somewhere between 3 and 5, my youngest daughter asked "What are those buildings with the lower-case T on them?"

Very recently my oldest daughter (12) asked: Are there people that really believe in God? My answer: That's what a church is for.

ETA: Hi, I'm Tangfoot and I'm a recovering Catholic.

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Lots of ex-Catholic stories. What about ex-fundamentalist or evangelical? I'm at about step 1 of 25 in Jayrok's progression myself.

Mind if I ask what you consider as step 1, from your point of view?

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Lots of ex-Catholic stories. What about ex-fundamentalist or evangelical? I'm at about step 1 of 25 in Jayrok's progression myself.

Mind if I ask what you consider as step 1, from your point of view?

I think it involves a 5th of whiskey, a midget and some farm animals.

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Lots of ex-Catholic stories. What about ex-fundamentalist or evangelical? I'm at about step 1 of 25 in Jayrok's progression myself.

Mind if I ask what you consider as step 1, from your point of view?

I think it involves a 5th of whiskey, a midget and some farm animals.

I must've skipped that step.. I don't remember midgets.

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Young Life retreats are where I realized everyone else actually took the stories in the Bible seriously (literally).

Purgatory ski trip #2 I apparently asked too many questions and I have never accepted "because" as an answer for anything. Was asked not to come back.

I had never noticed I was coming from a different place before this. Never occurred to me that people actually took things in that book literally, never occurred to a lot of them I didn't.

I never had quite an experience like this, but I did have an incident in 8th grade that I'll always remember made me question the Catholic Church. I went to a K-8 Catholic school, small school, my graduating class was 21. Every year, the 8th graders go on a "retreat" on one of the last days of the school year, which basically just means you spend the day at the church with a priest rather than in class. It was basically a day full of sermons and other religion-related activities.

At one point during the day, we were given a matrix - "strongly disagree - disagree - agree - strongly agree" - and were asked a serious of pretty heavy questions for a bunch of 8th graders. We each answered the questions independently and got back into the group. For each question, we would have to separate into 4 quadrants around the room and would discuss why we answered how we answered. Two statements I will never forget..."Abortion should be legal" and "The death penalty should be legal." (note: I am not going to debate these topics, don't read into this)

I "strongly agreed" with both. Every other person in the class either disagreed or strongly disagreed with both. I basically had to stand alone on an island and debate why I felt these things should be legal, with a group of 20 classmates and a priest basically belittling and insulting me. I remember feeling pretty embarrassed and ashamed, and thinking to myself after the fact "did they want us to answer the questions with how we really feel, or how the church would want us to answer them?" To this day that remains a sticking point of how I came to the realization that they didn't really take too kindly to independent thinkers. It was the first time I ever felt that they were borderline trying to brainwash kids. That may be a little harsh, but I'll never forget how bad I felt about myself that afternoon.

Found myself in similar "corners" a few times here in Texas, never fun but I've learned to keep my poise and let it go.

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Lots of ex-Catholic stories. What about ex-fundamentalist or evangelical? I'm at about step 1 of 25 in Jayrok's progression myself.

Mind if I ask what you consider as step 1, from your point of view?

I think it involves a 5th of whiskey, a midget and some farm animals.

Damn. Can't wait for Step 25, then.

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Lots of ex-Catholic stories. What about ex-fundamentalist or evangelical? I'm at about step 1 of 25 in Jayrok's progression myself.

Mind if I ask what you consider as step 1, from your point of view?

I think it involves a 5th of whiskey, a midget and some farm animals.

Damn. Can't wait for Step 25, then.

Oh yeah....but its only like legal in 5 of the continental United States and Alaska.

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I am definitely ex fundamentalist at this point in time myself. It's an interesting journey.

What led you to this point? Would you call yourself a more liberal Christian now? And/or how would you define a liberal Christian?

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Just for the sake of balance, I'll tell my much less interesting story.

My parents weren't particularly religious. They tried going to church when I was 3 or 4, but it was a weird scary baptist church and they quit going. I can remember not really believing in God from a very, very early age. Like 5 or 6. But as a kid, there was a lot of anxiety about that stuff. I remember people talking about The Exorcist as a true story and wondering if that girl didn't believe like me. And I certainly remember petitioning through prayer while feeling awful about not really believing in what I was doing. I'm not sure I knew the word, but I felt like a hypocrite.

By the time I hit junior high, though, it just wasn't a huge deal. I probably would have described myself as "not religious" then. But to my friends who either came up through CCD as Catholics or who were part of Young Life, I was "their atheist friend."

Before the internet, there really wasn't much cause to sit and talk about it much. It never went much beyond "I don't believe in God."

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Young Life retreats are where I realized everyone else actually took the stories in the Bible seriously (literally).

Purgatory ski trip #2 I apparently asked too many questions and I have never accepted "because" as an answer for anything. Was asked not to come back.

I had never noticed I was coming from a different place before this. Never occurred to me that people actually took things in that book literally, never occurred to a lot of them I didn't.

I never had quite an experience like this, but I did have an incident in 8th grade that I'll always remember made me question the Catholic Church. I went to a K-8 Catholic school, small school, my graduating class was 21. Every year, the 8th graders go on a "retreat" on one of the last days of the school year, which basically just means you spend the day at the church with a priest rather than in class. It was basically a day full of sermons and other religion-related activities.

At one point during the day, we were given a matrix - "strongly disagree - disagree - agree - strongly agree" - and were asked a serious of pretty heavy questions for a bunch of 8th graders. We each answered the questions independently and got back into the group. For each question, we would have to separate into 4 quadrants around the room and would discuss why we answered how we answered. Two statements I will never forget..."Abortion should be legal" and "The death penalty should be legal." (note: I am not going to debate these topics, don't read into this)

I "strongly agreed" with both. Every other person in the class either disagreed or strongly disagreed with both. I basically had to stand alone on an island and debate why I felt these things should be legal, with a group of 20 classmates and a priest basically belittling and insulting me. I remember feeling pretty embarrassed and ashamed, and thinking to myself after the fact "did they want us to answer the questions with how we really feel, or how the church would want us to answer them?" To this day that remains a sticking point of how I came to the realization that they didn't really take too kindly to independent thinkers. It was the first time I ever felt that they were borderline trying to brainwash kids. That may be a little harsh, but I'll never forget how bad I felt about myself that afternoon.

You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat. By the time you were in eighth grade you had most likely already also received your first communion so this presents a big problem. You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings.

I agree that the situation was handled inappropriately and what those in charge of the event should have done is pulled you aside and spoken in private about the matter. But to describe it as "brainwashing" is ludicrous. I myself remember repeatedly being singled out and called to question by classmates and teachers for my conservative stances on issues during the height of the counter-culture movement of the 1960's. I sympathize with your experience but it is hardly unique.

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat.

The kid was instructed to give an honest answer about his personal beliefs, and then he was badgered and belittled for doing it.

You do understand why that is an issue.........right?

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat. By the time you were in eighth grade you had most likely already also received your first communion so this presents a big problem. You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings.

I agree that the situation was handled inappropriately and what those in charge of the event should have done is pulled you aside and spoken in private about the matter. But to describe it as "brainwashing" is ludicrous. I myself remember repeatedly being singled out and called to question by classmates and teachers for my conservative stances on issues during the height of the counter-culture movement of the 1960's. I sympathize with your experience but it is hardly unique.

:lmao:

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat.

The kid was instructed to give an honest answer about his personal beliefs, and then he was badgered and belittled for doing it.

You do understand why that is an issue.........right?

I sure do. It happens here all the time.

:lmao:

See?

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For me, I remember that fateful day in Sept 2001. Outraged along with everyone else, I wanted to be part of the Christian soldiers ready to stand up against the enemies of God (which some thought would be the beginning of end times if/when Israel got into the war against terrorism, etc.). As active duty USAF, I deployed to kuwait in 2002 and again in 2003 then on to southern Iraq during Iraq Freedom. I remember going to services with fellow believers on Wednesday evenings in a tent down from the chow hall. I returned home that fall. Then in early 2004, the Passion of The Christ was released. Saw it with my wife and daughter (17). Very emotional as you probably remember.

I started thinking about the last several days of Jesus' passion as depicted in the gospels. I read, compared, studied. On and on. Keep in mind that I was a fundamentalist (lunacy IMO now). 100% God-breathed and so forth. Things started to not match up. I discovered that if "this" is true, then "that" in the other gospel cannot be true. April 2004. I read various Christian apologists and was satisfied, for a time. I briefly thought if part of it is bunk, then the whole thing is useless. But I realized I shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water. What really got me diving into the Bible is I wanted to know why the Jews rejected Jesus. And on I went from there, searching (and stumbling) for answers.

Lots of emotions dealing with things in my head. But, after some time I mellowed and settled into sort of a zone where I became comfortable with how I felt. I often read about ex-Christians who now are militant (IMO) atheists because their beliefs were shattered and now they are out to prove God doesn't exist and so forth (Dan Brown?). I never reached that point.

I think one of the biggest problems for many is they view the gospels as historical biographies. I know I did. As such I think they miss the point of the writings.

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat.

The kid was instructed to give an honest answer about his personal beliefs, and then he was badgered and belittled for doing it.

You do understand why that is an issue.........right?

I sure do. It happens here all the time.

:lmao:

See?

The :lmao: is not because of your religious beliefs, but your denial over brainwashing. You claim it's not brainwashing but state "You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings". In order words there's no room for questioning once you've done communion (maybe 7 years old) - at that point shut off your brain and believe what you're told.

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat.

The kid was instructed to give an honest answer about his personal beliefs, and then he was badgered and belittled for doing it.

You do understand why that is an issue.........right?

I sure do. It happens here all the time.

:lmao:

See?

The :lmao: is not because of your religious beliefs, but your denial over brainwashing. You claim it's not brainwashing but state "You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings". In order words there's no room for questioning once you've done communion (maybe 7 years old) - at that point shut off your brain and believe what you're told.

Yep. That's exactly what I said. In fact, everything I learned in high school, college, the military, post-graduate work, and years of professional continuing education has amounted to nothing because I "shut off my brain" and did what I was told starting around age seven.

An eighth grader is only a few years away from adulthood and will soon have to make some very important choices about their direction in life. Each individual ultimately gets to choose to be in communion with the church or not be in communion. The Catholic Church simply lays down the rules one must adhere to in order to retain that status.

I already said I thought the described situation was not handled appropriately so there's really nothing more to add on that. I do know that kids these days receive a greater amount of social pressure from the far more pervasive secular media than any religious entity.

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat. By the time you were in eighth grade you had most likely already also received your first communion so this presents a big problem. You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings.

I agree that the situation was handled inappropriately and what those in charge of the event should have done is pulled you aside and spoken in private about the matter. But to describe it as "brainwashing" is ludicrous. I myself remember repeatedly being singled out and called to question by classmates and teachers for my conservative stances on issues during the height of the counter-culture movement of the 1960's. I sympathize with your experience but it is hardly unique.

Of course I understand why they singled me out. The problem wasn't the priest's disagreement with my answers, it was the manner in which it was delivered.

I did expect, however, that at least someone out of the group would've answered similar to how I did. Again, were they looking for us to answer honestly or answer what is the "right answer" in the church's view? I know that 13 year olds aren't experts in such heavy topics, but you're at least old enough to have formed a basic opinion on the concepts and morality of the topics, in a broad overview sense.

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I am definitely ex fundamentalist at this point in time myself. It's an interesting journey.

What led you to this point? Would you call yourself a more Liberal Christian now? And/or how would you define a liberal Christian?

I would say that I am more liberal in the sense that I am willing to admit that the hermeneutic I have always been comfortable with may be flawed and I'm willing to listen to those who have a different view than the "plain reading" of Scripture and admit they may be correct. So more the colloquial definition of liberal rather than the traditional theological definition.

Do you find it difficult to discern which parts should be interpreted as figurative versus those that are meant as historical biography? Excluding the obvious, of course (e.g. a camel through the eye of a needle or same such sayings meant to make a point).

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat. By the time you were in eighth grade you had most likely already also received your first communion so this presents a big problem. You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings.

I agree that the situation was handled inappropriately and what those in charge of the event should have done is pulled you aside and spoken in private about the matter. But to describe it as "brainwashing" is ludicrous. I myself remember repeatedly being singled out and called to question by classmates and teachers for my conservative stances on issues during the height of the counter-culture movement of the 1960's. I sympathize with your experience but it is hardly unique.

Of course I understand why they singled me out. The problem wasn't the priest's disagreement with my answers, it was the manner in which it was delivered.

I did expect, however, that at least someone out of the group would've answered similar to how I did. Again, were they looking for us to answer honestly or answer what is the "right answer" in the church's view? I know that 13 year olds aren't experts in such heavy topics, but you're at least old enough to have formed a basic opinion on the concepts and morality of the topics, in a broad overview sense.

Well, in fairness, 13 is also probably old enough to know exactly what the Catholic Church expected them to answer when asked if they agreed with abortion.

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat. By the time you were in eighth grade you had most likely already also received your first communion so this presents a big problem. You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings.

I agree that the situation was handled inappropriately and what those in charge of the event should have done is pulled you aside and spoken in private about the matter. But to describe it as "brainwashing" is ludicrous. I myself remember repeatedly being singled out and called to question by classmates and teachers for my conservative stances on issues during the height of the counter-culture movement of the 1960's. I sympathize with your experience but it is hardly unique.

Of course I understand why they singled me out. The problem wasn't the priest's disagreement with my answers, it was the manner in which it was delivered.

I did expect, however, that at least someone out of the group would've answered similar to how I did. Again, were they looking for us to answer honestly or answer what is the "right answer" in the church's view? I know that 13 year olds aren't experts in such heavy topics, but you're at least old enough to have formed a basic opinion on the concepts and morality of the topics, in a broad overview sense.

Well, in fairness, 13 is also probably old enough to know exactly what the Catholic Church expected them to answer when asked if they agreed with abortion.

So it's the Inquisition? Say the right answer or else.

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat. By the time you were in eighth grade you had most likely already also received your first communion so this presents a big problem. You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings.

I agree that the situation was handled inappropriately and what those in charge of the event should have done is pulled you aside and spoken in private about the matter. But to describe it as "brainwashing" is ludicrous. I myself remember repeatedly being singled out and called to question by classmates and teachers for my conservative stances on issues during the height of the counter-culture movement of the 1960's. I sympathize with your experience but it is hardly unique.

Of course I understand why they singled me out. The problem wasn't the priest's disagreement with my answers, it was the manner in which it was delivered.

I did expect, however, that at least someone out of the group would've answered similar to how I did. Again, were they looking for us to answer honestly or answer what is the "right answer" in the church's view? I know that 13 year olds aren't experts in such heavy topics, but you're at least old enough to have formed a basic opinion on the concepts and morality of the topics, in a broad overview sense.

Well, in fairness, 13 is also probably old enough to know exactly what the Catholic Church expected them to answer when asked if they agreed with abortion.

I knew what the church "wanted" me to answer. I (incorrectly) thought they wanted our actual opinions on the topics being discussed. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about instilling that into kids....our church went about it the wrong way and it's something I won't forget. That's all I was trying to say :shrug: .

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat. By the time you were in eighth grade you had most likely already also received your first communion so this presents a big problem. You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings.

I agree that the situation was handled inappropriately and what those in charge of the event should have done is pulled you aside and spoken in private about the matter. But to describe it as "brainwashing" is ludicrous. I myself remember repeatedly being singled out and called to question by classmates and teachers for my conservative stances on issues during the height of the counter-culture movement of the 1960's. I sympathize with your experience but it is hardly unique.

Of course I understand why they singled me out. The problem wasn't the priest's disagreement with my answers, it was the manner in which it was delivered.

I did expect, however, that at least someone out of the group would've answered similar to how I did. Again, were they looking for us to answer honestly or answer what is the "right answer" in the church's view? I know that 13 year olds aren't experts in such heavy topics, but you're at least old enough to have formed a basic opinion on the concepts and morality of the topics, in a broad overview sense.

Well, in fairness, 13 is also probably old enough to know exactly what the Catholic Church expected them to answer when asked if they agreed with abortion.

So it's the Inquisition? Say the right answer or else.

Well, the difference in the "what else" pretty much distinguishes it from the inquisition.

I disagree with the Catholic Church on a great many things. I just don't think its particularly surprising to learn that the Church views moral instruction and clarification of church dogma as within its ambit. Its kind of what religions do. That they chose to do it in a ham-fisted style isn't all that surprising either, but I doubt that unfortunate choice of presentation says much about religion so much as the people in charge of that particular activity.

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat. By the time you were in eighth grade you had most likely already also received your first communion so this presents a big problem. You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings.

I agree that the situation was handled inappropriately and what those in charge of the event should have done is pulled you aside and spoken in private about the matter. But to describe it as "brainwashing" is ludicrous. I myself remember repeatedly being singled out and called to question by classmates and teachers for my conservative stances on issues during the height of the counter-culture movement of the 1960's. I sympathize with your experience but it is hardly unique.

Of course I understand why they singled me out. The problem wasn't the priest's disagreement with my answers, it was the manner in which it was delivered.

I did expect, however, that at least someone out of the group would've answered similar to how I did. Again, were they looking for us to answer honestly or answer what is the "right answer" in the church's view? I know that 13 year olds aren't experts in such heavy topics, but you're at least old enough to have formed a basic opinion on the concepts and morality of the topics, in a broad overview sense.

Well, in fairness, 13 is also probably old enough to know exactly what the Catholic Church expected them to answer when asked if they agreed with abortion.

I knew what the church "wanted" me to answer. I (incorrectly) thought they wanted our actual opinions on the topics being discussed. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about instilling that into kids....our church went about it the wrong way and it's something I won't forget. That's all I was trying to say :shrug: .

I get that. I was just pointing out that I don't think its a mystery as to why no one else answered that way. There were probably several people who actually did agree with you. But they were 13 and not particularly inclined to put targets on their foreheads.

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You do understand why that was an issue, right? What you by your own admission "strongly agreed" with is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church and you were on a school sponsored religious retreat. By the time you were in eighth grade you had most likely already also received your first communion so this presents a big problem. You cannot be in full communion with the Catholic Church while acting against its teachings.

I agree that the situation was handled inappropriately and what those in charge of the event should have done is pulled you aside and spoken in private about the matter. But to describe it as "brainwashing" is ludicrous. I myself remember repeatedly being singled out and called to question by classmates and teachers for my conservative stances on issues during the height of the counter-culture movement of the 1960's. I sympathize with your experience but it is hardly unique.

Of course I understand why they singled me out. The problem wasn't the priest's disagreement with my answers, it was the manner in which it was delivered.

I did expect, however, that at least someone out of the group would've answered similar to how I did. Again, were they looking for us to answer honestly or answer what is the "right answer" in the church's view? I know that 13 year olds aren't experts in such heavy topics, but you're at least old enough to have formed a basic opinion on the concepts and morality of the topics, in a broad overview sense.

Well, in fairness, 13 is also probably old enough to know exactly what the Catholic Church expected them to answer when asked if they agreed with abortion.

I knew what the church "wanted" me to answer. I (incorrectly) thought they wanted our actual opinions on the topics being discussed. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about instilling that into kids....our church went about it the wrong way and it's something I won't forget. That's all I was trying to say :shrug: .

I get that. I was just pointing out that I don't think its a mystery as to why no one else answered that way. There were probably several people who actually did agree with you. But they were 13 and not particularly inclined to put targets on their foreheads.

Parole Board chairman: They've got a name for people like you H.I. That name is called "recidivism."

Parole Board member: Repeat offender!

Parole Board chairman: Not a pretty name, is it H.I.?

H.I.: No, sir. That's one bonehead name, but that ain't me any more.

Parole Board chairman: You're not just telling us what we want to hear?

H.I.: No, sir, no way.

Parole Board member: 'Cause we just want to hear the truth.

H.I.: Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.

Parole Board chairman: Boy, didn't we just tell you not to do that?

H.I.: Yes, sir.

Parole Board chairman: Okay, then.

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I am definitely ex fundamentalist at this point in time myself. It's an interesting journey.

What led you to this point? Would you call yourself a more Liberal Christian now? And/or how would you define a liberal Christian?

I would say that I am more liberal in the sense that I am willing to admit that the hermeneutic I have always been comfortable with may be flawed and I'm willing to listen to those who have a different view than the "plain reading" of Scripture and admit they may be correct. So more the colloquial definition of liberal rather than the traditional theological definition.

Do you find it difficult to discern which parts should be interpreted as figurative versus those that are meant as historical biography? Excluding the obvious, of course (e.g. a camel through the eye of a needle or same such sayings meant to make a point).

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/fox-historian-more-evidence-than-atheists-would-ever-imagine-that-jonah-was-swallowed-by-a-whale/

This guy doesn't find it difficult

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I am definitely ex fundamentalist at this point in time myself. It's an interesting journey.

What led you to this point? Would you call yourself a more Liberal Christian now? And/or how would you define a liberal Christian?

I would say that I am more liberal in the sense that I am willing to admit that the hermeneutic I have always been comfortable with may be flawed and I'm willing to listen to those who have a different view than the "plain reading" of Scripture and admit they may be correct. So more the colloquial definition of liberal rather than the traditional theological definition.

Do you find it difficult to discern which parts should be interpreted as figurative versus those that are meant as historical biography? Excluding the obvious, of course (e.g. a camel through the eye of a needle or same such sayings meant to make a point).

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/fox-historian-more-evidence-than-atheists-would-ever-imagine-that-jonah-was-swallowed-by-a-whale/

This guy doesn't find it difficult

oy vey

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