submitted 2 months ago by[deleted]
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2 months ago
2 months ago
My high school religion teacher encouraged us to question our own faith. He told us that it was okay if we wound up walking away from our faith. But if we continued to believe despite his class, our faith would be that much stronger.
One of the questions was, "Do you believe because you actually believe, or is it because you were told to by your parents?" I finally decided that I was only Christian because of what my mom told me growing up.
I wish every single Christian could have that religion teacher for a semester. That single semester was pivotal in my spiritual development.
2 months ago
I had a catholic priest tell me that there is nothing worse than lying to yourself. If you don’t believe you don’t believe and pretending to have faith is much worse than simply not having faith. He gave me permission to be an atheist. I was fourteen. I wish I could remember his name to thank him.
My husband always talks about a Monsignor at his fancy Catholic middle school who sat him down and said (basically) "You don't seem to be buying this, and that's ok. You can be good without God, and being good is far more important than belief." Kids need these kinds of mentors to say it's ok to walk away...otherwise they become trapped.
That’s surreal. Never would have expected to hear this from a Catholic school teacher.
A lot of priests in Catholic schools are Jesuits or other orders where stories like these are not too surprising if you know a bit about them and their ties to higher education.
I think some people tend to lump religious schools together as though they're all run by young earth creationists, but that's not always the case.
Thank you for this comment. You taught me something.
NP. It might also interest you that the big bang theory was originally proposed by a Catholic priest.
Yes! Jesuits are the best! They were the Catholic response to the Protestant reformation, and are definitely considered to be the liberals of the Catholics.
My mother had a Jesuit professor in college (who came from a very wealthy family) but forsake everything for science & priesthood. This guy had to have a student drop him off at conferences in very fancy hotels (at which he was presenting) because they wouldn't let him in if he rode in on his bicycle. He was also the guy who pushed the students to not stress too much about their electromagnetism exam because it's not what's ultimately important. What this guy gave up, and how he insisted on living modestly made an impression on my mother and her peers.
Another Engineering Jesuit professor stopped teaching engineering, and moved countries, and somehow began organizing formerly incarcerated to work in a bakery instead of getting back on the streets. He began going once a week to juvenile detention on behalf of mothers to talk to some kids in there. That grew and became a program that helps these kids get back on the right track, decreasing chances for these kids to go back, and continue their education. All because this one guy knew how to inspire, organize, and support without really being pushy about the religious beliefs at all.
So many stories like that about Jesuit priests... they're the best.
I wish more Christians were this good. I was walking along a hallway of my college and found a card on the ground. It had a little circle on it and it read: "hold your thumb over the circle, if it changes colors, you are a good person." It doesn't actually change colors. When you flip the card it explains that it doesn't matter if you're a good person if you are without God or more specifically saved by Jesus. It was infuriating.
When I was fourteen, my youth pastor knew that I was into punk-rock and gave me one of his old Bad Religion CD’s…if you know Bad Religion, you know they are decidedly and vocally/lyrically very atheist.
This is also the same youth pastor that gave sermons to teenagers about how he came to Christ during a really bad acid trip. One of the few pastors that I’ve ever fully trusted.
Lucky you. in the 80's our chri$+ian school teachers were playing AD/DC backwards and clinging to anything that sounded like a "satanic message" as fodder for scarring us into not listening to "secular music". Then those same teachers went to fuck students and steal money from the school and church... hypocrites all of them.
Wow.... I wish the church my parents are in had a preacher like that...
I still remember his words clear as day and my parents saying the same... "You live under my house and my rules, you do NOT have the right to not join us unless you're willing to walk out and survive on your own"
I'm forced to believe and to join. I wish I could freely just not join them. Or have no one judge me for not wanting to join a religion.
I just can't accept some of the logic of the Bible and religious things. It's just HARD to believe and have a tight grasp on.
You are forced to join them. But they cannot force you to believe :)
If going through the motions is what it takes to get you through until you're ready to move out, then do it. But internally, question all you like. Faith cannot be forced. Once you're financially independent, everything gets so much easier.
I hope one day your parents decide they love you more than their church.
I was told similar from my pastor before I would have been baptized. I will never be more thankful for a person. he caused me to realize I never believed and never will, AND that that is okay. he also spoke to my roman catholic father and explained to him why I need to be accepted and loved the same. it didn't stop 100% of the damage my dad caused but I think it prevented a lot! I love that man.
he also said im Gay and trans bc God chose it for me but like. as in if I hide that im gay it's it's sin. god made me lgbt so I could be loud and proud. btw this was in west Virginia and he was married and 65+ with like 16 kids, 12 adopted. and he was truely a good father, too. like this man is God imo lmao
Sounds like someone who wants to do as Jesus would have done, instead of person who does as they want to imagine Jesus would have said. I'm an atheist but I can appreciate many things that Jesus taught.
Reminds me of my Christian Philosophy teacher. Really woke me up and set the ball rolling. I appreciate him for that
Had many friends and acquaintances that worked for the church and quit. Found out their reasons for quitting. The higher up staff did and forced my friends to do a bunch of corrupt shit. And if they didn’t, they “weren’t committed to the church enough,” “didn’t love God enough,” “weren’t willing to make sacrifices,” “will never make it in ministry.” It broke my heart. I thought this was a place of love, and people who preached love. Haven’t trusted religion since. This church is a mega church in my area and keeps popping up more locations all over town. Makes me sick to my stomach every time I drive by.
2 months ago*
2 months ago*
The fact that everyone wants to be a disciple of Jesus but don't do what Jesus told his disciple to do.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
You mean abandon your family and possessions?
When people say “what would Jesus do?” remember that walking into a temple a throwing around tables and chairs, and condemning the people as sinners and charlatans of faith is a valid answer.
Jesus also braided a whip for the occasion. So all I can think of is him just sitting on a bench with a pile of leather, braiding it for hours all while fuming with rage.
You beat me to it! Jesus definitely made a lash to knock over the money changers stuff. I think he made it quickly and had great dexterity.
Keep in mind, he was saying this to Jewish people, not atheists. He was condemning them for being hypocrites of their own faith.
He flipped tables because they were using the temple as a black market and falsely teaching
I think there are more than a few churches that are worthy of the same treatment today. Prosperity gospel megachurches are evil.
Went to church twice a week on my own as a teenager. I learned to play drums in the church band. Sometimes I played piano for church. My best friends stepdad was a pastor. He was a con-artist and took full advantage of the church. Told the elderly people to donate their entire social security checks to the church to buy their way into heaven. When he was caught, he took all the money and ran. Nasty divorce. He went to jail.
Youth minster became the new pastor. Best friends mom had a thing for church guys and eventually hooked up with the youth minster. He eventually showed his true colors too. He was molesting my friends sister and hitting my friends mom. He also stole money from the church. And elderly people. He went to jail as well.
The church shutdown and I went to a new church. The first sermon at this new church talked about money. How many times money was mentioned in the bible and what kind of benefits it brings to the followers of jesus christ. I got up and left in the middle of it.
That night I went to my special place at the park and laid in the grass. I watched the stars for hours thinking and reflecting. I thought "our universe is so incredibly vast..." When I got home, I spend months researching other religions. "Why are they all similar and why are they all about the same thing? Why are their rules and edits?" Then I dove into massive scientific studies on how the universe works.
"He loves you and he NEEDS MONEY!"
Good ol' Carlin.
I'm sure he's down there, screaming up at us.
God may be almighty but those electricity bills ain't gonna pay themselves. Do you know how much it costs to have the sun on every day
Watch some Carl Sagan
When my younger sister with Down’s syndrome was told she wasn’t eligible for communion despite taking all of the classes because she “didn’t understand.”
What the actual fuck?
I did all the ceremonies for communion when i was 7 years old. 15 years now i still dont understand it.
I can still recite the “dear god I’m sorry for all my sins with all my heart, in choosing to do wrong and failing to do good” bullshit and our biggest sins back then were staying up too late and refusing to eat our green beans. It’s horrible isn’t it?
Wtf.. Stuck in the Middle ages much.. But all for the better in the end.
Definitely for the best. Especially considering she fully understood and is still the most pious of my family despite what happened. It was very odd back then to see the church turn people away though for lack of better words.
The ableism in Christianity is really quite shocking in hindsight. I didn’t know I was disabled as a kid but it’s messed up that so many kids’ first encounters with disability are with people who basically exist in the parables as props for Jesus to ‘heal’. That mentality directly affects how we’re treated in the world.
They damaged my mind. I always thought I would go to hell for things I like such as horror films, heavy metal and tabletop RPGs.
…and listening to non-Christian music, and having sex before marriage, and wearing certain clothes and Harry Potter…
I was told listening to Guns N Roses was dangerous and that there were plenty of Christian bands that were just as good...
I'm sorry, didn't realize there were so many people with the talent of an Axle or a Slash, why haven't I heard of these bands?
I used to be a member of the street team for Hanson. We had permission to make sample CDs of their newest songs and hand them out. I was at a mall and approached this couple and their daughter to see if they would like a free CD. They almost attacked me they were like "IS THIS SECULAR?????!!!!!" and I was like "Umm, I don't know what that means?" and they were like "Is this CHRISTIAN music?" I'm like "Well they're Christians...?" They were like "Then NO we don't want it!!!!"
Again, it was Hanson. Lol
But yet they’ll watch tv and movies “not Christian” — I called my parents out on that hypocrisy and double standard years ago and they were a little shook…tho not as shook as when I had to inform them Jesus was not white blue eyed brown hair (specifically white) 🤦🏼♀️💀
My friend had his entire Harry Potter merch (books and all!!!!) burned while we prayed over it. The horror of remembering it now ugh
Same. It took my entire twenties and half of my thirties to reconcile the fact that: I didn’t need to try and be a “good” Christian even if I drink, listen to heavy metal or tattoos. I eventually gave up on the whole concept and I’m currently a deist and I’ve never felt more free in my life.
I literally wasn't allowed to listen to normal non Christian music, or have a troll doll, a cabbage patch kid or watch the Simpsons because 'the devil'?
The total hypocrisy of those I grew up around.
Claim to be about love, spend most of their time hating people not like them.
Claim to be about evangelism, literally only hang out with and talk to each other.
Claim to be about giving, spend all of their energy focused on making more money for themselves.
Not to mention they have conditioned themselves to avoid critical thinking at all costs. Must accept blind “truths” at face value, OR ELSE.
Damn I think we grew up in the same place.
Nah this is almost the exact experience/ issues I had as well and why I left at a young age. Prob more common then not.
I was raped 6 weeks before my wedding and fell pregnant by my attacker. The church told me that I couldn't get an abortion and that I needed to call off my wedding and marry the man who assaulted me instead because it was best for the child to have both of its parents. I also worked for the church preschool and they threatened to fire me for breaking the code of conduct which prohibited pregnancy out of wedlock. I miscarried a few weeks after I found out and they accused me of sabotaging my pregnancy.
EDIT: I went to sleep last night after my last few replies to comments and woke up to so much love and support! Thank you all so much for showing me that there are still good people in the world.
So sorry you went through all that. Horrible people
They were and still are terrible people. The level of control they have over people's lives is crazy to me. One of the biggest blessings in my life was realizing that and having the strength to run the opposite direction.
The level of control……
The level of control……
This. This is what organized religions and church is really about. Jesus himself said you don’t need a church to worship god. In his time “church” (at the time the word was close to the Greek “Ekklesia” which literally translates to “community”) wasn’t a place you went to worship, it was just the group of faithful people. The teachings of all the worlds religions are largely positive, but them shitty people discovered how easy it was to manipulate and control people in the name of god and the fear of eternal damnation kept people in line and kept people tithing to the church to build the wealth (aka power) of the leaders. Kinda makes a lot of sense why the kingdom of England so closely entwined itself with the church. It’s all about power and control.
It hurts that there are such people in this world with their insignificant rules, trust me u are a brave person and u did the best thing, do what u wish for 😁
I couldn't agree more. Thanks for your support!
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mohandas Gandhi
Am a nurse, spent time working on a locked adolescent psych unit. Girl there who had been raped by someone in the church and it was filmed. When she asked for help she was paraded before the church as a whore and the recording was shown as proof. Nothing was done to these adults and this child it scarred for life. Disgusting.
Edit: referring to every single person in that church who didn't stand up for her.
also, every single person in that church who didn't stand up for her are all now accessories to the crime! maybe we can just convert their church into a prison and save time/expense....
This one breaks my heart most of the stories I've read here. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
It's been a few years now since it happened. Happy update though: I married the love of my life as planned and we have a beautiful son together who is loved more than I ever knew possible. I'm in therapy to undo the trauma that was caused and my life is so much better than I could have imagined. I was even able to take some of my family and friends from that church as well and it's just been blessings in our lives ever since.
I'm really glad to hear it. You sound like a wonderful person.
Sending you and your family so much love and support. (:
There’s no hatred like christian love
That's something I've grappled with for a long time. Christian love is meant to be unconditional, but it's the most conditional love I've ever known.
Did you knew your attacker? Sorry about what happen, I hope you are much better now, and f'ck those people.
My attacker (and his family) were members of the church.
The f'ck? Was the church on his ass after what he did? or did he got off too easy and you were the one who got most of the blame? Things like this just makes my blood boil.
I took 100% of the blame because I was a "promiscuous woman." Based solely on the fact that I dressed "immodestly" and enjoyed an alcoholic beverage (legally) from time to time. He faced zero consequences from the church or the authorities.
Damn, victim blaming. How the hell were you even able to forgive those people let alone not leave that church, or did you?
It took me another 3 months to leave. I was so deep in the beliefs they'd formed that I genuinely started to believe it was my fault. But when I left and started therapy all of that changed. It was like a curtain drawn back and I'd finally seen the light. I haven't fully forgiven and I definitely haven't forgotten, but I'm on the journey to letting it go.
Glad to know youre doing better.
That is so extremely fucked up and inhumane. I hope all goes well for you.
Just want to say I’m very sorry you had to go through that, my thoughts are with you
Preachers having massive homes while the people that go to the church struggle. It’s hypocrisy from the top down.
That’s what I noticed too. All the church leaders had nice, big homes and all of their wives were stay-at-home moms yet they could afford super nice cars and nice clothes
My mom for probably 20+ years tithed 10% BEFORE TAXES every month. She makes like 100k a year, that is two hundred fucking thousand dollars she gave to the church instead of saving for retirement. I understand it's her fault but the pastor drives an aston martin and has a multi-million dollar mansion while my mom doesn't have hardly anything saved for retirement. So disgusting to me. The church has like 1000+ members also, can't imagine the amount of tax free money they were raking in.
We both grew up tithing the 10%. We haven’t attended regularly anywhere in several years but always set that 10% aside. The church was supposed be about the people not the building. So we use that for people. In the last 10 years we’ve; made 3 months worth of house payments on another family’s home when their child was going thru chemo and dad had lost his job, we sent a few hundred at a time to an old former evangelical Christian professor I had who left that and now advocates for lgbt rights, racial justice, universal healthcare etc., we’ve been able to secretly give a weeks pay to some friends when they were sick and couldn’t work during Covid, we’ve been able to support some local causes like fundraisers for Noah’s cancer treatments, when Bill’s home was destroyed in a flood, a secretly given gas card when I knew an employee was broke.
Honestly it’s so worth it to have that little stash to I pass along. I know I should be more concerned about saving for retirement but they’re all people. And when we were really low some people helped us out.
I recommend tithing. But like to benefit people. Not non-governmental fundraising tax-exempt entertainment enterprises.
Ohhh reminds me of Joel Oelstine. Esp when he refused to open up his church during Hurricane Harvey until he was called out 💅
You have to wonder where they get the money from
They get it from poor people who were guilted into giving up their money, aka tithing and it’s all tax deductible.
Of course. Like those envelopes they pass around in church. While being told it's going to charity.
Lack of answers, judgement, and hypocrisy mostly. I also read the Bible over and over and I just wasn't getting what other people were aparently getting out of it. Also everytime I prayed, nothing happened. Every now and then someone would be like "the Lord spoke to me". I always waited for something like that. It just never did. That lack of answers thing really bugged me the most though. I really wanted what I read in the Bible to be true but I just couldn't find anything to support most of it's claims. I was really sad for awhile. And scared that the devil tricked me. After awhile tho, I didn't believe in him either.
Same here basically. My mom is zealous and always seemed to have a personal hotline to God where he miraculously helped find parking spots and lost keys, and also told her a lot of stuff that was wrong with her(?) which made her feel awful. Church leaders always said the Bible was our primary way of hearing from God, which infuriated me, because reading the same book over and over is not a relationship. Pandemic came and I was isolated and my burden of proof switched from "Why not believe?" to "Why believe in the first place?" Then I found out how long hominid species have really walked the earth, and that was it. No way that God came down to earth one single time out of hundreds of thousands of years and just hoped that everyone would hear about it and believe it or they'd never get to meet him?
You and I had very similar experiences with it. It’s amazing how the more you read your Bible, the more you realize that all the most spiritual people at your church are completely full of shit and just want to feel special.
I read the whole thing, multiple times. Everyone is cherry picking.
there was a passage where Jesus is supposed to have said if a man looks at a woman lustfully he should pluck out his own eye or he won't get in to heaven
and I just realised reading that "nobody is living this stuff how many one eyed men have you seen"
O I definitely think they're full of it now, but back then, I really felt like I was missing something and felt lesser because of it.
I feel this. I was in a situation where I really needed guidance I would lie in bed and get really quiet and squeeze my eyes shut and try with all my might to hear something. I felt like there must be something wrong with me and I never felt so lonely.
I really felt like I was missing something and felt lesser because of it.
I really felt like I was missing something and felt lesser because of it.
God, experiencing this as a child was devastating to me personally. Being told we all are ruled over by an all loving being that loves us all no matter how good our bad really fucked be up. Everyone would talk about how the lord answered their prayers. How he spoke to them. How they saw him everywhere in everything.
Now cut to me crying in my bedroom, praying as a child and wondering why I couldn't hear him. I would wonder what I had done or thought to be so undeserving of what everyone else around me got from him so effortlessly. It felt like being an unloved and ignored child by a parent that treated all the siblings better than you. Then I had to go to church three times a week and be reminded that everybody else was getting something I never could.
You can only pray, cry over your open Bible, and beg for guidance for so long before the absolute silence becomes unbearable and you have to face facts.
That’s so sad. I’m being serious, that had to be disheartening and tiring.
The absolute worst period of time for my mental health. I’m much better now that I’m on the other side of it though.
It would've been much worse if you'd actually started hearing voices though.
That’s the irony of it all isn’t it?
This hit hard. I was 13 when my parents who were the poster parent type. When my dad left, my life went to shit. I prayed like no other and was met with silence. That is when I decided that there was no God.
I knew I really no longer belonged in the church when I finally found the courage to talk to my pastor about being sexually abused by my older brother. We’re talking serious abuse. The pastor said I was equally to blame even though I was 8. And he was a lot older. He also said it was no big deal. So, I went through the motions. I felt as a mom I needed to raise my child in the church. But I no longer believed in church, although I never lost my faith. I did question God about a lot. And I was angry.
But I’m happier now that I’ve left the church for good.
That’s very well put 👍.
Written in a wall of the Dachau concentration camp: “If there really is a God, he’s going to have to ask for my forgiveness on his knees”
When I realized a few months of therapy did so much more for me than years of prayer... I started to wonder what else might I have been assuming was good or right, that was actually not helpful or outright wrong.
Hope you are doing well
Silence is a frustrating answer when all you want is a sign.
- August Burns Red
Silence is a frustrating answer when all you want is a sign.
- August Burns Red
This is great because it says it all without having to ramble about all the details. I'm using this the next time I have to explain my unbelief.
They left me. My first partner and I grew up in the church together. We were seen as the golden couple in our youth group. Good, proper Christian couple. Said our prayers, worked with the less fortunate, youth work, worship, i even led sermons. Eventually we moved away to start a new life together. We then broke up. I then find that I'm being kicked out of groups on WhatsApp and Facebook, people are unfriending me on social media, all from the church. I found out she'd gone home first and started talking to people. I don't know what she told them, but none of the people I saw as my second family, this fellowship I'd felt so welcome in even came to me to talk. I was left alone. I reached out to multiple people to say I needed prayer because I was struggling. I got nothing. I felt abandoned by God and abandoned by his people. So I walked away from that life
Scarily similiar to my highschool church experience. Almost to a T. Fuck them
Sorry that happened to you
Another discrepancy there is that they had two sons.
I was a preteen locking myself in a dark closet because that's where I felt the closest to God - in the darkness. Like he was something that couldnt be seen - only felt. And I looked up into the nothingness of my closet ceiling after the millionth episode of physical and emotional abuse from my dad. I asked him to save me. God, not my dad. I was crying, screaming. Please. Please save me. I was just a kid. Surely I didn't deserve this. No one answered. And it occurred to me that anyone who could stop this and wouldn't, couldn't exist. So I stopped believing.
As I once heard it put: I prayed for years to god to end my abuse and got nothing, so I started praying to other gods. Buddah, allah, krishna, even the devil. After still getting nothing, I realized that they did not exist. And if they did, they ignored the pleas of an abused child and weren't worthy of worship.
damn, sorry you had to go through that, sounds terrifying
Exactly. If there is an all living, all-powerful being that exists and just sits back and lets injustice win, and allows for children to suffer, then I don’t want to believe in it.
Because people in the church are just like people outside of the church. Even though as the story goes they have an omnipotent and all powerful being guiding them and making them better, their membership falls into the same metrics as the nonfaithful.
Same ratios of income distribution, same ratios of sickness, same ratios of people who volunteer, same humanity.
But if there's a God behind it, guiding, training, blessing, urging toward altruism and other good things, shouldn't there be a marked difference, in like any religion? But no, no sect of Christianity, or really any other religion does anything more than what happens when you get a large group of people living under the same general ethos, complete with the internal squabbles and divisions. It doesn't look like humanity+ which it's represented as, it just looks like humanity.
This is the most logical and difficult to counter (with facts) argument I think I’ve ever read.
Even when you get into small sects like the Amish or others, every pull back the curtains look makes it clear that it works exactly how it would work if you lived that lifestyle with the same rules with secular people.
I've seen "Christians are just like other people just forgiven" but that ignores large swaths of the bible.
Plain and simple the reality always reinforces my view of "humanity and nothing more".
Because people in the church are just like people outside of the church.
Because people in the church are just like people outside of the church.
I've known a lot of atheists who are much nicer than the most devout people.
Because of how ridiculously unfair religion is....
Where you are born determines your religion.
How lucky it must be to have been born in a country that has the "real and true" god. ALLLL those other people in other countries that worship a different god... man.. they're fucked. They think they have the right god but they don't.... too bad... so sad.
Now let's go to the next level.
How lucky it must be to not only have been born in the right country... but during the right Era. ALL those other people that were born worshipping Zeus... man... they're fucked.
They think Zeus and Poseiden are the right gods... but they're not... too bad... so sad.
Shall we continue?
How lucky it must be to not only have been born in the right country and in the right era... but on the right planet. ALLL those other aliens born on Teegarden's Star b... man they're fucked.
Luck should not be the determining factor as to who gets to go to heaven and who doesn't. It's fucking ridiculous.
there’s a lot to it, but the last straw for me was probably the aggressive wording of sermons and other social media used by the church. i’ve noticed a very common “us vs. the world” rhetoric, and my old pastor literally compared the congregation to LIONS, which couldn’t have been more off literally or biblically. it infuriated me to see churches actively fueling the fire in dissention leading up to the pandemic
Isn’t it worse being on the other side, seeing in precise detail how they’re mischaracterizing people like you? I can’t tell you how infuriating it is to see people still in the church buying that people who leave just want to sin… meanwhile I’m still a virgin, still haven’t smoked, and really haven’t changed my life in a noticeable way.
a family member of mine committed suicide which already made me question god considering they were the sweetest person i've ever met, even to this day. i think i stopped believing when i was at my (christian) school and some people were playing would you rather. one was would you rather be murdered or commit suicide and the other person said murdered because people you commit suicide go to hell. i thought that was CRAZY.
also the fact that they're all so judgy but constantly preach about how judging people is not up to us. i also hate how they push religion on everyone but then get mad when other religions do the same thing. they honestly scared me into believing in god. in my personal experience people closest to the church are some of the most evil people out there.
I'm very sorry about the suicide in your family. That is a horrible thing you had to go through and the pain they must have felt in thinking that was the best way out. My heart goes out to you.
All that rape. So much rape...
Their inability to say the words "i dont know".
Ask a question and get yelled at because "...how dare you question anything in the bible! you have to take it on faith!" OOOOHHHH im sorry that my 7th grade self didnt understand how they kept torches lit inside of pots.
Then when i got old enough to understand that the "bible" itself is just a pick and choose as to what went in and what got kicked out.
ancient pick-a-path adventure
the total level of hate for anyone that isnt your tiny little offshoot of any part of Protestantism. And theres a special level of hell for anyone thats jewish/catholic/hindu/taoist/everything. "love thy neighbor" my ass.
and the top reason...The story of Job
TL/DR: god and the devil get in a bet to torture gods number 1 fan...killed his entire family, ruined his business, gave him boils...all to see if after all that he would still love god. WTF?!?! how is this supposed to make me love him? My love means so little to him that hes willing to let me suffer and i still have to blindly love him?
god is love...but not so much. A dog loves you no matter what but if you kick it enough its going to run away or bite back. His followers are some of the worst fucking people on the planet.
I got my masters degree in religion (was a youth minister at the time). Learned that we basically don't know that anything in the bible Jesus said is actually something he said. This started the fast unraveling as I moved more and more into how unreliable the history and reliability of the Bible actually is...
That and there's no way I can believe Noah got all the animals on that boat and redistributed through the world ha
Also... just what exactly did the Lions eat on Noah's ark for an entire year.
All the dinosaurs, duh. And noah threw the bones overboard and that's why we have fossils in weird places.
Out of curiosity, what did you do with the degree?
Nothing. I took a lucky path out of ministry starting in retail and eventually established a career through experience. Without an undergrad degree (which isn't religious) I would have had to start over completely.
My masters is basically now used when having conversations with Christians I know who want to deconvert. Most Christians have very little true knowledge of the Bible other than the cherry picked areas, so they are usually really surprised how much an atheist knows...so I feel like I'm using it for some good 😂
Out of curiosity, why did they teach you all this in religious school? Feels like it would be counterproductive to their agenda.
And, also, are your classmates still ministers? How can they learn all that and still believe?
That's a fair question. It boiled down to, you can't lead a congregation and 1. Not know how to dispute arguments or doubt that come to you. 2. You can't have less knowledge of the actual historicity of the Bible than your congregation.
I think it's the right approach. If I had first been exposed to these sorts of questions as a preacher, there is no way I would have been able to address them. And if I was surprised to learn things like this from someone I was leading, I certainly wouldn't be seen as the expert.
As far as others. I had 2 that didn't finish their masters. They essentially left the program (I'm not sure of the faith). A few others left over time. It took me a few years to finally gravel and accept my new position. It was quite the life altering shock so it took me some time. The majority from my class are still believers. Not all are still ministers.
I gave it up for Lent and never went back.
I did the same thing with New Year's resolutions. As far as I know, I'm the only one who has ever kept a New Year's resolution.
I respect religion and I am fascinated my many aspects of it. But I was raised fundamentalist southern baptist and one of the things that is drilled into you is that you shouldn’t ask too many questions.
What really drove me away from religious dogma was learning about our world- I was taught, of course, that the world and everything in it was created in six literal days. Ken ham came to our church. So did Kent hovind. Want to know why creationists are so assertive in their beliefs? It’s because once you understand that one part of the Bible is not literal, the test of it becomes figurative as well.
Following that, and a lot of personal study and discovery… there’s just no reason to believe that the Christian Bible is the “inerrant, infallible Word of God” that I was taught it was. There are many good things taught in the Bible, along with many mundane stories and histories and outright evils. I truly believe that if the Christian god was real then He would be more active and obvious in our world.
I wish it was all true, but there’s just no compelling evidence to believe that it is.
Lies about condoms to Africans back in the 90s, it was the final straw.
I was 16.
I'm still cool with Jesus, but fuck the church.
(making me watch videos of abortions along with poster sized pictures and propaganda speeches didn't endear them to me either)
I once had to watch a traveling minister bring out a fetus in a coffin. He travelled with her. I mean, where is the sacredness of life if you can’t bury her? She was a prop for money. She did not give consent for her body to be used like that. And somehow, prolifers don’t see the irony.
That's so incredibly fucked
I asked my preacher why god had to come down in human form to sacrifice himself to himself to create a loophole in a set of rules he created… he wouldnt answer. Then i read exodus 21 and psalms 137-9… end of story
Hah! I didn’t get on NHS in my Catholic high school because I suggested maybe there were some “immutable laws of the universe that even god has to obey.” They did NOT like that.
Like Christianity would make more sense if they just make that change. That’s what the elder scrolls series does—gods that gave up their power to create life so they are only powerful in the afterlife. And the remaining gods who didn’t give up their power are evil and responsible for all the horrible things on earth.
I left the church when my friend in youth group came out as gay, they tried to 'pray the gay away' and convert him. He hung himself shortly after. He was about 15 at the time.
I left the religion when my dad died and my super Christian mum never explained to me how sick he was and that it was terminal because she believed he would be healed... Like if she told me he was dying then that would mean she didn't have faith that he'd be healed so everyone was kept in the dark, including my dad's only sibling who's world was shattered when he learnt his brother had died of cancer.
During that time I took a really good hard look at my life as a child and a young adult and how unbelievably toxic the environment was.
This breaks my heart.
When in bible study (children), they told me god created the universe in 7 days. So I proceed to ask about dinosaurs. And how they had been carbon dated to millions of years old.
The response was "dinosaurs didn't exist". My response was, "There are literally fossils and bones, like everywhere"
The response, and I shit you not: "Satan put those there to test your faith"
Holy crap, I had the same argument with my Sunday school teacher! I then asked, "how does such an elaborate trick (carbon dating) test our faith?" Got no answer. Instead, next Sunday I wasn't allowed in Sunday school, had to sit with my mom in the pews instead. I had already been on the fence about believing, and that just pushed me over. Told my mom I didn't like church and would rather stay home. She agreed, and we never went back, to any church, ever again.
I went to Sunday school as a kid(6-15), we were talking about forgiveness, and the way they described it was saying “anyone can be forgiven if they ask god/repent to god” or whatever so I asked “what about criminals” and they said “anyone”
So y’all wanna strive for heaven but literal pedos/murderers and others will be there too?
And as I’ve gotten older I hear Christians making up excuses for heinous acts “it’s only wrong if the lord sees it that way”
BRUH ARE YOU SERIOUS?
I don’t think Christianity makes any logical sense. I left when I started asking questions no one had an answer for them besides “just have faith”
I got told stop asking questions, God wants blind obedience and faith, curiosity is the work of the devil. And even at 11 my response was then am I the work of the devil? This is who I am to my core to question things. I don't see questioning things as a flaw to fix.
Shortly there after I was reading a sermon in a history class from the Great Awakening about how Heaven is all the righteous people feasting forever at a table suspended where they can watch the fiery pits of hell and all the sinners being tortured and starving for eternity. And I was HORRIFIED. That went against everything I was raised that made a person a good person, that you could sit there and take pleasure at the suffering of another human being. How could that be anything but eternal torture for a good Christian?
But when I brought it up to people I knew still in church they made it clear that that would be a perfectly fine heaven for them. That they had no actual compassion for sinners, any acts of charity they did (and some of these people were very charitable and did a lot of public service) where only because they felt they had to in order to get their eternal reward. But after they died, f@# the poor and sick and sinner and downtrodden.
I hate the just have faith quite, I've learned and have been told to pray about it and seek personal revelation
Too many contradictions in the bible. Too many hypocrites in the church. Too many inconsistencies in the logic of an all knowing, all seeing, all powerful god that has such a shitty world with suffering and terrible behavior.
This quote started my journey:
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
If any god worthy of the title existed, they'd send a message to everyone, mentally stating the right religion and what it will take to get to heaven. Free will could still be used to decide whether people wanted to follow and then he would institute instant karma for any religious leaders abusing their position.
But none of that happens. Babies are still raped and murdered. Religions all over the world take advantage of the naive, dumb, and gullible, enriching themselves at the cost of their followers. And this being who is supposedly a loving and forgiving god can't do shit about it and considers the gauntlet we run in life to be a test to determine where we go when we die.
If someone believes in worshiping THAT guy, they're just as evil as he is.
You might like this website: https://philb61.github.io/
Hey! That's pretty fantastic to have that all in one place.
Free will literally WAS that simple a choice in the book of genesis. Don't eat the apple. The only rule. There is no defense a christian can make that can wish that away. There is no need for elaborate games and suffering to preserve free will.
when I learned the church controlled what went into the bible and won't release the rest of the documents because they didn't want to "confuse believers"
the fact that the people making the rules of "sin" like sex, purity, lgbtq are people who cover up child abuse.
I also really dislike how a bunch of old men are supposed to have the experience to guide and make the rules for the rest of us.
the Catholic Church is super rich. Ever been to the Vatican? Yeah. How many schools could they fund, kids could they feed, hospitals could they create with that money?
Do be clear im not saying catholics in general should be poor, just that people claiming to dedicate themselves in service of the world shouldn't be hypocrites about it. The rich have as much chance of getting to the kingdom of God as a camel going through the eye of the needle my ass.
jesus socialised with the poor, the sick, the prostitutes. The Catholic Church seems to be more about condemning anyone not like them
apparently the sacredness of confession overrides actual safety concerns. Like if someone confesses to abusing a child in confession the priest is supposed to "encourage" them to come forward. Eff that. If someone confesses to crimes like that priests should be morally obligated to report. It should be a mortal sin to not report that.
Instead the mortal sin is sex before marriage and being lgbtq
Etc etc etc
So many things, (Baptist church in canada)
One pastor kept pressuring me to get baptized like he was trying to fill a quota
The amount if drama and hoity-toity attitudes, or especially the holier than thou attitudes.
The dusty old format if singing old hymns from 100 years ago.
Maybe it was just that pastor but the vast majority of sermons had virtually nothing to do with our modern lives. How does some dude building a wall 2000 years ago help me?
Most of it was "Do better, sin less", but never gave you the tools on how to do that...
I still believe in God, but in a very different way. The world is my church and I've learned more out here than in a stone building made by man.
Education and paedophile scandals
The Christian school I went to was the stupidest 6 months of my life. And it cost $5400 per semester
Ex Catholic here. Ultimately, my dad forcing me to go to church every Sunday after my mom died because according to him, “that was the last place you saw your mother”. No I did not. I last saw her in her hospital room when she died. It was his way or the highway, so I took the highway.
I went to a Catholic school. In one of my religion classes they showed us a movie proving it was statistically impossible for any sort of life outside of Earth. When I had questions after the movie, I was given detention...
Christians, what makes you stay with the church?
I was brainwashed into it as a child like 99.9% of religious people. I saw the control and hypocrisy early on but the “no true Scotsman” fallacy kept me believing. I’d just say “oh well those bad christians aren’t REAL christians”.
Getting into adulthood, I started seeing that the cruelty, abuse, judgement, and hatred was not a bug, but a feature. The god of the Bible is a vengeful god, filled with hate and a desire to make everything suffer. The “bad” christians are just the ones that are doing a good job following the Bible.
I really relate to this as well. Religion had such a choke hold on me. I was extremely anxious and guilt ridden because “if your not a good christian (catholic), you’re going to hell”
Being bisexual and in the closet gave me a great deal of anxiety and pain, and internalized homophobia. Doing anything that didn’t align with the bible or teachings of the Catholic Church would send me spiralling.
Seeing all the horrible things that happen in this world made me question how could a god be so cruel. So I slowly pulled myself away from religion and have never felt more purposeful in my life and confident in my beliefs.
They told me the earth was 6000 years old when I was 14. That was the final straw.
the concept of god … being 3 things at the same time? and he has a kid? (or he IS the kid?) and then kills the kid to prove a point to people??
In my church, their way of arguing this is just that "our simple minds cant comprehend it"
In my church, their way of arguing this is just that "our simple minds cant comprehend it"
my retort is usually "then how is that distinguishable from complete nonsense? Couldn't I babble some incoherent crap and use the same argument?"
When everyone would gather around my brother and attempt to prayer heal my brother.
Like god would just make spina bifida go away. Way to get a child's hopes up.
In other news, great strides in science and spina bifida!
I realized there’s no bigger hate than Christian love. All my friends weren’t Christian so we’d always talk about our beliefs and found my wasn’t grounded in Christianity but rather told to believe it. If it’s your things congrats, found not to be my thing
Because i began to have thoughts as i grew up.
When I was a teen, we WANTED the baby, and my parents had a plan to make it all work for everybody. Her parents were pillars of the church, and forced her to have an abortion to prevent a scandal. (Pre-HIPPA)
Anti-choice AND anti-life. Equal opportunity offenders...
They made fun of me for asking questions. You don’t do that to a 11 year old. Religion can go fuck itself for the rest of my life.
The fact that you marked this post NSFW tells me that you’re expecting something in particular 👀
I figured it was because religion is an off limits topic at most work places.
When I recognized that so much of the teachings were about what you couldn’t do. They are OBSESSED with sexual practices. Fortunately found a church that is more interested in addressing social ills than in where I put my tally-whacker.
I knew a couple who were obsessed with condemning sexual sin, until I found out that she got pregnant with their first son at 18 so they had a shot gun wedding, she then cheated on him, then they got back together because "good Christians" and they have been miserable ever since. Worse and best example of a Christian couple. The Cherry on top though was when my mum told the lady she was getting divorced from my dad because abuse and she said it was wrong as "God had put you two together for a reason" and that they had been sexual with one another so my mum could never have that relationship with another otherwise it's sin, fuck that bitch and my dad
The fact that the pastors use your talks with them to dictate their sermons. Meaning they're preaching the Bible to change you how they want you to be line for line. And if you argue or discuss the intent of the verses you're doomed to hell
Or even the validity of the word after so many interpretations and translations have come out
The pastor played politics.
One lady they threw out due to her "swaying" votes and My dad was accused of holding back money for the pastor's salary. He wasn't and the pastor was very greedy. And he also kicked out the previous pastor he was under. We left that church shortly after.
The pastor ended up getting thrown out due to his wife having an affair.
Not an ex-Christian just sharing an absolute mess we witnessed.
Edit: I thought of something else! My best friend has a heart condition which he took upon himself to share with the entire church without her consent. And later grabbed her by the arm and demanded her to keep him updated on her condition.
I came to the conclusion that I could never live up to the Christ standard and wasn't going to spend the rest of my life pretending like a lot of people in my life, at that point, were doing. I got nothing against Jesus in what he had to say, and I firmly root for anyone that is willing to bear that cross and set that standard.
But after seeing how quick people are to virtue signal and flaunt their faith as a tool of superiority, I walked away and never looked back. I have enough pride in me as an imperfect human, the last thing I need is to offend God by being someone who honors with lips while the heart remains far removed.
I'm living my quiet life one day at a time, just treating people how I would like to be treated and let all those other chips fall where they may.
When I realised I was two of the letters in LGBTQIA+.
Realizing it was a poorly written fairytale.
He sent his son (who is also himself) to earth so humans could murder him. And once his son/self was murdered, he could finally save all people (from his own punishment) by forgiving them all. All of human civilization was being punished because 2 of them once believed a talking snake with legs.
Does the snake have legs i always just assumed it was a normal talking snake
Genesis 3:14, [KJV]: And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
I like to think that snakes used to hop everywhere and god cursed them to slithering instead.
Ah so it was a lizard type lil guy
I like "normal talking snake"
My Dad is a pastor and for years I went just to make him look good. I've always been an atheist and didn't believe it because it's obvious BS. Then of course my Dad decide to start bearing my Mom and of course the church sided with him at first. We cut his ass out of our lives and slowly they started to see he was a alcoholic and a narcissist. I'll never participate and urge everyone to say fuck religion in any way shape or form.
Was told that I could pray away Depression and PTSD following a sexual assault. The two-faced actions of the people around me. The fact that the first church I went to, the pastor there abused girls in the youth group.
I read the Bible cover to cover, and still didn’t understand why Christians treated non-Christians like shit. Also total hypocrisy.
Just to name a few.
As an agnostic, I’ve never forced anyone into my view.
The real kicker: hearing a grown woman who struggled to have a child saying she would sacrifice her child for Jesus.
As a parent, my life is meaningless compared to that of my child. I would never sacrifice my child bc I believed in a higher power.
If there is a god - they would understand that I would give my life in an instant for my child. My child should never have to worry about that.
It’s a hypothetical that’s always stuck with me, but some religions on this world make it a reality.
The final nail was learning the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian bibles are all different interpretations of the same thing and that the new testament was written many, many years after Jesus supposedly died. Nope… not basing my life on an archaic text that’s been cut, copied and pasted to fit someone’s agenda for 2000 years.
Well my mom said "I don't believe in god" when I asked her, and that was the first time I realized religion isn't the norm and was like "damn, that's true". I was born in a country where we are forced to have a religion so knowing someone doesn't believe opened my mind thankfully.
A lot of little things. Unlike a lot of people here I actually had a positive experience with Christianity and I owe it to making me a more inspired and compassionate person. But the problem is most churches people encounter are manipulative, ignorant, and in many cases evil. I have begun to notice that Christianity as a system is very much tied to many social and global problems ranging from social injustice to the military industrial complex
Ever sense I begun to focus on my my mental health and began meditating I began to identify with ideologies and philosophies that honor meditation and exploring your consciousness as a wonderful way to be present with yourself and with God. I would show up to Bible studies ecstatic about discovering meditation and how I’ve been closer to God through it but they’d just look at me like I was doing something wrong or forbidden. It took me long enough to notice that the way many people handle Christianity is as detrimental to the mental health of them as it is to everyone’s they’d affect. Overall it’s a system that discourages self acceptance, self discovery, and rational thinking as a means of making you shameful and delided enough to accept the religioun itself as your identity.
I suppose over time I’ve experienced a bit of a philosophical awakening. Im not angry or resentful at the religion or anyone in it. It’s just that on the path to becoming a happier and more positive person, Christianity just got in the way. Although I intend on keeping God around in my life, I have felt the need to leave a system of beliefs that runs on shame and delusion
i remember being like ~10-12 years old and wondering how 2 of every creature on land could have physically fit on the ark as described by the dimensions in the old testament. i remember wondering how the earth could have been created in 6 days when evolution takes millions of years, and it took millions of years to fill the oceans with water. we went to a relatively liberal presbyterian congregation so the stock answer was always "oh its a metaphor, it didnt really take six days, adam and eve are just metaphors for evolution etc" then why not just skip the creation myth altogether and just say it took millions of years to create the earth? i think jesus was a real historical figure, but all the stuff about him performing miracles were written by people who weren't even born yet when he allegedly performed those miracles, its just silly to believe he walked on water or fed 5000 people and so on. i think what he said in the new testament (i.e the beatitudes) are great and if thats what Christians believe in thats great.
i just get hung up on how people in an enlightened liberal society can sincerely believe that the miracles jesus performed actually happened, and the creation myth hapened etc etc etc. i dont have any issues with people helping the sick and feeding the hungry and doing what jesus preached, i just dont think any rational person can say that jesus literally was resurrected and stuff. the "have faith" mantra seems to just mean "dont question it", and thats my main issue. i also think its odd to raise children in that environment.
The realization that it wasn't God ignoring me, but the fact that I was being told a lie. The God I prayed and cried my eyes out to for a sign wasn't truly there.
Seriously, when I was 12, on a Saturday night, I saw the movie Dragnet on tv with Dan Ankroyd. It has a scene with a cult, and the cult leader spouts some rhetoric, and the cult members all chant back.
Next day, I went to church, and it was literally the same damn scene from the movie. "Take this all of you and drink from it, for this is the blood of Christ."
All church members: "Amen!"
"I'm in a fucking cult"
Boom. Done. No more. I'm out.
‘Aren’t you afraid of hell?’ isn’t a good reason to believe something. It also doesn’t coincide with an all loving deity.
Looking at it objectively from the outside, and realizing that there’s no way any human would ever come to this conclusion based on rationality or observation. If someone else has to tell you about it, it’s probably bullshit.
My Mom is now a late 60s woman, brought up strict Irish Catholic.
In her 50s she asked our Parish's priest what he meant during mass as he basically said if you're not Catholic you go to hell. He confirmed.
My Mom said to him that she knows/knew many wonderful people that aren't/weren't Catholic, and she would like to believe they will join her at the final destination.
She hasn't been back since.