I just joined because I really need a support group.  I'm surrounded by Christianity.

I've been feeling really horrible lately because I can't stand the thought that so many of my friends and members of my family are delusional.  I've always internalized this, but I feel it bubbling to the surface.  It hurts me to know they feel so free to spread the nonsense, but knowing I can't be as free without being demonized, or at least pitied.  But, recently I've been feeling pity for them.  Not outwardly, but inside, and I feel it because I look at them clinging to religion, and waiting for Jesus to come back and it's just so pathetic.  I don't want to feel this way about basically everyone I know.  It's disturbing.  I don't even know how to begin dealing with this and these feelings.  I love my friends and family.  I hate religion.  I was brought up to love no one greater than God and Jesus, I literally felt guilty for years because I loved my grandmother more.  I'm over that now, I'm 40, I quit going to church when I was 17, but that's how pathetic I was when I was a kid.  I look back now and I'm so angry at people for teaching children from birth that this stuff is real.  It's a cult.  I have teen daughters and I've raised them the way I wished I was raised.  With love, compassion, honor, dignity, truthfulness, knowledge, and the total absence of religion. 

Not necessarily needing a place to vent (though, I will when something pisses me), not needing to push any agendas (though I may support them), I just really NEED a support system.  I can't keep this inside anymore, I can't. 

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Welcome.

I know it can be tough - I too am surrounded by Christianity, including most of my family.  This website is a nice place to vent, read commentary, and just realize their are many non-theists out there.  And, check out Nelson's Sunday school posts for interesting topics/links.

Oooooo, I will.  Thank you.  It's so liberating to be here.

Imagine what it was like to stand in a crowd of 10,000+ (sometimes approaching 40,000) and realizing everyone around me except for some of the media weenies was an atheist. 

Imagine the few Xians there relegated to a "Christian Zoo" off to one side of the crowd.  You know, sort of like we usually are.  (Too bad they were out of range of the music and speakers.  Might have done them some good.)

That was the Reason Rally.  Talk about liberating!

http://letreasonreign.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/the-reason-rally/

Must have been awesome!  That is too bad they couldn't hear though... we should give them front row seats on they condition they sit quietly.  ;-)

Welcome Lesa,

I'm just a member, no red carpet to roll out.  Good place just to touch bases, vent, have some rations; conversations and a few lulz.   G+, gives more real time responses if you have the right circles, more thought out here.  Monica Monicks has some WONDERFUL posts, thoughtful/ humerus.

Michael

Thank you for the tip.  I just looked up Monica Monicks, and I love humor, so thanks!!

Hi Lesa,

I can't add much to what has already been said except to say that many if not most of us here have been through some form of what you are feeling. As others have said, we're here for you.

Thank you Scott, it's so nice to "be around" other like minded people.
:)

Dear Folks:

I guess I have been around folks that agree with each other, more than I like..;p). Even when I agree back, it seems uncomfortable due to the feeling that I just joined some funny cult, that just mirrors my provisional truth. I tried to be a 'good' christian, but the more I tried, the less I was able to map to all the weird-funny stuff that just would not fit. Experience and knowledge is a wonderful genetrator of 'outlyers' to an ideology, as long you you ignore, rationalize, or just denign them you can stay in the fold, but this then creates a rather horrible feeling of unreality, and you must double your efforts to conform or disconnect to save some degree of sanity. We seem to be very social creatures, herdy even. Getting 'outside' of the ready made reference frames called 'ideology' can be very loanly and loonly making.      

You can say that again.  Getting outside of my "fold" (or should I say now ex-fold) was very humiliating.  They didn't just let you leave.  After the humiliation, I was officially excommunicated.  It was around 22 years ago, but that humiliation still stings.  I still have the Registered letter they sent to me, it's around here somewhere. 

In a span of 5 or so years I went from hating this one church, to hating all churches, to hating all religion in general, to putting aside the hatred and focusing on my new family and raising them with NO religion and it was only in the last 5 or so years that I really considered myself Atheist, there was a long period of time where we were (safely) Agnostic, but I suspect we were really Atheist the whole time.  If you know what I mean. 

Know what you mean... the last time I stepped into the church I was a member of, I went to one of their events some weeks later. The priest told me the reason I wasn't going every week is because that "I just don't realize how much god loves me." Some weeks after this I got a letter in a nice way excommunicating me.

And know what you mean about your new family. My pre-teen daughter has come to the conclusion, largely on her own, that there aren't deities. She has been derided at school with things like, "OHHHH you're an ATHEIST!" Like it's a bad word, which in many circles it is of course. When she first told me about it she was kind of upset cause she considered some of these people her friends. I said in simplified terms, "Well you don't believe in invisible deities in the sky, that's really it. It's not a big deal. They're the silly ones." She has taken it all in stride and I'm so proud of her. She is an amazing person.

Kids can be so cruel.  Whether it be about religion or politics, kids bring to school what they hear at home, and then it makes it to your kids' ears. 

My kids caught hell for not believing in God but they caught even worse hell for being Obama supporters.  Go figure.  But these things passed.  They rose above it. 

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