I was baptized twice. Once in a Southern Baptist church and once in Pentacostal. But in between those two and after the Pentacostal dip I continually questioned. Left the church, came back, tried a different church, came back, revoked belief, came back...
Finally I just started reading atheist and scientific literature and gave up on the church. Been happier because of it.
Congratulations Carol and welcome to the fold where we rate/evaluate our fellow human beings from what's in their character and personality, not some belief in invisible friends. My non-believer friends are the most kind, giving, non-judgmental, honest and loving people I've ever met. That's why we meet every other week at the Denton (TX.) Atheist Meet-up Group and the Fort Worth Free Thinkers and Metroplex Atheist in Dallas, as well as the Coalition of Reason with whom were walking in the September Gay Pride Parade in support of those friends. We were also in the Arlington (TX) 4th of July parade with a big sign.
Look up meet-up groups and you may find one nearby.
I was at The Amazing Meeting #1 in Plantation in 2003 and listened to a man who was in a deeply religious sect, Mormons I think, who told of his separation and the many hassles he got from them. I'll never forget his operative phrase, "I started to think and it took we away". Great words and I'm glad to hear you did the same.
Thanks for the welcome, Ken. :D I've been an atheist for roughly 2 years now, but I only just recently came across this site and Atheist Universe. Finally I'm with like-minded people, even if it's in an online forum.
I'll keep an eye out for meet-ups. I'm always willing to make new friends I can really talk to, instead of avoiding a religion fight because I want to say "I'm an atheist" when they tell me "May God bless your day, honey."
Here's how well this site works to allow us godless (by choice) folks to hook up.
I got a message from a local man named Nolan Warner and we eventually met. He and his family run a local company that sells cell tower space, cell phones and radio networks for governmental entities, cities, police, fire, etc. He already knew about me as I do a lot of critical political commentary that gets into the local paper, the Wise County Messenger and then through this site learned that I was an atheist although he had deduced it from my writing; definitely liberal and progressive and most of all anti neocon/theocon republican.
I invited him to the Denton Atheist Meet-Up Group and we also went to hear Christopher Hitchens debate a creationist at Prestonwood Academy in Plano, TX. I also learned he is an ordained minister having completed seminary at the Dallas Baptist College. He said the best way to become an atheist was to be taught that nefarious volume in detail. He can and does use their own words against them and I can't; I tried to read that damn book two times and could not manage to get past page two before throwing the thing into the trash in disgust.
Keep looking, it'll pay off eventually.
By the way, where do you live?
I live in Lavonia, Georgia. It's a small town nestled between two slightly larger small towns very near the South Carolina border. It takes about an hour to get to any real "civilization" in any of the cardinal directions.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who hasn't fully read that book. I made it to Exodus. Then I tried the New Testament. I made it to John, then read parts of Revelation, then kept going back over what all I had read because of inconsistencies. Also I loathe the books of Psalms and Proverbs because I had a foster mother force me to copy out passages from both books as punishment.
Part of why I'm an atheist today.
I'm originally from small town North Carolina, Eden of all places. It was Leaksville, part of the Tri Cities of Leaksville, Spray and Draper that merged in 1967 while I was stationed in Korea with the US Army Security Agency; I was a spook. The story may be seen @ www.leaksville.com if you want to, and you will find a contribution by me, a short story I wrote about a float trip a friend and I took on an August weekend in 1972 that I titled "Raftin' the Dan".
Eden sounds a lot like Livonia and believe it or not I know of Livonia. Check out Decatur, Texas, where I live with my missus Dee, my life partner for the last 45-years and the mother of our son and daughter. Yes, I've been a practicing heterosexual all my life, unfortunately, I've found that the older I become, the less practice I manage to get. I'm young enough to remember how, just too old to remember why. :-)
Several of my best friends are gay, but the missus is a born-again and consequently won't have much of anything to do with them,sad, sad, sad. I'll be marching with the Metroplex Atheists in the September Gay Pride Parade in Dallas.
I meant to add, we used to pass by Lavonia on I85 on our way to Braselton and Road Atlanta to race the SCCA F-Production MG I built a lifetime ago when I owned and operated Sports & Imports, Ltd, a speed, custom and repair shop for sports cars and imports in my hometown. Decided to make a living at my hobby; bad mistake, took all the fun out of the hobby, don't ever do it.
I live in Flowery Branch, GA. Grew up all over GA, from Americus/Cordele, to Albany, to Stone Mountain, to Redan. Flowery Branch is about 15-20 min from Road Atlanta, and about 25 min from the Atlanta Dragway (I am into NHRA drag racing). So, I'm familiar with a lot of the places you and Ken are talking about.
I know where Flowery Branch is and I've seen Stone Mountain from a distance; pretty impressive. I was never into drag racing, but was into NASCAR until I spent three-years in Europe and discovered road racing and hill climbs. Hill climbing in Germany is different from here as it's always on paved roads and during the season in Germany it's possible to hill climb every weekend if one has the funds. I'll watch drags, but only the top classes. Don't know diddly squat about ball games of any type, bby choice.
LOL. I know this is old, but it made me laugh when I saw it. I thought I was the only one who was baptized multiple times. I was dunked 3 times - the last two were mainly for fun, because I was already disillusioned with the church and just did it because I was having fun convincing preachers I had converted and needed it. The last guy, however, damn-near drowned me because he was one of those who talked while you are underwater, and I swear he got carried away.
All three were Southern Baptist dunkings :)
I was baptized in an Assembly of God church and later in a Mormon church. I need to be sending some please take me off your list letters lol.
just once. . . it was totally weird. . .the church only did baptisms at night and with all the lights down except those over the baptismal font, so it was like being on stage and you can't see the audience. . .there was a big group at mine too. . .very assembly line