Hi, I am a 64 yr old woman who is finally free of religious skeletons. I can now without guilt call myself an Atheist.  Because of my "Christian" upbringing ,my thoughts, ideas, opinions became molded for me but not by me, as a result i have never been able to express myself very well . I now hold my own opinions which i would like to articulate on this site but so far feel intimidated with the writings, they all sound so intelligent and im impressed by the way opinions are expressed . The other day a blog on here was a guy expressing his disgust on how stupid some people are when it comes to writing their opinions without proper punctuation ,spelling etc, well i am one of those people, I feel very intelligent inside but cannot express myself well. I guess the point im trying to make is that i found this site interesting but feel very intimated to speak my mind.  For now i will just sit back and enjoy the reading.

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I get your point, and often I have similar reasons not to write responses.
It is not even the intimidation against speaking my mind, but a lot of times I have the feeling that what I want to say is already said and pointing it out again just seems redundant.

Perhaps starting a private conversation with someone may be easier than posting your opinion for everyone to see and critisize.

I often feel the same way. Either everything that I WOULD have said HAS been said, or my arguments and reasoning just seem to falter before some of the heavier hitters on the site. Doesn't mean it isn't fun to read, but my post count is astoundingly low for a forum site like this...

@Freek and @Grady - It really doesn't matter if it has been said before, it is good for your psyche to get it off your chest - and it is also interesting to see how many people actually think the same - or not, as the case may be :) I do not post a comment if it is definitely out of my league, which is often - Science, computers, outer space stuff and many more.  There are some really clever people here and it is a joy to read from people who really know what they are talking about.

Perhaps one of the most useful Christian phrases might apply here: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone".

Atheism is all about freedom of thought and expression. Those that would try to stifle it because of intellectual snobbery give Atheism a bad name. It's the polar opposite of what atheism is all about.

Your thoughts, ideas and opinions are worth every bit as much as anyone's here. PLEASE don't be afraid to express them. It sounds like you've made a long and hard journey to get to where you are now, and has taken intelligence. To arrive at a place where you're afraid to celebrate and exercise your new freedom of thought and expression would be no arrival at all - just a shift from one repressive place (religion) to another.

Listening to others' conversations quietly in the background will pall after a while. Taking part will be SO much more satisfying, like a breath of fresh air. Please, please do join in.

Come on in - the water's lovely!

Graham

I should have also added: Don't be afraid of people disagreeing with any of your ideas. Diversity of opinion is the basis of great debating, and that's a fundamental aspect of this site. It may even help to develop your own thinking about issues - it has certainly helped mine. Personal attacks are always unwarranted, though, and have no place here.

Peggy,
I saw the link to your letter on Twitter, and it was so upsetting to me that I created this account just so I could respond! I think Graham said it perfectly, and would like to echo his thoughts. (I'd also like add that I thought your post was well-written, incidentally!)
Congrats, Peggy, on breaking free from religion. It may take a little time to feel comfortable expressing yourself to others through writing, but it will get easier. To whomever wrote the post that made you feel
so self-conscious, shame on them. Atheists come in all forms, from all backgrounds, with varying levels of education, different areas of expertise/skill, etc., and not everyone is Shakespeare! YOU ARE WELCOME HERE. I've spent very little time on internet forums, but from what I gather they can sometimes get quite ugly, as anonymity breeds bullying/extreme criticism. Just try to shake it off, and know that you are just as important as everyone else here! Hope you see this, I'm clueless as to how these things work. (I'll probably be made fun of for that, but whatever...ha!)

Thank you, Roberta - you are most kind.

Just to add further encouragement...

Many of the most famous intellects the world has known were, or are, dyslexic. (I'm not suggesting at all, Peggy, that you are dyslexic, merely recognising that dyslexia makes communicating in writing very difficult for many people, which may cause them to be reluctant to do so, as you are, however sound their ideas.) If they were criticised at all for it, it didn't hold them back, and they succeeded in making their voices heard very effectively. Their number includes:

  • Winston Churchill
  • Agatha Christie
  • Albert Einstein
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • Danny Glover
  • George Burns
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Thomas Edison
  • Walt Disney
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • George Patton
  • Richard Branson
  • Nelson Rockefeller
  • Jay Leno

- but there are many, many more.

I came to atheism relatively early in life, and didn't have the internal struggles with my religious upbringing to deal with. I'd love to share the experiences of someone who isn't much different to me in age, but whose experience was completely different.

Please share that experience. I'd learn a lot from it, I'm sure.

Peggy,

You're message's content is much more important that it's unnecessary grammatical correctness. We eagerly await your participation and WELCOME you to the collective!

In todays society, appearance is very important. If you walk about with your britches hanging low and your drawers showing, you impart a certain character. If that is your "bag", then fine. But if your problem is narrow hips, get suspenders. I keep suspenders at hand in the form of a dictionary.

Don't judge a book by its cover!

@Peggy - if that were the case, I would be doomed :)

Never! Never! Never! Never! Never! Never! Never! Never! Never! Never!

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