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atheist/agnostic tribe - Page 20

post #381 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
I don't really know how to respond to my dad bringing up past "experiences" i had.

I was definitely one of those christians who believed demons and spirits were lurking everywhere...watching me, trying to deceive me, etc. I could "feel" them...even thought i saw them (hard to explain, but pretty much in my head - like i would feel a presence -aka get a creepy feeling- and "see" it in my *mind*. He keeps bringing this up. He asks me how i can disbelieve in all things supernatural when he knows i've had experiences.

What the hell do i say?

I don't think i was every "crazy"...i just think the mind is a powerful thing, and due to the fact i was raised believing in all things creepy (and fake), i grew up being OBSESSED with them...thinking something is real can often times make it real for YOU, kwim?

I don't know...am i making sense? Any tips on how to deal with these questions?
I just stumbled upon this tribe and wanted to chime in. I am an ex-fundamentalist youth churchgoer, and I had a hard time with the, "were my experiences real?" question. I am talking about speaking in tongues, feeling knocked out by "the movement of the spirit," hopping up and down with "joy for the Lord," etc.

Ultimately it came down to self-examination and really coming to terms with the fact that it was all in my head; that I'd convinced myself to feel and experience those things because if I didn't, I wouldn't be completely faithful, and I would be holding a part of myself back from God-- and therefore not fully cleansed of sin. I think they hold this ultimatum over you: Believe, or convince yourself that you believe, or else: rot in hell for eternity. Not much choice there.

I am so glad I got out of that terrible relationship with the church. It was like emotional abuse.
post #382 of 698
First, go to this link. Then highlight and read the rest of my post.


teale said: "I think when you have something beaten into you, it's hard to see anything other then what you think you should be seeing."

It's called "confirmation bias." When you're told what to look for, what to pay attention to and what to see that is exactly what you will see. And it is amazing what the brain will not notice. But it's normal. It's human. And we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves for it. wiki entry more info
post #383 of 698
I think the trick to experiences is why did you experience that and not me? I went to church regularly and I was never moved to speak in tongues or jump up and down. I did have 'visions' of Swami Sri Yukteswar! Did you? I saw the spiritual eye when meditating? Did you? Others have 'seen' the black pearl, or had fits etc. Muslims don't 'see' Jesus in toast. We see what we want to see/have been conditioned to see. I would be much more convinced if these experiences were universal, but they're not. They vary depending on the cultural expectations of the person.
post #384 of 698
Thank you all so much for the responses (and video...that was crazy...).

I guess i had the answer all along...if you believe anything strongly enough, you can see/feel it. The mind is a powerful thing. Unfortunetly, my dad isn't going to accept that - but he doesn't have to. If he brings it up again I'm just going to tell him exactly why i feel i had those experiences and that I really don't want to talk about it again. Hopefully it'll end at that.

Although, it's doubtful. He knows i'm not christian, and don't believe in God/Jesus...but he keeps bringing up SPIRITS - angels, demons, spirits in general. Stating our world is a spiritual world like it is some kind of FACT that everyone accepts. When i told him I don't believe in spirits of any kind (i assumed he KNEW that...) it totally blew his mind. He was just so taken aback, like, how could someone NOT believe in spirits running amuck everywhere?

I think it's sad...

It seems like such a silly thing for an adult to be concerned with. But, nothing i can do about it, so anyway...
post #385 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
Thank you all so much for the responses (and video...that was crazy...).

I guess i had the answer all along...if you believe anything strongly enough, you can see/feel it. The mind is a powerful thing. Unfortunetly, my dad isn't going to accept that - but he doesn't have to. If he brings it up again I'm just going to tell him exactly why i feel i had those experiences and that I really don't want to talk about it again. Hopefully it'll end at that.

Although, it's doubtful. He knows i'm not christian, and don't believe in God/Jesus...but he keeps bringing up SPIRITS - angels, demons, spirits in general. Stating our world is a spiritual world like it is some kind of FACT that everyone accepts. When i told him I don't believe in spirits of any kind (i assumed he KNEW that...) it totally blew his mind. He was just so taken aback, like, how could someone NOT believe in spirits running amuck everywhere?

I think it's sad...

It seems like such a silly thing for an adult to be concerned with. But, nothing i can do about it, so anyway...
My FIL said something similar to me, and I just smiled, and rolled my eyes. This world can absolutely exist without the idea of spirits or presences, or whatever. And it does, everyday.
post #386 of 698
Bumpity BUMP!

We're getting lost all the way on page two!

How is everyone?

Religion has been a huge topic of discussion lately around these parts, but it's been nice to educate people about agnosticism and atheism.
post #387 of 698
I'd like to know what you do when you encounter a child who is being raised with the typical Christian teaching, and talks about it around your child.

I babysit this little girl who is so sweet, but every now and then, she will pray before a meal (God is good, God is great...), or speak the propaganda that is taught to young children, "Jesus loves me!" or "God knows when you're lying." Yikes!!!!! I don't want my kiddo picking that up but I also don't want to freak this little girl out (and possibly lose my job) by telling her to keep her beliefs to herself.

Advice?
post #388 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by teale View Post
How is everyone?
Great! DH and I went to an ex-Mormon mini-conference a little bit ago. (The talks can be found online here and here). We got to meet a bunch of great people including Lyndon Lamborn. And this weekend we're getting a visit from the one convert DH got on his mission who has also left the church. DH keeps having stressful dreams about leaving, but I think he's moving on and healing.

As for other aspects of our life, we are doing well! I finally got landed immigrant status so now I'll be able to take DD to visit her Grandma for the first time! : Just need to get her and her daddy passports!

NoliMum: Yikes! No advice unfortunately. What a situation to be in!
post #389 of 698
hollyvangogh, sounds like fun! I can't look at youtube from my office but I do know that Lyndon Lamborn is a fun speaker; DH and I watched his "Lying for the Lord" presentation on youtube a few months back and really enjoyed it. DH and I would love to attend an exmo conference, but we're expecting our baby right around the time of the next local one so we'll have to catch up with whatever we find online in the meantime.
And congrats on your DD's first visit with Grandma! How fun!!! I hope you all have a safe trip.

NoliMum, I wish I had some advice for you. Sounds like a rough situation to be in. Perhaps talking to your own child about this little girl's words and helping him to understand why she says those things and how to respond respectfully and appropriately might be a good place to start. I don't know how old your LO is or how this girl's behavior might be influencing him but IMO, she isn't doing any harm, just living the way she was taught, and your child will live the way you teach him to in return, so opening that dialogue and using it as a teaching/learning experience may be in order. Sorry if that's not helpful; I hope some other mamas here have more advice. hang in there.
post #390 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollyvangogh View Post
Great! DH and I went to an ex-Mormon mini-conference a little bit ago. (The talks can be found online here and here). We got to meet a bunch of great people including Lyndon Lamborn. And this weekend we're getting a visit from the one convert DH got on his mission who has also left the church. DH keeps having stressful dreams about leaving, but I think he's moving on and healing.

As for other aspects of our life, we are doing well! I finally got landed immigrant status so now I'll be able to take DD to visit her Grandma for the first time! : Just need to get her and her daddy passports!

NoliMum: Yikes! No advice unfortunately. What a situation to be in!

Holly, thanks for posting those! I can't wait to have a look at them later.

I used to have pretty scary dreams about leaving the church too. It definitely takes some years to get to that "normal" feeling of being okay.

Noli, no advice! Could you talk to her mom and ask her if she could talk to her kid? Just a simple, "we respect your beliefs, but we don't share the same beliefs, so what do you suggest we do to make sure we are all happy?" It might open up a great opportunity for discussion.
post #391 of 698
Has anyone tried meetup.com to find a local atheist group? We did...it's a small group but it was really fun! There's a picnic this Sunday, we're looking forward to it!

Noli...I deal with that too, although not job related. It's frustrating. We all know how upset their families would get if our kiddo 'imposed' our thoughts onto them, but it's ok in reverse for their kid to do it. Ugh.
post #392 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoliMum View Post
I'd like to know what you do when you encounter a child who is being raised with the typical Christian teaching, and talks about it around your child.

I babysit this little girl who is so sweet, but every now and then, she will pray before a meal (God is good, God is great...), or speak the propaganda that is taught to young children, "Jesus loves me!" or "God knows when you're lying." Yikes!!!!! I don't want my kiddo picking that up but I also don't want to freak this little girl out (and possibly lose my job) by telling her to keep her beliefs to herself.

Advice?
No advice at all...although, this worries me because I raised DD(5yo) christian and was a christian myself up until about a year ago. I am now an atheist, married to an atheist, and pregnant. We'd like to find other atheist friends, but i don't want them thinking poorly of my daughter if she occasionally says something...which isn't very often at ALL, as i haven't been egging it on for a L-O-N-G time now, but she still mentions she believes every so often...

I'm not sure what to do about that either, other than teach her about other religions and be honest about my OWN beliefs, without bursting her bubble.
post #393 of 698
Re the other children praying around your child, etc., for the most part, I'd just not make a big deal out of it when it happens. Afterward, when it was just family, I'd explain to my child that people have differing beliefs.

My kids are sort of being raised UU. My 8 yo is a hard core atheist. I overheard her playing with a little Christian friend who was trying to tell her about god. Dd just said, "Whatever! I don't think god is real. Do you want to play monopoly now?"

The same dd came to me all jealous because her friends were having First Communion parties and she wasn't. When I explained what First Communion was all about, she was pretty horrified, and all of the sudden that foofy white princess dress wasn't so appealing.
post #394 of 698
Quote:
Has anyone tried meetup.com to find a local atheist group? We did...it's a small group but it was really fun! There's a picnic this Sunday, we're looking forward to it!
No, I haven't. I'm going to check Facebook and Meetup, but since we live in a very active Bible Belt, I'm not sure we'll have much luck. It's worth a gander though, as I was also sure there was no other APing Families in the area.
post #395 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by teale View Post
No, I haven't. I'm going to check Facebook and Meetup, but since we live in a very active Bible Belt, I'm not sure we'll have much luck. It's worth a gander though, as I was also sure there was no other APing Families in the area.
Where in Alberta are you?
post #396 of 698
Southern Alberta.

I checked the Meetup board here, and there was a Freethinkers group, and a Christian group. I don't think Meetup is as popular down here as it is in other areas.

Yahoo Groups is apparently another good way to branch out. I'm new to that as well.
post #397 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by teale View Post
Southern Alberta.

I checked the Meetup board here, and there was a Freethinkers group, and a Christian group. I don't think Meetup is as popular down here as it is in other areas.

Yahoo Groups is apparently another good way to branch out. I'm new to that as well.
Well, you can come meet up with me! We can start out own atheist group. I think there *might* be an exmo group in Lethbridge. But I've heard the Calgary exmos don't gather like the Edmonton ones do.
post #398 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollyvangogh View Post
Well, you can come meet up with me! We can start out own atheist group. I think there *might* be an exmo group in Lethbridge. But I've heard the Calgary exmos don't gather like the Edmonton ones do.

Are you in the area?! I'm definitely up for starting a group like that, I'm sure we'd find some interest in the area. I've done some searches, and nothing comes up for this area I know there is a UU that meets, but the idea of a structured, church-like setting doesn't settle well with me.
post #399 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by teale View Post
Are you in the area?! I'm definitely up for starting a group like that, I'm sure we'd find some interest in the area. I've done some searches, and nothing comes up for this area I know there is a UU that meets, but the idea of a structured, church-like setting doesn't settle well with me.
I'm in the Hat.
post #400 of 698
I just joined this board and am glad to see this thread! I am an agnostic who grew up in a church that is very cult-like. Anyone here heard of the Church of Christ?

Anyway, long story short, I left that church in my early 20's. Shortly thereafter I left Christianity altogether. I have deep emotional scars from both my church upbringing and growing up with a mentally ill mother. I am determined to break the cycle with my own kids.

Nice to meet all of you!
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