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  #11  
Old 12-31-2011, 09:24 PM
bassman bassman is offline
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Originally Posted by Quath View Post
I am pretty "out" in my atheism. I have had a lot of conversations about religion from people of all beliefs. I also hate the tithing system. It seems to hurt so many people who really can't afford it.

Unfortunately, a lot of Christian churches are preaching "prosperity" gospel. The idea is if you give a lot of money to the Church, God will reward you with even more money. Of course, it doesn't work out and people who are having a hard financial crisis are worse off. I did find a good article on how well the churches are making out and how hypocritical they are being with this prosperity gospel. The article is focused on the question on whether the church should be taxed like any other business or not.

I have found that becoming less fundamental is a slow process. I would suggest friendly conversations with your wife, but don't be afraid to bring up some tough issues.

For example, I was talking to a neighbor about gay marriage. He said that he wanted to follow a Biblical definition of marriage. So I started to quote all the other Biblical marriage laws like forcing a raped woman to marry her rapist or killing non-virgin brides in front of her parents.

Most religious stories and rules have very bad logical outcomes if you think about them fully. One example came from a Catholic friend. In school, he was told by a nun that a remarried man is committing adultery if the first wife is still alive. If the man dies in this state, he goes to hell because he is in a constant state of sin. He could ask for forgiveness, but because he is still remarried, he is instantly in a state of sin again. So my friend asked, "If the man kills his wife, he can ask forgiveness and go to heaven." The nun admitted that it would work, but said it shouldn't be done. (Dogma says one thing, but most people tend to go with values they were brought up with instead.)

I would suggest going to some atheist blogs. Lots of people deal with this stuff. My two favorites are Daylight Atheism and Pharyngula.

From the people who have converted from theism to atheism, most have done so from getting more education. The "God Delusion" is a good book for people on the fence. However, it may help those who are becoming less dogmatic.
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2011, 09:24 PM
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Ugh, those mega churches! We have a lot of them in the US. Ted Haggard led one and was found to be canoodling with a male prostitute. That was a fun news story. There are others...

I see them as big entertainment packages, with the flashing lights, applauding dancing crowds on their feet, and loud insistent music of a rock concert. I understand some churches even pass out glow sticks now! All they need is some Ecstasy and it would be a rave.

I've got nothing against entertainment and rock and roll. I've got nothing against having a "community" of like minded individuals to do things with. I draw the line at the pastors taking money from lower income, not well educated congregations, and spending much of the millions on large homes, fleets of fancy cars and generally affluent lifestyles.

I'm glad you've made the effort to at least stop the siphoning away of your hard earned and much needed pounds towards this tacky church.

And cognitive dissonance is the only explanation for an educated scientist like your wife to ascribe to fundie beliefs. It's really crazy, the knots people tie themselves up in to continue believing in magic... even Jews know most of their book (the Old Testament) is myth and psychology and ancient politics.
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  #13  
Old 12-31-2011, 09:27 PM
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About a month ago, I had a chat with one of her fellowship group members. Ive been a bit distant with my wife ever since, because it brought up that huge mistrust I feel for them.

it doesnt help that she had bad pms the week after and was really grumpy to me and our boy.

Our festive season has not been all that festive

Anyway, I soldier on !

Tomorrow is a typical Sunday, I'll go out in ly lil boat in the morning, and she'll be off to church in the aft.
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  #14  
Old 12-31-2011, 10:25 PM
Quath Quath is offline
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My grandmother tried to reconvert me several times. She said she wanted to be able to see me in heaven. I asked her if heaven was a place of endless joy. She said it was. I asked her that if I did go to hell, would she still be happy in heaven.

She paused because there is no good answer to that. If she is happy, then it shows she doesn't care about me or hell is no big deal (or she has been modified so much that she is not really who she was). If she isn't happy, then heaven is not so pleasant after all.

She talked about God being perfectly good. I asked her why he would send people to hell then. After all, he could put someone into an endless sleep instead of torturing them for eternity.

In the end, she said she had no answers but hoped one day I would meet someone who had them. I commented that it shows there is a problem if she can not work out these issues with her beliefs.

Something you can say about giving money to the church is that God has no need for money. He could poof anything into existence. So money is only for the priests.

Something else to bring up is how much you can trust the Bible. For example, there is a good book called "Misquoting Jesus" where an evangelical scholar tries to find out the original text of the Bible. In the end, he basically concluded that so much has been changed, it is hard to know what to trust anymore.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:08 AM
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My grandmother tried to reconvert me several times. She said she wanted to be able to see me in heaven. I asked her if heaven was a place of endless joy. She said it was. I asked her that if I did go to hell, would she still be happy in heaven.
lol! Fantastic !

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Originally Posted by Quath View Post
She paused because there is no good answer to that. If she is happy, then it shows she doesn't care about me or hell is no big deal (or she has been modified so much that she is not really who she was). If she isn't happy, then heaven is not so pleasant after all.
Oh, the quandry ! It is a dilemma, but the religious seem to have this compartment where everything is true, and logic doesnt feature in it at all. Once youve shut that part of your brain down, agnostism/atheism is sooo easy! I admit, it is FUN to imagine an after life, but honestly, we dont have a single scrap of evidence for there being one.

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Originally Posted by Quath View Post

She talked about God being perfectly good. I asked her why he would send people to hell then. After all, he could put someone into an endless sleep instead of torturing them for eternity.

In the end, she said she had no answers but hoped one day I would meet someone who had them. I commented that it shows there is a problem if she can not work out these issues with her beliefs.
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Originally Posted by Quath View Post
Something you can say about giving money to the church is that God has no need for money. He could poof anything into existence. So money is only for the priests.
Luckily she has mostly seen sense on this one. We do send money, but not to any church - we sponsor a child in Africa and one or 2 other small charities etc. She asked me a few months ago about sending a small amount to this church, and I restated my position, that I dont want them EVER to see our money again. She has reluctantly accepted that position.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quath View Post
Something else to bring up is how much you can trust the Bible. For example, there is a good book called "Misquoting Jesus" where an evangelical scholar tries to find out the original text of the Bible. In the end, he basically concluded that so much has been changed, it is hard to know what to trust anymore.
Lol - "evangelical scholar" seems like a complete waste of time for me, as does "find the original text" - what the hell for, anyway? all superstitious nonsense, I'm afraid :-(
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  #16  
Old 01-01-2012, 08:10 AM
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Our festive season has not been all that festive
We did have a really nice time last night, with our little boy, and things are good.

(except for the part about her going to church today, I'd rather she was going to see a boyfriend, LOL!!)
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  #17  
Old 01-01-2012, 12:47 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quath View Post
Something else to bring up is how much you can trust the Bible. For example, there is a good book called "Misquoting Jesus" where an evangelical scholar tries to find out the original text of the Bible. In the end, he basically concluded that so much has been changed, it is hard to know what to trust anymore.
Oh, I LOVE that book. I've read it twice. It's a great compliment to The God Delusion, actually, for anyone that used to be Christian but always felt there were weird contradictions and absurdities in the Bible. "Misquoting" points out exactly why this is so.
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  #18  
Old 01-29-2012, 12:43 PM
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ive been away from home for 3 weeks, plus the weekends on either side, so that makes 4 weekends.

I was a bit surprised when she announced last night that shes off to church this morning.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:39 PM
RunicWolf RunicWolf is offline
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A couple of thoughts:

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Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
I no longer attend "church", but I do still have my faith. I no longer call my self a "Christian" because I don't want to be associated with "religion" for so many reasons. My mother sees my (and my brother) as lost souls because we don't subscribe to ALL of her beliefs... so be it.
I second this one. Matter of fact, if some of my old "Christian" friends knew who I was hanging around with they'd flip shit (mostly pagans, heathens, atheists, and agnostics). The state of most organized religion has me rather sick. How can so many "scholars" be so wrong when the text is so plain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quath View Post
She talked about God being perfectly good. I asked her why he would send people to hell then. After all, he could put someone into an endless sleep instead of torturing them for eternity.
Actually reading the bible and not listening to the preacher helps here. The idea of Hell being a fire and torture filled pit for sinners was added by Dante to make The Divine Comedy more interesting. All the Bible says about it is that it's an eternal separation from God and Heaven. Not terribly interesting and not something atheists, or even most people, would fear.

I've thankfully never had to walk a separate path, religiously speaking, from my spouse but I know several couples that have. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it's the cause of the split. That said, I wish you the best of luck on your journey.
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  #20  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:30 PM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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I grew up in a non-denominational church; my pastor was just a man like everyone else - a scientist who returned to the faith later in life; he taught us to question and think critically about our faith; if we chose to tithe to the church, we could decide whether we wanted out money to be a general tithe, go towards the building fund, or towards missions projects/ including missionaries we were supporting. It was never forced. There was no dress code, everyone was welcome, and it always felt like a safe and welcoming home to me. (Growing up in an abusive household, I spent 3 days a week at church because they were supportive, caring human beings who respected my choice not to report it) Where tithing was concerned, that 10% could be anything from money, to time, to finding a bus in the junk yard and brining it to the attention to some mechanics w/in the congregation who fixed it up.

Fast forward 3 years to when Runic Wolf and I moved back to our home town when he left the Army and whoa! Our beloved pastor had retired, the new guy who had taken over was of the mega church mindset, tithe was the focus of 3 months worth of sermons. Only officially recognized members could know where the money was being spent and Runic Wolf was not considered a member all of the sudden, so they wanted him to attend "membership classes". When I went to the membership meeting, there were all the people I grew up with and respected trying to defend our church to this guy who had brought in his experts and who said that we'd dropped the ball.... that it didn't matter how many people came to know Christ because of the way we used to do things, because they weren't recorded and now attending our church, we needed to do things his way. It was very disheartening and we stopped attending almost immediately. Our pastor returned for the 25th Anniversary of the church and we returned for that event, but that was it.
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