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Thread: Transition?

  1. #1
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    Default Transition?

    I've posted before telling you all about how I am religious. Lately I just feel like maybe it doesn't make sense.

    During my pregnancy people kept telling me that they would pray that Nathaniel would be healed and would live. I kept thinking how dumb it was. Anacephaly can't be healed, he won't live. That just got me thinking. Then people kept telling me how he will always be an angel, watching over Parker and it seemed like a coping mechanism. I just can't shake this feeling lately that I've been religious out of routine from being raised in a home that's religious.

    Did any of you go through a period where you just felt like religion couldn't be explained and you didn't believe anymore?

  2. #2
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    I went through a long, long, period of.... I guess we'll call it - denial.

    I said "God Bless You" and accepted peoples "I'll pray for you" etc, but it was empty and I never believed it.

    Mostly I had to get past that part of me that thought there was something wrong with not being believing in God. That it made me any less, of a good person. ((I don't know if I make any sense right now ))

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  3. #3
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    Yes. For me, it happened when I moved away from the USA. I didn't actually grow up in a religious home, but as a teenager I started going to church to feel like part of a group. I went to a church of Christ for 5 years because I had cousins who went there. When I went to church, I followed all the rules but overtime, I became disheartened by how hypocritical my fellow church goers seemed to be.

    When I moved to England, I was 22 and finding my feet as an adult. The longer I hadn't gone to church, the clearer it wasto me that religion wasn't for me.

    My view on religion now is that it has itsplace in human's culture. My own brain is a very logical thing and won't allow me to believe bible stories as literal truth. When I see how religion influences people today, I am glad I no longer let it influence my judgment.

    I suppose I fall under the humanist category now. I wouldn't call myself a full fledged atheist, but I identify more with atheists than religious people.

    I'd like to write more, but I'm on my phone...will try to post more later from the laptop.

  4. #4
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    Have you ever considered a UU church? I know people I have met there that have stories like yours. http://www.uua.org/beliefs/index.shtml

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmeriBrit View Post
    Yes. For me, it happened when I moved away from the USA. I didn't actually grow up in a religious home, but as a teenager I started going to church to feel like part of a group. I went to a church of Christ for 5 years because I had cousins who went there. When I went to church, I followed all the rules but overtime, I became disheartened by how hypocritical my fellow church goers seemed to be.

    When I moved to England, I was 22 and finding my feet as an adult. The longer I hadn't gone to church, the clearer it wasto me that religion wasn't for me.

    My view on religion now is that it has itsplace in human's culture. My own brain is a very logical thing and won't allow me to believe bible stories as literal truth. When I see how religion influences people today, I am glad I no longer let it influence my judgment.

    I suppose I fall under the humanist category now. I wouldn't call myself a full fledged atheist, but I identify more with atheists than religious people.


    I'd like to write more, but I'm on my phone...will try to post more later from the laptop.
    I should have just waited.... I'll just go with what she said - it makes more sense and I agree

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  6. #6

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    I had a period of transition that was scary at first, but gradually got easier when I realized that my fears were coming from the very same place that I questioned. Eventually, I realized that even my fears were false and it became a very empowering time for me. It was so long ago, though, I wish I could remember more about it. I was undergoing a lot of other changes (I was a high school junior, had just acquired driving independence, was preparing for college, couldn't even really decide if I was into punk or classic rock or reggae or rave music), so perhaps my transition was slightly "easier" for me because it got swept up with the other significant changes that kept me in full-time adjustment mode for an extended time. I think the hardest thing for me was that I did feel like I had a personal relationship with God, and I didn't want to believe that none of that had been real. At the same time, I started asking myself, why is it the Biblical God? Why not Allah or the Buddha? Is it just that I was born to a family who told me that was the god I was supposed to have a personal relationship with? What are the odds they were right, and not the millions of others who believe something different? The actual moment I decided to "go for it" and officially not believe anymore was just like one of those movies where there's a boogie man who only has power over a little kid if the kid believes in it, and at a certain point the kid stands up and shouts "You're not real!", and just like that, the boogie man disappears and all the kid's fears with it. I'm sorry if that sounds really crass to compare a divine being that many people revere to a boogie man, but that was truly the visual I got with it.

    It is a very uncertain time, that's for sure, but as I think a number of us have noted before, it helps to look at the teachings of other religions too. There are a lot of valuable things and a lot of nonsensical things about just about any major religion, and the similarities between what each group sees as sacred scripture can be persuasive of the idea that the source of these texts is human and not divine.

    Whether you decide it all doesn't make sense for you, or if you decide to continue believing, don't judge yourself for having the thoughts that naturally enter your head. Even if you feel it's a sin to question your faith, you're human. Major figures in the Bible had strong doubts too, and at the very least, your faith would only turn out stronger if you allow yourself to question it. Thanks for sharing with us, mama.

  7. #7

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    I can never remember a time when I didn't feel like religion couldn't be explained. But I felt that I should believe and I tried to do so for many years. I even read the entire bible as a 10 year old. My entire family was religious when I was a child and I was raised going to church semi-regularly and attended VBS every summer. Funny but after I read the bible I would question them so much during VBS that they would kick me out of class for "thinking too much" lol. I had to go sit with my great grandma who was the church secretary during VBS most days because I was kicked out nearly ever day from every class until grandma told me I didn't have to come at 12.

    I really tried to believe in some sort of God or godly figure and tried to see if I could adopt some sort of religious life until I was around 24 then I stopped trying and just decided to accept that I was not religious and no religion was for me. I am fine with that. Even though I don't believe in god and I am fine with labeling myself as an atheist, I do mostly call myself a humanist because I do believe that life encompasses the human experience.

    Erin

  8. #8
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    It has been a long time since I believed in a deity. At least one that cared about us all on a personal level. Eventually, I couldn't reconcile several things about a God. Like, if there is a just god, then why is there so much suffering? Why is it visited upon those who least deserve it? And if it is a test of faith, then this "God" isn't just, just mean and petty and human, and therefore undeserving of worship. And it seems to me that if there is a God, he/she should care more about the lives we lead than the reasons why, and a good person is a good person, whether there is any hero worship involved or not. And if that's not how it works, then we're back to mean and petty and....

  9. #9
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    I am so, so, super glad you posted this. I do enjoy my Church I float around APA and visit here and visit the Christian room honestly, if I am honest with myself I am feeling more secular. I love the minister because he puts a good "I'm the same as you feeling" in the room. I doubt the Bible a lot. What hit me recently was watching the trailer for Carrie they are remaking it from the 1976 version. Anyway in the trailer when she starts her menstrual cycle for the first time her mother is very religious and the asks Carrie to pray for her sin of menstrual and for God to forgive her. I am thinking "what a menstrual cycle a sin"? I went to bible.org and there is a lot about how that time of the month is "not pure" "dirty". That's not fair! Us women did not ask for bleeding. I sort of feel and I mean this in all seriousness "how are we not doomed to be in hell this world is temptation island, we can't be pierced, tattooed, cut our hair, eat pork, no divorce, be fruitful, don't lust (thinking of hot celebrities here), people can't be gay, jealously/ envy (guilty of it), etc, etc, etc". So I absolutely do not mean offense in all of this I am thinking out loud that I doubt a lot. I feel bad but, I feel like its safe here to be okay with the doubts.



  10. #10
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    I have gone back and forth with religion - and I think others, even those who say they are "true believers" would admit to having periods of doubt. I grew up in a non-religious home, but we always said we were Catholic because my mom's family was raised in the church. I was raised in East Texas - very much Bible country - so I sought our religion in my teens, mainly to feel like I was part of the norm. I wanted to believe, and I loved the rules and structure that religion provided (growing up with an alcoholic mom makes one crave stability). However, I had huge issues with the church.
    I struggled with the judgement, the hypocrisy and the arrogance that I percevied there. I eventually left the Catholic church and chose to skip church all together for most of my college life and the first few years I was on my own in "the real world." I tried attending a Methodist church, which was just starting up, and I liked the community, but once again, the messages became lost on me - I bought into the caring for others, helping those in need, being strong and making choices for yourself, but once we got to the point of thanking a God for the ability to do these things, I was out.
    For the me final transition point came after I had a series of life-altering events, culminating with the loss of my second pregnancy (my first pregnancy had ended in early miscarriage). My baby was diagnosed with Spina Bifida at 18 weeks. I was lost and searching - and there were no answers, no reason why this was happening to me, my baby girl and my SO, no consolation for the baby I was about to lose. And I looked within myself to find the strength to get through the pain, the anguish and the anger. I had a wonderful partner in my dear SO, and together we pulled through the situation. We did not pray, we just leaned and supported each other.
    After that, I was like, the answers, the strength, the ability to cope is all inside me. I can pin that on an outside deity if that makes me feel better, but really having faith in myself and in people is all I need. It made me appreciate the wonder of nature - a force we have no control over - and the ability of humanity. It was very freeing to just be, without feeling like I need to be thankful or accountable to some unseen being to whom I feel no obligation. And I am open to the fact that one day, I may change my mind, although I don't know how or why that would happen. But I am open.
    Sorry for the novel, but I wanted to share since I rarely talk about my beliefs as a "non-believer."
    Last edited by lilya003; 05-08-2013 at 01:17 PM.
    Lily

  11. #11

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    I don't want to offend anyone! I promise! Just want to try to explain and express how I believe..
    I was raised in a strong Christian home and still am a Christian.. There have been many times I've questioned God but I know He is real.. And cares.. It's Satan that causes the bad things to happen.. When we were created by God He gave us the ability to choose.. Even when we choose to do everything right and be a good person even a Christian we will still suffer because there is satan and he hates everyone and wants everyone to suffer..
    It's hard to understand why bad things happen but from experience of going thru hard things God has helped me soo much..
    Also having a period isn't a sin in the bible it was just talked about in the Old Testament that way i think because the hygiene was low back then.. And some people just take sooo many things like that in the bible out of context like that website did and it gets soo aggravating because it hurts people that don't know and turns them away from God and so do the hypocrites in the church it gets soo aggravating! I'm soo sorry for all of you that have experienced people like that

  12. #12
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    I grew up in a Christian home & we went to church every Sunday morning, night & Wednesday. I also attended Friday night youth group. We loved our pastor & our church family but then everything changed. Our pastor left & a new one who was a bit on the greedy side came in. He made us all feel very uncomfortable & we left the church. We searched around as a family but couldn't find the right fit for us so we decided to take a break. I never felt more free. Now I am not saying that I don't believe in God. I am saying I don't believe in organized religion. It has changed from what the Bible portrayed it so long ago. Now it is mostly about politics & money, in my opinion. I know God has a place in my life but being in an organized religion is not one of them for me. I still teach my children about all the same Bible stories I learned about but transform them to modern day. I am teaching them to be responsible, thoughtful, honest, caring, etc. All the things the Bible or any other "guide book" teaches.
    Joanie (33), DH (33), Thomas (13), Angel Baby 9/9/10, Katherine (2), Angel Baby 8/28/12, Daniel (born 6/23/13 at 35 weeks)

  13. #13

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    I had a slow transition myself, though I knew in my heart that the way I was raised (catholic) was not what rang true to me. I just really avoided thinking about it because it was too scary to imagine that everything I'd been taught was not true. I started out by saying that I believed in a higher power because that felt safe. Looking back, I find it kind of humorous that I was basically afraid to admit that I didn't believe in God because that would mean I was going to hell. And then I'm like, "Oh, wait....I don't BELIEVE in that either!" Also, the word atheist was a scary word to me and no one I knew in real life was a non-believer. Honestly, coming here and finding this room is what allowed me to shed my hesitation and embrace my true self. In this room i have found some of the compassionate, giving, honest, humble, tolerant, non-judgemental, kick arse women I have ever known. I realized, hey, I am in great company. And admitting to myself (because I don't feel the need to shout if from the rooftops or anything) that I don't believe, has been very liberating. I have no more confusion or guilt. My moral compass is spot on. I hope for you to find peace in whatever you decide to believe. I'm getting to know you in here and I think you have a good heart and have shown a true strength of character and grace during some difficult times in your life and it's completely normal to be asking yourself these questions.

  14. #14
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    I would like to gently remind all of those who are so kindly putting some thought into responding to the original poster's question that this was asked in the Secular room and most likely because the OP wanted responses specifically from people who might identify as secular.

    For those who are posting for the first time in the Secular part of APA, I would ask that you check out the stickied thread at the beginning, "Before you post in this room," and consider it before posting responses. If you have not already introduced yourself and mentioned your basic belief system, please let us get to know you a little better.

    From stickied thread:

    I have noticed lately that there have been a few new people posting in this room. Generally speaking I am very pleased to see that there are people who want to join our little community, but I have also noticed that there have been a few who have jumped into conversations with questionable motives. Now that the political room is closing I fear that we will once again see more people coming in here who feel the need to express their own opposing opinions and debate ours.

    So, I would like to humbly request that before joining in an existing conversation, could all those who are new to this room please take a minute to post an introductory message (either in this thread or in a new one of your own), to let us know who you are and a little about your basic belief system.

    This room was set up so that those of us who intend to raise our children without the influence of any supernatural beings, "God(s)", or organized religion could have a place to gather to discuss issues we face as Secular parents and find support. As a minority group in this country we may occasionally feel a need to vent our frustrations about things such as separation of church and state, or the intrusion of other people's religion into our personal lives, but those topics should not be viewed as invitations to those who disagree with us to debate our views.

    We do welcome all those who feel that they belong in this room based on their world views. There are ladies (and a gentleman or two) whose beliefs range from "strong" atheism to those who are not sure what they believe, to those who do believe in a God, but don't feel that traditional organized religion is right for them and feel more "at home" here. All we really ask of those who want to join us is that you please remember that this room was meant as a "safe haven", free from argument, debate and judgement from those who don't share our views.

    Thanks.


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