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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Simply Rapturous

Hello all!

I am 35. (as I write this I have no reaction, good or bad, to this number)

But when I look back on my life, I can see certain milestones, while others are completely missing.

20 years ago, I was in high school and I'd just converted to fundamental christianity. It was hard walking through the halls with my "jesus" t-shirts and trying to convince everyone that what I believed was the right way even when I really had no clue (and couldn't admit it).

Needless to say, I was shy about witnessing even though our pastors encouraged us to make asses of ourselves due to the persecution fantasy - which further encourages fundies to act like they have to get us to hate them.

This is a critical time in life as people are trying to sort out what they want to do with their lives or what they don't want to do.

The problem for me was that I was caught up in the whole fundamental rapture doctrine and thought that jesus would return any day and that "it's all gonna burn" <---common fundie phrase in my day.

(side note: I find it sick that they celebrate the destruction of the earth)

So, naturally, I didn't really plan for the future. I didn't really look into what I like - or loved - doing because I thought it'd be a waste of time. Hey, I was young and impressionable. That is my only excuse.

And: I wasn't taught to think critically.

Am I to blame?

I like to think no. After all, I only know what I am exposed to, and having a fundie mom and a dad who didn't really care about my religious slanting didn't make it easy for me. I was surrounded by fundie friends who convinced me that we were right and everyone else was wrong and I stayed in my bubble.

Until I opened my mind a bit. Then it opened more and more. (the long story short)

See: I was convinced jesus would return in 1991. Then 1992. Then 2000. By '95, I'd been fed up with the (unbeknownst to me) illogical assertions of religion. I knew it was wrong but not why and couldn't articulate my thoughts. I didn't shed my beliefs totally until around 2000. As I tell my friends now who ask how I went "from that to this": "I put my brain back in my head".

Now, at 35, I have found what I truly love doing and I am going to go back to the university to pursue that passion. A bit late, but I don't want to surrender my life to the former, crazier way I was and say that I couldn't salvage it.


  1. Well, in relation to that rapture stuff I used to believe in myself, there's a debate going on at Ray's blog about the prediction that christ would come within the lifetimes of the people who were around then.

    This cartoon deals with the consequences of the failure of that prediction.

    I don't think I could get away posting this there, so I'll put it here instead.

  2. Hey, Bob...

    I can relate totally to everything you've written, except that I was nearly twice your age at the time I became a fundie. Which means I should have been older & wiser, but wasn't. Thank the ordered universe that I finally woke up at age 43.

    You said: I was shy about witnessing even though our pastors encouraged us to make asses of ourselves due to the persecution fantasy - which further encourages fundies to act like they have to get us to hate them.

    I remember taking a course at church called "Becoming a Contagious Christian." Both the lecturer and the book that went with the course kept using the phrase "Hold their feet to the fire." That alone was enough to get me to ease away from that course...I'm half Jewish and knew too much about history, as in Catholic church and Inquisition, to accept that phrase without all its heavy associations.

    So glad you're in the happy place now, the place of self-determination. The only place to be.


  3. Good for you for turning away from the fundieness. That had to be hard. I've pretty much always been an atheist so I don't really know what its like to leave a religion. Once I realized there was no Santa, I kinda figured out that the god story was just as fictional, much to the dismay of my family.

    And its never to late to go back to school.

  4. Something I just noticed. Look at my original comment then look at Ray's quotation of it.

    Notice anything different?

    Oh yeah. Good job on getting over that fundy mind set. Believe me, it takes a while for it to fully get out of your system.

    What I find helps is that when you go over the readings of creationists and apologists and see just how full of shit they really are, that really helps affirm your new-found doubt about the "faith" they're trying to peddle.

    In that way, people like Ray Comfort are actually useful.

  5. Bob,

    I consider it heroic when someone who has been culturally conditioned since birth can turn to logic and reason and break the bonds of that early conditioning.

    By the way, my Dad fought in WWII and didn't get to return to college until he was that same age as you, thirty five.

    That was kinda fun for both of us because I had the advantage of experienceing a college education through him a few years before I went.

    I was reading psychology etc, long before I would have been exposed to it normally.

    Thirty five is by no means too late. My Dad went on to have a long and distinuished rwenty five year career after graduating.

  6. A sincere congratulations that you were able to use your own mind to consider the nature of reality.

    Really, that's all that happened. It wasn't a religious fundamentalism issue - it was that you were taught to ignore your own perception and thought processes.

    It's never too late to wake up :)

  7. Notice anything different?

    Not to excuse it, but you have to understand that this is actually how they spend time trying to understand the Bible. They quote mine the book they claim to worship, looking for any possible meaning that can be tortured and wrangled from the confusing text.

    It should be no surprise that they attempt to do the same in ordinary conversation.

  8. It's always an honor when people share their deconversion stories. Congratulations Bob and Volly, and thanks.

  9. volly said:
    "So glad you're in the happy place now, the place of self-determination. The only place to be."

    That's nice. It's got a good ring. "The happy place"

    Great title for a blog no?


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