Atheism in the "belt".

Discussion in 'Religion, Beliefs and Spirituality' started by DirtySix, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. I was born and raised in the Bible Belt, raised Catholic in a church where they hit you in the head with a stick if you were acting up.

    I "believed" in so much as any kid does - only because my parents did.

    When I told everyone I was no longer a believer, there was a lot of negative reaction.

    I have honestly been met with more hostility over my lack of belief than the stretched septum and lip piercings and being covered in tattoos (including ones that are not concealed by average winter clothing). I've been met with dumbfounded looks as though the person never thought someone they knew could EVER be something only talked about in whispers or joked about in church. Genuine confusion because they just assumed I was a believer!

    Anyone else grow up atheist in the belt?
     
  2. yes, i switched over when i was real young though, and got many of my then friends to jump on the wagon as well.

    of course there is a church on every street here, everything is christian affiliated, which means i don't go around wearing dawkins t-shirts or something.

    i just don't talk about religion here, and everything seems to go well
     
  3. The amount of church's here is almost appalling. The government even recently granted a creationist theme park some millions of dollars to build one. It's fucked up and we're slowly losing sight of the separation of church and state we so desperately need around here.

    One church in my town was able to build what essentially is a giant stage with a massive projector on just donations. People willingly giving their money to build nice churches but our schools are suffering with teachers getting paid barely enough to scrape by on and obsolete material and equipment with which to teach the kids.

    Doesn't matter how stupid our kids are as long as they're god fearing, apparently.
     
  4. all those different churches....keep the people separate and against one another.....the government likes that just fine...as it means we wont be getting together against them.....;):smoke:

    i grew up back and forth between NY and FLA

    so i saw all kinds of shit....

    from what i have seen....(my first wife was raised catholic and i have had several friends raised the same) the people raised in the catholic church really seem to have it the worst .....
    and there whole set up (the catholics that is) seams to be the one that is farthest from what that book they claim to follow says they should be doing....

    i am not an atheist.... as i have a ton of personal theorys about spirituality for lack of a better term....
    i have reasons to believe there is something more out there....
    and reason to believe anyone who says they have figured out exactly what it is....is full of shit

    i do not follow any religion at all....for so many reasons....
    yet i study many of them....
    and ask many questions of the "religious" people i meet....

    hell at one point i had the Jehovahs witness people coming over every week to bring new people to hear what i had to say....

    all because i asked them questions they haddnt thought of before....

    like why do you claim to follow this shit but know nothing about it?

    the one that so many of them never know the answer to....

    "how do you pray?"

    they begin to stammer.....and become uneasy.....

    some of them come out with the lords prayer of coarse....

    and then i ask ...why would any god limit you so much?

    if you wish to comunicate with this god....why wouldnt your every waking thought be your prayers? why wouldnt your daily actions and how you live your life be the greatest tribute you could give to this god of yours?


    what god would give you this life to live in fear of fucking up?
    to waste trying to define things you cant see from here?


    what god would send you to eternal damnation.....
    for not being perfect....
    when that is how it made you?

    if there is a god.......religion has got it all wrong......

    and he is going to be pissed at them....for fucking up everything and wasting their time!

    if this life was given to you ...it is a gift....
    what god would give it to you for any reason other then to learn what you can and enjoy yourself along the way?

    what god wants you to mourn your faith.....

    how could anything be a greater tribute to a creator then making the fucking most of this life you have been given!!!!


    i could go on but i think you get the idea.....

    i believe we will find out when we get there....

    there is no past ...and the future is but a dream....

    now is all we ever have....


    sorry ...i know this probably has shit nothing to do with you op six...but it just came out anyway.....;):smoke:
     
  5. No need to apologize, always appreciate what you have to say, friend.

    It hits home with a lot of frustrations I have with the religious here. You can't even get them into an intelligent discussion where they will allow their beliefs to be challenged. They can't handle it. They use unfalsifiable claims and get nervous and quiet until you give up and stop, or worse they become consumed with the fact that they've never been exposed to someone who thinks so differently and they lash out in whatever way.

    Some spend their whole lives blaming the faithless while the faithless are concerned with the world around them and fixing immediate problems.

    They call atheists angry, hateful people. But how do you expect someone to react when you just tell them they're going to hell unless they repent and worship god? How do you expect them to react when you can't even calmly and intelligently defend your faith or even just politely decline to enter the discussion?

    Obviously here I don't have to bite my lip when religious tripe is thrown around. I can say how I truly feel about it. But what do I do when it's close friends and family? I can't ask them to debate their beliefs with me no matter how calmly the discussion may be.
     
  6. #6 dirtydingusus, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2011
    i live with my sister...and she wants to be very religious....idk why...
    (i didnt mention that back and forth between NY and FLA...in NY it was no church in FLA is was southern baptist) anyway ...she works with some gay people....
    and she likes them alot is friends with them.....
    yesterday we are driving and she is talking about one of them....
    and says something about how he mentioned that he likes girls too....and she said how happy that made her cus now there is hope for him....
    i had no choice but to ask....hope for what? wtf?

    she said "you know i love them but they are all going to burn in hell for being gay"

    really?
    so i say to her what i would say to any one.....

    what god would condemn you to hell for following how you feel?
    for following what you find inside?
    isnt that the fucking message the guy you claim to follow was teaching? the kingdom of heaven is in you ..... so if these guys find this to be what is in them...should that be exactly what they are following?

    what god would make them feel this way then damn them for it?
    no god i would follow.....

    it is ridiculous sometimes the shit that religion comes up with ....
    and of coarse she wont talk about it....
    she will say nothing when i tell her shit like this...and tell me she cant answer cus we wont agree....
    (at least there is no bulshit fight about it!;):smoke:)

    but no intelligent discussion....cus she knows that the ideas the church holds onto dont hold up to intelligent questioning....
    you would have to be willing to be flexible in your ideas to do that ...and when you refuse to believe anything is true other then what the guy in front of the room says......
    well we have seen many times where that goes....

    god would be alot more atractive of an idea to alot more people ...if religion didnt keep defining god as some bulshit........
     
  7. "Why?" is a question that stumps a lot of them.

    I went "abroad" (to another state) one summer when I was still in high school.

    It was probably the time in my life where it really solidified my current belief, and I'll tell you why

    There was a deeply religious kid there. I got along with him as a person. Super nice guy, would give you the shirt off his back to help you. Never said an inherently mean thing about anyone.

    But we would stay up late into the night talking religion. Me, him and a couple of others usually.

    His absolute conviction in telling me that I was going to hell because I didn't believe the way he did (I was still a little on the fence at this point) really showed me what kind of people religion can breed.

    I was baffled as to how someone could be some calm and collected in telling someone they were going to suffer in eternity for not praising Jesus and still be nice to my face. Some of them honestly believe this shit. So from that point on, I decided that no current idea of god was any sort of god I would want to follow.

    Which turned into outright disbelief. I abandoned the thought, the question "is there something out there?" was nothing to me. I found I was much happier existing in the moment without notions of what happens after I die.

    Then "experimentation"

    Which led me to feel like everyone finds, in themselves, what the religious call "god". And that's the best way I can describe how I felt from that point on. I had found my love, my peace with myself. I saw who I was.. first with disdain, but learned to love what I truly was. My "religion" if you will.

    Thats when I grew to become really disdainful of religion. Telling people what's in themselves instead of allowing them to find out in their own journey. And I think that's the problem with some people. They let others tell them where their journey goes when everyone should take some time and really find their peace.

    And then shut the fuck up about it because it's not real to anyone else but you. :)
     
  8. I live in Maryland. It's not in "the Belt", but there's a lot of ignorant shit to go around if that's your cup of tea. Maryland was established by Cecil Calvert also known as Lord Baltimore as a Catholic colony way back in the day. There's a lot of Catholics here. I was raised Catholic. I went to Catholic elementary school and went to a Catholic high school. I was also confirmed. My grandparents on my mother's side are Spanish Catholics and my grandparents on my father's side are French Catholics. My family holds God in their hands/hearts. Everyone, right down to the little kids believe in God (at least I'm pretty sure). Even my uncles, as bright and intellectual as they are refuse to question their religion. However, my contemporary cousins act like they're atheists... They drink, smoke, and are relatively promiscuous (the ones that don't have significant others at least). The antithesis of Christian behavior. I feel like a fucking outsider every time I'm at family gatherings because it makes me realize how much different I am from the rest of my family. Everyone else seems "normal", then there's me. Then again, I don't think a lot of "normal" people go to Harvard...

    Then there's me. I don't believe in God. Gave it up at the age of 15 as I started to see all the bullshit in the world. I gave up Catholicism for a number of reasons. The main one was the problem of evil, the second one was the fallacy of hell. I don't see how people can envision a place of eternal suffering for their fellow human beings who do not believe in God or Jesus Christ. That concept scares the dickens out of me because there's a lot of people who follow religion just so they have a guaranteed spot in heaven.

    My mom thinks I'm going through a phase right now because of my indifference to Christianity. She even blames college for it. Little does she know that my atheism is "my cross to bear".
     
  9. Yes, but my parents and peers have always been very supportive!
     

  10. the best part of your post......is if anyone took the time to pay attention for themselves.....that last part ...where you found your peace.....is exactly what the jesus guy so many claim to follow was telling them....
    the reason they nailed him to the cross....

    was because he was telling people that god was not some asshole waiting to punish you....

    that religion has it wrong...and everything you need is already inside you

    we humans come fully equipped...;):smoke:

    religion hates this idea...it takes their power away and gives it all to the individual.....you dont need them......at all

    and this is why they nailed him to a stick......

    but they dont tell you that in sunday school do they?


    "if you dont believe like i do you are going to burn in hell!"
    what a crock of shit....

    i mean really ...why would a god bother making us if most of us are going to burn in hell...unless he is one sadistic sob...in which case again...not someone/thing i am willing to follow.....

    your ideas and mine are not so different...i follow what i find inside....

    between my personal experimentation...and the natural hallucinations i have been fortunate enough to live with.... i do believe there is something more....but i dont believe religion has it figured out by a long shot.....


    my dad was big into the "church shit" when i was younger.....
    and i would ask him questions....

    i remember asking him why there were no dinosaurs in the bible...wen i was like 15....(mom thru me out and i went to stay with him)
    his actual answer was.....dinosours never existed...they are fake and made up by people who follow the devil to try and fool people away from god......lmfao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i tried to explain that i had been to the museum of natural history in NYC and saw the bone with my own eyes.....
    he claims it is all lies....
    wtf?
    really?

    some of the ridiculous answers you get from these people at times it can be extremely frustrating.....
     
  11. add to my list....what god would want you to follow him/it out of fear?




    now ...hell....
    you know the Egyptians believed that this is hell ....
    here the physical plane .....
    and we are here to reach an understanding of good and evil.....
    and we keep coming back here till we obtain that understanding ...and can then go back to being one with the spirit that we all were once a part of........

    i can buy into this idea much better then the christian idea of hell.....but still dont feel it is complete




    (i asked my dad how it could be dark in hell when there is fire everywhere? he said they have dark black flames there to keep it dark....just make shit up when you dont have an answer)
     
  12. Well, "the machine at the end of the universe" (I'm not sure if this is something you've experienced or not), never instilled in me the idea of "something more" but rather closer to the phrase "you are more" as in every human is more than what they understand themselves to be (but like I said, everyone finds their own 'peace' so i imagine thats part of it).

    But I do agree that ultimately we believe the same at the level that it matters.

    I have tried to even come down a little in regards to terminology when talking to more of my willing-to-debate religious friends and just say I found "god" in myself. I found myself, my purpose and everyone does the same thing and all they're doing is choosing to call the same thing I feel after their religion and have been met with stiff resistance to even that idea. "Oh no, the biblical god is very real!"

    I tried.
     

  13. all you can do is try......
    and i dont think it is the same for everyone at all.....
    it can be quite similar tho.....
    i have an understanding of what you mean by "the machine at the end of the universe"
    altho i didnt see it represented as such exactly....

    btw-
    i was meaning the same thing ...just different words...;):smoke:
    whats funny bout that is the damn Egyptians....this is exactly what they had to say .....that the part of you that is connected to everything....was once a part what they considered god.....
    and will be again.....
    they way they word this idea.....
    it comes across as if your sole/spirit is a part of what they call god....and your whole purpose here in what they consider hell-is to learn to understand both good and evil.....
     
  14. Nor did my friend, but there were themes and emotions that were too coincidental to ignore. Mine and Terrence McKennas visions just happened to be really eerily similar in both presentation and emotion.

    It's strange how a simple twist on a phrase can connect two previously perceived different notions.

    I also think the egyptian culture is one of the keys to unlocking a lot more about humanity as it is today. They figured out so much shit but so much was lost.
     
  15. there is a little known ...little excepted group of people .....putting together some ideas that they are currently calling neurotheology...
    i have posted shit from some of them many times ...it always gets ignored.....
    we do all have the same organic mass......
    and there is no state of mind that lacks an organic root.....
    when people are having these experiences....the ones we are discussing as well as other "religious" experiences...there is a certain part of your brain that is active......
    the fact that we all have the same device for translating stimuli...
    makes it perfectly reasonable that those emotions and visions would be similar......if not close enough that when one describes it another can recognize the meaning.....


    now think of how many times those books they follow have been translated......and how many times the words have been twisted....and how far from the original ideas they could be now...with just a few turns.....end up way off coarse.....
    how often is it the fact that those you try and discus with cant understand you because they refuse to understand the meaning of a single word.....;):smoke:


    i got ahold of a book that is "printed but not published" "not for sale"
    that is all about what the Egyptians taught....
    one of the things this book does is show how all of the stories in most religions are the same...and are simply retellings of what the Egyptians taught with names and minor details changed to suit the purpose of the writer....:eek:;):smoke:

    they built some really amazing ideas from some very simple concepts...
     
  16. One of the main points I like to make is that the only thing I'm doing when I "experiment" is that I'm only stimulating receptors that are already made to do what they're about to do.

    Thousands of years of known use across cultures not ever aware of each other seeing the same things over and over and over...

    I try to explain the similarities between religious tales but they always look for minor, arbitrary differences to refute while ignoring the fact the overall story is the same.
     
  17. Im so confused OP did you grow up in the Belt as catholic and when you told people you were atheist is when you were grown up?

    Shouldn't you being asking did anyone grow up believing in god and stopped it when thought you were done growing up?
     
  18. No, I had made it clear I had no regard for religion in general when I was young. Lack of belief in god came later.

    Nope.
     

  19. Crystal clear now.
     
  20. Thanks for the excellent contribution.
     

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