Try to be more respectful

A letter from Ken

Im all for free speech and creativity, and i enjoy coming to this site as i am in a transition mode spiritually...but i would just suggest to try and remain as respectul as possible with the content you can control. The gallery with the artwork and the shirt and key chains leave a bad taste in my mouth. Once i viewed the gallery and shop this site switched from something mature and intellectual to something juvenille and mocking, and that is no way to have people listen to you. To me this should be a place where Christians and exchristians alike can come and talk faith, an open forum where doubting christians can come without fear of mocking attacks or being made the villian. Obviously since this site is called exchristian i would assume that those in charge would understand where people are coming from and the long held emotional connections to imagery and beliefs they have. I once fought for my faith so strongly and it built up in me extremly powerful emotions and sensitivities. This process is not over nite especially if youve been believing since youth, and many as i have will come to be fed more info, more testimonials, more articles and videos, in hopes of making their final decision. Infuriating emotions regardless if they are in the process of getting discarded is no way to have a person full of doubt listen. Seeing a jesus fish being humped by the evolution fish is not "encouraging ex Christians", it will only perpetuate the myth of the pious that without christianity we are just assholes waiting to happen, with no tact or sensitivity toward others. They will just go into defense mode and the mind you are so hoping to open and 'encourage' will shut like a bear trap as soon as they see this stuff. Thank you for your time.

104 comments:

Rastilin said...

Respectful for what reason? It's irritating to hear people argue on the basis that it may offend others, let THEM come forward if they find this stuff offensive, but it shouldn't be taken down simply because it MIGHT be offensive to some hypothetical third party.

Claire Nouveau said...

When i read your letter the first time through, i though "yeah... he's kind of right..." "there is a lack of sensitivity here, that could come off as a bit juvenile and petty"...and in truth, i do get what you're saying. There was a comment on another post a while back entitled: "Opening the floodgate for all my doubts", from someone saying they were from the church of satan and that the new ex-christian should check it out, i thought, "oh great! way to scare him back into his christian burrow!".
When a new de-convert comes out, our initial reaction is to coddle and protect them, as if there's some cushioned and secure route out of the fold of christianity. The reality is that there isn't, and just as in the church you had views and interpretations that you disagreed with, the same will be true in the outside world. You may never feel comfortable with an anti jesus fish on your car, or a goofy 'dude where's my cross' poster on the wall...but you are you, and i'm afraid you can't speak for everyone. I'm reminded of a quote from Neil Gaimans book 'Good Omens', "It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people."
It's time to grow up out of our sensitivities and deal with reality, isn't that why we left christianity in the first place?

florduh said...

"that is no way to have people listen to you. To me this should be a place where Christians and exchristians alike can come and talk faith, an open forum where doubting christians can come without fear of mocking attacks or being made the villian."



First, we aren't looking for people to de-convert. We blow off steam here.

This is a great place already, and what you, personally, think it should be is irrelevant.

We have Christians come here frequently and feed us the same bullshit we've already heard a thousand times. Hell, some of us TAUGHT that bullshit. We get a little testy with them. So what?

We are what we are, and not everyone will find it suits their taste.

The Internet is big, start your own site and perhaps you can control the content to your tastes.

Anonymous said...

To me this should be a place where Christians and exchristians alike can come and talk faith

That would be like allowing beer commercials at an AA meeting!

Sorry, Ken, I know you mean well. But you don't get to set the rules here.

Perhaps there should be a site like the one you mention, but it just isn't this one. This site has its personality, its webmaster, and its followers.

Perhaps you want to think of creating YOUR OWN site, where you can set the rules and preach your message.

speck said...

Perhaps in time, you will find that two fish fucking is funny. Till then, you should avoid irreverent (worldly?)humor.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Ken,

I kind of agree with you. When I first found this site, I was excited to have found a place where people who had been through a similar experience to my own could hang out and discuss their beliefs openly. I'm slightly disappointed to find that this site is almost as dogmatic and intolerant as the people who it attacks. I suppose it's their right to perpetuate hate and intolerance, and I'm glad they have a safe and unobtrusive place to voice their views. I'm just sorry to find out the true nature of this site. C'est la vie.

Best of luck to you man.

Hellbound Alleee said...

My advice? Take responsibility for you own feelings of offense. No one else is responsible for your sensibilities. You cannot expect people to be psychic, to know what offends you in particular. As a matter of fact, if we thought we could only say things that never offended anyone, we might as well be back at work in the closet, with our mouths shut out of fear of being fired.

So what would be the point of that?

This is not about the sensitivities of others. This is about individuals telling their stories.

I would be worried about a place that says, "come on in, tell your stories, be honest here, we know that you came from a place where you feared that if others knew the real you, you would be hated....oh, and by the way, you can't say anything that might offend someone. So sorry."

So start your own forum, that's heavily moderated. I'm sure that there is a big audience for that kind of thing. I see it all over the internet. Lots of politics, lots of heavy-handed policing. People eat that shit up. Oh, so sorry. Said the S-h-naughty word!

Astreja said...

Ken: "To me this should be a place where Christians and exchristians alike can come and talk faith, an open forum where doubting christians can come without fear of mocking attacks or being made the villian."

That isn't the primary purpose of this site, Ken. There are other places on the Internet that fill that particular role.

"...it will only perpetuate the myth of the pious that without christianity we are just assholes waiting to happen, with no tact or sensitivity toward others."

Many of our "visitors" will feel that way no matter how respectful our demeanour. The people who are actually struggling with their faith don't tend to attract a lot of negative attention. The Enlightened Anointed Annoying Bible-Bots, on the other hand, are here to preach The Truth™ and don't give a rat's ass about our side of the story. In such a situation, "dialogue" is an illusion and civility is wasted.

I tend to start in neutral mode and use reason-based discourse. However, I reserve the right to tear someone a new one if the dialogue warrants it. I refuse to 'play nice' with people who don't respect us or our experiences. When some brainwashed believer comes on here to tell us we're bound for hell, civility has already been breached and it's payback time.

Philip R Kreyche said...

In a way, I do agree. I've seen much juvenilia since I first started coming here, but I've seen much sublime reasoning as well.

But like you said, you believe in free speech, and so do I. In the end it doesn't matter what the ex-Christian community is made out to be like. Any faltering Christian who refuses to try to deconvert based on the behavior of some of those that deconvert probably isn't mature enough to handle themselves in the world of non-superstition.

They should, though, in time, come to understand that oftentimes "by theirs fruits shall ye know them" doesn't necessarily need to be followed.

eejay said...

My feeling is this. For years a good many of us here had been subjected to an abusive form of xtianity. Taught to respect the word of god as the ultimate authority, whether it made sense or not. We were taught that the punishment for disobedience of god's word would lead to an eternal punishment far more brutal than anything we could imagine. We were taught to be scared to wuestion, scared to doubt, scared to live, for fear of pissing the creator off. You know, when we finally get down to reality and see the bullshit for what it is, is becomes theraputic in a sense to disrespect the whole doctrine of xtian faith for what it is and for what it has done to our lives. This place wouldn't be half as good if we couldn't laugh at those things that once held us in our own form of bondage. I find it humorous to watch xtians speaking in tongues and engaging in bizarre behavior. I find it humourous to have pedophiles behind the pulpit (or altar) get caught and punished. I like this site for the ability to turn xtianity inside out and expose it for the horrible disgusting thing it is. Like the others said, if you don't like this site, feel free to make your own or surf elsewhere.

Jackie said...

Ya know, I'm all for being "better than them" in the public arena, but this is our turf. It's called ex-christian for a reason. Christians are trying to infiltrate every part of society from the winter solstice to the public education and court system. It's nice to have a place where I can get some real funny humor and rant a little without people being offended. We go to work and spend time with families that get easily offended. But here? If you're offended or think you are more mature for some anti-religious humor then you should just go back to church.
I love the people on this website and appreciate their openness. I hope one day you see it the same way.
Ciao

boomSLANG said...

Wal-russ...I'm slightly disappointed to find that this site is almost as dogmatic and intolerant as the people who it attacks.

Yeah, I'm a little disappointed, too---I'm disappointed that people equate the position, I don't believe in things for which there is no credible evidence, with religious "dogma"... as in, a soldified, immovable conviction where "evidence" has no meaning, whatsoever.

I'm further disappointed that after leaving the "one-size-fits-all" mentality of Christianity, that quite a few non-believers feel that there should be some sort of Unified nonbeliever's "mandate" that everyone needs to follow, complete with protocal for dealing with religious zealots.

I'm further disappointed that people feel that I should be "tolerant" of the religious guests who stumble in here, while many, if not most, try to tell me what [[[ I ]]] think, and what I "truly" believe, or don't believe, and why.

And besides, is being "tolerated" really what they're looking for? I think not; I think they are looking for 100% subservience to the position they are peddling.

Wayne said...

Ken and Wal-Russ...

If you can't take it here, go start your own site where everyone will be pleasant to each other, and flowers will grow, and kids will frolic in the sunny plains...

Hey fuckers - the world is a rough and tumble place. I grew up having offensive shit forced on me and I had no say in it or I got my ass kicked.

You two pussies came here VOLUNTARILY. Bitching about it once you walk in the door (that happens to be a WIDE OPEN EXIT as well) plainly illustrates what's wrong with this world. You fucktards get offended by us blowing off YEARS of frustration and anger - yet you don't seem to give a flying fuck about the offenses that got us so angry in the first place. Respect? Fuck you. Respect that.

Go back to your fuckin' hannah montana website and leave us alone, unless you've got something more than your own weak prejudices to add to the conversation.

Anonymous said...

Respectful for what reason? Maybe for the sake of respect, it still exists regardless of belief. This site isn't looking for people to deconvert; it’s just a place to blow off steam..really? It must be littered with videos, books and articles for decoration, my bad. My point behind this comment is not to say we must coddle people or that I can’t appreciate irreverent humor. The comment was possibly based on a false pretense (since I just found this site) and thought it was something that maybe its not. I assumed it was a place where you could have open-minded discourse; something not gained too often in the church, and as the site says get ‘encouraged’. I was coming from my personal experience of doubting and actually saying the words "I am not Christian" which was not as easy as just closing a book. When I share info with my Christian friends about my deconversion and things I'm reading there has to be a level of respect there or they wont lend me their ear. I wasn’t trying to make rules or tell people to stop being 'naughty', it was essentially what I believed to be a more effective way of telling Christians this info, to help open their minds and have them atleast take a glance, to keep them in the building as it were. Maybe I am wrong and that isn’t the goal of the site, but that is all I meant by it and I can't believe some of the responses it’s received (did 3 people actually tell me to start my own site because they didn’t like my opinion?) Some people twisted my very specific statements into some shit (I can say it too Hellbound) generalization of me telling people not to share stories or to censor personal experience or not to have anger about Christianity, which I never said and was not my point at all. I understand all of that stuff, Ive been beyond bitter because of Christianity and as an artist I’m not really hip to the idea of censorship, but censorship for the sake of censorship wasn’t my point.

Anonymous said...

Wayne thanks for that, ill cut and paste it to remind me of the person I hope to never be regardless of a belief in a higher power, way too lose it for no fuckin reason.

Mark said...

Ken,

Greetings. I am sorry if you were offended by something you saw on this site. I have recently "decovnerted", and I understand where you are coming from. I think you have to understand though, this site serves a number of different purposes. At first, it offered me testimonies, thoughts, and evidences that helped me make my decision. Now it is a place to get advice, hear opposing opinions, and have a good laugh as well. Yes, I've seen some things that I think may be a bit over the edge, but I either get over it, or don't look. This is a Blog essentially, and not every little thing can be monitored. Overall it is an excellent place to come and have an honest and open debate. People often post comments that are silly or ridiculous. That is there right. Someone mentioned how someone commented on my deconversion story about "opening the floodgate for all my doubts." The person recommended trying satanism. I don't know if they were serious or what, but I certainly took it with a grain of salt. I was not offended or bothered by that. It is not something I intend to look into, but again censoring every comment or post is just not reasonable, so we have to do some of that for ourselves.

sconnor said...

Fuck it. Delusional christians, who have convinced themselves they know what god wants and how we should act, who convinced themselves, they are morally superior and god is somehow on their side, who have succumbed to a false sense of authority, using god's supposed voice, as their own, to push their own unique and perverted agendas, are only deserving of disrespect and wholly, worthy of mockery and ridicule.

When the realization that the supposed word of god -- the Bible -- has no credibility, zero authority and reeks, solely, as a fallible, human, construct, it leaves us with nothing to define, who this god character is. Only the deluded and ignorant; the complacent and the insecure; the unreasonable and the superstitious, can weave a religion, where their wants and needs are completely similar to the wants and needs of their god. Once it has been established that christianity has no viability, no authority, and is completely imaginary and absurd -- then, anytime a christian vomits up scripture, or claims America was founded on christian values, or evolution is a lie, or they know what god wants, then it is our responsibility -- with reality and logic, on our side -- to mercilessly, lampoon and mock them (even with obscenities) into submission, because when you really get down to it, they only have an illusion of god-knowledge and it is ludicrous to think they know something we don't.

--S.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it.

The site claims to be all about encouraging ex-christians.

How does bad-mouthing christians encourage ex-christians?

I don't think it has much to do with respect or offense at all.

If you want to encourage someone who just decided to learn to swim, would you verbally attack non-swimmers?

It just doesn't make much sense.

Some say that the purpose of this site is to let ex-christians blow of steam.

Fine.

Then say that up front, and quit advertising the site as a place of encouragement.

webmdave said...

Being able to blow off steam is a form of encouragement for some people.

Perhaps you, Greg, also need a place to vent in order to relieve some of your anger issues? Just a thought.

When people escape other cults, you don't admonish them to be respectful of their former cult, do you? Well do you? I would guess that if a JW or a Mormon or a Moonie left his or her "false cult" to join your "true cult," I bet you'd tolerate all kinds of disrespect toward those "false cults."

We, Greg, have come to the realization that Christianity is just another ridiculous cult.

Christianity is for kids, silly rabbit.

Anonymous said...

Be respectful? Bullshit! How respectful should we be of Nazis? rapists? the KKK? child abusers? I'll debate a Christian, but respect one? No way! The problem is that they have been getting too much respect. They should be made to know that being a Christian is not something respectable. It's dirty and it's low class, and that's how I'm going to treat them!

boomSLANG said...

Someone mentioned that people just aren't "getting it". Ditto.

Let's see the latest....

greggsewell...Some say that the purpose of this site is to let ex-christians blow [off] steam.

Yes, uh huh, that is one of the purposes, and if any visiting person takes the responsibility to find out what the site entails before they chime right in and preach, or be "offended", it would seem to me that a good starting point would be to investigate some of the testimonies, either of its owner, or members, or both.

Now, is that unreasonable or undimplomatic? I personally don't think so. And moreover, if these vistors did just that, they'd get some perspective as to why people are angry for having spent(wasted) many years of their lives having friends, family, strangers, and media forcing religion down their throats.

But of course, the bottom line is that any visiting Christian won't see it that way, testimonies, or not, because of course, they don't see their "faith" as a "religion", nor do they see it as anything that is being forced on anyone. No, they see it as Universal Truth that is "a choice". Thus, that is the "rub". 'Get it?

greggsewell...Fine.

Evidently not.

greggsewell...Then say that up front, and quit advertising the site as a place of encouragement.

In an attempt to resolve this issue, I implore you to consider the following perspective:

Having pent-up emotions and ruminating on things - things such as unceasing feelings of inadequacy in eyes of some "God", this, for years and years and years, and all the while, being afraid to be in touch with those emotions, can easily turn to rage within an individual.

What I'm telling you is, once an individual determines that they've falsely harbored such emotions, then the next logical step is for the body to be cleansed of those emotions. Well, friend, "anger" is one such cleansing emotion, and the reality is, many newly deconverted people still feel guilty for harboring such emotions, and thus, they need encourgement in knowing that it's "okay" to be angry without guilt. Let me know if it's still not clear.

No, you are not obligated to agree. But you are, in a sense, obligating yourself to understand, if you are intent on hanging around. It's a "free choice"...a real one.

webmdave said...

I'm respectful of Christians just as I am respectful of any human being. And I respect Christianity to same degree that I respect Islam -- not very much. Religions that promise everlasting torment to human beings for nothing more than doubting the veracity of the religion encourage mistrust and hatred of others, are harmful to the personalities of many, and in my opinion were thought up by the obviously demented.

I see no reason to respect belief in magic, do you? I appreciate that some people do believe in magic, but I think it's silly.

nothing said...

To AntiChristian:

Respect has nothing to do with our personal belief's. We respect people because they are people. I am assuming you live in the USA. Even our court system states that people on trial are innocent until proven guilty. We even respect those who are on trial.

I am not sure what kind of people you have been around who claim to be a Christian but I have never been around Christian's who are comparable to the Nazis, rapists, KKK, and child abusers... that's just ridiculous.

Is there such a thing as too much respect? I don't believe society has ever been guilty of such a thing for any group of people. Also could you please list some examples of how Christian's get too much respect?

Your last sentence needs clarification. Are you saying that people who fall under the low class bracket are dirty? How does one treat a person who is in the low class bracket? I think they should still be treated with respect.

John of Indiana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John of Indiana said...

Respectful? Why? The Xians who come here telling us we were either "never really Xian" or that we were involved with the "wrong church" don't respect us.

Let me tell you a little story. I once belonged to a "Progressive" message board site with "Underground" in its name. They even had a forum we Atheists could call our own.
The problem was, the Xians who infested the site couldn't leave us alone. They'd come into our forum and either pick fights with us or see something that offended them.
Then they'd complain to the management, I guess threatening to withold their "donations" to the owners.
Soooo.... The owners put rules in effect that nobody could post anything "insulting" to any religion. And since Atheism is not a religion, well, we were fucked.
When they started banning members for not apologizing to the Fundies they "offended", I quit.

To put it another way, anybody stupid enough to believe a tale about a flying zombie-god and his band of cannibals is beneath my respect.

nothing said...

"To put it another way, anybody stupid enough to believe a tale about a flying zombie-god and his band of cannibals is beneath my respect." John of Indiana

What in the world are you talking about?

Mark said...

Well, I think Ken's original proposal is probably a fair one:

"remain as respectul as possible with the content you can control"

Remain as respectful as POSSIBLE. I do think that is a fair goal. I try to consider what I am saying and how I am saying it. I try to treat people with respect, even if they don't deserve it. NOT because some invisible god told me to turn the other cheek, but because i think we as humans have a responsibility toward one another to give some common respect and decency.

THAT said, many things that are "disrespectful" are also helpful, and can snap people out of their foolishness. I used to be offended by the darwin fish with legs that people had on their car. Now I do find it a humorous retort. It DID make me think and realize there were other views out there.

Dawkins book, "THE GOD DELUSION" was terribly offensive to me as a christian. Are you saying I'm delusional? How dare you? How rude and DISRESPECTFUL. But that title sucked me in eventually and caused me to open the book and open my mind. Dawkins is not overly "respectful" to the idea of christianity, but his sober analysis is often just what is needed.

Former Gov. of Minnesota Jesse Ventura said a number of years ago, "Christians use God as a crutch". I was outraged. So were many other christians. Yet I thought about that and realized, "you know, he's kinda right." I know he took a lot of crap for that, but I admire him for stating what he believes.

I could go on and on, but my point is not all things are going to be "respectful". Christians are often INTENSELY disrespectful. I could recount a number of stories in my deconversion. Sometimes people just need let things out, and throwing the blanket of "respect" over it just tends to take the fun out of it.

I do agree that the overall "tone" of the site should remain respectful and helpful. But right now I can tell you as someone who was VERY FUNDAMENTALIST for 27 Years, including 5 years of Pastoral training, 9 years of full time ministry, etc, I have found this site to be EXTREMELY helpful. I've laughed, i've cried, i've been comforted, i've received advice, and yes, ocassionally i've been offended. So WHAT? I'm a big boy and i get over it. Often those offenses have made me see I'm still clinging to my foolish belief system of the past. So i'm for the general premise of being respectful, but I leave a lot of lattitude to let people say what they honestly think.

JLECDM said...

I too came here searching for the truth, but it they do seem to have alot of angry people on this site. Which if you say you don't belive in something why do you hold such strong emotions toward something that you think isn't real anyway. Anger and Hatred are very strong emotions to hold against something you think is imaginary. I don't want to deconvert by hating christians just because they were taught and choose to believe something I don't. And when you say such harsh things about these people then you are only acting as ignorant as they are.

webmdave said...

To jlecdm:

Conform, conform, conform. This is the clarion call of Christianity. All members must conform.

Ex-Christians are united in only one way: they all decided to leave Christianity.

There are no rules on how one does this. There are no rules on how one feels in doing this. There are no rules on how one expresses his or her thoughts during this process. There are no built-in requirements or demands on the de-converting. There are no time tables to determine when or if a de-convert should finally stop being angry.

People who discover they were lied to, deceived and ripped off, quite often become angry. Realizing that Christianity is a lie and that I had been stupidly duped, quite frankly infuriated me on a number of levels.

Your opinion that no one should be upset at the mind-rape some have experienced from Christianity is duly noted. That opinion is also duly labeled as lacking empathy for the intended audience of this site, ignorantly inconsiderate, and summarily irrelevant.

I strongly encourage those who are offended by the strong feelings expressed by those who are in the process of healing from the damaging psychological effects of the false cult of Christianity endeavor with all hast to locate the little red X in the upper corner of this page and make use of it.

Anonymous said...

since many seemed to have not read my second post of clarification here it is.Respectful for what reason? Maybe for the sake of respect, it still exists regardless of belief. This site isn't looking for people to deconvert; it’s just a place to blow off steam..really? It must be littered with videos, books and articles for decoration, my bad. My point behind this comment is not to say we must coddle people or that I can’t appreciate irreverent humor. The comment was possibly based on a false pretense (since I just found this site) and thought it was something that maybe its not. I assumed it was a place where you could have open-minded discourse; something not gained too often in the church, and as the site says get ‘encouraged’.

I was coming from my personal experience of doubting and actually saying the words "I am not Christian" which was not as easy as just closing a book. When I share info with my Christian friends about my deconversion and things I'm reading there has to be a level of respect there or they wont lend me their ear. I wasn’t trying to make rules or tell people to stop being 'naughty', it was essentially what I believed to be a more effective way of telling Christians this info, to help open their minds and have them atleast take a glance, to keep them in the building as it were. Maybe I am wrong and that isn’t the goal of the site, but that is all I meant by it and I can't believe some of the responses it’s received (did 3 people actually tell me to start my own site because they didn’t like my opinion?) Some people twisted my very specific statements into some shit (I can say it too Hellbound) generalization of me telling people not to share stories or to censor personal experience or not to have anger about Christianity, which I never said and was not my point at all. I understand all of that stuff, Ive been beyond bitter because of Christianity and as an artist I’m not really hip to the idea of censorship, but censorship for the sake of censorship wasn’t my point.

to add...I understnd the anger issues with christianity, like i said i have been there i know how it feels. But this is my point; that all of you have first hand experience of who you were as a Christian and what you are now and i would think since you know both sides of the fence you could understand how some content could easily keep a Christian who is doubting his faith from taking a further look into what you have to offer. But then again this may be my biggest blunder in assuming this is what the site is for, when it seems clearly most here do just want to blow off steam.

boomSLANG said...

This might be redundant in the wake of Webmdave's post, but here are my thoughts, nonetheless...

jlecdem...I too came here searching for the truth, but it they do seem to have alot of angry people on this site.

Dear guest,

Perhaps you've read today's previous comments; perhaps you haven't. Nonetheless, here's what I said previously regarding this issue of "anger":

Having pent-up emotions and ruminating on things - things such as unceasing feelings of inadequacy in eyes of some "God", this, for years and years and years, and all the while, being afraid to be in touch with those emotions, can easily turn to rage within an individual.

What I'm telling you is, once an individual determines that they've falsely harbored such emotions, then the next logical step is for the body to be cleansed of those emotions. Well, friend, "anger" is one such cleansing emotion, and the reality is, many newly deconverted people still feel guilty for harboring such emotions, and thus, they need encourgement in knowing that it's "okay" to be angry without guilt.


Let me know if you have further questions.

You continue...Which if you say you don't belive in something why do you hold such strong emotions toward something that you think isn't real anyway. Anger and Hatred are very strong emotions to hold against something you think is imaginary.

We don't think "Jesus" is real. Correct; precisely! However, no one is angry at "Jesus". Yet, in fact, this is what the majority of visiting Christians assume---that we are "angry at God".

While some exchristians convert to Deism, we don't believe in biblegod. This is the common denominator here. End of discussion, right? Well, it would be, if Christians would stop waltzing in here and insisting that "Jesus is real!", and in conjuction with that, insist that they know our "minds" better than we do. Such things elicit feelings of frustration, and of course, a lot of frustration can lead to anger. 'Get it?

You...I don't want to deconvert by hating christians just because they were taught and choose to believe something I don't.

Fantastic. Then don't hate them.

You...And when you say such harsh things about these people then you are only acting as ignorant as they are.

Frankly, I think a lot of your conclusions are very blanketed, and show ignorance on your own part, at least, to the end of not knowing what this site is about, and the diversity here.

boomSLANG said...

kwartist99...this is my point; that all of you have first hand experience of who you were as a Christian and what you are now and i would think since you know both sides of the fence you could understand how some content could easily keep a Christian who is doubting his faith from taking a further look into what you have to offer. But then again this may be my biggest blunder in assuming this is what the site is for, when it seems clearly most here do just want to blow off steam.

Dear kwartist99,

Yes, I suppose it is a bit blunderous(your term) on your part if you think this site was put here as some sort of "cyber-snare" for wandering Christians to stumble upon, this, in an attempt for them to learn why people deconvert from their "faith". You mention having a perspective of boths sides. Okay, yes, and for me personally, I know, as a former believer, that someone treating me with kid gloves would not budge my stance.

Notwithstanding, there are a bazillion blogs for Christians to hang out on where they will get all the respect they think they deserve. What I'm saying is that moniker on this blog is concise and unequivocal. From there, you earn respect here.

'Hope this helps.

webmdave said...

To kwartist99:


You wrote, "Some content could easily keep a Christian who is doubting his faith from taking a further look into what you have to offer."

Maybe. What I think would be a more appropriate way to phrase your idea is that there may be SOME potential de-converts who may decline from taking a deeper look into what is offered on this site because of things that SOME people find offensive.

Conversion to Christianity is not a reasonable exercise. Initial conversion is typically an emotional response to various stresses or life-changing stimuli in a person's life that are frequently accompanied by an strongly emotional, "real" spiritual experience. Much later on, after the feelings have subsided a bit and the rational is allowed to resurface, a Christian will seek less emotionally based supports for his or her faith. This support may or may not come from the nearly limitless assortment of apologetic literature being pumped out to the tune of millions of dollars in profits every year. Between the strong hold of the emotional experience and the subsequent self-induced brain washing, many "true believers" may be more effectively shaken out their rock-steady delusion with an emotional baseball bat rather than the tickling from a rational feather.

Oh sure, some possible de-converts get their panties in a wad over some sophomoric attempts at humor, but I'll garuntee those same offended supplicants will think about what offended them for quite some time to come. It wasn't any one thing or one conversation or one book that helped me de-convert. It was all kinds of things. Obtaining the ability to finally be able to freely laugh at the images and ideas that I once devotedly worshiped was the indication to me that I was healed.

Finally, since conversion comes with a suitcase full of emotional baggage, de-conversion should not be expected to be without its own sack of emotions.

Anonymous said...

Ken is like someone who joins a club and then complains about the way the club is run and wants to change it, so that it works for him and I agree that if he desires, he can go start a de-conversion site that meets his needs. Thanks for your input Ken and others, but I for one have received nothing but encouragement and just when I felt like I was going to go insane, a laugh. Some people don't have a very creative sense of humor. To put it simply, I don't know what I would have done without this site--mostly at the beginning of my de-conversion, but even now.

Anonymous said...

nota barbie wrote "Ken is like someone who joins a club and then complains about the way the club is run and wants to change it, so that it works for him and I agree that if he desires, he can go start a de-conversion site that meets his needs." You need to actually read my posts and not post bullshit like this. I was very specific in my opinion and what my purpose was and also corrected myself and my assumptions. Complaining? Hardly.

Michelle said...

I wonder if Ken would rather we say exactly what we feel to christians in person when they approach us, trying to covertly or overtly witness to us. Maybe we should just say things like "Your constant references to God and Jesus offend me, could you please refrain from talking about them and all things spiritual in my presence?" Do you think those Christians will be polite and quietly back away, respecting our wishes? Or will we receive any one of the various responses: 1) further interrogation about our beliefs; 2) accusation that our dislike of deity references reveals an actual belief; 3) accusation that we're "trying to undermine their faith," 4) pity that we're a "lost soul" and that Jesus will "wait" until we're ready for him; or any variety of responses intended to provoke guilt, anger, fear, or any other negative feeling or reaction? Do you think a Christian would give us the respect that you think we owe them for being honest about ourselves?

Of course not! That's why we come here! Here, I can talk about my neurotic Christian co-worker who knows I'm an ex-christian but still insists on boring me to tears with how she's fasting herself to anorexia for spiritual reasons, or how she was able to buy three blouses really cheap during her lunch our because she's has "the anointing." For her and my sakes, I nod politely and say "that's nice" enough times to placate her. When other co-workers have asked her pointed questions about her faith, she got really defensive and accused them of trying to separate her from God. Yet, she feels entitled to spew her beliefs all day long to whoever she approaches. Christians are not able to just accept the fact that we don't want to hear about it--they turn it around on us, accusing us of being mad at God or living in denial or something similar.

So, Ken, many of us do respect Christians in the "real world" by holding our tongues, even when inside we're fuming or ready to stick a sharp object in our eye just to focus on something other than mind-numbing, unwanted spiritual dribble. Here, we can be ourselves. Why would you want to deny us that? It's only fair that we have a place to speak our minds since we let Christians pretty much say whatever they want to us because, you know, they're the chosen ones and the rest of us are just chaff.

Anonymous said...

Dave,
You apparently don't spend much time on this site. Here, you can see almost daily reports of child abuse by Christian pastors, ministers, and parents. These people use their Christian leadership status to take advantage of easy targets - the young and innocent.

And that's only the physical abuse. What about the mental abuse? I was raised as a Christian, and as a Christian, I was promised that Jesus loved me and would make my life better, but as I went along, I found out that Jesus wasn't making my life any better at all, so then I was told that Jesus would only make my life better if I purified myself from sin. But no matter how hard I tried to purify myself, Jesus just wasn't doing anything to help.

Then I was told that it simply wasn't a fact of purification, one had to have a very strong faith in Jesus. So I tried to do things that would increase my faith: reading the Bible daily, being in constant prayer and worship.

Nevertheless, there was no change for the better. Simple things like being shy, poor performance in school, a sick relative, being picked on by the other kids in school, things quite important to me as a child, were completely ignored by Jesus no matter how hard I prayed.

I was perhaps the most pious little kid in the whole city, but Jesus didn't do fuck all to help me one little bit. So a vicious cycle of unanswered prayers, guilt, and attempts at purification and increased faith filled my life. Every disappointment, every hardship, everything bad in my life seemed to be due to the fact that I simply wasn't a good enough Christian.

This is perhaps the worst form of mental abuse that could ever be heaped upon a child ... "You are the way you are just because you're not good enough."

There were two events that occurred that finally made me throw in the towel on Christianity. When I was nineteen my grandfather, who had been sick with heart disease for a number of years, finally passed away. I had been praying all that time for Jesus to heal him. Why didn't Jesus do it? Was it that cigarette I sneaked last year? Was it that girly magazine I peaked at six months ago?

When I was nineteen, two members of our church were effectually excommunicated. They were two young men, ages fifteen and sixteen. They had been in counseling with the youth pastor for several months trying to come to grips with their homosexuality. Try as they might, they could not overcome it. So our youth pastor went before the congregation and said, "Mr. X and Mr. Y are homosexuals. They are in sin and they will not repent. No one from this congregation is to have anything to do with them and they will no longer be allowed on church grounds." These two young, sensitive adolescents were publicly castigated and humiliated by a callous, bigoted, heartless "man of God."

I simply decided that I could not bear this mental torture anymore. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get any attention from Jesus whatsoever, and the Christians I knew were bigoted assholes. So I left Christianity and never returned at the age of nineteen.

How many little old ladies have been robbed of their life savings because a minister told them that the more they give to God, the more God will give to them?

How many teenagers have been marred for life with an unhealthy attitude towards sex because of the guilt heaped upon them by Christianity?

There are historical reasons for having nothing but disdain for Christianity as well. The Jews in Europe suffered greatly at the hands of Christians, including Adolph Hitler, for two thousand years.

I'm sure you've heard of The Inquisition, witch burning, heretic burning, the suppression of knowledge. Why were the Dark Ages called the Dark Ages? It's because the Christian church was in control.

Even Christians today attempt book banning/burning claiming sex and violence in those books. They obviously haven't spent much time reading their own Bible ... ignorant hypocrites.

The great scientific discoveries of the Enlightenment had to first overcome Christian bullshit before they became general knowledge. Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo are perfect examples of this.

The greatest collection of knowledge in the ancient world, the library at Alexandria, was destroyed due to policies made by Christian and, later, Muslims.

You see, I can see no redeeming value of Christianity whatsoever. It is child abuse, mental rape, a means of political and psychological domination, the cause of war, great suffering, torture and death, and a great hindrance to the progression of human knowledge.

I hate Christianity and I hold Christians in contempt for propagating this evil thing.

Dave, if I have offended you as a Christian, I apologize for offending you only as much as I have. In the future, I will try to find words that offend Christianity and Christians even more.

Yes, I will reiterate. Christianity is dirty and low class. It deserves only hatred, ridicule, and contempt.

It would be a slap in the face to the human race to show Christians respect.

Anonymous said...

Michelle wrote "Here, we can be ourselves. Why would you want to deny us that?" wow, you attribute so much power to me, im flattered, i didnt know i could deny you of anything. You also seem like you didnt read my post, all i gave was a suggestion in what i believed a more tactful way to deconvert. It was an assumption on my part that this was the sites purpose and i truly apologize, i totally believe in free speech, and am not here to make new rules that 'work for me' as so many claim i was doing.

Also to clarify further i never talked about catering selfrighteous Christians coming on here and badmouthing you guys. I was speaking about Christians who are in a pivitol doubting phase who seek answers, who want their minds opened. So many on here have taken very specific statements of a very specific topic and blown it into generalizations. They used my post as an excuse just to rant about the evils christianity has perpetuated or personaly attack me which is totally unwarrented based on what i had to say.

Many people have responded by saying there is no need for respect but i just dont agree. Christianity as an ideal, as a faith doesnt have to be respected but i believe the people do. If they are as brainwashed as many of us feel than they are the victim, just as I have felt like Christianity has messed me up. If someone kicks a drug habit they dont beat the other guy down cause hes still shooting up, they encourage him along, to help him.

I appreciate the input of the handful of people who took the time to understand what i was saying. Those who want to keep putting words in my mouth, so be it.

Emanuel Goldstein said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Andrew,

Long time no see! Welcome back!

No. I don't advocate violence towards Christians. Nero tried that already, and it only exacerbated the problem.

Nevertheless, I would advocate the taxing of churches, making it just a little bit harder for those money hungry charlatans to make a buck.

I would also advocate the prohibition of prayers, mention, of God, or use of the Bible from any and all government sessions, including congressional sessions, council meetings, and courts of law, as well as public schools.

I would also advocate the removal of "In God We Trust" from the currency.

I would only advocate the teaching of the Bible creation myth in school if it is taught alongside the Japanese creation myth, the Korean creation myth, the Hindu creation myth, the Swahili creation myth, and all the others.

In general, I would try to send a message to the Christians that they should keep their silly religion to themselves.

nothing said...

To AntiChristian

I suppose you don't have to respect me. It is your choice but I am going to give my two cents on your reply.

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15

It seems that you had wolves (so called Christians) around you for most of your Christian life. Jesus does not lay extra burdens on you like some of the examples you mentioned. He said things like, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” and “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” A lot of what you talked about I like to call add-ons. The Pharisees were good at this. It wasn't enough to have the 10 commandments so they added many others. Today we see people in leadership positions within the church doing the same thing. Do all Christians have add-ons? No, but the there are too many.

Jesus' yoke is easy and His burden is light but this is not to say that if you profess to be His follower that life will be easy. Anyone who says that Jesus will bless us with an easy life has obviously not read the Bible. Most holy men who are mentioned in the Bible had a difficult life. Ten of Jesus disciples were martyred for their faith.

Of course when we cross the time and cultural bridge we have to see how this fits into our life today. In the USA it is fair to say that no one is going to suffer martyrdom for following Jesus. Still life will not always be easy. People get Cancer, lose their job, a spouse dies. Prayers are always answered but not always the way we like them to be. I am sorry to say but Jesus is not a magic genie who answers every request.

Whether anyone here believes in a factual, historical Jesus (I do) those who profess to follow Him will have evidence. Paul mentions some of these evidences, “the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” Galatians 5:2-23. Of course because we are human we will not always produce these fruits but for the most part these should be seen in a person's life. Hitler never in his Third Reich demonstrated these attributes.

Sorry that you were surrounded by people who were not loving and merciful.

Wayne said...

" kwartist99 said...
Wayne thanks for that, ill cut and paste it to remind me of the person I hope to never be regardless of a belief in a higher power, way too lose it for no fuckin reason."

I never claimed to be a role model for anyone. As far as "no fuckin reason"... I have my reasons that are deeper to me than I'd ever tell anybody. I'll cut and paste your quote to remind me to not be an assumptive dipshit who thinks he knows peoples' reasons for acting certain ways.

Get off of my back and go practice your "art".

webmdave said...

David wrote, "Ten of Jesus disciples were martyred for their faith."

Really? Pray tell, where did you get this information? In case your knowledge of what the documented history actually tells about martyrdom in the early church, here's a link: The Martyrs.

Here's another: How did the apostles die?

To sum up, all that can be honestly said is that the original Bible characters known as apostles did indeed eventually die. The stories surrounding most of their deaths, however, are entirely legendary and unsupported.

David wrote, "Life will not always be easy. People get Cancer, lose their job, a spouse dies. "

So what you are saying is that the same hardships faced by all human beings are faced by all human beings. DUH! Nuff said.

David wrote, "Paul mentions some of these evidences (of 'True Christians™'), “the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” Galatians 5:2-23."

Wonderful! Paul also wrote, "If anyone does not love the Lord — a curse be on him." -- I Cor 16:22"

John purportedly wrote, "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work." -- II John 1, 10 & 11.

David, all you are repeating is the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. Further, you are setting yourself up as a judge of who is and who is not a "True Christian™." As I recall, Jesus condemned judging your others in the Sermon on the Mount. Regardless, since everything regarding "true conversion" is invisible, and since Christians are at odds over whether a true Christian can lose his or her salvation once it is acquired, and disagree on whether a person is chosen to salvation or not, and cannot determine salvatory (is that a word?) state of any person at all, all discussions about who is or who is not "true" is irrelevant speculation on your part.

Interestingly to me is that all Christians who think they have the ability to discern true Christians from false Christians always think of themselves as "TRUE CHRISTIANS™"

All the "true Christian" rhetoric is designed for one purpose: to provide a quick way to dismiss from discussion whomever a Christian deems "not true" so as to keep the rest of the flock in line, faithful, and tithing.

Don't worry David, you're not alone in your fallacious thinking. I too once thought I was gifted with the ability to pick out the true sheep from among the wolves in the flock. Perhaps one day you'll come to realize the simplistic inadequacy of your tired old apologetics.

AtheistToothFairy said...

David said...
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15
---
David,

This quote from your bible, is not some great unique sage advise.
Any mind-controlling type cult would hand out this same type of warning to it's followers, just to be sure their minds stayed under the cult's control.


>Anyone who says that Jesus will bless us with an easy life has obviously not read the Bible. Most holy men who are mentioned in the Bible had a difficult life. Ten of Jesus disciples were martyred for their faith.

So if there is no earthly benefit to following your god, and you have no proof of any benefit in the great-beyond, then what you are saying is that xtians reap no benefits over the non-xtians of this earth, yes?
So why is the point of kissing your god's feet then?

> Prayers are always answered but not always the way we like them to be. I am sorry to say but Jesus is not a magic genie who answers every request.

Prayers are always answered?
I suppose they are, if those answers are always one of these three: Yes, No and Wait.
Oddly enough there is zero evidence that your god answers any prayer of serious consequence, but rather he always is great at helping one find that perfect parking space.
If you have any real evidence that god is doing anything to benefit anyone, I'm all ears to hear your evidence David.

>Whether anyone here believes in a factual, historical Jesus (I do) those who profess to follow Him will have evidence. Paul mentions some of these evidences, “the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” Galatians 5:2-23.

Oh, so you're saying your evidence for Jesus amounts to things like love, joy, peace, etc.?
I guess you found the perfect evidence then, because no non-xtian would ever find these things in their lives, would they David?

You may believe in a historical jesus, but you must do so from faith and emotion, for there is no evidence this son-of-god ever walked this earth, let alone had magical powers and brought himself back to life after taking a cat-nap on some cross.

Face it David, you believe because you can't bear to live your life without the jesus crutch.
Perhaps one day you'll develop enough courage to actually open your mind and let the real power of human reasoning discover that your bible is nothing more than a story book written by mere mortals, for the sheep of humanity.


ATF (Who surely must be seen as a false prophet to David, but representing who?)

sconnor said...

Dave said, "I suppose you don't have to respect me. It is your choice but I am going to give my two cents on your reply."

Dave continued, "Watch out for false prophets...blah, blah, blah... They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves...blah, blah, blah...”Matthew 7:15...Jesus' yoke is easy and His burden is light but this is not to say...babble, babble, babble...Ten of Jesus disciples were martyred for their faith...gibberish, gibberish, gibberish... “the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” Galatians 5:2-23...gobbledygook, babble, babble, mumbojumbo".

Your bullshit is meaningless here. No matter how much you believe in your scriptural nonsense -- it does not make it true. This is exactly why we have zero respect for you. You are the cosmic equivalence to chicken little -- "The sky is falling; the sky is falling". Only you are shouting, "I know something you don't know (the Good News)". But instead of basing it on an acorn hitting you in the head, you base it on the presupposition that the Bible is the infallible word of god. You have deluded yourself that you posses the one and only truth and many are now coming to the realization that you are nothing but a religious loony with zero credibility.

Put your brain to better use. examine for a brief while, why you completely disregard the Islam faith. Why do you reject, out of hand, any of their religious texts and scripture. While you are at it, explore why you give no thought to the viability of ancient religious texts and scriptures from Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism, etc. Think real hard why these texts hold no authority over you and why they don't reveal the one and only truth.

Isn't it painfully obvious that Muslims are fooling themselves? Don't you think, even though the Qur'an claims it is the perfect word of the creator of the universe, that Muslims have deluded themselves and have not critically studied their holy book? Don't they believe -- with all their heart -- that the Qur'an is scripturally viable?

Why don't you think it is scripturally viable? What you have to completely understand, the way you view Islam and other religions is exactly the way devout Muslims view Christianity.

If you are honest with yourself you should come to the conclusion you view all other religions in an atheistic way -- think of all the reasons why you don't believe those religions are credible. This is how we exchristians view all religions including your christian religion.

You have zero merit, authority, or credibility and anything you say is completely absurd to us. Just like Islam has zero merit, authority, or credibility to you.

--S.

Anonymous said...

David,
I'm glad you mentioned Paul. He's my favorite New Testament writer. The Pauline Epistles alone are enough proof that Jesus never existed.

This is taken from an earlier blog:
(My apologies to those who have seen this before)

"The first century Christians did not believe that Jesus had actually set foot on earth. They believed in a heavenly Jesus.

If you read Paul's Epistles, you will find that there is no mention of the events found in the Gospels: no Bethlehem, no Nazareth, no Sermon on the Mount, no conversations with Pharisees, no Gethsemane, no Calvary, no Joseph of Arimathea. Paul apparently did not know of these things.

When Paul quotes Jesus, he doesn't refer to his teachings in the Gospels, but to Isaiah (Hebrews 2:12) Did Paul not know of the teachings of Jesus found in the gospels?

Also, Paul says that what he knows of Jesus entirely comes from personal revelation (Gal.1:12) despite the fact that Paul claims to have stayed with Peter and James (the disciples who allegedly lived with Jesus day and night for three years) for 15 days (Gal.1:18,19).

Don't you think that Peter and James could have told Paul something about Jesus if Jesus had actually come to the earth? Apparently, Peter and James didn't know anything about Jesus' life on earth either.

According to Paul, how was Jesus made known? By scriptures and God's command (Rom. 16:25,26). What about his three year career on earth? Also, Paul says,"my gospel", not "the gospel" implying that it originated from him, not Jesus.

Yes, it seems as though Paul sees himself as the chief arbiter of Christians' relationship with Jesus: "I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him." (2 Cor. 11:2)(NIV)

Also, "If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" (Gal.1:9)(NIV) Why did Paul think that he should have a monopoly on the gospel? Wouldn't the knowledge of Jesus' three year career attest to the true gospel?

Paul apparently puts himself on the same level as Peter. He claims to have seen Jesus personally (1 Cor. 9:1). Furthermore, Paul has the audacity to "oppose him to his face" (Gal.2:11) (It was a disagreement over circumcision.)

Evidently, Paul didn't know that Peter had lived with Jesus day and night for three years and that Jesus claimed that he was "the rock upon which I build my church." Paul didn't recognize Peter's authority because Paul didn't know that Jesus had come to earth. (And neither did Peter, evidently.)

The epistles do not mention Jesus return (with one exception, which I will discuss below). They mention the coming of Jesus. Look up these verses: 1 Cor.16:22, Phil 1:6, Phil 3:20, 2 Thess.1:7, 1 Peter 1:7
They are all anticipating the coming of the Lord. They do not say "come back," "come again," or "return." They say "come."

Hebrews 8 and 9 most clearly demonstrate that the first century Christians did not believe that Jesus ever set foot on earth.
"If he had been on earth, he would not even have been a priest ..." (Heb. 8:4)(NEB) or "If he were on earth, he would not be a priest ..." (NIV)

Furthermore, Jesus' sacrifice was in heaven, not on earth (Heb.9:11-14), (Heb.9:24,25). It says that Jesus will come again (Heb. 9:28). His first coming was in heaven, and his second coming will also be in heaven "... to meet the Lord in the air." (1 Thess. 4:17). It appears that Jesus never intends to set foot on earth.

What about the last supper and the death and resurrection? According to first century Christian thinking, all of that happened in heaven, too. It was quite common for other gods that were popular in the Mediterranean at the time to undergo death and resurrection in heaven, for heavenly beings had physical bodies(1 Cor.15:35-49). For example, Dionysus was born of a virgin, had meals including raw meat and wine, was murdered, and resurrected, all in the mythical, heavenly realm. The god Attis was another one who died and was resurrected in the mythical, heavenly realm, and there were a host of others. (http://www.pantheon.org/)

How did Paul know about the last supper? "For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: ..." (1 Cor. 11:23). He received it directly from Jesus, by revelation, it was not an objective historical fact.

At the end of the first century, the writers of the gospels probably took information from Paul concerning the last supper, death, and resurrection, and incorporated it into their gospel myths.

The first century Christians thought of Jesus as heavenly, mythical and never thought that Jesus set foot on earth. Why should you or I?"

David, Jesus never existed. Christianity is a hoax. Christians have been duped real big. Run, don't walk away from Christianity.

CinemaNet said...

Ken:

I have this to say on your eail; it really doesn't matter how anyone acts, if Christians don't want to smell the shit on their knees, they're not going to smell it. The same goes for every other faithful person out there, because EVERY faithful people is duping themselves. You can be nice about it; you can be in their face about it; you can hunt them down and shoot them in the backs of their heads with a shotgun, execution-style; no matter how you approach them, the long hard road out of Hell is theirs to walk, and if they don't want to walk it, they're not going to. As an advocate of rationality and reason, I have always favored copassion and tact in dealing with the mentally incapacitated human beings we call "the faithful." But I have actually been told that this demeanor of mine, this lack of passion and color and character, is an indication of my emptiness due to my choice to deny the Holy Spirit. When I have turned the tables, resorted to name-calling and finger-pointing, I am told that I am an angry, bitter person because I don't have God. Christians win either way they flip the coin. No matter how you approach them, Christians are going to hear what they want to hear. When faced with unbreakable reality, Christians that want to stay Christians will ALWAYS find excuses.

Besides, Christianity is a system which advocates censorship and denial of humanity. The best thing for EX-Christians to do is the opposite, hence, the fish getting humped. If you don't like it, fuck you.

ExFundie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ExFundie said...

To the original poster...
Thanks for bringing my attention to the store on this site. I'm gonna order the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" emblem for my car. It's great, because most people around here won't know what it is all about.

John of Indiana said...

"To put it another way, anybody stupid enough to believe a tale about a flying zombie-god and his band of cannibals is beneath my respect." John of Indiana

What in the world are you talking about?

So sayeth David.

(sigh) I guess you may be serious, so I'll spell it out for you.

Jesus died and "rose from the dead", yes? OK, there's the Zombie part.
The flying part refers to the "ascension".
Thus we have the "Flying Zombie God"

as for his band of Cannibals...
"Take this and eat, for it is my body, which will be broken for you"...
So when you take communion, you're committing a ritual act of virtual cannibalism, unless you're into transubstantiation, then it's a REAL act of cannibalism.

S'awright?
S'awright.

eejay said...

It's been interesting reading to say the least. Though I posted earlier, I have a little more to add to why I cannot respect xtians. Xtians seem to have this awful disrespect, even hatred of homosexuality. Though I am not gay, the disrespect towards gays that I see from xtians just shows how loving and compassionate you son of a bitches really are. I am happy that some of my gay brothers and sisters in this world are finally being allowed to wed and live the lives they deserve. What fucking right do you have to tell them they are an abomination? The piece of shit rag bible you hold tells you that? Gays have endured years of torment because of the shit preached in your churches. That just isn't right people. So have pagans. I have had in my lifetime some of the most atrocious things committed towards me, by folks who call themselves xtians. Xtians cannot mind their business, it bothers them what other people are doing all the time, even if they are not personally affected. You would find yourself a whole lot freer to enjoy your own life, if you did not worry so much about who sleeps with whom, or whether birth control should be legal. You could get to like people for who they are rather than, expect them to be someone or something none of us can ever be. The best thing I ever did for myself was to throw that bible in the trash and move on. Learn the real facts of this life and earth and the naturals wonders. I could never go back.

JLECDM said...

to boomslang

I agree, your are 100% right, i did not know what this site was really about....

Michelle said...

Well Ken, I indeed read your post, and the gist of it is that you are bothered by the fact that we ex-christians do not show enough respect or politeness to the christians and doubting christians that view this site. Would you say my summary of your post is correct? If you had bothered to read and comprehend my own response, you would have noticed that I used an example from my own life in which I show christians respect, despite the fact that their beliefs make me gag. My point was that HERE I am under no such obligation to "play nice" with those people. Dave lets us express ourselves within reasonable boundaries, something we are not able to do in the real world. If you had read my post, you would understand why.

I personally don't care what someone believes, and I am not out to deconvert anyone--that is a decision that they must make on their own, just as I did. Maybe you haven't been on this site very long, but I can say that the doubting christians who post here are treated very respectfully and given a lot of information and support. It's the ball-busting and condescending christians that bring out the rude comments; they're essentially reaping what they're sowing.

Ken, give yourself some time before you make judgments about the emotional stability and intent of ex-christians. You are on your way to becoming one, and when that day arrives, you will understand what the rest of us are feeling.

Ken, no one is forcing you to come here, so why do it if it offends you so much?

Anonymous said...

I don't remeber going to church and them letting us voice are belief that christianity is a Lie Iam sorry I worded that wrong bullshit still didn't get it right what word am i looking for ???? the worst thing to ever happen to man kind period. Yah thats it, that seems to fit like a glove. I do remeber doing what they told me to do and being persacuted for it by class mates, family, and lets not forget the very people in the church telling me to jump through hoops like some circus animal. Not to mention there is a million places for them to live in there diluted fantasies about how right they are but if i express my beliefs out in the every day world I am looked at as some kind of lepar. I'll give them as much respect as they give me. which happens to be nun at all.

Anonymous said...

Loki,
I love your comment. You hit the nail right on the head.

Anonymous said...

"Personal hate campaigns are not appreciated;"

"...those who regularly post acidic, angry rhetoric may be banned from posting."

"Posters agree not to use this blog to post any material which is knowingly...abusive, vulgar, hateful..."

from http://exchristian.net/2/2005/11/purpose-disclaimer.html

Perhaps I’m not reading these lines of the purpose-disclaimer correctly.

Is it that "personal hate campaigns” and “acidic, angry rhetoric” are okay as long as they are directed at christians?

~ ~ ~

I'm not against freedom of expression.

I'm not “against" swearing. I actually think it’s fucking awesome, myself, but rarely find a practical use for it.

I'm not suggesting that anyone alter their behavior or hold back. Please don’t, in fact (not that you were considering it).

I'm simply asking how harsh language is encouraging.

Of course, if merely asking this question is seen to be inappropriate, then perhaps I've misunderstood the purpose-disclaimer.

~ ~ ~

I happen to like this site, and agree with many of the thoughts and voices that are expressed here, including the more virulent outbursts (believe it or not).

Am I taking this out of context?

Please, challenge me. Help me understand what I’m missing.

But don't trample me for expressing my opinion, either.

Unknown said...

My Quick Two Cents. Everyone at work and in my personal life knows I am an atheist, but I still remain respectful to those in my real world, but this site is the place I come when I really want to speak my "real" mind.

Here I can say Christianity if fucking stupid !!!!!!!!! and will not be censored. It's nice to be able to let that out now and then. I have to get back to work.

boomSLANG said...

greggsewell...I'm simply asking how harsh language is encouraging.

I'll give it another whirl...

When you say "encouraging"---encouraging to whom? You mean, the ministering Christian guests who stumble in here? Well, frankly, to them it's probably not encouraging, no. Then again, the site is not for them; it's for former christians, which, I thought at least that much had been established already.

As for Christian on-lookers who may be "in limbo", it may be encouraging when they encounter people who have gotten their individuality back, as in, expressing themselves freely and guiltlessly. It could nudge them one way, or the possibly the other.

Then again, if they are stuggling with the cognative dissonance associated with certain religious beliefs, I don't see some vulgar or strong language keeping logic from running its course, do you?

Anonymous said...

boomSLANG said...

When you say "encouraging"---encouraging to whom?

Ex-christians.

You mean, the ministering Christian guests who stumble in here?

Not at all.

...the site is...for former christians,...

Right. I don't particularly care what the right-wing christian looney-fundies think.

As for Christian on-lookers who may be "in limbo", it may be encouraging when they encounter people who have gotten their individuality back, as in, expressing themselves freely and guiltlessly. It could nudge them one way, or the possibly the other.

I tend to agree with you.

Then again, if they are stuggling with the cognative dissonance associated with certain religious beliefs, I don't see some vulgar or strong language keeping logic from running its course, do you?

Yes, I do.

The person on the fence may be driven from logic by a "go fuck yerself, christian scum" attitude.

If the "I may be bi/curious" person is wondering if her beliefs are sound, then a patient hand is called for.

As far as I'm concerned, the wing-nut christians are hopeless.

Yes, it's my personal style (mine, not yours, not necessarily recommended to anyone else) to refrain from raining down the atheist's equivalent of hellfire and brimstone.

Have at 'em, I say.

But when someone comes honestly looking for help, why tell them what, perhaps, will soon be their former life is not only way wrong, but they are idiots for having bought into the shitload of lies...

yada, yada, yada...

Just an opinion.

The fact that in the very short time I've been frequenting exchristian.net (just a few weeks) this issue has arisen more than a couple of times (other than by myself) tells me that I'm not the only one who wonders about that by-line after reading what some regulars have to say.

Wayne said...

Years ago (1986 I think), Frank Zappa was on Crossfire fighting the christian right about censorship and rock music. I remember he came up with a great point about WORDS. He wondered how certain combinations of syllables seemed to cause certain people so much trouble. These words do no physical harm - they really don't lead to increased violence, or lawlessness, sexual indecency, etc...

What makes somebody afraid of certain words? If I hear someone calling someone a "cock-blocking donkey fucker", I'm probably going to laugh a little, and then continue on with my day. I just don't get how these wimps can get so panty-twisted over words.
There are no "bad" words. there is only intent. But the "bad" intention of a word vs. the bad intention of an action (saying fuck you vs. pulling a gun on someone) isn't in the same ballpark. But the xtian right thinks it should be.
Now we live in the POLITICAL CORRECT era. Thanks christians! You namby-pambies who give words more power than they deserve.

If words were SO freaking powerful, since we are totally inundated with "love songs", by the mindset of these whack-nuts, shouldn't we all be "loving" each other by now?

If you want respect on this site, you earn it. Don't expect the welcome wagon from everyone. And DEFINITELY - don't try preaching to us. That's like snapping a belt in a home for abused kids... UNWELCOME and NOT RESPECTED.

Anonymous said...

Wayne,

Would you laugh off someone calling your wife (sister, mother, fill in the blank) a child-fucking pedophile?

When Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for America's 9/11 tragedy -- well, those were just words, right?

Only until they're aimed at you or someone/thing you care for.

Zappa was wrong.

Words matter. They're symbols for beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and catalysts for action.

People kill over words; go to war.

And decide to make up, join together, build things.

Words hurt, and words heal.

To think otherwise is ill-advised.

Anonymous said...

One more thing, Wayne.

About the "don't preach to us" line:

Where and/or when have I suggested anyone here do what I do?

All I've done is ask how rough language shows encouragement.

But if you want to let it rip, have at it.

Anonymous said...

greggsewell,

My take on it is like this: "encouraging ex-Christians" doesn't mean encouraging Christians to become ex-Christians, but to provide encouragement and support to those who already are ex-Christians.

Vilifying Christians for the evil that they have done to us who are victims of Christianity provides solace, a sense of commiseration and mutual sympathy, as well as a sense of solidarity.

Conversely, having a respectful debate based on logic and reason with a Christian is truly casting your pearls before swine. Many Christians are quite intelligent, but their faith blinds them from reason. You can present a mountain of evidence (and there are MOUNTAINS of evidence) disproving the existence of God, Jesus, and the accuracy of the Bible, yet they will hold on to their faith like a lamp post in a hurricane - they are blind.

Christians come to Christianity for emotional reasons (family tradition, a moment of despair, a need for group identity, etc ...) and they will only leave Christianity for emotional reasons. Only after they find that it's emotionally not working, will they begin to doubt, ask questions, and use reason.

Furthermore, Christians have been brainwashed into thinking what they're doing is good and respectable. They need to know that Christianity has caused a great deal of misery to a great many people throughout its tenure on earth. They need to know that it has been a hindrance to human development socially, scientifically, and personally.

If you treat Christians respectfully - with that I'm OK you're OK attitude - they will think that their opinions are worthy of respect. However, using strong language and strong emotional content lets them know how much one has suffered under Christianity - it gets across the emotional content much better.

Christianity is the cangue around the neck of mankind and the ball and chain of human development. And Christians need to know that they are the ones who are responsible for it.

sconnor said...

greggsewell, Maybe you should read this:

click here for link

Anonymous said...

The AntiChristian said...

My take on it is like this: "encouraging ex-Christians" doesn't mean encouraging Christians to become ex-Christians, but to provide encouragement and support to those who already are ex-Christians.

I agree.

Vilifying Christians for the evil that they have done to us who are victims of Christianity provides solace, a sense of commiseration and mutual sympathy, as well as a sense of solidarity.

It can, perhaps, for some. But you state this as fact. It is your opinion that this is true. Unless, of course, you have evidence?

Conversely, having a respectful debate based on logic and reason with a Christian is truly casting your pearls before swine.

Not always. Every ex-christian was once christian. Many came to the decision to leave christianity because of logic and reason.

I wonder how many came to that decision because people swore at them?

Many Christians are quite intelligent, but their faith blinds them from reason.

Quite true.

Christians come to Christianity for emotional reasons (family tradition, a moment of despair, a need for group identity, etc ...) and they will only leave Christianity for emotional reasons.

Did you leave for emotional reasons?

I left because it didn't make logical sense anymore.

I left because it was no longer reasonable to be a Christian.

I wonder how many ex-christians left the faith for emotional reasons.

It would interesting to hear those who frequent this site state what was behind their decision to leave christianity.

Only after they find that it's emotionally not working, will they begin to doubt, ask questions, and use reason.

You're proving my point.

Furthermore, Christians have been brainwashed into thinking what they're doing is good and respectable.

Many are. It is the philosophy that's flawed, not the people who follow it -- by and large. There are exceptions, as with any large segment of the population.

They need to know that Christianity has caused a great deal of misery to a great many people throughout its tenure on earth. They need to know that it has been a hindrance to human development socially, scientifically, and personally.

Do they?

Why?

Sounds like you are on a mission.

If you treat Christians respectfully - with that I'm OK you're OK attitude - they will think that their opinions are worthy of respect. However, using strong language and strong emotional content lets them know how much one has suffered under Christianity - it gets across the emotional content much better.

Using strong language lets anyone know that the speaker is passionate. The stronger the language, the less likely a listener is to think that the speaker has any sense in what she is saying.

To a point, of course.

Christianity is the cangue around the neck of mankind and the ball and chain of human development. And Christians need to know that they are the ones who are responsible for it.

Again, it seems you have a mission to let Christians know how wrong they are.

To go back to the top:

The point of this site is to encourage those who have left Christianity.

How does swearing help encourage those who have decided to stop following the faith?

All you've said is that Christians deserve to be yelled at.

boomSLANG said...

greggsewell...Every ex-christian was once christian. Many came to the decision to leave christianity because of logic and reason.

You say "many". Can you provide a hypothetical alternative to why believers become nonbelievers, as in, a situation that doesn't concern itself with logic, and/or, reason? Bearing in mind, even if someone leaves a relationship for purely emotional reasons, it is implicit that there's no good or logical reason to stay in it. Is that a fair assessment?

greggsewell...I wonder how many came to that decision[to leave Christianity] because people swore at them?

None. Just like they didn't leave because nobody swore at them. Which, to my mind, only confirms that the "logic and reason" you mentioned above, will trump what some view as the misuse of the human language.

greggsewell...Using strong language lets anyone know that the speaker is passionate. The stronger the language, the less likely a listener is to think that the speaker has any sense in what she is saying.

So, based on what you just said, the more passionate a person is, the less likely they are to be taken seriously. 'Sound odd to you? It does to me.

Notwithstanding, as pointed out---this site is not for encouraging Christians to become exchristians. I wish we could get past this point.

Anonymous said...

greggsewell said...

Using strong language lets anyone know that the speaker is passionate. The stronger the language, the less likely a listener is to think that the speaker has any sense in what she is saying.

boomSLANG said...

So, based on what you just said, the more passionate a person is, the less likely they are to be taken seriously. 'Sound odd to you? It does to me.

-------Sounds very odd to me. I did not equate passion with strong language, which is but one way to show passion. Strong language out of proportion to what is being said often deteriorates into nonsense (it seems to me).


boomSLANG said...

Notwithstanding, as pointed out---this site is not for encouraging Christians to become exchristians. I wish we could get past this point.

I have agreed with you. I've never said otherwise.

Still, I have no answer to my question: How does swearing help the person who has already left christianity and wants encouragement in his new life?

Anonymous said...

greggsewell,

Concerning the evidence for the commiserating that I mentioned, you should follow the link that sconner left you above. The article "Not Ready to be Nice" directly addresses your question.

Here is a quote,

"Allowing ex-Christians to express their frustrations in a virtual atmosphere of anonymity gives those who are hurting the chance to clear the air, vent, meet others with similar experiences, and in time analyze, reassess and heal from the abuse."

Which is more or less what I was trying to say.

Did I leave for emotional reasons?
It was certainly emotional reasons that made me leave the church - I simply couldn't stand the self-abuse that was engendered by Christianity anymore (see my above post), and after being isolated from Christianity for a period of time, I was able to sober up and think things through, which, in turn, led me to atheism. If you spend much time on this site, you will find a number of people with similar testimonies.

If you had read the original testimony that sconner posted here a few months back and understood the suffering that he went through at the hands of so called "good and respectable" Christians, you would not be saying "I don't get it. How does bad-mouthing christians encourage ex-christians?" You would rather be saying, "How did that guy get away without your strangling him?"
After what sconner, and many others of us, have been through, a good tongue lashing seems very light in comparison.

Here's another quote from "Not Ready to be Nice":

" ... when a Christian starts inanely preaching about hell, sin and the need to repent, it can be like pushing a button or emotional trigger in the de-convert. Such insensitivity on the part of the Christian will likely be viewed as a personal attack and could very well be met with exasperation, resentment, or even aggressive resistance."

Yeah, a Christian preaching to an ex-Christian who has suffered greatly is like a rapist telling a rape victim to "try it just once more, maybe you'll like it this time." What kind of response do you think you'll get from the rape victim?

My mission? Yes, I wish I could do more to let Christians know how much they hurt people and the damage they do to society. In addition to blogging here, I have also taken it upon myself to try to get Christians deported. I live in China, where practicing religion is legal, but proselytizing isn't. Many missionaries come from the US in the guise of English teachers. They generally know better than to use the classroom for missionary work, but they don't hesitate opening up their homes and inviting their students over for a Bible study.

I've spoken with an official in the National Religion Bureau about this, and she said that this is quite illegal. I've even been to the police several times reporting missionary work. Nevertheless, try as I might, I cannot get any action from the police. Contrary to the news reports in America, the Chinese government is way too lenient with religious people. They will only show concern if there is anti-government activity going on.

My other anti-Christian activities include collecting email addresses of fundies and sending them atheist material. They usually just tell me that Jesus loves me and that I'm going to hell, then block or spam my emails.

I'll do anything I can, short of tarring and feathering Christians or feeding them to the lions, to rid this world of the evil that is called Christianity.

Oh, and yes, Christians do deserve to be yelled at.

Anonymous said...

sconnor said...

greggsewell, Maybe you should read this:

http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2006/07/not-ready-to-be-nice.html

I did. To me, the crux of the argument is in this quote:

Allowing ex-Christians to express their frustrations in a virtual atmosphere of anonymity gives those who are hurting the chance to clear the air, vent, meet others with similar experiences, and in time analyze, reassess and heal from the abuse. While a Christian might be offended by disparaging comments leveled at Christianity, no one is forced to read or listen to what is shared here.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I really do.

But what about the person who comes and says, "I've left the faith, and my parents are concerned. They shared this illustration with me. What's the best way to respond?"

I'm summarizing a recent post on this site.

Some of the responses were along the lines of "I'm fed up with these fucking delusional idiots."

While venting like that may be good for the speaker, I don't see how it could be helpful to the poster, who was asking for honest help.

Isn't there, even here, among ex-christians, a time to vent and a time to offer constructive help?

Or is the only form of encouragement tolerated here emotionally screaming in pain?

Anonymous said...

The AntiChristian said...

...you should follow the link that sconner left you above. The article "Not Ready to be Nice" directly addresses your question.

-------I did, and posted about it.

If you had read the original testimony that sconner posted here a few months back and understood the suffering that he went through at the hands of so called "good and respectable" Christians, you would not be saying "I don't get it. How does bad-mouthing christians encourage ex-christians?" You would rather be saying, "How did that guy get away without your strangling him?"

-------No doubt. I'm no stranger to this, either. I grew up in Alabama in the fifties and sixties. I'm gay. I was abused by christians. I spent decades mentally and emotionally enslaved, afraid of my own shadow, and scared out of my mind 24/7 that I was going to hell for being who I am.

I could share some truly gruesome things, but the details of the horrors I went through are relevant here only if you need them to understand that I'm not untouched by the depth of evil that can come at the hands of well-meaning christians.

I'm not one of those who hasn't "really" experienced what christianity can do to a person.

I truly, truly, understand. I've vented, raged, screamed uncontrollably, and more.

And see the need for it.

Yeah, a Christian preaching to an ex-Christian who has suffered greatly is like a rapist telling a rape victim to "try it just once more, maybe you'll like it this time." What kind of response do you think you'll get from the rape victim?

-------Once again, let me say this clearly:

I'm not concerned with christians; I'm concerned with ex-christians who want encouragement.

When an ex-christian comes to this site looking for help in his new venture, how does saying, "FUCKING BASTARDS! I'M HURTING!" help?

If that's what you need to do, then do it.

Scream, howl, whatever.

But don't pretend that this helps someone who simply asks for advice.

My mission? Yes, I wish I could do more to let Christians know how much they hurt people and the damage they do to society.


-------Wow, you're a great activist, and I sincerely admire that. More of us should follow your example.

Really.

Anonymous said...

Gregg,
You'll notice that each one of us on this site has quite a different style of rhetoric and a different approach. And you're right, with the example you just gave, the response didn't help the person with the original question - but it helped the person responding vent his frustrations.

Nevertheless, you will find many others who are quite willing to give a sober, helpful response.

boomSlang, someone that I admire very much, approaches things with razor-edge logical analysis.

Dave8, someone else that I admire, has an extensive knowledge of the Bible and its history. He argues from that point of view.

I tend to argue from the utilitarian point of view: What has Christianity done and what is it doing?

And those that rant have their reasons. I don't blame them one bit. In fact, when one of those fundy jerks comes here telling me that I'm going to hell, I have no problem telling him to go fuck himself.

Styles of rhetoric and approaches of expression run the gamut here - some help others, and others are self-serving.

boomSLANG said...

greggsewell...Still, I have no answer to my question: How does swearing help the person who has already left christianity and wants encouragement in his new life?

::sigh::

Honestly, one minute you're inquiring how profane language encourages Christians, the next minute(now) you're inquiring how it encourages exchristians. Which one is your concern? If(for the time being) you mean the latter, then no, one exchristian hearing another exchristian use profane language probably won't be of any "encouragement". But on the other hand, the exchristian has already decided that Christianity is false, and thus, by the same token, they likely won't view some cuss words used against Christians as encouragement to reconvert back to Christianity, either. See? In other words, it's an irrelevant inquiry, IMO.

greggsewell...Isn't there, even here, among ex-christians, a time to vent and a time to offer constructive help?

Yes. And so, in your search for examples of what you find as a questionable approach, did you also look for posts that offer constructive help? Or wait, are you "quote-mining" to support your case?

BTW, thanks for the shout-out, Anti-Xian.

Anonymous said...

The AntiChristian said...

Styles of rhetoric and approaches of expression run the gamut here - some help others, and others are self-serving.

Well said.

Anonymous said...

boomSLANG said...

Honestly, one minute you're inquiring how profane language encourages Christians...

I haven't. Others have asked if that's what I've meant, and I've consistently said, "No, that's not what I meant."

...the next minute(now) you're inquiring how it encourages exchristians.

Which is what I've been saying from the get-go.

...then no, one exchristian hearing another exchristian use profane language probably won't be of any "encouragement".

Thank you. This is my point.

Yet the site is billed as encouraging ex-christians, no?


...in your search for examples of what you find as a questionable approach, did you also look for posts that offer constructive help?

There are many. Had there not been any in response to my initial post here, I'd have been long gone by now.

Or wait, are you "quote-mining" to support your case?

Do you think so?

I haven't gone digging for anything, if that's what you mean. I just referenced a thread I read a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not trying to change anybody or anything.

I'll say this again: venting is useful, serves its place.

But as you just said,

...one exchristian hearing another exchristian use profane language probably won't be of any "encouragement.

If the site is about encouragement, then let's encourage each other.

boomSLANG said...

This is becoming tiresome.

Previously, greggsewell: Some say that the purpose of this site is to let ex-christians blow [off] steam.

I wonder, has it ever occured to you that one help organization can serve multiple purposes? In other words, can you please explain to me why this website cannot be both to encourage former believers that they've made the right decision, as well as a place for people who have wasted vast portions of their lives believing a lie, to "blow off steam"?

Take a battered wife facility. Can it's purpose not serve both to encourage battered wives to leave their abusers, as well as a place for battered wives who have already left their abusers, to "blow off steam" for getting their asses kicked daily?

Why is "greggsewell" insisting that it must be one or the other? Did you not "get" the part that we left the "my way, or no way" mentality of religion?

greggsewell...Fine.

Again, no, it's evidently not "fine", because you are objecting, unceasingly.

greggsewell...Then say that up front, and quit advertising the site as a place of encouragement.

Take your pick...

1) Listen, you obstinate f%cking dolt. This is a privately-owned website. You have no business telling the owner how to advertize it. 'Don't like it? "Click" off.

or...

2) greggsewell, this is a privately owned website. While opinions are welcome, it's ultimately not your decision to tell the owner how to advertize it. Bottom line, you are under no obligation to be here, and if you're bothered by some of the views expressed here, you can simply navigate away. Peace.

webmdave said...

To the general OP which is suggests that being politely respectful to Christianity is perferable, that humping fish are disgustingly disrespectful, and that foul "cussing" is never encouraging to anyone, I offer this comment from Calvin: POJ.

webmdave said...

I hope everyone was encouraged.

freethinker05 said...

Goddangit greggeswell, please forgive me for LMAO, but the "pick one" choses boomSLANGE gave were pretty funny, don't you agree? Anyway, I hope alls wells that ends well, greggeswell. Peace...Roger
P.S. Webmdave; I'm very encouraged, thanks

Anonymous said...

WMDave,
I am encouraged.

godsfavoritecolor said...

Greggsewell, you complained about the swearing on this site. How do you define swearing? To most people swearing means the use of religious references in vain and/or using sexual references pejoratively.

Swearing has been an integral device in language since its beginning. It is a legitimate device to add emphasis and, as you say, passion to speech. Without swearing our language would be sterile.

Of course, it can be overdone. If “mutha-fucker” is interspersed between every three or four words in a dialog, it quickly becomes meaningless and boring. I haven’t seen it over used to that extent on this site.

I am concerned that your problem with swearing on this site may be the result of a kind of post-traumatic stress from your early religious training. I see no reason at all why non-religious people should be concerned with anyone taking any god’s name in vain. If religious people take offense, that’s their problem.

On the other hand, I am bothered by the use of “fuck” in a pejorative sense. That word should be use for consensual love-making. A better word would be “rape” as in “mutha-raper.” But that is not likely to happen, and I digress.

The point is, I see your concern about swearing as buying into (possibly unconsciously) the xtian world view of prohibited words (see the monologue of the late, great George Carlin). We are ex-christians.
We no longer need to follow the puritanical rules of xtianity.

Most of the ex-christian posts I have read on this site treat those questioning their religion with respect. The xtian trolls coming to this site receive the disrespect and language they deserve.

Anonymous said...

webmdave said...

To the general OP which is suggests that being politely respectful to Christianity is perferable, that humping fish are disgustingly disrespectful, and that foul "cussing" is never encouraging to anyone, I offer this comment from Calvin:

http://exchristian.net/exchristian/poj.jpg

Love it. Very funny, very appropriate.



boomSLANG said...

This is becoming tiresome.

I agree.

Not angry, are we?

Anonymous said...

godsfavoritecolor said...

Greggsewell, you complained about the swearing on this site.

Nope.

I complained about swearing at people who ask for help.

I see your concern about swearing...

Not concerned about it.

...(see the monologue of the late, great George Carlin).

Funny guy. Loved most everything of his I ever saw, especially the infamous Seven Words piece. Though he did get a bit weirder than usual at the end.

We are ex-christians. We no longer need to follow the puritanical rules of xtianity.

Fuckin' right.

(Oh, did I use that pejoratively?)

boomSLANG said...

Not angry, are we?

"We"? We who?..'you gotta turd in your pocket? Nonetheless, I can't answer for you, or "them".

As for me, personally? I'm not angry, however, I do get a bit concerned when newbies try to tell exchristians how they should behave, either towards each other, or towards Christians. Again, "one-size-fits-all"---been there; done that.

Anonymous said...

boomSLANG said...

I do get a bit concerned when newbies try to tell exchristians how they should behave...

But I haven't done that. I've asked questions.

I've not suggested that there is anything wrong with the way this site is run.

I haven't insinuated that I think the site isn't doing the right thing, nor said that I'd do things differently.

I haven't even said I don't like the way things are done.

I've asked why the general behavior of regulars seems to be at odds with the by-line.

If you take that to be telling you how you should act, then you've misunderstood what I've said.

boomSLANG said...

Me: "I do get a bit concerned when newbies try to tell exchristians how they should behave..."

You...But I haven't done that. I've asked questions.

Previously, you: "Then say that up front, and quit advertising the site as a place of encouragement."[emphasis added]

You...I've not suggested that there is anything wrong with the way this site is run.

Telling the owner what the sole objective of the site should be, or how to advertize it...well, gee, 'sounds suggestive to me.

You...I've asked why the general behavior of regulars seems to be at odds with the by-line.

And you've gotten dozens of answers, but you apparently don't accept them, hence, the "yes...but, but, but, but...etc."

You...If you take that to be telling you how you should act, then you've misunderstood what I've said.

Sure, pal.

Anonymous said...

boomSLANG:

If someone gives you an answer that doesn't make sense, do you accept it?

Anonymous said...

boomSLANG:

Context matters.

The whole quote:

Some say that the purpose of this site is to let ex-christians blow of steam.

Fine.

Then say that up front, and quit advertising the site as a place of encouragement.


This was not, is not a suggestion or recommendation.

To rephrase:

If the site's purpose is letting off steam, then why say the purpose is encouragement?

Apparently you didn't catch the implied "if."

Wayne said...

gregswell said,

"Would you laugh off someone calling your wife (sister, mother, fill in the blank) a child-fucking pedophile?"
- Yeah, I would because I know it's bullshit.

"When Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for America's 9/11 tragedy -- well, those were just words, right? "
- Uh, NO! Did you forget about the buildings that were blown up? Those aren't words, they are actions... BIG difference.

"Only until they're aimed at you or someone/thing you care for."
- Only if you're weak enough to let them affect you.

"One more thing, Wayne.
About the "don't preach to us" line:
Where and/or when have I suggested anyone here do what I do?"
- Do me a favor and get over yourself. I was talking to anybody who comes on here and starts trying to save us poor lost ex-jebus peoples... Did you are wise enough to know OTHER people post here I hope...
Rip away. I shit bigger than you.

Anonymous said...

Wayne:

"When Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for America's 9/11 tragedy -- well, those were just words, right? "

- Uh, NO! Did you forget about the buildings that were blown up? Those aren't words, they are actions... BIG difference.

-------Of course.

But I thought we were talking about words. Isn't that what you said?

Wayne said...

By the way - I think Zappa was right. What you fail to realize is that he KNEW people in large groups are usually pretty stupid and can get worked up into some really stupid actions because of words. It doesn't make the words bad, however. Just the morons too dumb to think for themselves.

Moreover - If you cared to read my post as a general comment (i.e. not an attack on precious YOU), you'd realize that I was talking to the original poster about the "offensive" language we use on the site. It's not for everyone, and if those certain people can't take it, they need to GO AWAY.

As far as bad mouthing christians as encouragement - it works for me. I thought I was alone for the longest time, and I've found a place to let my hate spill all over the "holier than thou" motherfuckers. I personally think they deserve every bit of it.

Wayne said...

"But I thought we were talking about words. Isn't that what you said?"

OK - does it really matter WHO claimed responsibility? Did their claiming responsibility actually HURT anyone? How did their WORDS bring those buildings down.

Yes - they were JUST WORDS. You brought the whole 911 thing up.

Wayne said...

Fuckin newb

webmdave said...

"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me."

Some of the best lessons are learned in kindergarten.

sconnor said...

Greg,

Bottom line is, all your ballyhooing is not going to change the dynamics of this site -- it is what it is -- and is controlled and maintained by webmandave. The majority feel positively, comfortable here and enjoy the way it is. I have heard enough of your pussy-whining. If you don't like it, and you find the mechanics, constrained, go elsewhere or design your own "Ex-Christian Encouragement Site", with your own criteria. I'm sure I speak for everyone here, we're sick of your incessant, clamoring and your bogus defenses. "I'm not telling people what to do, I'm just asking questions" (Greg paraphrase)

Goodbye.

--S.

Wayne said...

Thanks webmdave...
I'll relax now.

boomSLANG said...

greggsewell,

Listen carefully: I'm fully aware that context matters. In fact, if I recall, I already quoted that whole passage and commented on it previously. Notwithstanding, here is the entire passage.... again.

You...Some say that the purpose of this site is to let ex-christians blow of steam.

Yes, IT IS...but check this out---that is [[[[ 1 ]]]] purpose among OTHER purposes. Did you not read my analogy regarding the "battered women clinic"?

Let's review: Any given help organization can have multiple purposes.

You..Fine.

Repeat: NO, it's evidently NOT "fine", as you are STILL bleating on about it.

You...Then say that up front, and quit advertising the site as a place of encouragement.

and recently "rephrased":

If the site's purpose is letting off steam, then why say the purpose is encouragement?

In spite of what you said previously, I'm afraid you've made a clarification without a damn bit..oops, I mean, a darn bit of difference, as far I'm concerned. 'Tell you what though, perhaps you can rewrite the site's disclaimer to suit your own personal view on things, and perhaps the webmaster will consider revising it.(especially if you promise to drop the subject)

Item: "quit advertizing the site...".[bold added]

Despite that insist that you concur on most points, above, however, you appear to be telling - not recommending - telling the site's owner how to advertize/portray the site.

greggsewell,

One last time---the site can have many "purposes".

One last time---you are under no obligation to hang around, if some, any, or all of the comments irk, bother, or offend you.

Bye now.

sconnor said...

Webmdave,

BTW, while I'm thinking of it, I just wanted to say, thank you, to webmdave, for all that you do. I fully appreciate the dynamics of what you've created here. In my own personal journey, I have gone to many other sites -- Christian sites, Grief sites, Atheist sites, and Spiritual sites and none of them afforded me the luxury of speaking, exactly what was on my mind and letting me say it, exactly how I wanted to say it. And as far as encouragement -- in my humble opinion -- this is the only site I have gone to that has felt real. No platitudes, no bullshit and only real, true, human compassion. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, Dave, for letting me, (us) have a sounding board, where -- for me anyways -- I can vent my tumultuous sea of emotions. Dave, whether you know this or not, this site is a great achievement for you, because you have created a site, where, apostates can call home.

Thank you.

--S.

Wayne said...

I'm with sconner...
I know I don't always have the most eloquent manner of speaking, but I know that I'll be able to say it here - no matter how ugly.

besides... sometimes, you just gotta say "What the fuck".

Thanks Webmdave. This is a great place you've got here (if only it served Red Hook IPA...)

Unknown said...

I'm with Wayne and Sconner. I used to post at a recovery message board (because I am a recovering drunk), and it was like the moderators were communist dictators. You had to watch every mother fucking word you said, and what really pissed me off was the fact that you couldn't exchange email addresses which would have been a great means of developing a support system. If you posted your email, you were gone. I had great threads removed and was nearly banned twice. I started a great thread stating that I was an atheist and the higher power of A.A. was unnecessary. A great discussion ensued for about twelve hours and then it was all deleted.

Thanks DAVE. Keep this site free !!!!

boomSLANG said...

Oh, cutts. Shame on me. Seriously, nine times out of ten, I kick myself in the ass for engaging these "one-size-fits-all" right-fighters. I suppose I need to be encouraged not to do so.

Please....please encourage me not to do so.... and while you're at it, feel free to cuss like a dozen sailors in the process.

Unknown said...

All I want to say is that I'm looking for people who might be able to tolerate my beliefs without needing to flame me from either side (XN or ex-XN). I have every respect for the pain XNty has caused and it sounds like the majority find relief here in expressing that. However, does anyone know of a non-hate-oriented site for me? I don't seem to fit in anywhere. I'm a guest on this site and perfectly happy to go elsewhere; this site is the closest I've found to some tolerance, but this string helps me see that my beliefs probably cannot be respectfully discussed here in a way that would be helpful to me. PLEASE believe I am not disparaging anyone and this site is great as is. But...is there a site for the rest of us that are struggling but don't hate anyone?

boomSLANG said...

Howdy, Teresa!

This isn't a "hate-oriented" site; it's a human being-oriented site, with a focus on those who formerly adhered to the Christian Faith, but deconverted. The emotions that you might be intepreting as "hate" here and there, are subsequent of what happens when some people waste huge portions of their lives believing lies---lies that, in most cases, were propagated by our own family members and friends. Whether you know it, or not, this can cause deep emotional wounds in some people. Well, when Christians stumble in here and commence to prostylisizing, these wounds can be reopened, so-to-speak.

As for stating your beliefs, etc., I highly doubt you'll get "flamed" for discussing them. On the other hand, if those beliefs are simply some derivative of Christianity that you've developed on your own, and/or, with the selective interpetation of the bible, then no, I cannot promise you that you won't catch flack for it. 'Sorry...just being honest.

In any event, it sounds to me like you're looking for a closely monitered/strictly moderated site, one where only those people who think, believe, and express themselves exactly the same can post their thoughts. Frankly, I don't think you'll find such a place. Perhaps think about starting your own site(?) In any event....good luck.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I have my own wounds about religion, but to date am more ashamed of Christianity than angry at it. I'm actually not seeking people who believe like I do, but people who can tolerate what I do believe. I think this site might not be the best fit because I 100% agree that XN rhetoric opens wounds and I am not interested in doing that!! The thing is, I am actually still a XN and quite comfortable with that, but I almost NEVER tell people that because I don't want to get lumped in with the crazy, nasty crowd that usually goes by the name XN. I was afraid of getting flamed here for still believing, but am more certain I will be flamed on the other side (XN) for being so unorthodox as to believe all religions are valuable, homosexual attraction is just as valid as any other sexual orientation, the Pope is wrong about many things, etc. etc. I read this site with absolute horror at how people who post have been treated in the name of XNty. I personally am what would probably be described as a very liberal XN...I suppose I think both "sides" would reject me! And probably do. BTW I live in a very conservative city in the Bible belt and can't attend any of the churches here with any comfort because of the rhetoric of superiority, exclusion, and ignorance. And yet...surely there are some XNs out there who don't act like that? Where are they? Can't move because my husband's dtr lives here so I'm stuck and lonely. He's great, but a formerly fundamentalist agnostic. Which is fine with me and absolutely not an issue, but is also not where I am at. In any case I have wanted to write to you guys since I sense some kindred spirits/ideas. Sorry for rambling so long but it is nice to be able to express myself.

Anonymous said...

Teresa,
If you don't mind a little advice, I believe you need to do some soul searching. You need to ask yourself exactly what and how much of the Christian religion you believe and why you believe it.

You mentioned that you don't identify with the Christians around you. Well, if God exists (which I don't believe), the only living expression that he has on this world is his people, who I don't identify with at all either.

What other expression does God have? The Bible - a hoplessly inaccurate hashed and rehashed book of fairytales, certainly not to be considered historically accurate.

Murky feelings during prayer? How do you know it's not that chimichanga you had for lunch or that new medicine your doctor put you on?

Is it because you were raised that way? Tradition does not prove the existence of God. There are countless religious traditions throughout the world. Which one is right?

Is it fear of death? With this one, you leave yourself open to any soothsayer that comes along. Any smooth talking, religious huckster can come along promise you heaven and take your money, and you'll be left in the same boat as before.

What exactly do you believe and why do you believe it?

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