Spiritual cross-dressing

January 13, 2008 at 8:02 am 30 comments

masksI was in line at my local mega-chain bookstore last night when I realized the person paying at the register in front of me was a man, wearing a long wig, make-up, long painted fingernails, a number of flashy rings, earrings, and a diamond-ique nose ring. It is not the first time I have run into a person who was cross-dressing, but my immediate reaction was pity. Oh no, the poor guy, so uncomfortable in his skin that he feels the need to walk around in public assuming another identity.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. How was I any different?

I stumbled upon, and was drawn to, this particular community because it’s been hard for me to “come out” as an agnostic to my family and to some of my friends. Many hours of my life are spent dressed up as a good Christian by implication and in the absence of evidence to the contrary. I simply have not been able to face them all with the, “I’m sorry, I don’t believe what you believe anymore” line.

What makes it so difficult to truthfully acknowledge a new agnostic view to Christians around you? Obviously there must be a strong fear of judgement that is all-consuming. I’ve read quite a lot about the inconsistencies between the Christly idea of unconditional love and the Christian reality of “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15 and a beautiful choral anthem by Thomas Tallis). I certainly feel as though my Christian upbringing was far more of the latter than the former; my continuing struggles with perfectionism have been linked back to an upbringing characteristic of conditional love. My fear of being truthful with my family is certainly associated with a fear of being unlovable by them.

That perhaps explains aspects of my difficult relationship with my Christian family. What is less clear is how this translates into new relationships. I still have a tendency to mask my developing inner agnostic behind a vaguely Christian world-view. Part of it is a fear and dismay at losing the ritual in my life, a theme that I have heard echoed by other de-converts. Part of it is the fundamental human difficulties associated with being different and not “fitting in” with everyone around you.

The irony, of course, is that my greatest growing pains in the Christian church (midwestern Evangelic sort) came as I was getting older and realized that I did not fit well into their club. The strident and career-oriented feminist in me ran into the female majority of the Evangelical church–happy housewives and young mothers–and realized that I was playing the childhood game of “one of these things is not like the others.” Fortunately since the scientist in me was also simultaneously questioning the prevailing views in other aspects of the faith, I did not feel the need to try to force myself into their mold. That really would have been serious cross-dressing!

What I need to learn now is how to be proud of myself and my new identity. I don’t know how to “come out” to my family and some friends as an agnostic. I don’t know if the current situation–with me quiet and often fuming at the things said and implied–is better or worse than what would or could happen if I just told them the truth. Fear keeps me from being as bold as the cross-dressing person in the bookstore.

- ExEvangel

Entry filed under: ExEvangel. Tags: , , , , .

The Myth of Judeo-Christian America “Which God?” Re: Sermon on worldview criteria.

30 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ray  |  January 13, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Are you sure the customer was a cross-dresser (transvestite), and not transexual in the process of transitioning? The two are not synonymous; transvestites and transgendered or transsexuals are two entirely different (but sometimes annoyingly overlapping!) issues.

    Obviously you wouldn’t ask a stranger to self-identify or even discuss issues of such personal importance. And I understand how the helped introduce the rest of your article.

    Just trying to raise general awareness that in this day and age, all is not as it appears to be. The person in the store could have been a pre-op male-to-female transexual, which might have put a different spin on your article — rather than hiding and pretending to be something you’re not, it would be the effort to STOP pretending one is a male and finally coming out and becoming female. I think those raised in Churchianity and realizing they aren’t part of the club would be more like transgendered folks finally becoming outwardly the people they know themselves to be inwardly.

    Anyway, good article, all in all. Thanks for writing it.

  • 2. exevangel  |  January 13, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Ray,

    thanks for your comment. I actually did try to do some research on this prior to posting it, and quite carefully used “cross-dressing” to indicate the action, instead of “cross-dresser” to identify the person too specifically, because I agree, there is some uncertainty there.

  • 3. CarriedTheCross  |  January 13, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I can definitely sympathize with your position, having just “come out” as an atheist to my friends at my Christian college in the last six months or so.

    I’m not sure if this is just universal, or just unique to me, but fear of judgment wasn’t at the top of list of reasons to not tell people my shift from religious belief. I felt a strong sense of obligation to my Christian friends. By turning away from the faith, I’ve seen more than one of my friends personally hurt rather than angry. I’ve heard of a few people who cried when they heard the news.

    Ultimately though, it does no service to yourself or them to ‘fake it’ forever. Its unhealthy to pretend to be something you’re not 24/7. I hope your process of “coming out” as an agnostic to your friends and family is a smooth one. :)

  • 4. marie  |  January 13, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    I have told a couple christian friends of my deconversion–and to tell the truth, everyone Ive told has said they admire my decision. They dont agree with my unbelief, but they can appreciate and value the search for truth and the honesty it takes to deconvert from a faith held for 22 years. so that has been a very interesting twist.
    On the other hand…no one in my family knows. Because they would undoubtedly forever judge me, every minute downfall of mine would be traced back to my “hostility” to faith, and even though I am 23, my parents would try to send me to some treatment facility. Aside from the judgement and rejection, I just don’t have the energy to deal with all that will follow. As well, I do not want to inflict that pain on my family.
    I know that if my mother found out about my deconversion, she would take it as a personal blow and it would cloud her heart until the day she dies. I want to spare her of that pain.

    it totally is like cross-dressing for me, but i can;t come to terms with the fact that my “freedom” will result in entrapment of guilt for my family. So for now, cross-dressing is the best option

  • 5. Ray  |  January 13, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks ExEv. The trans issued isn’t personal for me, just something I’m highly aware of. Glad you did some reading before writing.

    Carried: I don’t think I ever got the “hurt” response. Usually it was more the angry/judgmental type (“informing” me of a certain future in hell, and/or refusing to deal with me at all until I “came back to the Lord”) or the incredulous type (unable to comprehend even the possibility of not believing). But it’s been almost 25+ years now and I haven’t regretted leaving the church or found reason to reconsider my decision. If anything, all these years have only added to my conviction.

  • 6. Neil Moffatt  |  January 13, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    A well written, and increasingly important topic. The systematic opression of the non-Christian viewpoint continues to this day. But, alas, as alluded to in this article is the more subtle social indoctrination that belief and religion are sacrosanct aspects of life that by default are immune from criticism.
    For example, If you attend a Christenning of the offspring of a family you know not to be particularly religious, it is socially taboo to ever raise a concern about the choice in the whole matter of this innocent baby, as yet unable to even know what is happening to it. The socio-religious pressure to simply accept this bizarre behaviour is enormous. I call it bizarre because the parents are pre-guessing the needs of their child. They are embarking on a path of religious indoctrination. Which, as I said, becomes so deep rooted that escape is thwart with difficulty.
    I write on religion occasionally : neilmoffatt.co.uk/WordPress

  • 7. Thinking Ape  |  January 13, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Excellent post exevangel. I too struggle with this on a daily basis, especially with my relation to my parents, in-laws, and grandparents. It is sad that I have been able to express my agnosticism much more with my evangelical friends than I have my own family. Of course I have witnessed how the few non-Christians in my extended family are treated: with “love” yet with the typical born-again elitism that those who do not “know” Jesus are lesser persons. Do I want that “love”? Not particularly.

    I haven’t really known how to act or what to talk about at family gatherings, so I have simply decided to remain quiet much of the time (which requires a lot of patience for someone so inherently confrontational). I have instead taken solace in the idea that my ideas will be known to them via a “letter” I have been writing for some time – a letter concerning the very basis of my doubt. Sure, I will eventually have to “come out,” but I prefer to do it with the “upper hand,” so to speak.

  • [...] it provides for yours–wait,how presumptious of me–mine truly. Courtesy of ExEvangel at de-conversion.com, here’s the juicy opening [emphasis added]: I was in line at my local mega-chain bookstore [...]

  • 9. The de-Convert  |  January 14, 2008 at 3:31 am

    carriedthecross,

    I can definitely sympathize with your position, having just “come out” as an atheist to my friends at my Christian college in the last six months or so.

    Do you have a blog entry on your blog on this experience?

    Paul

  • 10. artisticmisfit  |  January 14, 2008 at 3:36 am

    I think we need to be really careful with the word Christian. Its almost like a bad word these days. You could talk about the culture of growing up in a Southern evangelical church, by why taint Christianity with that?

  • 11. yusufsukandar  |  January 14, 2008 at 3:49 am

    what about Islam?

  • 12. saltedwithfire  |  January 14, 2008 at 10:41 am

    At least you are intellectually honest.

    There are a lot of “Christians” that are essentially atheists because they don’t actually have intimate knowledge of the God that they profess.

    I can respect a actual hunger for truth because I believe that those who seek will find. Please don’t let this be a search within the jungle of philosophy that you never actually emerge from–that is intellectually lazy.

  • 13. notabarbie  |  January 14, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Your post resonates with me and I’m sure with others here. I too felt as if I didn’t quite fit in and had the Sesame Street song playing through my head on many occasions. I tried desperately to squelch my thinking mind; I wrongly thought that I was carrying the “sin of Eve.” I was actually told that once. Pssshhh! Thankfully I am free now. Unfortunately, not totally free because of the very thing you have written about—coming out; living freely and honestly. It’s hard and it’s hard for a good reason. The reaction from Christians is stunning, even Christian family members. (I’ve written a little about it on my blog)

    As with Thinking Ape, I have been composing “the Letter,” in my head for months now and because of my New Year resolution, I will be writing it and sending it out this year. I believe, as Thinking Ape does, that we should come out with the “upper hand,” or on our own terms. I’ve already been forced out to my sister and to put it mildly, it’s not the best way. Thankfully she is respecting my privacy at this time. I really do hope my parents never know. (I won’t be sending them the letter) It would hurt them and I would prefer they go to their graves feeling secure in my “salvation.”

    You said, “I don’t know if the current situation–with me quiet and often fuming at the things said and implied–is better or worse than what would or could happen if I just told them the truth.” That’s the question of the day isn’t it? All I know is that until we speak openly or honestly about our beliefs, we are still allowing religion to oppress us. I’m pulling for you.

  • 14. Thinking Ape  |  January 14, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    saltedwithfire says,

    There are a lot of “Christians” that are essentially atheists because they don’t actually have intimate knowledge of the God that they profess.

    Hmmm. So if you are not an “atheist Christian” you are by default a gnostic Christian. Interesting.

  • 15. confusedchristian  |  January 14, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    The intimate knowledge of God is a mystical idea that is infused with pure emotions and irrationality. It is at best a great work of imagination, and at worst a conviction that is a more hazardous enemy to truth than lies.

  • 16. the chaplain  |  January 14, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Coming out is a tough process that needs to be handled carefully. I was fortunate in that my husband had been searching and asking many questions similar to those that eventually led me away from Christianity. Since I came out with him about six weeks ago, we have been working through the logistics of how to come out and with whom.

    We came out with our eldest son about five weeks ago and that went well. We will come out with our youngest son sometime within the next year. He’s going through a lot of transitions right now and doesn’t need us to add another layer of complexity to that mix at the moment.

    We’ve agreed that we will not come out with our elderly parents. Moreover, since we live at a distance from them and only see them a few days a year, it’s not important to do so. The same goes for our siblings, nieces, nephews all of who live between 500 and 2,000 miles away from us. As often as we see them, there’s no point in making an issue of religion.

    As for other Christian friends, etc., we have not yet left our church, nor have we set a date to do so, but that day will definitely come. We currently have some professional and community obligations that preclude us from moving precipitously right now, but we are laying the groundwork for the transition.

  • 17. lostgirlfound  |  January 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    For me, “coming out” has been a gradual process. Especially with my husband, I try and focus on the things we still believe “in common” (which I frequently find out he doesn’t always think about — I think he thinks I’ve totally lost it sometime). I guess, whatever is done “in love” is good. So much of the process is the decision by people who love you to accept you anyway when you speak truthfully to them.

    It does seem as though some Christians have to see you with a certain percentage of similar belief before they “let you into their club.” But I’m like you: I never really “belonged,” because I’ve always ask a lot of questions. Even when I was the “perfect” pastor’s wife, I wasn’t, because I didn’t care to spend my time figuring out how to better serve at the ladies annual tea, you know? So much of what goes on in the “church” is just social club stuff anyway. There are lots of unwritten rules and unstated expectations, and I just am not good at playing those games.

    Unlike the Chaplain, I have decided to continue to be a part of our local congregation, mostly because my husband works there, and I really like a lot of the people who attend as people! My kids? We have the priviledge of homeschooling, so talk about religion is a constant thing … and I answer truthfully anything they ask. But I also do not add to the “layers of complexity” (great way to phrase it, Chaplain!) until they ask me directly. They, however, are great question askers …

    Good luck!

  • 18. exevangel  |  January 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    An interesting theme is coming out of these comments, one of not telling parents in the end. It appears to be one of those, “because it would hurt them too much” things that motivate such omissions, and generally I’m in favor. I’ve certainly thought the same thing, that my parents and my nonagenarian grandmother might all be too fragile for any big (and to them, crushing) revelations about my diminished faith. But it does bring me full circle to the way that I found this website in the first place, which was a holiday-themed post on how to handle Christmas events! Dealing with my parents has been very difficult since my divorce in general, and I know that they are already hurt and mystified about the way I keep them at arm’s length and don’t want to get too close. So I wonder sometimes if this whole thing would be made simpler if they just understood the reasons. Tough call, and not one I’m likely to act on in a major way any time soon.

  • 19. orDover  |  January 14, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    I keep having a reoccurring nightmare where I end up screaming at my mom “I’m an atheist and I have been for years!” and she sobs uncontrollably and slaps me. My brain is certainly over-dramatizing the situation, but I know that tears would be shed if my family, especially my parents and grandparents, knew of my disbelief. I don’t want to be at the receiving end of those prayers over dinner that end with “..and may anyone at this table who doesn’t know You come to know Your love and peace.” For now I’m just hoping that I can keep up the charade.

  • 20. Slapdash  |  January 15, 2008 at 12:07 am

    I come from a midwest evangelical background too, and have also struggled with coming out. I had hoped to avoid telling my mom point blank about my emerging agnosticism, but it spilled out over the summer. She cried. I was crushed that I hurt her so much. Since then, we haven’t spoken once about spiritual matters, which is a relief on one hand but a terrible sadness on the other because it feels like there is a huge gulf between us now. As for the few friends I’ve come out to, they have been shockingly non-judgmental — I was terrified of their bad reactions, but they have proven to be better friends than I gave them credit for. Not that I was chomping at the bit to tell anyone, but circumstances kind of dictated that I let them in on what is going on with me. I have contemplated eventually letting my Christian people just read my blog to understand the path I’ve been on — trying to capture it all in one letter like some of you are doing feels like an overwhelming task. But I am way too chicken to let them see me so exposed – so for now, my blog remains the sole province of an anonymous audience. So – to ExEvangel and the others who have commented here, I can definitely relate. Coming out is hard, no doubt. :(

  • 21. Jersey  |  January 15, 2008 at 12:21 am

    My husband has been down the same road I have been, but every time I have ever looked like I was about ready to officially dump my “Christianization”, he goes through this whole schpeal with me about how he looked through all the same religions but that they are very selfish, and that they are gods who don’t care about you, yada yada yada. So, now I just keep my yap shut, because, really, we don’t act Christian the rest of the week. I give up about 3-4 hours of my day on Sunday so we can be together at church…but the good thing is I usually get lunch and supper for free, because his granma pays for it too. ;) Yes, they all diss all things non-Christian at least once every one of those meals, but then again, who am I to say who or what is wrong, and which is right?

    Only the one girl at my dojo knows I am a “secular Christian”, and we barely know one another. I am also afraid if I “came out of the closet”, too many people again would be hurt. My opinions are my own; I live and let live.

  • 22. carriedthecross  |  January 15, 2008 at 1:35 am

    “carriedthecross,

    I can definitely sympathize with your position, having just “come out” as an atheist to my friends at my Christian college in the last six months or so.

    Do you have a blog entry on your blog on this experience?

    Paul”

    Paul,

    I actually just wrote a short blub in my blog about some experiences with people at my school. Though to be fair, the entry is more for humor.

  • 23. bipoplar2  |  January 20, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    ** Becoming-who-you-are requires skepticism and self-assertion **

    The word ‘islam’ means submission. Obviously submission to the will of Allah, as prescribed in the five pillars of faith. The big-4 monotheisms are alike in dismissing an individual’s will, “not my will but thy will done” as we’re shown in the poignant scene at Gethsemane in the NT. (But, this god-man is no hero.)

    For such empire building religions, self-assertion takes on the character not of honest questioning and personal growth, but of insubordination and rebellion. (Can’t be godly cannon fodder unless you obey orders, mister.)

    >> One sick danish strudel to go, please

    With characteristic, combative verve, Kierkegaard condemns the doubter as insubordinate, a rebel against fideism:

    “They would have us believe that objections against Christianity come from doubt. This is always a misunderstanding. Objections against Christianity come from insubordination, unwillingness to obey, rebellion against all authority. Therefore, they have been beating the air against the objectors, because they have fought intellectually [against] doubt, instead of fighting ethically [against] rebellion. . . .So it is not properly doubt but insubordination.” (Lowrie 122)

    Thus, SK. Almost needless to say, but SK’s “argument” works equally “well” in the mouth of any doctrinaire muslim, jew, or zoroastrian. Just as it does for any cultist. . . and for the 4-faced near eastern godhead who presides over those three well-known, well-financed, and power hungry money making cults.

    >> Got guilt? Well, why not, sinner?

    It’s not surprising that even attempting to leave a religious culture which demands ’subordination’ or ’submission’ to someone else’s interpretation of an alleged “will of god” adversely affects the psychological well-being of the “apostate.” Guilt feelings get induced. Needless guilt is the elder brother of nonexistent “sin.”

    Becoming-who-you-are or “individuation” (to use Jung’s terminology) is the goal of personal growth. It cannot occur without self-doubt or without doubting authority and authority figures. When you’ve made a “leap of faith” into hyper-religious space there is no return except by self-assertion, and doubt is just a form of it. You want to emulate Prometheus and cease wanting to mirror Jesus. (The hero labors, struggles, succeeds, or dies trying; but throughout remains human.)

    >> Religious “commitment” is not a choice; it’s a moral cop-out

    Irrational self-assertion characterizes the popular culture, the “secular” culture. Irrational fideism characterizes fundamentalism, jewish, xian, or islamic.

    Tolerance, that wide band of humane behavior, lies between inhuman anarchy and inhuman puritanism. Trying to navigate in that band requires years of training and making a lot of mistakes. And, there is no end to learning until life itself ends.

    bipolar2
    © 2008

  • 24. convert  |  April 24, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Can anyone point me to resources on anti-evangelism, e.g., rescuing friends, family, and loved ones from religion, or preventing them from converting in the first place?

    A very dear friend of mine is in the process of converting to Christianity. Her primary motivation appears to be to reconciling her past spiritual-but-not-religious beliefs with the beliefs of the man who may very well be the love of her life, a committed Christian. The little I know about him says he’s a good man, and I have never seen her this happy. I am concerned for her nonetheless.

    I’ve come to believe that Christianity, like any religion, is actually detrimental to society and to personal growth. I’m conflicted about whether to talk to her about this belief, and if so, how. If I say nothing, she will almost certainly continue down the path to conversion. She has already said she’s “decided to pursue [her] relationship with Jesus Christ.” (On Easter Sunday she was telling people Jesus didn’t exist. Now she calls him Jesus Christ. It kills me.) If I try to present the argument that Christianity is harmful, she will almost certainly view it as questioning her ability to make informed, intelligent decisions, and might see it as an attempt to interfere in her relationship.

    The ideal outcome is that they both abandon the religion entirely and live out their lives as rational atheists. I have no illusions that this will happen, however, and so the “best” possible outcome is that she rejects it for herself, almost certainly destroying any chance of marriage to this man, and leaving him believing that a loved one is going to Hell. Even that seems unlikely, though, so I’m left with the decision to either bring it up out of principle, knowing that I’ll only hurt her feelings, or let it lie, knowing that she’s heading down a path to, at best, happy self-delusion, but possibly (probably) much worse.

    This feels like a real lose-lose situation to me, and I can’t see a happy outcome for it. She’s faced with disappointing one of us, no matter what. I’m faced with either causing her grief now, or allowing it later. If anyone has any thoughts on how to ethically resolve this conflict, prioritizing the best interests of my friend, I’d be grateful to hear them.

  • 25. LeoPardus  |  April 24, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    convert:

    Lots of issues here.

    First: Drop the Christianity if evil, harmful, etc. It will get you nowhere with anyone who doesn’t already agree with you. (And it’s not a given anyway. Just your opinion. An opinion not even shared by all atheists.)

    Second: She changed in just the last 4 weeks??!! How long has she been going with this guy? A sudden change is hardly the foundation for a life-long relationship. The guy, if a committed Christian for any length of time, ought to know that. If he’s also a recent convert, then they are really headed for a mess.

    Third: Was she a rational atheist before or just an atheist by happenstance? If she was thinking before, then you need to ask what changed her thinking. (If “I’m in luuuuuv” changed her “thinking”, then she’s in trouble in the near future, when the hormones calm down and the brain kicks back into gear.)

    I’d say the way to broach the subject is to ask her, “Only a month ago, on Easter Sunday you were telling people Jesus didn’t exist. Now you want to pursue a relationship with him. What has changed? Tell me what happened in the last few weeks.”

    Once you’ve done that, you should clam up and listen. Ask questions for clarification only. Once you’ve got the whole story, stop and think carefully before doing anything else.

    If she thinks she’s seen a miracle, or been visited by an angel, or some such, you’ve got a big problem. I don’t know how you’d convince her that wasn’t the case. It would depend on the experience.

    For most other reasons, you may try asking questions derived from “atheist apologetics”. Keep it all in the spirit of “I don’t understand what’s happened to you my friend, so I’m asking to make some sense of it”.

    For the most part though it sounds like hormones currently hold the upper hand. Since hormones (or luuuuuuv) are so notorious for stifling brain cells, you may have to let things ride for a while until she cools down.

    I’ll be interested to hear how it works out.

  • 26. Trueheart  |  August 6, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    I came across this blog by accident and I have read all the comments. I am in the minority here because I am a Christian. Do I think that I’m better than anybody? No way! I’m human like everyone. I would like to address the person that mentioned the Christiening of a baby. Well my parents did that to me when I was a baby but that didn’t make me a Christian. Up till my senior year of high school I was not a Christian. Yes I had attended different churchs since I was a little kid but I had never made the decision for Christ. That was something I had to do, nobody could make that decision for me. Has my life been any better or worse since making the decision for Christ? Well as I’m about in my mid 30′s now I really can’t compare the present to the past. Do I still have trials? Yes! Do I worry? No, I try to keep from it for medical reasons (you’d understand if you knew someone who’s an epileptic). Am I tempted? Yes! Again, I am human. I ask forgiveness when I fail. This is my choice for my life and I have no regrets and I don’t ever doubt my choice that I made so many years ago. Even though I don’t agree with the choice for unbelief, I don’t diss it either. It was my right to chose belief, just as it is the right of every person to not chose belief. I do feel sorry for those here that have experienced pain by the responses they have received from their family. Though perhaps you should look at it through the eyes of your parents. I don’t say that in a rude maner because every now and then my own Dad says “I wonder if I raised you good” which he did. I just dont’ think the same as he does on everything. An example, this past 4th of July we had over a family that he is friends with. His friend (the father in that family) fixed the steak and I thought it could have been prepared better. So when he (the father of the visiting family) asked what I thought of it, I said the steak was “okay.” And that’s all I said because I didn’t want to cause my dad embarassment. For me there is Victory through Jesus Christ and I will always hold to that personal belief. Peace be with you.
    Trueheart

  • 27. Rover  |  August 6, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Trueheart:

    asa lama lakem!

  • 28. ubi dubium  |  August 6, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Trueheart:

    Even though I don’t agree with the choice for unbelief, I don’t diss it either. It was my right to chose belief, just as it is the right of every person to not chose belief

    Hear Hear! I wish all believers had that attitude!

  • 29. Trueheart  |  August 6, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    I will not diss a worship service because I rarely get to attend one. However from the 3 churches that I attended regularly in the past, I can say that it is sad how it seemed to be more of a social gathering than a time of worship. Now the one 3 doors down from me that I get to attend every now and then is a worship service. Nobody dresses real spiffy or seems to be there to check out what joe blow is wearing. I have my firm belief of what is going to happen when I die and those that have chosen unbelief have their view. It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other by a long shot and anybody that says so needs to check their head for inflation. The key thing that each believer and non-believer needs to ask themself is “am I secure in what I believe?” I was not forced into my decision for Christ. Though someone kept on me to go to church with him and it was an interesting experience. While I was making the attempt to listen to the paster, the person that invited me was sitting next to me, cracking jokes the whole time which made it very hard to concentrate. One thing that I think is important, the choice for Christ or not should not be influenced by an outside individual, save what you were or were not raised with. I was raied by good parents that took me to church each week. For the younger years of my life it was in a Presbyterian (sp?) church and later when I was in my teens, it was a Methodist church. When I entered my 20′s it was a Baptist church. Eventually I discovered that what I needed to hear is what would convict me of the way I lived and for a short time that’s what I heard in the Baptist church. One sunday it felt like the pastor was speaking directly to me but he wasn’t of course. At the other two churches that was something I never experienced even though they were “good people.” I think the reason many churches fail is because they deiiver a “feel good” message. The type that makes a person feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Not all churchs are like that, some actually thrive without the charisma type folk speaking the message. But like I said, it all comes down to choice. What will you chose, beliefe or unbelief? I would like to comment on something that I did read in these responses. Someone said something about the “rationalism of athemism” or something similar. I can only speak for myself because I am a person that uses logic and rationality often. Does it make sense to believe in something that I can’t see, feel or smell? My rational brain would say no, but that’s where the belief that I chose kicks in. The belief in what can’t be seen, felt or smelled just on the basis of faith that I have. People believe in ufo’s without question even though they have never seen one. I don’t believe in ufo’s personally. They make for good tv but that’s about it. Why bother believing in another species when we don’t even have our own human race figured out yet? LOL

  • 30. Sapna Tv  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    3.1 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication,
    marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct
    or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation.
    Relevant evidence should be sent without delay if requested by the ASA or
    CAP. The adequacy of evidence will be judged on whether it supports both the
    detailed claims and the overall impression created by the marketing
    communication. The full name and geographical business address of
    marketers should be provided without delay if requested by the ASA or CAP.

    3.2 If there is a significant division of informed opinion about any claims made in a
    marketing communication they should not be portrayed as generally agreed.

    The second of these, to my mind, is decisive as regards the theist bus adverts. So, if 3.2 is enforced, will this constrain religious expression in an egregious, anti-liberal way? I’d like to put it to you that it will not. The appropriate and accurate way for a theist organisation to express their beliefs truly is to advertise that “we the members of such-and-such organisation believe that god definitely exists”. This would be a true statement of fact that would constitute full and adequate religious expression.

    To hold any one group to a lesser standard than this would be to show favouritism to that group and thereby infringe on the rights of groups with apposing views. If you agree with me, you can file a complaint with the ASA here.

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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