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Agnostic/Atheist Support Group

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SI Staff posted 4/17/2007 10:46 AM

For those that are personally dealing with this situation.

25wimsey posted 4/17/2007 16:08 PM

There was a great thread about this a while ago that got lost--and it was helpful to hear from others in this boat.

Fortunately I don't have anyone who is advising me with religious ideas or solutions to this mess--it just isn't helpful to someone who goes to a nature preserve or looks at the stars to get away from my mundane self and get some peace. But I have to say that sometimes it seems as though it would be easier to really believe, to just throw everything into some god's hands, and look forward to an afterlife without any pain or trauma!

I had an experience when my dad died, at the service, the preacher was talking about meeting up with him again in heaven and how nice that would be. My sister had closed her eyes, was smiling and nodding, and looked so comforted, I was jealous. She obviously believes strongly and got solace from that. To me it's so not real to think that that will happen, but sometimes it's cold comfort to think that my memories of him will have to suffice in helping me.

Same way about this infidelity stuff--there is no mysterious reason why this all happened, noone is "not giving me anything I can't handle", it just is because we're all flawed humans and as flawed humans we have to try to help ourselves and our spouses muddle through as best we can--

Deeply Scared posted 4/17/2007 16:16 PM


Here is the original's now locked, but you all can still read it

7yrsbetrayed posted 4/17/2007 20:14 PM

Yay! I'm pressed for time right now but I'm glad to see the thread started.

hurtbs posted 4/17/2007 20:37 PM

Yay! We're back!

Skye posted 4/18/2007 07:52 AM

Thanks, mods, for restarting this group.

Every time I hear those with faith speak, I wonder WTF is wrong with me. But then a VA Tech incident occurs and all my feelings are validated.

25wimsey posted 4/18/2007 08:06 AM

Yeah, things like the VA Tech thing are awful--no overseer of the human race would allow things like mental illness, bone cancers, etc. etc. to have evolved or to have been created.

A woman lied to posted 4/18/2007 08:30 AM

So happy to see this group started.

My Wh and I are atheists.

I agree w/ you, 25wimsey.

hurtbs posted 4/18/2007 10:31 AM


You know what chaps my hide? When someone with a Christian bent tells me one or more of the following:

Everything happens for a reason.
God doesn't give you more than you can handle.
God gives you trials to make you stronger.
This is all part of His bigger plan.
God wants you to forgive. (and when was the last time you talked to him?).

Maybe it would be easier if I believed in a higher omnipotent power. It would take a lot of the decisions, confusion, etc away.

PS You ever notice that they rarely cite the seventh commandment to a WS?

mer1ins posted 4/19/2007 12:34 PM

I was raised in the church and rebelled against as soon as I was on my own. I didn't go back to church until I was in my forties. I probably spent 7 years going through the motions, claiming something I didn't feel and which didn't bring me comfort and then I rebelled again.

I've been reading tons of stuff about religion today and in the past and it sickens me how people have taken a reasonably simple thing and made it into a weapon that suits their needs and then used it to beat others with differing views over the head.

I'm glad this group is here. I hope to find time to post more often than I'm doing now. Sometimes my life just gets totally out of control and that's the case right now.

TwiceTorn posted 4/19/2007 14:57 PM

Growing up my parents made us go to church (Presbyterian.)
Went every sunday, was in youth club the whole deal.
It never made sense to me, I would ask questions from the time I was 7 years old because it didn't fit, it was logical. Noah built this boat that fit every animal in it? Man I watched wild kingdom every weekend theres a heck of alot of animals how the heck did he get 2 pairs of all of them on there?! But wait he lived for 950 years, huh how is that possible?! My sunday schools teachers answer "Back then people had a purpose." To which I answered what are we the left overs? It just didn't make any sense. Adam and Eve had 3 boys.. Um ok.. thats kinda an ending, unless there was some kinda incest, thats a dead end. I guess the way I rationalized it as a book, written about stories that were past down from generation to generation, trying to make sense of stuff they couldn't understand. Kinda like playing the came telephone, it starts out as one thing but by the time it gets down to the end of the line, passed person to person, the original message is lost.

So when I was 13 I told my parents I don't believe in the bible, I don't believe in that god they teach or preach. It just doesn't make any sense to me. After all I could watch an episode with Carl Sagan and it made perfect sense, logical. Science made sense, it could be changed as new stuff was discovered, it wasn't written in stone. Evolution makes perfect sense, its testable, verifiable.

Course through out my life If asked about my beliefs I was open about it. Some people thought or said its not to late you can be saved by christ, or etc. Basically trying to ram their beliefs as the only true way to think. I don't get the whole pushing your beliefs/religion onto someone thinking your saving them.

I have come to find my viewpoint on the the religion thing is rather rare. I remeber before I was Married we had to go to a Catholic wedding encounter type thing, basically descussing how to be married. They went around asking all the different couples what religion they were. Well I answered honestly Atheist, that is a real good way to become an outcast in that group, might as well have grown horns. They would pair us up with other couples that weekend to talk. More than once another couple would be asked to switch from talking with us. I was floored, I mean if your that insecure with your religion, and even the thought of talking to someone that doesn't have the same beliefs. You truly have lived a sheltered, shallow life..

Still_Lost posted 4/20/2007 19:55 PM

Hi all,

I'm glad I found this group. I have suffered so much over the last several months and found it difficult to find support.

I'm an atheist and obviously prayer is not going to solve anything. I love my friends and family but they are all so very religious. I needed some comfort and reassurance. I got so tired of hearing the following:

Everything happens for a reason. The Lord has a plan just for you.

God is testing your will and strength.

God will take care of you and your children.

Blah, blah, blah.

I know they mean well and trust that a higher power will come to my rescue. All they can offer me are prayers and more prayers during Sunday mass. Of course, I'm told that my life has not improved because I'm not a believer. Thanks, that's comforting.

I went through so much and I'm trying very hard to move forward. When I feel down and want to talk to someone, I only get "You are in my prayers."

Can I talk to a normal person? Is there a non-magical solution? I'm glad I found this website. At least, there are people who can relate to the A.

Ok, I feel better--a little.

[This message edited by Still_Lost at 8:01 PM, April 20th (Friday)]

hurtbs posted 4/20/2007 20:28 PM

Hey Still_lost

I know the feeling. Personally, I prefer the idea that I have control over my own life rather than being some part of a bigger cosmic plan.
I nearly slapped my aunt when she told me that 'everything happens for a reason.'
I cannot quote it verbatim, but one of my favorite shows "Scrubs" had a debate like that going on between ascerbic Dr. Cox and more religious oreinted Nurse Laverne. Cox says something like "So, you mean to tell me that AIDS, cancer, genocide, child molestation, Hugh Jackman, rape, all happen for a reason?" It cracked me up.

rizzo posted 4/21/2007 07:12 AM

Hi everyone!

I was not raised in a home that practiced religion, although I did go to church with my Grandma. I have never been a "believer" though.

My H has recently found God again, so it has been a strange ride for both of us. The stauch atheist and the born again believer. What a combination!

The only time it causes trouble for us is when he brings God into our relationship. I have made it a "God free zone", and while he is free to believe whatever he chooses, he is not allowed to cross that line into our relationship. Or at least I have asked that he not talk about God in that particular context.

Anyway, it's good to know there are others like me out there!

SI Staff posted 4/21/2007 07:40 AM

This thread was started so that like minded people could support each other.

It should not to be used to debate or bash other beliefs or the support anyone has received at SI.

7yrsbetrayed posted 4/21/2007 11:34 AM

Everything that has been posted here has been about someone's PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with being an atheist/agnostic and what we have to deal with from others. If anyone is reading in here and getting offended it's their problem. It's not like we're going into the Support through Prayer thread and bashing people. We're staying in our little world and talking amongst ourselves about OUR experiences. I don't understand the red flag. Unless, a mod has deleted something I did not see?? I thought the whole point of these threads was to provide a safe place for people in similar situations to talk about their experiences. Well, guess what? Being an atheist means that you get hammered on by people who think your lack of belief is wrong. We need to be able to discuss that in a safe place.

hurtbs posted 4/21/2007 14:18 PM

I think that the SI staff just wants to ensure that we use this forum to discuss the struggles that we face with infidelity as 'godless heathens' when we live in a culture where marriage is primarily defined by religious terms as well as recovery, i.e. forgiveness. We should be careful to keep it on our own struggles and not use it bash religious beliefs.

Hollow Inside posted 4/23/2007 19:56 PM

Glad to see this group.

I was raised in a VERY strict Catholic household. I never understood the religion. I questioned everything, and never received any sufficient answers. So I became agnostic. And STILL question evrything - I can't help it.

Now, I have everyone in my family telling me I should go talk to a priest. WHY??? First of all, I did not marry in a Catholic church. Secondly, what could a priest possibly know about marriage? Maybe it's just me, but I honestly don't GET IT.

On a side note, OW#2 is a big-time born again Christian. On her MySpace profile, she says that the most important person in her life is Jesus. Again, is it just ME, or is there something seriously wrong with this picture?!


DaniL posted 4/23/2007 20:42 PM

Life long atheist, raised in an atheist home. H is also an atheist, raised catholic.
I do understand why religious people suggest talking to a priest, I'm sure some of them are intelligent men with a good deal of insight.
I don't understand why religious people sometimes feel that God is giving us a trial/test to make us stronger. What kind of sadistic being does that?

answersplease posted 4/24/2007 07:54 AM

I was born and confirmed Lutheran. Married in a Lutheran Church 25 years ago. That's the last time WS and I have been to church. I am now agnostic and agree with a lot of what others have said here. WS was raised and confirmed Catholic and still believes, although she does not attend church...and hasn't in 25 years, unless someone we know gets married or dies. I still wonder why we got married. I still struggle with the "why we even did it" question. I think it was just to ease family pressures to do so, and besides, we had already been living together for 7 years so I think it made us common law married anyway.

hurtbs posted 4/24/2007 12:23 PM

So, for those of us who do not lean on religious/faith concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation, how do you develop your ideas/beliefs about this process?

First of all, I don't believe that 'everything happens for a reason' or is part of a 'larger plan.' Instead, I believe that people are responsible for their own choices. As they're responsible for their choices/actions, then they are the ones who have to fix them - they do not give up this responsibility to a higher power. Personally, I find it more empowering.

Still struggling with the issue of forgiveness. I do believe in forgiveness. I think that it is important for all walks of life. I do not, however, believe that people are entitled to forgiveness.

Other thoughtss?

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