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Old 24th October 2015, 12:02 PM
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Default Maybe a bit of teen rebellion?

I grew up in the 1960s in the Midwest section of the US. My Dad was pretty conventionally Catholic, from a strong Catholic background (one of his sisters became a Nun). He was a member of the fraternal organization known as the Knights of Columbus. My Mom had to convert to Catholicism so they could marry and make lots of babies.

The whole time I was growing up I was expected to attend Mass on Sundays (or Saturdays when that became an option). I attended a Catholic school from the age of 5 to about 12, where it was a mix of Nuns and lay teachers. There were classes of religious instruction, and we'd also attend Masses during the week as if it were a class.

I don't know that I ever believed any of it. But when things became bad I would pray - when you are desperate you'll try anything - but I don't think I understood it or invested in it.

After I stopped attending the Catholic school and became part of the public school system, that's when I realized I was an atheist. One of the formative books for me was Isaac Asimov's Guide to the Bible which helped me gain a little perspective on the stories that had been pushed on me all those years.

I became a little pugnacious, and started putting notes in religious books with my anti-theist message. Challenging people to debate. No one really took me up on it. Maybe a good thing, as I didn't really know all that much at the time. Still don't!

Since there were several Masses available to attend, my brother and I would go out on Saturday night, hang out at the mall or whatever, and come back in an hour as if we'd attended services. Even as an adult, it was expected we'd go to church when visiting. Naturally, weddings and funerals would be hard to avoid!

So in the Age of the Internet I've been a much more open atheist than I was with my family. I'm much more willing to do what I can to undermine the 'christian' message on various public forums, and give what support I can to others in my position.
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Old 24th October 2015, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Maybe a bit of teen rebellion?

Cheers.

The expectation of being religious is much more necessary in the USA, how have you found your relationships with your family changed over time?
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The Nizkor Project- Logical Fallacies

Atheist: n; A person to be pitied in that he is unable to believe things for which there is no evidence, and who has thus deprived himself of a convenient means of feeling superior to others.
—Chaz Bufe, The American Heretic’s Dictionary
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Old 24th October 2015, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: Maybe a bit of teen rebellion?

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wolty said View Post
Cheers.

The expectation of being religious is much more necessary in the USA, how have you found your relationships with your family changed over time?
There's not much discussion about religion in my family. I suspect now that my Dad is dead my Mom won't be attending Mass.

I suspect there are some atheists in the bunch - the brother I cut church services with, for one.

On the other hand I think some are believers.

I try not to be a dick about it to them, as they are not dicks about it to me.
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Old 24th October 2015, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Maybe a bit of teen rebellion?

On the other hand, I don't make a big deal of it at work.

It might become a problem since there are so many believers out there who might make an issue of it.
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Old 24th October 2015, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: Maybe a bit of teen rebellion?

It looks to me as if not talking about it is the better option than actually 'coming out' so to speak.
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The Nizkor Project- Logical Fallacies

Atheist: n; A person to be pitied in that he is unable to believe things for which there is no evidence, and who has thus deprived himself of a convenient means of feeling superior to others.
—Chaz Bufe, The American Heretic’s Dictionary
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Old 25th October 2015, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Maybe a bit of teen rebellion?

I don't give them a hard time if they don't give me a hard time.
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Old 9th November 2015, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Maybe a bit of teen rebellion?

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But when things became bad I would pray - when you are desperate you'll try anything - but I don't think I understood it or invested in it.
Yes you will and anyone who says otherwise has not suffered the depths of despair. I have prayed to Jeezuhs and Gawd. Did it help? No, in no way did it help. What did help was learning about my biography. Not so much factually but emotionally. I continue to struggle to access my trauma emotionally. It is very difficult but this, in my opinion, is the key to healing. Not spirituality.

What makes rebellion so hard is the internalised fear and guilt. I struggle with this big time with regards to my parents who deserve my wrath. I feel guilty right now about saying a bad word about my folks but a spade is a spade and people must find the courage to speak out. In my opinion you protect your parents to preserve the illusion you were loved as a child. Traditional morality, the fourth commandment, makes you feel guilty about calling a spade a spade.
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