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What was your worst experience with religious people?

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12

My brother-in-law was one of the 16 Marines killed in the c-130 that crashed over Mississippi on July 10. Almost every day after the names of the victims were officially announced, my sister started getting "sympathy cards" from Christians telling her that she needed to repent so that she could see her husband in Heave (ironically, he also was agnostic so that ship would have already sailed). Some included tracts, pamphlets, steps to avoid hell, and the conversion prayer. These were people that didn't know my sister or her husband, Brendan (or any of us for that matter). We have no idea how they got our address since we never announced that, but it was just freaky, and a disgusting violation of a human being's grief.

Benthoven Level 7 Sep 30, 2017
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Sounds like something JWs would do. Exploiting people's grief and loss of a loved one to convert them.

Religious cults exploit the weak and vulnerable....

That is horrible. To impose themselves like that in a time of grief!! Horrible people!!

I'm so sorry for your loss, @Benthoven, and for that of your family. (Sorry for the delay, I just saw the post.)

It must have been like a slap in the face every time your sister opened one of those vile cards. It's times like this that I can agree that the religious - or at least these religious - are mentally ill because I can't comprehend a sane person being able to commit such cruelty.

9

Oh lawdy! I made the mistake to confiding in a hellfire brimstone preacher. Much to my horror, I was the subject of his next sermon. I was much younger and much more vulnerable then and I had to undergo therapy to undo all the crap they caused. One therapists asked me a question that immediately broke the spell: she asked, "Are these people whom you would go to for an other kind of advice?" I started laughing and said NO! That was it, they never bothered me again. Science and critical thinking have a tendency to squash the religious nonsense.

Quistis3000 Level 2 Nov 18, 2017
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I wouldn't hate yourself for what happened. I have read some books on how cults work and they don't just target the weak and vulnerable. They have powerful psychology that they use to manipulate unsuspecting people, some of which are intelligent and come from good environments. The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself. By learning how cults manipulate people, you can protect yourself by recognizing the techniques they use. One of the best books I read on cults was "Combatting Cult Mind Control" by Steve Hassan. He goes into cults, how they work, and how to recover from them. I am sorry to hear this happened to you though.

9

My best friend had AIDS and, when he didn't have much time left, he asked his older brother (who lived in another state) if he could see him one last time. His brother sent him a bible and told him he still had time to save himself from hell if he hurried. Oh, and he'd be praying for his soul. I can't fathom anything that hurt's another human being that intensely as being good.

Lauren Level 6 Oct 15, 2017
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That is just cruel.

Thank you, @EmeraldJewel. I thought so, too.

9

I actually had someone defend the idea that you can rape children in the name of god. I told him that if he truly believed that then his morals were absolutely FUCKED. He became irate at the use of the word 'fuck' and declared that he could not tolerate such vulgarity. To sum up, he actually believed that child rape was acceptable but saying 'fuck' was unconscionable.

ApostasyS Level 4 Oct 1, 2017
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Holy shit. That's some serious cognitive dissonance, right there.

8

When they voted together as a group to elect a totally unqualified candidate for president. It may be the undoing of the country in the end.

Eazyduzzit Level 6 Nov 22, 2017
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I didn't think of this as it wasn't a personal attack on me. But yes -- I totally concur! And all the rest of the harm the religious right is responsible for politically in this country.

And I would have to say also most terrorist acts including 9/11 and Oklahoma City were committed by religious people. Thank you.

8

My trauma is this. My worst experience with religious people was when I was 17 and I had a group of three elders (older appointed men) assigned to assess my case of immorality. They are called a judicial community. Anyway they suspected I was lying to them about the exact events that took place being my boyfriend and I. They wanted to know details about how far we had gone sexually with each other. Supposedly they needed the information to discern whether or not to kick me out. But next they invited me to meet them at another kingdom hall (church). I thought it was just going to be us. They failed to mention there were going to be three other Elders and my boyfriend there.
So here I was, 17, the only girl there with 6 old geezers and my teenage boyfriend all sitting in a circle going into detail about our sex life. They asked us questions like, "Did you masturbate at all? How much clothes did you have on? Where was it? How many times?" Etc. Etc. VERY DISTURBING. I don't know how I didn't realize how wrong it was and why I didn't run out of there. The brain washing was strong with this one. (AKA: me.)

Arimon Level 3 Oct 14, 2017
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Glad we Catholics have the confessional. Do we sin again? Yes. Will we be held accountable? Yes...if we make no effort to improve behavior, we condemn ourselves. Can atheists make it to heaven? Yes

Matthew 12:31-32 (NRSV) 31 Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Many atheists act more "Christian" then Christians. They do not "...speak against the Holy Spirit..." Therefore they could be saved because of their actions while professed, but non-practicing Christians may not be saved "....in the age to come.".

The catholic religion is the most wack of all.

@greeneggsandsam tell me what is a " non-practicing Christian" ?

8

Discovering that my white Christian friends and church leaders were racist, yet had the never to tell me do not be unequally yoked with non believers...even though those non believers treated me like an equal human being.

Rideauxb Level 6 Sep 30, 2017
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They're not really Christians... they're just pretending to be.

How do you pretend to be a christian when christianity endorses slavery, burning of witches, stoning of gays, genocide, rape, etc. No they are real christians.

7

I can tell you the day I walked away from religion was a few days after my best friend committed suicide. At the funeral, someone whispered behind me, "you know, suicides go to hell. He committed suicide because his family is pagan and didn't have jesus in his life."


My family is very religious and that was six years ago. Every day, I get a guilt complex that drives religion fostered upon me for "walking away from god." That is my worst experience with religious people. It's every day.

Jonathon Level 2 Sep 30, 2017
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I'm so sorry. I can relate to your feelings so much. I'm currently being shunned by my parents and younger siblings because I won't go back to being a Jehovah's Witness. They will babysit my daughter but refuse to have a relationship with me. So every time I see them it's like I have to say goodbye over and over again and the wound can never heal. However, I have to live true to myself. I can live in peace and personal integrity knowing I'm not a part of something I don't believe in. Much love

I found this viewpoint quite comforting:

@Arimon J.W. is a non-Christian Cult, members are brainwashed .It is a demonic influenced organization. this is the key, just forgive ,and love your parents. . “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails”

Jonathon, you are right, It is a sad fact that some Christians have committed suicide. Adding to the tragedy is the false teaching that committing suicide automatically consigns one to hell. Many believe that a Christian who commits suicide will not be saved. This teaching is not supported in the Bible. therefore, not even suicide can separate a Christian from God’s love. Jesus died for all of our sins, and if a true Christian, in a time of spiritual attack and weakness, commits suicide, his sin is still covered by the blood of Christ.

6

Every time a religious person tells me that they'll pray for me, while they have such pity in their eyes. Like I'm just trash, lost and unloved, and only their prayers will fix my broken soul. It does hurt me like it used to, now it makes me angry. I don't like being angry...

soongtype Level 3 Sep 30, 2017
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I'll pray for you ! I'm kidding when I left a cult that I was in for 10 years. I got a new job, car, and apartment. I met two sisters that I use to know in the church. I was telling them how better my life was and the older one just kept saying we're praying for you. Like I was dying or something. The older one looked liked she aged 10 years and the younger one was covered in rashes go figure.

I think people say things like, "I'll pray for you" for lack of anything else to say; they want what makes you sorrowful or sick to go away and they hurt seeing you going through it, yet feel helpless at stopping it, offering words of wisdom, so they offer that remark up. I don't think it's an attempt to convert you; it certainly isn't why I say it. Its frequently the only way they can think of to teach out.

Let me ask....what would be an acceptable thing to say to an atheist at a time of challenge or sorrow or even devastation? This is why I'm on this board - to gain a better understanding and know the proper things to say to comfort atheists and what not to say. Anyone?

6

They never really practice what they preach! And when they do something for you. They say it is from God. Why can't it just be from you, because that's the person who you are?

MrReddmann Level 3 Sep 20, 2017
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Trump & god are alike: they take all of the credit & not of the blame.

5

My few encounters with religious people have been a real hoot. Being human they also question their beliefs and I think at times are frankly unsure of them and questioning. Many can get pretty wound up if you let them know what you think. They will go far out of their way to let you know they are right. I have this sneaky feeling a big reason they don't like agnostics/atheists is because it makes them question their own beliefs and possibly have doubts and that can be very uncomfortable to them...LOL

Freespirtflash Level 3 Sep 30, 2017
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YESSS!!! EXACTLY!! This is why the Jesus freaks really freak out when I ask them The Three Magic Questions! A guy I used to car pool with took about TWO YEARS to finally admit that he was beginning to "warm up" to them! You see, he was just totally afraid that if he admitted a little bit of critical thinking to enter into his life, it might make him to start questioning his beliefs about nearly everything. Can't have that, you see? He might have discovered that he was dead wrong in almost everything that he held near and ear to his heart! TTMQ go like this: What is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that ANY man or woman has the right to commit?
What is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that ANY man or woman has an actual obligation to endure? What is the BASIC PREMISE that is being operated off of, in the instant case? Man, those simple questions make people question all kinds of stuff, if they think about them too much!!

Randy

I think its healthy to evaluate your own beliefs every now and then. If you feel threatened by someone else's belief that's different from yours and can't cross-talk and debate - what sort of faith is that???

5

I decided to turn my back in religion when I figured out that people can spend billions building churches but can't spend thousand to feed the poor in the same church and the homeless.. Instead of building Mega Million Cathedrals why not build Mega Million Homes for the Homeless.

Dempsey1 Level 2 Sep 30, 2017
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I think the world need more understanding people like you.

I'm 100% on board with you there, Lewellyn! If I ever give to any charity today, it's the Salvation Army, because they are the only ones who walk their talk and spend like 90% of what they take in on the needy. But I'd much rather give the dough to someone directly and have done so! I walk my talk!

5

I came back from a Toys for Tots run to pick my son up from my aunt at her church one evening. One of the church ladies rushed over to tell me that if I was a good Christian that I wouldn't dress like that. I responded, "I'm not but if you were a good Christian, you wouldn't have said that. Maybe you should read your book about judging others."

TeeJae Level 3 Sep 28, 2017
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I wish I was brave enough to say that. I would have like to see her face!

With all due respect, could you please describe to us what was it that you were wearing that night? In what particular place of the church did you pick up your son? Did you enter the main church hall during service? In what particular place of the church did one of the church ladies rushed over to you?

5

A fundamentalist preacher who was street-preaching at my college last semester told me that when Judgement Day comes, he will personally dragging me screaming and throw me into the pits of Hell, laughing at me the whole time.


Granted, he also told me that he had 5 Ph.D.s, performed miracles, and had evidence that present-day whales existed in the Cambrian Period, so he might not be the most believable person in the world.

wjwolfe Level 4 Sep 27, 2017
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5

A very close friend found out I was an Athiest and refused to see me for several years. I bumped into him once one a trip to Aspen I got the chance finally to ask him, How did you not know I was an Athiest, I'm so vocal about it. He said "well I knew you didn't believe I just didn't know you were an Athiest. I laughed and said That's all an Athiest is. We aren't baby eaters. We're people just like you who happen not to believe that one thing.

paul1967 Level 7 Sep 21, 2017
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4

Before I officially transitioned from Christian to Agnostic I worked at a "Non-Denominational" Christian University. The bulk of the staff there was very conservative but there were exceptions. One day, after admitting to supporting liberal politics I was told by a co-worker that no one can be both liberal and Christian, that they were mutually exclusive and all true Christians were conservative/Republican. (Oddly enough it wasn't long before I ceased to be a Christian, but I don't believe my particular story validates her belief.)

11Novelist Level 4 Nov 14, 2017
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Novelist, you think former Pres. Obama was a Christian ?. If you were a true Christian at one time ,than there is no such thing as ceasing to be a Christian.Once God truly redeemed a person ,he will never un- redeem you, It is like a" gift "you give to someone you can not take it back,its everlasting .

4

I had a baptist minister and some of his congregation show up at my door. They were going door to door to invite people to their church. At the time I still considered myself Christian. I told him that I didn't normally go to Church but thank you. He than went off on how I was going to Hell but worse since it was my responsibility to show my family the way, I was leading them to Hell also. I shut the door in his face at that point.

mshamb123 Level 3 Oct 8, 2017
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No one has any right to judge you!!! Much less tell you you're going to hell! "Judge not, lest you be judged", It's said. Some Christians are going to be very surprised IF they get to heaven to see who actually go admitted there! Say that next time someone tells you you're going to hell!

4

My family who are "born again" christians. All they talk about is jesus and try to convert me. They think I have to be "saved". The only thing I need saving from is them! They are judgemental hypocrites who are focused on materialistic things. They have no compassion!

mlpvenus Level 2 Sep 27, 2017
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Christians are the worst people on earth.

4

Being exorcised by a bunch of fanatical Christians.

Draco Level 5 Sep 23, 2017
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smile003.gif

4

I can be tolerate and even nice to religious people. Not an issue to me. I find we can be friends as long as they don't try to bring me to their thinking.

annie1948 Level 3 Sep 22, 2017
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tolerant, polite, courteous, friendly and respectful - the world can live as one!

4

Listening to the stories of kids who heard some religious people praying for the death and destruction of non-believers, and those who don't practice their same religion.

GoodMan Level 6 Sep 20, 2017
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Jesuits: "Give me the boy til' age 7 & I'll show you the man'. Child indoctrination in the hands of religionists is one of their primary tricks. Difficult to change later.

Most wars between nations before the modern age were of religious causes, or so I thought. But it never really changed. Extremist groups up to now wage war and sow terror in the name of their religion

3

Watched my ex-wife get emotionally tortured and abused by her parents with threats of hell. I got the blame for her multiple suicide attempts. After 12+ years divorced, I have full custody of our daughter and my ex has been bouncing around between boyfriend/heroin addicts and mental hospitals for years. Sad.

buck1977 Level 6 Dec 18, 2017
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3

I'm thankful I can't remember anything personally, but my daughter, who was raised with no religion (and honestly, I don't know what she considers herself) has often been told by classmates that she is going to hell. She wears a beautiful pentacle pendant we bought at some Renaissance Fair, and was once told by a complete stranger that she was going to hell because of that. She's been asked if she's a Satanist.


However, she does celebrate a secular version of xmas, but her tree is black. smile002.gif

damonca Level 5 Dec 18, 2017
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That’s is so funny and bold for her to do that.

3

That would be when my sister,( the religious nut who has been married four times), went to my husband's hospital bed and began preaching. She then came to me and asked about final arrangements. I said at this point, Ken was sick but not dead! She then proceeded to talk about god and the hereafter. I threw her out and haven't spoken to her since. After my husband died, she called to say she was "there for me". I figured that meant she wanted a door opened so she could just start preaching again. I've lived as an atheist for a long time and do not intend to switch sides in the hope that something else will carry me through.

Evolution Level 3 Nov 22, 2017
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3

Being beaten by the sheriff and run out of town to protect my children's souls.

Jake Level 2 Oct 15, 2017
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