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Atheist unite!!

Unfortunately, for millions of folks around the world, "God says you're damned/a sinner" is the justification for atrocities and human rights abuses against them.
My first thought was of this mostly happening in less developed countries, but that's not the case at all. Here in Hickville, US, so many people use religion as a justification to abuse their children. My best friend's lunatic mother and grandmother, for example. Mom used to lock her out of the house all night for being gay and abuse her in other ways for "not being a good Christian". Refused to divorce or even condemn her pedophile husband who molested all of her daughters, also over religion. Grandmother used to beat her with a cross for being gay and threatened her with a gun once. How's that for being the epitome of morality?

My friend is one of those "annoying" atheists who have no tolerance or sympathy for people who are religious. I don't really blame her.

I'm one of those people who was raised without religion because my parents wanted me to be able to choose for myself. I've never really understood that point of view. It is so obvious that these stories are all fables when you're raised without being guilted into believing them or being surrounded by adults who believe that they are true. Why would I start deluding myself now? Not to say I've never considered becoming religious at some of my worst points. Ran out of other coping mechanisms lol
Here in Hickville, US, so many people use religion as a justification to abuse their children.
The world noticed when the US recently did away with a woman's right to an abortion. It's definitely not a third world issue. It's not a gender issue. It's not a children issue. It's not an ethnic issue. It manages to creep into almost every damn facet of humanity. The breadth of prejudice justified by religion appalls me.
Not to say I've never considered becoming religious at some of my worst points. Ran out of other coping mechanisms

I never considered becoming religious, but I've found myself being very very very envious of religious people at times because during those "worst points", they at least had that option to find some comfort in their religion, find some - however irrational from where I am standing - actual legit hope in prayer.

The breadth of prejudice justified by religion appalls me.
And all religions.

People like to focus on Christianity and Islam for obvious reasons. We're not usually allowed to talk about Judaism, also for obvious reasons, but.... yeah *cough*.

My personal pet peeve is that most people love to cite Buddhism as the epitome of a peacful religion and how to "do religion right", while not realizing how instrinsically not only f*cked up buddhistic ideas are (instead of merely going to hell after your death? Suffer and suffer again and suffer some more until you fiiiiiinaaaally come to your senses and OBEY what's considered 'good [read: docile and compliant] behavior') but also not knowing that Lamaism in particular (you know, with the Dalai Lama as the poster child for "peaceful" and "love" and stuff) is actually really really really feudal and facist.

I don't know any religion that doesn't use some sort of demons or bad spirits to instill a sense of fear in order to follow the 'correct' religious practices. And that alone really tells you all you need to know...

I may be agnostic in regards to "believing" in any sort of spirituality/higher being/deity/Q. But I have a shit ton of issues with institutionalized religion and will definitely speak out against those.
How can someone who is pro-LGBTQ, pro-choice, pro-whatnot, and a heap of other "progressive" topics continue being a Catholic, for example?
Cherry picking of the divine word.
Beats me, too.

It's all conditioning in the end, I guess. Only now some churches are "progressive", and so people indoctrinated by their teachings will believe them as so.

It's not like all religious persons have read all of their holy book(s) anyway, to know e.g. when people say "God loves gays" it doesn't play so nicely with Leviticus 20:13..

Or if they have read that part, I'm sure there's some kind of context that makes it all better.
This reminds me of Mother Theresa.

"Give a man a reputation as an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon." - Mark Twain
the worst person I ever met just died. I hadn't even heard her voice on the phone in almost ten years, so it affects me little if at all. She was my stepmother and she brought religion into my life.

If I was a person that hung out in hospitals looking for people on their deathbeds so I could con them into donating their estates to my organization I would be arrested as a con artist and separated from society,

Even worse punishment would come my way if I was caught prowling neighborhoods looking for signs of school-age kids so I could invite them to my home and plant the seeds in their young minds that I hoped would one day develop and earn my organization a full 10% of their incomes for life.

It takes religion to make someone think these things she did were okay. Glad I got through my brief time in her home knowing that she was a predator. So sad my father was her prey.
Folks. I had to euthanize my cat, who was also my best friend, about 3 weeks ago. It's been really hard.

Since then I've been hoping against hope that somehow I'd have some kind of ... paranormal experience, I guess, just so maybe I could see him one last time. My wife says she's dreamed about him and heard specific noises that he used to make. All very explainable, but she took it as a sign. But for me, there's been nothing. Sometimes I'll see a bag or something on the floor out of the corner of my eye and think it's him. But it's just garbage.

Shit, I'd do anything to see him again just once more. You know, sometimes pet owners sense their dead pets are still with them somehow? Not me. Which is fine. Dead is dead. I can't do any pretending. But what I understand now that I didn't before is how grief can really make you want to trick yourself that you'll see your loved ones again. Enough grief and you might even be able to convince yourself that it's going to happen.

But I know I'll never see him again, and that totally f*cking sucks.

The nuns always used to tell us that no pets would be in heaven, since animals don't have souls. That right there is enough to condemn catholicism to the trash pit for me. What kind of a shitty heaven wouldn't have pets in it?
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I only skipped through this thread but oh my dog, can I relate. Even though religion is only a topic on the fringes of my trauma.
Christianity had me always confused for days on end. Even my pre-school brain couldn't deal with their bold attempts to twist and turn logic. And I instinctively knew these grown-ups weren't what they pretended to be.
I'm glad my goverment isn't as entangled with religion as it is in the US. It's still mind-blowning to me how this is even possible in the western world after Aufklärung took place 🤪
had to look that word up, aufklarung, yeah, our church and state division lines are pretty vague and un enlightened here. my town has maybe a dozen churches, all with paved parking and well lit at night, while the highschool has gravel and darkness. churches are untaxed, so that lot just takes up space in the tax zone and gets full ride protection from the fire department and police.
we have protection from religious persecution here, freedom to practice as we please, but choosing not to be religious can get you excluded from some pretty influential social clubs.
its all about “us vs. them” and as long as the us is a church and the them is anyone classified as a non believer, it’s all okay. If a non believer tries to restrict what a church or its members can do in any way, its protected and the government and society will fall in on the side of the church everytime. it is a mess over here but will probably be that way for a long long time.
I'm having a heated internal debate on whether or not I wanna sign up for a YMCA membership.

I really need to start exercising again. I need incentives, such as a membership that I'd feel guilty about if I'd waste the money by not going. Exercising at home isn't gonna work.

I do get free access to a gym and pool through my university (if I ever actually manage to get my ID). There's literally no need to pay for a membership because I can get the exact same thing for free.

But... as mentioned, I think I may need that extra push from spending money.
Also... I'm particularly looking at starting to lap swim again. It works best for me in the evenings. I have a moderately long commute. I won't be able to go swim before work (not a morning person, hardly make it in by 9am to begin with). Going for a swim during the day while I'm on campus would be way too disruptive, as well. Going on campus after work? Won't get me home until way late which isn't particularly great for a variety of reasons.

The YMCA membership would give me the option to get home and then get going again to go lap swim later in the evening.

But... it's the YMCA...

"The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all."

Unfortunately, in my area, that's the only option. No public (indoor) pools.
Oh, the Y. I've joined more than my share of different Ys all over the place (for gym use) and I have never found any of them to push any kind of Christianity on anyone. None of them, in fact, were much more than a glorified gym/meeting hall, if that makes any difference.

I didn't really enjoy giving my money to the YMCA because of the Christian thing, but their gyms are usually really worth the cost.
I've been to a Y before. My parents had a membership for a while when they first moved over and I went when I was visiting. I know they don't *push* Christianity on anything. What I struggle with is this:

I didn't really enjoy giving my money to the YMCA because of the Christian thing

and the internal debate because of this

but their gyms are usually really worth the cost.

It's core values, principles, moral compass stuff, ya know? It's kinda like not shopping at Hobby Lobby even if it sucks (because they do have a great selection of stuff).

Because where do I start turning a blind eye and biting my tongue going against my principles for my own selfish benefits, and where do I stop. Where do I draw the line and why? Because it all too easily ends up in moving goal posts and because we already have way too many people doing exactly this, which is the reason why we have all these global issues going on.