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09/11/2001 WE REMEMBER

"Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams

"My family is more important than my party." - Zell Miller


I've been meaning to make this post for a while, but never get around to it. Well, no time like the present.

This is my story:

I was raised in a nominally Christian home, but neither of my grandparents (who raised me) were very vocal or active about it. We rarely went to church (Maybe only 5 times in my entire childhood do I remember going), but for most practical purposes, we were secular.

Grandma was a bit of a prude (which I'm now quite confident is because she was overcompensating for things she herself did.) and of course, this rubbed off on me. This caused me to see the world as being darker than it really is and being full of dysfunction and conflict due to sexual sins (which was, ironically, the very state of our household, but I was too naive and brainwashed to see it). As a result, I became rather depressed and sought the comfort of faith. Though, I became quite intolerant of differing viewpoints and became rather infamous on gametalk for my bouts of flaming. Mostly around the topics of abortion, gay marriage, premarital sex, and "slutty" clothing (which my grandma particularly loved to rant about). It also didn't help that I was kept isolated and prevented from socializing most of the time. I was home schooled, didn't develop good social skills and had no friends. I was pretty serious about my faith, and looked forward to finally being in heaven when I wouldn't have to deal with all the dark, depressing stuff anymore.

More so, though, I looked forward to someday having a kind, loving, wife who would hug, kiss and cuddle with me every day, and having children to watch grow up. Though, oddly enough, I was still rather uncomfortable with the idea of sex at this point (between age 13- late 15). While intriguing and exciting, it also seemed awkward and embarrassing and I wasn't sure I'd be able to go through with it when the time came.

It all started one day when I was watching All in the Family, a sitcom from the 1970s that dealt with serious issues. I was 13, and I loved the show, and still do, despite it's leftist bias. In this one particular episode, Archie and Edith were in a hotel after their cousin's funeral. A while in, Edith makes a comment about how it would be nice if the aforementioned cousin and their other deceased friend met up in heaven. Then Archie, being his prudish, idiotic self, asks "Well, what good would it do 'em?" "What do you mean?" asks Edith. "They wouldn't have nothin' to do nothin' with. Haven't you never seen angels flying around on the stained glass windows there? The only parts they got is the wings! The rest of 'em is smooth there! And that's why angels ain't ashamed to fly around naked!"

At first, I just brushed it off and took this as the joke it was intended to be. After all, Archie is stupid and prudish, and it's his character to say stupid, conjured up non-sense. However, this got me thinking. "Hmmm... I never considered that. IS there romance (what I called eros at the time) or having kids in heaven??? What if there isn't???" Who would have guessed that this seemingly harmless little joke would lead to so much trouble and a crisis of faith? I asked on gametalk about it, and got some crap about how heaven is "where our spirits dwell." I began making post after post after post about it. The answers (as devoid of any actual facts as they were) were very upsetting. What made it even worse was this constant stuff about how it was the "end times" and Christ was coming back "soon". It felt so unfair. I'm barred from ever having children (or grandchildren or great grandchildren etc.) or experiencing eros or intimacy simply because I was born at the wrong time, or am in an accident that renders me sterile or unattractive or something of that nature.

I remember in an interview on A&E's unsolved mysteries, there was an attempted school bombing/hostage situation, and the interviewee commented that she remembered thinking that she was going to die, and that she would never get to grow up and get married and have kids. This really resonated with me, and something deep inside of me just screamed that it would be so unjust and unfair to be barred from those things because of something completely beyond her control. That if God was truly good and loving, she would still get to have those things whether she died then and there or not.

Through my chats on gametalk, I came to learn of Mormonism. I became interested for obvious reasons. I.E. Their whole eternal marriage thing. I knew a lot of their ideas were out there, but it all seemed innocent enough, so that gave me hope for a time. I had prayed one night asking for God to reveal the truth about the LDS church, hoping for a "burning in the bosom", which I didn't really experience except what I induced through my own wishful thinking. However, the funny part was that the next day, LDS missionaries showed up at our door, which I took as an answer to my prayers. While my grandparents were humoring them, I snuck out the back to talk to them.

Before I started actually attending the LDS church, I had an amazing experience. I was 15, almost 16. To make a long story short, I read an erotic fanfiction of one of my favorite anime series where the 2 main characters make love, and since I liked to project myself onto characters in fiction, this was an incredibly profound and beautiful experience. If ever I had a glimpse of heaven, that was certainly it. A REAL heaven. Not some vague, sterile, grey, disembodied, monotonous thing. A heaven where anything was possible. A limitless universe full of beautiful things waiting to be explored, experienced, and enjoyed. This filled me with hope and confidence for a long time. I'll never forget the date. November 26, 2005. I still consider that experience sacred to this day, and I probably always will. This is when I finally stopped feeling so shy and embarrassed by the idea of sex. Before this point, I never really cared about sex itself so much where heaven was concerned. Just eros, procreation, and physical affection. But now, I saw the full picture. It was like a grand, every changing, never ending symphony of love and pleasure causing new life to come into existence, to repeat the cycle with unique experiences, and the thought of just cutting that off at an arbitrary point just felt like sacrilege.

A few months after this, one of my online outbursts had caught the attention of some very toxic and nasty people who felt it appropriate to plaster my forum on their weekly segment and have their hordes harass, belittle, mock, insult, torment and attack me. Hordes who were much older and should have known better. I tried banning a few, but they just came back on a proxy I.P. and I felt it futile to take any further action and just took the abuse, not knowing how badly it would damage my sanity.

Shortly after, I started attending the LDS church, hoping to meet some nice girls who shared my values. I scanned the pews looking for attractive girls, but few were to be found. I talked to the few that were there, but quickly discovered that we had little in common. None of them even knew what anime was which was a really important requirement for me at the time, though I was reluctantly open minded to relaxing that standard.

There was actually a girl online from the opposite side of the continent that I really liked. She wasn't a mormon, but she was Christian and believe that you could be married and have kids in heaven. She was my first real crush, but she had a boyfriend. I was very delusional about it, and thought that I would have her someday. I was so high on my newfound feelings. But it was an absolute pipe dream. One day, I was chatting with the trolls about her, and they didn't believe she existed. So, naively, I invited her onto the forum. She agreed to come on the weekend. She got online that Sunday morning and I gave her the link and left for Church. When I returned, she was very upset. Apparently, the trolls had harassed her (which I naively thought telling them not to would prevent) and slandered me and she demanded that I delete her account, which I did. Shortly after, she said she thought she probably shouldn't meet up IRL. I was heartbroken and very angry at the trolls.

This caused my faith in mormonism to waiver. I thought that eventually, I could get the girl into the church, but now, that wasn't an option. I didn't care for any of the girls in church due to lack of common interests, and I had doubted that I'd ever be able to get anybody into the church to marry. Add to this the fact that they would have wanted 10% tithing as well as 2 years mission work for a temple recommend which was required for eternal marriage, and the fact that the origin story of the church just had too many holes in it, and I realized that it was probably false and not worth perusing. "Oh, who am I kidding?! Of course Joseph Smith made it up! I'd have to be an idiot to believe this at this point!" So, I gave up mormonism, sad that my loophole had been closed.

(Cont'd)

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There are 15 Replies

After this, I attended a baptist church for a bit, but stopped going due to the lack of young people in the congregation. I spent the next year obsessing over this issue.

While I was 16, about a dozen of the trolls from the raid stuck around as a thorn in my side. One was this "theology major" on AIM. She was really nice at first, but slowly turned into the most unpleasant, argumentative, insulting wench. I now realize she was a narcissist who used a short love bombing phase. She insulted me, told me that sex and procreation in heaven was a stupid concept, ignoring all refutations as to why, calling me stupid, saying I had no redeeming qualities, saying she "believe[d] would never have a family in this life or the next," picking me apart for every little typo, pretending she didn't know what I was talkinga bout, typing in ALLCAPS and then denying she was angry. Then she tried gaslighting me, saying I was crazy. After a while, she tried to pretend like she didn't remember who I was, but she did. She finally blocked me at some point (because I was just entertainment according to her and that I was "boring" now). I eventually reciprocated. Good riddance.

The other trolls usually just overtly insulted and attacked me and came back with proxy I.P.s whenever I banned them. Most were butthurt that I didn't like landover baptist (A pathetic attempt at satire). Even as an atheist, I still don't. I find it to be obnoxious, mean spirited, and just plain not funny. That website had an obnoxiously written bit about how we'd be like "Ken and Barbie dolls" and portraying sexuality as inherently dirty and sinful, which even by the most ridiculous fundy logic isn't true (at least, not overtly). 2 in particular loved to torment me with Matthew 22:30 and even after we became "friends" (AFTER I became an atheist. We aren't friends anymore), refused to see things from my perspective and just acted like "HURR HURR THAT'S 'CAUSE HE CAN'T GET ANY ON EARTH. HURR HURR HURR I'M SO FUNNY!"

I went on this Christian anime forum, talking about it, and of course, got all the usual "HURR DURR HEAVEN IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN SEX. IT'LL BLOW YOUR MIND. YOU WON'T CARE. DERP DEE DURR YOU'RE IDOLIZING SEX! SHAME ON YOU!!!!1111ONEONE" as well as the usual sickly platitudes about how I need to be able to "provide for a woman," "Focus on my career" and "take care of yourself" as if I could solve my problem by somehow fissioning off a female clone of myself and cuddle and make love to that. Needless to say, I didn't stay there long.

This is where I really began losing my sanity. Trolls everywhere constantly insulting and hurting me. Fundies tormenting me with this idea and no empathy for me. People like Fred Phelps and their hate making me question God's character. People accusing me of idolatry. I began lashing out physically against inanimate objects, even blaspheming and saying that I hated God for putting me through this arbitrary torment and creating something beautiful just to destroy it before I could get a chance to even taste it. I was scared of what I was becoming. I felt like Satan was out to get me, trying to make God look like a cold-hearted monster. The worst was the idea that I was forced to choose between a life of being a mindless, castrated drone, or be tortured forever. I mitigated this by rejecting the notion of hell altogether and believing instead in annihilationism. Though, admittedly, it was kind of a fun ride in a twisted way. Were it not for anime and runescape to keep me grounded, I would have probably lost it completely.

When I was 17, it was approaching a boiling point. Out of desperation to escape the torment and not be corrupted by demonic forces, I prayed. Every time I felt doubt, I prayed. Every little insecurity would cause me to find the nearest secret place and muster up the most sincere heartfelt prayer I could muster. It was effective at first, but grew less so each time. I thought God was telling me that I would get what I want, but I wasn't sure, thinking it was probably just my own wishful thinking. Finally, one of the trolls dealt the killing blow to my faith. At this point, I just wanted out. I looked for any excuse I could to be free from the torment of eternal castration and lobotomization. He brought up numbers 31:17-18 where Moses and his men kill an entire town only to keep the young women alive "for themselves". I just thought "Okay, Satan... You win. If God will do things like this, then he probably doesn't care enough to give me what I want." I was so depressed and exhausted that I immediately went to sleep and I conjured up my own world where I had a loving family, a lover, and could have as many children as I wanted, shutting the real world out, wanting to believe it was just a bad dream. I woke up the next day, feeling refreshed, and suddenly feeling free to question things without fear of being labeled a heretic or a blasphemer. And for 2 months, it was really really good. Everything felt magical and wonderful, and I felt like the whole universe was mine to explore and partake. I was excited for everything the future held... Until I watched zeitgeist. Out of the pan and into the fire. But that's another story.

Posted January 4th by Cupola
Cupola
 

Wow. Although I've never fully felt like I was being tormented everywhere I can understand how people can get there. At least you didn't fully lose it and you can be a little grounded. Personally throughout this story I felt like you held onto toxicity a little too long in parts. It sounds like you should've let go a bit early but I get why you'd stick around.

Posted January 4th by Fox Forever
Fox Forever

So um, there's actually some pretty compelling biblical evidence that there's procreation in "heaven".

Rather than mentioning heaven as the place the resurrected go at the end of time, the bible instead mentions a "new earth" because as you pointed out, this one is heavily corrupted. This new earth is the final place for your soul if you're judged appropriately. Though bear in mind you'll have a resurrected (and probably improved) body to go with it. You won't be a disembodied spirit for eternity.

Anyway, isaiah 65 talks about this new earth a lot. Worth a read. A couple passages stand out though:


No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
the work of their hands.
23 They will not labor in vain,
nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
they and their descendants with them.


It's often hard to separate the dogmatic christianity organized religion with the actual "the church is in your heart" religion, but there's a lot of great stuff in the bible that's overlooked by the actual religions propogating it. If you do find your way to God again for the love of god don't start acting like the people who suddenly accept you despite a lifetime of torment. You're not supposed to belong to anything here.

Edited January 4th by Xhin
Xhin
 

Good video here about what to expect:
http://www.epm.org/resources/2013/Mar/27/new-earth-video/

Posted January 4th by Xhin
Xhin
 

So, basically, you left for selfish reasons. It's always a selfish reason. You let other people talk you out of something you made a decision yourself to do. You thought the opinions of man were more important than the word of God. It wasn't the Church's fault you left, it was the fault of other people. That's always the story. Consistent across the board for every ex-member. 100%.

I'm sorry the women in your ward did not share your interests. That, too, is not the Church's fault. (I, personally, don't fish off the ward pier. If something goes wrong, you have to be in the same room as that person every week. But that's just me.) But this is why we have stake singles activities. There's a greater chance of meeting an LDS girl who shares your interests if you don't limit yourself to one ward.

Posted January 6th by GC/MS
GC/MS
 

So, basically, you left for selfish reasons. It's always a selfish reason.

Not logical reasons. Never. Oh yea sorry I forgot. God uses "special logic."

That's always the story. Consistent across the board for every ex-member. 100%.

The believer believes nonbelievers are wrong not to believe. What a surprise.

Edited January 7th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
No love = No future

Kudos to anyone who actually read that. Jesus, Cuppy, I almost forgot that your thing was the whole no sex in Heaven thing.

Posted January 6th by Recalescent Ghost
Recalescent Ghost
 

While I was 16, about a dozen of the trolls from the raid stuck around as a thorn in my side. One was this "theology major" on AIM. She was really nice at first, but slowly turned into the most unpleasant, argumentative, insulting wench. I now realize she was a narcissist who used a short love bombing phase. She insulted me, told me that sex and procreation in heaven was a stupid concept, ignoring all refutations as to why, calling me stupid, saying I had no redeeming qualities, saying she "believe[d] would never have a family in this life or the next," picking me apart for every little typo, pretending she didn't know what I was talkinga bout, typing in ALLCAPS and then denying she was angry. Then she tried gaslighting me, saying I was crazy. After a while, she tried to pretend like she didn't remember who I was, but she did. She finally blocked me at some point (because I was just entertainment according to her and that I was "boring" now). I eventually reciprocated. Good riddance.

Hmm. I don't know why, but this actually made me feel for you. Maybe it's because I have experience with narcissists. I know there's two sides to every story, but I can't help but have your back on this one. Go figure.

Posted January 6th by Recalescent Ghost
Recalescent Ghost
 

Narcissism and sociopathy are terribly overused terms for people who do things you don't like, seem inappropriate, and people who are a tad selfish. Not trying to take away from what happened but those descriptions he gave of her could easily be caused by many other mental issues and is far from limited to those.

The only reason people jump to the conclusion that people are narcissists and sociopaths so easily is because they let their emotions from their trauma or negative experiences get the best of them and it's easy to apply a boogeyman term to people you have come to hate even if for correct reasons.

I could say a few people in my life were narcissistic because they did rather similar things to me in the past, but then I wouldn't be friends with one of them right when she got better.

Edited January 11th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

Finally got around to reading all of it. That sucks bro. Though I'm not really sure there's much I can say about it either.

Posted January 11th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

I love this thread. I only remembered Cupola as a depressed, often weird dude. Like Ghost mentioned, I totally forgot about your sex in heaven kick. I even remember some of your posts on sluts and their clothing now that you've brought it up! Grandma isn't wrong on that one.

Sorry for all that happened to you. Best I can say is to shake it off and get back into the word. Ignore the religions and naysayers, just read scripture and meditate on it. The way you write, I can tell you're not done with God.

Posted January 12th by Bubba
Bubba
 

The believer believes nonbelievers are wrong not to believe. What a surprise.

Nonbelievers only listen to one side of the story. The side where people have selfish reasons to draw other people away from listening to those who stay in the Church. It's always a selfish reason. Always.

Cupola, nobody in the Church would ever force you to serve a mission. Pressure you, maybe, but such a decision has always been your choice, and if you choose not to go, we will ultimately respect it. But those two years have been the best two years I spent in my youth. All the friends I made, all those connections, discovering the region I had never been to previously, I will treasure them always. But freedom of choice is and always will be yours. People who draw you away from the church try to imply that choice is not yours. They will even try to take that choice away from you with sophistry, semantics and blame. Remember that.

Posted January 12th by GC/MS
GC/MS
 

The way you write, I can tell you're not done with God.


Pretty sure he is from what I've seen outside of this site. Not really sure what gave you that impression in his post either but.

Posted January 15th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

"Cupola, nobody in the Church would ever force you to serve a mission. Pressure you, maybe, but such a decision has always been your choice, and if you choose not to go, we will ultimately respect it."

That's technically true, though, isn't it required for a temple recommend, and therefore, eternal marriage? Not to mention that I heard it would make me a lot less attractive to the girls in the church. (It was a Mormon who told me the latter at least)

Most of it was that I just wasn't feeling it. And it's not like I didn't want to, either. But I couldn't convince myself, and I wasn't willing to risk potentially being sent to a dangerous country just for something I wasn't fully sure of or committed to.

Just out of curiosity, what happens to people who never find a spouse for whatever reason, but are otherwise righteous? Are they given a spouse in heaven, or what? Because it's always been sounded like eternal marriage has to be done on earth.

Posted January 15th by Cupola
Cupola
 

isn't it required for a temple recommend, and therefore, eternal marriage?

No, not at all.

I heard it would make me a lot less attractive to the girls in the church.

That's a myth. Some women have impossibly high standards like that, but not all of them.

risk potentially being sent to a dangerous country

Absolutely nowhere in the Middle East has there ever been any missions opened up. There is one elderly missionary couple in Egypt, and they're forbidden to proselyte. No missions have opened up in any dangerous countries in Africa. You have nothing to fear being sent to a dangerous country.

Are they given a spouse in heaven, or what?

Absolutely.

Because it's always been sounded like eternal marriage has to be done on earth.

What do you think we do in temples besides endow and seal living people? Why do people do genealogy? To bring temple ordinances to to those who have not been given them while they were alive. Were you unaware of this? It's one of the threefold mission of the Church: to proclaim the gospel, to fellowship the living, and to redeem the dead.

By the way, you sound like you have a problem with tithing. I understand completely. It's a sacrifice. But it's like taxes. No organization can operate in a financial vacuum. I prefer to think of it this way: God owns absolutely everything. He could ask for 100% tithing. Heck, He could come down and take it all from us if He wanted to. So therefore, I like to think of it as God being nice enough to let us keep 90%. It's a better perspective, I think at least. And on that note, I also decided to poll my elders' quorum on your behalf. I asked them by a show of hands how many of them have made the tithing sacrifice and have received blessings to their lives as a direct result. Just about all of them raised their hands. I then asked how many of them made the tithing sacrifice and it didn't work out. Nobody raised their hands. If you don't believe me, I challenge you to poll members where you live.

Edited January 18th by GC/MS
GC/MS
 
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