Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

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Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#1  Postby funcrew » Nov 22, 2015 7:51 pm

Hi,

I was born & raised fundamentalist Baptist. Being immersed in the culture, I always regarded the "Darwinists" as delusional and dangerous. When I was about 40, a friend asked me, "How did the kangaroos get from Mount Ararat back to Australia?" It took another 5 or 10 years to come to terms with that challenge. With great trepidation, I read Why Evolution is True, Scientists confront Creationism and Intelligent Design, and Your Inner Fish. It's hard to describe how jarring it was to realize that my tightly-held worldview was bullshit. I'm over that now, but the problem is that my life long social circle are all hardcore fundamentalists, as is my wife. I don't want to get divorced, nor bail on my old friends, but I need to find some people that I don't have to edit my conversation around.

How did you ex-religious folks find new friends after the lights came on for you? BTW I'm 50-ish and live in a large desert city in the Southwest USA.

Much Appreciated - Simon
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#2  Postby Keep It Real » Nov 22, 2015 8:03 pm

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/nontheism/sunday-assembly-t50852.html

There isn't one in my town but setting one up is always an option. Also, welcome to the forum. You are brave to trust your intellect despite the social pressures. I admire that.
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#3  Postby laklak » Nov 22, 2015 8:05 pm

Hi Simon, welcome to a rational worldview. I don't have much in the way of advice, I've never been religious nor has my family. There are plenty of people here from a similar background, I hope they can help.
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#4  Postby kiore » Nov 22, 2015 8:18 pm

Hi Simon and welcome, I do understand the finding friends issue, when I left religion I felt socially isolated as either some of the old friends refused to associate with me or I was reluctant to associate with them as didn't wish to be harassed. Some of the harassment was well meant I understand as they wished to save me.. But was still something to be avoided. In more secular societies this less of an issue or even no issue at all, but guess a large desert city in the US South not really in that group. I basically had to reinvent my social life and did so by seeking out my few secular friends and acquaintances and being open about my 'problem', I found a few that connected me into new social works and so the process continued. This took quite a bit of time.
Other things to consider is to join clubs or associations that are general and have no religious link, even if some of the members are religious if you come in as a secular person then that is you reinventing yourself. There may be be a secular humanist or similar organization in your city.
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#5  Postby Macdoc » Nov 22, 2015 8:29 pm

Good for you ....luckily my fundie parents invited the "devil" in in the form of a set of topical encyclopedias when I was 10 or so. Did not take long to reach the "bullshit" conclusion for parental worldview after a year of exciting reading.

There is still too much of the crap circulating here but you can avoid most of it.....or take them on as you see fit.

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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#6  Postby ElDiablo » Nov 23, 2015 2:22 am

Hi Simon. Welcome.
Great reading material you chose.
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#7  Postby funcrew » Nov 23, 2015 4:21 am

Thanks to all for your comments. For now I'm choosing to keep a low profile. Having been on the faith side, I understand how all-encompasing that is. Recently, my dad wanted to fly out and talk with me "about my relationship with God." I wanted to ask him if he would like to talk about Noah's Ark and the kangaroos right then instead. But I didn't; I likely have a modest inheritance coming and I don't want to piss him off for no good reason. I did decline his visit for that purpose however.
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#8  Postby Clive Durdle » Nov 23, 2015 5:24 pm

Not sure where you are, but look out your local universities and colleges. Dark skies, ecology, wildlife, conservation, walking, hiking climbing? There is a huge science community in the south west.

What work do you do? What is related?
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#9  Postby The_Metatron » Nov 24, 2015 6:07 pm

funcrew wrote:Hi,

I was born & raised fundamentalist Baptist. Being immersed in the culture, I always regarded the "Darwinists" as delusional and dangerous. When I was about 40, a friend asked me, "How did the kangaroos get from Mount Ararat back to Australia?" It took another 5 or 10 years to come to terms with that challenge. With great trepidation, I read Why Evolution is True, Scientists confront Creationism and Intelligent Design, and Your Inner Fish. It's hard to describe how jarring it was to realize that my tightly-held worldview was bullshit. I'm over that now, but the problem is that my life long social circle are all hardcore fundamentalists, as is my wife. I don't want to get divorced, nor bail on my old friends, but I need to find some people that I don't have to edit my conversation around.

How did you ex-religious folks find new friends after the lights came on for you? BTW I'm 50-ish and live in a large desert city in the Southwest USA.

Much Appreciated - Simon

You took the red pill, didn't you? You can see the matrix now, can't you?

It puts you in a situation, doesn't it? It closes huge swathes of conversation with the credulous. I don't think I'd long stay partnered with a fundy, actually. Those differences are pretty fundamental, and bound pretty tightly to how we identify ourselves. I wouldn't want to long tolerate the constant requirement to keep a filter in place to avoid the forbidden areas of conversation.

As for where to find friends? The same way you found the ones you have now, I'd think. Meet them at places where like minded people collect.
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#10  Postby Ironclad » Nov 24, 2015 6:12 pm

Welcome to RatSkep :cheers:
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#11  Postby The_Metatron » Nov 24, 2015 10:24 pm

On the other hand, I have three friends. What the fuck do I know?
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#12  Postby laklak » Nov 25, 2015 3:16 am

Who need friends when you can get a dog?
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#13  Postby Calilasseia » Nov 26, 2015 8:20 pm

funcrew wrote:Hi,

I was born & raised fundamentalist Baptist. Being immersed in the culture, I always regarded the "Darwinists" as delusional and dangerous. When I was about 40, a friend asked me, "How did the kangaroos get from Mount Ararat back to Australia?" It took another 5 or 10 years to come to terms with that challenge. With great trepidation, I read Why Evolution is True, Scientists confront Creationism and Intelligent Design, and Your Inner Fish. It's hard to describe how jarring it was to realize that my tightly-held worldview was bullshit. I'm over that now, but the problem is that my life long social circle are all hardcore fundamentalists, as is my wife. I don't want to get divorced, nor bail on my old friends, but I need to find some people that I don't have to edit my conversation around.

How did you ex-religious folks find new friends after the lights came on for you? BTW I'm 50-ish and live in a large desert city in the Southwest USA.

Much Appreciated - Simon


I won't pretend that the future won't be difficult, upon account of what you've presented above. Not least because you're almost certainly aware of some unpleasant facts. The most unpleasant of these facts being, that religious fundamentalism tends to be most attractive to those with dangerous personality traits. Most dangerous of all being the desire to force others to conform. You almost certainly have enough evidence of your own to support this. Furthermore, many possessing this unpleasant personality trait, have a habit of reacting to any dissent from enforced conformity in a violent manner. Worse still, this tends to be encouraged by the apologetics extant in fundamentalist circles, which parade this level of ideological bigotry as some sort of virtue. I'm tempted to suggest that as an addendum to my thesis, that religion began as our first failed attempt to explain our surroundings, by grafting our own capacity for intent and acting thereupon onto the natural world, that beginning was quickly followed, by eliding from asserting how things purportedly are, to how things purportedly ought to be. That shift in emphasis turned religion into a useful tool of political control, one that's been used ever since by all manner of devious would-be and actual leaders. The frightening convenience with which that shift in emphasis can be manipulated, to peddle a purported "justification" for enforcing the prejudices of those in control, should on its own be a huge red flag with respect to the likely validity or soundness of supernaturalist assertions. Quite simply, any genuine entity responsible for instantiating a universe and its contents, one in turn purportedly concerned for the welfare of this one species residing on this one small planet, and purportedly possessing all manner of fantastic powers, would surely have exercised far better editorial control over any mythology purported to arise therefrom, and ensure not only the absence of manifest contradictions, absurdities and paradoxes, but the absence of any ambiguities manipulable in the above manner. Though I suspect you've ruminated along these lines yourself, and my explicit rendering merely serves to give you a peg to hang the coat on, so to speak.

Whilst my being fortunate enough to observe the requisite phenomena from a safe distance, probably means my recognition thereof lacks the edge of visceral immediacy of experience, it does provide me with an environment within which a considered analysis is possible, without the ever-present fear of having to make a hasty exit from savage repression. That's the first piece of bad news I'm going to hand to you, namely, that where you are currently bears exactly the hallmarks of somewhere you might want to leave. You're surrounded by committed ideologues, almnost certainly intolerant ones to boot, and in your shoes, I would be considering looking for an alternative home more conducive to your personal safety, welfare and peace of mind. Yes, it will almost certainly mean dropping a tactical nuclear weapon on your current life, as you uproot and start all over again. But it will be preferable to living permanently wondering when the knives are going to be brought out, and the Deep South has a nasty reputation in this vein, not merely experienced by people with extra epidermal melanin.

Quite simply, your current neighbours won't give you the choice, with respect to living without having to edit your conversation, or keep your thoughts under a tight security cordon. What's more, if they suspect you're looking for an exit from their pernicious web of control, they're likely to turn ugly. Past decades of friendship and shared family life will count for nothing with them, once they decide you're an enemy, and make no mistake, that's how they will view you if they find out what you're really thinking. You are surrounded by people you cannot trust, people you cannot reason with, people you cannot appeal to on the basis of shared humanity, because they've sold their souls to a doctrine and the enforced conformity thereof, and that takes precedence with them over everything. In short, the moment they find out, they'll regard you as first in need of "re-education", probably with a side salad of the odd beating to make sure the message is firmly pressed home, and recalcitrance in the face of those measures will make them move on to regarding you as vermin to be exterminated. This is how fundamentalists think - they think they have the keys to the cosmos, because they've decided to treat bad mythology as fact, and that this bestows upon them the purported "right" to force others to think as they do.

My advice, quite simply, is make exit plans by choice now, before they're forced upon you in harrowing circumstances. Do not underestimate the capacity for savagery on the part of those "neighbours", if they think you're no longer one of them. Exile isn't pleasant, but it's preferable to winding up in a ditch with bits missing.
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#14  Postby Macdoc » Nov 26, 2015 8:48 pm

I left town - went to university and did not go back into the retarded town for 30 years.

If there is a university in the town - take some science courses that interest you, find any science clubs, astronomy clubs
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#15  Postby Made of Stars » Nov 27, 2015 1:14 pm

I make do with online friends. I find that few people IRL are willing to engage in discussion of religion and non-theism, even if we all know that they don't believe in gods. And that's in a more secular society than I imagine you live in, funcrew.

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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#16  Postby Evolving » Nov 27, 2015 11:48 pm

I see funcrew hasn't been back since his second post five days ago.
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#17  Postby DougC » Mar 25, 2016 4:37 am

They must have found his browser history. :coffee:
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Re: Ex-Baptist, how to find new friends?

#18  Postby NamelessFaceless » Mar 25, 2016 2:40 pm

Oh, that's too bad. I wonder how he's doing now. I hate that I missed this thread when it was fresh.
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