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Search for truth leads to rejection of religion - Comments

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 1 by xsjadolateralus

Good for them. I hope they can work toward the other end, like Dan Barker.

For them, the clarity of understanding just how believers minds work and what helped them become educated is undeniable. Especially the evangelicals. They are intimate in conversion.

I could make an obvious prediction that the more evangelicals that we sway, the greater momentum our cause will gain. One way or another they're orators and converters. Let's get them converting for actual goodness' sake.

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 19:12:23 UTC | #946919

Metamag's Avatar Comment 2 by Metamag

Comment 1 by xsjadolateralus :

Let's get them converting for actual goodness' sake.

Indeed, there needs to be a funding for their continued usage of their established skills instead of career change like some people suggest.

I think Dan Dennett(or someone he interviewed) said there would be 10 000 more applications for the Clergy Project if it had free career change setup.

That is a completely wrong approach.

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 22:02:35 UTC | #946942

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 3 by Alan4discussion

Search for truth leads to rejection of religion

..and especially the anti-science, anti-reason, idiocy which is Catholicism - promoting its, "faith = rationality" mantra, and its "infallible" pseudo-science!

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 23:19:43 UTC | #946951

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 4 by Starcrash

Congratulations. I know that it was very difficult to make that transition. Many of us are former theists, although I personally didn't stand to lose as much as you did.

You know they're going to doubt you were ever a Christian, right? Those that want to live in denial will say "No True Christian" becomes an atheist. At least we rational thinkers can appreciate the hard work involved in getting over that cognitive dissonance and self-rationalization. There's no tougher enemy than ourselves.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 01:27:20 UTC | #946969

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 5 by Stafford Gordon

What is the world coming to? Where will it all end?

On the bright sunlit uplands of reality; where else?

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 10:43:04 UTC | #947026

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 6 by Stafford Gordon

I've been waiting for about two hours for my comment to appear. Has anyone come across it I wonder?

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 13:31:09 UTC | #947045

BroughtyBoy's Avatar Comment 7 by BroughtyBoy

Some acknowledgement of the damage done to the victims of religion would be a welcome interlude amongst the otherwise "nice" sentiments displayed in this article.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 19:36:28 UTC | #947097

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Comment 8 by HardNosedSkeptic

Comment 6 by Stafford Gordon :

I've been waiting for about two hours for my comment to appear. Has anyone come across it I wonder?

Have you tried closing and re-opening your browser? Or even just closing the tab and opening the website in a new one? That often works for me (in Internet Explorer anyway).

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 20:30:27 UTC | #947107

Quine's Avatar Comment 9 by Quine

It is very important for these personal stories to continue to be in the press. These are stories from professionals in the religion business. They cannot be dismissed as "unsophisticated" or even ignorant of church scripture and traditions. I have found that the steps or inquiries that bring some around to reason, may do as well when tried by others, especially those who insist on working it out from the inside.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 21:54:23 UTC | #947114

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 10 by xsjadolateralus

Yes, I agree with others sentiments. There should definitely be a voice for conscience here, in this situation.

They, after all, did a great deal in lieu of lying and covering up facts. Therefore, the noble, or moral course of action is to work toward restitution and restoring the information they so readily lead others away from.

Yes, let's not make a get out of responsibility free card for ex clergy. We would only be making things worse if we simply made an easy fallback for clergy. Then there would be almost zero consequences for lying to children, etc.

You could effectively become a priest, disseminate evil preachment and then be onto another high paying job after you choose that the clergy occupation is no longer for you. We would create an atmosphere where there are zero consequences for those vile actions. Let's not forget about that.

To make things easier for them to simply go "OOPS" and then be on their way to a well paying job would be almost worse than preaching the vile nonsense ourselves. I think it would probably serve everyone involved better if we made it impossible for them to simply move on. They should have to explain, or preach the opposition to what they preached for so long. Undo the damage they caused, so to speak. Yes, we should help them do that, but we shouldn't just make an easy out (before you say, "OMG, none of these people have it easy", realize that they actually do have it much better than those who they neglect and even preach hatred against, sorry) and effectively contribute to their financial turn around.

I would think that giving that opportunity to people being used as indentured servants/farm equipment would be much more of a priority, but then again the squeaky wheel does get the most oil...

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 22:51:23 UTC | #947120

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 11 by Alan4discussion

Comment 10 by xsjadolateralus

To make things easier for them to simply go "OOPS" and then be on their way to a well paying job would be almost worse than preaching the vile nonsense ourselves. I think it would probably serve everyone involved better if we made it impossible for them to simply move on.

I'm not sure where this idea that of changing careers is a hop into a well paying job? Theology is not much of a qualification for most jobs, and retraining does not usually offer any guarantees!

They should have to explain, or preach the opposition to what they preached for so long.

Who exactly would provide the facilities and pay them to do this, and who would be interested in listening?

It seems a rather unusual idea. (I haven't seen many sub-prime mortgage salesmen running around fixing the financial crisis!)

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 23:17:15 UTC | #947126

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 12 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 11 by Alan4discussion

I'm not sure where this idea that of changing careers is a hop into a well paying job? Theology is not much of a qualification for most jobs, and retraining does not usually offer any guarantees!

It's not like anyone here has not had to re-invent themselves through circumstances unforeseen and beyond their control is it? Not always for an improved life either.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 23:26:16 UTC | #947128

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 13 by xsjadolateralus

I was speaking about their supposed moral superiority, or innocence, as they like to portray themselves. Well, how about doing some good works, to attempt to reconcile all the wrong they've done?

Pay them to do this? Sorry, are we paying them to do this now? Am I payed to do this? Are you a bit naive?

Yes, the clergy project is talking about retraining and placement. That means that they would have a very good chance to get a well paying job, especially if they have a whole litter of kids, like usual.

The sub-prime mortgage salesman didn't act solely to create the financial crisis, whereas these people the very arbiters of morality and philosophy for millions/billions of people. The salesman didn't tell them to take anything on faith, no matter what you might imagine. The analogy is close, but not when examined.

Also, who says the sub-prime mortgage salespeople shouldn't be and aren't trying to help correct those mistakes?

Again, your first point is irrelevant. No one pays me to educate theists. No one needs to pay them. I'm a starving artist and I still break my back to make ends meet. Maybe they should just be going for the jobs that are available to EVERYONE.

What kind of jobs do you think they need this training they are proposing?

Training to work at Mcdonalds? No, they train you on the spot...

The kind of training they are talking about is for the professional field. If these people really wanted a job there are plenty of resources open to everyone, which I have done myself and continue to do. They don't want to lower themselves to work a labor job and to that I say "BOO FUCKING HOO"

Why are you so naive?

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 23:27:21 UTC | #947129

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 14 by xsjadolateralus

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Tue, 12 Jun 2012 23:27:58 UTC | #947130

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 15 by xsjadolateralus

Comment 14 by xsjadolateralus :

Comment 12 by Ignorant Amos :

Comment 11 by Alan4discussion

I'm not sure where this idea that of changing careers is a hop into a well paying job? Theology is not much of a qualification for most jobs, and retraining does not usually offer any guarantees!

It's not like anyone here has not had to re-invent themselves through circumstances unforeseen and beyond their control is it? Not always for an improved life either.

Exactly...

Why are these people privileged? Why can't they be bothered to work like the rest of us?

It's because of the class that the religious have enjoyed for so long. They are above us all and if some of them turn out to be not so religious, they are still held higher than the rest of us. It's disgusting, I'm sick of living as a lower class citizen simply for being more intelligent than the majority. It's beyond ironic and it needs to change asap. Stupidity is rewarded and intelligence is punished. I'm going to end up getting sick of it all and move to some remote part of the planet, say fuck you all.

I literally broke my back working hard labor since I was 13. I have a spinal injury and tore my Spinae Majora. I have constant pain that reminds me of the incredibly hard work I had to do to survive.

Now, you're telling me that the people who did the opposite and road like kings in a chariot on my back and my work are worth more than me, intrinsically when you say that these people need these extra services that were never mentioned or available in my case. No one payed for me to find another job, in fact, I lost money each time I had to switch jobs, got fired (for being an atheist no less), or when I injured myself and my boss fired me. Where were these social programs you think clergy NEED in order to get on with their lives?

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 23:36:41 UTC | #947132

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 16 by Alan4discussion

Comment 15 by xsjadolateralus

Now, you're telling me that the people who did the opposite and road like kings in a chariot on my back and my work are worth more than me, intrinsically when you say that these people need these extra services that were never mentioned or available in my case.

I can sympathise with the your past need of support services, but would not deny them to others. These are provided in many of the more socially conscious European states.

No one payed for me to find another job, in fact, I lost money each time I had to switch jobs, got fired (for being an atheist no less), or when I injured myself and my boss fired me.

We often hear the baying of right-wing religinuts, against paying taxes to provide universal health-care and social safety nets - especially in the USA.

Where were these social programs you think clergy NEED in order to get on with their lives?

I think some help in changing jobs would be charitable for anyone, - and beneficial to society as a whole - but actual provision varies from state to state.

I have a spinal injury and tore my Spinae Majora. I have constant pain that reminds me of the incredibly hard work I had to do to survive.

My sympathies on your injury.

BTW: Back in the 1970s I spent some months in hospital and then had a spinal disk surgically removed, following a motor accident caused by a careless driver with no license or insurance.
Fortunately the treatment was paid for by the UK National Health Service, - and with the operation a success, I was able to return to work.

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 11:38:16 UTC | #947181

MidwestAtheist's Avatar Comment 17 by MidwestAtheist

Thanks for featuring this article. I am one of 8 writers who contribute to this series in our local paper, the La Crosse Tribune. Joshua is one of our writers as well, and wrote this great column. for those who are interested, our group is called the La Crosse Area Freethought Society (LCAFS)- www.LCAFS.org, and the full series of articles can be found at our website, or by clicking here- http://lacrossetribune.com/search/?l=25&s=start_time&skin=%2F&sd=desc&q=%22La+Crosse+Area+Freethought+Society%22+-olson+-fasching+-KJ+-Orso+-simplot+-anderson

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 17:02:27 UTC | #947221

joshuaeverett's Avatar Comment 18 by joshuaeverett

From the author of the article:

One of the things this experience has taught me is just how special the La Crosse Area Freethought Society (LCAFS) is. My wife and I have loved LCAFS since the first time we went to a Friday night event last fall. I already appreciated the special group of people that form LCAFS. However, this experience and the experiences of other ex-clergy on The Clergy Project have made me recognize everyone's kindness and acceptance all the more. As ex-clergy, we know the hostility we will face from religious people, friends, and family. However, the hostility from many in the agnostic/atheist community can be the most hurtful. We have all learned that the judgmentalism and arrogant ignorance that we despised in religious communities can be present in many non-religious communities, too.

The accusations thrown at us as ex-clergy for misleading people, spreading ignorance, intolerance, hate, etc. are certainly fair charges in some cases. No one at TCP denies them. In fact, few days go by that we aren't depressed to some extent due to our previous lives. Certainly we were all sincere in our desire to help people above all, and many of us, myself included, never participated in preaching intolerance or hate. I cannot with good conscience say that my intentions justify my misguided proselytizing and preaching. These are regrets we all bear, along with the regret of so many wasted years of our own short lives. Many members of TCP pay for their mistakes greatly. Many of us accumulate a great deal of debt attempting to retrain ourselves. Many work in minimum-wage jobs the rest of their lives. A great number lose their jobs and families. Some lose everything and are homeless now. Do we complain? No. I've never heard a single complaint. In fact, most of us accept the consequences of our misguided religiosity without bitterness. We are content to have broken free in some manner or other.

I think the take-away lesson I've learned (or relearned) is this: In life, wisdom comes from open-minded questioning, not arrogant, ignorant assertions or judgments. Sometimes even those of us who are nonbelievers need to be reminded of that lesson. I'm fortunate that no one in my local freethought society was judgmental toward me because of my upbringing or former career. That's something I will never forget.

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 19:57:16 UTC | #947234

Corylus's Avatar Comment 19 by Corylus

However, one must consider all of the difficulties of their situations before passing judgment, as well as remember that such major changes in life are the result of lengthy processes rather than snap decisions.

Yes, the noggin can spend some time mulling things over before it even "comes out" to its owner - let along the general public.

-=-=-=-=-

Comment 18 by joshuaeverett : These are regrets we all bear, along with the regret of so many wasted years of our own short lives.

Wasted employment hours might be a better way of looking at it rather than wasted years. After all, none of us spend the entirety of our time in our jobs.

I would hope that - along the way - you have all also spent some time accumulating family, friends, life experience, books read, recipes learnt etc. These things you would have done whatever your choice of job. Yes, due to circumstances, these might well have been different, but I very much doubt that they would have been absent either way.

In fact, I don't know anyone who does not have some wasted employment hours in their past. Yes, I have less than yourself, but I have still had to learn that life is way too short to spend any time whatsoever in a job that requires the wearing of either a polyester uniform or latex gloves.

I would strongly advise bearing this in mind when you are looking for a new career. Just sayin'.

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 20:56:14 UTC | #947237

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 20 by xsjadolateralus

Comment 16 by Alan4discussion :

Comment 15 by xsjadolateralus

Now, you're telling me that the people who did the opposite and road like kings in a chariot on my back and my work are worth more than me, intrinsically when you say that these people need these extra services that were never mentioned or available in my case.

I can sympathise with the your past need of support services, but would not deny them to others. These are provided in many of the more socially conscious European states.

No one payed for me to find another job, in fact, I lost money each time I had to switch jobs, got fired (for being an atheist no less), or when I injured myself and my boss fired me.

We often hear the baying of right-wing religinuts, against paying taxes to provide universal health-care and social safety nets - especially in the USA.

Where were these social programs you think clergy NEED in order to get on with their lives?

I think some help in changing jobs would be charitable for anyone, - and beneficial to society as a whole - but actual provision varies from state to state.

I have a spinal injury and tore my Spinae Majora. I have constant pain that reminds me of the incredibly hard work I had to do to survive.

My sympathies on your injury.

BTW: Back in the 1970s I spent some months in hospital and then had a spinal disk surgically removed, following a motor accident caused by a careless driver with no license or insurance. Fortunately the treatment was paid for by the UK National Health Service, - and with the operation a success, I was able to return to work.

You truly live in a blessed country. :)

I think we live in two vastly different places and social strata. I've scratched and clawed (continuing to do so) out of a life of extreme poverty. There are no people caring for people like me, no government assistance and no taxes go to my well being, or ever have.

The closest thing I've had to a break is being able to have health insurance for a year, before I turned 26, because of "obamacare". I was able to get in to see the doctor, without much success for healing my injury. I continue to do physical therapy on my own and can only sit on a yoga ball (currently atop). I haven't been able to work since, because of many reasons, but the most important being that all of my experience is in a labor atmosphere. I've since went back to developing my art and it's been great that I have a supportive person who loves me.

I'm not saying deny people of benefits they need, I'm saying they don't need them.

What they would LIKE is to transition away from lying for a living, into a similarly lax job, which will be able to give them the money they need to support the small army they have birthed.

No, there are FAR MORE who deserve that service first and will never get it.

And changing jobs is not always beneficial, nor possible. In other words, life isn't as simple as you've made it out to be and you have to work on these problems on a priority basis. No, these religious zealots, finally woke up when it's too late, do not have a priority over other more helpless people.

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 21:12:00 UTC | #947240

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Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 25 by Alan4discussion

Comment 20 by xsjadolateralus

And changing jobs is not always beneficial, nor possible. In other words, life isn't as simple as you've made it out to be and you have to work on these problems on a priority basis. No, these religious zealots, finally woke up when it's too late, do not have a priority over other more helpless people.

The lack of social support is a US right-wing political feature of "free market greed"- "devil take the latter-most" - I'm all- right-Jack, sort of dog-eat-dog, which is anti-community-responsibility to citizens as far as the state is concerned.

You might be interested in this comparison graph of Health care Costs, levels of provision, and life expectancy. - http://thesocietypages.org/graphicsociology/2011/04/26/cost-of-health-care-by-country-national-geographic/

No, there are FAR MORE who deserve that service first and will never get it.

That is the cultural difference. The UK NHS also fixed the multiple leg fractures of the idiot who caused my motor accident under the state universal insurance system - without being judgemental! (even though he had previous convictions for the same sort of stupidity! - The court however convicted him!

There is a lot of TALK about Xtian charity and love in the US right, but when it comes to social legislation, they oppose it!

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 21:58:00 UTC | #947253

joshuaeverett's Avatar Comment 26 by joshuaeverett

xsjadolateralus

These articles about TCP are written not as a method of fundraising, but as a means of educating religious people about the fallibility of their clergy. TCP does not currently offer financial support of any kind to ex-clergy. If such programs are ever created, they will certainly be optional for those who sympathize with the situations of the members. I suspect most contributors to it would be more financially-stable members who attempt to help people who are in the initial stages of such transitions.

Personally, I agree with you that plenty of other people are in great financial need through no fault of their own. Should we be helping them? Probably so. However, the idea that a (non-existent) charity to help with financial difficulties among ex-clergy necessarily precludes or prevents the formation of a charity to help non-clergy with financial difficulties is a false dichotomy.

Your statements here include assertions about TCP are simply ignorant and include many logical fallacies. Information about TCP is readily available, and questions rather than accusations are a better method for learning (thought I doubt that is your intention). Furthermore, your accusations about the religious acts of TCP members during their time as clergy are exaggerated, ignorant, gross generalizations. As you do not know my background or the backgrounds of the members of TCP, you cannot make such assertions without evidence. Many religious people become non-believers after serving in various lay-capacities, not just clergy, and many of us (clergy or not) do spend substantial amounts of our time and money attempting to make restitution for our errors.

Having been raised in fundamentalism and homeschooled with the ACE curriculum referenced in Dawkins' "Root of All Evil" series, I am well aware of the many forms of intentional and unintentional abuse that religion can carry with it. I do not excuse such things, nor any unintentional role I might have had in perpetuating such things. However, please note that the brand of religion that you describe in your comments is something I, like many TCP members, fought against all my life, including during my time in the clergy. When I realized I was acting as an enabler for the horrible acts of religious extremists, I was deeply horrified. I do indeed intend to fight against this sort of thing until my heart stops. Your ad hominem attacks against myself and other members of TCP are unsubstantiated due to the fact that you have no idea who we are/were or what we do or intend to do. I can certainly understand your anger against religion, but I assure you it is misdirected in this case.

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 22:28:06 UTC | #947256

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