I Came Out Of The Closet When I Retired

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Lon Tanner, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Lon Tanner

    Lon Tanner Well-Known Member
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    I am a Secular Humanist (Athesist) but really didn't come out of the closet until I retired at age 56 I found it easier to go along to get along rather than share my non belief with family and friends. I would bow my head when grace or prayers were said but avoided attending any church or church related activities as much as possible. To Thine Own Self Be True I said to myself when I retired and ceased going along to get along.
    Although I believe in complete separation of Church & State I am not militant nor do I seek to convert anyone to my non belief. I find the current crop of political candidates who spout their faith to woo voters offensive. Even the most liberal politician that dared to express their non belief would have little or no chance of ever being elected, and that's a pity, because I am sure there must be highly qualified non-believers.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I think they fudge the truth a little anyway, I'm willing to bet Trump isn't all that religious.

    Although I'm not an atheist, I'm not religious at all. I may believe in A Supreme being and I'll always have catholic blood flowing through my veins, that won't change. If I was to become religious again it would only be as a Catholic.

    I don't like it when people constantly talk about their religion like it's the only right one, it's not. Mine is just as right as theirs.

    I believe in evolution and can't base anything on the words of the bible. There is more proof of evolution than there is of the bible being the word of God. That is pretty much a fact.

    I feel we need some form of religion growing up to guide us on a moral path but as an adult it's only there for comfort in my opinion,

    In my opinion there is no hell or devil and that is only used to put fear in the minds of people who are gullible.

    If only those that were religious would just be happy and keep it to themselves it would be a better world in my opinion. It just turns people off even more.

    It's fine to talk about it in this section but when it's starts spilling over into other topics it gets to be too much. I don't mind how religious anybody is, it doesn't bother me one bit. But when you start insinuating that your belief is the only one that's not right or the case.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  3. Karen McKenzie

    Karen McKenzie Well-Known Member
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    Well, good for you, Ren. I didn't think being an Atheist was such a big deal. I don't want to mix religion and politics..so I don't care if the person running is "religious" or not. I don't like or dislike people based on whether they are religious.

    I don't think most people care what religion a candidate happens to be.
     
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  4. Lon Tanner

    Lon Tanner Well-Known Member
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    I disagree Karen. I think that if any candidate said that they did not believe at least in a so called SUPREME BEING, they wouldn't stand a chance of winning an election. We total Non Believers are a distinct minority.
     
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  5. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I don't think so, Ren. I never look at the religion of a candidate. I could care less. That goes for non religion too.
     
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  6. Karen McKenzie

    Karen McKenzie Well-Known Member
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    Ok Ren I guess we'll wait for a person with no religious affiliation to be elected..lol. I personally agree with Chrissie that Trump isn't religious at all...I don't care what he says...lol
     
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  7. Lon Tanner

    Lon Tanner Well-Known Member
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    You missed the real point of my post -----If any politician said publicly that they did not believe in God or a SUPREME BEING, I doubt they would ever be elected.
     
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  8. Karen McKenzie

    Karen McKenzie Well-Known Member
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    Ren, I do think I realized what you were saying and responded to it...I will say it again then, respectfully..I don't agree with you.
     
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  9. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Maybe in the USA but other countries aren't as religious as we are. It doesn't bother me at all if you are religious or an atheist. Whatever you are is fine...just don't keep telling me is all I ask.
     
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  10. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Welcome to the Forum Ren and thank you for sharing here. I'm sorry you felt you had to wait until you were 56 years old to be your true self. As a child we often do have to go along with what others believe since we don't know enough to form our own opinions about most things...when we become adults and have enough knowledge under our belts we then get to form our own beliefs and opinions and become our own person. I'm just sorry you felt you had to wait until you were 56 years old before you felt you could finally be yourself.

    As a Christian I also believe in separation of Church and State. I don't want the Government telling me I have to believe anything...much less choosing my beliefs for me. And on the other hand I don't want any Church telling me what I have to believe either. I believe in God and His Word through the Bible not because anyone made me, or told me I had to...but because after reading the Bible for myself and asking God to reveal Himself to me....He did just that and He has proved His Word is True to me also. God is a part of every area of my life so it is very natural for me to talk about Him and would in fact be unnatural for me not to just to make others who don't believe comfortable. I think we should all get to be our true selves...no matter who or what that may be. Don't you? Respect works best when it is given both ways.

    Although I don't think our President would necessarily have to be of a particular denomination, I do think he would have to be honest, trustworthy, and a defender of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. And since our Nation is a Nation that was founded on a belief in God....I definitely would want him or her to be a person who believes in that God that our Nation was founded on too.

    I'm glad to meet you Ren and look forward to chatting with you on other posts.
     
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  11. Sacheen BrightEagle

    Sacheen BrightEagle Well-Known Member
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    Hi Ren. I applaud you for speaking your truth. I can't speak for other nations, but here in Canada we don't require our politicians to be religious. This is a secular, multicultural country. We judge our leaders by their policies.
     
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  12. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    The UK is a lot less religious than the USA in my opinion, our government is a mixture, though Cameron did say a while back that the UK was a Christian country, in my opinion this was more a political statement than the truth.

    Statistics are always confusing this is an extract from here

    In the UK, the percentage of the population which describes itself as belonging to no religion has risen from 31.4% to 50.6% between 1983 and 2013 according to the British Social Attitudes Survey’s 31st report issued in 2014. Conversely, the report found that only 41.7% of people in the UK identify as Christians compared to 49.9% in 2008 and 65.2% in 1983. The Church of England has seen the greatest decline in its numbers; membership has more than halved from 40.3% of the population in 1983 to just 16.3% in 2014.

     
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    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
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  13. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    The US doesn't require our politicians to be religious either. Those candidates who choose to be believers are either truthful about their faith (whatever that faith may be) or they are swayed to lie about being Christian because they know, as Ren is saying, there is a large segment of the voters who are Christian with certain Christian values and morals driving their choices and some candidates will do anything to lock those votes in.

    As an aside, it's fair to note that some of those "Christian" voters are not really Christians either. God says, "they say Lord, Lord, and I know them not". He's not fooled. In the big picture, truth is all that really matters.
     
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  14. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Politicians seem to see the need - or perhaps their advisers do - to spout stuff they think the public wants or expects to hear.

    Often, this approach just makes them look hypocritical or plain stupid. Take Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale" nonsense. Surely it wasn't just me that thought, "Well, why did you smoke a joint if you weren't going to inhale?"
     
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  15. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Yes, we had many laughs about that one, Tom.

    If Bill Clinton is a Christian, I'm a monkey's uncle.
     
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  16. Tom Jordan

    Tom Jordan New Member
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    We grow up believing certain things to be true, and sometimes continue to believe them in the face of logic. Religion is like that, I fear. I think that most people, including those who attend church regularly, will admit to themselves privately that it doesn't make any sense, but by then, so much of who we are is wrapped up in our religious identities. And maybe we want to hedge our bets in the event that it is true after all.
     
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  17. Janice Martin

    Janice Martin Well-Known Member
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    There are some states that do... including yours... check out Article 6, Section 8: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/legislation/constitution/ncconstitution.html
     
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  18. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    I was thinking of the US Constitution where federal offices aren't required to be religious, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Religious_Test_Clause. But you're right, Janice, the States are different….which comes from our original writers of the state constitutions when our country was founded on religious principles. It's considered tradition. I've never known a state office holder to be forced to be a Christian though, other than taking oath by placing one's hand on the Bible.
     
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  19. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    We often talk about the separation of church and state, and what exactly is meant by that statement. Pretty much it is interpreted to mean that the government can't designate a certain religion which must be followed by everyone, which is how many governments used to be run.
    However, some interpret this to mean that Christians should not be involved in politics, and ministers and other church leaders often think that they should not try to influence people about candidates.
    I just listened to an interesting talk by a Christian minister about this subject, and he goes over what the Bible says about Christians being involved in politics, and even the subject of God using people who are not necessarily religious , but were placed in the position to further his purpose.
    He also talks about Donald Trump, and how he could actually be part of God's plan for America.

     
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  20. Harry Kemp

    Harry Kemp Member
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    Hello Ren, I too am saddened you felt you had to keep your beliefs (or lack of them!) quiet until you were 56. I suppose I roughly identify with your views, although I think there might be something beyond all this, an afterlife. However I think the idea of god or gods is a totally human construct and we're probably not intelligent enough to understand what - if anything - has made life develop and become ever more complex in an apparently hostile universe. People can have any belief they want as far as I am concerned, but I am exceptionally wary of those who want to proselytize and seem convinced only their brand of religion is the true one. Human hubris!
     
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  21. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    I think that what bothers me is that candidates who say such awful things, and espouse intolerant views claim to be God fearing. I mean obviously, some of the stances taken by candidates would be intolerant and non Christian in both theory and practice. I just think that having these extremist viewpoints, are confusing people about what it means to be religious. I don't buy it at all really!
     
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  22. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    The thing is, that people who are extremist types of personality, and people who think that their view is the only correct one, are going to act and talk in extremist ways whether they are a Christian or an athiest, or indifferent to either one.
    On the other hand, people who are tolerant of everyone else's beliefs , may also be religious, or non-religious, and they will be tolerant of others views, regardless.
    It is not the religion, or the lack thereof that makes them act in either manner, it is simply that this is the kind of person they are and how they look at everything in life.

    It seems like the people who tend to be more of extremists are often the ones we hear about, simply because they are always more vocal about promoting their opinion and beliefs with their fervor, whereas the tolerant ones, which are probably most of us, just keep our thoughts and opinions to ourself, unless someone specifically asks us what we think about something.
     
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  23. Julie Stewart

    Julie Stewart Well-Known Member
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    I'm an atheist too and have been openly since my early teens. I won a scholarship to a prestigious Catholic school at age 11 and it was soon after I started there that I began to question what I had been told. My grandmother was shocked and arranged to meet with my parents, myself and the Headmistress who was the mother Superior of the convent. My parents were worried that I'd be asked to leave. She, the Headmistress, was superb. She met with me alone and discussed my questions with me. She treated me with great respect and told my parents that I could stay at the school. She said that the aim of the school was to educate young women to be independent and to take their place in the world.

    I stayed at that school for 7 years and the Headmistress met with me alone at least once a term (3 x per year). She never once directly tried to change my thinking but did encourage me to ask questions about her beliefs. My respect for her and her beliefs remains strong over 40 years later even though I cannot agree with what she believed in with such quiet and dignified strength. The self-respect that she instilled in me remains equally strong and is perhaps the greatest gift anyone could have given me.

    Conversely, my grandmother, whom I loved so much, was very bitter and negative about the Headmistress who had, according to my grandmother, condemned me to be forever stuck in limbo after my death. I disagree, of course, for me "limbo" does not exist.
     
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  24. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    The closer to the end I get, the more religious minded I've become.
     
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  25. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I have had a relationship with our Father God and Jesus Christ for many years @Ike Willis, but like you Ike I find the closer I get to meeting my Maker and Savior, the deeper and more intimate my relationship has become with Them. :)
     
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