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16 comments

1 freetoken  Sat, Oct 8, 2011 9:09:35pm
Thanks for reading.

Thanks for writing.

2 b_snark  Sat, Oct 8, 2011 9:19:05pm

We should all have your courage to dig that deep into our beliefs. You communicated your struggle and your exit from the struggle well.

3 Irenicum  Sat, Oct 8, 2011 9:26:20pm

Wonderful post BigPapa.

4 SteelGHAZI  Sat, Oct 8, 2011 9:27:00pm

Terrific read.

5 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Sat, Oct 8, 2011 10:06:08pm

I left the cult many years ago. It was the cult that would become NAR Christianity, so I can relate. Glad to know someone else on the journey.

6 909Ghazis  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 7:10:53am

I also thank Charles for this site and for the privilege of posting here and reading and digesting what is linked and said by you all. I feel that I'm better for it.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to just listen. Nicely done. Thank you.

7 Ghazicide  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 8:31:12am

Thanks for the comments. Not only do I appreciate LGF and Charles, there are some posters here that have challenged my thinking.

Although I could have added a lot more my story spanning 20 yrs is fairly mundane. What is interesting to me is how I was able to make a transition and how it came about.

I was concerned about saying 'I feel like I've left a cult' thereby trivializing people in that situation. My situation was not as serious or dire, but I keep thinking I'm still 'in deprogramming.'

I'm not blaming conservatism or the GOP for this, it's mostly my fault for allowing the comfort of self affirmation to supplant critical thinking. Most people believe the BS not because it's such awesome BS, but because they want to believe it.

I do blame the GOP for specific campaigns of propaganda that history will be unkind to.

8 Tim Nadeau  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 9:41:25am

A very interesting letter. I've also struggled to find the right balance. Maybe both extremes will be drowned out by the large middle. We'll see.

9 Bronco Bama FTW  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 10:05:24am

See. I knew you weren't a right side player. Nice post man, I sent it to my grandma, maybe it will crack her armor.

10 CSKapper  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 11:02:02am

We have nearly identical stories. My family were Democrats and I also started listening to AM radio during the Gulf War. The AGW issue was probably the first issue that really opened my eyes to the lies that were being told to me. That caused me to start questioning more and more. LGF was a great resource for me during that time. After 'my team' started their Obama Derangement Syndrome craziness, I realized that crazy comes from the extremes of both sides. Today, I am certainly not on the left, but I am a fanatical centrist. My conservative friends think I've been possessed by a progressive demon or something. During that time, I've also realized that my long held views on Christianity were also wrong. It frustrates me to think how much time and money I've wasted in my life on the wrong beliefs. I will certainly employ my newly acquired critical thinking skills before I commit to any new ideas.

11 CuriousLurker  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 12:14:46pm

A most excellent post. Thanks for writing it.

re: #7 BigPapa

...Not only do I appreciate LGF and Charles, there are some posters here that have challenged my thinking.

[...]

I'm not blaming conservatism or the GOP for this, it's mostly my fault for allowing the comfort of self affirmation to supplant critical thinking. Most people believe the BS not because it's such awesome BS, but because they want to believe it.

I do blame the GOP for specific campaigns of propaganda that history will be unkind to.

THIS. This is the key to all of it. We humans get lazy. Critical thinking involves examining ourselves—honestly taking stock of our beliefs, prejudices, intentions, personal shortcomings—and taking note of where we may have gone wrong. That's hard and often unpleasant work and our egos will fight us every step of the way.

The ego is proud, vain. It would much rather gaze into a magic mirror that reflects a flawless countenance than one which reflects the blemishes of reality. Propagandists of every stripe know this only too well; as a matter of fact, they count on it.

You know that anonymous quote I have in my profile? (The world is divided into people who think they are right.) It's like that. Like we're all walking around holding up our won little magic hand mirrors that tell us we're right, and the only other people who're right are the ones who have the same mirrors we do.

If someone walks up with another mirror and we see ourselves reflected badly in it, we howl: "That's a trick mirror! Everything is distorted—you lie!" Maybe. Then again maybe it's not all distorted, maybe some of what others are trying to show us is true. Uncomfortable, that.

I realized probably 25 years ago that how I viewed the world, what I thought I knew, what seemed like obvious facts, were not. Not even close. A quarter of a century later, I'm still struggling with my "self", my ego. It's a very clever & persistent little wanker...it never sleeps and it knows me oh so well, knows exactly what I want to hear. So, yeah, like many others, that's why I'm here. Critical thinking skills—keep them honed to a razor sharp point. As long as LGF remains a good whetting stone, I'll stick around.

12 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 2:27:23pm

Well-written, sir.

13 Ben G. Hazi  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 2:51:34pm

Can I get an "Amen"?

Seriously, this was good...I definitely know where you're coming from.

14 Ghazicide  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 2:54:18pm

re: #13 talon_262

Can I get an "Amen"?

Sure, as best an atheist can give an amen, I'll give it. How about a little 'a' amen?

15 Ghazicide  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 2:56:45pm

re: #11 CuriousLurker

Nice response CL. Deep down I hold myself accountable for the decisions I made (or didn't make). But that does not mean partisans and zealots are not accountable for their ploys, which to some degree worked on me for some time.

16 CuriousLurker  Sun, Oct 9, 2011 4:21:09pm

re: #15 BigPapa

Nice response CL. Deep down I hold myself accountable for the decisions I made (or didn't make). But that does not mean partisans and zealots are not accountable for their ploys, which to some degree worked on me for some time.

I very much admire that you had the will to wrestle with yourself and dig past the comfortable lies. I agree, the partisans & zealots aren't blame free, not by a long shot.


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