Arkansas Society of Freethinkers Message Board General Discussion › New Member Introductions

New Member Introductions

A former member
Post #: 82
Welcome!

We have a friendly and diverse group of members looking forward to meeting you, please feel free to introduce yourself.

A former member
Post #: 5
Are we all suppose to introduce ourselves, or just the newbies?
Susan K.
user 13157058
North Little Rock, AR
Post #: 5
I think anyone can introduce themselves if they haven't before.
A former member
Post #: 6
well, since I am old news, I'll shut up! LOL!!!
Terri P.
user 22571341
Little Rock, AR
Post #: 1
Hello - I am new here. I want to meet people who don't talk about god and religion all the time. I had gotten to the point where I just ignored religion. However, after getting on Facebook, I've been feeling like I don't fit in. My news feed is full of "God is good all the time" or "Repost this if you are not ashamed to believe in Jesus", etc. It also seems that a lot of religious people are just plain mean, which does not make sense.

The Facebook posts about god and religion made me think more about religion, god, and the bible. I did some internet searches for reading material. I found a site called "God is Imaginary" that made a lot of good points. I also found a good one called "Are all religions false?" (Or something like that... I can find the links if anyone is interested.)

I have come to the conclusion that I completely reject the bible and religion. I would like to believe in god or a higher power, but I do not see any evidence of one.

I live in NLR and work in Little Rock. I would love to make some new friends, especially in the Park Hill area.
Wendell B.
user 23457601
Little Rock, AR
Post #: 1
Hello, I'm Wendell

I'm a brazilian guy, who lives in NLR. I came to USA 10 years ago, at the time I was leaving Jehovah's Witnesses and it was a tough thing to do but I survived. I spent a couple years without fellowshipping because I wouldn't fit in with Protestant doctrines until I found the Churches of God which believes that we should keep the OT laws (well, they chose some while ignoring others) and I thought I had found the truth. I even started a church in my own house. Right before this I had a major seizure and had to quit my job and I had lots of time at home, so I dived into studying the Bible.

I was (and am) a very sincere Bible student and I saw religion as a serious business (I think this is thanks to Jehovah's Witness mode of teaching and philosophy) - I did not see gray areas in religion: you either follow God or you're not following God. One can't just go to church and that's it... one has to actually practice what they believed.

Well, that was then... while doing studies, reading as many books as possible, even trying to learn hebrew and greek I came across Biblical Criticism and my world changed. I did have some questions in the past but just "swept" them under the carpet... but learning with Bart Ehrman and others, I could no longer ignore them - mainly because I always tried to be consistent with my beliefs... I finally admitted the problems in the Bible and the floodgates opened.

Today I consider myself agnostic but I really don't see/feel God having any interaction whatsoever in our daily lives. I've lost a few friends over that. I've convinced a couple and even my wife has sort of the same opinion as I do.

I thought of starting a meetup group but decided to check first and found you guys. Hopefully I'll be able to meet sometime.

Thank you
Al G.
user 22319791
Perryville, AR
Post #: 1
Hi, I'm Al and I'm a boataholic. Also interested in art, building, gardening, politics, philosophy and religion. I was raised in the Church of Christ and even preached in a limited way as a teenager. How many teenagers had their own set of biblical concordances? Hopefully, not too many. Harding College admitted me at the age of 16 so I escaped my protected environment for another one where religious courses were required (big mistake for me,) also church attendance and daily chapel. Well, Harding turned out to be a religious front for right wing extremists from whence much of their funding is derived. It's also the world capital reformatory where Church of Christers send their problem kids to be reformed (maybe to get rid of them, too.) As an art/religion major, I was surprised to learn that many of my friends were gay. The bible courses opened my eyes to scriptural contradictions, biblical and early church history. By the time I left Harding two years later to transfer to UCA, I was an atheist and believed that if all this religious stuff was false, there must be nothing to believe in.

Fortunately, over the following 40 years, I learned that there is much to value and believe in and consider myself a pantheistic God believer and humanist. To me, the true theology is science. I worked for Arkansas DHS as a deaf/blind teacher, caseworker, child support investigator and eventually state director, state administrator of energy assistance programs, graphic artist and policy manager in juvenile services. Got my 28 years in, checked out and headed down the Arkansas River in my houseboat for a southern river loop that took a year. Moved to Perryville, built a house, became a court observer and jail inspector and a year ago opened an art gallery in a historic building I remodeled on the courthouse square. I love to paint political and religious images, people, old buildings and landscapes in a surrealistic manner. I ran for state rep in the last election and lost the Democratic Primary for my area. I think of myself politically as a fiscal conservative, progressive socially with libertarian tendencies. What a mess!

What I've really missed most in my life are folks like me who are very serious about philosophy and have looked outside the box on religion. Recently, I've joined a few national and state freethinker and humanist groups hoping to offer some support and meet and interact with folks like you guys. Hope to participate in some events that allow discussion and comparing ideas but I'm getting old and like to be home by dark.
Anne O.
AnneOrsi
Group Organizer
Little Rock, AR
Post #: 14
Hello Wendell and Terri!

I'm Anne, and I'm the Secretary of this great organization. I'm so glad you've joined us, and I hope to see you at one of our many functions very soon. If you look at our calendar you will see that it is very full. Not everything is Freethinker sponsored, but everything is something that attracts us in numbers. Our activities are Vino's, Supper Club, Sinner's Cinema, the monthly party for newcomers (it's a party for everyone - who an I kidding?), Skeptics in the Pub, the monthly Sunday Meeting at the main branch of the library downtown, our book club, the non-prophets kickball team, and there's probably something I'm forgetting.

I look forward to meeting you!
Terri P.
user 22571341
Little Rock, AR
Post #: 8
Hi Wendell, Al, and Anne...

Wendell, I really liked how you described dismissing inconsistencies as "sweeping them under the rug" and then after some study the "flood gates opened"... That is much the same as how I feel.

I had planned on going to Vino's, but was not feeling well. I hope to make the next one.

Al, I love art as well and would love to see your work.
Pam C.
user 28479222
Little Rock, AR
Post #: 1
Hi everyone!
I just moved to Little Rock from a small town in south Arkansas famous for its pink tomatoes.

From birth until about age 19 I was heavily involved in the Assemblies of God church. I also went to Christian school K-12 and my first year of college at an Assembly of God college.

It was my year at the christian college that opened my eyes to how corrupt the church officials are. The students were wonderful and caring for the most part and I made some great friends there that I have traveled the world with, but the administration is a snake pit.

So, that kicked off a period of questioning for me which led to atheism after about a year. I'm very happy to be free of religion now! Looking back, it was all such a mind-f**k. I'm so lucky to have gotten out!

Little Rock life is good. I work weekends as a massage therapist and mostly volunteer and keep house during the week. I call it my "doctor's wife" schedule :)

I live in an apartment with my boyfriend (scandalous!) and a roommate, plus my kitten, Capo.

Can't wait to meet you guys and get a social life going!
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