Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

About

I’m a former fundamentalist Christian from deep in the Bible Belt. In my neck of the woods this is definitely the road less traveled.

I’m in the process of deconstructing everything I have believed to this point.  I’m stripping away all that I have been taught and immersed myself in so that I can rebuild myself from the ground up.

I want this to be a place to flesh out doubts, fears, give encouragement and get encouragement.

I used to think of myself as co-dependent, ultra-conservative, and uptight.  Now I’m finding out I’m independent, liberally conservative, and neurotic.

I have way more questions than I have answers. But I think I’m on my way.

 

53 thoughts on “About

  1. The picture at the top of your blog is Pulteney Bridge in Bath, England, right? I was born in Bath.

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  2. “I used to think of myself as co-dependent, ultra-conservative, and uptight. Now I’m finding out I’m independent, liberally conservative, and neurotic.”

    I love that line…(especially the neurotic part) in the same space now…and still “functioning”, and being paid (for now) as a music minister/worship leader in my church of 27 years. Yikes…talk about neurosis!!! Can’t quite give it up yet, because music is such a part of my life…but also having trouble singing songs that don’t make sense, and even cement this hogwash thinking(myths, fables…etc)…where will I come out of this? Don’t know…rebuilding, redefining…reconstructing…renewing!! Best to you on your journey!

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    • Thanks for commenting. I can’t imagine being in a place to “have” to continue functioning in a church environment or face having to tell everyone what I really think. It would be really difficult for me as I’m sure it is for you.

      Good luck to you in finding an outlet for your musical talents that don’t include having to sing songs that don’t make sense and cement this hogwash thinking!

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  4. Congrats on finding your own way, Ruth! Best of luck, and enjoy the journey!

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  5. From one Bible-Belt heathen to another — it’s very nice to meet you, Ruth. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have no idea why I hyphenated Bible Belt. lol

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    • Ha! I probably wouldn’t have even noticed. I was just excited to see someone else here from the Bible-Belt. I mean Bible Belt. I mean….well, you know what I mean. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahah, yeah I do. I was also excited to see someone like-minded from the BB. We are living in the land of sin. As you probably already know, researchers showed that the BB had more ‘sinners’ (based on the 7 Deadly Sins) than any other region of the country. Oh the irony. How did we get so ‘lucky’. LOL

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  7. Thanks for the follow. It’s appreciated.

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  8. I’m in the same place you are. I was raised by abusive “Christians” and then spent years in an abusive church that did so much damage. I couldn’t see it because it was just like my family situation. Now, I can’t trust the church and there are so many triggers. Maybe it’s not a bad place to be.

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    • I’m sorry you were raised in an abusive environment. Narcissism can clearly be seen in church situations which caused me not to recognize it in my home life until I thought I was going nuts. I find triggers in the weirdest places and at the weirdest times. I absolutely cannot sit through any kind of religious sermon or teaching about marriage. Ugh!

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      • I agree. My father (I call him the father) was in every leadership position in the church, it makes me sick. Everyone thought he was just the greatest. Either that or they ignored the truth. I now cringe a the thought of stepping foot in the church but more so because of 10 years of abuse at our former church. People I think have turned church into something it was never meant to be. Add on top of it, where we live, the majority of churches are very obviously corrupt. Ugh religious sermons about marriage…blech!!
        I hear you about triggers! The slam me out of nowhere too. Flashbacks to my childhood church and the father etc…not fun!

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  9. Oh and thank you so much for following my blog 🙂

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  10. Thanks for the follow on my blog. 🙂

    Interesting to see we seem to have started out blogging journeys in similar places, though you got a few years head start. I’m not clear from looking around your blog where you ended up, though. Feel free to catch me up if you like.

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    • Sure. I really should update this page. I’ve ended up as a de-convert, agnostic, atheist. I have no idea if a god or gods exist, can find no evidence of one, and particularly not the Christian God. I look forward to reading along with you on your journey. I first encountered you over on Matt’s blog (Jericho Brisance).

      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for reading around!

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  11. Life is a journey indeed Ruth and I wish you all the best of find all the answers you seek. As far as the neurotic part goes, join the club. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt. LOL!

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  12. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for following my blog. I also want to say that I enjoyed looking through yours too. Keep up the good writing. By the way, I also like the Kinks, and your brothers band is not bad at all. Keep pluggin away.

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    • Thanks for the follow as well. I’ll be back over to peruse your posts later.

      I’m sure my brother will appreciate the props. Thanks again!

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  13. Ruth, sorry. I was looking for an email link, but didnt find one. Feel free to delete this if you like.

    on nate’s blog you left this:

    “I just don’t think it’s particularly helpful to declare the motivations of others. I think they reveal those all on their own. It may be completely fruitless for me to discuss the origins of the universe with Mike but the discussion we’ve been having up to this point hasn’t exactly filled the basket either.”

    you’re right.

    I typically try to avoid doing that, but I feel justified now. Even so, I realize it’s a distraction which is why I bowed out and why I’m sending you this here (again, delete as desired).

    I’ve ignored mike’s personal attacks and shrugged it off when he assigned motives to me, or when he would twist what i and others have said. Time and again he’s done this. I’ve answered his points honestly and directly, but he refuses to answer anyone else’s and just makes fa-out-there claims and states them as facts.

    It’s silly and I’m not playing anymore. You cant reason with unreasonable people – and I’ve dealt with him long enough to see it clearly for what it is.

    is declaring his motivations helpful? No, it’s satisfying now, though. but giving him the benefit of the doubt, while ignoring his insults hasn’t been helpful either. It is true that they reveal those on their own, which I believe mike has done and which is what i articulated.

    I am sorry for interrupting your zen. I just wanted to send this to you. I appreciate your comments and will try not to overshadow them with these types of exchanges anymore.

    thanks,

    William

    again, sorry – please delete if you wish.

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    • I understand and share your frustration. I completely agree with your assessment of his motivations and I hope I didn’t insult you by saying something.

      I’m trying to get him around to answering the questions you guys and I have asked that he says he won’t answer until we answer his questions.

      And finally, I could be wrong. I know next to nothing about cosmology. I’m listening to a debate right now between W.L. Craig and Lawrence Krauss.

      He may be trying to back me into a corner, but I don’t think it’s one he’s not backing himself into as well.

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      • you’re right. I agree on all counts. I took no offense and hope I haven’t offended you. I dont really know you, but from your exchanges I’ve read, I respect you – which is why I took the time to send you a comment. thanks.

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        • and if i can add, religion was once my entire focus. It’s not something I took lightly and i didnt leave it because I wanted to indulge my worldly nature. overtime, studying the good book made me realize it wasnt as good as I had once thought.

          so it’s hard to have people continually declare otherwise and state things about how dishonest or arrogant i am, when they clearly dont know me and while they’re clearly ignoring the points…

          But I’m an adult, and should be more patient I guess. a work in progress.

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          • Oh, I totally get that, too. I was a devout Christian for 20+ years. It is a bitter pill to swallow to have someone trash that.

            Having said that, Mike is right. There’s a lot of teaching in the NT that people like us are apostates. It can’t be a surprise that he would try to make us look silly. It’s an insult to him that we no longer believe.

            Finally, I see how he cherry picks soundbites of what’s been said and attempts to use it against the person who said it. I think that anyone who reads the entire exchange could see that no matter what they believe.

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        • Thanks for taking the time to comment. And no, you haven’t offended me in the least.

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  14. Hey Ruth, On this page you said, “I’m in the process of deconstructing everything I have believed to this point.”
    I wanted to ask, what prompted this for you. It’s a major overhaul of yourself so I guess I just didn’t see you “waking up” one day. If it is too personal feel free to tell me off.

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    • This whole blog got way more personal than I ever intended it to. Yikes!

      There were many things that I had been taught that just didn’t line up anymore. It has been a major overhaul and I don’t suppose it’s done yet. No, I did not just wake up one day and decide that what I believed wasn’t true. It doesn’t really work that way. To be perfectly honest I’d had questions about my faith for a while but I’d suppressed them because I was so sure that God was real that Jesus was who I had been taught he was and that would have to be enough.

      My journey has been pretty long and winding. It started with a marriage that ended in divorce after 20 years which prompted questions on my part about my denomination’s teaching on the subject. I got into some extensive study about the whole thing which only led to more questions than answers about, well, everything.

      I had a pretty serious “Dark Night of the Soul” which nearly led to my complete destruction. This has been a rather painful and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

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  15. We have SO much in common. Thank you for following me. I look forward to reading your blog and getting to know you here!

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  16. “I have way more questions than I have answers.”
    And this will always be the case from now on, because now the answers lead to more questions, with no fear of asking them, whereas the old answers were dead-ends that never made any sense anyway.

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  17. Hi Ruth, thanks for following my blog, I look forward to following yours. An excellent About and best wishes. Phil Stanfield

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  18. Oop! So glad I stumbled upon your blog. Great ‘about” – and as a recovering Christian m

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  19. Ooo! So glad I stumbled upon your blog. Great ‘about” – and as a recovering Christian myself I’m curious to read more of your thoughts.

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  20. Pingback: Détente | The Counterfeit Christian

  21. Pleasure to meet you! I’m also a recent deconvert, with a lot of thoughts on the subject. Looking forward to reading your posts.

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  22. Hello Ruth!

    So, SO HAPPY to meet another like-minded, like-experienced blogger! My guess is that you found me via Victoria over at NeuroNotes, another FABULOUS neurotic!? 😛

    Thank you for the visit & follow. Looking forward to browsing & sharing my two-cents here and hopefully over in my little corner too!

    Many best wishes to you & your now liberating journey!!! ❤

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  23. “I’m stripping away all that I have been taught and immersed myself in so that I can rebuild myself from the ground up.”

    LOVE THIS. More people should try this out (myself included)!

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  24. Hi Ruth,

    I didn’t know where to post this.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately. You’re especially on my mind this morning on Mother’s Day.

    I want to thank you for something amazing that you did for me a long time ago.

    I was a bit upset one night about hell. I think I was reminded of it by a tv preacher while I flipped through the channels. A day or two later you wrote about hell on this blog. I lost it! The kids were at school, hubs was at work far away and I was alone at home. I got hot, my ears started burning, tears welled up in my eyes and my chest grew heavy. I was on the verge of a full blown panic attack.

    I posted a comment of distress on your hell post and you immediately responded with the fervor of a bad ass mama bear. You were pissed at religion for stressing me out with the threat of hell. You acknowledged me with the reassurance of reality, that damnation is no longer my reality. It is not my fate.

    I already respected you before that day. However, your response to my suffering, along with your ability to lovingly soothe my fears, opened my heart to trust you.

    Mothers aren’t just females with children. Mothers are women who know how to love, nurture and fervently protect other human beings from the demons that torture them. Demons may be fictional, but you saved me from the ones that were real to me, the demons that tortured me through decades of indoctrination.

    On this Mother’s Day I celebrate you, Ruth. I acknowledge, appreciate and honor you!

    Love always,
    Charity

    Liked by 2 people

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