I have to imagine you get this a lot. Someone registers on the forum, introduces themselves as a non-theist, or even a member of a different faith. They claim they are here only to learn or to foster a dialogue. No ill intent.
At first, all is well, but slowly (and sometimes, not so slowly) that person springs to the attack, and suddenly this supposed humble learner shows themselves to be nothing more than a part of the hate machine.
Allow me, then, to...well, pretty much use the same opening line I guess. That didn't quite work out at all, did it?
As the title of the thread might suggest, I am, in fact, an Atheist. I don't personally like using the term because it tends to conjure negative impressions, but it is an accurate word, so I use it.
In my youth I was a member of a different Christian faith (specifically Baptist, although the highly congregational style of that particular denomination precludes easy categorizing) and as I grew older and into my college years I eventually fell out of it entirely, and so here I am today.
Despite my lack of religion, I am always curious about things. I have found that in the past, a lot of boards devoted to other faiths or even other denominations of Christianity have not been quite as welcoming to me. Everything I have experienced of Mormon followers first hand leads me to believe that will not be the case here, and I hope I'm right.
I'm taking the time to say all of this because I want to assure you that, as I post in the various threads here and ask questions or participate in discussions, I do so only with the intent of increasing my own understanding of your particular faith. You may not be used to an Atheist having any respect for your belief system, but that is not the case with me. At no point will you ever catch me trying to "convert" you, either overtly or subtly. I am not here to try and destroy your faith (which is a pointless exercise. Belief, or even non-Belief, is not something one can simply snap a finger at and disperse, and it annoys me to no end when I see people try and force the issue), but only to learn, ask questions, and participate.
I would hope, also, that if you ever have any questions for me, personally, that you would by all means ask them. Perhaps about my Atheism, or my journey to reach that point, or maybe just to clear up a misconception. I am an open book.
I don't want to start a thread without a question, of course! So I think the most basic one will do for now: If I wanted a sort of "cliffs notes" version of your views and beliefs, where would be the best place to get it? I intend to delve deeper than that eventually, of course, but I'd like to at least have a working knowledge from the *source*, and not from what the internet tells me is "correct".
Thank you in advance.