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Showing posts from 2004

Tsunami begs us to make sense of the senseless

2004-12-31 / Knight Ridder / By Tom Schaefer

The death toll from Asia's devastating tsunami could surpass 100,000.

One hundred thousand men, women and children. One survivor, describing the scene, said, "Hell was unleashed."

How are we to make sense of the senseless?

The answer is, we can't.

The problem of evil in this world has never been fully understood and cannot be completely explained.

(Click Here to read more)

Who is God?

sent in by anonymous

Hello to all,

I came from a disfuncitional fundamentalist home. I was raised baptist and was raised to fear God and hell. To do anything biblically wrong was a no-no. I had a learning disorder and was continually doubting my Christianity. I was a people pleaser and lived my life trying to fit in, this was not to be, because when you are different you don't fit in anywhere, especially in church, where the meanest people in the world live.

Being rejected by all my Christian peers while growing up in the church was hard, talk about rejection!

(Click Here to read more)

all that have left Christinanity were never truely born again

After reading several stories from here, I have concluded that all that have left Christinanity, were never truely born again anyway. Eighty to ninety precent of the professions for Christ are false professions.

Many here don't believe in hell, but if I stood in the middle of the road and didn't believe in trucks, I would still get hit by a truck. So what I believe or not believe in does not change the reality of it. If you put a gun to my head and I laugh at you and tell you I don't believe in bullets.

(Click Here to read more)

Debate of a Lifetime

sent in by Joy-Lyn Gulley

I started pre-school at a Christian school. It was a one building deal that supported Pre thru 12th grade (badly I discovered later).

My parents put me in private school because they thought I'd receive a better education. Plus the school would admit me early (I was only four) where Public school wouldn't. So from Preschool thru the fourth grade, I went there.

In Kindergarten, I was nearly expelled (yes...kindergarten). My crime? Showing my privates to same age boys who'd asked what they looked like.

(Click Here to read more)

Living The Lie

sent in by "Withheld for fear of exposure"

1981, Ansbach, Germany: I was a member of the armed forces stationed overseas. I was heavilly into drinking and other self-destructive activities, and feeling very alone so far from home. I came upon a tract in, of all places, the stall of a restroom, and there, with a hang-over headache, and feeling very nauseated from the night before, I read and recited the words that I thought would save me.

(Click Here to read more)

And to all a good night...

Wow...

You are one very sad, sorry, unhappy person. I really hope that you find something better to do with your time than making fun of Christians. I laughed my butt of as I read your No True Christians article. That was so incoherent in so many ways, it wasn't even funny. But it was very typical of a person who TRIES to use the Bible against itself, despite the fact that they have a very limited knowledge.

(Click Here to read more)

Intellectual Honesty

sent in by Robert Marlow

I'm well past "recovering" as a Christian now so this probably isn't really a site aimed at people like me. However I like what's been done with this place and thought perhaps my testimony may help encourage others. I think few people realise how difficult it can be to stop being a Christian. I hear so many Christians talk about how difficult it is to be a Christian. What isn't spoken of often enough is how difficult it can be to stop being a Christian when you already are one. Unlike converting to Christianity there isn't any bait like a promise in the afterlife and, perhaps even worse, there isn't generally a large support group waiting on the other side with open arms to help you with the transition. Sites like this are good because they'll at least help some people cope with what can be a very traumatic, life altering experience.

(Click Here to read more)

FORBIDDEN CHRISTMAS

Excerpted from "The History of Christmas"

Celebration of birthdays -- even including that of Christ -- was rejected as a pagan tradition by most Christians during the first three hundred years of Christianity, but the matter became increasingly controversial. The third century Christian writer Tertullian supported observance of Christ's birthday, but condemned the inclusion of Saturnalia customs such as exchanging of gifts and decorating homes with evergreens. Chapter 10 of the Book of Jeremiah begins by condemning the heathen practice of cutting a tree from the forest to "deck it with silver and gold".

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Answers in all the wrong places

sent in by Gina

I was born and raised Catholic, albeit not in a very observant household. A belief in God/Jesus was always there, and all of my siblings and I were baptized as infants, but we never did make Communion or anything that. My earliest memories of church are of me dozing off in the pews - not that we went very often. Every once in a while, my parents were "convicted" and we had to go for a couple weeks, but it never lasted.

My mother was and is what I would consider a pious woman. Granted, she smokes cigarettes, plays the lottery and swears, but she has a heart of gold and has no enemies. In fact, people often comment "I could never dislike your mother". She's the type that is so friendly (in a sincere way), that you cannot help but love her.

(Click Here to read more)

Essay on Christmas

The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll
Dresden Memorial Edition (XII, 369-375)


My family and I regard Christmas as a holiday -- that is to say, a day of rest and pleasure -- a day to get acquainted with each other, a day to recall old memories, and for the cultivation of social amenities. The festival now called Christmas is far older than Christianity. It was known and celebrated for thousands of years before the establishment of what is known as our religion. It is a relic of sun-worship. It is the day on which the sun triumphs over the hosts of darkness, and thousands of years before the New Testament was written, thousands of years before the republic of Rome existed, before one stone of Athens was laid, before the Pharaohs ruled in Egypt, before the religion of Brahma, before Sanskrit was spoken, men and women crawled out of their caves, pushed the matted hair from their eyes, and greeted the triumph of the sun over the powers of the night.

(Click Here to read more)

I was a pastor

sent in by Sam

Since I was already so far into my college major at the time of my de-conversion, I had to remain with it; partly because it would take an additional two years to graduate (which I couldn’t afford), and partly because I didn’t have the heart to tell my parents I’d left the faith. I have a double major in biblical studies and theology, and a minor in Hebrew. By the time I graduate I will have completed every single biblical studies and theology class offered on campus, have 18 hours of Hebrew, and 12 hours of New Testament Greek.

I was not just an average “application” Christian of the modern western church, but a student instructed in textual/literary/form criticism, Christian Philosophy, Christian Ethics, advanced homiletics, and advanced exegesis by some of the most renowned names in the evangelical community today. I can accurately lay out Heilsgeschichte (salvation history) with a plethora of biblical and extra-biblical sources from the Ancient Near East up to m…

Holy toast! Second Coming witnessed ... on a crumpet

by RUSSELL JACKSON

WITH only faint shades of religious significance, the image of Christ has revealed itself on the toasted crumpet of a Leicestershire carpenter.

But Shaun Garrod, who witnessed the Second Coming on his snack, is an atheist who initially believed his early Christmas present was more a gift from the rock gods - thinking the apparition was the Bee Gees frontman Barry Gibb.

(Click Here to read more)

Faith is Fake

sent in by Chris

As a child, religion was never forced upon me. My father grew up in a strict Lutheran home, and my mother grew up in a strict Catholic home. I was always taught that I had my own freedom to express myself, but it wasn't always that way. When I first started going to private school in 8th grade, that is when I "found god."

At 14 years old, I had moved schools about 4 times and never moved. I had serious social problems as a child, and never had more than one friend at a time. When I became a student at Cornerstone Christian School in Wildomar, California, it seemed like God was the only one who cared. I had hardly any friends, hardly any life, and not much else to do but go to church and delve into the life of a Christian. Little did I know what I was really getting into.

(Click Here to read more)

My eyes were opened. I saw the light. The Truth set me Free!

sent in by Agagooga

After reading some of the testimonies on ExChristian.net, I feel that my story cannot really compare to the bulk of those on this site. I did not suffer from the hypocrisy and iniquity of fundies, as so many of my fellow apostates have. I was not trapped in a vicious circle of hate, self-doubt and false promises for years, or even decades, like so many of you were. I was and am not surrounded by hordes constantly trying to preach the word of their god to me and to save my soul. Nonetheless, I too have a story to share. Most here saw the light when they realised the logical contradictions and absurdities inherent in the concept of the Christian god, when the sanctimony of (then) their fellow believers showed them that Christianity does not necessarily make one a better person, when no gods came to comfort or save them in my time of need, or when they realised that the bible was just another tome of mythology (and not a particularly interesting one at t…

The Cursed Woman

sent in by "Lilith"

I was raised a Catholic and found that I was seriously questioning the teachings of Christianity and the sect of Catholicism at a very early age. No one could answer my questions with facts, I was supposed to just "believe." I would wrangle over it with my parents who I consider to be wonderful, educated people. They would tell me "most of it's stories, and if you're good you are on the right path." Well, how can people who think like that go to church every Sunday?

(Click Here to read more)

Renouncing False Gods

sent in by Andrew

I started school in 1990, and went to the local Government school where I was promptly assigned to a Catholic scripture class. Being 4 years old, I didn't think too much of it, and I followed the rituals as taught. The next year, I transferred to another Government school, and I continued being taught the Catholic faith. I didn't know what I was learning, except that I was doing what was right. By the time I was 9, I had doubts about what it was I was doing, and when I was 10, I completely renounced Catholicism.

(Click Here to read more)

Recovering Christian

sent in by Amethyst Moonstar

I grew up Lutheran in Minnesota, which is still a very Christian state. My parents pretty much forced me to go to a Lutheran school where I never really fit in, no matter how much I tried. I begged them to let me go to a public school for junior high, and they finally caved because it would save them money. I lost my mom to cancer when I was in high school, but that is not the event that made me deconvert -- on the contrary, my belief was probably at the strongest then and it did help to deal with her death.

(Click Here to read more)

Christianity Is Dangerous I Should Know

sent in by Wesley Brown

When I was younger I remember I kept hearing the name Jesus while lying playing with colouring books under my church pew. My parents (my dad a United Methodist pastor) forced me to go to church and some church events (no choice). I hated it because I was always bored but the people were nice to me and the social time afterwards was cool. The vibrations were happy (New age lingo for feel of the room and people in it).

(Click Here to read more)

Spirit Of Christmas

It's time to celebrate the true Spirit Of Christmas!

Ho, Ho, Ho!

(Click Here for more)

Jesus is Everywhere

He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows...

Well, you better watch out, er, I mean, the movie...

(Click Here to see the movie)

UNSAVED and Happy

sent in by Nathan

I abandoned my faith in Christianity about six months ago, but before I get to that part of the story, I would like to start from the beginning and relate more or less my “whole” testimony. That being: how I became a Christian, why I stayed a Christian for so long, and what drove me to eventually question and abandon my faith.

I was born to Christian parents. After experimenting with drugs and the party scene my parents both converted to Christianity in their twenties. By the time I was born they were strong believers, ready to train up their son “in the way he should go.” I was dedicated as a baby in their church and about a year later they moved to another church in the town that I am living in now, here in Novato, California.

(Click Here to read more)

Games Christians Play

sent in by Sunfell

Recruitment Tactics for the Young and Vulnerable

The first time I was exposed to Twice-born Christianity was when I attended high school in the bible belt after my dad got out of the USAF. Until that time, I'd gone to schools with a variety of people and religions, and the subject never came up. Before I got to where I was, my best friends were Buddhist and Jewish.

At that school, I was an outcast from the moment I opened my mouth on day one. I didn't act, dress, or talk like they did, and didn't know any of them. They all knew each other from kindergarten. I was shunned as the oddball geek, and I hid from the bullies, jocks and popular girls behind books.

(Click Here to read more)

From nerd-dom to freedom

sent in by Narcissist

My father was a dysfunctional non practicing catholic of Italian decent. Mother was a born again evangelical, of Anglo-Saxon decent who copped a lot of verbal and some physical abuse from my father, and was not permitted to practise her protestant religion. Mother was also very loving, despite the crap she copped. When I was old enough, I started copping it too.

I was a nerd at school. I would never fight. I never wanted to. I swore I would never be violent like my old man.

(Click Here to read more)

What's Love Got To Do With It?

sent in by Sharon Watts

Growing up in a Christian home can be a lonely spirit crushing experience.

As innocent young children we accepted what we were told by our parents and adults because we hadnt yet developed reasoning ability or a deeper understanding of how the world works.

My parents were strict Baptists. Had switched from being Mennonites merely because there was no Mennonite church in the area we had moved to.

(Click Here to read more)

The Awakened Mind

sent in by David Williams

Most of these stories are emotional. I could tell mine that way, but I consider those emotions sick now, so I will not indulge them.

The day I stopped being a Christian was when I was reading the Bible and realized it was all only a belief. You had to "believe" the stories were true. I asked myself, "What does it mean to believe?"

(Click Here to read more)

The Study-to-show-thyself-approved Challenge

sent in by Sharon

Loving greetings to all Christians and all others.

I offer a challenge to all Christians. This is not a new concept, it is in fact commanded in the Bible. Yet so few self proclaimed Christians ever do it that this fact tells a glaringly simple story all of it's own.

Show your love for your God and your maker. READ THE BIBLE! Yes, I hear you saying "I read my Bible every day!"

(Click Here to read more)

Waking up

I was born into a fundamentalist family and "saved" at the
early age of 4. While I was younger, i was not embarrassed to flaunt my religious beliefs and would strongly argue anyone who disagreed with me or seemed to threaten my beliefs. I remember trying to convert everyone I met, feeling genuinely concerned about whether or not they would go to hell. My parents' religion was very strict and my earliest memories are packed with heavy indoctrination.

(Click Here to read more)

Silently Breaking Away

sent in by Wandering~

I’m not sure how to tell my story, but I'll try.

First, a brief background. My near-fundamentalist grandma was the biggest religious influence in the family. First she had a fit when my parents weren't married in a church she wanted. She kept trying to make my dad divorce my mom because she wasn’t a catholic like they were. When I was born my she had a big role in making sure that I was baptized and had a "proper upbringing."

(Click Here to read more)

Honest With Myself At Last

sent in by Evelyn

I was initially raised in the Presbyterian Church, though I don't remember much about it. My parents were medical missionaries (Dad a doctor, Mom a nurse) who served in Asian countries right after World War II. I was born in the United States when they were home on furlough for a few years.

When I was three, the Presbyterian Church mission board assigned them to a small town south of Bombay, India, so I moved with them there. My siblings were sent to boarding school.

(Click Here to read more)

How To Escape Religion Guilt Free

"As a dedicated believer in the word of God, I fully expected the other members of my church to be as dedicated as I was, but I quickly learned that few individuals were... I came to understand that the Bible had little power to change the inner nature of man, and none of its promises were coming to any kind of fruition."

If I didn't know better, I might be tempted to suspect Scott Stahlecker had tapped into my own mind to find his inspiration for: "How To Escape Religion Guilt Free." Of course Stahlecker is telling his own story in this book, and the quote above is his, but without a doubt his experiences parallel what many true believers begin to suspect during the course of their "walk with god." And as a personal testimony of a loss of faith, this book is a very good read.

(Click Here to read more)

Something I'd Like to Share

sent in by Ed Babinski

Why do so many human beings assume so much in general, and have such difficulty even getting members of their own family to agree with them on trifling matters, yet seek to evangelize the entire world and tell everyone "what's what?" I am convinced that the ability to communicate is an art and takes far more patience and practice than most others. The mere fact that the world is filled with difficulties in communication, and that such difficulty is not necessarily due to "sin," constitutes one more reason why I do not believe "God's Word" determines where everyone goes for eternity. For instance, some conservative Christians argue in favor of hell by calling it “God’s great compliment.” Surely there is some confusion and miscommunication somewhere if you have to use the word "compliment" in such a fashion. If hell is such a “compliment” then what does God do when he wants to “insult” somebody?

(Click Here to read…

Wicca - A path to personal truth

sent in by Sarah Macias

As a spiritual being, I think I've always questioned the way I've been told to accept the faiths and beliefs of others. I was born into a Catholic family, baptised and raised that way, but I always knew it wasn't right, somehow.

I was a good little girl, pretty, sweet and obedient...except when it came to church. I hated it. I hated the lectures, dressing up, the boring preist, the endless "sit down, stand up, kneel, sit down again," the saccharine songs we were made to sing, and, horror of horrors, being made to touch the people around me when it came time to join hands as we sung the "Our Father" or said "Peace be with you" to the people who happened to be sitting around the pew near us. Sunday school was a joke, ad catechism was worse. Youth group, for high schoolers was the bane of my existance for two years until my parents finally gave up.



(Click Here to read more)

I think I'm done w/Christianity

sent in by MsBok

Luckily, my parents did not force religion down my throat. My mother was raised w/o religion, heck, she was never baptized. My father was raised Presbyterian, but backed off when his church sent a collection agency after my aunt who was on her deathbed because she couldn't keep up with the pledge she made. My mother did send us on a bus to a Baptist church. That was a nightmare. My sister's purse must've got stolen twice & we always got our bibles ripped off. The vacation bible school was the last straw. They actually had scary monsters on the bus (I was only 6 at the time) who told us our parents were going to hell because they weren't going to church with us and only gave us a quarter to put in the collection plate. We stopped going to church all together except for Easter with my grandparents and whenever we spent the night at a friend's house & had to go to church with them.

(Click Here to read more)

Wife Swap!

This is the second time I've been contacted by the people in charge of this show. Obviously they are Googling in an attempt to find controversial contestants for the show.

If you have no Idea what I'm talking about, it's the new ABC television show called "Wife Swap." According to their webstite, "Wife Swap delves into all the particulars in the lives of American families by having the mothers from two families switch places for ten days. Families (and viewers) will quickly discover that what is deemed 'conventional' in one family can be considered unorthodox and completely bizarre in another."

Anyway, I thought I'd post the email I received. Good luck to anyone who is interested!

(Click here to read all about it)

Me & My "Christian" Family

Whew! Where do I start? How bout pre-me.

My parents met at a small fundamentalist bible college Minnesota, and married in 1959. They intended to become bible translators/missionaries following completion of bible translation school. However, my father decided to pursue an advanced degree in American history at the Univ. of Minn. and he eventually earned his PhD in 1966. It was during his graduate studies that my father began to realize the inconsistancies and ultimately, the complete errancy of Christianity. He attempted to deconvert my mother, which, over time, caused my mother to cling more closely to her fundamentalist Christian beliefs. This growing division did not, unfortunately, result in divorce. My father accepted a job at a state university in Illinois in 1966, and, with my sister (born in 62), and my mother, moved from Minnesota and started his teaching career. (To his credit, he loved teaching, excelled at it, and was beloved by many students)

(Click Here to read mor…

When I was honest, truly honest, it was clearly a lie

sent in by Willa

Why I "de-converted"

There are probably numerous reasons, that taken all together turned me away from Christianity and pretty-well all other religions. Without dwelling too much on the people of the Christian religions themselves (though they certainly are a good enough reason to leave as there is something about religion that brings out the most mean-spirited things in people), the beliefs of the religion itself eventually made me question the whole structure. The following is a summary of probably the most salient points that eventually turned me away and started me looking for the truth:

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Self-realization

sent in by Brandon

Ahh where to begin? As a child I was raised in a bible-thumping Baptist church until I was roughly 6 or 7. I am not sure as to the time my family stopped going. The church played a huge part in my family’s life, particularly in my mother’s. Rock music was evil, gay people were “ate up with the devil”…I’m pretty sure everyone has heard the rants of the church. Of course I was susceptible to believing these lies too. I was a naive child. Jesus loved me, or so I thought. I loved my parents and really wanted to please them. They were the moral authority in my life. I am not saying they were tyrants or anything. They were very loving and set me on a pretty straight course for life, albeit with some pretty disturbing Christian-opinions.

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Biblical Inconsistencies

- Compiled by Donald Morgan
mirrored from HERE

These lists are meant to identify possible problems in the Bible, especially problems which are inherent in a literalist or fundamentalist interpretation. Some of the selections may be resolvable on certain interpretations--after all, almost any problem can be eliminated with suitable rationalizations--but it is the reader's obligation to test this possibility and to decide whether it really makes appropriate sense to do this. To help readers in this task, these lists are aimed at presenting examples where problems may exist given certain allowable (but not always obligatory) assumptions. 

(Click Here to read more)

Jesus and Her Gospel of Yes

Jesus and Her Gospel of Yes is touted as one of the best naked acid trip Jesus films that you will ever see! If you remember H.R. Puff-N-Stuff, imagine using the sets from that show to tell bible stories. Or, take the original cast from the Batman television show from the ‘60s and imagine them acting out the life of Jesus with a cross dresser and a couple of lesbian strippers.

There are layers of odd images washing over people who are doing odd things with cheesy props while orators shout poetry and strange music fades in and out! It is two hours of chaotic bizarre stuff.

(Watch the trailer here.)

Thank you, Davinci Code, A Brief History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson), and The Origin of Satan (Elaine Pagels)

sent in by Ellen

My first memory of Christianity would be the day I became "saved" at the age of 3. Sunday School was fun, but I was a bit confused. I came home from church singing, "Jesus Loves Me," only I replaced the word "Jesus" with "The Devil." That brought me quite a disgusted glare from my father. It also motivated him to sit down and have the talk with me, the talk that told me I would spend eternity in a fiery place called "Hell" if I did not ask Jesus to come into my heart and to forgive my sins.

(Click Here to read more)

A Personal Commentary on the Presidential Election

There can be no doubt that this presidential election has divided this nation unlike any other in our recent history.

Here on ExChristian.Net emotions have been flaring and jibes flying on both sides of the political fence - and frankly, I'm glad to see that happening.

Why?

When I was a Christian, I was always strongly encouraged to vote based on such things as a candidate’s stand on abortion or some moral issue, regardless of what else the candidate supposedly stood for. If I were to vote for the candidate that supported abortion or gay rights, I'd be condemned from the pulpit mercilessly until my very salvation would be brought into question by my own conscience. If I were a Christian now, voting for Bush would be what would be expected - it would be nearly mandatory.

(Click Here to read more)

25 Years of Turmoil

sent in by Diogenes

I was raised Catholic, attended parochial schools through high school. I had a joyful and normal childhood, and still appreciate some of the traditions and trappings of my upbringing and the good education I received. When I was 16, my brother became a born-again Xian. He was influenced by a man he worked with, whom I never met, and that man, I found out, would later end up in a mental institution. As a kid I always looked up to him, so I listened to him when he would spout this new-fangled stuff in our home. My parents at first, were resistant, but then, to keep the peace, would attend and let me attend these "born-again" meetings with singing and clapping and preaching.

(Click Here to read more)

How Heathenism Set One Christian Free

sent in by Jennifer

My mother changes religions the way a restless lover changes relationships. "This church is dry and stale" she inevitably exclaims. "But this other church, this one is alive!" The honeymoon would end with one religion, and before the seat of her favorite pew had cooled, she was putting on her Sunday best to court another. She was smart though, because she didn't just go from the Baptist Church on 1st Ave to the Baptist Church on Langley Rd. No, because Baptists are not EXCITED to receive other Baptists. They are, however, excited to receive their archenemies. What a prize for a Baptist to bag a Catholic. Or for a Jehovah's Witness to bag a Pentecostal. And while saving the soul of your garden-variety sinner is a great prize, it is nothing compared to the sweet victory of converting a soul with roots firmly planted in an opposing religion.

(Click Here to read more)

Forty Years of Oppression

sent in by Sue Waldemar

We lived out in the country, and my mom would occasionally take me to the popular Baptist church in town. One time in Sunday School, when I was only 8 or 9, we were learning the 10 commandments. I piped up and asked why we didn't go to church on Saturday instead of Sunday, according to the 4th Commandment. Of course my teacher had no reasonable explanation, but it was my first experience at critical thinking. Later, living in a Catholic convent for "wayward girls" (I kept running away from an unhappy home) I was dismissed from the catechism class for asking unanswerable questions. But, I loved the religiosity of the whole thing. Daily mass was a high point for me, with all the pomp and mystery, and beauty of the chapel.

(Click Here to read more)

Deprogrammed, At Last

sent in by non conformist

I grew up in a very Catholic home in the Dominican Republic.
I lived with my grandparents and my aunts, while my mother was here in the States working (she came here before I turned one). I took religion very seriously. I remember at one point I wanted to be a nun!!(the horror!!) I was very involved in anything that had to do with the church; I sang in the choir, went faithfully to catechism, volunteered in everything. It wasn't till I got older that I realized I was using the church to escape my home life. I was being sexually abused, and my grandmother REALLY believed in Not sparing the rod. Let's just say that I was not spoiled AT ALL. I found peace in the church. I bought all that Jesus is love bullshit,

(Click Here to read more)

Where do I begin?

sent in by Emma

I'm a little nervous about sharing this with anyone, but here goes!

Where do I begin? I became a Christian at the age of 3, lying in my bed alone one night after hearing Bible stories from my mom. I don't recall being scared into it; it just seemed like a really good idea, inviting this nice man named Jesus into my heart.

(Click Here to read more)

Is there anything I can do?

Is there anything I can do?

The answer to the above question may well be "nothing", but I thought I might ask your opinion since you have "been there".

Let me explain. This is not a deconversion story, but I hope you don't mind me posting on this site.

I am deeply concerned about my ex boyfriend who has become involved with a charismatic church which seems to be taking over his life. He claims that he is not at all under their spell, that they are all extremely nice and normal people, that he is perfectly rational and just as put off as me by those "christian types". Yet he goes to prayer meetings and church services most days of the week, has admitted that he has recently begun talking in tongues, says that he is experiencing visits by the Holy Spirit, ...

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How Does an Ex-Christian Vote?

Since non-theists have no way to make moral choices, what with no Buy-Bull to tell them how to think, what to think, and when to think it, there is no way to make a rational choice in the voter booth!

So, to help all of us whose minds have been blinded from the tooth fairy sort out who we will vote for and why, a helpful tool has been developed.

Click the link to take the voting test.

(Click Here to read more)

The Critias fragment

sent in by Ficino

I thought readers of Ex-Christian might be interested in this expression of atheistic sentiment from the 5th cent. BCE in Athens. It's a fragment of the play, Sisyphus, attributed to Critias or Euripides. I'd send it in as a "letter" but I don't know how to do that. I tried sending a message to the webmaster but, as happened at first with my testimony, I don't think it went through. Maybe the Sisyphus fragment isn't germane to the interests of the website, but if you think it is, here's a link to an e-text:

(Click Here to read more)

It sucked

sent in by Lee

I was born into this silly Christian belief system with a catholic mother and protestant father, at the age of about five I was enrolled in a local convent school, naturally inhabited by NUNS aaarg!

These monochromatic creatures despite naming themselves after saints, Mother Malachy, Sister Teresa ect were quite violent in their outlook, being very keen to use the 'strap' a 18 inch monstrosity of quarter inch leather for the slightest infraction. I must have got this about twice a week across the palms of the hands or the calves for about three years. There is just something not right about a seven year old hobbling down a school corridor weeping and repeatedly muttering stuff like 'gentle f*****g Jesus'.

(Click Here to read more)

This is my testimony, not another lecture. I promise

sent in by Lila

Ok, this is my story. I'm really scared as I type this because I've never told it all before. I have a tendency to intellectualize things, roll them over and over in my head, like a rock in a tumbler, until all the feelings have worn off.

I was in foster care when the church got its claws into me. I was six and my mother had put me in care the very day she found out that her boyfriend was having sex with me (on me, more correctly). He had been molesting me from the time I was three and all the things he warned me would happen if I told did happen.

My mother gave me away. She cried a lot and I thought she'd stopped loving me. I was five.

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Becoming Alive Again

sent in by kitty

Unlike many here on this board. I did not grow up in a Christian home. My mother is Buddhist and my father officially Protestant, though he never read the bible or went to church. I converted as a teenager because my very conservative friend seemed to be the most together individual I knew, and I felt like the least together individual (at least that wasn't doing drugs or binge drinking or sleeping with the football team).

The church I attended - and my friend's family, who "discipled" me - were very mission oriented. Sponsoring missionaries, having missionary speakers, mission trips for the high schoolers. The missionaries and their travels to exotic places fascinated me (just like National Geographic and PBS anthropology specials did) and it didn't take me long to come believe that I should be a missionary.

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I continued to believe until I became disgusted

sent in by Viper

Both my mother and Father and all people I knew were Christian. Since my Father was Catholic, I had to be indoctrinated in the Catholic religion. My earliest recollection of doubt occurred when I asked a priest if it was ok to visit my mother's Baptist church. He told me in no uncertain terms that if I did, I would be sinning and would go to hell unless I sat there passively and did not sing, clap or otherwise take part in the service. Now, I want you to know that my mother always was and remains a VERY good, and moral person. For MANY years, she has sponsored children in Africa (she even went to visit her "child" having to climb a mountain to get there). At one point, I even considered studying to become a priest. I'm glad I didn't because after my military life abroad during the Viet Nam war, I used my GI benefits to get a real education in Physics.

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Seeing the Light

sent in by Wayne McCoy

I was brought up in a Southern Baptist family, in the '40s and 50s. My mother's side, with whom we had the most contact, were pretty on being Christian. My grandfather was instrumental in getting the pastor for our church, my mother played the organ and my father sang in the choir. I didn't learn until many years later that my father was not all that strong in his belief. But I think the strongest influence was my grandmother, a daughter of the Old South. In any case, by the time I reached high school, I was teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, going to church about four times a week, praying regularly. I graduated from HS and went off into the Army. For some reason, some of my fellow soldiers saw fit to pick on me, perhaps because I was small. But I had my faith to sustain me. Looking back on it now, I can see that the faith did little to sustain me. I got more help from the black soldiers in my unit, who endured not a little prejudi…

Away with a god invented by preachers...

sent in by anonymous

I remember the day that I asked Jesus to come into my heart. I was walking back from mass on a Wednesday afternoon (I went to the local catholic school) and I must have been around 6 or so. I prayed with all my might, clutching my little worn bible to my chest, opened my heart, and . . . nothing. I remember my distinct feeling of disappointment that nothing "magical" had happened: no miracles, no rush of feeling, no mystical voices or light. And that was the beginning of the end for me. I would ask half-heartedly if I could get baptised and be confirmed, and my mother strictly forbade it. Just wait until you know for sure, she would tell me, wait until you understand a little more about what you are asking.

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Jason Gastrich vs Dan Barker

Jason Gastrich, or someone using that pseudonym, used to post here regularly. I doubt that person really JG because his style differed markedly from the JG represented on sermonaudio.com.

Regardless, I've made an mp3 of Dan Barker's debate with Jason Gastrich available here for those interested. If you do take the time to listen, please leave a comment or two.

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I am Jesus

sent in by Lila

I lost, long ago, my belief in the Christian church. I lost my faith in Jesus and I struggled to maintain, even a glimmer of hope, that God was real at all.

I will never be a Christian again, but I do believe that Jesus really saves.

Christianity is a lie. All churches exploit the teachings of a visionary who opened the path to a garden of thought, hope, love and redemption. You can't save your soul from hell-fire by asking someone (even Jesus) to do it for you.

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A Poem

sent in by anonymous

Speakable Joy I think therefore I am Why should you give a damn Are you jealous that I am free Free like I'm suppose to be Why is your face scary rotten green with envy Afraid of being wrong I see I am Atheist-Humanist standing tall and proud In a large crowd I stand out Because I'm also African-American I escaped mythology's slaveries I love the fact that I abolished them from my system for me Rising out of the ashes into a new birth of Ex-Christianity

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I can only imagine...

If I hear the song I can only imagine one more time, I'm going to be physically ill. Has anyone ever heard of the artist Mercy Me? I personally can't stand him. And of course I hate the song I can only imagine. Well, this is my story. I was raised in church. I got baptized early on. Well, 17 or so. Then I turned 21 and got into partying and did that for a long time. Till about say 28-29. I was just getting too old to be in the clubs with the early 20's bunch. They were starting to laugh. Saying things like "he's the Hulk Hogan of the club scene". Meaning I didn't know when to hang it up. That my time in the clubs had long since passed. And they were right. You're only in your early 20's once. As that bunch of clowns will soon find out when THEY'RE the ones being laughed at for being "too old".

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I'm a Chosen One; I chose to leave

sent in by Ah Haw

I feel that I've wasted 7 years of my life as a Christian. 7 years of suppression of common sense and desperate attempts to rationalize the absurdities of the Bible.

Back in 1998 I was won over by the persistent evangelizing of Christian friends. They sure know how to stress the LOVE of God for me. Since they appeared to be ever so friendly and helpful, I decided to try attending church.
But things went downhill almost from day one when I was converted:

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Are you 100% sure?

sent in by Zoe Grace

Are you 100% sure? Well, I don't know, are you? In this country since most of us have already heard about Jesus and yet there are those of us who think its bullshit, Fundamentalists have taken a new tactic, the "are you 100% sure tactic." They think this will put the fear of god in us. They are mistaken.

For one thing what does 100% sure mean? I'm not even 100% sure my car won't break down on the interstate, but generally it doesn't so I don't worry too much about it. Generally they appeal to Pascal's wager, a faulty piece of logic if ever there was one. They are following the "if I'm right then yay, If I'm wrong, nothing bad will happen." principle.


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How to lose your religion...

sent in by Mark


I was born in Pusan, South Korea (1979) and I was adopted by American parents when I was three years old. My American mom is the type of person that is “spiritual” but not religious. You all know the type. She believes Jesus Christ “saved” her and there is a power greater than she is, but she doesn’t adhere to any one denomination of Christianity. She still has the Protestant Christian biases she learned while growing up Seventh Day Adventist. My father is not very religious but he used to go to church with us and was raised a Catholic.

There are several phases of losing your religion: transition away from a literal interpretation of the Bible, movement toward being “spiritual” and not religious, discovery of logical and factual flaws in the Bible, becoming an apologist, deep skepticism, and finally, agnosticism or atheism.

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A different view of God

sent in by Ravnostic

My story begins with a secular childhood. My mother's family wasn't particularly religious and my dad didn't have time to waste in church, he worked 7 days to put food on the table and wasn't going to piss away 10% to a god he figured didn't need it (god's minions did, though.)

So at about 8 yrs of age we move to Arizona, in Mesa. Mesa in 1975 was nothing but a mormon community, and after a few months dad realized the only way to get by was to join the church. I was baptized at about 8 yrs old or so. Sure enough, dad did well, eventually getting the contract in his field to repair the churches. So having been established, he ceased to go. I was probably 10 or so then.
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So many choices of religion makes the whole "holier than thou" mentality of Christians absolutely arrogant

sent in by Paul

It was a fairly easy choice for me to abandon religion. I've always been an independent thinker. I would (and still) often do things that were against the grain just because they were not what others wanted me to do.

In my early childhood (up to age 7), I enjoyed being Catholic. I liked my little communion book because of the gold edges on the pages. I didn't like the list of cardinal and venial sins at the back of it. There was just too much on the list and if I did any of those things, I certainly wouldn’t want to tell a priest. As for home life, my parents seemed to like each other. They were separated in 1983, but got back together shortly after that. I never liked my parents anyway. They were too mean. I just wanted to do my own thing. I wasn’t much trouble unless I was being told not to do something for a reason that was illogical to me. I loved my grandmother, though. She was, to me, an angel. The nicest person in my world - she …

Christian upbringing's the name, indoctrination's the game

sent in by Simon

If we all get new resurrection bodies when we die as the bible states, why was the tomb empty? What need would the resurrected Jesus have had for his original body?

Oh, where to start? I was taken along to church by my parents. They did what they thought was right. To be honest, apart from the hypocrital, cliquey, gossipy, closed-minded, hermetic, blinkered, black-and-white, headlong, unquestioning, cultish nature of my church, it was OK. It taught me to 'care about poor people', though many church members (especially ones my age and younger) seemingly couldn't care less. So it wasn't all bad in fairness.


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I just could not believe anymore lies

sent in by South2003M

It all started when I was 19. I had just came back from basic training with the Army. I started college (Hunter College, NY) in the Spring of 1987. There, I met my college boyfriend who had another friend. We loved weight lifting and competing in the Body Beautiful club. Suddenly, this friend started changing. He was withdrawn, very emotionless about the sport. He took us to his house one day along with a few others to meet him "preacher" father who led us thru the "sinners prayer". Do I need to go further. I just created my hell if there is one! Anyway, off we go to church. My then boyfriend broke up with me because he was led by god to date this other chick who herself got "saved" We all went to church together.

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Time to Say Yes to Life

It’s been over twenty years since my fervent faith collapsed, and almost fifteen since I stopped going to church altogether. I used to think I could never go on without believing in Christ as my savior. Rarely, I miss it, but I realize it’s the social or emotional trappings-- Christmas carols on an icy night, incense breathed at mass, or tradition and the pull of ideals. I know from reading posts on this website that many people who drop Christianity feel adrift and anxious. From my middle-aged perspective, I haven’t looked back or regretted leaving. I’d make the same decision again and know it was the right one. Christianity was costing me my chance for a human life. The god it represented was unjust. It didn’t live up to what it promised. As a system, it couldn’t be true.

As a young child I was sent to Presbyterian Sunday School by parents who were also into Westernized, Hinduistic practices and ideas like vedantic yoga and reincarnation. I was attracted to God and spiri…

A Good Christian University

My name is Amber and I am pursuing a Master's Degree at a nearby Christian university. When I enrolled as an undergraduate to obtain my Bachelor's Degree, I was a Christian, and happy with my choice. I knew how hypocritical people can be, being a hypocrite myself. I sat in church many times the morning after smoking funny stuff. When I stood up to sing a hymn, my bottom would hurt from having no-no sex. I felt bad for my sins, but knew that God would forgive me. He forgives everything -- so we stay in the shame trap.

I began doubting the Christian religion when I took a course the university required - Christian Biblical Study. I was forced to study the book which held my salvation and my life plan (but like many Christians, read, didn't question, so did not really understand). The teacher of this class was a pastor, and was extremely nice and a smart man. (Not all Christians are bad people, some actually follow the rules and are good people because of them - interp…

Out of the clear blue sky

sent in by clearview

The crystal sky with perfectly puffed clouds refused to speak as I lay on the floor with the rest of my classmates, gazing out the 2nd story windows. In my 11th year (12th If you count kindergarten,) of plaid skirts and nuns, I was suddenly struck by the absence of god.

Our religion teacher had not long since exposed the horrors Christianity had imposed on mankind, and the pagan origins she taught us of the candlesticks, garb, and hoopla that went along with the Catholic faith were still fresh in my mind as I gazed at no god-evidence, but rather the glory of science and pure nature. I cannot help but wonder if our teacher had not presented these things to us in such a way before sending us to muse on the floor in order to expose the folly of our beliefs. Regardless, this moment was my undoing.

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In Memory of Brian

When I was in high school I went to Immanuel Mission Church in Hollywood, FL. In my youth group was a boy named Brian Kang. Brian was not popular with the adults; he was usually in trouble, and the kids teased him for his nonconformity. In my leadership position I could see Brian reach out for the love and sanity that Christ supposedly offered, and heard the pastor tell him it wasn't his until he stopped sinning.

I saw Brian deal with his extremely difficult life, made more difficult by the lack of support and constant condemnation he received from the "family" that supposedly cared. Their best solution was to chastise Brian, cast out his demons, and "pray" for him. I never saw anyone share genuine care for him in my time at that church. When I think back I see how obvious it was then what the outcome would be.

I learned just yesterday that Brian killed himself.

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My Story of Becoming a Person

sent in by inini

My story might be a little long, but I thank WebMaster Dave for allowing me to tell it, and I thank those of you who might read it. I have been reading this website for many months and have gained some peace of mind that there are many people like me who are living without the faith (that’s “crutch”) we have depended on for so long.

I believed it hook, line and sinker until I was 48 years old. Before that, I began to question the validity of religion when a friend of mine, a Protestant minister, introduced me to the concept that women are due the same respect as men. Of course, most of the Bible doesn’t make any sense in this regard, so I started to substitute the language of faith with more inclusive terms, just to myself. Things like saying “kindom” instead of “kingdom” and “god” instead of “father.” It bothered me that so few other people in my mainline Protestant community would dare to admit out loud that the world of patriarchal religion was unfair …

America’s Protestant majority is fading, University of Chicago research shows

The increasing secularization of American society has taken a particular toll on Protestant identity, presenting the prospect that after more than 200 years of history, the United States may soon no longer be a majority Protestant country, according to a new study by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.

The percentage of the population that is Protestant has been falling and will likely fall below 50 percent by mid-decade and may be there already, the research reported.

From 1972 until 1993 the Protestant share of the population remained stable. But then a decline set in. In 1993, 63 percent of Americans were Protestant, but by 2002, the number was 52 percent, NORC research found. During the same time, the number of people who said they had no religion went up from 9 percent to nearly 14 percent.

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Guilt

I found this site by chance which was amazing because only yesterday I was beginning to feel frustrated and hopeless that I could ever shake the guilt and pain from 6 years of Catholic school, Church, and a strict Irish-Catholic father. I believe everyone's entitled to their own beliefs, but, at 19, I've decided that the Catholic beliefs aren't for me anymore. I think of religion as a personal truth, not a universal truth (as many Christians believe it is), and for me it contradicts a lot of other personal beliefs I have about life. I find it difficult to shake the guilt sometimes, especially since I began having panic attacks - and the irrational, guilty Catholic voice within tries to make me feel as if it is some sort of divine punishment or whatever. I was raised to believe that God only punished bad people, and yet I've been dealing with crap since I was too young too remember. My father thinks everyone's a sinner, so I guess it doesn't make a difference wh…

Life is a lie

I was brought up by my mother to go to church, and when to a Christian primary school, however I began questioning my faith as early as nine. At that time we learning about other religions and so I began wondering if my religion was the 'true' religion. I gave up questioning and on Christianity until I was 12 years old. At 12 I went to a Christian youth event. It was the first time I had enjoyed anything Christian based, and was amazed at how young people could be so passionate about God. This convicted me that it was true, and I felt overwhelmed with emotion (which at that time I concluded was the presence of God). I gave my heart to God that night.

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The Sign of the Cross

© 2004 by Tim Simmons

“All right, Mommy, just be patient.”

Outside the run-down shack that Lottie Moore calls home, the mid-summer air begins to cool slightly as the remaining rays of sunlight recede into the Mississippi night, draining the warm pastel orange from each cloud. Shadowy mountains emerge from the distance, as if summoned by some unseen signal. A distant blue-white flash on the horizon briefly illuminates a wooden cross affixed to the top of the roof.

“It won’t be long now, Mommy.”
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Ideas Have Consequences

"...and be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds," - Apostle Paul.

One argument to which Christians are prone to resort revolves around the concept that without a Christian worldview, moral chaos is the result.

To a degree they are correct - what we mold our minds with will certainly influence our behavior.

Let me explain by relating something I heard on the radio today. The sister-in-law of Osama Ben Laden gave an insightful interview into the mind of an Islamic Fundamentalist on public radio. She has been separated from her husband for 16 years and has adopted a western life-style in part because of the Islamic marginalizing of women. For instance, she talked of how her brother-in-law Osama would not look at her or speak to her because for a man to look upon or speak to his brother's wife is a sin. Since Osama believed speaking to or looking on his brother's wife was a sin, he refused to acknowledge her at all.


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Rude and Unprofessional

Although I am encouraged that there is a website such as this that has so much potential to support those of us departing a certain religion, I am equally discouraged that there is a high level of disrespectful, discourteous and even ignorant content and comment in this website.

Atheists, agnostics, etc all live by faith - a foundational belief that what they hold to is right and true. You may want to pretend this is not the case, but that doesn't change this fact. To ridicule, marginalize or in any other way castigate another person for their faith is wrong.


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An illustrated Guide to religious and philosophical architecture

(i.e, me resorting to dumbing down my attempts to educate the masses my including crude little drawings, to delight and stimulate their little minds.)
by A. Uiet Bhor



My attempts to explain the inherent problems with religion and the urgency of embracing a secular ethical system usually results in a prolonged rant that is dismissed by theists as the ramblings of a disgruntled atheist. In an attempt to demonstrate my thinking on such matters I will keep this brief and include visual demonstrations of why I consider all religion irredeemable, and what actually makes a decent ethical philosophy.


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The Truth Is Forbidden

"For we were little Christian children and early learned the value of forbidden fruit."
- Mark Twain

For some reason, the above quote really resonates with me. Growing up in a strict homeschooling Christian household with church as my main -- woefully inadequate -- social outlet, I always liked the forbidden things more than those that were officially endorsed. So clearly, I differ with American Christianity as to what is really important in life. Why does God want us bowing to, praying to, and worshipping him all the time? Wouldn't he rather have us enjoy the world he created for us, and enjoy our fellow human beings? To be hyper-religious is to miss the point of life. I believe religion should make our lives better; to spend a life in service of religion makes no sense to me, and could never make me happy.

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Still Struggling

sent in by Lynne Fisher

Hi,

I am so glad to have found this site. I enjoy reading the postings. In my mind, I have dropped Christianity completely, and for good. The problem is I think it is ingrained in my personality. (Just for the record, I do see a shrink). My boss referred to me as "her holiness," and I am frequently told I am "too good" or "too Catholic."

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RECOVERY FROM RELIGIOUS ABUSE

By Eric Merrill Budd (sent in by Jeff Reid)

What happens to individuals who have been psychologically
abused and morally betrayed by fundamentalist cultic religious
groups? how can they recover from the damage done? Physically
leaving such a group is relatively easy, but the emotional and
psychological departure can take months or even years. This is
why many people do not understand how any person can stay
within a situation of religious abuse - much the same way that
people fail to see how battered women stay with their abusers.

(Click Here to read more)

Free at Last

sent in by Lavonne

My husband made me aware of this site almost a year ago. It was a "testimony" he showed me today that convinced me it was time for me to share.

I was always aware of heaven and hell/angels and demons - the conflict for my soul that I would need to heed lest I suffer torment for all eternity.

My earliest memory is of a tornado threatening just before my 5th birthday. Mom assured me that, if a tornado did strike, I would be in heaven for my birthday. I wanted a cake and presents.

I responded to my first altar call when I was 7 years old.

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Death of an atheist

by A. Uiet Bhor

I am often confronted by those who ask me whether I think about death, especially as I regard it as the final curtain. Some theists find the idea quite terrifying, I personally think about it very little if at all, I fully intend to die when I am old enough, but until then I see no reason to dwell on the subject.

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Add-ons - the contradictory peripheral extensions to core doctrine

Or, my salute to fundamentalists
A. Uiet Bhor

Part one

Religions starts out as a series of theological and moral, and occasionally historical, "truths" that eventually become the faith's core doctrine. It is a haphazard process, with various ideologies competing either intellectually or physically, the end result is an amalgamation of sometimes contradictory ideas that are rationalised into one supreme voice of authority.


(Click Here to read more)

Awakening

by A. Uiet Bhor

In the old days there were atheists aplenty, but they always seem to lose out against the theists, because they had nothing to offer, no hope, no immortality, no nice gods to worship. The problem was that, although these critical thinkers had through reason, philosophical analysis and just plain intelligence realised that the truth was not in religion, they didn't know where the truth was Many didn't know whether to trust the thoughts of the meta-physicians or the empirical thinkers, or simply practical observation, they had yet to formulate a formal scientific discipline, and many were bamboozled by the likes of Aristotle.

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When you find youself in a hole, stop digging

sent in by Willem Kortekaas

My Testimony to Ex-testimony (the encapsulated version)

To begin, I wasn’t always a Christian. I do not come from a Christian family. The only contact I had with any religion or interpretation of life to begin with was what our state school called “Religious Education”. It was far more like Christian Education.

Anyhow, So I got through primary school relatively sound. Yet for a higher education my parents decided to send me to a Private School, and where I lived only had religious private schools. Turns out I had to go to a school called Nambour Christian Collage (NCC).

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Charismatic complications

sent in by Ben Milligan

First of all, I want to thank the webmaster for putting a site together like this one where I can vent my story. Five years ago I would have shuddered if I came across a site such as this, and rightfully so considering what my upbringing initially instilled in me. Anything that isn't Christian, is of the "world", and therefore, of the devil. Fear was the most influential instrument convincing me as a child that there is no other whole truth except 'gods word' and Christianity. That said, I'll draw the background...

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How Religion Almost Ruined My Life

sent in by Frank Henry Pecenka

How 14 years of religion almost destroyed my life.
Testimony of Frank Pecenka, Canada

Hi my name is Frank Pecenka and I have a testimony that 14 years within organized religion almost destroyed my life and my family. My wife and I started out with a sincere desire to know and to please God but something went terribly wrong over the years and in the end I turned my back on God, The Church and Organized Religion.

I finally came to that place where I found that I was emotionally, spiritually and financially bankrupt having exhausted all of my resources trying to make my skewed faith work.

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I love Jesus (and Athena, and Ishtar, and Cerridwen, and Pan...)

sent in by Jordan Hill

I come from rational-minded, Pennsylvania protestants. My mother's father was an Episcopalian priest who happened to be homosexual. He integrated his church and was leading the push to allow women to join the clergy. We also suspect he was a Mason. My father's father was a brilliant Presbyterian preacher with a pHd in Middle Eastern religion. He deliberately sought out fundamentalist leaning congregations in an attempt to pull Christianity out of the fringes of lunacy. He is retired and now he spends his time working with congregations in Columbia trying to help the people who have been affected by the (US sponsored) guerrillas.

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Religion ruined my child hood, it almost set me back in life

sent in by Eric

How religion ruined my childhood and what I did about it

I stated out living on the north end of town in Huntsville Al. This was not the good end to say the least. I went to a mostly black public school. I was the only white kid in class and did not learn much there. It was a very bad environment or you would think. I guess my parents got sick of me getting beat up and not learning anything. My parents decided to enroll me into a private Baptists school when I was in the 2nd grade. That was the worst thing that they did for my.

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Humanism Posters

A. Uiet Bhor, one of the regular members of this site, has provided us with some images and posters celebrating Humanism.

Check them out in the gallery by clicking HERE

Any comments may be left in the gallery under each poster, and unless I misunderstood, the images are free to copy and distribute.

Thanks for reading.

sent in by anonymous

Spent most of my life as an agnostic, irreligious, or one who thinks maybe there is a God but had the Deist way of looking at it. I for one should had known better than to get involved with with any church but I found myself doing just that.

My odessey began when I read on the importance of Christianity in Western philosophy and even some virulent atheists will admit it. The conservative philosopher George Santayana was both a practicing Catholic and an avowed atheist for instance. At the time I was into reading alot of Dostoevsky and was struck by his argument that to believe that God exists is essential because the fabric of society cannot hold without it. Gradually my mindset became that of a *cultural Christian apologist* though retained my skepticism. Then I decided to find a church and go through the motions...

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My personal Exodus

sent in by anonymous

I've devoured the information and the de-conversion stories on this website.

I was born and raised an Evangelical Presbyterian. I was taught that the Bible was the inerrant rule and faith for our belief (that's how my last Presbyterian pastor began every sermon). I remember one morning in Sunday school when I was a little girl that our elderly Sunday School teacher, after relating the story of Adam and Eve, looked around at all of us and said "You girls need to be ashamed of what Eve did."

I really did feel ashamed too!

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Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story (2000)

Richard Carrier

What follows is a half-hour lecture I gave at Yale on 26 October 2000 at the request of the Yale College Humanists and Secularists. It was followed by a Q & A session that actually lasted nearly two hours. I have subsequently been asked to give this lecture elsewhere on other occasions, so I am reproducing it here, with hyperlinked footnotes in brackets giving more detail than I am able to give in the lecture itself. Though it shares the same title as the much-longer essay here, it is not the same paper, but actually a synthesis of several papers I have published here, and including entirely new arguments and information. It is worth reading on its own, in addition to or even in lieu of the much lengthier essay also called Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story.



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From Christian to Pagan to Christian and back to Pagan again

sent in by Cierra

-Christianity-

I was raised a Baptist Christian, and at the age of 9, I was baptized (completely by choice). I was sincerely excited, and I truly did want to pursue a relationship with "Jesus Christ", and I wanted to receive the "Holy Spirit". And so that was my goal. I did eventually "receive the Holy Spirit", ...but a lot more things have happened before, AND after the experience...

I wanted so much to receive the Holy Spirit...but my first attempt failed. I went to church, and prayed in a room with other young believers who had wanted to receive the "Holy Spirit" as well. A woman was here in the room with all of us, and told us to pray "Thank you Jesus", over and over and over. It's what I was doing, but nothing happened.

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Happy Fourth Everyone!

My Rise to Christianity and Transcendence From It

by Winston

Dear All,
Here is my story about how I became a Christian, what I went through later and how I finally got through and transcended my beliefs. I have shared a lot of personal things in this that I've never shared with anyone before. Originally I had not meant for it to be this long, so I apologize for that. But while I was writing it, I felt like I was reliving all those suppressed memories again and so lots of details came out of my mind that I had to write. Several times I had to stop and pause for a moment because those memories brought back a lot of overwhelming emotions and I felt on the verge of tears. But I'm glad that I finally wrote it all out cause I have been meaning to for a long time. It also felt therapeutic to me to write this all out too. I stayed up almost all night for 2 nights writing this. I hope maybe you the reader may be able to get some kind of lesson out of it, whatever it may be.

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STOP In The Name of God...You Have The Right to Remain Christian

by Matt Scheeren (mattisdx at hotmail dot com)

Today I was walking downtown in the streets of Pittsburgh, when I came across a nice older gentleman handing out Christian End of the World Apocalyptic literature. While at the time I didn’t think this was so out of place, later I got to thinking, what if this man had been Muslim? And what if the literature he had been handing out cited passages from the Koran and talked about “The End Times”. BAM! This guy would have automatically been labeled a terrorist, arrested, and thrown in some rudimentary prison cell while being harassed and harangued by armed guards and police dogs.

Why is it that in today’s society it seems so taboo to be anything but Christian ? Could it be because our founding fathers were Christian ?

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Nineteen Eighty-Four; Big Brother and Jehovah

sent in by Deamond

I've been reading the book Nineteen eighty-Four by George Orwell. (it's interesting to read a sci-fi novel about a Distopian future that happened when I was three years old.) I think in many ways the book could be seen as an Atheistic allegory.

Big Brother's face exists everywhere. He sees all, he knows all, he can almost read minds, he is all-powerful, his enemies are tortured and are then erased ("vaporised" is the word used in the book) from all existence including past existence. They never existed. Big Brother can even change the past. And does, all the time.

Yet, most likely, Big brother himself probably doesn't exist, I think he's probably just a cartoon character, like Uncle Sam, used to represent the Inner Party.

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Heretic Heart

sent in by Bill Baker

I remember that glorious day! Enshrouded by nothing but darkness, shoved about by powerful forces unseen! I lifted my head from the blackness towards the blinding light; gasping for air, i tried to cry. Suddenly,as from nowhere a firm,but gentle,huge hand connected with me. With that I uttered "waahhh, waahhh"!!!

No, that was not my Christian rebirth story. That was the story of the day I was born. Actually, I don't remember the day I was born; I hardly remember this morning! However, it seemed like a humorous intro.

So, four score and seven years ago...er,I mean 25 years ago, I was brought forth into this shithole of brainwashing.

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The lies the Catholic church fed me

sent in by Laura

I was born in a strict Catholic family and to a father that still attends church regularly and a mother that is atheist. So of coarse they HAD to have me baptized to clean off the original sin so I wouldn't burn in hell!

My brother and I had to go to Sunday school weekly and when I was eight I made my First Communion. I was fed the typical lies that the church teaches you like that Eve was born from Adam's rib or Jesus rose from his grave after being dead for 3 days.


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Abstinence is the only true perversion

sent in by Bill

I tried to tell my story, but it was taking way too long, and being a nihilist, I simply don't care enough to write that long. I do,however, care enough to rant for a minute or two.

I was born a Christian.

I was a sheep until the age of 22.

I started to think, (the process of obtaining a graduate degree helped.)

I started to question religion and found way too many contradictions as well as violence, obscenity, and just plain bullshit, that held little to no value for modern life.

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Where the rollercoaster ends

sent in by Charles

There was a time when I wasn’t sure of what I believed or who I was, that time is now over. The twisting ride has ended and has taught me a few things about the church and people, which I want to share with you.

Many of the world’s problems are wrapped in ignorance and a hunger for power and control. At every turn and corner of the world, people are suppressed and manipulated. Although not applying to all men, it is the common thread throughout this world that needs mentioning.

Bias is everywhere and bondage is just another sermon sold in many folds of religious propaganda. Well meaning tyrants smile and seek your love while they promise security and hope, felling to deliver either, whether being sincerely wrong or having that knowledge and purpose for that very end. We receive neither love, nor hope, but a loss of freedom to think for our selves and a fear to live apart from our spiritual aggressors or government.

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Trust in God and it will work itself out

By Caroline Singer

This is a story of how I am finally able to shed the last of the xian brainwashing that was inflicted on me as a child. It's long, it rambles, and it's almost 3000 words. But it helps me to write it, and I hope that some of you will have the patience to read it. Any words of encouragement from a fellow nonbeliever will be welcome.

From as far back as I can remember, I was taken to sunday school and then church by my mother. My mother was not especially religious herself -- I think she brought me there because it was the "right" thing to do and to give me something of a social life. My church was Northern Baptist, more or less the same vanilla Xian of all the other Protestant churches around -- the Methodists, the Congregationalists, and so on. Our town was maybe 3/4 Protestant and 1/4 Catholic. As far as I knew, my church was "Protestantism Lite." The emphasis was on living a good life. The mystical stuff was there, but I don't …

TOP TEN SIGNS YOU'RE A (CHRISTIAN) FUNDAMENTALIST

(found on www.evilbible.com)

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of
gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when
someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists
say that people evolved from other life forms, but you
have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were
created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem
believing in a Triune God.

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Lee Strobel IS the GOSPEL!!!

I am tired of hearing Lee Strobel's book touted as the absolute final Christian apologetic word on logically "PROVING" the validity of the Christian religion.

When will Christians figure out that apologetic works like this are not aimed at the unconverted but are written with the intention of assuaging the doubts of the "true believer?" It is the "true believers" who buy and read nearly all apologetic literary attempts. They are written by and for people who want to believe, but are fighting with "doubts" otherwise known as having a brain.

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Story of De-Conversion

sent in by Alan Koch

I’ve been putting this testimony – or rather “de” testimony off for sometime now. Ever since first coming across this site and dwelling into the numerous stories of de-conversion, I have pondered whether I would share my own. Keep it to myself, or share it? I do sincerely believe that this is a matter I should share as to get it off my chest. And also, for the additional purpose of motivating any others who are or would desire a break from Christianity.

I do suppose it started in late summer 2000 – the summer after my sophomore year and before my junior. Perhaps I was chosen by God (highly unlikely), but for some reason I became interested in the Christian faith. I believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God; that He died for the sins of mankind; that He was resurrected from the dead; that He was born of a virgin birth; and finally, that I needed to call Him into my heart so I could be forgiven, and be able to go to heaven.

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Tired of Feeling Guilty

sent in by Eddie

Hello fellow freethinkers:

My story starts when I first attended a church in San Dimas in 2000. Liked the group, the singing, the atmosphere. But I always afraid I wouldn't "fit in". The people at the San Dimas church has been kind and friendly (not pushy) to me. My troubles began when I joined a youth group at a make-shift church in Pomona.

Why did I want to go through this? I thought a deity (God) would enrich and enlighten me. Maybe it is the lure of instant gratification after seeing people (supposedly) have problem-free lives because of Jesus. After all, the Bible told stories how people were magically cured by Jesus. I was looking for the magic. At this point I already beat a bout of depression and I was tired of thinking that God was just an angry one.

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Still Struggling

So for a while now I’ve been struggling with my faith. The best way that I know how to describe it is that I don’t know where exactly to place it in. I’ve done one of these testimonies before and in it I’ve mentioned how I do believe in God and I do believe that everything is possible through him and such, but lately I cant help but feel like God has abandoned me in so many ways (when in my heart of hearts I know that I’m the one that abandoned him). I just really hate the state of my life right now, I feel this longing inside me and this feeling of emptiness. This void that has become so obvious since Elizabeth has broken up with me (which I mentioned in my last testimony). She has told me before that in some ways maybe I tried to fill a void that was already there with her, and maybe she’s right, I really don’t know. These past couple of months I’ve felt so lonely and so………I don’t even know whats the right word for it.

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God Hates You!

sent in by Brett Keane

The first time I questioned the faith was when my grandmother shrivaled up in front of me for 6 month’s due to cancer. I was 13 & my mother & father was getting a divorce. My father told me i should have been aborted. I prayed to God but nothing fails like prayers. I continued going to church mostly because i felt i could help people with food. My desire was to help people in need. I was put out of a church because i argued with the preacher about giving food to a woman with 5 kids.

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My Myth

sent in by BeMuseMe

I was born in the peak year of the baby boom way down south and half way west in BIG D near ground zero of the Military Industrial Republic of Texas. My father was a Constable On Patrol from exactly the day before I was born. He was just a big ole country boy off the farm in the big bad sinful city with his sweetly naive teen bride at his side.

I am sure I was in church by the time I was a week old. In those early years church amounted to playing with others kids. I was exposed to both the city life and country life. My grand parents on both sides were southern baptist and there I got that old time bible thumpin off key singing fire and brimstone style religion. While back in the city it was a bit more laid back liberal free wheeling just say no gimme a hug see ya in church? kinda show. It was just a part of my life that I payed little attention to. I was loved and the wonderous world was mine.

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