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Showing posts from January, 2004

Forced into Line

sent in by Neil Sweeney

I was brought up in a predominately Roman Catholic upper middle class family, we where all Irish (me, my brother and my sister where the only ones born and raised in England). My mum and my mum's mum where the only authoritarian people in my family that weren’t Catholics, mainly because my Nan’s first husband died and she started losing her faith and she divorced again and the church wouldn’t let her back in (not all forgiveness now is it?). My mum followed my Nan and together they became spiritualist - kind of like Catholics but very reformed and more open to ideas and other religions.

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I no longer need to live a lie

sent in by James

I too, am a non-believer. I have lived in the south all my life but was not raised in a religious environment. My ethnicity is half-Japanese, half-Caucasian. I do not look Asian, so all my life I have lived as a white man. My beloved mother was the Japanese military wife of my father who is a southern Alabama native. Although my father was raised in the Bible belt, there was not practiced religion in our home. My mother never forced me to learn any of her beliefs, but told me of her experiences in Japan. Buddhism and Shintoism were the prevailing beliefs that she had been introduced to. She had a hard life as a child in post-WW2 Japan, but she taught me that love for family and one another is paramount. My brother was born when I was ten with Down’s syndrome. My father took several tours of duty overseas, but we stayed stateside. The burden on my mother was tortuous. Nevertheless, she managed to learn the American language, culture, how to drive, and even got her GED…

Why I am no longer a christian

sent in by Steve

Where to start-I was "converted" to christianity at the young age of 13, when kids who became teenagers should be out enjoying life. I got all crazy for christ and all, then that started 6 or 7 years of my life being assimilated in the "christian borg".

Later on in my my life as a "babe in christ", my dad started telling me that i should start tithing. Being a blind christian, i did so.

In the summer of my transition of my 8th-9th grade year (keep in mind I went to public schools) I went to this "youth conference" not far from me. Nothing more than a bunch of fascist old men who never had a life preaching to teenagers about how bad they are and if they dont stop with their ways, god will punish them.

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Reflections on a Mote of Dust

sent in by Fweethawt

"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

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Confessions of a former Calvinist fundy

sent in by "Now a Freethinker"

Ah, where to begin. Prior to my momentous conversion to the faith, I was just your average high-school grad about to enter university. I supposed I would have classed myself as "Christian" at the time, although I didn't read the bible, go to church or anything. I imagine many people classify themselves in a similar manner.

Then, I went to university. I don't know the cause, exactly. Maybe it was
fear, and loneliness at being away from home? Initially I was drawn to
Roman Catholicism simply because of the pomp and ritual. It gave me a sense
of comfort and belonging.

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Viruses of the Mind

by John J. Palazzini

In his essay, "Viruses of the Mind", biologist Richard Dawkins described religion as a virus. A traditional virus is a sequence of genetic information that invades an organism and uses the resources of that organism to further replicate itself; likewise, a memetic virus is a sequence of information, an idea, that invades a human's brain and replicates itself via that brain's communication with other brains. In order to be successful, a memetic virus must readily copy itself and resist removal from its host. The idea of God, an omnipotent, eternal being who demands worship from humans, is the shining example of such a virus. This viral nature of God ensures that the idea will continue to cripple mankind and prevent progress for as long as we exist.

Religions, which can be thought of as variations of the God virus, command their hosts to "spread the good news" to other brains. While it is true that there can be religions that do not seek t…

Bible God's Justice

Wagner-Modified Houts Questionnaire

It's been awhile since I was part of the Assemblies of God, and it appears they are getting more odd year by year. I suppose it is only natural that they develop increasingly weird programs, if for no other reason, than to stave off the boredom of banging the same old drum week after week.

In a vain attempt to reduce the mechanics of Christian service into something that ignorant parishioners can latch onto, the big book of lies (BiBLe) has been relegated to second place in favor of, shall we call it: "the scientific method?"

Well, there is no science in it, but it does make for some interesting reading.

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Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain....

sent in by Fox Mackenzie

I never really concerned myself overmuch with the details of the faith I belonged to, I just knew CCD school (still don't know what those initials stand for) was nothing but glorified brainwashing, and I was sick and tired of watching grainy filmstrips about the life of saints. I made my first communion, and all I remember about it was a little song-and-dance routine they made us do, and frolicking through a field of dandelions with my friend Erin, dressed in white and wearing my mother's wedding veil and a circlet of satin rosebuds around a statue of Mary, which in retrospect seems like a pretty pagan thing to do, ironically.

Aside from the decidedly cardboard-like taste of communion wafers, I didn't take anything upon leaving the faith that I hadn't brought with me, through common sense, into it.

So why'd I leave? Simple. I made a deal with god, he reneged, so I up and left...

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I do believe in God

Hi, Was perusing your website, and for some reason, felt compelled to write you.

As a professional with a post-graduate education, I can appreciate your admittedly intelligent discussions in many of the "controversial" areas that so often become arguments about religion.

You seem to have a reasonable understanding of logic and the correct use of the word "fallacy". I too believe it is important to not throw our brains out the window. Scientific method is not "evil". My entire career is based on evidence and science, because I make diagnoses under the microscope every day.

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At first I was mad...

sent in by Kevin Haas

At first I was mad, I've been lied to my whole life about this god/supreme being. Told I had to follow this one account of someone else's life. Argh!

I am here to tell you that I no longer accept it, I am no longer mad, but rather now I feel sorry for those still stuck. It is a little like escaping from the “matrix.” I want to free other minds, but most are not ready to be freed. They are too dependent. I have often thought this maybe that is one of the hidden messages behind the Matrix movie.

I was raised Catholic. I was even an alter boy; not abused by a priests (as far as I can remember.) I never once attended mass on my own after my parents stopped forcing me because I did not live under their roof. That was not the point where I “lost the faith”, but it certainly seemed like going to church on Sunday was a waste of time. I don't blame my parents they were just passing what had been done to them.

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Ten questions presented to Christians

I recently read the Ten questions presented to Christians. I thought I'd give a shot at answering them if you're actually interested in hearing. I warn that it will be a long explanation, however, you did ask the questions.

1. Where is the justice in punishing us for Adam's sin? If the bible itself says that children will not be punished for the parent's sins (Deut. 24:16) That particular reference in Deuteronomy was pertaining to to law codes of the ancient near east, in some cases a son was permitted to be put to death in place of his father (e.g. Code of Hammurabi, Law 230), though again, no court records indicate that this was ever enforced. MOSES forbade such practices: each is to die for his own sin... I suppose I'll start by answering another question first. It's actually the second question asked. How could Adam and Eve ever have sinned if God actually created them perfect, even if they did have free will? If God created them imperfect, how could a perfe…

Hunters in the Woods

Hello, my name is Colin Benson. I wrote the following story this evening after reading a slightly similar story from a joke book. I hope you like it, you may post this story on your website if you wish

Two deer hunters get lost in the woods only a mile apart during a cool autumn day. One of them is an atheist, the other is a christian. Both have some experience with the outdoors. Both have survival gear, maps, food and so forth in their packs and both live alone in cabins with no contact with the outside world, so there is little hope of and type of rescue.

The atheist says to himself "OK, I'm lost. There is no need for me to panic. I will use my map, compass and outdoor experience to find my way home again." He starts off towards the north where he thinks Red lake is located.

The Christian says to himself "OK, I'm lost. My only hope is to pray for God's help." He gets down on his knees and begins praying.

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An ex pentacostal

sent in by Andy

I'm glad I've found this site because I was raised a christian and I've goten really annoyed because of christianity. Here in the UK a lot of people do beleive in god but they don't read the bible or go to church so they don't really understand why I get so annoyed because of it. My dad has been a pentacostal preacher since before I was born and I was always told to go to church and sunday school (where my dad taught) since I was very young.

Most of the people I knew at church were very nice and they tried their best to teach us the morals in the bible (as well as trying to edit out the rape and intolerance). I started to wonder if the bible is completely true. I kept hearing about dinosaurs living millions of years before humans, the ice age and cave men. They didn't seem to be shown in the bible and I also started to wonder how every race could of originated from adam and eve. I didn't think about it too much but eventually I realised that …

Robertson says God says Bush will win

By Associated Press in the Oakland Times

NORFOLK, Va. -- Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Friday he believes God has told him President Bush will be re-elected in a "blowout" in November.

"I think George Bush is going to win in a walk," Robertson said on his "700 Club" program on the Virginia Beach-based Christian Broadcasting Network, which he founded. "I really believe I'm hearing from the Lord it's going to be like a blowout election in 2004. It's shaping up that way."

Robertson told viewers he spent several days in prayer at the end of 2003.

"The Lord has just blessed him," Robertson said of Bush. "I mean, he could make terrible mistakes and comes out of it. It doesn't make any difference what he does, good or bad. God picks him up because he's a man of prayer and God's blessing him."

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Pastoral Medicine

Back around 1994 I began deputation ministry for my denomination in order to go to Chile as a church planter. As I began traveling (about 6000 miles per month) I began gaining weight. About this time my wife reported that my snoring had also increased. In short, I simply didn't feel well.

I went to my pastor for counseling. He said "Kevin, you look like you're gaining weight. And you look tired. How is your prayer life?" I told him that it "wasn't what it ought to be." He then told me how prayer would help me handle stress, blah blah blah.

Of course, being the dutiful drone, I bought it. But not a whole lot changed. I went to Chile, lost weight, and was able to take a siesta in the afternoon. During periods of heightened stress I would snore terribly, and my wife began to notice me gasping breath in my sleep.

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Encouraging de-converting and former Christians

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