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Showing posts from February, 2004

25 Years Wasted

sent in by William H. Pratt

I grew up in church, but it didn't really "take" until I was 17. At that dramatic "turning-point" time in my life, I was very emotional, no real direction in my life, and one night when I was at home all alone, I dropped to my knees and Received Jesus as my Savior and Lord, amen.

Over the next three decades, I memorized hundreds of Bible verses. I taught Sunday School classes. I collected 22 different translations of the Bible. When that wasn't enough for me, I learned Greek and Hebrew so that I wouldn't have to rely on translations (Greek, by the way, is MUCH more difficult than Hebrew).

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Kill Christ

Okay, I suppose we can't ignore it anymore.

Mel Gibson pulled down 20 million dollars on the first day of showing, and it was a Wednesday - Ash Wednesday by some strange coincidence. By the end of this weekend he should be well into the black with his fascinating portrayal of some guy being tortured to death.

What? Someone making a profit off of religion? How long has this been going on?

(Click Here to see a cool trailer of the movie and make your comments.)

Lost By The Wayside

sent in by mynameisnotbob

I, like a good many people on this site, was born as a Christian. My parents are into it in a fairly big way- my dad is, bless his heart, a fundamentalist wacko since his semi-midlife crisis; I don't entirely blame him- he needed a release from his stressful and demeaning job, and religiousness is at least less destructive than blowing my family's savings on a sports car or something. My mom is tied up in the social aspects and the like (she actually works as our church's treasurer) even if she doesn't agree with everything. She has a wonderfully open mind and has inspired me to the same, though religion and I do not get along, it seems. My church is an unusual one; I am, or was, a Quaker, or a member of a Friends Church, as we liked to call ourselves to dodge the somewhat anachronistic connotation of the former. I still rather respect the denomination, though at this point I consider the underlying aspects of all Christianity rather silly...

(C…

Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought

sent in by Phoenix

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
-Bertrand Russell

when i was young, my family was not religious. granted, we went to church and i attented a catholic school, but we never really discussed god too much. when i was eight, we moved to another city. a few years later, my mother had pains with her back and was forced to be bedridden. it was at this time she became closer to god. and that's when hell started.

for the next few years, everything was all right. we did have some disagreements on theology, as i was a scientific child and she was now a devout catholic, who took the bible literally. my interest in other religions began to grow.


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Never a real fundie, just a "wannabe"

sent in by Cabin Fever

My story probably isn't as exciting as a lot of others I've read here. And I guess that makes me the lucky one! You see, I never really was a fundie, just a fundie "wannabe" for a while. I was raised American Baptist, which is a rather liberal denomination as far as Baptists go. I don't recall anyone there ever talking about the need to be "saved", or threatening us with Hell if we didn't believe the right way. In fact, our pastor quoted existentialists like Paul Tillich about as much as he quoted scripture in his sermons. Baptism at age 10 or 11 was more of a "rite of passage", rather than some huge, life-changing event. Anyway, I did all the usual church stuff - Sunday school, choir, youth group, & poured coffee at more church suppers than I care to remember! In all, it was a pretty secure, comfortable, "safe" place to be. (Then again, it was about all I'd ever known.) And living in a rural area m…

...god who gave me this new found power

sent in by Nikki

First, I would like to start off by saying that I am no where nearly as knowledgeable about the bible or Christianity as those I’ve observed on this site. I have been involved in many different faiths and sects of the Christian religion.

My mother was a free spirit raised in a Catholic family. My dad was a drunken druggie who came from a drunken family. He was never around though so, that’s it about him. When I was born my Grandmother begged my Mom to have me baptized, and my Mom refused. She told my Grandmother that she wanted me to be able to make my own decision about religion. I was still raised in Catholic Tradition, that is, Latino Catholic Traditions. Latino Catholicism seems a lot more superstitious, I guess a mix of indigenous rituals of the Aztecs and the Spanish Christianity that was forced upon them.


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Jesus was not enough?!?

sent in by Maddie

My deconversion came about quite accidentally. I was happily conducting my life in blind faith, and was made quite ecstatic by the idea of gouging the proverbial eyes out of intellectually functional non-believers.

I am the youngest of six kids born to missionary parents. Their only hope for all of us was that we would take up the torch of truth and become missionaries for the Lord in some exotic and distant land - Even more enticing was the idea of being martyred by spear-toting tribal people we may one day be translating the Bible for. Physical death was secondary, these heathens would thank us in heaven one day and we would receive our jeweled crowns.


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YOU DON'T CHOOSE TO BECOME AN ATHEIST

sent in by David McCord

My mother and I were charter members of a Congregational Church in Lincoln, NE. She was a very devout Christian and insisted that I always attend church with her. My father never went to Church. He believed in God, but had a problem with the methods used in organized religion.

In 1963, while working on my Boy Scout God and Country award (these were quite rare back then), I was required to study the world's great religions. The more questions I asked, the less sense the answers made. Faith does not stand up well to questions. Eventually, I became agnostic. I no longer accepted the "truths" that were preached from the pulpit.

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From Catholic to Cynic

sent in by Casey

I was adopted into a Catholic family shortly after I was born. I was an only child, and I grew up in the bush (in the US you'd call it the sticks or the boondocks). We ran sheep, and I still run about 5,000 on 7,000 acres.My mother and father were both Catholics, but as the one was of Scots descent and the other Irish, they argued a lot, sometimes violently.

It didn't help matters that my mother was mentally ill, and had been institutionalised for it. My Dad tried his best, but he hadn't the skill to cope, and his beliefs precluded divorce. It was about then I started having doubts. Praying to God for some break in the endless arguments didn't work, he was twice as deaf as a post.

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Enlightenment From The Father....

sent in by Colin Wright

I was brought up Catholic. We’ve got the VHS tape of my baptism, we’ve got little certificates saying that, yes, I did indeed go through my First Communion. I went to a private Catholic school in California before moving to Missouri, and I think that was the biggest ingraining factor for the longest time. The fact that all my peers were going through the same rituals and being told the same things as I was made them right and factual. Any time I would mentally triangulate something that didn’t seem quite right, well, I only had to look around to be reassured of its righteousness.

After moving to Missouri, I started attending a public school. That was a shock. There were kids of different ethnicities (there was one African American and one Philippino in my entire grade level at the Catholic school), different social background (not everyone here is loaded…whoa) and with different spiritual beliefs. That was the biggest shock. There were all t…

Proud and Alone: a story of reason and corruption

sent in by Asuryan

I think I'm the first Italian that writes her story on this website... please excuse me if I'll do some errors and stay with me 'till the end :) I'll also be happy to read your comments, if you have some, since perhaps Italian Catholic, American Catholic and Protestant churches are very different.

I'm 24 years old, I'm an Italian and I've always been. It's Catholic custom to baptize (hope I've got it right) very small children only days after they're born. The reason for this has something absurd and sick in it: priests say that since Adam and Eve soiled themselves the Original Sin, every human being that comes to life is a sinner, and should he/she die he/she'll go straight to hell. If you ask a priest what happens to a baby that dies at childbirth, though, he usually says that an unbaptized baby ends up in a place in Hell called "Limbo", which is a bit less horrible than the rest of Hell. However the priest says…

self esteem vs god

sent in by Daryl

I was raised in a Fundamentalist Christian home, and did the whole “Forgive the lowly sinner and thanks for the blood” thing when I was three years old. I was baptized at age thirteen, and was my parent’s great hope of having a preacher in the family. I memorized entire books of the bible, involved myself in theological discussions, and was a major pain in the ass to any non-believer in school as I testified incessantly. I was hard core.

Around the age of sixteen, I came across some challenging questions that I couldn’t find the answer to:
1) If God didn’t condone drunkenness, then why did Jesus turn water into wine at a point in the party when everyone was getting drunk?
2) Why did God put Job through such horrible trials just to prove a point to someone he had already condemned to hell?
3) In the Garden of Eden, didn’t the snake actually tell the truth, and God lied?


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Schizo Affective / Bipolar's Story

sent in by Kurt O

Let me first start off that I've been diagnosed with a mental disorder: Schizo Affective / Bipolar Disorder. I hear voices, feel spirits/demons/angels/God's wrath most of the time. On with my story, it's long but I'll make it short.

What "sins" I have comitted are irelavant. I'll start with my conversion. It was full of pressure from so-called "Disciples of Christ" from the Boston Movement. They said I had to do what they told me or I would not be a christian. So I trudged along being faithful to the "church" (though it's really a sinking ship). I was asked to leave due to my behavior due to illness. Up until that time I had a daily "quiet time" and "prayer walks" which I hated to do but I DID THEM ANYWAY BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE SAVED.

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HOW I BECAME AN ATHEIST

by RICHARD PACKHAM

I have often been asked to tell the story of how I became an atheist.
The short - and perhaps somewhat flippant - answer would be: I was born that way. And that's the truth.

I am using the word "atheist" to mean someone who does not have a belief in God. And that's exactly the way I was born, as were all of us, I suspect.

But that is not the story that I have been asked to tell, and it would not be the complete story, either, since within days after my birth, my very devout Mormon parents started to make a believer of me, by taking me to church to have me "blessed" by the elders and given a Christian name. From then on, until well into my adulthood, I was trained to be a theist, that is, a believer in God. It was a very thorough and time-consuming process, and very effective. Until I was about 27 years old, I was a devout believer in God, as the Mormons understand God. And then I began to return to the "religion" of my birth.

(C…

Deconversion by attrition

sent in by Brian

I have no spectacular tale to tell, nothing that makes for good reading, nothing that will cause tears to be shed. All the same I was raised by loving parents (though NOT demonstrative) to believe that the most vile invention of humankind was 'the truth'.

As an adult I have read parts of the bible and am astounded that such a rediculous collection of fantasies (the NT) and horrendous accounts of savage bloodshed and superstition (the OT) can be so highly regarded by so many otherwise clever people. It causes me to shake my head in utter disbelief. We give ourselves far too much credit as a species if this sampling can be called representative of the 'average'. I often want to scream "Wake up, you mindless fools!"

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American Airlines pilot calls on Christian passengers

NEW YORK (AFP) - An American Airlines pilot is facing an internal investigation after reportedly asking Christian passengers to identify themselves, and suggesting that non-Christians on his flight were "crazy."

Speaking Monday on CNN's "American Morning," several passengers said the Sunday flight from Los Angeles to New York had not yet taken off, when the pilot chose to address everyone on board.

"He said he'd recently been on a mission trip, and he'd like all the Christians to please raise their hands," said passenger Jen Dorsey.

According to fellow passenger Karla Austin, "He said, 'If you are a Christian, raise your hand.' He said, 'If you are not, you're crazy'."

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How could a logical person come to the conclusion that Christianity is true?

sent in by Ben Anderson

The main thing that sold me the idea that Christianity is wrong is this question:
Why did Christianity become the biggest religion in the world?
Here are the conclusions I came to:

1. Christianity is a bully religion. Holy wars and inquisitions are just the beginning. The bible encourages its followers to spread the word across the globe. To their credit, Christians have done this very well. For hundreds of years, Europe was Christian by law practically. There wasn't a line separating Church and state, let alone a wall as we (are supposed to) have in America.

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Help

by Chris Ballmer

WebMaster: I'm a recent deconverter, from a small fundamentalist cult in Santa Barbara, CA under a man named George Geftakys, The Assemblies. I enjoy the site and hope to post a testimony soon. Can you recommend a good book on Christian history which chronicles the misinformation and the putting together the doctrines of the early church. I'm especially interested in how doctrines formed (Trinity, etc)... and the politics of writing and choosing the gospels to include in 'the book'. Any help is much appreciated.

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The fundamental questions will never go away!

sent in by BimmuDorgir

I was one of those Christians who was a Christian because I was told I that was. Ever since I've been able to remember, I was told by my mom, and the rest of my family that I was Christian, and that, when I die, I would go to heaven, because I believed in Jesus.

Luckily, my mom was religiously slack, and although we went to church on occasion, she never made a big deal out of it. She did, however, throw in her own little religious lessons every once in a while, like "If you don't believe in Jesus, you will go to Hell", "Jesus died for our sins" and "Everyone is a sinner", etc.

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Ex Hindu

sent in by semagoohay

I had written a letter to the webmaster regarding my Hindu background and the subsequent detachment from it. The webmaster was kind enough to publish it too, but I was not a registered member then, nor did I place the message in the correct forum. So here is another go at it.

I was born in India in a Hindu family and I belonged to the so-called highest caste – the Brahmins. For the benefit of those who don’t know, Hinduism splits its followers into four groups (or classes or castes) – Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vysyas, and Sudras. Brahmins are the preachers, teachers, mathematicians, scientists, and the defenders of the faith. In short, they are the erudite and the elite class. Please understand that such distinction no longer exists. Whatever I said was true only in the past. Kshatriyas are the warriors. Kings and Generals belonged to this class. Vysyas are the business people and Sudras (pronounced shoe-druhs) are the people of the lowest class. I feel t…

The Shepherd and his Sheep

sent in by Mike Lee

The Bible's usage of the metaphor of the "shepherd" (aka, Jesus) and "sheep" (aka, the human beings) captures what Christianity is beautifully. I mean, what more could one say? I rest my case. Christians are sheeps. And like sheep, Christians become extremely anxious when wondering away from the flock. Like sheep, they are studid, fearful, and helpless. Like sheep, they can't survive without a shepherd. In the end, they will be sold to the slaughter house. On the other hand, I'm a stallion! I'm wild and free. Don't mess with me. And I too, will die one day. But I won't die in the slaughter house.

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GOD

The Xtian god sees everyone in either one of two catagories: saved or unsaved. Without even going into the reasoning behind the need for salvation itself, look at the relationship god has with these groups. For the saved, HE demands unquestioning obedience and submission, to the point of expecting you to kill your own child if he tells you to (AKA: Issac and Abraham). These are the people HE likes.

For the rest - about 90% of the population by fundie standards, maybe more - it's unimagineable pain and anguish for all of eternity, without hope of an end. Watching just one little girl die at the hands of a psycho is small time for GOD. HE likes dealing with entire nations, and ultimately, species.


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From there to here

sent in by Paul Johnson

From the beginning...

First off, My name is changed here, due to the fact that my mother searches my name on the internet regularly to find out information about me.

With this being said...

I am a 22 Year old man who grew up in southern Indiana. Religion (Christianity) is not just a Sunday-Wednesday night thing in my home town, It is a way of life. There is no less than 20 various Christian churches in my hometown of 20,000 people. Therefore, hardly a soul you can approach that doesn't belong to a Baptist, catholic, church of god, etc.

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