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Showing posts from 2005

Religious Discrimination Continues in the Military

by Wayne Adkins

The United States military has gone to great lengths to accommodate soldiers from a variety of religious backgrounds. They provide dietary alternatives, a variety of chaplains and printed materials from every major religion. They have gone as far as accommodating Wiccan rituals and allowing open Satan worship on military bases and ships. But there is one group of soldiers that the military has turned its back on.

Atheists are still openly disparaged by chaplains in today’s military. Chaplains continue to perpetuate the myth that there are no atheists in foxholes despite the fact that atheists are serving honorably right now in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The military’s response has been to simply ignore it.

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Walker Between Worlds

sent in by Sigrun Odinsdottir

I have bipolar disorder, and have been in and out of institutions for the past 3 years. My last experience with a psych facility, I was in for a year and a half, residential, and I won't name names because I don't want to get sued, but most of the staff was born-again Christians. At this time I had been practicing Asatru, which is Norse neo-paganism (www.asatru.org), for five and a half years. I was not allowed to have my Freyja statue or my runes, although another resident was allowed to have a breakable crucifix. Well, after you hear that you and your religion are evil umpteen times a day every day, you are going to break under pressure. On September 27, 2005, i "received Christ as my lord and savior", renounced Asatru, and proceeded to dispose of $1000 worth of books and ritual items (thank the gods that I had more in storage at my mom's house, where I now live). Then the brainwashing began.

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Fantasy versus Reality

sent in by Angie

I was raised in a devout Catholic family. We went to Mass every Sunday, and said the Rosary every evening. I had doubts as early as nine or ten. This was about the age when I started to separate fantasy from reality. I started to realise that magic, dragons, fairy tales, Santa Claus, storks delivering babies, etc. were simply fantasy. I couldn't help but throw religion into the fantasy category.

Yet, I was confused because unlike dragons and fairy tales the adults around around me took religion very seriously. Like with Santa, I thought maybe everyone was pretending to believe for the sake of us kids. I actually asked my mother one day if God was make believe and got into trouble. Then I realised that, yes, God was real.

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A pastor no more

sent in by former pastor

left the church and Christianity two years ago.

I had been a Christian since the age of eight when, out of fear of hell, I prayed to Jesus to forgive me.

My family had only intermittent contact with the church over the next 12 years, but at the age of 20 I had what I believed was a real conversion experience (more so than my fearful prayer as a child) and began an 18 year ’adventure’ in Christianity and the church.

I believed I was called to minister, so much of this time was taken up with bible college, one-to-one studies and tutoring, mentor ships and so on, and then with my own teaching, serving on church boards, serving as a deacon, and culminating with becoming a pastor.

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Ex-Lutheran minister sentenced in sex case

Kristen Rasmussen
@PensacolaNewsJournal.com


A former local minister was sentenced Wednesday to nearly three years in state prison, despite his plea that he is not a pedophile and "still has much to give" to the community.

Michael Anthony Harris, 43, stood expressionless as Circuit Judge Nick Geeker sentenced him to two years and 10? months. Harris pleaded no contest last month to third-degree felony charges of attempted lewd or lascivious battery and using a computer to solicit the sexual conduct of a crime. He was taken into custody immediately after the sentencing.

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Durham pastor sentenced to a year for luring children

link

A Durham pastor has been sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to lure a child for a sexual liaison.
Kenneth Wayne Symes, 36, of Whitby, will serve just a few more months after being given two for one credit for the four and a half months he's been in custody since his arrest last summer, a source with Durham Regional Police said. Mr. Symes, pastor at the Ajax Alliance Church, will also serve a three-year term of probation.

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Ex-pastor faces up to 10 years in prison

Carol Sowers
The Arizona Republic


A former pastor who once preached against leniency for thieves, could spend up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted of stealing thousands of dollars from parishioners.

Patrick A. Shetler, 49, was indicted on one count of felony theft for allegedly stealing between $25,000 and $100,000 from parishioners of the Glass and Garden Community Church between February 2004 and July 2005.

Shetler, who is not in custody, is scheduled to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Courtroom 501 of the Maricopa County Superior Court, 201 W. Jefferson St.

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The Amazing Jesus Of Nazareth

A short skit by Rowan Atkinson illustrating Christian gullibility.

(Click here to view...)

hard to breathe

sent in by MJ

I am new to this site. I posted a testimony. It's in the recent articles.

Sometimes just thinking about what has happened in the past 2 years makes it very hard to breathe. I went for so long with Christianity programmed into me that it's really hard. Do I still believe in God? I can't answer that. Sometimes I don't think I do. Sometimes I think He's there. I can't decide.

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Sodom and Gomorrah tract, another tract from Jesus Christ Arcade.com

from Rev Jeremiah

Hello everyone at exChristian.net... I have listened to your requests with an intense passion. I want to entetain you ALL as much as I possibly can! I want to thank you all for your honest input.

I have created a new comic / tract called Sodom and Gomorrah

It is my second tract, so I am getting the bugs out of my system, I hope you enjoy. I have also created a tract viewing system that resembles a gameboy to keep the arcade theme going, and to help make it user friendly...

(Click here for more...)

Texas District Adopts Disputed Text on Bible Study

By BARBARA NOVOVITCH

ODESSA, Tex., - Trustees of the Ector County Independent School District here decided, 4 to 2, that high school students would use a course published by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools for studying the Bible in history and literature.

The council is a religious advocacy group in Greensboro, N.C., and has the backing of the Eagle Forum, a conservative organization.

The vote on the disputed textbook, for an elective Bible study course, has not ended the matter. Critics say the book promotes fundamentalist Protestant Christianity.

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Happy Yuletide Cheer

CHRISTMAS TIME IS PAGAN!
(sung to Gloria in Excelsius Deo or Angels We Have Heard on High)

Christmas time is here again,
Decorations everywhere.
Christmas carols ringing out,
We're ex-Christian, we don't care.

(Click here to hear and sing along with the rest of the song...)

Where was this 'god' when I needed him most?

sent in by Mark

I am a seminary graduate, so I know all the 'arguements' of these shallow, glassy-eyed hypocrites. I served as a 'lay leader' in a couple of churches for 15 years, often being hurt by those who most demanded that I pander to their spiritual 'needs'. Yet god was nowhere when:

1. My wife dies in my arms with cancer five years ago,,,

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Wife Of Pastor At Largest U.S. Church Asked To Leave Plane

link

Church Members Stand Behind Osteens

The FBI said the pastor of the nation's largest church and his family were kicked off a Continental Airlines flight to Colorado earlier this week.

The Rev. Joel Osteen of Houston's Lakewood Church, his wife, Victoria, and their two children had boarded a flight from Houston to Vail on Monday.

The plane's door had been closed when Victoria Osteen and a flight attendant had a disagreement.

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Did Jesus really say that?

link

Bart Ehrman, head of the religious studies department at UNC Chapel Hill, has written a new book, "Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why."

Reading Life editor Jeri Krentz talked to him about the book's premise -- that ancient scribes changed the Bible and distorted Jesus -- and what it means to Christians. The interview was edited for clarity and length.

Q. You start your book with a story about your journey in understanding the Bible. It sounds as if you had an epiphany at Princeton Theological Seminary when your professor suggested that "... maybe (the gospel writer) Mark made a mistake."

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NEVER going back to the Churches of Christ

sent in by John

My story begins when I was three years old, my mother, who just left my father, rededicates herself to God through her connection to her church, The Church of Christ, and dedicates her children as a gift to God... This comes as some friends from this church help her to kick an amphetamine habit.

When I was nine, one Sunday morning in 1973, my mother explains to me that I must obey God today, that I was a "footstool of the Lord" and that I had no choice but to be baptized today... At church, she pushed me down the aisle, but I told the minister my mother made me do this and asked him to talk to her... He lectured her about when a child was ready for baptism... My mother soon placed membership in another Church of Christ in the area and asked the minister and elders to talk with me.

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damaged

sent in by MJ

Where to begin...I'll start with what the word "Christian" meant to me
"Christ-like". I'd like to say that I was trying my hardest to be
Christ-like everyday since I was 8. I wanted to grow up and be in the
ministry. When I was 15 er so my church's pastor had an affair. I was a
little angry by the hypocrisy, but I knew that all 'sin' and who was I to
judge anyway. I watched that church split in half. Then a year later it
split again. Well shortly after that I found a different church in
Urbana to go to. I hoped that I would never experience that type of pain
again. After all, who was I to put a human on a pedestal?

I began to love that new church. After graduating from high-school
and when I was going to college I became a leader at that church's youth
group. I was the leader of the drama team there...

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The same old lies and Christian dribble

sent in by Jim T

Before I start I just want to let everyone know who has posted a comment or testimony by saying that you have really helped me sort out a lot of the thoughts and questions running through my mind. I think my testimony is similar to many others in here and I would like to share it with everyone.

First let me give you a little background to my story. I guess I can begin my story at about 6 years old. My family and I were living in a suburb outside of Detroit called Pontiac which many of you will be familiar with from the car. It was me, my mom, my brother, and my dad. Everything was going fine until my dad decided he wanted more out of life and struggling with his own personal issues succumbed to the bar life and drugs.

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Kitzmiller et al versus Dover Area School District

a report by Burt Humburg & Ed Brayton

On November 4, 2005, after 40 days and nights of testimony, the first evolution-Intelligent Design trial of the 21st century drew to a close in Federal court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. While evolution trials in the 20th century had focused more on traditional creationism, Kitzmiller et al v. Dover Area School District pit the teaching of evolution against a more legally sophisticated challenger, Intelligent Design (ID).

This morning, December 20, 2005, Judge John Jones III handed down his ruling against the teaching of Intelligent Design:

The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

(Click h…

Court rejects 'intelligent design' in science class

link

"Intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.

Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said.

Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, he said.

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Does Religion Cause Immorality?

Original Article

By Alex Johnson Reporter MSNBC

The paper carries the daunting title “Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies.” The writing is appropriately dry, but it is dry like tinder is dry, and when it was discovered, the tinder was set alight. Now it is burning hot under the skin of Christian believers and thinkers. This is what it finds:

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Christmas "battle" is really becoming annoying

sent in by Sarah

Ironically, I feel like the fundamental Christians are trying to take away Christmas/Holiday/Hannaukah (whatever you prefer to celebrate during this time of year) for the rest of us.

Anyone who studies the history of "Christmas" for even five minutes will learn that there are so many roots of the December celebration which go way beyond the birth of Christ (by the way, the actual day of his birth is still an unknown).

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Pastor is charged with sexually abusing teenager

link

He is the second leader at Redemption Christian Fellowship in Woodlawn to be charged in a month

By Nick Shields

For the second time in a month, a leader at a church in the Woodlawn area of Baltimore County has been charged with sexually abusing a teenager.
Gary Warren Warfield, described in court records as a deacon at Redemption Christian Fellowship, has been charged with sexually abusing a 17-year-old boy at the church. Last month, Gerald Fitroy Griffith, a pastor at the church, was charged with sexually abusing that boy and two other teenagers during counseling sessions.

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War on Christmas!

Beyond Belief Media declares war on Christmas

Last week Beyond Belief Media issued a press release declaring war on Christmas. Here are the first four paragraphs of this historic document:

Beyond Belief Media has formally declared war on Christmas, the December 25 holiday in which Christians celebrate the birth of the mythical figure Jesus Christ, the company announced today.

"Christian conservatives complain nonstop about the 'War on Christmas,' but there really isn't any such war," said Beyond Belief Media president Brian Flemming, a former fundamentalist Christian who is now an atheist activist. "So we have decided to wage one, to demonstrate what it would look like if Jesus' birthday were truly attacked."

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My Christian University experience

sent in by Mark

Well I grew up in an ultra fundamentalist home. Dad was a marine DI,
mom was a very involved Christian/homemaker. I was hit and abused as a
child. As I became a teen I was confused, attracted to other guys, and
told all gays were going to hell, my life was very sad. All through
high school I had sex with others at my school, and at church asked for
forgiveness. I was alone and very conflicted. I was close to suicide
often.

I applied for and was accepted to BIOLA (college) in 1977. I went to
the college, and was lodged in the all male (men and women were
separated) dorms. Living in such close proximity to so many other young (teen)
men, I became very sexual.

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Since my departure from "the faith"

sent in by "freedy"jackson

For 22 yrs I was a minister/Christian songwriter & keyboardist. Over this period I wrote over 200 crappy, sappy worship & praise songs...what a waste! In the last year I've been reading a lot of books like the Jesus mysteries, which expose the truth of the Jesus myth cycle. I've come to believe the bible to be a compilation of plagiarized myths & fictional history.

Now that I'm free from that patriarchal, tyrannical serial killer and torturer god of the bible...

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Accused pastor placed on 90-day suspension

By CAREN M. PENLAND
SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM


EULESS -- Methodist church officials placed a pastor accused of molesting a 21-year-old man on a 90-day suspension Tuesday, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Bishop Ben Chamness has called for a special meeting Dec. 14 of top officials of the 28-county Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church to discuss further disciplinary action against the Rev. James L. Finley, 68.

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Baptist pastor accused of raping Thai immigrant

link

PARMA, Ohio - The senior pastor of Parma Baptist Church in Cleveland's biggest suburb has been accused of raping a Thai immigrant and threatening to have her deported if she reported the crime.

Senior Pastor Richard G. Manning, 48, of Parma Heights, was arraigned Monday on a single felony rape count and was held on $100,000 bond to await a Thursday court hearing.

Manning arrived at the church in September after working for seven years in churches in the Oklahoma City area. Manning told police that before that he lived in Thailand for 15 years.

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Anglican priest guilty of sexual assaulting teen

By Steve Levin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Rev. David Valencia pleaded guilty yesterday in Common Pleas Court to sexual assault stemming from a series of incidents in 2001 involving a high school junior he was counseling at church.

Judge Donna Jo McDaniel sentenced him to 2 to 4 years in prison and 5 years' probation. He also must register as a sex offender.

"We think that this is justice served," said the victim's father. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does not identify victims of sexual assaults.

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Lynchburg Mayor/Methodist Church pastor accused of stealing money from a charity

Lynchburg Mayor Carl B. Hutcherson Jr. talked to reporters after appearing yesterday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke. At right is his lawyer John P. Fishwick Jr.

Lynchburg Mayor Carl B. Hutcherson Jr., who faces a variety of fraud charges, said yesterday that he is "looking forward now to clearing my name.

"With family support and support from my friends, I'm just hanging in there," Hutcherson said, shortly after a brief hearing in U.S. District Court.

Hutcherson was arrested in Roanoke after voluntarily turning himself in yesterday morning to the FBI and U.S. marshals. He was fingerprinted and a mug shot was taken as part of the arrest process.

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FFRF draws criticism for holiday sign

by Carolyn Smith

A sign promoting the separation of church and state now accompanies the many holiday decorations at the State Capitol as of Friday.

The Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation posted their annual “Winter Solstice” sign in the first-floor rotunda area, which has been gracing the building for the past 10 years despite mixed reactions from those who visit the state’s seat of government.

The sign declares: “At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

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Comment notifications are off-line

The hosting company that provided our list-server for comment notifications is presently offline.

As a result, we no longer have the shout-box or the present comment notification of service that some site members have used to keep up with action on the site.

So, I've redirected comment notifications from the site to go through our Yahoo Email Group. The Yahoo group may not be able to tolerate the significantly large number of comments that get posted on this site, but if it works, that's what we'll have for awhile. If it doesn't work, I'll be working on setting up another listerv.

One thing nice about the Yahoo group is that you can set up your email notifications to be instant, once a day, or in a digest format.

If you don't already belong to the Yahoo Email Group, you can join here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/exchristian/.

Looking for volunteers

To whom it may concern,

My name is Simon, I'm researching a documentary film for Touch Productions, based in Bath, UK. We're trying to find stories about families that have been divided or broken due to religious conflict within the home. This might involve a split family, who haven't seen a daughter for ten years, or maybe a devout couple where one has a
dramatic change of faith.

(Click here for more...)

Still Holding On

sent in by J. Strong

For the past five years, I've struggled with making a decision.
Whether I should stay with Christianity or leave it alone. Over a period of
time, I've found that the religion I've once relied on has the
credibility of any children's fable. I go to church every week and sing in the
choir. The whole experience can be nerve racking because I feel like
I'm the only one saying "am I the only one hearing this garbage?". I
don't have any experiences of abuse or mistreatment by the church. As a
matter of fact, I've grown to respect, love and appreciate members of
the church. Especially those who have been a part of my life since the
very beginning.

(Click here for more...)

To all the "anonymous" posters!

When posting comments to these articles it is not necessary to register with Blogger nor is it necessary to post as anonymous. As with everything else in life, there are more than two choices, even when it comes to posting comments on this site.

How?

Well, when posting a comment, click on the radio button beside the word "OTHER."

When the radio button labeled "OTHER" is clicked, two text input areas appear - one for a name and one for a webpage. It is not necessary to give a webpage address, but a name can be typed – any name at all. Typing in some kind of name helps avoid the annoying confusion of having a half-dozen or so "anonymous" posts in a row.

Remember - there are always more than two choices. There is always the "OTHER" choice.

On the Path to Recovery

sent in by Kevin Smith

First of all, let me say how much I have enjoyed this website, and how encouraging it is to hear from others out there who have sacrificed the spirit of superstition at the alter of reason. I would especially like to thank this website for introducing me to the works of Thomas Paine. Secondly, writing this is part of a very difficult process for me. Working through these religous issues has not been easy, it has conjured up painful memories and forced me to relive them. One episode of the Sopranos said it best, Tony's psychiatrist likened the purging of painful memories to giving birth, Tony replied "no, it's definately like taking a shit". Well, anyway, maybe it's a good idea to start "In the beginning...".

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Life as a slinky

sent in by redwolfd

I'll admit it. I was a Christian at one point in my life. I will not lie to anyone and say that I did not think I was happy either. I was the typical Baptist bible thumping goody two shoes who always stood out as the example for other christians to follow after. I can remember in high school being the leader of teaching sessions to new christians teaching them how to act "proper" because it was more effective when someone who was the same age as the other kids who would show them what was "Christian". I was very good at being the person whom every young person should strive to be like.

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Kansas Anti-ID Professor Beaten

Original Article

Douglas County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the reported beating of a Kansas University professor who gained recent notoriety for his Internet tirades against Christian fundamentalists.Kansas University religious studies professor Paul Mirecki reported he was beaten by two men about 6:40 a.m. today on a roadside in rural Douglas County. In a series of interviews late this afternoon, Mirecki said the men who beat him were making references to the controversy that has propelled him into the headlines in recent weeks.“I didn’t know them, but I’m sure they knew me,” he said.Mirecki said he was driving to breakfast when he noticed the men tailgating him in a pickup truck.“I just pulled over hoping they would pass, and then they pulled up real close behind,” he said. “They got out, and I made the mistake of getting out.”

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Trying to find peace in my soul

sent in by Thomas

I was born into a evangelical family. I became a Christian at age 12,
it was an enormous relief after years of being desperate to know I was a
Christian and no longer facing hell. Through my teenage years I was
100% convinced and read the Bible every day. I was persecuted at school
for my faith but always turned the other cheek when beaten up, which was
not a very successful strategy. At Univerisity I was president of the
Christian Union and led the "mission" to promote Christianity to the
lost students. Nothing made me happier than seeing people come to faith
and find salvation.

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On the eve of my ex-Christianity

sent in by anonymous

Practically from day one, I have been brainwashed by Christian schooling. Oh, I don't doubt that they had nothing but the best intentions, but that is beside the point. I went to a Christian elementary school, where I thought I had become saved at a very early age. There was however no joy or feeling of the spirit, etc...a fact which later caused me accept countless more salvations. Saved, not saved, saved, not saved....Let's not even go into the Tulip Principle. After elementary school, I (and of my own decision,unfortunatly) went to another Christian school. The former was Lutheran, this was Mennonite based, but really was a collection of the individual beliefs of each teacher. Upon arrival I noticed the startling difference in their worship,(you know...sappy, emotional music, hands raised, prayers said under the breath.

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Paintball spree was anti-occult, says pastor

link

Controversial Christian evangelist and pro-gun campaigner Peter Hammond confirmed he has been charged with assault after what he said was an anti-Hallowe'en spree with a paintball gun.

Hammond, director of the Cape Town-based Frontline Fellowship, an organisation dedicated to "missionary outreach", said he would appear in the Goodwood Magistrate's Court on December 20.

He said last night that he had not touched the gun that day, and that it was accidentally discharged by his 10-year-old son.

(Click here for more...)

Tickets for eternity cancelled!

sent in by Ryan

I have been educating myself on this forum for several months now. I must say, I have learned so much from everyone on this website and I truly appreciate the inspiration and comfort I receive.

To begin with, I was raised from day one into the Southern Baptist dogma and culture. I was always taught the Baptists had the right way and no others. Catholics? Going to Hell! I can remember as young as seven being stricken with fear as the preacher asked all the saved people of our church to come forward in the altar area to fellowship. My mother had informed me beforehand that I would not be going forward because I was not “saved” yet. Well, when everyone went forward I thought I was going to hell,

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Ex-C vs. Church, why this is better

by Dio

Ok, I've been here a little over a year, fresh from my deconversion. This Sunday as I woke up and once again did not go to church, I logged into this site and came to the realization that this place has become my congregation, my assembly, my 'unchurch'. As I considered this, I also realized how much better this is than my old conventional church. For example at ex-C, there is:

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New US textbook aims to teach Bible as knowledge

By Alan Elsner

Since the U.S. Supreme Court banned the promotion of religion in public schools in 1963, the Bible has virtually disappeared from most American classrooms.

But in recent years, as evangelical Christians have grown in numbers and gained political clout in the United States, Bible studies have been creeping back into schools.

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Professor apologizes for e-mail

Intelligent design class upsets some.

A University of Kansas religion professor apologized Monday for a recent e-mail that infuriated religious conservatives already upset about his decision to teach a course that equates intelligent design and creationism with mythology.

Also Monday, faculty approved the course but dropped the reference to mythology. The course, originally called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationisms and other Religious Mythologies," will instead be called "Intelligent Design and Creationism."

(Click here for more...)

My wife lost her faith

sent in by Luke

A cousin of mine used to go out and get drunk every single weekend. After a tough week at work he liked nothing better than to let loose and go wild on the weekend. Stress relief is what he called it. When his wife got pregnant with their first child he regretfully decided that his drunken weekends had to come to an end. He was surprised to learn that he not only enjoyed spending his weekends at home or going out and having a couple of quiet drinks but he preferred it to getting drunk. He hasn't been drunk once since then. That is how I felt before losing my faith. I thought life would be meaningless without belief. I couldn't fathom not having God during difficult times. I thought that nonbelievers must lack a moral compass and that their lives must be very empty. Like my cousin, I realised I didn't need a drug to be happy and to have hope and meaning in my life.

(Click here for more...)

Intelligent-design ruling could affect Ohio schools

Scott Stephens – Plain Dealer

Intelligent design went on trial this year, and the verdict could soon put Ohio's new biology standards under a microscope.

The six-week federal court trial, which ended earlier this month, was the result of a decision last year by the Dover, Pa., school board that teachers must mention the controversial concept to high school biology students. Eleven parents in the small agricultural town about 100 miles west of Philadelphia sued to block the policy. A verdict is expected by early January.

The case marks the first time that intelligent design, which maintains that life is so complex that a higher being must have had a hand in its creation, has gone to trial.

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An Interview with John Maynard Smith

John Maynard Smith, who died in 2004 at the age of 84, was one of the major figures in 20th century evolutionary biology. He was professor emeritus at the University of Sussex.

(Click here to see a video interview in .wmv format...)

Do you believe in God?

Some leading thinkers have strong opinions about God, while others are reserving judgment

By Matt Donnelly

Science needs God. Or does it?

Together, the four contributors below — Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Michio Kaku and David Deutsch — are some of the most influential thinkers and writers on science. Dennett and Pinker are listed as numbers 24 and 26, respectively, on Prospect magazine’s recent list of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world.

Some of the contributors are open about their atheism, while others are more agnostic. None profess to be theologians, but in their writings they all express a sense of wonder at the natural world. We offer their comments as a semi-representative snapshot of how those who influence our culture think about the relationship between science and religion.

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College course seeks to debunk intelligent design

Proposed religion class labels creationism as 'mythology'

LAWRENCE, Kansas -- Creationism and intelligent design are going to be studied at the University of Kansas, but not in the way advocated by opponents of the theory of evolution.

A course being offered next semester by the university religious studies department is titled "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies."

"The KU faculty has had enough," said Paul Mirecki, department chairman.

"Creationism is mythology," Mirecki said. "Intelligent design is mythology. It's not science. They try to make it sound like science. It clearly is not."

(Click here for more...)

Penn Jillette - There Is No God

Original Article

I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond Atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy -- you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do. You can't prove that there isn't an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word "elephant" includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?So, anyone with a love for truth outside of herself has to start with no belief in God and then look for evidence of God. She needs to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power. All the people I write e-mails to often are still stuck at this searching stage. The Atheism part is easy.

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Monsignor in Phoenix arrested on sex charges

PHOENIX (AP) — The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday on charges he fondled boys and young men and asked them prying questions about their sex lives that he pretended were part of confession.
Monsignor Dale Fushek, 53, becomes one of the highest-ranking priests to be charged in the sex scandal that has engulfed the church. The vicar general is the highest-ranking administrator of a diocese next to the bishop.

Fushek was charged with three counts of assault, five of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two of indecent exposure. All are misdemeanors, punishable by no more than three years and nine months in all.

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Police say youth pastor killed wife, buried her

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Police say a Savannah youth pastor's confession led officers to his wife's body, which he had buried on the outskirts of town after killing her.

A man called police Sunday to say his brother-in-law, Eric Brian Golden, 35, had confessed to killing his wife, DeeDee Marie Golden, and was on his way to jail, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Sgt. Mike Wilson said.

Golden, youth pastor at Southside Assembly of God, was taken into custody after he arrived at the jail.

Golden then led police to woods about six miles west of Interstate 95, where they found DeeDee Golden's body buried in a three-to-four-foot grave on the outskirts of Fort Stewart.

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Writer maintains there's no 'God' in Constitution

In April, Herb Silverman, a professor of mathematics at the College of Charleston and president of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, challenged readers of the Charleston Post & Courier to find God in the Constitution. Skip Johnson, an author and former Post and Courier religion writer, took on the challenge in a column in the Oct. 2 issue of Faith & Values. This is Silverman's rebuttal.

When I offered $1,000 to anyone who could find the words God or Jesus in the U.S. Constitution, I hoped it would inspire many citizens to carefully read our wonderful founding document. I commend local writer Skip Johnson for doing exactly that, and for making the best case he could for claiming the reward.

Johnson could not find either the words God or Jesus in the Constitution. Therefore, he did not meet the condition of the challenge. But, reluctant to admit it, Johnson tried several inferential or interpretive arguments from the words he did find in the Constitution. He also brough…

Evolution 101 - Dr. Zach Moore

Molecular biologist Dr. Zachary Moore studies the effects of DNA, RNA and proteins on human disease. He is a former Christian, a moderator on this site, and recently began participating in a series of talks for The Infidel Guy website entitled "Evolution 101".

In this first talk Dr. Moore talks about evolution, alleles, information theory, phenotypes, retroviruses, eugenics, mutations and more!

Special thanks are extended to Infidel Guy, Reginald Finley, for allowing us to offer this interview here.

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you won't be able to say, "Gosh, I didn't know....."

Dear Dave,

Your decision to become an anti-christ drove you to create a website so
that you could take as many people to hell with you as possible....Am I
right?

Whatever you do, just remember this:

(1) The Bible tells us that, in the end times, there would be many
false prophets spewing forth lies about God and the Bible. You fit that
bill.

(Click here for more...)

Saenz charged with assault, resisting arrest

by Warren Parish

The longtime managing director of Community Ministries of Rockville was arrested last month and charged with three counts of second-degree assault and resisting arrest after a disagreement over a refund at the Best Buy on Rockville Pike turned violent, city police reported.

Police hauled Agnes Giovanna Saenz, 41, of Rockville out of the retail store on Sept. 25 after they fought to arrest her, according to the charging document in Montgomery County District Court.

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Atheist Veterans Liken God to an 'Imaginary Friend'

By Monisha Bansal

Among the many thousands of American veterans who served in conflicts from World War II to the Iraq War and marched in the nation's capital on Friday was a group of atheists seeking to debunk the familiar slogan, "there are no atheists in foxholes."

"What better day than Veterans Day to show that we served our country, too," said Rick Wingrove, the Virginia director of American Atheists, who also served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

"People deny our existence, and that's just bigoted, ignorant, puerile and childish," Wingrove told Cybercast News Service.

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Freedom to be me

sent in by Jo

Well the only religious family member I have is my gran. She is a God
fearing Catholic. She forced my brother, cousin and I to go to church
every Sunday with her from a very early age. We were told that there was
a man sitting at the back who was watching us to make sure we were
being good.

(Click here for more...)

Event to show support for atheists in military

Photo by Matt EdwardsNational group plans first parade, rally of its kind in nation's capital

By JEANNINE F. HUNTER

It's an old canard: "There are no atheists in foxholes."

But it's not true for thousands of current and former military personnel such as 80-year-old Donald Peterson, an atheist who flew in 39 combat missions during World War II.

Service members of no faith deserve the same respect as those espousing one, he said.

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Robertson warns Pennsylvania voters of God's wrath

Eight 'intelligent design' school board members lost election

Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson told citizens of a Pennsylvania town that they had rejected God by voting their school board out of office for supporting "intelligent design" and warned them Thursday not to be surprised if disaster struck.

Robertson, a former Republican presidential candidate and founder of the influential Christian Broadcasting Network and Christian Coalition, has made similar apocalyptic warnings and provocative statements before.

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The Brontosaurus

Monty Python's flying creationism.
By William Saletan
"There is an elephant in the roomful of scientists who are trying to explain the development of life," wrote Michael Behe, a professor of biochemistry, in his 1996 book Darwin's Black Box. The elephant was ubiquitous evidence of "intelligent design" in nature. Darwinian evolutionists, Behe argued, were unable to explain life's origins and its emerging complexity because they couldn't see the elephant.Behe has the same problem, but worse. Last week in a Pennsylvania courtroom, he testified in defense of a school board's requirement that biology teachers mention ID. (For Hanna Rosin's reports from the trial, click here.) Behe offered a number of interesting criticisms of Darwinism. But it's impossible to focus on any of these criticisms, because they were so completely overshadowed by the brontosaurus in the room: ID's sophomoric emptiness.

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Army Chaplain Sentenced For Sodomizing Troops

Original Article

A U.S. Army chaplain has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of forcible sodomy against enlisted men.

Capt. Gregory Arflack, a 44-year-old Roman Catholic priest, apologized at his court-martial in Germany. He sobbed and said, "I've had a lot of time to pray and consider what I've done as a priest and an officer and I'm ashamed."

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Police accuse pastor of selling house, too

Ripon congregation again shocked on heels of church-sale allegation - (click here for the previous story)

By MELANIE TURNER

RIPON — A minister accused of selling his congregation's church was arrested Friday and accused of another shady real estate deal — selling the church-owned house where he lived.
Police arrested the Rev. Randy Radic shortly before 8 a.m. after he left his fiancée's house on Van Dyken Way, Sgt. Ed Ormonde said.

Police said they learned this week that, in 2002, Radic allegedly forged documents to obtain the deed to the modest home where he has been living. County property records show the house was valued at $150,763 in 2004.

First Congregational Church members said they had assumed the house at 137 N. Elm Ave. belonged to the church.

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Father tells court he trusted God to heal sick son

The High Court at Whangarei has heard that a Northland father on trial for the manslaughter of his baby son, had little faith in doctors but trusted God to heal the child.

David Tribble is accused with his wife Catherine of failing to provide the medical help needed by their baby, who died at four months.

The court has heard the baby was ill with a stomach bug for about three weeks, but died of septicaemia from a kidney infection discovered at the post mortem.

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Religion Now Taught As Science In Kansas

By JOHN HANNA, Associated Press Writer

TOPEKA, Kan. - Revisiting a topic that exposed Kansas to nationwide ridicule six years ago, the state Board of Education approved science standards for public schools Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

The 6-4 vote was a victory for intelligent design advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

Critics of the new language charged that it was an attempt to inject God and creationism into public schools in violation of the separation of church and state.

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The Virgin Birth and Childhood Mysteries of Jesus

by James Still

Biblical scholars have long ago dismissed the literal interpretation of the miraculous virgin-birth of Jesus. Also, many liberal Christian denominations have either quietly purged the curious piece of teaching from their body of philosophy, or conveniently ignore the issue altogether. Despite this, the allure of such an intriguing concept is still very powerful and Jesus' virgin birth continues to enjoy the unquestioning belief of millions of people. The purpose of this essay is to explore the mythological connections between prodigal children in history with an emphasis on the meaning and symbology of virgin birth as it particularly relates to Jesus. In this way Jesus' virgin birth and the mysteries surrounding it will be fully explored in the mythological context from which it derives.

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How to Become a Non-Christian

A sensible approach to a difficult transition

by Jim Etchison

" ... you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

"The real freedom of any man can always be measured by the amount of responsibility which he must assume for his own welfare and security"
-- Robert Welch

Introduction
People often view a de-conversion as a sudden, bursting decision, but it is rarely so. For me, leaving my faith was like the creation of an oil painting. At first there were vague shapes that I couldn't identify. Then, stroke upon stroke, the details came into focus, and finally what was happening in the picture became clear. At the time, the picture I saw was my worst fear coming to life -- but I knew I had to proceed. I wasn't until long after the painting was finished, however, that I could recognize the beauty in the creation.

And you will see the beauty too ... eventually.

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Former N.C. preacher ordered to pay Florida widow

A federal judge has ordered a former Greenville minister to start making payments to the estate of a Florida woman years after he was convicted of stealing from her.

U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Howard last month ordered the Rev. Jim Whittington, 64, to pay $5,500 a month. Whittington _ who had expensive high-speed boats and a Rolls-Royce _ owed wheelchair-bound Valeria Lust $848,532.

The minister, formerly of Greenville and now living in Atlanta, and four other people were convicted in 1992 of stealing nearly $900,000 from the woman while he was the on-air presence for Fountain of Life ministries.

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The Death of WinAce/Beware of Geeks Bearing Griefs

Quoting our Ex-C member Appellation: "Allan once asked me to post this upon his death. I have been frantically searching for it for some time now, as I suspected his death was imminent. I would like to thank my friend, MightyHalo, for his help, though apparently fruitless. Another poster had it on his harddrive (thank goodness!) and posted it for us. I share it with you now."

****************

This post is intended to provide help, guidance and hopefully a bit of closure for individuals suffering from SWDS (Sudden WinAce Death Syndrome). Symptoms may include--but are not necessarily limited to--shock, loss of appetite, anxiety, anger, guilt, grief, crying, etc.

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Faith No More

sent in by Michael

I was raised in a family that talked more about hell than God.
Religion was all about the devil and how he was always watching you and was
going to get you. I was told that the end of the world was coming an
that I shouldnt worry about growing up because the end was coming, and
most likely I was gong to go to hell instead of heaven.

When I was around 15 several of my cousins were "saved", and began
talking to me about it. They went home after they were saved and threw
away all their rock albums, including rare ones that are today worth very
much. Well, I bought into their rhetoric and got "saved". But, I
still didnt throw away my albums, that was NEVER gonna happen.

(Click here for more...)

I’m not afraid, my whole life ,thus far, has been a long bumpy road

sent in by Craig

I guess it’s my turn, to share my testimony with you all. I wasn’t
going to at first, but after reading so many of them, and realizing how
much they have helped me in this difficult era of my life, I feel
obligated to share my own story in hopes that it will encourage others.
Unfortunately, like many others (testimonies), this too desires to be too
long. I promise to make every effort to keep it tame.

My wife and I moved to Colorado in the fall of ‘96, and after some
shuffling around due to job promotions and such, we landed in a quiet,
medium sized town the fall of ‘98. My wife, being the social butterfly
that she is, began making acquaintances, all of whom, were very nice. I
didn’t find out until later that they were Christians and all of them
belonged to the same church.

(Click here for more...)

My walk away from God

by aereo

I have read many of the stories here and felt the need to share my own since reading what others have gone through has been a great help to me.

Both my brother and I were brought up as Catholics by my mother. We followed all the usual practices but it was never really an issue in our family, probably because my father had no religious beliefs at all and so it was never talked about in our home. We just got mass out the way every Sunday and then got on with our lives. That seemed to be enough. Unfortunately my mother had recurring problems with Cancer and finally died of a brain tumour when I was eleven.

(Click here for more...)

Testimony, Kev's Turn

by Kevin

I will try and keep this as short as possible. Testimonies, whilst important, can be a bit boring. I will endeavor to keep to the facts, and not contradict myself. (Something the old Christian in me finds hard to do!)

I became a Christian in 1996 after emigrating to Canada with my wife and son. My wife started going to a church almost immediately on arriving here. She started bringing home these friendly Christian types, who seemed harmless enough. I would go upstairs and wait until they had left, and so it went on until one day I was too slow getting up, so I sat with them.

(Click here for more...)

I was a blood-bought, born-again, Bible-believing Christian

sent in by Blue Heron

My xtimony could be very, very long if I covered every negative thing about my xtian life, but I will make it as short as I can. I apologize for the loooong sentences I’ve used in some of it too.

This deconversion is all VERY recent for me, and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. My mind has been trying to process it all, and the fact that I’ve been connected to the Matrix all my life, only just now getting unplugged and experiencing a world vastly different that I’ve been missing.

I just turned 32. My whole life was steeped in Christianity. I regret all the years of turmoil, fear, guilt and anguish over the religion (or “relationship” as xtians say). But, I can’t go back and change it, only learn from it and move on. By the way, for all you Christians reading, I was a blood-bought, born-again, Bible-believing Christian with the “lord jesus christ” as my “only savior”. Let there be no saying that I wasn’t really “saved”.

(Click here for more...)

Ripon Pastor Secretly Sells Church

A congregation has lost faith in their pastor, after he sold their church without telling them, and scammed them out of more than half of a million dollars.

A for sale sign never went up in front of the First Congregational Church in Ripon. Local police say the pastor peddled it on the sly and was spending the proceeds on big ticket items. It's no doubt an understatement to say church members are shocked.

"It came out of nowhere, we didn't have a clue", says Church Leader David Prater.

Church members didn't have a clue that their church, which has stood on the corner of Main and Acacia streets in Ripon for over 50 years had been sold. Police say the church pastor sold the church and a small cottage next to it for $525,000 dollars and pocketed the money. Church Council president David Prater said the news left them stunned.

(Click here for more...)

Second Visit to Cabazon Dinosaurs

by Carol

My first trip to the Cabazon Dinosaurs was October 5, 2005, and posted on October 6. These were featured in an article the Webmaster posted on September 11 of this year and was titled "Did T-rex graze in the Garden of Eden?"

Yesterday, November 1, I took another trip there as the self proclaimed "roving reporter" for ExCristians. Hope you don't mind WM Dave.

It was pretty much the same, although I had hoped they would have added more fun creationist displays, such as Native Americans frolicking with the dinos.

The first display as one enters the gift shop was still the little knights jousting with dinos. I looked at it more carefully this time. Two knights fighting the largest dino were clearly winning and had their jousting sticks, or whatever they are called, stuck into him. However, the other knights appeared to be losing to thier dinos. So it seemed to be a fair and well balanced fight.

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Parishioner Sues Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Saying Pastor Seduced Wife

By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS

A jilted Long Island husband is suing his pastor, the Presbytery of New York City and one of its largest churches, saying that the pastor seduced his wife and destroyed his "faith and trust" in the church and in the institution of marriage.

The husband, Joseph Vione, 43, who had been living in Garden City, says in papers filed last week in State Supreme Court in Manhattan that the Rev. Thomas K. Tewell, 56, the senior pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Midtown Manhattan, used confidential information obtained during marriage counseling to seduce Mr. Vione's wife, Rachel, 42. Mr. Vione has filed for divorce.

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searching for something

sent in by Audie (aka Bluesman)

Let me start by thanking you all for letting me join your site and giving good response to my posts. Your site was instrumental in my final de-converting. But let me start from the beginning.

My Christian life began much the same as most people's who are Christians. I was Raised in a Southern Baptist church, "saved" when I was 9, sent to VBS, Youth group, summer camp, etc. It was the fear of hell-fire that drove me to the alter to get saved that night. As I grew into my teens, I backslid some, tried drugs, discovered sex, and found Rock and Roll. But at 17, I rededicated my life, and shortly after that, I "felt" called into the ministry. So after high school I attended a very Conservative Baptist college to study Christian Ministry.

(Click here for more...)

Ex-Bangor pastor arrested in Georgia

The former pastor of one of Bangor’s largest churches was arrested Monday morning in Savannah, Ga., on a warrant issued by Penobscot County Superior Court.

The Rev. Ron Durham, 59, of Savannah, Ga., was indicted earlier this month by the Penobscot County grand jury in the theft of more than $100,000 from Abundant Life Church on Outer Broadway, where he served as pastor for 16 years.

Durham, who is being held at the Chatham County Jail in Savannah, is expected to appear today in Chatham County Superior Court for an extradition hearing.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on the theft charge Thursday in Penobscot County Superior Court in Bangor.

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PARADOXOLOGY

sent in by Jason

I was born and raised in an ultra-conservative Church of Christ. For years I was brainwashed with their doctrines. The particular congregation my parents attended and subsequently raised me in believed that they were the only ones who were "doctrinally pure," to the exclusion of all other denominations and also many of their fellow "churches of Christ." They claimed they were not a denomination because their only creed was the Bible, but they have an international network of similar churches who all claim not to be a denomination either. I was so endoctrinated in their exclusivism and spiritual pride that I thought I was genuinely caring about other people when I'd spend days, weeks, and months debating the most trivial issues with them, like whether or not instrumental music should be used in worship. Looking back on it now (and for the past seven years), I'm ashamed of the kind of person I was. I was so blind I couldn't see anything …

If You're a Christian, Muslim or Jew - You are Wrong

by Cent Uygur

We live in a twisted world, where right is wrong and wrong reigns supreme. It is a chilling fact that most of the world's leaders believe in nonsensical fairytales about the nature of reality. They believe in Gods that do not exist, and religions that could not possibly be true. We are driven to war after war, violence on top of violence to appease madmen who believe in gory mythologies.

These men are called Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Osama bin Laden is insane. He believes God whispered in the ear of Mohammed 1,400 years ago about how he should conquer Arabia. Mohammed was a pure charlatan -- and a good one at that. He makes present religious frauds like Pat Robertson look like amateurs.

(Click here for more...)

Simple as it Should Be

sent in by Jason

I just want to say that this is a great site!

I lost my faith in religion about a year ago. I was introduced to christianity at the age of 20 and became very passionate around the age of 22. I gave it all up at the age of 25 after dealing with a lot of questions / doubt. My deconversion was not easy, the healing process takes time. There is no substitute for time.

(Click here for more...)

God, Democracy and Evolution

Hello,

I have recently launched a website called God, Democracy and Evolution that contains some of the best explanations of religious issues on the Internet.

For example, my website has the most readable step by step explanation of human evolution, the most probable histories of Israel and Christianity, and much more, all written from a purely rational agnostic position, but intended to be a sympathetic resource for disillusioned Christians.

(Click here for more...)

Facing what has always bothered me

sent in by Cris

Where do I start.... this is so recent.

I have been in some kind of church since I was born. I was "saved" at least a couple of times when I was a kid (just to be sure as I didn't feel any different)

I have always believed in God and Jesus, I had no other way I could think. Sunday has always meant get dressed up and go to church, go to Sunday school then go to the main service and sing hymns, listen to the message and then after church maybe go out to eat (always a treat for us kids!) I heard the messages and tried my best to be a good Christian.

(Click here for more...)

Rev. Davis resigns from church a second time

By Peggy Kreimer
Post staff reporter


Rev. Larry Davis resigned from the First Baptist Church Wednesday for the second time this month, said church member Don Willig. This time, Davis made it clear there will be no vote to accept or reject his resignation - he's gone and the church is moving on, Willig said.

Davis pleaded guilty on Oct. 6 to federal charges that he lied on a loan application and evaded paying taxes. It was part of a plea agreement in which five other charges were dismissed.
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Former pastor, stepson charged with raping Robeson girl

(ST. PAULS) - A former pastor and his stepson were charged in Robeson County with raping a 12-year-old girl after a DNA test showed that the pastor fathered the girl's baby.

Ronald Lee Simpson of Parkton is former pastor of St. Matthews Missionary Baptist Church in Rennert. His stepson is 19-year-old Rodregous Wactor.

Both were charged with raping the same girl. Simpson works part-time as a barber and he was arrested Thursday as he cut hair in St. Pauls.

(Click here for more...)

Lost Youth

sent in by Mary Williams

My testimony is similar to others I have read on this wonderful web site. I grew up in a professed atheist family. There was no hypocrisy, my father, mother and brother simply stated they didn't believe in God and acted accordingly. I too, never questioned this, being good at science in school and could believe that the Bible was simply some "stories".

At age 14 , my older brother died. This created some big problems in my family as he was very loved by my parents being the only boy. My dad took to drinking more and having fits of rage. My mom was so grief-stricken that she simply dropped out of life. I was left with so much guilt at being alive and at one point heard my parents say they "wished it had been me in the casket."

(Click here for more...)

AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner Calls Intelligent Design A Manufactured Controversy

American Association for the Advancement of Science – Alan I. Leshner

With a landmark evolution trial underway in Harrisburg, Penn., AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner has written in the nearby York Dispatch that scientists and mainstream religious leaders are largely united in their acceptance of the theory of natural selection.

While some news accounts have described the federal court case as "the Scopes Monkey Trial II," Leshner cautioned that it would be a mistake to view the trial as a Super Bowl pitting science against religion.

In fact, he said, evolution should not be seen as an attack on religion. Many scientists are guided by faith, and thousands of religious leaders in all faiths have expressed opposition to efforts by the leaders of the Intelligent Design movement to inject their views into public school science classrooms.

In the commentary published 5 October, Leshner said religion typically does not distort the work of scientists.

But "the leaders of the intelligen…

Pastor gets four years in prison for raping girl

By Journal Times staff

RACINE - The Rev. John A. Oatis was sentenced to four years in prison Friday for raping a 15-year-old girl at his church 11 years ago.

The victim said she went to Oatis for help in October 1994 at the Holy Jerusalem Church of God, formerly at 1330 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. He took her into the basement of the church and sexually assaulted her, according to the criminal complaint.

(Click here for more...)

no more in the god gang

sent in by skype uk

well, here goes folk...I got religion when I was 16 yrs old.To say that I was a mixed up teenager would be an under statement and I was easy prey for street evangelists.To cut a long story short i got converted into pentecostalism.My elation at having been "saved" and found the truth was short lived.I made a dreadful mistake...i started to read the bible for myself.

(Click here for more...)

One side can be wrong

Accepting 'intelligent design' in science classrooms would have disastrous consequences, warn Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyneby Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne

It sounds so reasonable, doesn't it? Such a modest proposal. Why not teach "both sides" and let the children decide for themselves? As President Bush said, "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes." At first hearing, everything about the phrase "both sides" warms the hearts of educators like ourselves.One of us spent years as an Oxford tutor and it was his habit to choose controversial topics for the students' weekly essays. They were required to go to the library, read about both sides of an argument, give a fair account of both, and then come to a balanced judgment in their essay. The call for balance, by the way, was always tempered by the maxim, "When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, …

Intelligent Design 101: Short on science, long on snake oil

The irreducibly complex teeters on the verge of reduction. None of these difficulties were mentioned.
By James Curtsinger
Good morning, class. As you know, the local school board has decided that we must include “Intelligent Design” in high school biology, so let’s start with the work of Dr. Michael Behe, ID’s leading scientist. Dr. Behe, a professor of biochemistry, visited the U last week as a guest of the MacLaurin Institute.
I spoke with him at lunch, attended his public lecture and took notes for today’s class.

Dr. Behe opened his public lecture by showing two images: a mountain range and Mount Rushmore.

One had a designer; the other didn’t. In case anyone was uncertain which was which, Dr. Behe also showed a duck, and emphasized that if it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, then it is a duck.

Ergo if something in biology looks designed, it is designed.

(Click here for more...)

The dark side of faith

By ROSA BROOKS

IT'S OFFICIAL: Too much religion may be a dangerous thing.

This is the implication of a study reported in the current issue of the Journal of Religion and Society, a publication of Creighton University's Center for the Study of Religion. The study, by evolutionary scientist Gregory S. Paul, looks at the correlation between levels of "popular religiosity" and various "quantifiable societal health" indicators in 18 prosperous democracies, including the United States.

Paul ranked societies based on the percentage of their population expressing absolute belief in God, the frequency of prayer reported by their citizens and their frequency of attendance at religious services. He then correlated this with data on rates of homicide, sexually transmitted disease, teen pregnancy, abortion and child mortality.

(Click here for more...)

End times a'coming

In Our Time
Wayne Brown

It was Wordsworth who first delineated the interdependence of religiosity and the infantile ego. In his 'Immortality Ode' (1807), he affirmed famously that we come into the world 'trailing clouds of glory.from God, who is our home,' so that 'Heaven lies about us in our infancy!'

And the necessary loss of the infantile illusion of centrality involved in maturing - a process, as this column remarked last week, marked by a growing grasp of the facts of differentiation and otherness, and a consequent diminution of the infantile ego - was one he lamented:

'Shades of the prison-house begin to close/ upon the growing boy'; until the adult perceives the divine light 'fade into the light of common day.'

Nonetheless, Wordsworth was determined to celebrate not only 'those shadowy recollections' of our participation in the Godhead, but also what might be termed 'life after God':

'Though nothing can bring back the sight/…

There is No God (And You Know It)

by Sam Harris

Somewhere in the world a man has abducted a little girl. Soon he will rape, torture, and kill her. If an atrocity of this kind not occurring at precisely this moment, it will happen in a few hours, or days at most. Such is the confidence we can draw from the statistical laws that govern the lives of six billion human beings.

The same statistics also suggest that this girl’s parents believe -- at this very moment -- that an all-powerful and all-loving God is watching over them and their family. Are they right to believe this? Is it good that they believe this?

No.

(Click here for more...)

Witness: 'Design' Replaced 'Creation'

Witness: Book Replaced 'Creation' With 'Intelligent Design' Before Publication
By MARTHA RAFFAELE
The Associated Press


HARRISBURG, Pa. - References to creationism in drafts of a student biology book were replaced with the term "intelligent design" by the time it was published, a witness testified Wednesday in a landmark trial over a school board's decision to include the concept in its curriculum.

Drafts of the textbook, "Of Pandas and People," written in 1987 were revised after the Supreme Court ruled in June of that year that states could not require schools to balance evolution with creationism in the classroom, said Barbara Forrest, a philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University.

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From Catholic girl to Daoist

sent in by Bria

I was born raised and baptized Roman Catholic by two wonderful parents.
My bio grandfather insisted I go to a catholic school. After a few years at a secular private school, I left because the principal was physically abusive.

I went to catholic school for a few years and did not do well academically. I wasn’t happy there and tried to do anything to get thrown out.
The principal was a fake, he put on a front to show he was nice but he was very arrogant.

When I was 8 years old a spirit said someone in this (my grandmother’s) house would be murdered. Five months later, my grandmother was murdered by her best friend as the spirit said. I’ve had other spiritual experiences but this one was the most profound.

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My Visit to the Cabazon Dinosaurs

sent in by Carol

Yesterday, October 5, 2005, I made a field trip to the Cabazon Dinosaurs, which were featured in an article the Webmaster posted on September 11 of this year and was titled "Did T-rex graze in the Garden of Eden?"

The two dinosaurs are a famous landmark on the I-10 freeway in So California, just west of the Palm Springs exit, and just east of Casino Morongo. They have been seen on TV and in movies, most notably a silly PeeWee Herman flick. For many years you couldn't miss them, as they stood out on the flat desert terrain. However, some years ago a controversial Burger King was built right in front of them and largely obscures their view, plus a cement divider on the freeway almost totally blocks them from the sight of east bound traffic.

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Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

Sent in by non-conformist: "Hello all! I came accross this article and felt the need to share it with you guys. I would love to know what your thoughts are...I have yet to form an opinion until I found out more about it (I know you Christians don't understand that concept!), but I feel it's important nevertheless."

By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.

The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.

“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.

The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.

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'Intelligent Design' is not science

from petoskeynews.com

"Intelligent design" is not science and never will be. We don't know how we can make it any plainer than that.

But once again, this tired old subject is making national news.

The Christian model of the creation of the world does not belong in the science classroom, no matter how many Christian legislators or fundamentalist school board members think it does.

Science is science. Religion is religion. By its very nature religion requires faith. Faith is an unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence. But science requires proof. Real proof. Repeatable proof. Testable proof.

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Pastor accused of sex crimes

By R.J. VILLELLA

A Ravenna area minister was arrested Friday for arranging to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, said Massillon Police Department Det. Bobby Grizzard.

Nelson Lynn Wright, 42, a senior minister at the Lighthouse Community Chapel, 3011 Ohio 59, Ravenna, is facing two counts of importuning, fifth-degree felonies.

Wright, of 763 Highland Ave., Ravenna, was taken by Ravenna officers to their station, Grizzard said, and Massillon police picked him up and transported him to Massillon.

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Senator: Hurricanes are God’s Judgement on Sinful Nation

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, – An Alabama Senator wrote that hurricanes Katrina and Rita are God’s judgment being visited upon a sinful nation.

New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast have always been known for gambling, sin and wickedness,” Sen. Hank Erwin wrote in a column appearing in the Birmingham News Wednesday. “It is the kind of behavior that ultimately brings the judgment of God.”

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On family Web site, Papa Pilgrim says he obeys God’s will

Anchorage, Alaska - From Anchorage to Alaska's borders, law enforcement officials are scouring every square inch of our state for Robert Hale, or Papa Pilgrim. Hale’s Web site sheds an interesting light on his family and his life journey. And in light of the serious charges he’s facing, there's one part of that Web site that is particularly chilling.

Head to www.pilgrimfamily.com and you'll find pictures and biographies of each Hale family member. Click on a picture and get a detailed account of that person's life, written by Papa Pilgrim. Throughout the site, Hale writes about how God speaks to him and how he's his servant and obeys his will.

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Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'

By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.

The study counters the view of believers that religion is necessary to provide the moral and ethical foundations of a healthy society.

It compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality.

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