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Showing posts from October, 2005

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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