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Showing posts from November, 2005

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."

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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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Encouraging de-converting and former Christians

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