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Showing posts from 2006

Questions for former Christians, on YouTube

Recently, an atheist (The Amazing Atheist) posed questions to ex-Christians regarding what being a Christian was like and how it compares to no longer following Christianity. 16 video responses are included here. If you decide to post a video response, contact the webmaster with the URL to your video and it will be added to this list.

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An ex-Felon and ex-Christian speaks out

Sent in by Nick Boer

During a four-year stretch of prison time, I "found" Jesus, and began to study the "Word of God" diligently and sincerely. Mine, was not what I would consider simply a "jailhouse conversion". Geographically, this would be so, but spiritually, I knew that my conversion was real. Oh yes, I did find comfort in the ink. The psalms of David brought peace to my soul. The Book of Revelation reminded me that there would be vindication for the faithful of God who worshiped HIM in "spirit and truth".

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God's Enemies Are More Honest Than His Friends

By Sam Harris

Reposted from:
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com

For better or worse, I am partly responsible for the recent emergence of "atheism" as a topic of conversation. This is somewhat ironic, as I do not like the term and rarely use it. I did not, for instance, refer to myself as an "atheist" when I wrote The End of Faith—and yet this book is my most substantial contribution to the discourse of atheism.

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Pastor charged with stealing

A Lutheran minister who also served as the treasurer for the Fisher Chamber of Commerce for five years now faces charges of embezzling nearly $14,000 from the organization. The pastor faces four counts of theft by swindle and four counts of felony theft, with possible penalties of 5 to 10 years in prison and fines of $10,000 to $20,000.

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Christianity has evolved, but not in the right directions

By John Fraysse

When I was in college, the scientific community thought they knew fundamentally how the universe came to be and how it got to its present state. However, the better we made our instruments and measurements, the more questions we had regarding the theories we once held as true. It seems we now "know" less than we did 40 years ago...

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Apocalypse threat tops this year's religion stories

Imagine the following event in your mind's eye.

President George W. Bush is addressing the United Nations amid global tensions about nuclear weapons. He closes with evangelical language that expresses his yearning for the triumphant second coming of Jesus Christ and prays that this apocalyptic event will unify the world - sooner rather than later.

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Christian help for responding to atheists, evolutionists

The following is from Agape Press (Reliable News from a Christian Source):

WM note: All you science minds out there, please read the following, watch the video clip, and let us know what's wrong with their thinking. Have fun!

A well-known evangelist and Christian television show host is trying to equip believers to respond effectively to atheists.

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Papa Pilgrim pops a plea

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A self-styled religious patriarch known as "Papa Pilgrim" pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony charges including incest.

Robert Hale, 65, was accused of molesting one of his 15 children over a seven-year span, including a period when his family lived in seclusion at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

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I admit it. I was wrong.

By Dave, the WM

We human beings like to think we are right, all the time.

Why is this?

Is it:⇒ An insatiable need to be right which masks a deep fear of being wrong?⇒ A high need to expect others to see it our way?⇒ An inability to say, "I don't know." and "I was wrong"?⇒ A feeling of being threatened from new ideas from other people?⇒ A fear of hearing new information that threatens our beliefs?⇒ A preoccupation with winning approval from a god or other people?⇒ The need to always be seen as tough, powerful and strong?⇒ A belief that others who disagree with us are wrong and should change?It could be any of these things, a combination of these things, or something similar, because this issue affects human beings the world over, and not just when it comes to religion, but politics and nearly every subject.

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I feel like a survivor

Sent in by D.C.

I was a person of faith...its all that I knew and for the longest time I really believed I couldn't live a happy life without faith. For longer than I can remember though...I was nagged by this little voice in the back of my mind...it kept saying..."Dawn...Christianity wasn't meant for you...this isn't real."

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10 myths -- and 10 truths -- about atheism

By Sam Harris
SAM HARRIS is the author of "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason" and "Letter to a Christian Nation."

SEVERAL POLLS indicate that the term "atheism" has acquired such an extraordinary stigma in the United States that being an atheist is now a perfect impediment to a career in politics (in a way that being black, Muslim or homosexual is not). According to a recent Newsweek poll, only 37% of Americans would vote for an otherwise qualified atheist for president.

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Ho, Ho, Ho — Merry Christmas!

By Dave, the WM

I'm an ex-Christian and an atheist. This Christmas I have two overly decorated 9’ tall Christmas trees complete with twinkling lights and one is circled by a battery powered toy train. Perched in locations all around my house, dozens and dozens of Nutcrackers of every height and description keep vigil while festive smelling candles taint the air. Several inches of snow blankets the ground outside my window, and holly and ivy decorate my neighbor’s porches. It's holiday time at an ex-Christian home!

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Encouraging ex-Christians

From Steamboat Willey:

John Stewart described himself as a Jew in the sense that he loves a good bagel buffet. I am a still a Christian only in the sense that I love the the time off from work, spending it with my family, and the kids' excitement over having Santa Claus visit. I even enjoy the tree, the decorations and some of the music.

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Why a Jewish Atheist Loves Christmas

By Alan M. Perlman, Ph.D.
I have always thought of Christmas as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their hearts freely. And therefore, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!
Those are the words of Charles Dickens, and I have completely come around to his point of view.

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Peace on Earth, good will to men

By Rob Swindell
Amherst News-Times

Traveling down Route 2 upon our first snow of the season, and our first taste of the holiday season, I trailed a car that had a bumper sticker that read, “Merry Christmas: How is THAT offensive?” Not long after I learned that Wal-Mart had decided to greet their customers with “Merry Christmas,” rather than the politically correct, “Happy Holidays.” I found these two incidents oddly related, and contemplated the issue a bit further.

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Was Jesus wrong? Examining the justice of a perfect God

By Ian

Where do atheists and non-believers go?

That's a question that seems to be universally answered in all religions. The answer? You probably know it. Those who do not believe, no matter how good they are, go to hell, where they suffer for eternity for their idiotic and selfish choices while on earth. Pretty much every non-liberal Christian theologian, such as Billy Graham and Greg Laurie, says that those who don't believe in Jesus are in for an eternity of suffering.

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Science, Religion, Reason and Survival

From http://beyondbelief2006.org: Just 40 years after a famous TIME magazine cover asked "Is God Dead?" the answer appears to be a resounding "No!" According to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in a recent issue of Foreign Policy magazine, "Why God is Winning."

This is a critical moment in the human situation, and The Science Network in association with the Crick-Jacobs Center brought together an extraordinary group of scientists and philosophers to explore answers to these questions. The conversation took place at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA from November 5-7, 2006.

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The Jesus Show

A letter from Santa:

Just thought I'd report on an experience I had a couple of nights ago. I am a free-lance Santa for parties, etc, this time of year.

One of my agencies assigned me to a holiday party for a business. I was surprised to see when I got there, that the CEO of the business was executing his holiday office party like "The Jesus Show."

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Christianity is stupid

A letter from CW:

I remember a few years ago when my dad walked away from his job that he had with a company, he decided to take an early retirement.

He rededicated his life to Christ in 1989, and he says that he believes the "Good Lord" blocked his attempts at getting rich, knowing he would probably be a crooked business man. He says he has no regrets about it.

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Dobson: One Too Many Mommies

By J.C. Samuelson

When I was 10 years old, my father told me he was gay. For most of the next eight years I lived with him, except for a two year period living with my mom & stepfather. Most conservative Christians today would probably assume that living with my mom & stepfather was a healthier situation.

They would be wrong...

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Auto-Proselytizing Mode: Activate!

By J.C. Samuelson

Recently, Left Behind Games released its controversial Christian-themed real-time strategy (RTS) game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces. Having been a one-time video game addict turned web geek, I decided to download the demo version (available here) and see what it was all about.

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Is There Such a Thing as an Ex-Christian?

By John W. Loftus

Christian people dispute whether we are truly ex-Christians. Since this particular question comes up so often, I am creating this Blog entry on it, so ex-Christians can simply refer these Christian people here, rather than continually arguing over and over about the same question.

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YouTube Child Abuse

I have mixed feelings about this recent video posting to YouTube, because a child this age really has no idea what she's talking about. However, I see kids every day in advertising, promoting all sorts of products, and that seems to be OK with everyone. I've also seen children this young giving wonderful testimonials in churches, and that was always cheered and applauded as a fabulously positive thing. I've even seen some young kids preaching before, and at the very least, most Christians I knew thought seeing a kid preach was extremely cute.

(Click here to view the video...)

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A Skeptic's Guide to Bible Study for Christians - Purpose and Approach

If you are a Christian you have probably been told the virtues of daily Bible study. Among other things, you have probably been told that doing so will teach you how to live and/or grow in your faith (1 Peter 2:2), that you will be equipped to answer questions (1 Peter 3:15), you will learn to discern whether others speak spiritual truth (as exemplified in Acts 17:11), and perhaps most importantly that it pleases God (2 Tim. 2:15). In simpler terms, Bible study is supposed to teach you how to live, think, and judge the truth. Plus, it will make Him happy.

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Convert or die!

Liberal and progressive Christian groups say a new computer game in which players must either convert or kill non-Christians is the wrong gift to give this holiday season and that Wal-Mart, a major video game retailer, should yank it off its shelves.

The Campaign to Defend the Constitution and the Christian Alliance for Progress, two online political groups, plan to demand today (Tuesday, this week) that Wal-Mart dump Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a PC game inspired by a series of Christian novels that are hugely popular, especially with teens.

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Atheists coming out of the closet

In recent months, biologist Richard Dawkins and several other high-profile philosophers and scientists fed up with religious fundamentalism have urged atheists to come out of the closet. Judging by the current membership boom at least one atheist group, a lot of atheists are doing just that.

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A Skeptic's Guide to Bible Study for Christians - Introduction

By JC Samuelson

Many Christians profess to be Bible-believing yet seem to lack knowledge of the most basic character of their scriptures. There are, of course, many who claim to know the Bible. Indeed, Christians are often able to speak in generic terms with regard to certain teachings considered to be important. However, when pressed for details and/or critical analysis of a particular position, most founder and are given to simply repeating what they've already asserted.

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Pastor pleads not guilty to charge of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol

TOLDEO, OH — The Rev. Michael Pitts, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Maumee, pleaded not guilty today to a charge of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol during an arraignment in Maumee Municipal Court.

Judge Gary Byers released Mr. Pitts, 42, of 4055 South Wilkins Rd., Swanton Township, on his own recognizance after he entered the not-guilty plea. A pretrial conference with a Lucas County prosecutor was set for 2 p.m. on Jan. 16.

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How to Be An Apologist For Christianity and For Skepticism

By John Loftus

How to be a Christian Apologist:

1) Hide your head in the sand. Believe that people in the ancient world weighed the evidence for their beliefs with the same rigorous standards that we do today. But the Bible itself tells us otherwise.

2) Demonize the skeptic. Believe he or she is willfully ignorant of the obvious truths that you believe. Believe that the skeptic is just not interested in knowing the truth. Believe that the whole reason he is a skeptic is because he hates God and is in rebellion against him. Believe that he just wants to live an immoral life apart from God.

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Westboro Church Must Pay Marine's Family

BALTIMORE -- A Kansas church has been ordered to pay $3,150 for costs and fees associated with a summons and complaint filed by the father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by the extremist group.

Albert Snyder, of York, Pa., is suing the Rev. Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church after church members demonstrated at the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, of Westminster, and posted pictures of the protest on their Web site.

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Megachurch pastor confesses to being gay

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The founding pastor of the 2,100-member Grace Chapel has resigned after he said he had sexual relations with other men.

Paul Barnes, who led the church for 28 years, told his congregation Sunday in a videotaped message that church leaders allowed The Denver Post to view.

He and his wife have two adult daughters.

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Is Science Merely Another Religion?

In public media and private conversations, one often hears the argument that science is just another religion. This is a powerful allegation. It levels the playing field. It says, essentially, everybody is entitled to an opinion, and you don't have any more basis for yours than I do for mine.

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A pastor's anguished suicide

Pittsburgh — During an emotional meeting yesterday, members of Pittsburgh Presbytery prayed about how they might handle property disputes if some of their congregations leave the denomination and heard a final letter written to them by a pastor who committed suicide after KDKA-TV ran promos for an expose on his sex life.

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Evolution is a religious belief

By Dave, the WM

Over and over and over, Christians come to this site and express their "informed opinion" that Evolution must be accepted on faith and is therefore equal to a religious belief in Creationism.

Is this true? Is accepting the Theory of Evolution as the best model for understanding the natural progression of life forms akin to religious convictions about Christian Creationism?

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My history of cinema teacher is now damned to hell

By Ian

A few hours ago, my history of cinema teacher, according to fundamentalist doctrine, cemented her place in hell for all eternity. She is now, according to doctrine, damned for eternity, condemned to a place of eternal pain, torture, and, if you believe it, fire. She will be eternally separated from God, never again to see her loved ones, to see her friends or family.

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Apostolic Epistles from prison

Kent Hovind, the self anointed, evangelical apostle of Young Earth Creationism, is currently in prison for tax evasion. For a long time he has been pointing his followers toward the writings of an imprisoned tax dodger named Irwin Schiff as well as promoting the Citizens Rule Book, a popular standard in the Christian Patriot movement. Using these fringe teachings, Hovind has been encouraging Christians to stop paying taxes and assuring his followers that they can't be prosecuted for refusing to pay. The teaching is too convoluted to encapsulate here, but rest assured that anyone who elects to follow these odd ball ideas are likely to also land in jail.

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The God Who Wasn't There

Holding modern Christianity up to a bright spotlight, this eye-opening documentary asks the questions few dare to ask. "Did Jesus even exist?" is just the beginning for The God Who Wasn't There. Your guide through the world of Christendom is former fundamentalist Brian Flemming, joined by such luminaries as Jesus Seminar fellow Robert M. Price, author Sam Harris and historian Richard Carrier.

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Considering Deism

Sent in by Another Dave

My father was raised in a Deist household with fervent views against organized religion. When my Dad met my mother he started attending her evangelical church and became a devout believer. My cousins on my Dad’s side always made fun of me because of my devout Christian beliefs. I hated to be around them but on the other hand it felt good to be persecuted for my beliefs.

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Back to Bible Boot Camp

It's been a rough season for the Christian right. Even for an eschatological movement, these are dark days. First came former Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives David Kuo's public admission that evangelicals were often derided as "nuts" and "goofy" within the inner sanctums of the Bush administration. Then, weeks before losing their shotgun seat in the 109th Congress, the booming voice of the National Association of Evangelicals, Ted Haggard, was silenced in a scandal involving a gay hooker, massage oils, methamphetamine, and a string of Denver hotel rooms booked under false names.

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Atheist National Guard Officer Resigns Commission Over Remarks Made By Lt. Gen. Blum and Others

By Wayne Adkins

On July 18th, 2006 Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, lumped atheists and agnostics together with bigots and in a paraphrase of an old untrue negative stereotype declared that there are no atheists in foxholes. It is ironic that such a bigoted remark would come during his speech about diversity to the NAACP. The National Guard received a number of letters complaining about his remarks and several atheist organizations denounced them. But the Army, despite how it defines unlawful discrimination in its own regulations, has decided that the remarks were not discriminatory. I disagree.

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Common Misconceptions About Atheists and Atheism

By David Gleeson

After watching Morgan Spurlock's "30 Days" episode on FX last night, about an atheist mother who agrees to live with a wealthy Christian family for a month, it became painfully obvious to me that most people have glaring misconceptions about what it means to be an atheist, and about atheism in general. In this article, I'd like to highlight some of the most common errors and offer a level-headed response to these misunderstandings.

1. Atheism is the belief that no gods exist.

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Conversion, Spiritual Epiphanies and Mystical Experiences

By Dave, the WM

I've never met a single person who became a zealous Christian after being presented an intellectual reason to believe. In fact, I would dare to say that there has not been one real conversion in history that can be entirely attributed to a simple, unemotional presentation of facts. That's not how religion works. Religion finds fertile ground in the field of a person's emotions. If a few random twigs on the periphery of a Christian's faith suffer damage during a violent storm of logic, the roots of that faith tend to remain deeply buried, far out of site, and untouched.

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Pastor arrested for attacking "patients"

GHANA — A 28-year-old self-styled pastor, Yaw Dadzie, who claim to have divine powers to heal the sick, especially lunatics, has been arrested by the police for his violent behaviour towards his patients.

Pastor Dadzie, who starts prayers for his patients by attacking them physically, said the people who went to him and the lunatics on the streets were possessed by multiple demonic spirits which could only be dealt with through violence.

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My Interview on Hannity & Colmes re the Decalogue

By Daniel Morgan

Here is the video on YouTube.

I wanted to point out a couple of things about the interview for clarification.
I was contacted by FoxNews and asked if I would be willing to do this segment. I was not involved in any way with this story before, or besides, this small interview.
I am not a lawyer, although they pitted me against one and tacitly framed me that way.The name of our group was mangled by Sean. It's the "Atheist, Agnostic and Freethinking Student Association" at UF. Oh well...

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Atheism Is Not a Religion

By Pete Blackwell

Some Atheists...assert that Atheism is not a religion but instead is the total absence of religion.... But this is like saying that "black," (which physicists define as the total absence of color) is not a color.... In common practice throughout the world, "black" is understood to be a color, despite the technical definition of the physicists. Likewise, "Atheism" is a religion, despite any technical definitions to the contrary. If black is a color, then Atheism is a religion.

—Rev. Bill McGinnis, "The Religion of Atheism"

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Pastor accused of scamming $300,000

LITTLETON - A local woman says a pastor now preaching in Tulsa, Oklahoma bilked her father of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

According to Sandy Chrisman, Reverend Johnny Chambers encouraged her dad to give him and his worship center in Arizona his entire life savings, more than $300,000.

Chrisman's dad died in 1997 and she has been looking for the money and for answers ever since.

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Pastor held for murder

Doug and Vicki Porter stand by Hickman Community Church in 2004. A Stanislaus County sheriff's detective and the district attorney have been investigating Porter for two years.
HICKMAM, CA — A former Hickman Community Church pastor has been arrested on a murder warrant linked to the death of an 85-year-old Hickman man in 2004.

Doug Porter was detained by federal authorities Monday afternoon at a border checkpoint near San Diego while trying to return to the United States from Mexico.

Stanislaus County authorities said they believe Porter, 55, intended to kill Frank Craig in a pair of auto crashes two years apart in order to inherit Craig's reportedly multimillion-dollar trust. Craig died in the second crash in April 2004.

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What if it's true?

A church banner from US-1 outside of Princeton, NJ

Sent in by a friend of ExChristian.Net

This church banner asks the question "What if it's true?" The apparent intent is to solicit church attendance from those who aren't sure whether or not they believe in the Christian mythology, just in case Christianity is actually true.

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Pastor arrested for sexual assaults

DAYTON OHIO — Riverside police arrested Pastor Dennis Bowling early Tuesday after a group of women associated with the Kingdom Harvest Church at 2360 Valley Pike told police Bowling had sexually assaulted female members of the congregation over a 10-year period.

Police met with the women Monday night and gathered physical evidence at the church, said Riverside police Sgt. David A. Crigler. "There were 12 victims there (Monday) night and they alleged either improper contact or rape," Crigler said.
Extras

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Atheist Interviews

Colin McGinn (born 1950) is a British philosopher currently working at the University of Miami. McGinn has also held major teaching positions at Oxford University and Rutgers University. McGinn is best known for his work in the philosophy of mind, though he has written on topics across the breadth of modern philosophy. Chief among his works intended for general audience is the intellectual memoir The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through Twentieth-Century Philosophy (2002).

McGinn's "Atheism Tapes" were available for a time on Google Video, but were removed. Now the interviews are available again on You Tube, so for as long as they last, enjoy:

(Click here to view...)

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Sincerity

Sent in by Embracing Ambivalence

Sincerity is among the most beautiful things to grace this earth. It is the result of a free flowing desire that doesn't get manipulated or distorted by the mind, but rather is blessed by it to go forth into the world as is. Sincerity has this precious way of striking you're affections and breaking down you're guard to protect some false image you wish to preserve. Sincerity of another sets you free to be yourself. It sets you free to be vulnerable, and stupid, and ugly. Its rips down the damns that prevent you from expressing yourself. Sincerity is infectious, it begets sincerity. A sincere life, is the fullest life.

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Minister already on sex offender registry faces new charges

Tyrone Moore appears on South Carolina's sex offender registry.

On Sundays, he also appears behind the pulpit at a nondenominational North Charleston church.

Police on Tuesday arrested the senior pastor at Full Word Ministries on a new charge of second- degree criminal sexual conduct.

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Atheism: the 'Root of Terrorism'

In the early 1990s, leading U.S. creationists came to speak at several anti-evolution conferences in Turkey.

Since then, a home-grown strain of anti-Darwinist books has developed with a clearly political message:
"The root of the terrorism that plagues our planet is not any of the divine religions, but atheism, and the expression of atheism in our times (is) Darwinism and materialism."

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Defenders of the Faith

By Slavoj Zizek

For centuries, we have been told that without religion we are no more than egotistic animals fighting for our share, our only morality that of a pack of wolves; only religion, it is said, can elevate us to a higher spiritual level. Today, when religion is emerging as the wellspring of murderous violence around the world, assurances that Christian or Muslim or Hindu fundamentalists are only abusing and perverting the noble spiritual messages of their creeds ring increasingly hollow. What about restoring the dignity of atheism, one of Europe's greatest legacies and perhaps our only chance for peace?

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Freeing God of His Maggots

Excerpted from The Evangelical Phenomenon: What is it? How should the rest of us respond? - a panel discussion at Town Hall Seattle on November 16, 2006. These remarks were addressed to an audience of modernist Christians, non-theists, and Jews.

Sometime around 1986, after leading children to Jesus as a counselor at Child Evangelism Camp, after dialing to win souls during the "I Found It" Campaign, after attending the Wheaton College of Billy Graham fame, and after struggling for years to deal with the moral and rational contradictions in my fundamentalist Evangelical faith, I finally got mad at my God and said, "I'm not making excuses for you any more." I walked away, and didn't really look back.

But something is happening around us that is hard to ignore.

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A Free-for-All on Science and Religion

Maybe the pivotal moment came when Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in physics, warned that "the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief,” or when a Nobelist in chemistry, Sir Harold Kroto, called for the John Templeton Foundation to give its next $1.5 million prize for "progress in spiritual discoveries" to an atheist — Richard Dawkins, the Oxford evolutionary biologist whose book "The God Delusion" is a national best-seller.

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De-conversion is a long process

Sent in by Don O'Connor (pseudonym)

I was born into a family of four in the summer of '85. We were from and soon settled in the Bible Belt after my dad left the service. The Church of Christ was the only viable religion, and hence the only way to god. That's what I was led to believe, anyway. The name was correct, and the policies were unquestionable. This was made clear from an early age, so naturally I adopted their attitudes. My father was strict about maintaining appearances, though he was often too lazy or unwilling to put his tirades and rants into personal practice. This was my first encounter with religious hypocrisy, and a necessary first step in my ultimate exodus from the faith itself. For now, however, I simply became non-denominational. I believe I was about 10 at the time. (I was a very serious child.)

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So what should we do?

Sent in by John

I was a saved baptized, spirit-filled, born-again Christian by choice for many years and as such I knew that every person who is not a saved, born-again Christian is going to burn in the depths of hell for all eternity. I also knew that every TV show, every movie, every book that did not glorify Jesus Christ is "of the world" and therefore "satanic" for Satan is the "lord of this world." More importantly I knew that every religion, every spiritual path, every faith, every creed, denomination and belief that was not "King James Bible Christianity" was a satanic deception straight from the pit of hell.

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A Christ-less Grave

Having demonstrated a complete apostasy from Christianity, it is apparent that I am bound for a "Christ-less" grave. My purposeless, meaningless, hedonistic life will be snuffed out one day soon where I will be subject to the dark cold oblivion of death. Everything I have built on this Earth will crumble and fall. All the goals and ambitions I thought worth my time will amount to nothing after I am gone. All memory of me will be erased from history all too soon. Any possessions accumulated will be dissipated as those who come afterwards divvy them up between themselves, and I will return to the dust from which I came, rarely to be thought of again. My existential world view offers me no hope of continued conscious existence, no escape from the Grim Reaper's sickle, and no assurance of a higher purpose beyond that shared by the plants and animals. The law of the jungle is the rule of life, and the vain pursuit of pleasure is the only motivation to continue breathing.

(Clic…

Agnosticism and its relation to religion

By Mattias Lehman

Often I hear people claim that they are 'Agnostic.' However, this is a misnomer, due to misunderstanding of Agnosticism. What such people mean to claim, is that they are weak atheists, or negative atheists, who lack belief in god. Such a description applies to babies, or people who have never heard of the idea of a god. Some would argue that it applies to people who simply don't know what they believe yet. However, not knowing implies a lack of conviction. A belief is a conviction in some thing's truth. If they lack that conviction in the existence of god, that means that they are at least an implicit atheist.

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A Thanksgiving Celebration!

There's a common belief among many American Christians that the American Thanksgiving holiday is somehow religious. Aside from the apparent desire to turn everything into an expression of their religion, the primary reason behind this seems to be the idea that the whole point must be to give thanks to their god — not any other gods, just theirs, thus making it a Christian holiday too. If this is true, then it makes no sense for non-Christians, or at least non-theists, to celebrate Thanksgiving.

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Responding to ID -- A Review of Their Positive Arguments with Rebuttals

By Daniel

Intro: I simply want to lay out a fair representation of the positive case for intelligent design (ID) in this article, and examine why the case has been ruled a failure by the greater scientific community. Because ID is so vague, eg defined by the Discovery Institute as,
The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.


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Instant Conversion

Mentalist Derren Brown poses as James Lawrence who claims to be able to convert atheists into believing in God with a touch of his hand. Derren makes the following statement at the beginning of each episode of 'Trick of the Mind':"This program fuses magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship. I achieve all the results you'll see through a varied mixture of those techniques. At no point are actors or stooges used in the show."(Click here to watch the video...)

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Satan is blinding you to the truth

A letter from D. O'Hara

The fact that misguided people such as yourselves are "dogging" Christianity proves the truth of the Bible. It is always curious to me why Christianity is the subject of intense and frankly often misguided scrutiny when other false religions get a pass.

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Michael Shermer on TEDTalks

Michael Shermer takes us on a hilarious romp through the strange claims we humans put forth as truth — from alien encounters to Virgin Mary sightings on pizza pies, to hidden messages revealed while playing "Stairway to Heaven" backwards — and explains the evolutionary and cognitive basis for these lapses in reason. Don't miss the one-minute challenge testing your own observational skills...

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Never had a clue

I’ve been reading news articles and commentaries on the Ted Haggard episode and have been surprised to find that the majority of stories haven’t been all that condemning. Although no one is denying Haggard’s homosexual lifestyle or his drug use, almost without exception the articles contain phrases such as “We are all subject to falling to temptation” or “Satan attacks successful Christians” or “Ministers are just people too” and “We should remember David and Bathsheba” or “We must seek for his restoration and forgiveness” or similar banal rhetoric. And these trite phrases have been weaved into columns written by secular and Christian writers alike!

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The Lion and the Lamb

This post is excerpted from The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth, by Valerie Tarico, www.lulu.com/tarico

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. —Isaiah 11:6–7

Biologists teach us that the bodies of predators are optimized for predation: teeth that tear into muscle or crunch bone rather than grinding vegetation into paste, jaws that unhinge to accommodate large, infrequent prey, claws that cling, muscles that spring, padded feet for silent stalking, digestive systems that separate meat and blood from useless bits of fur and bone, poisons that can paralyze, kill, or even dissolve the innards of a hapless victim. The words of the prophet about lions and lambs are beautiful to me, as beautiful as the notion of beating swords into plowshar…

A scientific look at speaking in Tongues

The passionate, sometimes rhythmic, language-like patter that pours forth from religious people who “speak in tongues” reflects a state of mental possession, many of them say. Now they have some neuroscience to back them up.Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes — the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do — were relatively quiet, as were the language centers. The regions involved in maintaining self-consciousness were active. The women were not in blind trances, and it was unclear which region was driving the behavior.

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A prophecy for the webmaster

I don't have the stunning logic that you have, nor the intense knowledge of the Bible. I know that it was written by fallible human beings. To be honest, I actually don't buy into the idea of organized religion much at all. I think it causes more problems than it solves. However, I have experienced God in ways that defy human logic. I'm excited to dialogue with you and see who you are. I'm not out to make you a 'Christian.' You've been there, and I don't think you're keen on going back, and I'm not really concerned with getting you there. I think what makes me most curious is the why. I want to know what makes you tick, and why you've devoted so much time to this. I know that Christians do it to, but I think it's because they think they have to. So why, Dave?

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Jesus Camp no more

Organizers of an evangelical summer camp for children featured in the documentary "Jesus Camp" are discontinuing the camp because of negative reaction sparked by the film and recent vandalism at the camp site in Devils Lake, North Dakota.

"We have decided to hold different activities in future," Pentecostal pastor and camp organizer Becky Fischer told Reuters.

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A Personal Odyssey : from RC to Protestant to Atheism

Sent in by Ken

I was born into the Catholic faith. As a young boy, all I can recall was that it meant making sure I attended Sunday Mass and going for Sunday School. You could do anything you wanted during the week but God forbid if you ever missed a Mass. When I was about 12, I went for Confession. I rattled off some typical young boy's sins. The priest listened quietly until I said I missed Mass last 2 Sundays. I got a stern rebuke from the priest. He upped the number of Hail Mary's I had to recite in penance in the hope that "Mother Mary" will lead me to attend Mass.

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You are not an x-Christian!

You should all be ashamed of yourselves, this is one sick site. We will all stand before Almighty God one day, whether you believe it or not. Try searching and you will find the truth, not perfect people but a perfect & loving God. I will pray for you as I know someone must have prayed for me before I found God.

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Evolution vs. Creationism: No Contest

By Alan M. Perlman, PhD

I’ve been just as surprised as any liberally-educated secular humanist by the resurgence of religious superstition and fundamentalism in my lifetime. After all, we’ve had the brilliance of Greek and Roman civilization, then the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and, most recently, the dawn of the Information Age.
After decades of painstaking research and observation, we have a theory of how things began: Big Bang (or some other equally momentous event), followed by the creation of simple, then more complex chemical elements, the solidification of planets, then just the right mix of circumstances to set up our blessed little globe for us.

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Church fires Haggard for 'immoral' acts

After resigning as head of a national evangelical group, Ted Haggard is removed from his New Life leadership post.

DENVER — An investigative committee of independent pastors concluded "without a doubt" on Saturday that the Rev. Ted Haggard had committed "sexually immoral conduct" and removed him from his duties as senior pastor at a mega-church in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The committee's decision took away Haggard's last position of church leadership — and cast doubt on his assertion that he had visited a male prostitute for a massage but never had sex with him.

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Dr. Dino goes to jail

Pensacola evangelist and tax protester Kent Hovind winked at his wife and gave her a reassuring smile as he was led away to jail.

Jo Hovind clutched the necktie he had been wearing. She kept her eyes on her husband until he was out of sight.

A 12-person jury deliberated for 21/2 hours on Thursday before finding the couple guilty of all counts in their tax-fraud case.

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Jesus...f*** you

By Ian

Hi Jesus.

Jet me start out by saying F*** you. Yeah, that's right. F*** you. F*** you uncle f***er. What the f***? you ask. Allow me to explain. After careful consideration and a lot of thinking, I have come to the conclusion that you, as presented in the bible and your followers, are a f***er.

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Sex allegations lobbed at Ted Haggard

A prominent evangelical preacher is denying allegations by a former gay male escort that the two had a three-year sexual relationship.

Ted Haggard, founder of the 14,000-member New Life Church and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, told KUSA Channel 9 that the escort is lying.

"I’ve never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I’m steady with my wife. I’m faithful to my wife," Haggard said.

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