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Showing posts from January, 2007

Hypatia's Lover

Sent in by Philosopher D. R. Khashaba

I was born to devout Coptic (Egyptian Orthodox Christian) parents and was brought up as a good Christian boy. I was deeply impressed by the Sermon on the Mount, loved the beautiful imaginative scenario Luke weaved around the birth of Jesus, and reveled in the Gospel parables.

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Exorcising God

By JJ

So now you're not a Christian anymore. Maybe you've not been for years, or maybe it has been a few intense days. You're a free man or woman, and... when you're really scared, you wonder about God. When you hear about the apocalyptic end of the world suggested by climate change, you can't help but think of the Apocalypse of St. John ("Revelations.")

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Dealing with some issues

Sent in by T

was raised in a fairly sizable town in the south of England. I attended the local Church of England church, more specifically "Anglican", with my family, from an early age - before I can remember. As is common for Anglican Protestants in England I was baptized as a baby. The church is one of the oldest buildings for miles round. The Norman church was built around and altered as the years went on but there's still a lot of the medieval building left, including some graffiti carved into the wall. I joined the choir aged seven and my Christianity grew organically, steeped in the literally awesome feeling of tradition gained from the quiet, ancient, stones and timber and participating directly in the canon of centuries of sacred vocal music - one of man's greatest achievements. Religion was tangible to me. Ritual became hugely important to me and praising God through beautiful music was my most pious goal.

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Ouch!

By A Freethinking Okie

It seems I have been getting a lot of nasty personal emails from Christians calling me all sorts of names, saying I am bitter, angry, resentful, hateful, sad, bigoted, lost, confused, wavering, over-reacting, disillusioned, schizophrenic, bi-polar, and lactose intolerant. Okay, maybe not the last one, but I keep getting the same stuff everyday. It seems there are lots of Christians out there that feel it’s there duty to rebuke me and put this poor’ lost atheist in his place. Like an average blue-collar middle-of-nowhere small town Oklahoman whose face is easily lost in any crowd is a major threat to their faith. They could just as easily overlook me and ignore me as just another tiny voice of no real threat on the vast global network called the internet. But the emails just keep coming.

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Jesus Camp -- the movie

A review by SailerFraud

For the past 10 years, I accumulated so many DVDs I hardly have any time to watch them. It's been over a year since I bought a DVD movie, and with such a backlog of DVDs, I thought I wouldn't buy another one in a long time. The movie "Jesus Camp" came out in 2006 and was shown as an independent film at selected theaters and times, and this January it came out on DVD. After covering footage from Jesus Camp, I decided to buy the Jesus Camp DVD. So how does it rate?

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If There Is A "Loving" God, I Hate Him for His Silence

By Nvrgoingbk

For me, the most heart-wrenching aspect of an Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent God, was his silence.

Prayer eluded me. I never could quite understand why we had to pray at all, since we were to pray for his will to be done. Seemed to me that Christians should just say to God, "Heavenly Father, do what you want, since you're going to anyway, in Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

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Atheist truth

Steve Vallee has never been afraid to jump into something to understand it. During his senior year of high school, he took all but six weeks of classes to be ordained as a Catholic priest. When he moved to Colorado, he joined the Emissaries of Divine Light in Loveland. And when he had a young daughter, he became a deacon in the United Church of Christ in New Hampshire.

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Is a life without a god hopeless?

By Brian B.

What would you think of a person who came up to you, broke both your legs, and after you had wallowed in your misery for a little while, offered you a pair of crutches? Most of us would be confused and bewildered, (not to mention angry) at this behavior. Yet this is exactly what is being done to the minds of Christians everywhere.

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Calls going out to make accusing a child of witchcraft illegal

(ASSODIGITALE) Campaigners are calling for a change in the law to make it a criminal offence to demonise a child, after police told the BBC that they are unable to charge an African pastor who accused children of witchcraft in this country.

Pastor Dieudonne Tukala was arrested on suspicion of inciting child cruelty last January following an investigation by the Today programme in conjunction with Newsnight.

Last year, a BBC investigation broadcast connected Pastor Dieudonne Tukala to a case where a father branded his son with an iron because he believed the child was a witch.

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Believe on the Lord Jesus and...

A rant on Christian salvation

By Dave, the WM

I've been thinking about something lately: Christian salvation.

Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians said, "For by grace are ye saved and through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."
The way this has been explained to me is that salvation is something that comes by grace, through faith, and not something anyone earns.

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Is Choosing Not to Believe as Safe as Believing?

By John Frasse

When I read the Bible, I see three basic "themes" that bother me. I think these "corruptions" (my term) are best explained as being introduced by the Bible's many human authors. These same themes are later reinforced and collaborated by the Canonization Process itself as the Christian Church became an integrated part of the "New World Order," that is, the New (Christian) Roman Empire. The resulting Dogmas also influenced Bible translation endeavors over the Millennia and these core teachings persist today, largely unabated. To be clear here, my strivings are not necessarily with "God," but rather with the Canonized Bible and the Dogmas associated with it.

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Dr. Dino sentenced to 10 years for tax evasion

A newly remorseful Pensacola evangelist, who still disputes the government's right to make him pay taxes, was sentenced Friday afternoon to 10 years in prison on federal tax charges.

His wife, Jo, will be sentenced March 1 on charges of evading bank-reporting requirements.

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God, Intellect and Universal Truth

By Anthony CitranoFor someone who doesn’t believe in God, I think about God a lot.Exploring Texas, where megachurches are more common than oil wells (and probably more profitable), lately it's made my mind itch a little more than usual. I was raised a Pentecostal Christian, and these places remind me of the intellectual darkness I experienced inside the stifling walls of organized religion. That a hundred million of my fellow Americans believe these buildings are their best gateway to the Ultimate is heartbreaking indeed.(Click here for more...)

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The Invisible Black Feather of Faith

By DagoodS

I enjoy listening to Christian Talk on satellite radio. It is a combination of the inability to turn away from a train wreck, and research for blogging.

The other day I was listening to a fellow talk about senior citizens. He said, "Don't lose the faith in the last quarter of the game of your life that you have held on to since the first quarter." He spent some time, concerned about them struggling with their faith—using words like "strive" and "endure" and "work hard" and "labor."

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Christianity IS Mind Control

By John Blatt

Here is a poignant video about the coercive persuasion, mind control, and brainwashing of Christianity. It exposes all kinds of mind control characteristics and methodologies even of those outside Christianity, but anyone who either is a Christian or has been a Christian will see the marks of Christian programming and indoctrination in this little film. I have made some comments below concerning one aspect of this mind control that is touched upon in this video. I hope you enjoy it!

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Frosty's Brain on Ice

By Valerie Tarico

"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore." So said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven children, one of whom recently was threatened with exposure to An Inconvenient Truth, in her suburban Seattle science class. Frosty also stated, for the record, ""The information that's being presented [in the movie] is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is. ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD." The world, according to Frosty, is about 14,000 years old. Maybe it's been around long enough?

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Buyer's remorse

Sent in by Jamie G

I went to Wikipedia and read more about cognitive dissonance where I encountered several more interesting terms: true-believer syndrome and buyer's remorse. The one I would like to focus on in this post is buyer’s remorse. It may be a misuse of terms, but I think I am justified as it seems to resemble what I believe I am experiencing psychologically after leaving Christianity.

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For the first time, I feel free

Sent in by Bryan B

When I was 4 years old, my dad came into my room just before bedtime, and made me kneel with him and close my eyes. Then he guided me through the basic conversion prayer, despite my having no idea what the hell I was even saying. I mimiced his words-meaingless to me, of course- and he said I had just accepted Jesus into my heart. Thus began my Christian life.

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An illogical religion

Sent in by Jenny

Hello Readers…ex-Christians, Christians, and others. My name is Jenny. I am a 23 year-old ex-Christian agnostic who has lived her whole life in the densely religious region of West Tennessee.

As a Christian I never wrote a testimony, and this is my first attempt to write an anti-testimony. So bear with me, as this may not be eloquently written.

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Writer looking for ex-Christian women

I'm writing to see whether any of the contributors to this blog might be interested in contributing to an anthology I'm putting together. It's an anthology of personal essays by women in their 20s and 30s who grew up evangelical, with the working title _Growing Up Churched: Young Women Writers on the Evangelical Experience._ It will include essays from those who left the church as well as those who stayed in the church. More information is available online at http://growingupchurched.blogspot.com.

Please pass this call for submission on to any writers you know who might be interested.

Thanks and best wishes,

Hannah

Mr. Deity

A big thanks to John Loftus for finding these videos:

Mr. Deity Episode 1: Mr. Deity and the Evil
After creating the universe, Mr. Deity and Larry decide what evil they'll allow.

Mr. Deity Episode 2: Mr. Deity and the Really Big Favor
Mr. Deity seeks help to save mankind while Larry oversees construction efforts.

Mr. Deity Episode 3: Mr. Deity and The Light
Mr. Deity and Larry have trouble with the lighting on their new world.

Mr. Deity Episode 4: Mr. Deity and the Messages
Mr. Deity explains prayer to Jesus while Larry gathers info on the evening's activities.

(Click here to view...)

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The Problem of Pain

By Valerie Tarico

This post is excerpted from The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth.

Thou to Whom the sick and dying Ever came, nor came in vain, Still with healing word replying, To the wearied cry of pain —Godfrey Thring1

ONE OF THE MOST POTENT CHALLENGES THAT NATURE RAISES AGAINST THOSE who want to believe in a just, loving, and omnipotent God is human suffering. We may diminish or even dismiss the suffering of “dumb beasts,” but we know that our own pain hurts. Worse, empathy makes it difficult to ignore the many forms of trauma suffered by our fellow humans.

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Why Atheistic Arguments Cannot Work Against Christian Fundamentalism

By John Blatt

I, along with many other ex-Christians, am in a rare position to speak on one of the most oppressive thought systems that has ever been subjected upon humanity and because I honestly care about our world and our spiritual and psychic evolution of humanity do I set out to help some to be free from this darkness. This HAS to come out of me. I need to know that I did all that I could with the knowledge that I have to help humanity in the best way that I can. It is a part of who I am and what I am here to do with the remaining time I have left.

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Isn't Christ's love wondrous?

Sent in by SG

I was brought up in what most in this country would consider a fundamentalist Christian church called the Apostolic Christian Church in the conservative Midwest whose members were predominately poorly educated farmers and local small-businessmen. It was actually a safe environment from a physical threat kid-perspective. In my teen years (late 70's – early 80s) everyone around our country home left their doors unlocked and their keys in the ignition. There was no gangs, no violence, no theft… just ignorance, bigotry, and prejudice.

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The God Awful Truth

"The God Awful Truth" is a series of twenty-five thought-provoking films examining the true origins of Christian theology, Christian history, Jesus Christ, Paul of Tarsus, the Twelve Apostles, the Bible, the New Testament, the Old Testament, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Torah, origins of Judaism, the Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, history of the Popes, the Protestant Church, the Crusades, the Inquisition, Christian Missionaries, Televangelists, and more.

(Click here to view the first episode...)

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Pastor sentenced to 20 years for child sex-abuse

GREENWOOD, Mo. (ABP) -- In what the detective investigating it described as Missouri's biggest clergy sex-abuse to date, Shawn Davies, a 33-year-old former music and youth minister, was sentenced Jan. 12 to 20 years in prison for molesting children at First Baptist Church of Greenwood, Mo.

Davies was convicted of 25 counts of abuse dating from 2003.

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Transforming Prayer and Hymns

By RubySera

One big issue many of us ex-Christians struggle with, esp. in the early stages of deconversion, is prayer. For me, music is a big issue, too. I was never exposed to anything but church hymns from the 1800s and earlier. Those hymns expressed many deep feelings as I struggled to cope with and understand life.

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Atheist Bullshiters

Recently a Christian poster made the allegation that anyone who walks away from Christianity always leaves a "strange" version of it. Although this poster declined to define exactly what a "strange" version of Christianity might be, the topic on which this Christian posted his observation had to do with Christians who believe the world is approximately 6,000 years old, was created in six days, in general cling to a Biblical literalism, and who in many cases believe their worldview should be promoted in schools and through other educational venues. Now the Christian poster didn't actually say that such literalists were strange in their beliefs, but that was the implication based on the context of the conversation in which he did say that he had never met a Christian who believed such odd things (World only 6,000 years old, etc). I suggested to this Christian that he hadn't been around much.

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I feel a twinge of anger

Sent in by Stevie P

As I watch continuing coverage of Atlanta's evening news, I feel a tinge of anger. Recent headlines of the elderly woman shot dead in her home by police, is disheartening & disturbing. The incident kind of gives meaning to a conversation I had with an eighty-year young man at the community ballpark. His conversation gave me the hope we aren't all helpless to adversity as we age. The gentleman was sitting at the end of a metal bench which I happened to prop my bike on. It's an easy place to stand my mountain bike up as I get a drink of water from the nearby fountain. On this day, the little league games were in session and the park was crowded as usual. I enjoy riding my bike in the park. The paths are more challenging and it's excellent exercise. When I reached for my bike, the gentleman asked me if I would pick up his glasses which had fallen beside the bikes rear wheel. I introduced myself as he thanked me, and I was rewarded with an …

Robertson Says "Only Those With Strong Religious Faith" Have Children

Pat Robertson, commenting on news that the population of Germany "fell for a fourth straight year and recorded its biggest drop since 1990," attributes the decline to the fact that it is "only those with strong religious faith who have children."

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You have a little mind & your life has always been centered around yourself

Hey Dave,

It doesn't make any sense how you think that you've figured out god is fake through your little mind. It seems like you were offended that god does whatever he wants to. Your life has always been centered around yourself, there for it definitely would be illogical to think that something bigger is out there right? Let's put all bible reference aside, and look at what is happening in the church now adays alright.

(Click here for more...)

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Daniel Dennett lectures on religion and understanding genetics

Daniel Clement Dennett (b. March 28, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts), is a prominent American philosopher and atheist activist. Dennett's research centers on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. He is currently a professor at Tufts University.

(Click here to watch the videos...)

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Paul Kurtz - What Is Secular Humanism?

In this 56-minute-long video, Paul Kurtz, founder of The Center For Inquiry, answers the question "What is Secular Humanism?" Explaining this robust system of ethics for those who are seeking alternatives to religion, Paul Kurtz shows how many people in the world agree with Secular Humanist values and ethics, but do not realize it.

Enjoy.

(Click here to view video...)

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Friends of God: A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi

God, Mom and Country
Filmmaker documents odyssey through evangelical world
You are a young documentary filmmaker with a reputation for capturing politicians' antics. In a deliberate departure from politics, your latest film is a road trip into the world of evangelical Christians that includes a drive-through church, a Christian wrestling federation, a stand-up Christian comic, an evangelical Elvis and a biblical miniature golf course complete with the empty tomb of Jesus.

(Click here for more...)

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Lost Credibility

By Micah Cowan
I had always known about them. They were always there, lurking in the corners of Scripture, waiting for discovery, waiting to become catalysts of ignorant doubt; of the questionings of God and His Word.Problem passages. Those passages that, at first, and even second glance, seemed to pose real, spiritual problems: doctrinal difficulties, or contradictions of known facts about the world, or even of other passages in scripture! But always, there's an answer, for those willing to look below "just the surface;" for those with the mustard-seed faith to trust at least enough to ask God: "Lord, show me the answers I'm not seeing."

(Click here for more...)

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Pastor Arrested In Prostitution Sting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The pastor of an Atlantic Beach church was arrested Wednesday as part of a prostitution sting.

According to police, Jerry Murrell, 28, pastor of Oceanside Church of Christ, was charged with soliciting for prositution after he approached an undercover vice officer posing as a prostitute in the 1600 block of Mayport Road.
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Pastor found guilty of sexual molestation

AMHERST VA — A local pastor was found guilty Thursday of molesting a teenage boy he was formerly tutoring.

The Rev. Kenneth Payne, 70, was charged with taking indecent liberties and sodomizing the 17-year-old.

Payne has preached at New Prospect Baptist Church in the Pleasant View area of Amherst County for the past 14 years.

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Finally on solid ground

Sent in by DJ

I was born and raised in a very traditional Irish/Slovak Catholic home in rural New England. I was an altar boy for many years and quite fastidious about my religious studies. I think I've always been curious about religions, and this curiosity began with the first one I was exposed to, as far back as I can recall.

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300 million year old rock

By Lauren Becker

The summer before my senior year of college I worked as a park ranger guiding hikes in one of the most beautiful state parks in the country. Its central feature was a 256-foot waterfall that plunged down through a gorgeous natural amphitheater, cutting through bands of limestone and sandstone and collecting in a deep pool, the perfect hangout for summer swimming. My favorite program was the hike to the base of the falls. Layers of rock are like chapters in a history book and this canyon, carved so deeply, told an ancient story. Standing at the bottom, calling out over the roar of the falls, I got to teach the exciting conclusion, "The layers of slate and shale beneath our feet tell us that 300 million years ago, this deciduous forest was a tropical jungle."

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Morality and ethics without absolutes, part II

By Dave, the WM

This is a continuation of the article posted here: Morality and ethics without absolutes.

Regardless of all the rhetoric, examples and arguments, the majority of Christians do not believe in absolute morality.

The argument from Christians is that without the Bible, or God, or the Ten Commandments, there is nothing to tell us that murder is wrong. There is no way to make a decision about rape, or theft. Without the absolute morality as defined in the Bible, all society would crash into a subjective chaos of relativistic anarchy where everyone does what is right in their own eyes and everyone is a victim of everyone else's violent, unrestrained lusts.

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To be a wandering Jew

Sent in by Marcus Johnston

Having come across your website by accident, I first thought this was just another "evangelical atheist" page in which I'd see the same tracts and arguments that I've seen many times, thanks to my rabidly atheistic friend. However, searching for the "about us" part of this page, I found myself fascinated while reading the site founder's "anti-testimony," because in many ways, it mirrored my own story.

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I feel foolish, cheated and angry

Sent in by SLM

I'm writing this to help me, if it helps someone else that would be great.

I'm not a writer and I have very little formal education, so please look over the mistakes. I joined ex-Christian in August 06. I'll be 50 years old in March. I'm ashamed that it took me so long to open my eyes. Here's my story as briefly as possible.

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The Three Keys to Heaven - By azsuperman01

Atheist explains why it is impossible to get into Heaven.

It is highly probable that no God exists, in which case following the advice on this video will only result in wasted time, wasted money, and will make you look ridiculous. I can not be held liable for any damages, real or monetary, which result from following the advice on this video.

(Click here to watch this video...)

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Religion is bullshit

Sent in by Jamie Q

I was severely pissed off because I just wasted 12 years of my life and thousands of dollars on nothing more than bullshit. But yet it was like a freakin’ ton of bricks had been lifted off my shoulders. There was no longer a burden to perform like a monkey in a circus, I could now live my life how I see fit. And that’s what I intend to do. My wife is still struggling with the whole issue, she thinks I have really flipped my lid, but I trust that my wife will come around.

(Click here for more...)

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Anxiety To Self Esteem

Sent in by Madame M

I have been a member here since March ’04. (The board turned over a few times over that year) It probably seems odd to those who know me here, but I never posted my deconversion story. I guess I always felt like it was still in process in many ways. Plus, it is a very hard story to condense, something gets lost, but the whole thing would be a novel. So here is the condensed version. (**capitalizing of God, Jesus, Him, He..etc, is out of respect for Christian readers not out of personal reverence.)

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Pastor must pay taxes or go to jail

CHARLOTTE NC — A senior pastor charged with tax evasion must pay the IRS $13,000 by Monday or risk being taken back into custody, ruled a federal judge on Friday.

John Henry Walker, pastor at the Macedonia Baptist Church, was indicted last May for underreporting his income between 1999 and 2003 by more than half a million dollars.

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No more invisible pink unicorns

Sent in by Chad

As a child growing up in a Christian family I often went to church sang worship, discussed religion with other Christians and played with a lot of other Christian kids from my church, while I didn't have many other friends do to my home schooling, but I did go to a public school later and met my now best friend Al whom by his mother was encouraged to seek out a religion of his own (he chose Buddhism).

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Morality and ethics without absolutes

Jesus spotted on a tree in Florida

"Jesus don't just pop up like that. If you know the word of Jesus and you believe in Jesus, then there you go. He does exist."

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The Blasphemy Challenge

From Newsweek:

'Hi my name is Lindy and I deny the existence of the Holy Spirit and you should too.'

With that five-second submission to YouTube, a 24-year-old who uses the name "menotsimple" has either condemned herself to an eternity of punishment in the afterlife or struck a courageous blow against superstition.

(Click here for more...)

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I have taken the shackles off

Sent in by Donna

This site must be an answer to prayer. I was conceived and born into Seventh Day Adventism and have always suspected the rigidity of the religion coupled with the sterness of my father as having a repressive effect on who I was to become. And it did, but no longer.

(Click here for more...)

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Rick Warren discusses Syrian/American relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

WM note: This is an interesting story that seems to have slid past me unnoticed. I belatedly offer it now for comments.

From the Syrian Arab News Agency website, SANA.Org:

DAMASCUS, (SANA)_ The meeting between President Bashar al-Assad and Pastor Rick Warren, a famous Protestant clergyman in the USA and an accompanying delegation on Sunday focused on the Syrian-American relations.

(Click here for more...)

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Pat Robertson prophecies 'mass killing'

In what has become an annual tradition of prognostications, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Tuesday God has told him that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in "mass killing" late in 2007.

"I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network. "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

(Click here for more...)

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Tele-evangelist sued for claiming that God healed cancer

Darlene Bishop, a tele-evangelist with a nationwide following, does not do things by half. When she and her husband Lawrence erected a statue of Jesus on the grounds of their mega-church in Monroe, Ohio, they made it 62 feet high.

No less gargantuan are her claims about the power of prayer to overcome illness...

(Click here for more...)

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The Loftus-Wood Debate Reviews Have Just Been Posted!

By John W. Loftus

David Wood has just posted both his and my reviews of our debate on evil as featured articles here.

As I read David's review it seems he went beyond merely assessing the debate itself by attempting to answer arguments of mine that he didn't answer that night. I look forward to dealing with these additional arguments of his sometime in the future. For the most part I merely reviewed the arguments that were offered during the debate itself. In neither of our reviews will anyone get a sense of my whole argument as laid out in my opening statement, since I didn't think I needed to repeat it, and David is mainly concentrating on defending his arguments in his review. But for now he has the last word.

(Click here for more...)

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Dear Friends - Atheists and Questioning Believers,

A letter from Brian

I must ask the question. Are you willing to risk losing your eternal soul by placing your faith in anything other than God's Son?

The Bible is very clear. Jesus said, "36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

(Click here for more...)

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The Secret Family of Jesus

The following is a video clip from The Secret Family of Jesus, a special BBC program narrated by Robert Beckford.

This documentary examines the real nature of Jesus as believed by his followers and the Early Christian Jews. Taking a close look at early Christian history, it examines the rise of Paul's version of Christianity vs. the rival group of Christian Jews who were the followers of Jesus. The video is about 41 minutes long.

(Click here for more...)

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