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Showing posts from January, 2008

If I could still believe, I would

Sent in by Chris

I have been a believer in Christ for more than 15 years and now I must explain what has happened to my faith. There have been a lot of questions from family and friends, so I wrote this letter as an explanation of sorts. To put it bluntly, I don’t believe in God anymore. To finally come out and say that ‘I do not believe’ has been one of the most heart wrenching experiences of my life. I have been a zealous Christian apologist and I know most of the arguments in favor of the Christian faith intimately. I have a cross tattooed on my arm with the Greek letters for Christ above it. I know many of the key Bible verses in the original Greek as well as English. I am very familiar with all of the church history and the ‘evidences’, and have used them in debates with others who were not Christian. I have at times been a youth leader and have filled in worship leader playing guitar or bass. I have lead small group studies; my evangelical credentials are obvious to all who know …

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Release and Reclaim

LEAVING YOUR RELIGION?

. . .or still feeling the effects?

It's not the end of the world. Join us at a recovery retreat.




"RELEASE AND RECLAIM"
A workshop for letting go of religious indoctrination and reclaiming your life.


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Life after Death

By Kent

I believe in life after death. So do you. The death of once living animals and plants nourish us. That is why we eat. When plants and animals are eaten, they are transmuted into whatever life form consumes them. Even when flora and fauna are not eaten, their decomposition returns nutrients to the soil or sea. These nutrients are eventually taken up by some form of life and reincarnated. This is the way of the world. Living things die so that other living things may live. Life follows death.

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Circular logic at its finest

Sent in by Jeff

As I perused over a lot of the articles on this site, I realized I fit the common profile. I grew up in Alabama my whole life, was born and raised in a Southern Baptist church, and was inducted into the cult around the age of 9. For several years, everything about Christianity made sense (at least from what I could perceive). But, starting around the age of 15 (i estimate), i would get occasional doubts in my mind. E.g. How could a perfectly benevolent god create evil? and if he didn't, wouldn't his omniscience and omnipotence enable him to prevent ANYTHING from creating a malevolent presence? Or if all of creation was ruled by god, why did he have no choice but to sacrifice his son?

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Losing My Religion

Sent in by Brandine

It's amazing how a little time and a lot of information can completely change your point of view. I never was really touchy about my religion. That's not to say I didn't get offended when someone said something I considered blasphemy, but I wasn't the one who was going to get up in their face about it. I pretty much accepted that everyone had their own road to walk.

My sister, Layla, posted a testimony on this site a couple of weeks ago so I won't go into too many of the same details. Suffice it to say, we grew up in the rural south, bible belt where religion isn't so much of a choice or epiphany as it is just a way of life. Even our crackheads are somewhat practicing Christians. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I started questioning my faith. I can pretty much pinpoint the high water marks.

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A response to Christians regarding my thoughts on the god delusion

By Bill Jeffreys

As I said in my previous article, it's very difficult to leave the cult of Christianity once you're vested. The shift in thinking that needs to occur is not an off / on switch. It's more like a fluid event driven type of change. Certain things have to fall into place before we are able to look outside the box of Christianity or any other religion.

In my experience, some type of cognitive dissonance needs to occur first. Some type of internal conflict, predicated by an external event, like a child dying or a major conflict at church, or a failed Christian marriage has to happen in the life of the religious person. Some form of "emotion verses belief conflict".

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Former pastor, ex-Christian, and super-villain

Sent in by Matt

It has been almost two years since I called myself a Christian. In my last days as a pastor I decided to take a break, I had grown tired of the stress of the church I assisted at, and the questions I had when I was younger in the faith were still unanswered. It was time to finally deal with them. I walked away, scared of what was ahead for me as all I "knew" was what god had called me to be, but not who I was or what I wanted to be.

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Thinking of the god delusion

By Bill Jeffreys

I was thinking about god recently. I was wondering why Christians, like I use to be, don't see the hate, genocide, rape, murder, contradictions, false writings, and so forth in the bible? Why don't they look at the origins of the bible and see how messed up the process was, or how many other gospels and thousands of spiritual writings were circulating before the council of Nicaea, under Constantine who authorized the New Testament, or how the gospels weren't even heard of by ancient people for hundreds of years after the supposed death of Christ, or how the Apostle Paul never cites the gospels in his letters to the churches.

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You must be a Christian if...

By Brother Jeff

1. You believe that an ancient Book of Myths filled with contradictions, absurdities, atrocities, myths, fables, and plenty of nonhistorical "history" is somehow magically the inerrant, infallible "Word of God".

2. You believe that a Magical Being magically brought the universe into existence by speaking a powerful magical spell from Nowhere approximately 6000 years ago.

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What is Christianity?

By Brother Jeff

This is my glorious parody of this page (http://www.carm.org/seek/christianity.htm). Glory!

Kryasstianity is a religion based upon the teachings and miracles of Jesus. Jesus is the Kryasst. The word “kryasst” means anointed one. Kryasst is not Jesus’ last name. Jesus is the anointed one from the Magical Being who came to this biblically flat world, fulfilled the Old Testament laws and shit, Croaked in the Spook on the big giant stick, and Magically Undeadened Himself physically. He performed many magical miracles which were recorded in the Gospels by the eyewitnesses. He is magical in nature as well as human. Thus, He has two natures and is therefore somehow magically worthy of worship and prayer.

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Banned From Church

Reviving an ancient practice, churches are exposing sinners and shunning those who won't repent. On a quiet Sunday morning in June, as worshippers settled into the pews at Allen Baptist Church in southwestern Michigan, Pastor Jason Burrick grabbed his cellphone and dialed 911. When a dispatcher answered, the preacher said a former congregant was in the sanctuary. "And we need to, um, have her out A.S.A.P."Half an hour later, 71-year-old Karolyn Caskey, a church member for nearly 50 years who had taught Sunday school and regularly donated 10% of her pension, was led out by a state trooper and a county sheriff's officer. One held her purse and Bible. The other put her in handcuffs. (Listen to the 911 call)

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Hell? Consider the following

A video by vdizhoor

Many people live in fear of Hell. But is Hell real? In this (my first) video, I put some commonly held conceptions about Hell to the test. Even without looking at the history of how this idea developed, I think there are enough problems within this concept itself that demonstrate that it is fictional, or at least inconsistent with the idea of a Just and Loving creator.

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Jesus: Hot or Not?

People want to know. Is Jesus hot or not? Cast your eyes upon Jesus. Then cast your vote.

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God bless atheism & Why does faith deserve respect?

Two more videos by Pat Condell



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Then it happened -- the hell-fire sermon

Sent in by Heather

In truth, I have already written a testimonial recently. "Look ma, I'm an agnostic!", but I wrote that out in pure blind anger. I thank all who replied to that, but now I'm a little less angry, and probably can write the whole story. Since I was born into a christian home, it is basically my LIFE story, I'm afraid, quite literally.

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What can I do?

From Kristen

I'm 21 and still live with my parents. I go to college and they foot the big so I have to. I don't believe in god but I am forced with the burden of playing pretend. I don't feel I am don't well at all, as my mom (who is a missionary in the church) keeps saying " I need to talk to you".

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Banned from the Bible

Banned from the Bible is a documentary television series produced by FilmRoos in 2003 for the A&E Network that originally aired on the History Channel as Time Machine: Banned from the Bible in 2003. [1][2] It aired as a series from late November 2005 through May 2006. Narrated by Christopher Nissley[3], James Karen, and Maggie Soboil, Banned from the Bible tells the stories of the ancient books that have been prohibited from becoming part of Biblecanon.

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One Nation Under Huck

is a moron, but didn't he just say what the religious right has been thinking for years? They repeat in the media and in churches all over America that "we are a Christian nation," but they must know it's not true. Why else would they have to amend the ?

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Update: Baptist pastor Gilyard arrested for sex messages to teens

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (ABP) -- Once touted by Southern Baptist leaders as the nation's next great African-American preacher, Darrell Gilyard was arrested Jan. 14 for sending lewd text messages to underage girls.

Dogged for 20 years by dozens of allegations of extramarital sex with parishioners, Gilyard, 45, resigned Jan. 4 as pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, a 7,000-member megachurch in Jacksonville, Fla., that he has served for 15 years. It is the fifth church position that Gilyard has been forced to resign from over charges of sexual misconduct.

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How do you escape a cult when it is all around you?

Sent in by Layla

Like many others here I was raised in the way that Christianity wasn't presented to you as a choice; it was a lifestyle. It just... was. Even if you didn't go to church. It wasn't that you weren't a Christian, you were just a backslid Christian, in need of a little prodding, belittling, but all in the name of God's good works, you see. We weren't really church goers, my sister, brothers and myself might go every now and then but that was mostly just to hang out with the other kids. I never "felt" what I was "supposed" to...

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Religious Idiocy

By ReligionIsACrutch

Atheism is inspired by one thing most of all: honesty with yourself. If you look at ALL of the evidence and make an honest decision without clouding your judgment with fear, guilt, love, duty, or anything else, you will come to one logical conclusion: There are no gods. Even if there were, they have made no contact with humans or even claimed to exist at all. The only evidence there is, supports the conclusion that gods are fictitious and no more likely to exist than elves, fairies, gnomes, trolls, ogres, goblins, sprites or pixies.

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Ex-pastor preaches evolution

Michael Dowd speaks in tongues, and when he's not doing that, he's talking almost nonstop about why Christians should embrace evolution.

As a Pentecostal-background pastor who finds salvation in accepting that the universe is 14 billion years old, and who believes our behavior can be accounted for by not only the apes but also the lizards in our ancestry, he's a popular oddity on the lecture circuit.

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Is Religion a Force for Good or Evil?

The recent debate at Caltech between Dinesh D’Souza and Michael Shermer.

In this debate on what are arguably two of the most important questions in the culture wars today: Is Religion a Force for Good or Evil? And, Can You be Good without God?

The conservative Christian author and cultural scholar Dinesh D’Souza and the libertarian skeptic writer and social scientist Michael Shermer, square off to resolve these and related issues, such as the relationship between science and religion and the nature and existence of God. This event was one of the liveliest ever hosted by the Skeptics Society at Caltech, mixing science, religion, politics, and culture.

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Westboro Baptists come to Camp Lejeune

This just sent in from a member of the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

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I honestly believed in the Christian god. No longer; no more.

Sent in by Jake

Sometimes, I miss being six years old and really believing that there were fairies and dragons and wizards out there somewhere, with the dinosaurs that maybe, just maybe lived in places of the world no one had found.

When I was little, I dreamed of being an explorer and finding those places. I ran around as kids are wont to do, pretending to be storybook characters, exploring lost temples and forgotten jungle civilizations with Indiana Jones, slaying dragons with King Arthur, fighting off hordes of space invaders with lasers only I could see and all manner of other imaginative forms of self-amusement.

It was a great dream...

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Kicked Jesus to the curb

By John Botha

Hi there, my name is John and my story is a long and arduous one so I'll just hit on some highlights rather than risk boring you to death.

I grew up Roman Catholic thanks to my Mum and attended Catholic School run by Marist Brothers (poor me). From there I turned into a fundamentalist Christian when some friends of mine coerced me into attending Pentecostal services.

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Huckabee: Amend Constitution to be in 'God's standards'

"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view." -- Mike Huckabee

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Atheist Life vs Religious Life

By Fighting Atheist

Some argue that religious life is the best way to live. They claim life without a god is sad and depressing. Statements like "I could not imagine my life without God", and "My life would be meaningless without God", are common defenses for a religious life. The following is a list of advantages atheists enjoy over a religious life. I invite the religious viewers to submit a response video with the advantages of a religious life.

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I could give two shits about religion

Sent in by Angela

I've been creeping around this site for awhile now, and thought I should finally come out of the woodwork and formally give my little story.

When I was a little girl, my mother decided she was "searching" for something. This searching lead to me being dragged to many different churches, and learning many different faiths. And I'm not just talking Christian. There was the stint at a Catholic church, then about a year at the Unitarian. From the Unitarian we joined some kind of spiritualists, called (I think) CUPS. Or CUUPS. Something like that. Then it was back to Catholic for a while. Then a year or so of nothing. Then a couple of months at a Jewish temple. Then about a year or so at a Messianic Temple (Jews for Jesus - that made no sense to me, even then). Then some more nothing, then my mother 'discovered' the Christian Church. I was in the fifth grade.

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My "coming out" story

By frisbeesANDflipflops

This is the story of the first time I told someone I was an atheist. When I was a proselytizing evangelical Christian, I ran across atheists from time to time. This was my first time being on the other side of that fence. I hope i wasn't as much of a self-righteous ass as the guy who approached me. If anyone out there in Internet-land recognizes me for that from my proselytizing days, my sincerest apologies.

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Look ma, I’m agnostic!

Sent in by Heather

It says it all in the save title really. The belief? In Christianity and a God in general. I was in youth club a few months ago and you know what? The same thing happened that has been going on for the past year, ever since I turned 19. I kept thinking:

‘Are they even listening to themselves?’ and

‘Bollocks’

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I can't do it anymore

Sent in by Hannah

I am currently trying to begin the process of leaving a Christian cult and I wanted to share my situation with people that might be able to understand and hopefully offer some advice even. I was born into the cult and brainwashed for my entire childhood by my parents (whom I still love by the way) who are very involved members. If you have seen the film "Jesus Camp" that is a very close depiction of what my life was like.

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I'm God, BEOCH!!!

Attention : Which do you believe in? The one they talk about in church or the described in the ? Many of you would be surprised to learn that they are not the same.

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Christianity does not care for people -- it wants only to grow itself

Sent in by Shaida

I grew up in a rural area, and everyone went to church. How you felt about god was never discussed, you just went. My family is large, and we care about one another deeply, and the preacher always said that love was a sign of god, so I thought god was wonderful, loving, kind, welcoming, just like family. It was a nice dream.

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SNAP fingers Baptist leader

FORT WORTH - The organization that took on the Catholic Church over sex abuse has accused a prominent North Texas Baptist leader of letting a predatory preacher move from church to church.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said they want Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to suspend its president, Dr. Paige Patterson.

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Devotees Throng in Thousands to Carmel Hill for Infant Jesus' Feast

Mangalore -- The Infant Jesus Shrine located at Carmel Hill at Bikarnatte, played host to large number of faithful, on its annual feast held on Thursday January 10. More than sixteen thousand devotees attended the mass, which was celebrated by the Bishop of Belgaum.

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Entrée to Eternity

By Bored Again

With a posthumous clue from Alfred Hitchcock, I have solved the mystery of the missing body of Christ. In a 1958 episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” ominously entitled “Lamb to the Slaughter,” the jealous wife of a local police chief bludgeons him to death with a frozen leg of lamb. She then cooks the lamb and serves it to the homicide detectives, who can’t seem to locate the heavy, blunt murder weapon. Watching the episode recently, I had an “ah-ha!” moment: The disciples of Christ had the motive, the means, and the opportunity to dispose of his body: by eating it!

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The Bible was not the product of some deity

A testimonial by Franciscan Monkey

This is probably on the long side, but I’d like to present some details of my journey from fundamentalist Christianity to atheism.

My early religious upbringing was in a United Methodist church in New England. The church was small, and had more of a social atmosphere than religious. There was no serious Bible study going on, at least as far as I could tell at my young age, and most of the sermons centered on doing good to others in a rather general sense. There was no talk of hell. There was no talk of salvation, or of a need for salvation. Jesus, while he was considered the Son of God, came to earth primarily to show us God’s love, and to encourage us to love one another. The “Good Samaritan” story was one of the most popular.

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Matthew, a new translation

In the spirit (or should I say, "SPOOK") of Thomas Jefferson and J.B Phillips, Brother Jeff has set upon a personal campaign to bring forth not necessarily a more accurate rendition, but a more clear and entertaining version of the Word of Kryasst. He hopes that by this initial effort in "translating" the Gospel According to Matthew, showers of blessings will descend upon a great horde of unwashed apostates -- i.e., us.

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Deciding to come out as an atheist

By Psiemens

First, I want to thank all of you for your positive comments and suggestions regarding my recent thoughts on Madelyn Murray O’Hair. As a result, I have written a letter to our local editor regarding religion and politics and am starting an Atheist Meet Up group later this month here in Beloit, Wisconsin. Again, you have helped me find courage to move forward. Thank you.

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I have no clue as to where I fit in

Sent in by Marie-Louise

A Christian friend of mine was shocked and horrified when I recently told him that instead of "readying myself for the next spiritual level", as he is, I am rather calling in to question everything I have ever learnt and ever believed. His response was that it is not so much about the contradictions in the bible, or the fact that the biblegod of the OT and the biblegod of the NT don't match at all, but the relationship you have with Him that counts.

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Bishop blames child abuse on children

There is outrage in parts of Spanish society following declarations made over Christmas from the Bishop of Tenerife, Bernardo Álvarez.

His comments were that there are youngsters who want to be abused, and he compared that abuse to homosexuality, describing them both as prejudicial to society. He said that on occasions the abuse happened because the there are children who consent to it.

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More Bible Jeopardy!

There are so many inconsistencies and contradictions in the , how can anyone take it seriously? Here's a nice example. What were ' last words? Three books in the have three different answers.

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Why I rejected Christianity

Hector Avalos (b. Nogales, Sonora, México, October 8, 1958) is a professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University and the author of several books about religion.Avalos is a former editor of the Journal for the Critical Study of Religion. He is a former Pentecostal preacher and child evangelist. Recognized as one of the foremost scholars of health care in the ancient world, Avalos is also one of the most prominent secular humanist biblical scholars today.He has a Doctor of Philosophy in Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Studies from Harvard University (1991), Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School (1985), and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from University of Arizona in 1982.(Click here for more...)

Faith is just an excuse for something you can't prove

Sent in by Ellis Kim (Everglaze)

My Anti-Testimony (Full Version)

First of all, Christianity is like being covered in a black sheet of thick cloth with a blindfold around your eyes. While in the darkness, you're driven by fear and confusion. It's only after you hear the reassuring words of someone claiming to be your saviour that you feel at ease in this current state.

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Atheism - A belief in the here and now

Atheist Fernando Aguilar of Walla Walla reads extensively to learn about the world around him and believes it's possible to live a moral life without religion. "Live your life the way you want other people to live. Enjoy family. Do something in the community that helps others. It's the community and family, to me, that are most important," he said.

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What do I believe? In short...

Sent in by Hells Bells

I was brought up as nominally Christian, attending a CofE infant school, with a brief spell at a Church of England (CofE) primary school before we moved to the “countryside” and the relatively secular state education system. My secondary school (an all-boys boarding school) was also CofE – one of those “peculiars” where the school had its own ordained chaplain and wasn’t considered part of any parish. I fell into evangelical Christianity when I was 13.

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