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Showing posts from September, 2008

Looking for answers

Sent in by Candace

Hi everyone. I have not used my real name for privacy reasons. I'm posting here not so much a testimonial of "deconversion" as an explanation of my current situation.

Basically, I started going to church a couple of months ago (I was always aware of Christianity, but had always viewed it with suspicion). Its ideas and concepts always seemed absurd to me (like the resurrection, vicarious atonement, etc), but the more I went the more indoctrinated I became. I was at a tough place in my life and I needed some support from other people and Christianity really helped me with that.

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Sarah Palin's religious beliefs too extreme for America

by Carol Jensen

Not only should American voters be skeptical about Republican VP-pick Sarah Palin's lack of qualifications to become potentially President of the United States, but just as disturbing should be how deeply her religious beliefs and practices, which are clearly out of the mainstream, could ultimately affect the rest of us.

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The doctrines of hell, the trinity, etc., are all lies

A letter from Arthur P

I have sympathy for your position. You have been lied to by a false religious system of trinitarian and hellfire dogmas. These things are not actually taught in the Bible. There are better translations than the King James Version and that translation has corrupted the verses referring to something much different than what they have been twisted to say.

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An Open Letter to America's Pastors

Say What You Will, But Pay Your Own Way

By Brother Sam

I’m writing this on Friday, September 25, 221 years to the day from the First Amendment’s passage by Congress. That same amendment not only proscribes the government from telling preachers what they can say from behind the pulpit, but also prohibits the establishment of an official state religion. (Note to theists: If there's ever a state religion, it probably won’t be the one you have in mind.)

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What books would you recommend?

From Still Undecided

I wanted to ask for some feedback from anyone who posts on this website or anyone else who wants to respond. I have been actively seeking answers to my doubts and questions off and on for many months and have done a lot of research online, including this website. I've read "Misquoting Jesus" by Ehrman and "God Delusion" by Dawkins.

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PASTOR SENTENCED TO 17 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR THEFT OF HIS CONGREGATION’S HURRICANE RELIEF FUNDS

From the FBI website:

NOAH A. THOMAS, JR., age 42, a resident of Marrero, Louisiana, was sentenced in federal court today by U. S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt to seventeen (17) months imprisonment for mail fraud in connection with funds granted to the church he ministered, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.

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God Rot

By Gary W

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of god. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel." -- Thomas Paine

First blind assumption: There is a god and this god is self-conscious, hereinafter called god.

Second blind assumption: There is a devil and this devil is self-conscious, hereinafter called the devil.

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My beliefs were like a house of cards in a hurricane of reason

Sent in by Christopher

Hello all. I've been trolling this site for a few months now, and I'd like to share my story.

Unlike many of you, I wasn't born into a conservative Christian household. When I was 7, I asked my mom if there was a god, and so we started going to church. When I got into my teens I had a fundie Bible school teacher who absolutely believed that the Bible is the unerring Word of God.

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I'm glad I'm leaving. I have a whole new life

Sent in by George

My story is as messy as life itself. I'm in the early processes of going public with my deconversion, but it also feels liberating to finally admit the truth out loud, and in the open.

I became a Christian in high school through a youth ministry called Young Life. I went to a week long camp where the gospel was packaged and delivered with great polish and skillful delivery, which was designed for maximum emotional impact. Many girls in the audience at night were in tears as they listened to the account of Jesus. We were all encouraged the final night to go off by ourselves in the dark and commit our lives to Christ.

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Putting God First: A Ridiculous Idea

By Gretchen

"Put God first."

The first time I ever heard this phrase, it came from my Grandmother's lips. In her way, she was trying to instill in me the same wisdom passed down from generation to generation. The idea that having god as your number one priority would cure all of your ills and grant you everlasting life in Heaven. Mind you, she meant well. I am sure someone in her young life said those words to her, meaning no harm but trying to save her soul. But, now that I am older and away from the trap, I no longer think this phrase to be true -- or even correct.

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Pastor, wife arrested for real estate scam

JENSEN BEACH — The three women phoned Rodney McGill in hopes that he'd teach them how to get rich in a difficult real estate market.

The 42-year-old McGill seemed a bona fide success. He drove a Rolls-Royce, hosted a radio show and was pastor of New Hope Outreach Center in Jensen Beach. His wife, Shalonda McGill, 36, was a mortgage broker.

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No Jesus, Know Peace. Know Jesus, No Peace

By Neal Stone

All good things, must come to an end.

This was the title of an e-mail I sent to my former pastor back in 1998. It would be one of many exchanges. In this e-mail I would try and explain how I was waking up to things and seeing life differently outside of God and church. He just couldn't understand and treated me as I was lost to the world and being deceived.

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The Benefit of Believing

By Bill Jeffreys

Believing in something beyond the self can have a beneficial psychological impact, even if the belief is false.

Just having a window to view life from is helpful even if the window we look out from is crooked. Religion is like that. It gives people a crooked point of view to judge the world. Sometimes it helps, but ultimately is suspends certain areas of growth, reason and compassion.

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Christianity is wrong on so many levels

From Eric

I have never practiced any religion and consider myself an atheist. I found this site because I was searching for information about the “Fathers of our Country”. I always argue with my Christian friend who strongly believes this country is based on Christian beliefs which is the furthest from the truth. I have always said religions of any type are dangerous. The stories I have read here have only laminated my opinion on how damaging religion is and how it must remain separated from government. I gave many of these stories to my “Fundy-xtian” and he just says. They are not Christians. I of course say, you just don’t have an answer. When he quotes the bible I tell him it’s pointless because I do not believe one freaking word of the piece of crap.

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Thank you, Ray Boltz, for coming out

Ray Boltz, who sold about 4.5 million records before retiring from Christian music a few years ago, came out of the closet Friday to announce that he's gay. In an interview with the gay magazine The Washington Blade, Boltz said he came out to his family and some close friends in December 2004, but only now decided to go public with the news.(Click here for more...)

Can we know our own minds?

Philosopher and scientist Daniel Dennett argues that human consciousness and free will are the result of physical processes and are not what we traditionally think they are. His 2003 book Freedom Evolves explores the way our brains have evolved to give us -- and only us -- the kind of freedom that matters, while 2006's Breaking the Spell examines religious belief through the lens of biology.

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Bible sends frightening messages

From SConner

I wrote a letter to my local newspaper -- Bible Sends Frightening Messages-- and a few weeks later I received a letter (ground mail) from a person, who had to set me straight, on what the Bible really, means. I would love your responses, so I can send them to him, personally and then give him the web address to Exchristian. I’m hoping he has an email, but I suspect that maybe he does not. I think, perhaps, he is a Jehovah Witness and he might not have a computer – you don’t want JW’s exposed to information and he sent the letter to me personally. He could have submitted it to the Dispatch but it was never printed nor was it found in the web-only letters section, of the Editorial Opinion page.

Anyway, have at it and have fun.

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A disquisitional examination of the Christian faith

By William Pankey (wpankey57)

INTRODUCTION
For some time now I have wrestled with the idea of writing down many of my thoughts concerning Christianity. This desire arises from various reasons: 1) I have hoped, that in writing, I could bring together, in some kind of coherent fashion my musing on this subject. For a long time now, they have been disjointed and unsystematic. Though it must be confessed, from the start, that what follows is not intended to be a formal work but rather a kind of "soul bearing" and a conversational wrestling with various questions regarding the nature of Christianity. Writing usually forces me to attempt to bring a measure of order out of chaos. 2) I have increasing felt that a few of my friends, who care a great deal about me, might be interested in what I have to say.
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Verbal Smack-Down With a Fundy

By SConner

This is for any Exchristian out there, who are proverbially, gagged and can't -- for whatever reason -- verbally speak out or lash out, not being able to vent your frustrations at Christian co-workers, relatives or neighbors, because it would be "politically incorrect" or "intolerant of their views" (Making broad gesturing air quotes for hyperbolic effect).

I happily, submit this rant for your vicarious, pleasure.

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Hate -- Christian Style

By Neal Stone

I was always told that Jesus loved us not matter who we were and that God had a will for us.

I was born with Epilepsy and visually impaired. This resulted in a learning disability (which I eventually overcame), and I was anywhere from being the normal kid. I would get made fun of, put down and have my family judged as nothing but trouble makers due to other family members who got into drugs and alcohol.

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Truly losing my faith was hard to do

Sent in by Nathan

I stumbled upon this site and I would like to briefly share my story.

I grew up in an ultra-conservative fundamentalist household. Bottom line: Christianity was my life! I attended a Christian middle school and high school. The brand of Christianity I was taught was “hell fire and brimstone”. I believed every word, never questioning. I attended door to door witnessing, and I helped with the church bus route. I personally led several people “to the lord”.

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Christian Persecution

By Neal Stone

When I was attending church I was amazed at the number of men who claimed they were being persecuted at work or by family and friends about their faith. I would marvel at their “testimony for God” and how they stood the test and blah, blah, blah...

It wouldn't be till years later I would see the truth.

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The Grand Evangelizer

By Jonathan

Synopsis: The following is based on a contemporary re-interpretation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor” from his work The Brothers Karamazov. The character giving the monologue is a personification of Evangelicalism.The setting is the sanctuary of a mega-church. On stage are two rows of four folding chairs, representing pews, a Bible is placed on the first row.
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‘I have never been happier’ says the man who won gold but lost God

It is the afternoon of September 25, 2000, and Jonathan Edwards is making his way to the triple jump final at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney. In his kitbag are some shirts, spikes, towels – and a tin of sardines.

Why the sardines? They have been chosen by Edwards to symbolise the fish that Jesus used in the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. They are, if you like, the physical manifestation of his faith in God.

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A Doe in the High Beams

By Valerie Tarico

The Associated Press this week referred to Bristol Palin as doe-eyed -- a somewhat odd metaphor given her mother’s heralded talent for gutting doe-eyed creatures. Or perhaps it’s a weirdly accurate metaphor. Sarah Palin’s politics and aspirations have caught her teenage daughter in the public headlights and gun sights —where she is destined to become a trophy to Palin’s failed abstinence-only education policies.

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What now?

From Jeff M

As people being free of Christianity, I was wondering what do we do now, as socially responsible people?

We see all around us the illogical initiatives of Christians such as Intelligent Design and Creationism, political maneuvering, and general poisonous rhetoric.

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Heath Ledger is in HELL!

By Jackie H

Today I was on my way to work (in Sydney), listening to the radio. This week is no-ratings week so they're playing "best-ofs"... They played an interview with crazy psycho lady Shirley Phelps-Roper from Westboro Baptist Church (She was being interviewed by Kyle & Jackie O from 2dayFM Sydney). It was in regard to Heath Ledger of course. When he died I did hear vaguely about some church in America putting up signs saying Heath was now in hell, but I never really followed the full story.

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Christian No More: A Personal Journey of Leaving Christianity

By Jeff Mark

My name is Jeffrey Mark, and I'm the author of Christian No More, a book that details my deconversion. Here's the short version of my story. I recently turned 40, and until around the age of 30, I was a devout Christian. Although I grew up in a family that was far from fundamentalist, I still went to church every week, and slowly the whole theology of Heaven and Hell was pushed into my brain.

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Freedom from Fear - My DeConversion from the Insanity and Hypocrisy of Christianty

Sent in by Sam

OMG! And greetings to this fabulously intelligent, reason-minded, compassionate
group of people. I am so glad I found this place and I want to share my story with
"the fold" ;-)

I am 46. My Deconversion began many years ago in my late 20s but I am still suffering
the deeply ingrained effects of the brainwashing that was taking place for my entire
childhood and teen years.

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Critical thinking killed my faith

Sent in by Kyle

Hello all, I am writing right now just off the top of my head to tell the story of my deconversion. I know if I try to plan it all out and make it all pretty I'll never get it done.

I'm finally writing this because I've just told my mother how I now really believe. She actually took better than I thought. No screaming or anything. But shes convinced I'll come back someday. ( Um, no thanks ).

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Pastor in trouble also lied about his past

Some false credentials for the Windsorpastor accused of inappropriate contact with teen girls have been provided at least three times since 2005. The incorrect credentials include academic degrees from schools he did not graduate from, pastoral jobs he did not hold and a police task-force position he never filled, according to interviews with school officials, people who worked with him and police. The Rev. Scott Allen Snyder, 35, of Windsor said he did not know where the information posted on his church Web site came from. He did not respond to requests for comment about resumes said to be from him that were provided by a previous employer, and he repeatedly declined to disclose an accurate educational history. "I simply am not going to bring embarrassment to other organizations for accusations of things that I did not do and certainly believe will all be dismissed when this is all said and done," Snyder said by e-mail. On Aug. 11, Pennsylvania State Police charged Snyder …

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Encouraging de-converting and former Christians

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