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Showing posts from December, 2008

Confessions of a former Christian

By FightingAtheist


I am an atheist and a former Christian. As a former Christian I look back to what I used to believe. I wonder how I could have been no naive.

As a Christians I had very little knowledge about evolutionary biology, physics, geology, and chemistry. Yet I argued about evolution, fossils, and radioactive dating. I claimed to know problems that scientists just happen to miss when developing these thoroughly tested methods. These supposed flaws were pointed out to me by other Christians. Now I have read several books on each of these subjects and understand more than I thought I ever would. I know now that scientist have accounted for these supposed flaws.

Note: This testimonial was originally posted in 2007, but it's well worth revisiting.

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Heaven for the Godless?

The Fountain of Eternal Life in downtown
Cleveland, Ohio, via WikipediaBy CHARLES M. BLOW

In June, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life published a controversial survey in which 70 percent of Americans said that they believed religions other than theirs could lead to eternal life.

This threw evangelicals into a tizzy. After all, the Bible makes it clear that heaven is a velvet-roped V.I.P. area reserved for Christians. Jesus said so: “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” But the survey suggested that Americans just weren’t buying that.

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Hello Believers

Image by Mrs eNil via FlickrA letter from Transman

To all the believers and religious people who come here, I have some small advice for understanding. Quoting Bible verses to us, offering websites and books of apologetics, and trying to bring other arguments or pseudo (or fraud) claims of proof, will not change anything.

As many of us have said before, try comparing it with Santa Claus or other fantasy creatures of our childhood. Once you know that they are really just a fantasy, you cannot go back to believing, even if you tried or really, really wanted to. I can't imagine that anyone on this forum would ever go back.

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Once you know something, you can't un-know it

Sent in by SharonImage via Wikipedia

My journey out of fundamentalist Christianity began with an in depth study of the first five books of the Old Testament (the Pentateuch). I asked myself a simple question "what if the Pentateuch was written by men for men? Could I give a thoughtful explanation for why Moses (or other writers of the Pentateuch) would create such stories. (Remember these stories were written during a time when the people of Israel were wandering in the wilderness - permanent camping!)

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The Christian salvation message is the downright stupidest thing to listen to

Image of Jesus via FlickrSent in by fisheroffish

Oh Boy, where to start?

I was raised in a very hypocritical Christian family. My father had a particularly mean spirited approach to religion and Church, and I can remember hating Sunday mornings. My family attended church regularly up until 10 years and attended sporadically after that. I was "saved" at the age of 6. I remember witnessing to kids in school about Christ.


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The more I learned of other myths and the history of Christianity, the less I could convince myself that God existed

Image via WikipediaBy Andrea

People do strange things when they "Find Jesus." Suddenly, your best friend won't talk to you anymore, or your punk loving drummer quits the band. They can't do anything on Sundays, and they won't hang out with you at the pool hall.

I didn't find Jesus; I was born with him. Losing faith is both terrifying and simple at the same time. First you follow the routine. I was baptized as an infant, into the Catholic Church, and from then until I was about ten I went to church nearly every Sunday morning.

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Hell is a Mixed Message!

Image via WikipediaBy Bill Jeffreys

If we truly love or care deeply for someone, we don't dismiss them. How could you? I do not fault people for not loving or caring for everyone. I only hold those accountable who claim to love me and don't.

To be Christ like should mean more than just words or deeds. It should mean honesty in ones actions and speech. Dishonesty is easily masked with religion. It is much like politics. Once should mean what one says and say what one means.

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Hearing and Seeing What You Want

By Bill Jeffreys

Recently I have been looking into a learning theory which is new to me. It's called attribution theory. Attribution theory states that people will interpret their environment in such a way as to maintain a positive self-image. It emphasizes that a learners' current self-perceptions will strongly influence the ways in which they interpret the success or failure of their current efforts.

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WHAT I ALWAYS HATED ABOUT CHRISTMAS

Image by garlandcannon via FlickrBy XpastorDan

I just got up and looked out at a very WHITE Xmas morning (up here in the Northwest we are having a very rare "snowed-in" experience). My wife and I are alone on Dec. 25 for the first time in our lives, and we're loving it! I'm on my favorite web site and she is upstairs cooking (great smells wafting down).

I got to thinking about what I loved about Christmas and then my mind drifted back to all of those years growing up as a Fundie. Here are some things that I HATED about Christmas:

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Happy Holidays from ExChristian.Net

A Brief Instruction Guide

Supreme Impiety, Atheist and Charlatan
by Barthélemy Aneau (1552) via Wikipedia...for destroying someone's faith.

By Josh

In 2006 I was an evangelical Christian ready to go out into the world and "Live for Christ" as its called. In two short years, my religious views would continue moving left until I became what I am today, which is... well... I am not sure. For simplicity, we'll call me an atheist. Any god I can see myself believing in would not be much of a god at all. I'd like to tell how this happened.

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I don't NEED to believe in anything anymore

Image by Storm Crypt via FlickrSent in by PrincessJo

Well, where do I come from? A world of Jesus, submission to men, God and parents, homeschooling and home churches. A world that would prove to be full of abuse, manipulation and illusions created by crazy men.

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The Anatomy Of Christian "Logic" ... Just For Fun

By Tim Whistorn

Image by _escalade328s_ via FlickrI admit it: Sometimes I just like to make fun of Christianity and those who keep the faith.

On one hand I honestly do respect a person's right to believe anything they want, and to live/practice whatever pleases them. I just don't respect the way Christianity has been used to rob the masses of their personal sense of freedom and power for centuries; nor do I respect the very real threat to human advancement this dark age religion poses through many aggressive organizations, lobbying groups, and advocacies.

And maybe I'm a little irked by the fact that most of my family and many of my friends are brainwashed to the extent that a really open conversation about the nature of life is an impossibility.

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Jesus vs. Santa Clause -- The Quest for the Historical Jesus, Part 2

Image by ViaMoi via FlickrBy Neal Stone

When I did my last post on this subject, I was informed I had started off on the wrong foot. Indeed I did as I approached Christians ministers only and forgot to ask those that post here for sources on whether Jesus existed or not, I apologize.

In the process I was given many sources including one that suggests the historian Josephus may not have existed and was nothing more than a forgery.

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Outside Christianity is a whole new world of discovery and endless possibility

Typical scenery in the "Doubtful Sounds"
of New Zealand, via WikipediaSent in by Josh

Hello everyone, I'd like to share my own de-conversion story, in the hopes that it might encourage others who may have their own doubts.

To say I grew up in a Christian home is an understatement. My parents were missionaries, believing the Bible as the literal Word of God. I accepted Christ at age 4. We lived overseas on the island of Guam and then the country of Sri Lanka, all the while my parents believing they were doing the Lord's work.

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The Bible is one of the most violent books I have ever read

Image by Rayani Melo via FlickrA letter from Evelyn

Thank you for this website. I was in pain and searching on line for something, and I decided to search for Jesus is a lie, and I found your website. I read the testimonials, and they sounded like my story.

I will write a full story of my experience later but today I would like to share an experience I had Wednesday, December 17.

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I whispered to myself: "There is no god"

Image by cengiz.uskuplu via FlickrSent in by Lukeprog
Ah, the life of a pastor’s kid!I grew up in Cambridge, Minnesota – a town of 5,000 people and 22 Christian churches (at the time). My father was (and still is) pastor of a small, non-denominational church. My mother volunteered to support overseas missionaries around the world.I went to church, Bible study, and other church functions every week. I prayed often and earnestly. For 12 years I attended a Christian school that taught Bible classes and creation science. I played in worship bands and maintained the church’s technology. As a teenager I made trips to China and England to tell the atheists over there about Jesus.

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Ancient Mythic Origins of the Christmas Story

Image via WikipediaValerie Tarico interviews Dr. Tony Nugent, scholar of world religions. Dr. Nugent is a symbologist, an expert in ancient symbols. He taught at Seattle University for fifteen years in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and is an ordained Presbyterian minister.

Most Americans know how Christmas came to be celebrated on December 25: The Emperor Constantine chose the date because it was winter solstice in the Julian Calendar, the birthday of dying and rising gods like Mithra and Sol. Some people also know that our delightful melange of Christmas festivities originated in ancient Norse, Sumerian, Roman and Druid traditions - or, in the case of Rudolph, on Madison Avenue.

But where does the Christmas story itself come from: Jesus in the manger, the angels and wise men?


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Jesus vs. Santa Clause -- The Quest for the Historical Jesus, Part 1

By Neal Stone

Image via WikipediaWARNING: This article contains elements of logic, reason and free thinking and may prove harmful or fatal to ones religious beliefs. Read with extreme caution.

Earlier in one of my posts I mentioned doing research on the Historical Jesus. In fact there are a few things I want to post about, I've just fallen behind. Kind of lost the writing bug for a bit. Guess the brain needs a break. All this thinking wears a guy out. (LOL)

Since this project has gotten bigger than I expected, it will be broken down into smaller blogs. It will also take a while to do the research.

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The war on Christmas free speech

The Freedom From Religion Foundation plans to replace a sign that disappeared from the Illinois Capitol and will add a biblical warning this time: "Thou Shall Not Steal."

Annie Laurie Gaylor heads the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation. She says the sign protesting the display of religious symbols will be replaced.

The apparent theft from the Capitol's rotunda overnight Monday was reported to police.

The sign referred to religion as "myth and superstition" and stood near a Nativity scene sponsored by a Springfield group.

An identical atheist sign in Washington state was stolen and recovered, and one in Wisconsin was vandalized.

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A Fallen World?

By LanceImage by Vermin Inc via Flickr"Of course the world is messed up. We live in a fallen world"
Or so my Christian friend says.

I used to believe this, and it was a good method for me to explain all the pain and suffering I saw in the world. Of course God had created a perfect world, and then we messed it up. It was all our fault. Even the fact that there is so much death and killing in the natural world of animals can be explained by the sin of disobeying God in the Garden of Eden. Apparently this act poisoned the entire world, magically transforming the world from God's perfect plan into the pain and death we see today. Before Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree, all animals got along just fine, and only plants were asked to sacrifice their lives. Adam and Eve and their kids would have had a perfect existence had they not fucked it all up for themselves and the rest of us.

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What Child is This?

Image via WikipediaBy Marlene Winell

We can probably agree we don’t like the commercialism of Christmas, the stress, or the holiday angst. Yet at the center of it all there is a powerful image that speaks to all of us –- the Child. It’s fascinating to me that once a year so many people stop everything, or at least pause, to acknowledge a Child.

But who is this Child of Christmas and why does the image have such power? We have religious and secular interpretations, and I would like to suggest a third -– a soulful interpretation.

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Christianity didn't offer me any deeper answers

Image by fmc.nikon.d40 via FlickrSent in by David S

First of all, welcome to my testimonial. I hope you will find it a refreshing view of what caused this average Joe to find God, walk with Him for a few years, and ultimately reject all religious beliefs in Gods.

I must warn you... Due to the fact that I was raised by two college professors who spent a lot of their careers writing, I tend to be a bit verbose in my story telling. I think you will, however, find this post worth your time, and I would love feedback. As an ex-Christian, it is refreshing to find that there are other people just like yourself.

Okay, let's get started.

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War on Christmas?

By DocMike

In 2005, Bill O'Reilly declared there was a "War On Christmas" because retailers were posting signs that said, "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas." Of course, the stores were simply trying to appeal to all Americans instead of a single group, in hopes that everyone would buy more stuff during the holiday shopping season. But Uncle Bill and his followers proceeded to blacklist retailers and anyone else who didn't cave in to the media pressure.

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I'm finally living my life

Thomas on his knees before Isabel
in the film The Fountain via WikipediaSent in by Krystle

This may seem kind of scattered but I'm writing straight from the heart so to speak. So here's a rough summery of my Christian/ex-Christian journey and some things about me.

I was raised by a Roman Catholic mother and an Atheist but now "Born Again" father (though I seriously doubt he is born again). My parents separated when I was three and divorced when I was four, and I was raised predominantly by my mom until I was fifteen. During that time I was brought to church every Sunday, and for all the Catholic holidays. From kindergarten until grade seven I went to Catholic schools.

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Filling the void

From B.R.

Christianity is an ethos that penetrates all of life and provides answers that are useful in some cases. For example, answers about how to deal with bitterness that otherwise in a bad case of bitterness would eat someone alive, like a bad cavity that eventually abscesses.

If Christianity is not true, and someone comes to recognize that, they still have the problems that Christianity tried to solve, but they are without a solution any longer. While Christianity may not have been correct, was at least practical and useful at some level (Christianity would not exist were it not useful at some level for solving the problems of the human condition. It transcends the mere critiques of Marx or Nietzsche for example). At the same time, I am not saying that we should follow a system, or indeed, give our lives for something that is not correct.

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Vatican issues document condemning biomedical technology

Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Image by anwer2007 via FlickrSent in by Sean

The Vatican issued its most authoritative and sweeping document on bioethical issues in more than 20 years on Friday, taking into account recent developments in biomedical technology and reinforcing the church’s opposition to in vitro fertilization, human cloning, genetic testing on embryos before implantation and embryonic stem cell research.The Vatican says these techniques violate the principles that every human life — even an embryo — is sacred, and that babies should be conceived only through intercourse by a married couple.

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A Brief World History of Christmas

Image via WikipediaBy HellboundAlleee

What does Christmas have to do with Jesus? Less than you think.

Sift through world history in about five minutes in this video, because I know you can't sit through more than that.

If you want me to know I'm going to burn in hell, thanks, but I've been informed!

-- HellboundAlleee

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Worthless religion

Image by assbach via FlickrFrom Paul D

I would like to say a big Scottish thank you to all the people whom have written testimonies that have been so helpful and comforting to me.

My own story is rather long and complicated, and I need to think about how to word things before I go ahead. Until then I am writing this as a reply to all the Christians who write comments on this site in order to convince, scare or browbeat us back in to Christianity.

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Leaving the Bible Belt?

Image via WikipediaA letter from DJ

I am coming to feel less and less at home here in the Bible Belt, and I wondered if anyone could make a suggestion as to a good place to raise my kids religion-neutral, without being harassed and looked down upon.

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Is it Ok to Celebrate Christmas, Even If You’re Not a Christian?

Image by Daniel Y. Go via FlickrBy Valerie Tarico

I just love Christmas!” my friend Hannah confessed recently, “even though I’m appalled by Christianity.” She sounded sheepish, as if loving Christmas somehow made her bad.

Poor Hannah. I understand her tone of apology. What Hannah is appalled by isn’t the broad range of kind, thoughtful Christians in her community, but rather the thin cruel theologies that drive the Evangelical Right. People like Bill O’Reilly have claimed Christmas for their own--deriding broader holiday traditions. “It’s about Jesus!” They cry loudly. “Jesus is the reason for the season!” “It’s a Christian holiday (and this is a Christian country)!” Who wants to be associated with O’Reilly and his minions?!

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How silly it all is!

Image via WikipediaSent in by Jacolyn

It has been one whole year now since I officially became an ex-Christian. It has been an interesting journey! I think it's funny how once you start looking at Christianity from the outside, you really see just how ridiculous it is! It's so obvious to me now how silly all religion is in general.

In the past year I think I have been through the following "phases": Non-belief in Bible-god, but still holding onto belief in some "higher power"AgnosticAtheist

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Listen to Your Mind

Image by Stephen Poff via FlickrFrom Emily

Listen to your mind, and not your heart;
The pumping of blood is not an art.
Not by design or purpose, intent,
Were the systems of your body meant...

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I was a true believer, yes siree!

By Billy B

Hi, hello...whatever...,

I'll just shoot the run down and get through my little "all about ME" stuff...short, sweet...m-kay?

I'm a 56-year-old married w/kids dude. I'm atheist and a former "real deal" fundie. I'm also an ex-boozer and (substance) abuser. These past 18 years of sobriety have been a climb out of my hole of childhood indoctrination and baaaaad habits. Today, things are great.

Short enough? Good deal.

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Santa Claus Worshipers Decry “Christification” of “Their” Season

Image via WikipediaBy Sam Singleton, Atheist Evangelist

Across the country disparate sects of believers in the deity of Santa Claus have united in an effort to “reclaim” Christmas from those they call heretics for “continually dragging Christ back into Christmas.”

Until recently the notoriously contentious and litigious Santa worshippers, or Santatarians, have been primarily known for feuding among themselves over which of three denominations represents the one “true” faith.

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Listen to your hearts

From Jackie

i pity those who do not listen to their hearts, but furthermore, who do not listen to Christ.

Most of you have been Christians or at least "believers" for most of your lives. How is it, that NOW you decide to turn away from God? Has He not been there for you since He came to you? Have you not any wisdom when Satan is deceiving you? God has shown you the truth, yet you still deny Him.

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One sentence from God and I could be the most committed Christian God could want

Sent in by Jasen

Image via FlickrChildhood

My parents raised me Christian. To be specific, most of the time I was attending a Church of the Nazarene three times a week. The CotN is a fairly conservative church in the Wesleyan holiness tradition and as such has an Arminian theology. In practice though, its supposed uniquenesses are swallowed by general American Evangelicalism.

As a young child, church was largely an experience I enjoyed. Watching stories played out on the felt board, signing such classic songs as Father Abraham, and potlucks were are fun activities. From my time at home with the Picture Bible, Bible stories on records, and the Psalty tapes, I was something of a star pupil in Sunday School. At the age of eight, I went to altar at a service to accept Jesus as my personal savior and to give my life wholly to God.

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Atheist Sign: A Response

Image via WikipediaBy Neal Stone

In Olympia, WA., the Atheists put up a sign that really upset the religious community. The following is my letter to this community.

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Atheist Sign: A Response

Image via WikipediaBy Neal Stone

In Olympia, WA., the Atheists put up a sign that really upset the religious community. The following is my letter to this community.

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GREAT ATHEISTIC QUOTES

"The way to change the world is to change people's minds. As more and more people openly discuss the fact that "God" and "Allah" are completely imaginary, the world becomes a better place. The people who believe in "religion" look sillier and sillier. Eventually, religion becomes a fringe activity that is meaningless." --
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

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Burned by the Incubator, Part II

Sent in by Angela

If the pessimist sees the glass half empty and the optimist sees it half full they both go away thirsty.

I’ve been thirsty for a very long time, yet afraid to take a drink.

Most of my life I’ve had an all consuming fear of hell that has prevented me from being honest about my doubts. I was raised in a Charismatic Christian household where free thinking and doubting were discouraged. Doubt was an enemy to faith. It was to be either fought against, or politely ignored. Every question I had received a simple black or white answer that never satisfied.

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This year's hype on the so-called war on Christmas

Countdown's Keith Obermann makes his case that Bill O'Reilly is really fomenting intolerance and radicalism by his War on Christmas.

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The more I read the Bible, the more convinced I became that it was false

David & Goliath via WikipediaSent in by Corey

I was raised in a Catholic home from birth. I went to Holy Family Catholic school from kindergarten through eighth grade. I attended church every Sunday and kinda believed in it all. Now, my parents didn't really harp on God or the Bible. I don't think many Catholics actually read the Bible, but I went along with it all.

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Reasons Greetings

Cover via AmazonBy Valerie TaricoBill O’Reilly is in heaven, because the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has given him a platform from which to launch his latest series of tirades about “The War on ChristmasTM.” Alongside a manger scene and a holiday tree, the executive office building in Washington State now has a plaque that says, “At this season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail.” It goes on to add: “There are no gods, no devils or angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.” The sign was placed by ex-evangelist Dan Barker (author of Godless) on behalf of Washington members of the FFRF, an organization that works largely on separation of church and state.

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Pastor accused of shoplifting

PITTSFIELD — The pastor of a New Ashford church is accused of shoplifting merchandise at the Carr Hardware he worked at in Pittsfield.

Joseph D. Slonski, 53, of Windsor Road, Savoy, was charged with shoplifting by concealment after allegedly stealing a chainsaw chain valued at $25.99, according to Police Capt. Patrick F. Barry, head of the department's detective bureau.

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"Prop 8 - The Musical" starring Jack Black, John C. Reilly, and many more...

Prop. 8 Protest, Sacramento Capital Building Steps
by Fritz Liess via FlickrProp 8: The Musical, created by award-winning Hairspray composer Marc Shaiman, features stars such as Jack Black and John C Reilly lampooning backers of the constitutional amendment, which limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman.

The ban was passed by voters during the November election, five months after gay weddings were legalised in the nation’s most populous state.

A number of legal challenges are seeking to overturn the amendment, which was opposed by Hollywood heavyweights including Brad Pitt and Steven Spielberg as well as President-Elect Barack Obama and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Its passage sparked protests nationwide.

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You're an atheist! Why do you care?

Image by stuartpilbrow via FlickrGreg Epstein, Harvard's Humanist Chaplain, requested feedback on his Newsweek/Washington Post/On Faith post, "Less Anti-theism, More Humanism," where he argues:

In most people’s minds, “religion” does not just stand merely for belief in an unseen, all-seeing deity with a baritone voice and a flowing beard. It stands for the things we hold most dear: family, tradition, and community. Memories of lost loved ones and consolation in the face of death. The organized pursuit of social justice. Not to mention music, art, architecture, and I could go on and on.

These things are all good. If you take a rhetorical blowtorch to religion without acknowledging the way it provides them, you get precisely what we have today: a nation and world where despite all our scientific knowledge, 80 to 90 percent of people say they are religious.

In short, Epstein seems to be against outspoken atheism. What do you think?

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I LOVE Christmas

Image by angelsk via FlickrEver wonder where we get our Christmas traditions? This video explains where the most popular Christmas traditions come from.

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Religious Billboards

By DocMike


You can't swing a dead cat in many US cities without hitting a religious billboard. But when the Freedom From Religion Foundation put one up that simply said, "Imagine No Religion",

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Lights, Camera, Action!

Image by TracyJones via FlickrBy Neal Stone

First off, I haven't written for a while. I am out of phase. What I mean is that I tend to switch back and forth between technical and creative. My research in the historical Jesus has also begun with interesting results so far. But more on that in a later post.

Out of curiosity I was browsing local ministries in my area, just to see what weird stuff was going on around here. First off I was amazed at all the bizarre religious crap I found -- even prophetic dancing!

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Burned by the Incubator

"Battle Of The Demons" by KmountManBy Angela

The earliest fights between my mom and step-dad were about church and music. My mom became a Christian before my step-dad did. By this time my grandma and grandpa had both become Christians due to my mom's influence. It was a good thing (for a while) and their life began to change too. Over time each of my mom's three siblings would come to the same conclusion, Jesus was the answer. Over time I would come to doubt that conclusion. If Jesus was the answer why did I have so many questions?

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