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Showing posts from January, 2009

A Walk on the Dark Side: A Childhood Nightmare

By Mriana
Image via Soulfountain
(Names have been changed/withheld to protect the living)

In 1973 I was seven and riding back home with my parents after spending a long summer with my grandparents. I don’t remember much before then, except bits and pieces, but after that was living hell, which I have no knowledge as to why. The thing is, as a child, none of it was my fault, but rather the adults in my life and it had nothing to do with a god. It was all on the humans.

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Each of us has a path in life

By Christian B

Hello, I have been with this website a long time now and I feel now is the time to introduce myself and my beliefs. My Name is Christian, I am from the United Kingdom and I am 27 years old. I am a Unitarian along with what I would consider my own 'unique' beliefs, and I believe that this is my 'path' in this lifetime.

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I am a work in progress, but it is REALLY difficult

A letter from Dean

Image by Steve Rhodes via FlickrI need help. After a very long time of searching for people who feel as I do I finally found this website. I have written this because I do not know who else to talk to and I feel that this is the only site where people will understand what I am going through.

This is a long post. I hope someone reads it as I really need to know that I am not the only one going through this.

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The Tempest

Image via WikipediaBy Christian

I was a Non-Denominational Christian girl and as I got older, I was very involved in my church. I went out witnessing (trying to proselytize people and inviting people to my church) on Saturday mornings and I was thoroughly brainwashed by my church to think that all non-Christians would be in hell. I constantly attended altar calls to rededicate my life to god and to make sure that I would go to heaven. Well, this lasted until I went to college and was exposed to new ideas. I eventually knew that my beliefs were going to change and I started reading Carl Sagan. I started learning more about my first love which was science and how it actually worked. I was exposed to a world that was more wonderful than anything I experienced. I read other science publications--books, magazines, anything I could get my hands on--and digested the information. I eventually discovered the joy of reading Skeptical Inquirer; I decided to strengthen my natural skepticism.


My Story - Part 3. Prison, Chains and the Dragon

Image by visual.dichotomy via FlickrBy Neal Stone

After becoming a Christian and my parents “got right with God”, they decided I needed to leave public school and go to a private Christian school. I spent the 6th grade being picked on by bullies, falling behind on my work and piratically failing. It was a hard year for me and I barely got through it.

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Unshakable Sense of Disappointment Post-Deconversion

Image by SugaShane via FlickrA letter from Andy Walters

I severed myself from the faith with all the grace and gradualness of a guillotine drop. Sitting alone in my apartment, I was held captive by the unsettling but undeniable words spilling off the page. Some Christians wait a lifetime to hear the voice of God loud and clear. I settled for Karen Armstrong. Her thesis was undeniable: Fundamentalism, the belief that God has been perceived in exactly the same way throughout the ages, is ahistorical. Each generation of believers has reconstructed what “God” meant for them, regardless of whether their reconstructions required the reinterpretation, deformation, or abandonment of the prevalent beliefs about God. God wasn't one rope that stretched throughout history, tying our religious ancestors together. "God" was actually a long line of dominoes – individual, gradually evolved, mutually exclusive conceptions of God – that stood proudly, if surreptitiously, waiting to…

Atheist Arrogance

Image via WikipediaBy Valerie Tarico

Atheists are arrogant. Who hasn’t heard it?

Arrogance is just one of their repellent qualities, of course. They are also ungenerous, cold, lonely, untrustworthy, amoral, and aggressive. You shouldn’t leave them around children. When I spoke last week to a group called Seattle Atheists, the organizer positioned me far from the door, and I speculated aloud about whether I should be worried for my safety, given what we know about atheist ethics.

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Thoughts on demon possession and exorcism

Image via WikipediaBy Lance_ec

I was just watching the movie "The Golden Compass" and was intrigued by the use of the word Demon (Daemon?) for the spirit of a person that walks along side them in animal form. My kids raised their eyebrows when they first heard it in the movie, since they were already familiar with the negative Christian use of the word.

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Thoughts on demon possession and exorcism

Image via WikipediaBy Lance_ec

I was just watching the movie "The Golden Compass" and was intrigued by the use of the word Demon (Daemon?) for the spirit of a person that walks along side them in animal form. My kids raised their eyebrows when they first heard it in the movie, since they were already familiar with the negative Christian use of the word.

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I'm in a state of confusion

Image by Getty Images via DaylifeSent in by SFT

I took a deep breath, walked a short distance, turned around and realized my reality had fallen to bits...

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Gimme an A

Image of Sam Singleton Sam Singleton, Atheist Evangelist, Sets Forth New Naming Protocol for Atheists, Believers, and Agnostics

Can’t nobody tell Brother Sam nothing about the abuse gets heaped on atheists every day. I’m a goddamned authority. I figure I get abused as much as about anybody short of Brother Richard Dawkins himself. But you don’t have to be any full-time professional God slayer to feel the cold sting of stigma that comes with proclaiming yourself an atheist. There isn’t a one of us that hasn’t been talking to someone and, having divulged our atheism, gotten the look, the one that says You might as well just save your breath because I quit listening back when you dropped the A-bomb.

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Teaching Christian Morals at the Office

It literally drove me insane

Image by Bedtime Champ via FlickrSent in by Al

My Christian journey to hell began when I was 12 years old. Actually, it started when I was six or seven, when my mom made me attend Catholic Classes (CCD), but that's another story.

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I still haven't told everyone

Image via WikipediaSent in by Ryn Darknight

I am going to be honest. This is very difficult for me to write as I am a very private person and I want to protect my family--all of whom are Xians.

Several years ago I thought I would undertake a study of evolution to determine if it is true. I began to realize from my studies that it is true and that if modern humans are at the very least 50,000 years old then the Adam and Eve story must be false. I continued my studies and found evidence for disease existing in the world before humans ever got here and that completely undermined for me the story of the 'fall' of humankind. I felt a great sense of relief because I had always been troubled by what I thought to be true--that God had cursed the world because of the sin of Adam and Eve. It makes me angry with myself that I ever believed this.

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Grandma's gift

Image by Getty Images via DaylifeSent in by Darrin

From birth I was raised in the Pentecostal faith by my mother, and I never really had any doubts about the existence of "God" or the claims of the bible until my mid to late teens. I just assumed that if your mother and your family tell you something is real it must be true, because they wouldn't steer you in the wrong direction, right?

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Rick Warren's True Purpose-Driven Colors

Image by DClemm via FlickrBy Valerie Tarico

Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Lifeand founder of one of the country's most successful mega-churches was chosen to give the invocation at the Obama inauguration for the same reason Sarah Palen was chosen as McCain's running mate: as a valentine to Evangelicals.

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Fulfilling their Christian duty

Image by freefotouk via FlickrA letter from Matt

I'm 18 years old and have been brought up in a fundamental (Presbyterian) christian background since the day I was born. My parents are both devout believers as well as my older brother. I was a firm believer myself, although I struggled through many things like drugs, porn, and bad habits like swearing (all the while believing in god and trying to live it). I have also attended Christian school all my life, and am currently a senior in high school (where I am in an apologetics class!)

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A history of everything

Image by nick.garrod via FlickrThe entire history of life and the cosmos rolled into under 10 minutes.

Video footage used from several educational documentaries.

Music includes:

American Beauty Soundtrack - Thomas Newman - Any Other Name
A perfect circle - Imagine

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How evolution happens

Image via WikipediaWatch evolution unfold before your eyes in this creative video featuring fish, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, and primates.

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The Evolution of Religions

Image via WikipediaA video by the University of Southern California College Center for Religion and Civic Culture

Jared Diamond, professor of geography at UCLA, received the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction in 1998 for Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Science. His most recent book is Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2004).

Professor Diamond argues that religion has encompassed at least four independent components that have arisen or disappeared at different stages of development of human societies over the last 10,000 years.

This lecture is approximately 80 minutes long.

A visit to the Creation Museum

Why Does God Allow Pain?

Image by Getty Images via DaylifeBy Brother Sam Singleton, Atheist Evangelist

When believers send this kind of crap to Brother Sam, God invariably drops what he’s not doing and annotates it so it can be taken down word for word. Just as surely as Brother Sam employs an amanuensis, so too does God, and that’d be Brother Sam. And Brother Sam hopes he’s not telling tales out of school, but if you ever heard some of God’s messages directly you’d understand why his children have such difficulty with language. As for the crap folks send in, and the aforementioned annotations, Brother Sam lets the human errors stand, but feels obliged to clean up God’s work out of respect for what he used to be back before he turned out to not exist. You shoulda seen him then, slaughtering babies, drowning just and unjust alike, all manner of plagues― Brother Sam has color coded the parts.

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Algunos comentarios sobre el concepto de la felicidad

Image by ~FreeBirD®~ via FlickrBy Irving Gonzalez

Ser feliz es el estado emocional que todo ser humano busca alcanzar. El concepto de felicidad varía de persona en persona pero en general pienso que es un estado de satisfacción con la vida. Los grandes logros académicos, profesionales y económicos no tienen ninguna relevancia al concepto de felicidad de muchos. Es aquí donde surge el debate sobre si la felicidad es interna (dependiendo mayormente de tu actitud concerniente a los eventos que nos suceden a diario) o externa (el cumplimiento de metas personales y la satisfacción de nuestras necesidades físicas). Para mi, el debate no tiene mucho sentido. Mi felicidad personal es un balance de ambas. Mi cuerpo físico tiene unas necesidades que tienen que ser satisfechas para poderme considerar una persona feliz y de la misma forma, hay un estado emocional/filosófico que tengo que alcanzar y mantener para estar internamente feliz (o en paz) conmigo mismo.

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Keeping Secret Silence

Image via WikipediaBy KSS

This is an extraordinary site. I have been wondering if I was alone in wanting answers to these questions. Eventually I found this site and I am impressed with the sincere desire to find what is true.

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Gott Mit Uns

Image by Jaume d'Urgell via FlickrA video submitted by Roan7995

Gott Mit Uns translates to God is with us.

All the photos starting around 3:45 link Nazism and Christian icons/ language. Pause the video and look if you don't see how.

Some in the academic sphere may consider a Reductio Ad Hitlerum argument to be in poor taste, but I think it gets the point across when there is such abundant evidence to support it.

The first song is a cover of the Undersea Palace theme from Chrono Trigger that I made. If you want it, shoot me a message. The 2nd song is Hell Bent, by Kenna. Check out the video for it.

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Jesus, we are yours!

Image via WikipediaRick Warren of Saddleback Church seeks to motivate Christians toward deeper devotion and Christian activism through the "radical" examples of Adolph Hitler, Mao Zedung, Vladimir Lenin and their fanatical devotees.

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Unshackled at last

Image by Darwin Bell via FlickrSent in by Chris S

The process of de-conversion from Christianity for me as many of you may relate, was actually a very slow one. By slow, I mean roughly 15 years or so. I think that it may have happened sooner, but in hind-sight rationalized away or chose to ignore the things that were troubling me so. For years the thought of being labeled a “heretic” or “apostate”, brought guilt and quite frankly was afraid of hell. This site has really really helped me and am thankful for it! One of it's interesting distinctions is that we once were Christians. We had hopes, we had dreams, we loved Jesus, we walked the talk, we were “on-fire” at one time and know what that means. This site has helped me realize that I am not the only one facing de-conversion from a destructive religion, which even though may not be aware of it, enslaves minds and suppresses freedom to live happily without guilt and accusation.

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Road to Disbelief

Image by joaquimb via FlickrSent in by exrelayman

I guess it is time for my testimony. I have commented here a few times. Here is a complete post.

This testimony is about how belief became unbelief. It will not be cluttered with elements of my life story or feelings (Life Story: concerto for mouth and tear ducts). It is, as best I can recall from a 40-some-year-old memory, in sequence.

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Walking the line

Image by laurenipsum via FlickrBy Bill Jeffreys

Occasionally I have to deal with a certain religious person in my life who seems to struggle with being friendly or reasonable with me. This person struggles with being nice to me when I don't do what he wants or when I don't agree with him. It's not that I am trying to be difficult. I attempt to compromise, even though I often feel like telling the person to go jump in a lake. Sometimes I roll my eyes and try to take the high road, meaning I just go along with any request, because it means less drama. I get tired of his attempts at shaming me, guilting me, or simply insulting me and raising his voice at me. I'm constantly walking a fine line with this relationship.

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A Question of Miracles

Image via WikipediaFaith healing has been around for many years, but the real question is, "Are these supposed healings really miracles?"

To address that question, this six-part documentary follows some well known faith healers on their crusades.

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False hopes and the lies of Christianity

Image by Steve Wampler via FlickrBy David S

This is actually my second writing to this website in the last month. In mid-December, 2008, I submitted my testimony as to why I shunned Christianity (and all religious beliefs). So why am I writing again? Because I truly have a passion for people to spread the word about the false promises and lies that Christianity spreads.

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Why I Retired From the Ministry

By Bruce I am often questioned as to why I retired from the pastoral ministry. I started preaching as a teenage boy and I pastored my first Church at age 24. Since then I have pastored Churches in Ohio, Texas and Michigan with my last pastorate being in 2003. I have been married over 30 years and I have spent my entire married life in the ministry.Acquaintances, family and friends are often miffed as to why I just walked away from the ministry. Why retire, I am often asked. Surely there’s a Church somewhere for you to pastor? Surely you still “want” to pastor? If God called you how can you walk away from his calling?Good questions and quite frankly I have more questions these days than I do answers. What follows is an attempt by me to shed some light on the “why” question.
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Scientific Breakthroughs from the Bible (Part III)

By DocMike

The describes a flat, circular Earth sitting on pillars, with a dome over it, which contained the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. lived in and on the dome. The Moon made its own light and the stars were just smaller lights in the night sky. The Earth was the center of everything. It remained still, while the Sun, Moon, and stars moved over it.

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Sex Sells - Even in church

Image via WikipediaAs Madison Avenue has shown us, sex, with the right mix of pop culture and edge can sell almost anything –Coca Cola, the Joker—or, as it turns out, the theological equivalent of either.
By Valerie Tarico

This weekend's NYT Magazine featured a piece by Molly Worthen about Seattle megachurch Mars Hill: "Who Would Jesus Smack Down?". The article, like the church itself, leads with titillation. And as in the church itself, the titillation is an opener for Calvinism – the kind of fundamentalism that says we are all utterly depraved, doomed to eternal torture – except that the God of Calvin has chosen a lucky inside group for salvation.

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My Story - Part 2. The Miracle Child

Image by Ekler via FlickrBy Neal Stone

By the time I started school it was evident I had a learning disability. My ability to just speak and say what was on my mind was a major challenge. Still fighting this a little to this day but much better than it was long ago.

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Is God a voyeur?

Image by Travlr via FlickrBy Dano

I no longer believe in the God of the Bible. He is too vindictive, jealous, mean, and easily offended. In other words, he is too much like a human tyrant. So, I pray to my own version of the creator, or supreme being, if you will.

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From Darkness to the Light of Reason

Image via WikipediaSent in by Emily Ortega

Hello fellow Ex-tians. I have been coming to this site for over a year now, reading testimonials, browsing the forum, etc., and I thought now would be the best time to submit my ex-timony. You see, I've been an atheist since I was about 16, but I didn't know what 'label' to use until recently.

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I Took The Red Pill

Image via WikipediaBy PeeJay McNeil

I didn't grow up in a particularly religious family. My father was a Harvard educated attorney, who just as the stereotype suggests, went to prison for a white-collar crime. My mother has her own unique ideas about the universe most of which consist of watching John Edward (the psychic, not the political figure) and hoping to make "contact" with her mother. My older sister joined the Baptist Student Union in college and proceeded to tell the entire family that they were going to hell (ironically, she's a lesbian now) which did not set well with anyone. I was only about four when this happened but it had a profound effect on me.

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How do I move forward?

Image via WikipediaA letter from Kevin

I'm 41 years of age and have been a Christian since I was probably six or seven. It's all I've known.

Now my two kids -- seven and nine -- are right into it.

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Raising Moral Kids without Gods: The Wisdom Commons

Image by chrissuderman via FlickrBy Valerie Tarico

As parents, we want our children to be happy. We want them to achieve great things. But we also want them to be good people. We want to be as proud of their kindness, generosity and integrity as we are of their achievements. How do we help them get there?

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Ex-Christians Don't Exist!

Image via WikipediaIn this short video series, TruthSurge expounds on the supposed non-existence of ex-Christians.

Do ex-Christians really exist?

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New Year, Old Messages

Image by Môsieur J. via FlickrBy Syrastis

Often do we find a new year filled with new opportunities and a chance to start fresh. Many make resolutions for the new year (that never seem to be followed). And with all of this we still have that wonderful old message that so many at this site despise...
"God sent Jesus to die on the cross to save us. Turn back to Him before you are damned to the depths of Hell forever."

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My Story – Part 1. My Journey Begins

Image by ~jjjohn~ via FlickrBy Neal Stone

My personal story is quite long so will be breaking it down into smaller posts.

It all began in German back in 1965. My mother went into labor and off to the hospital she went. The German nurse in charge of her hated Americans. She ignored my mom at every turn or treated bad when she did pay attention. My mother went into labor at 9pm March 16th. No one came to her aid because of this nurse ignoring her and I would be stuck in the birth canal for 12 hours.

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Tired of Pimpin the Program

Image via FlickrSent in by Jim Schoch

What would cause a pastor of over 20 yrs to leave the ministry? My reasons and story are uniquely mine. Maybe you have been in my shoes in one way or another. I started out in the Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions of showing up early and leaving late from every church meeting I ever attended. As a result, as soon as I was asked to do anything, I always said "yes." In our churches, the way into ministry was through apprenticeship, for higher learning was suspect as not being spiritual enough for true ministers.

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Christianity is a lie and there is no God

Image by Sinsong via FlickrSent in by Celeste

I have been an ex-Christian for about six years now. Mine is a long strange story. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school for nine years. I was born in Maine in a community of mostly French Canadian descent, uneducated, and 99% Catholic in my home town. I was taught mostly by nuns who really messed with my head and caused me so much torment. I believed I was a good student, but the nuns treated me like I was stupid and caused me to have low self-esteem.

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Religulous, the movie

Image via WikipediaReligulous is a 2008 American comedy/documentary film written by and starring politicalcomedianBill Maher and directed by Larry Charles. According to Maher, the title of the film is a portmanteau derived from the words "religion" and "ridiculous"; the documentary examines and satirizes organized religion and religious belief.

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Living by the rule, rather than the exception

By Kevin Perry

It is often said that atheists have the same amount of faith as Christians. This is a common argument, and my response to this claim is the following question: which of the two belief systems has the most amount of assumptions?

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Officially a heretic

Medieval illustration of Hell.
Artist: Herrad von Landsberg (about 1180),
via WikipediaSent in by Former Fundamentalist Pastor

Up to the time of my Dad’s funeral in May of 1998, I had discretely maintained silence about my true beliefs, in order to not upset our fragile family unity (or offend my Christian sons and families as well as my lovely wife); nevertheless, after Dad’s passing, I angrily penned the following thoughts which exposed my radically different views and took a stand as an official heretic. My family was understandably upset. While religion is a still subject studiously avoided among us, I have studiously avoided letting my family read the following thoughts, although they have been published on many anti-Christian web sites; moreover, I still get occasional emails from around the world.

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Ex-Christian and former missionary kid

The "Li Wu" River in Hualien County, Taiwan
via WikipediaSent in by Kirsten

I am a 29-year-old female, married, living very happily in St Paul, Minnesota. I work in a factory that makes windows, live in a one-bedroom condo downtown, and go to school part time. It has been quite the journey to arrive to this stage in my life. I was born and raised in Taiwan along with my two older brothers. My parents are missionaries with the Evangelical Covenant Church and have been for over thirty years. They help with church-planting projects and my dad served as a mentoring pastor to several different churches on the island. My mom led Bible studies and stayed at home with us. They now live in the US and coordinate short-term mission trips into Taiwan, China, and South Africa.

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Getting stoned in the name of GOD

Image via WikipediaBy Jax

I've been visiting this site for a while now and I like it. It is actually good therapy to know one is not alone. Thanks to all who started and contribute to this site. And thanks to the fundys and Xtians for their ludicrous comments and vain attempt to battle "Satan"... you blokes are good for a laugh and re-enforcing why I will never return to such stupidity.

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Encouraging de-converting and former Christians

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