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Showing posts from February, 2009

And these signs shall follow them that believe…

Image via WikipediaBy Rational Okie

Is Christianity a religion with real power or a fraud? If you listen to fundamentalists they clearly believe that they have “real power” at their fingertips. It’s not hard to understand why they believe this. After his resurrection Jesus stated to his disciples that those who follow him shall perform miracles.

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Why doesn't God want me to be a Christian?

Image by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ via FlickrBy Pineapple

If the God you believe in exists, why did He turn His back on me when I was collapsed on my bedroom floor sobbing and begging Him for more faith? Why did He leave me alone and bewildered when my faith of 20 years begin to unravel?

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Trying to leave, but still have doubts

Image via WikipediaA letter from Siarhei

Hi guys,

only few days ago I have started to seriously consider leaving my faith and I am trying to get as much info as possible now to help my mind and ease my doubts.

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Casper, the Friendly/Holy Ghost

Image via WikipediaBy Mriana

When I was little, there was this cartoon series involving Casper the Friendly Ghost, and I had an invisible friend, as do many children, only his name was Casper. Romper Room hosted some of the Casper shows, which caught my attention and probably encouraged my desire to learn, but it also gave me my invisible friend.

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Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America-and Found Unexpected Peace

Hello.

I wanted to tell you that my memoir, "Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America--and Found Unexpected Peace," is available now in bookstores and on Amazon.

I'd be honored if you'd buy this book and forward this announcement to your friends to help spread the word. I also have a calendar up on my website so I can see if I'll be coming to a town near you.

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God's Lonely Feelings

From Paul Nichols

I'm 23 years old, about a week away from my 24th birthday. Recently, I have had serious doubts about a God existing with all the terror and pain that is visible in our world. In my heart, I knew that if there was a God, he or she probably wasn't someone I would want to be around anyways. Anyone who could watch the brutality of this world and not do something about it when they could is not my ideal God.

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Godless? Come Out and Mess with a Stereotype or Two

By Valerie Tarico

My brother, David, is gay. You can't tell by how he walks or talks or dresses. You wouldn't know who he loves and why unless you know him. The only clue, maybe, is that he happens to be nicer than the rest of my mother's offspring, including me. Several years ago, I said to David: All you have to do to mess with people's stereotypes is be out and be yourself. Whatever the ugly expectation might be: self absorbed, hedonistic, promiscuous, debauched, unable to relate to kids, whatever. . . . David isn't it.

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Part 5. My Story – The Great Escape

Escape, originally uploaded by SM PhotoBy Neal Stone

First off sorry about the delay on this next part. Been a busy week and kind of lost the writing bug for a bit.

You read all the time on the news how someone escapes from jail, but ends up being recaptured right away. Why? Because they failed to prepare for AFTER the got away. You spend all this time on getting free, but not what to do next.

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Jesus as my personal tormentor

Sent in by Andrew

I grew up on the extremely Catholic west side of Cincinnati, Ohio. For those of you who aren't familiar with this (and thankfully most of the world isn't) West Side Cincinnati is one of the most isolated metropolitan areas of the country.

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Dialogue with a school friend

Singing, originally uploaded by comingstobrazil.Sent in by Elizabeth

The Following is a snippet of dialogue between adult survivors of a missionary boarding school in Brazil:

MY FRIEND'S LETTER IN ANSWER TO A PREVIOUS DISCUSSION:

"Ok, now I"m finally going to settle down and pick up our earlier interaction. My time at *** was very mixed. You called me self-contained, and that is probably true, in the sense that I don't tend to show what is going on inside of me to the outside world. I think that the boarding school had a lot to do with that. Since then, I have never really confided in many people, and especially not my own family. It is amazing the things my family does not know about me. In my case, I lived a double life until I was about 38...

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Megachurch pastor's son arrested for indecent exposure

Inside the Potter's House, via FlickrJermaine Jakes, arrested after approaching male officers in park, lists T.D. Jakes Ministries as his place of employment

The son of T.D. Jakes — the Dallas megachurch pastor who’s called homosexuality a “brokenness” and declared that he would never hire a sexually active gay person — was arrested in a gay sex sting in Kiest Park in January, according to Dallas police reports.

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Harvest the power of religion...

Image by Vermin Inc via FlickrEliminate your vermin problem with an exciting new product called "Creedocide."

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Pastor sent to jail for violating abortion clinic buffer law

A pastor found guilty of violating a city law created to provide an 8-foot buffer between anti-abortion protesters and women entering clinics was sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to stay 100 yards away from the clinic at which he was arrested for the next three years.

The Rev. Walter Hoye, the first person charged and found guilty of the city's two-year-old law must also pay $1,130 in fines and remain on probation for three years after either serving his 30 days in county jail or entering an alternative program run by the sheriff's department.

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For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth...

By DocMike

When I was a child, I was taught that the bible-god was loving and caring. All the stories I heard in church and in Sunday School seemed to prove this. But when I got a little older and started reading the myself, I found him to be a very different "person."

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It's not a religion -- it's a relationship

Image by confusedvision via FlickrBy Josh Sullivan

"It's not a religion. It's a relationship.” Has anyone else heard Christians use this argument? It's hard to say when this phrase gained popularity. According to Gregory Kouki of the radio show, Stand to Reason, "this slogan has been a rallying cry of 1970s and 80s evangelicalism.” Whatever the case, the phrase is popular amongst Christians. You can read blog posts on it, watch Christians on YouTube recycling it, you can even buy bumpers stickers proclaiming it. But what bothers me about this phrase is how many things are just wrong with it.

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Phelps family banned from entering the UK

Fred Phelps has been banned from entering the UK along with his daughter From BBC News:
A father and daughter from a US church which preaches hatred of homosexuals have been banned from entering the UK by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.Fred Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper from the Westboro Baptist Church had urged protests against a play being put on in Hampshire. Queen Mary's College in Basingstoke is staging The Laramie Project, a play about a man killed for being gay. The UK Border Agency said it opposed "extremism in all its forms".

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Deconstructing Bible stories

Image by Getty Images via DaylifeBy Sharon

I was an evangelical Christian for 40 years, and I loved the Bible. I studied it intensely and devoutly. I loved the Bible with all of my heart. A necessary part of my de-conversion has been to understand those ancient stories in light of current scientific and medical knowledge. These stories were written by men with superstitious minds. Here is one example:

The story is told of a man possessed with demons whom Jesus met while traveling. This man lived "amongst the tombs" and was naked and cut himself. When asked directly the man said there were many demons "legions." And so the story goes that Jesus cast these demons out, curing the man, and that these demons went into a herd of swine (pigs) who then "ran violently down a steep place into the sea."

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A logic based on fantasy

Image by santacrewsgirl via FlickrBy KSS

Here I am again, after a frustrating Sunday at church, visiting this site to get some strength.

I can't believe I didn't see what a lot of fantasy we believe at church.

We sit there thinking we are the only Christians, we are the only saved, all other churches are in error. We talk about "the truth" as something we own: the truth about life, the truth about God.

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Lost or Found?

Image by carf via FlickrBy Seage VT

I just needed to tell someone.

I'm not Christian. My family is. My ex-fiance was. My best friend was.

I am not.

But I understand that there are people who need to think that they don't have control over their lives. People who need to bury their heads in the sand, who can't just take what happens as exactly what it is. People who can't accept that death, is death. You just....die.

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Spare the rod, spoil the child...

Image by Southworth Sailor via Flickr
Psalm 137:9

“Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.”

Deuteronomy 21:18-21

“If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”

2 Kings 2:23-24

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Middle Aged Reason

Image via WikipediaSent in by Richard

I was raised in a loving family in a quiet suburb of the city of Chicago. My mother was a graduate of Wheaton, the school that produced Billy Graham and many other respected evangelicals. I attended church, went to Christian camps, memorized verse, and studied what I was given in order to be a better lamb of god.

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A Religious Country

By the Filipino Infidel

I am a Filipino. I live in the Philippines, a country so proud of itself as the Christian country in the southeast Asian region. I live with fellow Filipinos who devout their lives following the Christian way of life. Everyone is united according to the will of God. Yes, as it is written in Revelations, we will all suffer.

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Steps to Recovery

Hello Everyone,

The following is a summary outline I've come up with for recovering from authoritarian religions like fundamentalist Christianity. In my years of counseling experience, I've found that for a lot of people (not everyone), the leaving process takes time and has some important steps. This outline is not meant to be a formula or cover the issues in depth, but I hope it is useful for you to think about.

Kind regards,
Marlene Winell

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Which one of us is sane?

Image by the mad LOLscientist via FlickrA letter from Mr. Incognito

I just need to get this off my chest. My situation now is that although I lost faith 18 months ago, I’m still with the Christian girlfriend whom I met 9 months before my de-conversion. Although she’s pretty liberal in some ways (and pretty), I’ve just had an argument with her over the evils of Creationism and have realised possibly the main threat to our relationship, and it‘s not simply religion: I get angry about being lied to, while she doesn’t!

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In the end, logic always wins

Image by Allie's.Dad via FlickrFrom Roger

Like all others here, I am joyous to see that this site exists.

The religious influence in my life was very minimal. My parents had us go to a Christian, Lutheran church until we reached a certain age to make our own decisions (basically, we stopped going before my teens). Additionally, I was very fortunate since the pastor at that church was very non-opinionated and open minded. If it weren't for him and his attribution that human kindness is inherent in all of us regardless of spiritual affiliation, I would have a deep seated hatred of religion beyond the ability of logical reason and understanding. He was very good at not always preaching, saying god, lord, Jesus in every sentence, or a constant thump of the Bible.

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A very reluctant atheist

Image via WikipediaSent in by Paul D

Greetings, friends.

I want to make clear from the outset that my path from "born-again" Christian to atheist has been very long and very painful. I have been dragged kicking and screaming all the way, and the easiest thing for me to do would be to walk back into that religion. So, any Christian who wants to give me the "chosen to backslide" treatment... forget it. Also, when I say "Christian," I am talking about the type of person who calls themselves "born again". I do have a few dear Christian friends who are not the "born again or go to hell" kind.

There are dozens of reasons for my de-conversion, so for the moment I will just go over a few key events.

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Clear Eyes

Cover of AnthemBy Kat Sullivan

On Christianity

When you start to really doubt, they tell you to immerse yourself in the "word" and in prayer. And it sounds so wise and like it’s the right thing to do. But really it is the church's built in, self protective mechanism to keep people in the church. The intent seems to be to keep people from spending too long not hearing the “word” and too long away from prayer, because when the “word” and prayer start to seem foreign, weird and a little uncomfortable to people it becomes possible to see Christianity objectively. And it is when we see things objectively that we start to perceive reality, life, the world with more accuracy.

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Darwin and Lincoln: Two Peas in a Pod

Image via WikipediaBy Valerie Tarico

What did Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin have in common besides their February 12, 1809 birthday? Both men transcended the self-centered thinking so characteristic of our kind, allowing them to see the unity of life in a new way. By self-centered, I don't mean selfish. I mean our incredible tendency to perceive ourselves as the measure of all that is: My tribe, my religion, my nation-state, my gender, my "race", my species--all else is here to serve us.

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Rules are Rules

When confronted with ridiculous rules, often respond the same way, "That was the . Those laws are no longer valid." Well, here's a little story from the that disproves their claim.

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RECOVERY RETREATS COMING SOON

Image by FadderUri via FlickrLeaving Your Religion?

It's not the end of the world!

Join us for a powerful weekend with others who can understand and support you.

“RELEASE AND RECLAIM” Recovery Retreat
March 13-15, 2009; Amherst, Mass., and more...

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Out of the Dark

Image via WikipediaBy Mriana

I was born in May 1966, a few months before the Star Trek Original Series came on TV. From the very first episode, my mother watched it, with me on her lap nursing, without knowing or at least not comprehending the Roddenberry’s underlying message, which even Majel confirmed that Gene did use the media to convey a message to the public. I attribute this message as being part of what kept me holding on to some sanity, even though I did not figure out what the philosophy was until I stumbled onto it in my teens. This gift, which I now hold dear, was taken from me, by my mother, even before I had a chance to claim it as my own, but it was not lost forever, even though it became a long journey to make my way back to it again. I guess you could say I grew into their philosophy and they indirectly helped raised me. Maybe I did not better humanity in some manner, but I was struggling to better myself and it was indeed a struggle.

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Fuzzy and mushy and gobbledygook

Image by AlaskanLibrarian via FlickrFrom a UU in Spring, TX

I was raised Catholic-- 12 years of parochial education in Illinois & Missouri. My family on my mother's side were caring, devote people from small-town America who had converted to Catholicism. In high school when visiting California, I remember meeting a guy who said that he was a pagan. That surprised me-- when I thought of "pagan," all I could think of was the people who worshiped the golden calf. Most of my Catholic education taught discipline and critical analysis and I think that it was healthy to think of moral choices that we make in life, but upon reflection, I realize that the concepts of guilt, patriarchy and hatred of those of different faiths were unhealthy.

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Some questions...

A letter from sueetness

This is officially my first post - having accidentally briefly told my story on someone else's thread.

Since having reconnected with someone who is 'trying to save me' and having never in my life been religious, I find myself looking for signs. Like I want the answer to come to me, as I hear it comes to others through some event that makes them see that they NEED to accept Christ into their lives.

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My open campaign against the Christian Right

Image via WikipediaBy Virginia

I submitted an article about quitting Christianity to exchristian.net last August after a 23-year-ambivalent relationship.

This year I took on a special course -- to lead a civic campaign against the religious right in our city.

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Part 4. Cults, Mind Control and Fear, Oh My!

Image via WikipediaBy Neal Stone

One of the hardest things to deal with, because of my disability, is I had no skills, talent and not much of a personality. This made my life difficult when it came to trying to fit in.

In the 79/80 school year we finally were able to move into the new church building and the school which was in the basement. It was at this point things would take a weird turn in thew church and my family. My step-dad would marry my mother and start to demand to be called dad and be treated like dad. On top of that he ate up everything the pastor preached and would become real strict at times.

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Why I Am An Atheist

Image by Cody Simms via FlickrBy Jeffrey Amos

The biggest reason I am an atheist is that I grew up evangelical and later rejected evangelical Christianity – that is the topic of my blog and will be overlooked here. But evangelical Christianity rejected doesn't imply atheism; in my case, non-Christian theist to deist to agnostic to atheist took from April '08 until October '08. Here, I will cover my reasons for being an atheist rather than an otherwise undecided non-Christian.

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Free of religious fear and anxiety

Image by Brian Sawyer via FlickrSent in by Freeman

I’ve been reading posts here for about the past month and I’m very impressed with the honesty and warmth from both those writing and those responding. A recent series of events culminated in my decision to leave Christianity once and for all. A brother I’m very close to attempted suicide recently. He is now getting help for the depression and severe anxiety that afflicted him for years. This event had a profound impact on all my family members. My fundamentalist father decided that "more Jesus" was the answer for my sibling. I won’t get into all that now – but my father and I had it out and haven’t spoken in months.

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Agnostic Goddess Seeks Talking Snake for Fun and Companionship

Image by Caio Basilio via Flickrby Astreja

It's been over a year and a half since I wrote My Ex-timony Heaven, Hell and My Bodhisattva Vow. In the interim, a few noteworthy things have happened to My belief stricture, uh, structure.
I've shifted ever so slightly, from agnostic theist to agnostic atheist."Whaaat?" you exclaim. "Theist to atheist is not a 'slight shift'."

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Twenty wasted years

Image via WikipediaSent in by Susan

Just a real quick 'testimony'. Seems weird using that word. Anyways, I was 'saved' around age 19. Totally got into the whole 'church, witnessing, pleading with my family to get saved, reading my Bible for hours on end' type of life style.

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The next bus slogan campaign?

I'm a phony

Image via WikipediaSent in by Kyle

First, I want to thank whoever is responsible for this site.

I'll explain my title in a bit. But my de-conversion is very typical. I was raised in a Christian home. We attended a Methodist church, but the attitudes were more akin to the Southern Baptists. I have great parents, and I never endured any abuse in the typical sense.

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The Morality of Eight Babies or, Sometimes, Even One

Image by Getty Images via DaylifeBy Valerie Tarico

Reprinted from the Daily Kos.

Most Americans who have any media access whatsoever know that last week a California woman with six prior children gave birth to octuplets. The details surrounding the birth (six prior kids, solo unemployed parent, in vitro implantation of eight or more embryos, probable millions in taxpayer expenses) are so extraordinary that they have provoked a normally taboo public conversation about whether childbearing can be immoral.

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My mum only lied to me about one thing...

"Churched Enough" - Update

Image by dibsonhoffweiler via FlickrBy DebTheQueenBee

It has been a month since I posted my last testimonial (see "I Feel I've Been 'Churched' Enough") and I would like to share my update with you.

It's been ten months now since I stopped attending church and I tell you it's a GREAT feeling knowing that I am no longer "slaved" to some gawd or the buy-bull. Also, I no longer tithe at the church I used to attend and now I'm saving money like crazy!! Not only that, I can spend money on things I really like. I gave and gave to the church and all I had in the end was being a broke-ass church mouse and an empty wallet. Boy, am I glad that's over.

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Have I got a Deal for you!

Image via WikipediaBy Neal Stone

Are you looking for a great deal? Want to change your life forever? Then come down to Neal's Used Car Emporium and check out our super lineup of Crhistler Cars. Such as the ever reliable BY BLE. The BY BLE will change your life forever. What ever your heart desires, what ever your situation the BY BLE is the car for you. It not only comes with a lifetime guarantee, but is totally FREE! That's right I said FREE! This car can be yours at no cost to you. So come on down to Neal's used Car Emporium today and get your life going!

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Seeds of doubt

An example of a breathing treatment for a younger Cystic fibrosis patient. Image via WikipediaBy CH

I was raised a Christian, but my dad was career Air Force, so I lived in foreign countries until I was a preteen. I always wondered why I was lucky enough to be a Christian, yet the kids I played with in Japan were doomed to hell. They were just kids.

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Encouraging de-converting and former Christians

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