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Showing posts from May, 2009

Raise a Child in the Way She Should Go… (Proverbs 22:6)

By Mriana

Image via Wikipedia

As I mentioned before, I was born in 1966, a few months before the season premier of Trek the Original Series. I grew up with the saying, “We strive to better ourselves and humanity” among other sayings that are very much similar to what is found in the Humanist Manifestos and all prior to age seven.

The age of accountability among Christians is seven, but for seven years, I saw reruns of TOS and I remember sitting in a Lazy-Boy chair when I was four watching a “laughing Vulcan” who was sprayed with some powder from a flower, as well as Tribbles, and Apollo (see “Who Mourns for Adonis”). At the same time, we rarely went to church around this time, but there were rare occasions that we did. I have an idea of how old I was because we lived in Alton, IL prior to me going to first grade. We did not live in the country until after I entered first grade, so I have some demarcation of age.

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Healing on Demand

By Portland Wes

Image by CameraDan via FlickrI still receive emailed prayer requests from the last church I attended, often asking for prayers for healing of someone who has a serious illness, or cancer, or been in an accident. I just received one this week, and it got me to reminiscing about how we used to pray for, and over, people who were ill, or who needed "deliverance" from a problem or a spirit of some kind.

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Material Needed for a Book

A letter from Trent

Although I still hold to a belief in Christ, I definitely relate to the experiences described by the contributors to this site. I went through Bible College and received a master's degree in seminary before I started to realize the carnage Christianity has left in it's rear view mirror. I am writing a book in hopes of shedding light on these detestable practices and would love to include some of your real life experiences.

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Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science: Part 2 of 6

By Valerie Tarico

Why God has a human mind.

Jesus was a human, fathered by a god and born to a virgin. He died for three days and was resurrected. His death was a sacrifice, an offering or propitiation. It brings favor for humans. He lives now in a realm where other supernatural beings interact with each other and sometimes intervene in human affairs.

Gradually the mainstream of the American public is becoming aware that none of these elements is unique to Christianity. Symbologists or scholars who specialize in understanding ancient symbols, tell us that the orthodox Jesus story, as it appears in our gospels, follows a specific sacred or mythic template that existed in the Ancient Near East long before Christianity or even Judaism.

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Why I Moved to Linux

By Neal Stone

Image by Getty Images via DaylifeNow wait a minute Neal! This isn't a computer site, it's an Ex-Christian site for people who have left Christianity and Religion. Linux is a computer thing and has nothing to do with religion or leaving it for that matter.

Sure it does. Many people who use Linux do so because in the beginning the knew there was a better choice at their computer life. Then there are those like me who were devoted Microsoft followers for years. We would ignore the bugs and errors, because we thought it didn't matter. Microsoft was our truth and savior.

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It is understandable

By Glen

I have been a good observer of man. Especially the ones that hide behind the church or Christian folds at times.

If it wasn't the drunken pastor that came to our door when I was younger, it would be people like my German mother-in-law -- and many things in between.

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The Inane World of Christian Denominations

By Ray

Image via WikipediaReading the comments on this site continues to remind me that there is a lot of anguish out there. CHEER UP! The dilemma you find yourself in is not your fault. I'm sure you can already tell that there are enough Christian denominations in the United States to drive just about anyone nuts. Most of them are selling theologies that are totally contradictory to each other. In other words, most of them cancel each other out. What one outfit labels as "saving truth" is immediately denounced by another racket as the work of "demon possessed agents of Satan." The crap never ends. It's a consistent and predictable 24/7 religious food throwing contest.

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Ending my relationship

Sent in by Weetie

Chains of love at Seoul's Namsan Tower
-- Image via FlickerAfter reading a lot of de-conversion accounts on this site, I've come to feel like I got off lucky - very little real trauma or abuse at the hands of the Christian community, no rejection from loved ones, & the scars I do have are healing nicely. However, I've reached a point in my recovery and life where I feel the need to tell my story and connect with the ex-Christian community to continue finding my way forward, so...

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Make the Petitioners Explain

By WizenedSage

Image by freefotouk via Flickr [The State of Maine very recently passed a gay marriage law. The law cannot take effect until 90 days after the close of the legislative session. So, of course, the religious Reich is preparing to force a referendum to overturn the law. I have submitted the following letter-to-the-editor to my local weekly newspaper as well as the state’s largest daily.]

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Religions are ridiculous

Sent in by Ray

Image by AFP/Getty Images via DaylifeI believe that the best testimonial is the shortest one, at least in my case.

About twenty years ago I started studying religion seriously after having completed an M.A. in History. Of all the thoughts that started hitting my brain, the theme of how ridiculous religions are was (and remains) a recurring theme. Anyone studying history is reminded that most religions were invented with blind obedience or "faith" in mind, and with no rational explanations whatsoever required. This applies to all of the five major world religions, and not just Christianity. The other four are: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. My point here, is that if you are abandoning Christianity, don't fall into the trap of embracing another religion.

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Who Has The Moral High Ground ?

By Sharon

Image via WikipediaFor centuries Christianity has claimed that it inhabits the moral high ground.

This position has gone unchallenged until recent work in evolutionary theory has been able to provide a genetic/biological understanding of morality.
Belief in evolutionary biology and psychology is a superior belief compared to the Christian belief system, when making any decisions, especially those with a moral or ethical component.

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Dangers of Savior Worship

By the great dreamer

Image by hide99 via FlickrSavior worship has been around for thousands of years. It is the motivating factor behind many of the worlds religions. It is also one of the most destructive thought processes. It is a tool religions use to get what they want. A society they have total control over. People often hop from one religion to another, sometimes changing deities but rarely give up on savior worship. Savior worship allows people to put up with all sorts of traumas. "just give it to god", I'm sure you've heard that before. This is why religions implant savior worship into our minds, it makes us like clay which they can mold. We'll put up with most anything if it helps our eternal vision.

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Salvation is NOT a free gift

By Marlene Winell

There is a fundamental contradiction in the evangelical message of salvation because, according to them, it is NOT Christ's atoning death that saves you, it is YOUR BELIEF in it. (otherwise everyone would be saved). Therefore, this is not a salvation by grace, it is another salvation by works, albeit cognitive work. You must DO several things - find out about and understand the atonement, accept that Jesus dies for your sins, feel guilt and express your sorrow for being responsible, ask forgiveness, and invite Jesus "into your heart" to rule for the rest of your life.

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Human Sacrifice

By Mriana

Image via WikipediaI am reading Marlene Winell’s book, “Leaving the Fold”, and I got to a point in the book that really hit very close to home. I doubted that it would for various reasons, but it did. My first reaction was to explode on her in an email, but my anger was not directed at her. Rather it was directed at two people who are now dead: my minister great uncle and grandfather.

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Churches have too much money

By Neal Stone


Monster School bus HDR, originally uploaded by sumoetx.Last Sunday I was out biking and was cutting through the local college campus (St Martin's U. in Lacey) when I came across an old car show. I rode around taking pictures and then left through the front entrance of the college. As I was leaving, I saw off in the distance an old school bus that had been converted to a Monster Bus, like the monster trucks we see on TV. It was the short bus too, like the one special-ed kids ride in. I used to be one of those kids myself, years ago.

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Resolving Anger & Depression

By Truthbound

Image by Meredith_Farmer via FlickrIt’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here though I receive and enjoy reading the articles and de-conversion stories that appear nearly every day. I recently celebrated my own de-conversion anniversary about a month ago and could hardly believe that four years have passed since that heart wrenching and fateful decision.

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Finding myself.

Sent in by Jay

Image by nijocamus via FlickrLet me start off by saying that I am new to this site. I randomly found it on Google by typing "ex Christians", and viola! It was like a gift from God. lol.

Anyways I am 18, male and for a year now, I have been an atheist.

So here is my story. Hope I don't bore you.

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Christian Belief as a Natural Phenomenon: A Six-Part Series Part 1: Why Cognitive Science is essential to understanding Christianity.

By Valerie Tarico

Image by Gio JL via FlickrMy father died in a climbing accident when he was 59 and I was in my mid twenties. In one of our last deep conversations before his 300 meter misstep, he expressed his abiding hope that I would “get right with God.” Dad was the son of Italian immigrants, all Catholics, who got converted by door-to-door Pentecostals some years after their arrival in Chicago. His mother lived out her life in the Assemblies of God denomination that had recruited them all, while Dad settled into a closely allied form of Evangelical fundamentalism without the speaking-in-tongues bit. As far as I know, he never questioned his belief that the Bible was the literally perfect word of God and that Jesus died for his sins. And yet of his six children three of us, by Evangelical standards, are now slated for eternal torture. We are on the wrong side of a battle being waged on a spiritual plane, a battle in which those who are not on the side of God are agents of ev…

Re: Religious Disenchantment Narratives and the Arts

Sent in by John

Image via Wikipedia This is in response to Philip Francis' request for stories of people who left Christianity and the role that the arts played in the de-conversion process.

Hello, Philip,

What you will probably discover is that people who leave religion do so for a wide variety of reasons. But one common thread that you will most likely observe is that most people do not leave their faith easily; in fact, deconversion can be a slow, arduous and emotionally taxing experience that can break friendships or destroy marriages. What follows is my own story as it relates to your dissertation.

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The Bible is no longer worthy of my faith

Sent in by John

Image by jamelah via FlickrUnlike many ex-Christians, I was not born into a religious household. My parents have always been atheists and remain so to this day. When I was a child I was introduced to Christianity through friends and families of friends. I remember when I first encountered a picture of Jesus crucified, with nails on his hands and feet and blood dripping down, it gave me the creeps. I also remember when I was first introduced to the concept of hell: a place of eternal torment and sadness and suffering, where whoever sent there would burn in agony forever and ever. That also gave me the creeps.

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What's love got to do with it?

By Agnosticator

Painting of an early Christian Agape Feast. Image via WikipediaChristians have alot to say about their love for God, and that God loves them abundantly. They claim to have a special love relationship nonbelievers cannot ever have. What does it mean to love God? Before we can answer this, we need to know what love is. Any dictionary will probably define it as being "a deep feeling of affection or attachment to another person (or even an animal) we value". There are different kinds of love, shared between: parent-child, friend-to-friend, adult lovers, and human-animal. Love eminates from human relationships. It is emotional and, in healthy relationships, also rational.

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So, what is a cult?

By Carl S

In the news, a cult is generally described as an “extremist religious sect.” With that in mind, along with the dictionary definition, “obsessive devotion to a person or principle,” let’s consider if Christianity can qualify as a cult.

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My quest for truth

Sent in by Ned

Image via WikipediaI have been reading posts on this site for a while, and I taught I might share my experience as well. As almost everybody, I was born in a Christian family. (I was born in Chile, South America, where I still live today so my English is far from perfect. Sorry about that.). When I was young I went with my parents to an Anglican (Episcopalian in the states) church. Then when I was a teenager, my parents encouraged my brothers and me to go to our church’s youth group, and we ended up going every Friday night to the church. At the beginning it wasn’t a big deal, it was fun and interesting and a great opportunity to meet other teenager. But as the time went by, I found myself in charge of the youth group. At first I only had to find older people to prepare a topic to reflect on for the meetings and I wasn’t even very involved with the faith. But when I was 18, I received a new bible and started to read it every night, I also began to go to a Christian group…

Religious Disenchantment Narratives and the Arts

Image via WikipediaMy name is Philip Francis, a doctoral student at Harvard Divinity School, writing a dissertation on religious disenchantment narratives and the arts. I am posting here to see if there are any readers who would be willing to contribute to my project a short memoir of their experience of leaving the Christian fold, making particular note of the role of the arts, creativity, literature, beauty, the combined work of a particular artist or aesthetic experience (most broadly conceived) in this process.

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Broken dreams

Sent in by Ramos28

Image by Tomás Rotger via FlickrThis was a long time coming... So I can finally say that at this point in life, my life is actually ruined, thanks to Christianity, thanks to the Bible, thanks to the church. And you can bet I am pissed..

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Atheists: Be Good for Goodness Sake

By Valerie Tarico

Image by soyignatius via FlickrFor years atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers have been saying that you don’t need a god to be good. Recently, they even tried to say it on the side of an Indiana bus. More and more, they are finding ways to show it.

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Spreading the "Good News"

By DocMike

When say things like, "Jesus loves you" or "God has a plan for your life" they assume people appreciate it. To me, it's like saying, "The Easter Bunny loves you." Well, actually, it's worse than that. If someone over the age of ten said that, I would just assume it was a joke.

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Escaping the cult of Methodism

Sent in by John

Image by ~Asturnut~ via FlickrA little over a year ago, I was a serious Christian. In fact, I was a licensed pastor in the United Methodist Church. That's a not a flavor of Christianity normally associated with being a cult, but I discovered that any cause, if you get in deep enough, can become a cult.

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My Tryst With Christianity

Sent in by Shankster

I am 20 years old, male, and from Mumbai (India). By birth, I am a Hindu. My parents are (thankfully) not overly religious. They have a very modernist outlook towards life, believing in the power and benefits of education. Their liberal worldviews, I believe have greatly been shaped by living in the international, cosmopolitan environement of Mumbai and by the fact that both my paternal and maternal grandfathers were also essentially modernist in their outlook towards life.

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Lying For Jesus

Image by Thomas Hawk via FlickrIs Richard Dawkins now a deist?

That's what some Christians are saying!

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Childhood Experience With Atheism, or Who Says Atheists are Bad People?

By Mriana

When I was little, I had a great uncle who was in WW II, and is not to be confused with the great uncle that was a Free Methodist minister. He was a medic, who decided which fallen soldiers they could medically saved and who could not. It was not an easy job; I am sure, and probably traumatic enough to cause PTSD. Of course, back then, they called it Shell Shock. However, I do not believe for a minute that lovely man was suffering from anything, not even anger with God, as my grandparents had insisted. This dear man returned home, but he could not continue in the medical field. As to the why, I never was privy to the information or if I had been, I do not remember. The reason did have something to do with the military though.

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Troubled by the beginning

Questions from Saczino

Image via Wikipedia

I have been an atheist for 4 months now. I have been studying evolution as the alternative to creation (Most atheists seem to ‘believe’ in evolution). However, I have been highly disappointed by what I have discovered regarding evolution, it also seems to be taken by faith. There is no scientific proof for most of the evolutionary theories.

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Atheism - Religion - Dogma

Image by ChrisGoldNY via Flickr"What is Dogma?" Or, "Why Genocidal Stupidity never has anything to do with Atheism, and everything to do with Dogma."

A video by FFreeThinker

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Bibles in Afghanistan: A Tribute to the Power of Belief

By Valerie Tarico

Image via WikipediaEvangelism in the halls of the Pentagon. Personalized Bible studies for foreign diplomats. Passion of the Christ advertisers next to plates in the Air Force Academy mess hall. Officers Christian Fellowship buses from military bases to revival meetings. A Southern Baptist fundamentalist at the head of the Chaplain Corps.

Through Christian Embassy and similar organizations, millions of dollars annually are dedicated to insuring that our military leadership is steeped in born-again Christianity. The investment has paid off. Mikey Weinstein at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation receives letters daily from service men and women who have been coerced or intimidated because they aren’t born again. Ironically, most of those who complain are Christians – just not the right kind.

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Recovery retreats coming up end of May and July

Leaving a Harmful Religion?
It's not the end of the world!
Come to a supportive weekend with others 
who can understand.

"RELEASE AND RECLAIM" Recovery Retreat
May 29-31, 2009; Loveland, CO with optional third day to relax!

Friday at 7pm until Sunday at 3pm
at a beautiful vacation home by a lake in the mountains

(Also July 31 - Aug. 2, 2009 in Berkeley, CA)

This program is for you if you want to let go of toxic, authoritarian beliefs and reclaim your ability to trust your own feelings and think for yourself.

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Si, si, padre, bendígame más (Oh, yes, yes, father, bless me more)

Por Lorena

Please, find English translation below Spanish article

Fuente: Las fotos de el padre Alberto Cutié generan un escándalo

Lo interesante de esta noticia no es que un cura—Alberto Cutié—fue fotografiado con la mano en el bikini de su amante. Que el padre bendijo a la “hija de Dios” de esa manera no es sorprendente. Lo que sorprende es que los fotógrafos hayan tomado tanto tiempo para darse cuenta que se puede hacer dinero persiguiendo curas famosos.

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Church Attendance and Torture Approval - What's the Connection?

By Valerie Tarico

Image via WikipediaThe circles I run in include a fair number of recovering fundies—people who were raised on the notion that morality comes from Jesus. In fact, the former Calvinists among us were taught that anyone who is not "washed in the blood" is utterly depraved. For real. A Seattle Calvinist mega-minister, Mark Driscoll, had this to say to his flock: "If the resurrection didn’t literally happen, there’s no reason for us to be here. If the resurrection didn’t literally happen, there are parties to be had, there are women to be had, there are guns to shoot, there are people to shoot." (Have you heard that Calvinism is all the rage?)

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Confessions of an Ozark Bible Belt Girl

By Mriana

Image via Wikipedia

Some generalizations were made concerning “Christian Girls in the Bible Belt” in a forum thread. I would like to address that from my own experience, which may or may not be typical or apply to all Bible Belt Fundie Girls. No, I will not be rude and crude like that “Su-tha-na fella” who was quoted.

Truth is, I think some young women from the Bible Belt are trying to find something they never received, yet greatly needed, as a child and probably do not have a clue what it was either. I question whether one can ever retrieve it even. In addition, since those in the psychology field, at least according to my relatives, steal souls, they rarely get counseling much less even consider it.

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God's Just Love for his Creation

By David (Glebealyth)

Image via WikipediaJust a quick note to, and some questions for, the Christian visitors who delight in telling us that a loving god created the Earth, and that he created it JUST so far from the sun; with a moon JUST so far from the earth; with Jupiter JUST big enough to deflect meteorites and asteroids, etc, etc. (YAWN { in technicolour})

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Does prayer work to heal the sick?

Image via WikipediaBy ChuckyJesus666

A video-adapted report on a study done by the Cochrane Colloboration on the efficacy of prayer for healing the sick. From a blog by Tom Rees, original URL: http://bhascience.blogspot....

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What a Fool Believes

Image via WikipediaBy WizenedSage

Christian, show me one fact outside your moldy old “holy” book and outside yourself that your god exists; not a theory, not an argument, not a statement by some “authority,” but a fact that is verifiable. I’m talking about a DEMONSTRATION that your god is real.

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Virgen a la Parrilla – Griddle-Cooked Virgin

PorMaria

Please, find English translation below Spanish article.

Fuente: Creen ver imagen mariana en una parrilla, en EEUU

Otro ingenuo más entre los tantos miles de supersticiosos y religiosos que andan buscando donde alucinar, cree haber visto la imagen de Isis (no, no es la de Isis, es la de la virgen María, no, tampoco es la virgen María, es la virgen de Guadalupe) en una parrilla para cocinar del restaurante Las Palmas, en Calexico, California donde él trabaja.

Ya se imaginarán lo que ocurrió con la parrilla… hasta ahí llegó su vocación de “asadora” y fue ascendida al honorable puesto de “Santa Parrilla” y fue colocada inmediatamente en un santuario que le prepararon en el restaurante.

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I don't want to be like them; I want to be like me

Sent in by Yak

Image by Bobasonic via FlickrI grew up in fundamentalist Christianity, and moved between a few flavors of it over the years before leaving because of the confusion, pain and the encouraged abuse of self and others. It still triggers painful feelings and thoughts for me when I see and hear others who are still involved in it acting out.

All the time that I was involved in it I knew intuitively and felt viscerally that things were not right: the conflicted messages of "God's love" and simultaneous condemnation of others, the imposed strictures on how one dresses, grooms, believes, treats others and even thinks, based on an interpretation of a book, a personage, and rigid adherence to a set of rules about living, thinking and behaving.

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I don't want to be like them -- I want to be like me

Sent in by Yak

Image by HA! Designs - artbyheather via FlickrI grew up in fundamentalist Christianity, and moved between a few flavors of it over the years before leaving because of the confusion, pain and the encouraged abuse of self and others. It still triggers painful feelings and thoughts for me when I see and hear others who are still involved in it acting out.

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