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Showing posts from November, 2009

Doubting Jesus’ Resurrection

Image via WikipediaBy Kris Komarnitsky, author of Doubting Jesus' Resurrection: What Happened in the Black Box? (also available in the UK and as an ebook). According to well-known proponent of Jesus’ resurrection Dr. N.T. Wright, “The empty tomb and the ‘meetings’ with Jesus, when combined, present us with not only a sufficient condition for the rise of early Christian belief, but also, it seems, a necessary one. Nothing else historians have been able to come up with has the power to explain the phenomena before us.”1 This view – which is really the idea that Jesus’ resurrection is the only plausible explanation for the Christian origins evidence before us – has been popularized by lay authors like JP Holding (The Impossible Faith) and Lee Strobel: “I had seen defendants carted off to the death chamber on much less convincing proof!”2 It has also filtered down to the lay blogosphere: “The evidence is simply overwhelming. If you believe in gravity, you have to believe that Christi…

Sounding False Alarms

by Fatalotti

Have you ever heard of someone who's yelled fire in a crowded room in which there was no fire, needlessly causing extreme levels of panic? These people are generally arrested for disturbing the peace. If someone were to get injured during the ensuing chaos, the charges levied against the perpetrator could be even greater, including reckless endangerment, and should someone be killed, it could extend to manslaughter. It goes without saying that the law considers this to be a serious offense because of the great damage it can cause.

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The Power of God

by Neal Stone

Image by . SantiMB . via FlickrAccording to the Bible and Christians, God created the earth and universe in just six days. Let us take a good look at this.

Let's assume that this god did indeed create the universe. Then he would have to have extremely advanced knowledge and skill in physics, mathematics, engineering and so on. On top of that he would require an immense power source beyond imagination.

So we are talking about someone with incredible power, knowledge and skill.

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Point of View

by WizenedSage

Image by arti47 via FlickrFor those believers and fence-sitters who occasionally visit this site, I offer the following for your consideration.

The following passage is the very foundation statement of Christianity, so what it means is very, very important.
John 3:16:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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“God Hates You, Hate Him Back!”

Says Controversial Author in A New Book That Pokes Fun At The Holy Scriptures

With people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens leading the way, more and more books discrediting the idea that a single sentient being created everything around us are being devoured by atheists tired of being labeled as un-godly and silenced legally, socially and culturally by the prevalent creationist systems lying behind the world’s most powerful (and arguably most violent) governments.

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De-converted, but still spiritual

by Luna

Image by Stephen Poff via FlickrMy story might be different from others on this site. It hasn't ended in atheism, or even agnosticism, though maybe that to a degree. I'm always willing to learn, anyway. I am now a rather confirmed mystic/pagan type, but my experience with Christianity was a rough one, and I thought I'd share, however it may be received.

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The Long Journey of My De-Conversion

by Rita D'Alvarez

Image by HORIZON via FlickrBeliefs, personal truths and comprehending the world around us is a life long journey. Where we start may not have any relation to where we finish, and as long as we live the journey continues. I think there are signaling events that trigger decisions which are in turn influenced by countless factors. Am I allowed go where my thoughts lead me? Can I say what I really think? What will those important to me think? Will I be accepted? Am I the only one? How will this effect everything else? Where will this lead to?

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A Humanist Thanksgiving Proclamation

by Robert Green Ingersoll (1833–1899), from The Works of Robert Green Ingersoll Vol IV
When I became convinced that the universe is natural — that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom.The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the world — not even infinite space.

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Addict in Recovery

by Lauren

I have been reading stories on this website for about the last month or so and have found immense comfort in the words of people with similar experiences. I have a story to share:

I have spent the last year and a half in the worst depression of my life because of my spontaneous loss of faith. I was raised in a church and joined a pretty liberal one in Seattle -- a church with a strong commitment to social justice and no focus on judgment and sin. I felt like I was in a pretty good place, but even there I'd had ups and downs of not "feeling" god, or having doubts. Fortunately, I wasn't brainwashed in any of the crazy fundamentalist communities I know exist, but I was encouraged to embrace questions, and in a post-modern fashion, critically evaluate Christianity.

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“He’s a great science teacher, but he doesn’t believe in evolution.”

by Valerie Tarico

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles DarwinLast week, as I was driving a carload of middle-schoolers to a movie, the kids started talking about their teachers. I couldn’t help overhearing, “ . . . He’s a great science teacher, but he doesn’t believe in evolution.” Two days later, a friend reported that her 15-year-old daughter had just returned from at a junior government retreat. “They argued the pros and cons of teaching intelligent design in schools, and she said there were some very compelling arguments on the pro side.” When I repeated the story at the dinner table later, my own daughter mentioned a school mate who feels conflicted about his biology curriculum because his family doesn’t believe in evolution.
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You Can Be Healed!

by David J


Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty"You Can Be Healed: How to Believe God for Your Healing" is a book by Billy Joe Daughtery, founder of Victory Christian Center (VCC), Victory Christian School (VCS), and Victory Bible Institute (VBI). Daughtery was also the interim president at Oral Roberts University (ORU) of which he and I are both alumni. In addition to being a graduate of VBI and ORU, I am also a founding member of VCC and a former student of VCS. In VBI, we had a class that was so important to him that he taught it himself. It was on healing. To summerize a semester in a few words, the premise was that Christ died for our sins and also our healing. Not only is salvation a free gift for all who accept it, healing is also a free gift for anyone who believes. I won't claim to know who wrote the various parts of the bible or why, but a plain text reading of several of the authors would lead to this interpretation.

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Pastor under fire following revelation of criminal past

The congregation at First 6th Street Baptist Church in Port Arthur got a surprise last Sunday, Nov. 15. Near the end of a sermon on forgiveness, their new pastor - the Rev. Donald R.A. Toussaint Sr. - said he had something he needed to tell them.

According to church members who were at the service, Toussaint waved some unspecified documents and disclosed that 28 years ago he was accused of robbery and murder. He added that he had nothing to do with those crimes and said he was forced into this admission because "someone had spent $19.95 to dig up old records" in the case. Toussaint said the matter was closed and did not need to be brought up again.

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Pastor jailed on church theft charges

A former pastor at the Live Oak Community Church in Oakley was jailed Monday on charges he supported a lavish lifestyle by incurring debt in the church's name, including a $111,000 mortgage loan obtained by falsifying documents.

Arcadio "Larry" Pineda, 65, was charged Friday with three felonies — grand theft and two counts of filing false documents. Investigators with the District Attorney's Office arrested him at his Oakley home Monday and booked him into Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez on $110,000 bail.

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Police: Help us find Gaston County pastor charged with raping teen

Police are searching for a Gaston County pastor charged with raping and molesting a teen girl.

Robert Lee Adams, 46, began sexually abusing the girl when she was younger than 13 and got her pregnant about three years later, according to the Gaston County Police Department. Authorities have been searching for Adams for nine months.

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Uncluttering

by Carl S

Image by bondidwhat via FlickrFirst off, for any Christian reading this, what do the words “Lead us not into temptation” mean? I know that’s from the Lord’s Prayer, the Perfect prayer, of which there are two versions. It means that, out of all those fruits in Eden, the lord deliberately pointed out that you shouldn’t eat those of that particular tree he deliberately planted there, according to your beliefs. It also means that the hands placed so close to certain organs are not allowed to touch and play with them. In fact, there are many examples of the lord’s tempting. You can blame Eve and the serpent all you want, but guess who put the boiling pot of water just where the child would tip it over onto himself?

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UnChristian Gratitude

by Dr. Marlene Winell

Image by Te55 via FlickrRecently I had a very short, but encouraging little dream right before waking up. I had been feeling burdened by all the problems in the world. In my dream I got the message that “the butterflies are working to lift our spirits.” I woke up surprised and delighted. Later I shared it with a couple friends who also liked it, amused by the image.

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Why don't my words REGISTER with them?

by summerbreeze

It's nice to be "courted," isn't it? But, not when you are asked to return to something that caused you so much unhappiness to begin with.

Amongst other bible studies, I was enrolled in Community Bible Study (CBS) when I was a Christian. I jumped ship after I realized that Christianity was a lie, and it made me feel so beat-down.

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The Things You Learn In Sunday School (Part 5) - Elisha Delivers Death to Children By Way of Bear

Image by Adrianne Lacy via Flickrby MtlRedAtheist.

The Holy Bible tells a story of how Elisha cursed some children to be destroyed by wild bears, because they mocked his bald head. Apparently killing children is not immoral when you do it by evoking God's supernatural powers.

Why are we allowing our children to be taught this stuff?

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There and Back Again: My 30-year lapse from atheism

by Oddbird1963

People who are familiar with my family often say that I look a lot like my late father. I may have received my appearance from my dad, but I also received a love of science and history from him. Thanks to my father's thirst for knowledge we always had a recent copy of Scientific American, National Geographic, Science News, Science Digest and Popular Science lying around. I would read them, look at pictures, read the captions and soak in anything that seemed interesting to me.

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Taking the "super" out of "supernatural"

by Nathan

I no longer consider myself a Christian and told my wife, her parents and my parents earlier this year. However, I still go to church with my wife (a “non-denominational, a cappella” congregation with about 10-12 members) because we have three little ones and it doesn't seem right to make her drag all three out the door and drive 25 miles alone.

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Long road out

Sent in by Anonymous

Image by a hundred visions and revisions via FlickrI was born into a Christian home, my parents both having been raised in the faith, as Baptists. At the time of my birth, in the 1960's, they attended a large non-denominational evangelical church in the Northeast where I was baptized by the pastor, one of the founders of the Neo-Evangelical movement in the 1940's. Neo-Evangelicalism, while supporting fundamentalist doctrines, distanced itself from fundamentalism's anti-intellectual, anti-cultural bent. It was in this church that I was raised, up until around the time I graduated from high school.

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Parenting Beyond Belief

Image via WikipediaI have not read the actual book (Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion), but I thought it was an apt title for my own story as a parent, because in the end, even with everything I dealt with as a child myself, I somehow managed to parent beyond belief, at least beyond belief in Evangelical Fundamentalist teachings. This also included beyond the trappings I still had to pull my own self out of as an adult too. I do not know how I did it, but I seemed to have done it.

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Big Butter Jesus

Image via WikipediaKing of Kings (Also known as "Touchdown Jesus" or "Big Butter Jesus"), is a 62-foot-tall sculpture of Jesus just outside of Cincinnati. Jesus appears to be rising from the waters behind the amphitheater at Monroe's Solid Rock Church.

Music by Heywood Banks, the version originally broadcast on the syndicatedBob & Tom radio show.

All images except the first three reproduced with the permission of the web creationists at jeeebus (www.jeeeb.us).

Accept no imitations!

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Ever Notice... ?

by Neal Stone

Image by benuski via FlickrEver notice that the Creator of the Universe always needs money -- money that is a monetary system created by man?

Ever notice that when one out of 100 is cured of cancer it's considered a miracle? What about the other 99?

Ever notice that Christians like to say “Christ is the Answer” followed by “No one can understand the Lord's ways?” So what's the point? Are we supposed to find the question?

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Keeping the Faith

by Janus Grayden

For most of us who left religion, the schism wasn't a swift knife stroke but a slow, and oftentimes painful, process. This is especially true for those whose entire lives were completely entangled with their faith.

If you've ever had the misfortune of crossing paths with a prickly pear cactus, you know that the large, obvious spines are the least of your worries. It's always the minuscule, nearly invisible barbs that drive you insane, poking you even after you were absolutely certain that you had plucked them all out. With no malice intended, this was my deconversion experience.

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Whose Morals Should Decide My Childbearing? -- An Open Letter to the Catholic Bishops

By Valerie Tarico

Bas relief of a massage abortion from about A.D. 1150. Image via WikipediaDear Bishops

In our struggle to get health care for all, you saw an opportunity to make sure that American women can’t afford abortions, a way to be the deciders for all of us.  You look at someone like me who has had an abortion, and you see a sin.  Perhaps you think that those of us who terminate pregnancies haven’t thought these things through from a moral standpoint.  Or maybe we are simply less moral than you are:  thoughtless, selfish, or promiscuous. 

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Evangelist Tony Alamo Sentenced to 175 Years for Taking Girls Across State Lines for Sex

Image via WikipediaEvangelist Tony Alamo was sentenced Friday to 175 years in prison for taking little girls as young as 9 across state lines to have sex with them.

The decision punishes him for the rest of his life for molesting children he took as “brides” in his ministry.

Alamo, 75, had denied the charges, claiming they came from a Vatican-led conspiracy against the church he led, called the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.

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Ministers from Community of Christ Church among those charged in sex case

The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints
via last.fmLEXINGTON, MO (AP) -- Authorities on Wednesday were searching a rural property in western Missouri for bodies and buried glass jars containing notes written more than 15 years ago by children who may have documented sexual abuse by five members of their own family.

Lafayette County Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh pleaded for the public's help, saying investigators "believe that there are other victims out there, and we believe people in the public can give us more information."

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Report: Homosexuality No Factor in Abusive Priests

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A preliminary report commissioned by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops on the roots of the clergy sex abuse scandal found no evidence that gay priests are more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the lead authors of the study said Tuesday.The full report by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice won't be completed until the end of next year. But the authors said that their evidence to date found no data indicating that homosexuality was a predictor of abuse.

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Still Trying to Escape

by Ant

I am 24 years old...

I became a Christian during the early part of my junior year of high school after a close friend of mine, a neighbor, witnessed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to me incessantly over weeks spent playing basketball out in the street. Eventually, I let the jargon sink in, and decided I wanted to be a Christian. Big mistake.

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Still on the fence

by Michael

Image by Jonathan Gill via Flickr I guess one could call me a de-converting Christian. I am still a little on the fence, but leaning towards the non-Christian side. My story is something of a mystery even to me.

I was raised in a Christian home, with Christians of various stripes and zealousness. I followed in their footsteps for the longest time, being a creationist and the like. But one day I was at a public library searching for videos on atheism for the sake of learning how to argue against it.

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How many congregations on its knees does it take to...

Sent in by Lisa

Image by star5112 via FlickrYesterday, one of my daughter's friends had a terrible accident. Her husband called my daughter from the hospital. And here's what happened then:

My daughter and her husband called another friend to go pick up the couple's baby from the hospital. My daughter took off to a town about an hour away to pick up her friend's mother from the airport. Her husband went to be with the friend's husband at the hospital.

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Finding God's Will

by Neal Stone

All my life as a Christian I was told to find God's will. I had no idea in the beginning what that was or how to do it. Any attempt to find out resulted in me being pushed aside so the more popular kids could find God's Will.

So for a time I fumbled around looking for his will.

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That's me in the corner

by Jennifer

I have a vivid childhood memory from when I was perhaps eight or nine years of age. I was with my mom in our minivan. I think my younger sister was with us, but I'm not positive about that. I remember saying to my mom, "I'm scared that someday I'll reject Jesus and won't be a Christian anymore." My mother, wholesome and wonderful person that she is, told me that I'd have to be careful. "Just follow Jesus and you won't have to worry about it." I remember other times when she told me that she "worried" and "was concerned" about me, because I was intelligent. "I worry that your intelligence will lead you away from Jesus." As things stand, I suppose she had good cause for concern.

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One year on...

Sent in by Candace

Image by teddy-rised via Flickr Hi guys, about a year ago (possibly longer, I can't really remember) I was on the verge of leaving Christianity, but still struggling a bit because of how involved I was with my ex-church (it wasn't even my church, it was my friend's church and she dragged me into it) and my lack of anything else in my life that was even vaguely fulfilling.

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Death threats force removal of atheist billboard

"Don't believe in God? You're not alone." was the message on a billboard put up by the Cincinnati Coalition of Reason (Cin CoR) on Reading Road at 12th Street, one block south of Liberty Street in Cincinnati. It went up on Tuesday but by Wednesday afternoon the group was told it would have to come down again. Lamar Advertising, the company that owns the billboard, leases the land on which it stands and the landowner wanted it taken down. He (or she) had been receiving death threats. Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason, said, "We weren't given the landowner's name or precise details, Nor did we pursue them. It was sufficient to learn that this person had received multiple, significant threats and that Lamar would act quickly to alleviate the problem. Nothing like this has ever happened to us before."

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Priests Spar Over What It Means to Be Catholic

Image by Paul Keleher via FlickrThe leaders of the Roman Catholic Church traditionally couch even the harshest disagreements in decorous, ecclesiastical language. But it didn't take a decoder ring to figure out what Rome-based Archbishop Raymond Burke meant in a late-September address when he charged Boston CardinalSeán O'Malley with being under the influence of Satan, "the father of lies."

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Why I am not a Muslim

(Amherst, NY) — In response to the recent tragic events at Fort Hood, Texas, the Center for Inquiry, a secularist think tank, has released a statement/editorial from Ibn Warraq, Islamic scholar and leading figure in Quranic criticism. Warraq is a senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry and author of five books, including Why I Am Not a Muslim and Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism (both published by Prometheus Books). The statement follows below.

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Encouraging de-converting and former Christians

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