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Showing posts from December, 2009

A New Giving Hub for Nonbelievers

by Valerie Tarico



Are you an atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinker or some such who cringes at the thought of people being given the Four Spiritual Laws along with disaster relief? Do you think that promoting “eternal salvation” to five year olds is exploitative? Do you hate it that poor parents send their kids to Muslim or Christian madrassas because that’s the only way they can get them pencils and paper? Does it irritate you when fancy creationist museums are better funded than real natural history museums?



A new website with a January 1 launch date, may be just your thing.



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There's no such thing as a former Christian?

by  Charity of Shatter Nicely



Image by Cayusa via Flickr

I came across an article, post, whatever, the other day titled, There’s No Such Thing as a Former Christian, by someone named Charles Smith.



Hmm, I thought, that sounds interesting.  And by interesting, I mean, wrongI am a former Christian, am I not?



Needless to say, upon reading the piece, I determined that it needed a good fisking.



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Staying Home on Sunday Morning

by Cowboy



I'm lucky in many ways. If I were still Christian, I would probably say that I've been blessed. I was lucky enough to attend a public school, whereas many of you out there attended Christian schools for your entire school career. At 11 years old, I was the kid in elementary school who was getting into trouble with some frequency. I was quite smart, towards the top of the class, but I got bored and stirred up trouble. It didn't help that I was excessively overweight (I actually weigh less today at 20 than I did then), so I was constantly a source of jokes for my classmates. And at 11 years old, my parents, who up until that point taught me Christian beliefs, never took me to church, decided it was time.



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Don't Use Your Head!

by WizenedSage



Image by Jason McKim's Old Account via FlickrThis is a gentle reminder for those Christians who may have happened upon this heathen web site by accident or out of curiosity. My message is simple, don’t use your head if you want to keep your faith. Whatever you do, don’t let these people make you think about it.



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Deceitful Doctrines and Hidden Truth

by exfundy



If you have read any of my past posts you know that one of my biggest grievances against my former religion is that it intentionally squashed my natural curiosity. A Christian needed only blind allegiance to their pastor, church, and denomination.



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Religion Has No Reality Check

by WizenedSage



On December 26, thousands gathered on Asian beaches and in mosques to pray, marking the fifth anniversary of the Asian tsunami which killed 230,000 people. Will it do any good? No one can say for certain and that is the frightening thing about religion that few believers care to think about.



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From Christian Ex-Gay to Gay Ex-Christian

by Adam



Sometimes you are just left wondering... did that really just happen to me? I look back on the past two years of my life and I ask that question, seeing how my social network has completely changed, friends have made continuing relationships with them impossible unless I believe what they believe, and how ridiculous my coming out processes were...all because of Christianity. It was a double-whammy; not only did I come out of my faith, but I also came out of the closet.



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I believe in God, but not Christianity

by Leslie



Image by that_james via FlickrI was born and raised in the church while growing up in the South; a place where fundamentalist Christianity is seemingly (and quite correctly!) ubiquitous. My family and I wound up in Texas and I lived there through high school. We attended a Methodist church in Mississippi and Arkansas and Texas, but in small towns in the South, a Methodist church often has the same doctrines and is run like all of its fundamentalist neighbors.



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No more genocidal gods for me

by MichaelRix



Image by daveblume via FlickrFor me Christ-insanity was like a drug. I was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition, I lost my faith after an incident at the church got me questioning. My youth pastor suggested I read the bible to find my answers. I read Joshua: the genocidal atrocities committed were enough for me to leave the church and become an agnostic. After a time I became a Satanist, but that didn't last long. It became obvious that I was still playing in the same playground just on a different team.



Later in life when I learned I would be a father, I gave Christ-insanity another go, thinking maybe I just didn't really understand what I had read; God wouldn't really promote genocide.



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Messages of hate, discrimination and malice

by Ashley R



Image via WikipediaI'm new to this site and just thought I should share my deconversion story with you guys.



Im just 21 years but Ive had maybe 15-16 years of total brainwashing in my religious faith.



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Mr. Deity and the Magic, Part Deux

Image via WikipediaMr. Deity thinks he's finally proved the existence of other magical beings.



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If You Want to Enjoy Christmas, Avoid the Toxic Christian “Message”

by Marlene Winell



The full-blown fundamentalist version of the “Christmas story” is truly pernicious. In the last couple years, I’ve thought about the imagery of Christmas (the child archetype) and the traditions we all enjoy which can be separate from Christianity (See previous articles). This year, I read a piece by Billy Graham called “You can know the Christ of Christmas,” and was reminded of all that is wrong with this religion, and how it can taint so much about life. I felt so sad reading this because as a humanist, it seems so wrong to denigrate who we are as human beings.



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What Would Jesus NOT Do?

by NonStampCollector



Image via WikipediaWe always hear about the many amazing things that Jesus of Nazareth apparently did, but nobody ever asks about the things that Jesus supposedly COULD have done, being omnipotent, but either didn't bother to do or didn't think were all that important. You know, things like... reducing human misery and suffering... that kind of thing.



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THE JUDGES

by Carl S



Image via WikipediaWhat are the universal criteria for judging the judges? We could probably all agree the criteria should include fairness, impartiality, knowledge, experience, and an insistence on weighing all of the evidence on both sides in all disputes and claims. In short, we should demand a dedication to, respect for, and a rigid pursuit of the truth. In addition, the judge should, under mitigating circumstances, administer justice with mercy.



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A Challenge To A Ghost

Image by onkel_wart via Flickr

by Michael



I opened the mind I have today

And I stopped Praying when I saw it was just the same

It got me thinking what is up above

Its your God and its not the God of mine

The Problem of Suffering, yeah

The Problem of Competence

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind

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Listening to 5000+ sermons in my life

by Paul



Image by Antony Pranata via Flickr

I grew up in Fundamentalist Baptist and the ultra fundy semi-Mennonite "holiness" denominations and schools. A family heavy involved in the ministry. I am the only one out of five siblings and two sets of parents to have left Christianity.



The other day I calculated I have heard at the minimum, 5000 Baptist flavored sermons in my lifetime!



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Mary did you know...

by Summerbreeze



Image by Kurt Magoon via Flickr This morning, I, a non-believer for some time now, had an unusual reaction to a very religious Christmas song.



I was driving alone in a light snowfall, on my way to a neighboring town. The Pine trees were so pretty and sparkly with the fresh snow on their boughs.





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In Seattle, Solstice is the Reason for the Season!

by Valerie Tarico



December twenty-first is winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, which makes the twenty-second the first day of more sun! Let me spell that out. Beginning this week we’re on a path toward “sun breaks” and dry sidewalks, a time when people will take their fleeces off for long enough to wash them, a time that pet poop will dry out enough that your kids can scoop it off the lawn. Anyone who thinks that winter solstice couldn’t possibly have spawned the rich array of celebrations that we now call Yule and Christmas and Divali and Hannukkah and Kwanzaa never lived in Seattle.



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Mythology is Mythology. Pass the Eggnog.

by the Avangelism Project



Image by tab2space via FlickrI hope you don’t define yourself by atheism. Not only is it not fair to define your person by something you don’t have (theism), is lets Christians define you. Especially this time of year.



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God became as Santa Claus

by Jessica



Image via Wikipedia I was born into a born-again Christian family. I had the whole photographic family – mother, father and a younger brother. When I was a child, my mother talked to me on our couch about loving God and accepting Jesus Christ into my heart. After I did what she told me to do, she gave me my first Bible. It was pretty and it clasped shut -– with pictures sporadically placed throughout.



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Sexy Nativity scene draws chorus of critics

This time of year, nativity scenes are going up, but one in particular is drawing a chorus of critics.



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False Humility

by exfundy



If you had asked me when I was a practicing fundy I would have told you I was humble. Though isn't being self assured of your own humility somehow rather ironic? Anyway, I really thought I was humble. I couldn't have been more wrong. The Americanized version of Christianity is actually a very selfish thing interlaced with lots of intellectually dishonest humility.



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It Felt So Good To Be Right

Image by rbieber via Flickr

by Dan



Ok, ok, ok...I will finally share my testimony (geez, just like in church). But this is only a small picture for now and not in chronological order, kinda random, just off the top of my head sort of thing.



I graduated from New Tribes Bible Institue. Yep, step right up and memorize the WHOLE book of Ephesians. No PDA either! That is, no Physical Display of Affection (but my girlfriend and I got as close to each other as possible!). Hey! I remember looking at Sports Illustrated magazines that the school received and seeing pictures cut out of it! Wow... nothing like censorship. So sad to look back now -- those years wasted. My mind could have been learning science, history and math. *Sigh*



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Dear Christians: This is revolting -- utterly revolting

by JM, Annoyed Medicinian Lord



This particular work (of art?) makes me want to vomit. It is not the depictions of Jesus that I find sickening, or any of the other symbolic items in this painting. No, what makes me sick about this is that it offers an unpleasantly pornographic view into the mindset of the modern-day right-wing anti-liberal "patriotic" American Christian. It screams "GIVE US OUR THEOCRACY!!!"



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You Can Call Me Faithless

by Ren



Image via WikipediaI'm one of those people who is still trying to sort things out, but I came to the conclusion long ago that the god in the OT scripture and the god in the NT are not even close to being the same being. I also know the god from the OT is definitely sadistic and sounds evil when I think about it.



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Got away twice

by Red



De-conversion 1



My parents were “born again” when I was five years old. They quickly became zealots. They used our house for church gatherings and backyard bible study. People were constantly coming and going. My parents became extremely active in their zealotry, witnessing door to door and going to church three times a week. This was the mid-seventies, and I have nostalgic memories of the long-haired Jesus freaks coming over with their sandals and guitars. At this age I picked up and filtered the messages I was hearing at church: We are the best church. We are saved and others are not. We are good and they are bad. I was five when I formally accepted Jesus Christ into my heart. In elementary school, I was an active crusader, genuinely concerned about my schoolmates’ souls.



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Dispelling the Original Sin

By Wise_Fool



Image via WikipediaIsn’t it hard when everything is going along OK, and then out of left field, something comes along to completely STUFF IT UP! The following information is so important it’s scary.



Over the last 5 years the National Geographic has conducted “The Genographic Project” to establish human origins. They have tested the DNA of approximately 35,000 people and what they have found will have a profound impact, especially on inerrant bible believing Xtians.



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All Christianity is Self Projection as God

by the Avangelism Project

It sort of hit my wife and me suddenly late in our process of deconverting. Every Christian rejects something (or a lot of things) in the Bible. Particular things. Things about which the Bible is very clear. It turns out, there’s no other choice.

The Bible contains a lot of paradoxical statements, conflicting accounts that cannot be unraveled and even a formal contradiction or two. It also has commands that the Christian does not wish to obey and descriptions of God that the Christian does not want to worship.

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Another Catholic Breaks Free

by Freed Albert

Image via WikipediaFor anyone who was raised Catholic, you know what it means to be indoctrinated. In Catechism we had to memorize answers to questions like, "What is the one and only true church?" The answer: "The one and only true church is the Catholic Church." There were a whole host of rules we had to obey like never setting foot in another church, attending mass every Sunday, not eating meat on Friday, women wearing hats to church, etc.

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Holy Baloney

by BillyBee

The Holiday Parade was last week. I couldn't attend, I had to work that day. The next morning I spied a curious object lying on the kitchen counter. It was a 1X2" piece of paper with a bible verse printed on it.

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Jesus' Plan for Tim Tebow

by the Avangelism Project

For twenty two straight games, we’ve had to listen to Tim Tebow say that Jesus liked him better than his opponents. Of course, Tim didn’t use those words, but that’s what he said, isn’t it? Thanking Jesus for winning means that he’s the reason you won, but I have a simple question:

Why no Jesus talk when Tebow lost?

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Ruling allows for atheist display

Judge grants Freethinkers’ request for kiosk at Arkansas state Capitol

Winter solstice display to be erected at the Arkansas state Capitol. An atheist group’s display marking the winter solstice will join the traditional Nativity scene on the Arkansas state Capitol grounds as a result of a ruling by a federal judge Monday.

U.S. District JudgeSusan Webber Wright granted a preliminary injunction in favor of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, who sued Secretary of State Charlie Daniels after he refused to grant permission for the group to put up its display, dubbed the Box of Knowledge.

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Thank God Almighty I'm Free At Last!!

By Tom



I was born into an Assemblies of God family and became saved at the tender age of 5 years old.



There were a number of events in my life that caused me to leave Christianity. First of which was reading about the philosophers of The Enlightenment in my European History class in High School. I remember reading one of the atheist philosopher's writings and getting quite mad. I was mad at my teacher for making me read this crap, cause the arguments made were very good and actually made me question my belief in God for the first time. I quickly put this event out of my mind as I could not even consider that God did not exist, as my whole life had been built on this premise.



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God's Cartoonist: The Comic Crusade of Jack Chick

It's here! The first and only documentary on the world's most published cartoonist! This film includes interviews with all the major players in Jack T. Chick's comic book empire (except Chick himself, who won't appear on camera out of fear for his safety). Included in the film are Fred Carter, Rebecca Brown, Alberto's widow (Nury Rivera), Kent Hovind (before he went to jail), Chaplain Dann (the "human tract dispenser"), Chick assistant David Daniels, Artist Hal Robins, conspiracy expert Ivan Stang, and authors of separate books about Chick (Bob Fowler of The World of Jack Chick and Dan Raeburn The Imp #2). The film was directed by Kurt Kuersteiner, the author of the most recent book on Chick (The Art of Jack T. Chick). It also includes archival recordings and videos of Alberto Rivera and John Todd, two of Chick's most inspirational and controversial sources.

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Christmas and witnessing

by Linda

When I was in church, Christmas was always one of the great recruitment holidays, much like Easter. The church always planned some kind of Cantata, or kids play, or both to bring in the masses. On a table in the foyer were fliers that we were encouraged to give to every human body that was in our area. In the beginning of my time in that church, I would actually make "baby Jesus cakes" to go with the fliers to kind of "soften the blow," so to speak! I stopped after a few years; it seemed so sneaky.

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Religious Tattoos (don't ever get them)

by J.D. Killarney

I began collecting tattoos when I was sixteen. It would have been sooner, but in Virginia one must be at least sixteen with parental permission. I was raised a Christian, and from the ages of about 16-18 I was very Jesus-centric.

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Idolatry in Christendom

by exfundy

I'm exfundy, the guy that wrote "Removing the Veneer". In one of the comments I made reference to feeling many of my friends and extended family would be better people if they left their faith behind. Allow me to explain what I mean by giving a few examples...

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I thought I was OK

By eveningmeadows

Image by FrogStarB via Flickr Before I became a Christian, some 25 years ago, I really don't know what I was. Maybe an atheist, like my father who had become disillusioned by the Catholic Church, but I think I liked to think I was someone who was "one with nature." My "god" or whatever it was, was in the great outdoors. It gave me peace, hiking in the woods, smelling the scents of the forest, seeing the colors of the sunset, the fall leaves, the wind blowing the snow in the winter, it was enough for me. I also figured that if I was a better parent than my parents, gave my kids the parenting I didn't get, I would be alright. Even thought I struggled with depression, not knowing it was a medical condition at the time, trying to find out what to do with my life, since my parents didn't give me any direction, I thought I was okay. Not perfect, but I never thought about that.

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Freedom from the Bondages of Evangelical Christianity

By Lamya

A view from the fortress in Ankara TurkeyI have been visiting this website for several months now reading everyone's stories and comments, and I am so grateful for this site and everyone on here. It's been such an encouragement, because I've been feeling as though I'm out in some field by myself for a while now.

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Fighting off the common cold

by Daytripper

Sneezing, coughing, fever, body aches -- we have all experienced these symptoms. If you weren’t raised by wolves then you know the common cold is a two-week virus that has to run its course, and the body will naturally (in most cases) fight it off. Of course we need to get plenty of rest and drink fluids in order to help things along.

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Why I Demolished My Own God

by Darryl Evans

My name is Vince and my biggest life’s regret is having ever hit my children because a hateful and primitive book said to. If that doesn’t make sense to you, nothing else I have to say will either.

I’m a lifelong entrepreneur and embarrassed to say a former pastor/theologian. I spent a decade demolishing other people’s gods (“in the name of God,” mind you), until I finally realized that mine was just as ridiculous and demolished it, too.

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Beginning of Freedom

by Mriana

I want to share something with all of you, because I finally made what feels like a small step towards freedom, especially when I hung up the phone after talking to my mother.

The night before she informed me that my younger son would be better off if he became a Christian and blabbed on and on about it as though it would cure his problems. I asked her, “What if he chose Buddhism?” She responded, “NO! There is no Christ. Blah, blah, blah.”

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No longer a "Capital C" Christian

by H

Nine years ago I would never have pictured myself writing this, but here I am! I’d call my story fairly typical. I was raised in a somewhat liberal, seeker-friendly Church that emphasized community and fellowship. My parents took me until I was around 12, then my Dad stopped coming inexplicably. My mother remains a large part of the Church, and enjoys having such a large support network. Most of my friends were Christians throughout school, and Church / youth group provided safe and fun activities for unquestioning minds. I had always wondered what my “faith” would look like after youth group was over. How much of my life would be devoted to “being devoted”? Would Church always be a priority?

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Christianity and Prejudice

by Scarlet

I come to this fantastic community today to share, not my own story, but my older sister Cara's.

Cara and I were born, two years apart, to a devout Protestant family. I clearly remember waking early each and every Sunday morning so that our mother could curl our hair and choose frilly outfits for us to wear to church. Our malleable young heads were drilled with images of Dante's version of Hell and a horrific, horned Satan with red skin and a trident.

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What peace there may be!

by Brian

Image via WikipediaI have always known deep down inside of me, down deep where true knowledge resides, that Christianity and all other organized religions are untrue. But the pull of the religion of one's youth is a very powerful draw. Sometimes it's like a black hole sucking me back in and so there have been a few times in my life where I have fallen back into old ways of thinking. I'm not sure if anyone can truly understand this phenomenon unless they too were raised in a religious family.

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Standing in the Gap – Part 1 of 2

by Neal Stone

The other night I had a dream. I dreamed I was 12 years old and walking through a field. As I walked I saw a long line of people standing at the edge of a great cliff. In some places there were gaps and others walking with me would walk through the gaps and disappear over the edge.

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How Do I Celebrate the Holidays?

by Marlene Winell

Image by nabeel_yoosuf via FlickrI’m sure we all remember being told to not forget that “Jesus is the reason for the season,” so if you are recently deconverted from Christianity, this may be a confusing time for you. But I think it’s a good time to do some healing and growth by taking personal responsibility for how to construe the holidays and consciously deciding what to do, if anything. In my view, this is part of the larger reconstruction project of recovery, which involves rethinking and reclaiming responsibility in every facet of life. As examples, I have discussed the importance of taking responsibility for personal “spirituality,” for deciding on one’s own sexual guidelines, and the importance of getting past looking for “God’s will” in making life choices.

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Encouraging de-converting and former Christians

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