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Showing posts from 2010

My long journey...

By Jeffrey Frederick ~ M y journey to become an atheist was a very long one. I had my doubts from back when I was around 10 years old (I'm 25 now). I remember back when I was a kid I was terrified about going to Hell. I would ask myself often if I really believed in Jesus and I tried to convince myself I did. Image by James Jordan via Flickr I grew up in a Christian family and was surrounded by Christians my whole life. I went to a Lutheran school and went to church there everyday as well as another church outside of school every Sunday. Christianity was a big part of my life back then. I was always a skeptical person and tried to use logical reasoning. I guess because of Christianity being such a big part of my life I never questioned it until I got older. I was always scared though. As I got older I slowly started to realize how absurd Christianity is. This is where the brainwashing comes into play. Even though I knew how stupid some things were, I ignored it thinking th

Without Hell there is no Heaven

By Agnosticator ~ T he Bible is considered to be the Good Book, and the Gospel Truth. We swear an oath in court with one hand on a Bible, and have as our motto, "In God We Trust". God is agreed to be the God of the Bible, particularly the New Testament. Many Americans also believe the Bible is to be taken literally, even though a story of human sacrifice linked with another story about the first human couple seems mythological rather than historical. Christianity is founded upon these two stories from the Old Testament and the New, forming a religion unlike any other. Though human sacrifice to appease the Gods was a common basis for most ancient religions, the story of Adam and Eve adds a new twist: Genesis Chapter 2: "And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Chapter 3:4: "You will not su

God’s Emotions 8: God Cares About What I Care About

By Valerie Tarico ~ Note: This is Part Eight in a series, “God’s Emotions: Why the Biblical God is so Very Human.” Parts 1-7 are available at this website or at . You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do. -- Anne Lamott D ivorce, fags, figs, workers of iniquity, homophobes, Lady Gaga , remarriage, Ireland, techno, furries, war, a coward, shrimp, lying lips, abortion, your outfit, bad manners, amputees, begging, Haiti, religion, complaining, Canada, haughty eyes, murmuring, anal sex, mobile homes, haters . . . . The Internet is full of articles about things and people God hates. Some of them are tongue in cheek. A remarkable number are not. Image by buildscharacter via Flickr Through history, the prevailing consensus on what and who God despises has drifted on the cultural currents. A seemingly continuous anchor point for Christians has been that God hates sin,

Car Washes and Candy Bars for a Dollar

By Andrea ~ S even years ago I was thirteen years old and I remember going to my church to pick up a big box of candy bars from my youth leader.She said to try to sell as many as you can around your neighborhood or to whoever you can.She said we should sell them for a dollar each.That didn't seem to hopeful if I was going to get to Mexico in four months. I thought, "What the heck am I going to do? Stand on every street corner in the summer heat and beg people to eat chocolate till I have hundreds of dollars?" But I knew that was about the biggest fundraiser the church could afford so I figured I better do what I'm supposed to do and go on a mission trip. I sold like twenty. My family bought half of them to help out, and I had the chocolate sitting in a box in my house once again haha. But when the trip got close my dad had to give me 200 extra dollars or I wouldn't have gone anywhere. My dad pretty much had to bail me out even though money was slow with his own

Intolerance and ignorance

 By Steve ~ W hile browsing a christian forum to pick up possible opposing arguments to the pro gay marriage stance that I take, I saw a question asking something along the lines of: "Why is gay marriage unnatural?" The response from one of the priests on the website was frightening: Image by juicyrai via Flickr "Hi, We don’t have individual, subjective natural laws . Natural law is objective and applies to all people. Our awareness of it derives from right reason and not from feelings. There are some people who choose to take pleasure in incest . This doesn’t mean that such activity comes from the natural law. It’s quite the opposite. The taboo of incest comes from natural law. Because some people feel an attraction doesn’t make it natural. The vast majority of humans are repulsed by incest because it threatens the integrity of the family which is the central cell of human social life. The vast majority of humans are repulsed by same sex attraction and so calle

Time of Change

By Ben ~ I 've always been an outcast in my church, for a number of reasons, I was "saved" at age 8, I was very intellectual, which my basic knowledge and curiosity, and limited experience with science came to this conclusion of there is a "God" which explains why "God" made the sky and water blue, and many other things an imaginative mind like mine could ponder. The two most important things in my life that made me an outcast of the church was that 1) I was a skeptic and 2) my mother was a single parent. Image by rezlab via Flickr My mother, a very liberal Southern Baptist among Southern Baptists , told me that I had a "sky daddy" which brought up more issues with my friends in elementary school . For example a friend whom I'll call Joe: Joe: Well do you have a daddy? Me: Yes and no? Joe: What do you mean? Me: (Thinking) mmm.. Joe: Well? Me: *Starts walking back and forth then stops* Yes I do! Joe: What's his nam

Gave Up Catholicism For Lent, Forgot To Take It Back

By Pilar ~ I was raised in an Irish Catholic home. I don't recall having much belief in any of it. I got in trouble once for saying Mass to my stuffed animals. My parents wouldn't say it but it was because GIRLS CAN'T BE PRIESTS. Church was boring and the stories were the same thing. I just didn't "get" it. Catholic school was good only for making me smarter than the public school kids. Image by bhenak via Flickr When I was a teenager, I told my parents the Bible didn't make any sense and they flipped out on me. It was so strange to see normally rational people flip out like that. So I lied and said I didn't understand some of the names and terms like Nebuchadnezzar . They totally calmed down after that. My Catholic school shut down because it was in a small town and no one had money for tuition. My parents sent me to catechism classes, which devolved into nonsense, especially when it was time for sex ed. I'll never forget when

Ran like hell away from religion!

By Harmonika Savingsbonds ~ W ell, in a way, I felt I was kind of lucky in that I had a headstart. In 1960, I was being indoctrinated to do something called a First Communion . I had no idea what that meant, due to the fact that as a 7 year old, of course, I had the attention span of a gnat. Image by ctanstfl via Flickr I did as I was told and marched up, prayer hands in position, and want to get a cookie the man in the pretty, golden dress was giving everybody. Walking back to my seat, I felt immediately nauseous, and this being a poor Catholic church in a small Mexican American community, had an outhouse for it's parishioners to use. I immediately threw it all up, all the while this large butch nun who had chased after me, beating me across the back and telling me that because "you had rejected the body of christ, you are forever damned, and will burn in Hell forever!!", a premise that, to this TV fed 7 year old, was the ONLY part of their story I thought I fo

Control them through Fear and Love

By Kalos ~ N iccolo Machiavelli (who actually devoted much of his life and work to free republics, which leads some to think "The Prince" was a sort of satire) pointed out the sad truth that people will more readily follow someone they fear than someone they love. He goes on to say "I conclude that since men love as they themselves determine but fear as their ruler determines, a wise prince must rely upon what he and not others can control." It breaks down like this: you are less likely to revolt against someone you are afraid of then you are to revolt against someone you love. Love can be a fickle thing, if the ruler does something you do not like you may decide you do not love them anymore. This is what Machiavelli means when he says "men love as they themselves determine." Image by IceNineJon via Flickr Religion, especially Christianity, has found a way to harness and balance both of these powerful emotions to get people into a lasting submission.

Have a Happy Holiday!

Christians don't want friends

By Kate ~ I realized something after I left xtianity. A lot of those people I thought were my friends, were not. This may be a "duh" moment to some of you but looking back I think not only do most xtians not want to be friends, they dont know how to be friends. My hubby and I didn't go to church for many years until we met a couple who we shared common interests with. We liked them a lot and spent a lot of time with them. Finally we went to their church. It seemed cool (at the time). Better worship and more laid back. As we became more involved in that church our friends who had led us there did less and less with us. It's as if they only wanted us to get into the church and then they would push us off onto others. After about 10 or so years we left church never to return. We made our new beliefs know and that was the last we heard from those original "friends". Later a mutual friend suggested that we were only a project for them. We needed to be brought

The Proliferation of Ignorance

By Neil ~ I 've heard it said that the United States as a nation is losing it's intellectual capacity. That we are quickly becoming (or already have become) a culture of mindless consumerism propped up by the hollow promises of fulfillment by the corporations taking our money. When I look around a Wal Mart parking lot, it's not hard to see some truth in this. A trip through the local shopping mall reveals the same. Browsing the Internet seems only to illustrate a concentrated essence of stupidity and ignorance in many of it's darkest corners. Image by dhammza via Flickr Yet I do find that there are many intelligent and intellectually honest people out there. Their own capacity for reason lays mostly dormant as there is not much call for it during the nine to five grind. They are keeping their heads down as they struggle to keep the family fed and the bills paid. They simply don't have the time nor the interest to engage the least of us in public forums. I am sp

How Ridiculous Can I Sound?

By Dawn Sanders ~ I am a mother of two, & I by no means deny them the right to any one religion. They attend church with my mother who is a Baptist in every sense of the word. She is against so many things but is accepting, in the 'its them not her' way. I am up in the air. Not sure if I believe or not. I guess you could say I rely on the more scientific facts rather than the "adult fairy tales" I heard growing up. Image via Wikipedia A few weeks ago my son asked me, 'Mommy, what does God look like?' Not Jesus, who as we all know is portrayed as having long hair & a beard. (Much like most hippies in the 70's but were they worshiped? No, they were cast aside without another thought.) Needless to say I was at a loss of words. What do I tell my 4 year old? I stumbled out that God can look like anyone, that he could be a man or a woman, of any race, and, yes I said it, he has magical powers. I had to laugh at myself for saying that. I was brough

The Scale of the Universe

Image by paalia via Flickr Alternative content ORIGINAL LINK

African Missionaries

By Zack Brown ~ I am an American college student. When I was 21 years old I had an existential crisis and decided to drop everything I was doing and follow my life-long dream of going to Africa . After much deliberation and contemplation I organized a trip to Kenya where I could use my skills to teach English at a school. I made arrangements with a school: Filadelfia School for the Destitute and Orphaned . After a day or two or getting acclimated to a new culture, it was time to dive in. Suddenly I was the teacher of 55 first graders. I relished in the chance and by the end of my three months there I had grown close to every one and loved Kenya. This school compound was founded and supported by Danish Christian missionaries . I myself am an atheist, but I didn't see a problem. After all, I was teaching English and there was no need for my beliefs to be brought up or for me to try to 'indoctrinate' any one else; just stick to the English. Over my three mont

Man, It Must Suck To Be Jesus At Christmas Time

By EChamberlainMD, San Diego ~ M an, it must suck to be Jesus at Christmas Time, what with having your birthday on the same day as Christmas. I knew of someone who did and only got about half as much stuff as the rest of us. Image by giopuo via Flickr Seems to me, if I was god and perfect-- or at least if I was god and not perfect-- I'd have made my birthday in the Spring or Summertime, not at the busiest time of the year when all my friends and family are so distracted with stuff like parking space and wrapping paper. I woulda, at least for the American version, come down to earth in March, April, June, or August (hell, I got here in the middle of May and I'm not even god), 'cause over here we got nothing going on then in the way of competing federal holidays, except Easter and Father's Day, but they're always on a Sunday anyway. Really, if god so verily, verily cared about us, wouldn't he have thought ahead and given us another 3-day weekend during tho

Bishop Eddie Long Under Secret Service Investigation Over Mortgage Scheme

Bishop Eddie Long has been linked to a controversial mortgage scheme. CBS Atlanta reports: CBS Atlanta News has found Bishop Eddie Long and another local megachurch leader, Gary Hawkins, are linked to a questionable mortgage venture that is being investigated by the feds. CBS Atlanta was the first to report on Matrix Capital’s long list of victims. The company promised to lower people’s mortgages for $1,500 upfront. Police say thousands of homeowners paid Matrix money, but according to investigators, most of them ended up in bankruptcy and losing their homes. So many people trusted Matrix Capital front man Fred Lee because he made promises of lowering people’s mortgages in the sanctity of their local church. Read the entire story: LINK Related articles Bishop Eddie Long's Church Linked to Alleged Financial Fraud ( Bishop Eddie Long's Church Linked to Alleged Financial Fraud ( Bishop Eddie Long Responds To Sexual Allega

Pastor gets 20 years in prison for sex abuse

FAYETTE COUNTY, Iowa - A Westgate pastor was sentenced Monday in Fayette County District Court to 20 years for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl in June 2009. Timothy Parker, 40, a former pastor with St. Peter Lutheran Church in Westgate pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sexual abuse in November. Each abuse charge carries a 10 year prison term and judge ran them consecutively. According to the criminal complaint, on three separate occasions, Parker fondled or performed oral sex on the girl. Deputies said the alleged incidents took place at the church parsonage in early June 2009. Victim impact statements were read during the sentencing but First Judicial District Judge John Bauercamper would not release the written statements to the media. . Parker still faces four counts of violating a no contact order in September. He is accused of attempting to contact the victim and family members by giving letters to Pastor Ronnie Koch, who was visiting Parker at the Fayette C

Former Follower of Christ church member's advice: 'Just leave'

OREGON CITY, Ore. – The simply-lettered white, rust-streaked sign on Molalla Avenue for the Followers of Christ Church sways in a cold December breeze, its simplicity masking the complex and contentious stories that have come out of the insular religous organization over the years. Now, a former member of the church has come forward to shed some light on what church members’ lives are like under the tight control church leaders exert over their followers. Read the entire story here: Past stories about the Followers of Christ Church

Evolution - Science Comedian Brian Malow

A video by ** Science Comedian ** ** Brian Malow **

The Case for Salvation

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ C hristians are told that they must believe the salvation story of the bible or be damned. The threat is often put in such threatening, frightening words and images that the fear of a mistake is pushed very, very deep. Many people suffer constant, life-long anxiety for their occasional doubts. I don’t have this fear, and perhaps my reasons for that can help someone else. And so I offer the following. How could it make sense to punish me with eternal torment because the bible and preachers were unable to convince me of something? Is it really my fault that they made a weak case? Maybe their case was good enough for some, but I found it unconvincing. After all, no Jesus or god appeared before me to prove their case. All I ever got, to base a decision on, were the words of the bible, and its interpreters and promoters. I never saw any direct – in this world - evidence . I got no more evidence for the salvation story than I got for the divinity of Mohamme

No Offense Meant

By Carl S ~ I submitted the following to the Letters-to-the-editor page of a local weekly newspaper, where I have published many times. That it was not printed proves, in my estimation, that there are areas where free speech is not welcome. [ I stand corrected. Believe it or not, this letter, without any edits, was indeed published the week following, in the Lincoln County News, here in Maine. This is one courageous, dedicated editor. ] No Offense Meant " E ditorially Speaking," of 12/02/10 reminds us to loosen up, so to speak, in our observances of the coming holiday season , of our varying interpretations of Christmas. The editorial insists, “We respect the rights of all Americans to life, liberty...and we would add that liberty includes the option of being offended, and for those so inclined, offers plenty of opportunity to take offense." (I’m not sure what "plenty" of offense means.) One of my favorite melodies belongs to an American folk-hymn wh