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Showing posts from March, 2010

Still recovering from the God virus

By Rudy -- T his is my ex-Christian story. My parents were both raised in very religious protestant farming families in Iowa. I was born in 1957 while they were attending Los Angeles Chiropractic College. We attended the church in which my parents were raised. This church was called Christian Conventions, but if you asked a member what the name of their church was, they would say they did not have a name. However, they would gladly refer you to one of their missionaries, called workers, who could explain the religion to you. In fact, I did not even know their name until I recently Googled them based on their hymnal. Christian Convention members claim their religion does not need a name because they were the original and only Christians. Christian Conventions members believe that they are the only people going to heaven because only they follow the Bible precisely. During their Sunday worship at members’ houses, the members sang hymns off key, without a leader or a piano. They took

Missionary Dating: A Nonbeliever's Perspective

By Godlessgrrl -- M issionary dating is a term used in evangelical Christian circles to describe a tactic certain believers use to win new converts. It involves a believer becoming romantically involved with a nonbeliever, with conversion of the nonbeliever being a priority goal for the believer. A quick Google search of the term returns well over 100,000 hits on the subject. Peruse a sampling of them, and you'll find that the majority of sites addressing the topic are Christian sites discussing why missionary dating is a bad idea... for Christians. Interestingly enough, I have yet to come across a page or site that has anything to say about the impact of missionary dating on its non-Christian victims. There's plenty out there about the damage missionary dating can do to Christians who do it (it can cause backsliding, violation of one's own convictions, doubts, stress, and so on), but nothing on what it's like for someone on the receiving end. No word or though

God is watching us?

By JSH -- R eligious authorities want us to believe there's a Big Brother in the sky watching our every move and who will hold us accountable in 'eternity'. If that were true, they'd also believe "they" are being watched and will be held accountable. Do they act like they believe that? Image by antkriz via Flickr I don't mean do they avoid human faults like losing their tempers when being cut off in traffic (that happens to everyone). I mean the big things, like covering up child molestation and other major (if I can use their term) sins. I had an issue with a church (involving a major abuse of authority for a normal institution, but since no children were raped in this case I guess it isn't a huge one for a church) which had hired one of the many consultants that exist to paper over these things. As far as I can tell, this consultant's operating philosophy is "when church leadership wrongs you, you go to them, totally submit and a

Father must pay Westboro Baptist Church $16,500

Lawyers for the father of a Marine who died in Iraq and whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters say a court has ordered him to pay the protesters' appeal costs. Image via Wikipedia On Friday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that Albert Snyder of York, Pa., pay costs associated with Fred Phelps ' appeal. Phelps is the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., which held a protest at the funeral of Snyder's son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, in Westminster in 2006. Lawyers for Snyder say the Court of Appeals has ordered him to pay $16,510.80 to Phelps for costs relating to the appeal, despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the Court of Appeals' decision. The lawyers say that Snyder is also struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court. "We are extremely disappointed," said Sean E. Summers, an attorney for Snyder. He added that the high co

Rational thinker; stubborn mother

By Justin -- H i, my name is Justin, and I am an ex-Christian, and an atheist. My story starts out at age 18. Image by Robert Kim via Flickr All my life I was brought up Christian. Baptism , first confession , first communion, confirmation at age 17. My family was never very religious, but we went to church probably two weekends out of the month. I never liked it. I don't remember first communion at all, so I have nothing to say against it. At age 17, I had been going to catechism since an early age (I don't remember exactly when), every week during school. I never felt anything, or saw a point to it. All i knew was that I was supposed to be there, and if you disagreed with the church, you were thrown out of catechism. I was never a bad kid. I've always been a peacemaker. So I went through catechism and going to church every Sunday or every other Sunday, never really wanting to be there, always thinking there was something else i could be doing besides s

Pastor charged with attempting to forge drug prescription

MOUNT VERNON, Ala. -- An assistant pastor at a Mount Vernon church faces a series of drug charges, after authorities said she tried to forge drug prescriptions and was found with hundreds of pills that did not belong to her. Bertha Wright Some members of AOH Church of God are upset that Bertha Y. Wright did not tell them about her arrest earlier this month, said Michael Williams, who has belonged to the church his entire adult life. "I want to see them remove this pastor," Williams said. The 43-year-old Wright, who lives in Pensacola, was arrested March 5 after trying to fill a fraudulent prescription at a Florida pharmacy , according to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office . Wright was charged with 11 counts of possessing a controlled substance without a prescription, three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud , one count of trafficking in hydrocodone and one count of possession of a blank prescription. Free on $34,000 bail, according to Esc

Their God Is Really a Nuke

By Mriana -- E xcuse me for a few moments as I somewhat mirror “The Lorax” in this rant/essay and prepare to rumble with the Pentecostals and alike religious extremists. When it comes to those crazed Rapturists and other extremists, the only thing that will descend from the clouds is a NUKE! Not some sort of god-man and in the end, the god they worship will be blatantly obvious to everyone. I have said this for years, but Wednesday tonight when I came home from work, I received something in my mailbox that confirms this even more- at least to me- due to their dangerous beliefs and even Tom Harpur and John Shelby Spong are not above saying there are dangers and consequences of Biblical literalism. Most of the time, I immediately throw away such propaganda, but this one I thought I would save long enough to write about it and apparently anyone who wants to follow along with this flier can go to . It appears to be the very same primitive tribal information

The Ashram and the Madrassa: A Tale of Two Schools

Religion writer Valerie Tarico is traveling with her husband and two teenage daughters during the first half of 2010. Missives from the Southern Cross are her occasional dispatches from the road. Image by Amre Ghiba - Le Batteur de Lune via Flickr Q uite by accident this week, I found myself at an ashram, which traditionally means a retreat or commune setting where Hindus practice yoga or other spiritual disciplines. In this case, it wasn’t a Hindu ashram, though since I didn’t even mean to be there, I had no idea what it was at the time that the taxi driver dropped my family in the dusty compound and left. Brian, my husband, had decided that it was time for us to get off the tourist trail and see “the real India ,” as he put it. He dug out some paperwork from an old peace organization, Servas , listing Indians who were willing to host international visitors for a few days in our destination city, Trivandrum . And he called a woman who said, “Yes, come.” Only somehow, along the w

The Values We All Stand For

Image by chinota via Flickr Write text here...

Jesus Loves Me?

Image by Roebot via Flickr Jesus Loves Me?

The amazingly true story of Jeshua Cottontail

What if?

By ByronFish -- I didn't 'come to Jesus' until I was 15 and after 5 years of drug and alcohol abuse, but it didn't take long before I learned to associate that Jiminy Cricket in my conscience and certain emotions with 'The Voice of God'. Throughout my adult life I've had many encounters with that Still Small Voice and two years ago at age 44 it almost sent me to the insane asylum . Image by Astig!! via Flickr That was what caused me to question everything I believed about God, the bible, the church, religion, science, the conscience, etc. It turned out to be the final nail in my superstitious coffin (although the corpse occasionally knocks from within begging me to get a crowbar and help him escape so he can torment once again...wink, wink:) My wife and I married while still teenagers and she has been my bedrock for almost 30 years now. 2 1/2 years ago she took a 10 day cruise while I stayed home and grew extremely lonely without her. Although I wen

Members of Christian Militia Group "Hutaree" Arrested

Members of Hutaree, a Christian militia group, Were Arrested in Michigan . At least seven members of militia groups have been arrested in raids conducted in Michigan and Indiana . Fox News is reporting that seven people were arrested for reportedly selling pipe bombs in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Some of the people arrested are believed to be connected to Hutaree, a Christian militia group based in Lenawee County, Michigan . One Hutaree member recently posted an online message stating that the FBI raided her home and she is now on the run. What is Hutaree ? Hutaree is Christian miltia group based in Adrian, Michigan . Hutaree members consider themselves soldiers who are readying themselves for a battle with the Anti-Christ . Related articles by Zemanta Christian militia group targeted in FBI raids ( FBI Raids Midwest Towns In Operation Believed To Target Michigan Militias ( O They Will Know We Are Christians... (slog.thest

Where do I go from here?

By Lauris -- H ey everybody. My Christian story is short, but I’d still like to share it. I’m Lauris, a 25-year-old guy from Latvia , so English is not my native tongue. Anyway, I came to explore this faith after a couple years of depression, which I struggle with still. At some point, while searching for reasons to live, for the first time I pondered the existence of a god and the validity of religious faith. Influenced by some friends, I picked up C.S. Lewis’ “ Mere Christianity ”. It blew me away, it talked about Christianity in a way I never imagined before. His powerful rhetoric and convincing philosophy made me buy it and I started to attend a couple of different churches. I wanted to tell everybody that I’ve finally found the answer, because I longed for it so much! I REALLY believed with all my heart that if there is this Jesus everybody is talking about, I’ll soon meet him, or whatever other miracles will happen! Because I needed so badly to be healed of my depression,

An Open Letter to "Persecuted" American Christians

By Godlessgrrl    Happy Heathen    Dear "Persecuted" American Christian: L ast week while doing some research for future blog posts, I noticed that many of you feel that you are persecuted for your faith. In this letter I thought I'd explore that belief, and write an open response to your perceived victimization at the hands of your alleged oppressors. Image by loswl via Flickr It's very true that your brothers and sisters in Christ who live and work overseas are often subject to real hardships for practicing their faith. Missionaries in North Korea and China face censure and death, Coptic Christians in Egypt are isolated and marginalized, Laotian church workers are regularly arrested, and so on. It should not be denied that religious persecution takes place, that it is devastating to the cause of international civil rights , and that it needs to be curtailed wherever possible. It should not be denied that Christians the world over have been the