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Showing posts from April, 2010

The Persuader In Me

By J.W. I t is amazing how blind I was. I would say anything to justify my belief. Like a lawyer pulling the strings of the grand jury . I am persuasive. "Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy" via Wikipedia Neither a pastor nor raised in the church, my apologetics turned the stomachs of some hardcore atheists. I did not know then what gave me my power. The desperate hope of mankind to find meaning, purpose, and value -- in the world -- in themselves. It didn’t occur to me that they were responding to the bold display of love and vulnerability because that spirit is attractive. Who doesn’t want to be loved? Who wouldn’t want to be saved? Who doesn’t want to find purpose? But like Neo in the Matrix, there was a splinter in my mind. There was something wrong with the world. It did not match my view. Perhaps the question that was most damaging to me was: “Do I want to live forever?” No, I do not. Truthfully, oblivion sounds like a very merciful end to life. No c

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Youth pastor gets prison for sex with teen

A Placer County judge sentenced a Rocklin youth pastor to prison Wednesday for carrying on a sexual affair with a 14-year-old church member. Jeffery Allen Waisner Jeffery Allen Waisner, 33, of Lincoln, was handed a three-year prison term for a charge of lewd and lascivious acts with a child stemming from an estimated six-month relationship with a female youth. The then-14-year-old Rocklin victim and Waisner met at a youth group he led as part of the Crossroads Community Church in Rocklin . On Wednesday, the victim’s mother stood in an Auburn courtroom to describe the pain and damage Waisner has caused her family. The mother, whose name is withheld to protect the minor victim’s identity, said that Waisner sent her daughter more than 4,000 text messages in one month. She said many of the messages were sexually explicit. Speaking through tears, the victim’s mother said Waisner convinced her daughter to sneak out of the family’s Rocklin home and go with him on a trip to San Fra

Motivations of an Apostate: Truth vs. Reality

By GodlessGrrl O ne of the things that annoys me tremendously is when a devout Christian claims to know and understand my reasons for leaving Christianity better than I do. Image via Wikipedia I've gotten this a number of times, and I've seen Christians do it to other apostates as well. It's always puzzled me. After all, I am the person who has lived my own life, not anyone else. It would stand to reason that, living in my own skin and my own head, I understand my motivations, feelings, experiences, and so on better than anyone else possibly could. I have never understood how anyone could be so unabashedly arrogant as to presume to know me better than I do. It simply isn't possible. So I've had a difficult time understanding how any Christian could insist that they "know the real reason" why I left, in contradiction to my actual reasons. What's particularly mindboggling is to hear a believer assert my motivations without actually hearing anythin

Click here to Restore Stephen Baldwin

By Webmdave -- S tephen Baldwin has every right to pursue a career in Hollywood or Christian ministry or both. What seems amazing to me, however, is that any Christians would believe that a very wealthy actor has gone bankrupt and lost his house , not because of poor choices he's made, but because he's a modern-day Job. That's right, Baldwin has fallen on hard times because of his religious convictions! At least that's the claim being made on the website . When I heard about this, (thanks Aaron!), I was like "What the heck is this all about?" Fortunately the site has a peachy keen Q&A to answer some of my anticipated questions: Image of Stephen Baldwin by Case_Foundation via Flickr     Q- Why doesn't his family help him?     A- His family does not perceive Stephen’s predicament as a matter of spiritual warfare. They see Stephen’s outspoken Christianity as poor choices therefore they will not help. Dan Southern,

Youth pastor jailed for sexual relationship with teen

A 43-year-old former youth pastor at Calvary Chapel church in Longview, Washington has admitted to having sex repeatedly with a teenage girl between 2008 and last month, according to court documents filed by Kelso police. Michael Louis Anthony Michael Louis Anthony reported himself to Kelso police April 13 and was booked into jail Friday. He was held Tuesday on $150,000 bail in the Cowlitz County Jail on suspicion of third-degree child molestation, third-degree rape of a child and second-degree sexual misconduct with a minor. Police said Anthony, who is married and has two children, served as the girl's "spiritual teacher, counselor and confidant." The girl, who was 15 when the sex began, and Anthony told police they had sex too many times to count and that they did so in churches, Anthony's Kelso home, Gerhart Gardens Park and other places. During a routine patrol, Longview police officer Ken Hardy found Anthony and the girl inside a van parked at Gerhart

Have You Been Brainwashed?

By psychman33 -- H aving grown up as the youngest son of a Christian minister, first in the Baptist denomination, then into Pentecostal and Non-Denominational Churches (part of the Charismatic movement for the most part), I was heavily indoctrinated in Protestant Christianity from a very young age (since birth really). From my earliest memories, I was in church every time the doors were opened (mainly because my father usually was the one who opened them). For much of my early childhood, we even had a family bible study every single weeknight. As a result, I have a very strong understanding and knowledge of this religion, and it's sacred writings. Another effect of this style of upraising is that I have undergone a long, painful, arduous journey escaping what I now think of as the brainwashing that I was subjected to for more than half of my life. To this day, I still have not escaped all of the effects of this time in my life. After all, it was perpetrated at the most deve

Moving away from Christianity

By Missy -- I feel that I am moving away from Christianity. Image by ~FreeBirD®~ via Flickr It's hard for me to believe there is a god that cares so much about me because my life has always been one of intense problems. It has not stopped. Just recently I tried to go back to Christianity and get a deliverance prayer done on me which I did, and I didn't feel any difference. I actually felt worse. I felt like I wanted to sin more and I didn't feel it working inside of me. I have this rage for god and this rage for myself because I don't know if it is me not believing or it's just not working on me. After being upset from the deliverance not working, I would rather leave Christianity for good. For the last 6 years I have been back and forth leaving Christianity and coming back to it. But I think that I am tired of going back and forth. I think that I am just going to stay agnostic. The only time I really know that god helped me was when I almost died 4 time

Pastor sentenced for exposing himself on Web camera

SALT LAKE CITY — A former Salt Lake City pastor who exposed himself over the Internet to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl was sentenced to 90 days in jail Monday. William J. Blanscet, 67, pleaded guilty in January to two counts of dealing harmful materials to a minor, a third-degree felony . Monday, his attorneys told Third District Judge Robin Reese they had "never seen anyone punish himself the way he has" before asking the judge for a 90-day sentence. Reese instead sentenced Blanscet to zero to five years in prison but suspended the prison time and ordered Blanscet to serve 90 days in jail followed by three years of probation . The judge also ordered him to not use the Internet — for any reason. Blanscet was a pastor at the Church of God of Prophecy at 425 N. 700 West in Salt Lake City — and had been for more than 40 years, prosecutors said. But on May 14, he resigned and had his bishop's license revoked, according to a spokesman for the church. One

The Games Theologians Play

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) -- I ’ve recently been reading up on a couple of modern theological writers, Karen Armstrong and David B. Hart . It’s been fun, but not particularly enlightening. Armstrong is a former Catholic nun who wrote “ A History of God ” and several other books. Image by _strawberryfields_ via Flickr Hart is an Eastern Orthodox theologian, philosopher, and author of “ Atheist Delusions ” and more. These writers (especially Hart) have criticized the so-called New Atheists (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens, et. al.) for being superficial, irrelevant, a passing fad, and nearly everything else but right. The gist of their thinking on the existence of god can be found in a N.Y. Times essay by Armstrong (1), and Hart’s essay, “ Believe It or Not ” (2), on the First Things web site. Hart’s essay is particularly corrosive as he chides the New Atheists with all the warmth and charm of battery acid. These writers are so confoundingly abstract that understanding w

Our Daily Brood: On Gospels

By Bob R -- On my Blog called " apriori blues " I include a series called "Our Daily Brood". I'm a graduate of Wheaton College's Ancient Languages Department, and I was trained to read and interpret the Bible in Greek and Hebrew. Hence the fact that I am now an Ex-Christian. The following article is one of my Daily Brood posts, regarding the Gospels and common (and intentionally enforced) misconceptions about them. Image via Wikipedia A s a student of the Bible, one of my pet peeves is the literature that has cropped up around the notion that the Gospels are biographies of a man named Jesus.  The conventional wisdom goes that, like biographies or even memoirs (since the belief in the doctrine of Inspiration requires that one essentially believe that God somehow wrote the Bible using human agents), that the gospels offer us a fairly accurate, if not entirely, literally, historically, chronologically accurate portrayal of the Life and Times of Jesus t

A Loving God?

By Philippe Orlando -- L et’s assume there is a “God” - with a capital “G”. Let's assume that, like any good person of faith, you believe that God created the world and everything in it. Now, take a really good look at the world around you. What does it tell you about your God? Image by rafaelm via Flickr Do you truly believe a supreme being full of love built it? Look at the way life is organized on this planet. Watch the evening news. Check out the latest offering on Animal Planet. Stop in at the natural history museum . Your loving and compassionate Father cooked up a Garden of Eden based on murder! Let's assume that all the problems mankind is plagued with has been brought onto us by our bad behavior in some biblical past. Let's assume we're paying today for something humans did or didn't do in the past. Fine. But what about the rest of the creation? What did squirrels, elephants and baby antelopes, some of them I've seen being eaten alive by

Your De-conversion story in 30 seconds

For the YouTubers, there's a new project out there under development by " Truth-Saves.Com " entitled " 30 Sec. Deconversion ." Why 30 seconds? Because shorter videos = more voices getting heard. It may seem like not enough time, but think of it more as a trailer for your full length story and feel free to include an annotation linking to the full story. STEP 1. Make a video telling the world you de-conversion story. Videos must be 30 seconds (give or take a few seconds). STEP 2. Go to this link on YouTube to upload your video as a "Video Response" to the 30 sec. De-conversion video. (You can log in or register on that page if necessary.) Please put the URL somewhere in the text description when you upload your video. For a more thorough explanation about this project, go to 30Sec. De-Conversion .

I am thinking of becoming a christian.

From Pat -- I used to be a non-believer until my christian started bringing me to her bible study group and her fellowship. Image by DerrickT via Flickr Although I had a hard time trying to understand how God could be real and struggled a lot, after two years, now things are making sense for me and I like how it teaches you to be humble and loving. So I am debating now whether I should accept Christ or not. I want to hear some comments that would make me decide since I have heard things from only one side.

The Danger of Religious Privilege

By WizenedSage -- Below is my most recent letter-to-the-editor offering to a local weekly newspaper. In the 3rd and 4th paragraphs I talk about the extreme editing of an earlier letter of mine. Both letters were sent to the same newspaper, and, amazingly, the letter below was published intact, with no edits! I did get an e-mail from the editor claiming his earlier edits were not related to the subject matter, and suggesting that I wrote just to piss people off. Of course I responded in my defense. As this exchange was taking place, I knew the paper had already been printed, but I hadn't seen it yet. Imagine my surprise when I saw what he had printed. Of course, I'm lucky, I live in Maine, well away from the Bible belt. To the Editor: Image by hpebley3 via Flickr T he current flap over the National Day of Prayer court case has brought to light a concern which deserves a great deal more newsprint than it gets. It should be obvious now that religion is granted a privileg


By Angel -- I had the great fortune of receiving a surprise visit from one of my very best friends just yesterday. As she was en route to another country, her connecting flight was rescheduled to come through my city forcing her to have a 5-hour layover here. What a treat! Her visit gave me the opportunity to talk to her about something that had been on my mind for quite some time. You see, when she called me a few months back to tell me that she'd be leaving the country for about a year, she began to confide in me that she had begun to lose faith in Christianity. I was the person she most wanted to talk to about how she'd been feeling recently for two main reasons; one being that I am generally a good listener, and two because it was I who led her to Christ in the first place. As she poured out her innermost feelings to me, she confessed that since becoming a Christian she found herself being judgmental of others and in a constant competition to outperform other Christi

I Just Don’t Understand Creationist Fundies

OR, Evolution Made Simple (maybe even too simple that it digresses a bit) By Mriana -- Image by reutC via Flickr I know this may sound like a Fundie for Evolution and may sound like a statement in reverse of those Fundamngelicals who say, “Look around. How can you say there is no God?” However, I say to Creationists, “Look around. How can you say we are not related to other animals?” Even as a child, I also could not understand how Christians or even other Abrahamic religions can say that “God put animals here for us to use [as food or whatever else they come up with].” Using other animals as a sacrifice for anything or even as food has always been abhorrent to me. To me, such statements are like a form of slavery. None of their statements about other animals have ever made sense to me. Since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, almost literally given I have always been of small stature, I saw that animals looked like us, only with more fur. I was maybe five when I sa