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Showing posts from June, 2010

A Natural Slide To Atheism

By J -- L ooking back at at my slide from the Xtian faith I can honestly say it wasn't the tortured, drawn out experience that many have had. There were times when I became frustrated and generally angry at God, my family and the church, but for the most part, it's a time in my life when I really came into my own being. Image via Wikipedia I was always a skeptical thinking, somewhat pessimistic person so being a Xtian was at odds with my personality. Intellectual dishonesty is a key component to faith in any religion. I come from a fairly Fundy family, though I have watched a slow slide to a more liberal version of in recent years. We attended mostly non-denominational type churches throughout my childhood until we finally landed in a baptist church ( Canadian version) in my teens. My summers were spent at Xtian camps and the rest of the time I was either in Sunday school or youth group. I don`t resent my childhood, for the most part it`s full of happy memories but lookin

Where do you go for help?

A letter from darklady -- I t occurred to me this week after being a general lurker on this site for a while, and finally joining recently, that having a safe place to meet like-minded people is really important. Image by Pensiero via Flickr Obviously, christians have churches. I didn’t realize how much I was suffering from not being able to freely talk about what I believe. I can’t at home, as my husband is still a believer (although thankfully not a church goer), and I have concluded that he fears that as I am no longer a Christian, I will no longer have any moral guidelines. This is making conservation difficult. I really like what I recently heard Richard Dawkins say, (and this is the general idea not a quote) that he would rather have a set of morals based on intelligent and reasonable discussion than morals based on the ramblings of a group of uneducated goat herders from thousands of years ago. I can no longer keep quiet about what I think. This will make life inte

An open letter to my neighbors

By Snabag -- I am a frequent reader of this site. I thought the readers of this site would be interested in a letter I sent to the residents of the gated community in which I live (in Canada). I sent 320 letters which represent about 500 people. Image by Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr I was inspired to do this after hearing people like Richard Dawkins , Dan Barker etc saying how we atheists need to make it known about our atheism . ----------- An open letter to residents of Blxxxxxxxx Cxxxxxxxxx I am reluctantly sending this letter as I am well aware of the social discomfort attached to openly discussing someone’s depth of faith or personal belief. Although I was never very religious, I did attend Sunday school as a child and church as an adult. After living sixty years of not knowing very much about religion, but always having some doubts, I developed a keen interest to explore this in more depth. I was willing to go to wherever the search led me. Anyone who k

A History of Atheism

By dealdoctor -- P ragmatism, which is certainly the prevailing viewpoint in America, concerns itself with what work and furthermore with what will work right now. In such a culture history becomes less and less meaningful. As atheists, agnostics and humanists in this same culture we might also see little value in history and thus cut ourselves off from a rich foundation of atheistic thought. That might not be such a good thing because being mature and having a history seem to be intertwined. If you are familiar with Jennifer Michael Hecht will probably agree she has done a great job of giving the atheist community a sense of its own history. Perhaps you would like you to go to YouTube and do a search for: Jennifer Michael Hecht: Doubt Hampshire College . The series contains 8 short 6-10 minute videos of her guest lecture there. Or just try this http://tinyurl.com/2g78ytl If you would like to start with a reading try this: Jennifer Michael Hecht - ‘My atheist paradise — l

Truth is what I want

By Brother John -- I was raised Catholic , went to catholic school for 8 years and even was an altar boy (thought it was a way to be more holy). Image by Daniel Y. Go via Flickr I left the church in my teens but still had a desire to know & pray to God. After examining (not close enough or as many) other views (philosophy, psychology, astrology, etc.). I came to be a "born again" Christian in 1985. I attended church for many years and different denominations (Evangelical, Pentecostal & Baptist influence). After a great disappointment in church & religion I stopped going in 1996 but I never left God or Christianity. I would still read, pray and listen to Christian radio but was pretty much doing my own thing. It was in late 2004 that I felt I needed to get off the fence and seek God whole heartedly and surrender all. I started to have one of the MOST Spiritual time of my life. I never experienced God more than I have at this time. I was literally in an euphor

God Never Fails

By Valerie Tarico -- I ’m in Rwanda , winding south from the capital, Kigali , toward a village called Banda. Banda is on the edge of Nyungwe National Park , one of the last remaining fragments of montane rainforest in Africa , and Brian and I and our girls are on our way two see two things. Image by rytc via Flickr One is a family of chimps that live in the rainforest. The other is a rural development project aimed at providing sustainable prosperity for villagers who live on the steep hillsides adjoining the park boundary. As we drive through towns and farmland, I see the facets of Rwanda that we as first time visitors have been trying to synthesize since we first arrived in the country: green misty beauty; fragments of ecosystems that precede the last ice age; hard working people whittling away at those ecosystems as they go about the simple tasks of everyday life; and ubiquitous presence of the ’94 genocide in roadside memorials each of which, actually, is a mass grave.

My Evangelical Disaster

By Larry C -- S omewhere in the middle of my 2nd year of seminary (1988/89), while I was serving as an Army Chaplain Candidate in the Tennessee Army National Guard , and was endorsed by a extreme religious right "full gospel" (i.e., Pentecostal/Charismatic) chaplaincy group, I quit believing in my fundy faith. Image by justinhenry via Flickr But here's the strange thing: I knew I no longer believed, but I didn't want to see myself as an "unbeliever". I had, what I would now call, an "identity lag" due to the fact that by the time my de-conversion had taken place, I had a deeply ingrained self concept as an "on fire for Jesus" believer. It's an odd kind of floating phase that one enters into when one has crossed from faith to unbelief. You are aware that you have changed, but you don't want to identify oneself as an agnostic or, God forbid, an atheist! I think this phase is much like someone who is a lifetime drinker final

There and Back Again -- Part II

By Neal Stone --  The Journey Within -- A Visit with Unca A fter a very teary goodbye to Aunt Kaye it was off to Alabama to visit Unca (uncle) Ron. Image by Dystopos via Flickr It was about a three hour trip and went well, other than a major rain storm greeting us once we hit Alabama. We finally arrived to Unca Ron's house and before we could hop out of the RV, Unca came out and greeted us. It was another awesome reunion with long lost family. After forty years I finally got to meet so many relatives -- some I didn't even know about. I really got to enjoy some goof times with Unca Ron as well. After all these years and all this looking, things finally were coming together. Read Part I of this story by clicking here . The first night there we sat and talked and got to know each other as family. My sister, Unca, and me finally together. Catching up, talking and sharing our lives that have been apart for so many years. It was awesome to connect. On the first ni

Who's Going to Last Longer?

By The Truth Seeker -- U nlike some of you, I am not from a fundamentalist or evangelical back ground. Most of the religious people I interact with are pretty reasonable people and don’t hold radical views about their religion. I say that with a grain of salt since what they do believe is pretty unrealistic, but at least they don’t try to impose their views on you. After leaving Christianity and becoming a “Humanist” I ask myself who is going to last longer – Humanists or Christians? Christians start indoctrinating their children with Christianity from the day the children are old enough to attend church. As they grow older, they attend Sunday school classes where they are indoctrinated further. Churches start youth groups where the older youth can go on outings with their friends and still learn more about Christianity through a subtle but purposeful indoctrination. As they grow older and reach a high school age there are even more youth groups and all participate with fr

A bunch of questions and a testimonial

By Rachel -- I was raised Christian, Assemblies of God actually. And I have been questioning Christianity for years. Started reading more and more about it. I found your website because I was looking up speaking in tongues and the scientific explanation for it. I have spent the last two hours reading about it on here. And it is indeed eye opening. I was "slain in the spirit" probably about when I was 13-14 at church. It was not a huge spiritual experience like they boasted it would be. I faked it. I fell because I felt like I had to. Then laying on the floor with the cover they put over me I just laid there thinking "What just happened to me?" I was really confused and just brushed it off as it not being a real spiritual experience. And I thought "it just isn't my time, and my day will come". And it never did. As far as speaking in tongues... It is amazing the posts on here because I feel like they are writing them directly to me. I received the

Becoming Free

By James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil -- B lame it on my parents. They always told me to "think for yourself". I doubt they ever considered what would happen if I really did that. Image by Miguel Ramirez via Flickr Now, I suspect what they meant was, "Think what we tell you but do it in your own words." Too late. When I was 13, I began to question everything and soon the total absurdity of religion became apparent. Because I have been “encouraged” (forced) to read the bible several times, it was easy for me to see the contradictions in the book, what christians professed to believe, and how they lived. When I refused to go with them to their church, they said they “Would make me go." I asked them, “How are you going to make me? How will forcing me to attend church change my mind?” Already, their attitude was starting to harden me against everything else they would tell me. Their next idea was to have their minister talk to me. I told them it was