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Showing posts from July, 2010

God does not answer prayer

By darklady -- T he other day I went to see a friend I rarely see (due to distance). An hour into the conversation we finally got around to addressing what was staring us in the face, my unbelief. I was bluntly asked where my relationship with god was. I answered, just as bluntly, it does not exist. I said it was zilch, kaput, gone, and that there was no god. This was met with almost comical open mouth horror, as this was a friend who had relied on me for spiritual advice for years. One I had spent hours with discussing god and the bible. And now I was saying there was no god. Let us by pass the next few moments of utter disbelief, and my friend realising that I had said this almost unimaginable (for her) statement, and move on to the real point of this. My friend cares for a severely disturbed girl (about 8 or 9 years old). This girl is almost unmanageable and cannot be left alone as she will self harm . The conversation turned to prayer , and I was challenged on my stance t

Reflections on the Story of Job

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) I recently reread the story of Job (King James Version). I cannot recommend it to you. That some people hold this story in reverence frankly astonishes me. The short version of my critique of the Job story is this: it is boring and morally disgusting. Image via Wikipedia The long version (but not nearly as long as the Book of Job itself) follows. I am aware that I have only scratched the surface of the inconsistencies and grotesqueness of the story, but I didn’t want to bore you with endless details. However, I welcome your own perspective on the story. The Story of Job was clearly intended to teach the lesson that man must continue on the righteous, god worshipping path no matter what life hurls at him, but it also teaches that the righteous life will not necessarily protect one from evil. In fact, god may well bring evil to the righteous man as he feels no compunction to deal fairly or justly with humans. It teaches that god can be frivolous, caprici

Rocket Man

By Rudy -- W hy do I read and write about atheism every day? Why do I love to find and collect bible verses that demonstrate that the character God is a sadistic, murdering, baby killing, slave promoting, misogynistic, and jealous jerk? Why do I spend hours every day on the computer reading and posting atheistic content, much to the chagrin of my wife and consternation of my non-atheist Face book friends? Image via Wikipedia I think it is because I am still unconsciously afraid of Hell. I do not consciously believe in Hell, but I must still be unconsciously shivering in my boots about Hell; otherwise I would not need, want, and love to devour anti-theist readings. It is my passion. It is my drug. I compare myself to a rocket trying to get out of the powerful gravitational pull of the planet religion. Every time I feel I have reached an easy cruising orbit, I feel like I am falling back down and I need another rocket boost of heretic heathen literature. When will I ever be in or

The Time Has Come

By Neal Stone -- S o here I am. Finally finding the courage to come out. Slowly, but surely. Not come out as gay, but as my current standing as an Agnostic-Atheist. It’s a slow process letting go of not believe in a deity. I have currently setup my web site and announced it on Facebook. In the site I tell my story and what I believe and where I am headed. And yes I talk a bit about computers too. Hey I’m a geek though I deny the existence of Steve Jobs. What happens next will be a long road. As I will have to explain to many what lead to this and why this route. I will get the usual questions and challenges from believers as well as the usual quotes about why they believe and what. What I am looking for now is two things. Visit my site and give me feed back. It’s still a work in progress so bare with me. But I am open to ideas and comments. I want to know what the most common arguments, questions, challenges and quotes you get from Christians and how to refute t


By Simplex Munditiis -- Respect - noun; esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: e.g. 'I have great respect for her judgement.' Image by grantlairdjr via Flickr T here is a great deal of talk nowadays about 'respecting' this and 'respecting' that. We are told that we must 'respect' religion, even when we disagree with it. But why? Why must we respect something that is built upon dividing the human race into 'believers' and 'non-believers'? Why must we respect something that is so flawed at its core that it has caused some of the greatest conflicts in history? I find we are constantly told that we must respect a person's beliefs; but a Marxist believes in communism, and I hardly need say how those beliefs are so often attacked, just as a Anarchists believes in anarchy

God has verbally showed his Love to me

From Kare -- H i everyone. I am so sorry to hear all the pain in your comments about how u do not believe in God. Image via Wikipedia God is so real. I was hurting once to. God gave me Freedom. Freedom of Life, peace and extended his unconditional, Love acceptance, and Forgiveness. There are alot of people that do confesss to b Christian and be judgeemental, critising, holier than thou, or just fake. I understand some of ur points. Then again non believers arent perfect either. non of us are, but God loves us w no strings attached. Please dont remain in your unbelief. you dont have to do this or that, go to a certain church, or be perfect. God just desires a relationship w you. There are true Christians out there that will share the unconditional Love of God with you. please dont be angry at the things you have experienced in life. I as well have an extremly painful and abusive past. I dont blame God. God only sends blessings and Freedom to us. We just have to repent , believ

Objects need no purpose to exist

By Neil -- I hear it quite frequently in the arguments of theists. If God does not exist, what is the purpose of the Universe? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life without God? As with any rhetorical question there is no answer to any of these inquiries. Image via Wikipedia None based in reality anyway. Of course from the theist perspective, the answers are laid out in black and white and typically don't require a great deal of mental capacity to embrace. Because these questions have no basis in the physical realm they are used by theists to establish a baseline of uncertainty to an opposing view. You don't know why we're all here? Then you are ignorant to the truth so let me tell you about Jesus. Religion is nothing more than opinion and therefore it is all too easy to postulate artificial reasons for the existence of objects we perceive. I submit to you that the Universe does not need a reason to exist. It needs no purpose to exist. It doesn't requir

Sunday Mornings

by Jody -- This is a poem I wrote. I was thinking about how I love my Sunday mornings now that I walk in the freedom of free thought . Image by Pσweя σf Lσve ♥♥ via Flickr I love Sunday mornings. Slow, savory moments over my coffee.... or gathering my laptop and glasses to go to the coffee shop and write. Not rushing around to hurry off to church so I can sit in tedious silence in a big empty building full of people. This morning I am going to sit in stillness, to reflect, to ponder, to wonder. Pulling on my mud caked hiking boots, I reach for my water bottle, journal, sketch book and pens. I am ready now for my "church.” Stretching my limbs in the morning sun, I walk tall and strong into the sanctuary. As the trees enfold me in the quiet of the early morning I pause. This is where I come to sit in awe, to appreciate the hills and trees, the woods and this moss covered ground that I love to tread. The birdsong enlivens my soul, the s


By Carl S -- PART I T he Xtians that I know are fond of giving and hearing personal testimonies. That old confirmation-bias tango. But they don’t want to hear those to the contrary. Tough. They’ll never make progress that way, on that “ignorance is bliss” road. Image via Wikipedia I had forgotten until recently, my time in the Trappist monastery, when readings were done during the communal meals. Religious texts, of course, one of the books being on the history of Western monasticism . The original monks were hermits who went into the desert to pray, fast, scourge themselves, and otherwise repent of their own and mankind’s sins. St. Anthony of the Desert stands out because of a famous story; one all-nighter of shrieks and chaotic disturbances reported by his neighbors were attributed to the saint’s struggles with the “forces of evil” (Sometime later - by psychiatric analysis - to the saint’s own personality.). I was in the monastery in the early 1950s. In 1960, I was aged 22 a

Unplugged from the Matrix

By Nick Hargreaves -- R eligion taught me more than anything else that it doesn’t matter what evidence you have , or what your calculations are, as long as it is stated in the bible it is true. Image via Wikipedia So even though my knowledge continued to increase and even though science taught me that something can’t be said to be a fact unless you prove it, religion always had its way with me. My greatest solace came from the read: Proverbs 3:5 (New International Version) 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; So when I read that dinosaur bones are dated to be as old as hundreds of millions of years (from studies that have taken place for decades, involving a lot of calculations and precariously crafted instruments), I told myself “the devil must have put the bones there to make them look like The Holy Bible is wrong”. Then came astronomy, the big bang theory, stellar distances,…I said “Fuck it!” About the same time I realized somethi

The Children of Levi in the Modern Age

By Mark Roma -- I was born as the result of the intervention of Jesus in the sex lives of my parents, and his "hand of influence" has cast a shadow over most of my life. Image by Jocelyn Catterson via Flickr In the 1970's an entire class of wild ex-hippie types realized that free love and drugs weren't the path to happiness. In their quest for sustainable personal fulfillment, my parents abandoned moderate thinking in order to swing from a hedonistic lifestyle to one of almost monastic structure. They abandoned "secular" music, coffee and soda, their class rings and yearbooks, any text other than the Bible, and their right to question in order to be accepted into the cult like environment of Charismatic Christianity. Instead of hashish and marijuana, my parents found their highs in " speaking in tongues ," visions and prophecy. They laid their hands on the sick in full faith that God would heal, and He did not. When I was born, I was

No god, No peace

By eveningmeadows -- No god, No peace Know god, Know peace I saw this saying on the t-shirt of one of the youth leaders in my last church. Image by cwalker71 via Flickr It certainly was catchy and got my attention. At the time I thought it was right on and had a message that was pretty straightforward in a catchy play on words. I thought that believing and following god was the way to attain peace of mind. Strange thing, I never really had that peace. A few weeks ago the slogan came to mind again. I started playing around with it, and came up with this one: Know god, No peace. No god, Know peace. I couldn’t believe how it just put everything in place. As an Xtian, I was always worrying about trying to please god. What about those people that god had brought into my life to witness to? Were they going to hell because I had failed or was too embarrassed to find some way to tell them hey, by the way you’re going to hell and need Jesus as your savior? Yeah, that was always dif

I am not happy submitting to slavery anymore

By S -- I had a really positive experience growing up as a Christian. I was never forced, pressured, or even guilted by my parents, who seemed pretty traumatized by their own Christian upbringings. I went to church with my Grandmother, who was truly a wonderful and spiritual person. Image by Ben Cooper via Flickr I looked up at her and saw what a wonderful person she was, and her belief in God and light naturally rubbed off on me. Later on she died, and our church got a new pastor eventually, and I stopped going. I have never found a church since that spoke to me quite the way my childhood one did. My church never really condemned Gays, or imposed ridiculous judgments, or focused on evolution or anything controversial (I don't think anyone cared really, we weren't focused on judgment). This is why it is so hard for me now, to give up this religion that I now realize is bad for me personally. For years I saw lots of problems in other churches, and I simply decided I wan

Pastor charged with cyber stalking

Pastor Jim Reynolds MANSFIELD – A local Baptist preacher was arrested Tuesday on three counts of cyber stalking after members of his former congregation accused him of sending threatening e-mails and text messages . Jim Reynolds, 55, of the 200 block of Wildwood in Mansfield, was freed from the DeSoto Detention Center after posting a bond totaling $3,156 through Eagle Bail Bonds . Reynolds, former pastor of Graceway Baptist Church in the Carmel community, was arrested on warrants that three church members secured through a justice of the peace . They accuse Reynolds of making threats and sending harassing messages primarily through repeated e-mails. Some text messages also were sent, DeSoto sheriff’s Cpl. Dusty Herring said. The communications included phrases such as “You’ll pay for this” and “Screw you,” Herring said. Reynolds has been involved in an ongoing controversy with church members after he was released from his pastoring duties about two months ago. Herring said

Steps to Recovery

H ere's a short video I made about aspects of recovering from harmful religious experience. Image by nevermindtheend via Flickr Let me know what you think. Warmly, Marlene Winell

Pastor charged with assault and battery

Newport News police have arrested a Newport News pastor on two misdemeanor charges of assault and battery and a felony charge of abduction. The charges stem from an incident in Virginia Beach . Police say Thurman Randolph Leonard, 48, of Hampton Avenue, was involved in a dispute with an unidentified female family member on July 15 at a home on Summerville Court in Virginia Beach, police said. STORY LINK

Pastor charged with child abuse

Jason Bolton Prince William County police have arrested a former youth pastor on charges that he carried on a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl in his church group. Jason Bolton, 32, of Dumfries , began a close friendship with the girl in September 2007, police said. By early 2010, the relationship had become romantic. Bolton, a married man with two sons and a daughter, began as a youth pastor at Potomac Crest Baptist Church in 2007. He resigned in May after the sexual allegations came to light. In a first person profile on the church's Web site , Bolton says he was called by Jesus Christ to serve at the church after ministering to students at the University of Delaware , where he studied art in the late 1990s. “I am not perfect and I make mistakes every day,” Bolton says in the profile that has since been removed. “My hope is that through my life I can help show youth that Jesus Loves them and that He wants them so much that He died for them.” Bolton was bei

Ex-Christian experiences book

From James Smith -- I am an ex-Christian who is preparing a book on the experiences of ex-Christians with the practices and doctrines of Christianity. The book, which I plan on publishing in 2011, will deal with the basic practices that are common to Christianity (heaven/hell, sin, healings and speaking in tongues , the belief that God knows what we think) and look at their effect on the emotional and mental health of Christians and in particular young Christians. I am a researcher in European public policy at a very well known English University, but am writing this book as a private individual and alongside my other academic research interests given the experiences that I had with Christianity as a child and young adult. Like many of the testimonies I read, I was badly emotionally exploited by Christians and Christianity and suffered from an intense fear of hell, fear of committing the unforgivable sin, and also hallucinated about the presence of Satan in my house. I would

Billboard Battle in Bible Belt: One Nation 'Under God' or Not?

Evangelicals Say Removal of 'Under God' in Pledge Ignores Faith's Role in U.S. History Deep in the heart of the Bible Belt, a dispute over God and country is being waged very publicly. It all started when an atheist group decided to remind people of the history of the Pledge of Allegiance by putting up six billboards around the state of North Carolina, in honor of the July Fourth holiday. One was placed even on Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte. The signs read "One nation indivisible," a reference to the Pledge of Allegiance but deliberately omitting the words "under God." The billboards , paid for by the North Carolina Secular Association, a coalition of groups including the Western North Carolina Atheists, were intended to show that even Americans who don't believe in God can be patriotic and to promote a sense of unity. The group points out that the words "under God" were not in the original pledge, which was writte

The Origin and Evolution of Religion

Sent in by dealdoctor -- A theist biologist Richard Dawkins introduced philosopher Daniel Dennett at the British Humanist Society for a lecture on the subject of the origin and evolution of religion . If you have ever wondered about these things: How and why did religion got started in the first place? What has kept some religions going for thousands of years while other religions have gone extinct ? Why have the religions have undergone so much change since their early days? What are the various possible changes in the role of religion in the future of the world?

Oh, the irony

by Tara -- I was raised in a very Christian home. I was baptized at two weeks old, just one day after being released from the hospital. I went to a private Christian preschool and kindergarten and hardly ever missed a Sunday service. Yet even with all of the Christian influences in my life I found myself questioning god at a very early age. I remember being in kindergarten and wondering why the Christianity and the dinosaurs didn't go together. As I got older I wondered where god came from. The answer that he was "timeless" just didn't suit me. And if there was a god, and he loved us, then why did he allow so much evil in the world? Why are there children starving in Africa? What about the people who live in countries where people are raised in other religions without hearing much about Christianity, would they go to hell even though it's not their fault they were raised to believe in a different religion? Even as a child I knew that that something wasn't

Doing Humanistic Evangelistic "Ministry"

By Larry C -- I live in Gainesville, Florida . Gainesville is a college town and is the home of The University of Florida. The general educational level of people in this community is rather high. Gainesville has a number of churches but they tend to be rather liberal or mildly evangelical. Hard-core fundamentalist religion is rare here, but it does exist. Our most fanatical fundamentalist church is a charismatic congregation called The Dove Outreach Center Church . They have posted signs in front of their building that read: " Islam Is Of The Devil ." When members of Fred Phelp's Westboro Baptist Church came through town to do their rude, crude protests outside places of worship, they were universally condemned by the our local liberal and conservatives churches, but there was one exception: The Dove Outreach folks joined with the Westboro loonies in their protests! On July 4th, I was driving down University Avenue here in Gainesville and I was surprised to