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Showing posts from February, 2011

Cringe Factor Xianity

By RT ~ A ristotle remarked that self command can be achieved when "obedience to reason becomes habitual". We now know that new ‘front brain experiences' i.e. those first experiences we have, will eventually be stored deeper within the brain after repetition, thereby forming habits. After playing high level sport for most of my life - going to the gym now is like tying a shoe lace or brushing my teeth. Good things can be practiced for good habits to be formed and of course the same can be said for the opposite. Christians often don't realize how much religious conditioning can form harmful habits, psychological strongholds and even problematic addictions. Sadly, the whip cracking servility so characteristic of religion is often mistaken for piety, devotion or spiritual depth. These ‘practices’ however can cause long term psychological harm. After many years of pastoring a Charismatic church - and then being forced to retreat because of a personal crisis (seen as

See the magic

Submitted by exrelayman ~  Saw a wonderful comment that I felt merited submission here as a short article. Not able to contact Billyjobob for approval, but assume by the public forum in which it appeared and by its nature, that Billyjobob would be pleased to see it given more attention. The first line gives credit, the rest is the comment/article: Billyjobob, comment in Miami Herald article 2/17/2011 about a Richard Dawkins lecture: See the magic W hen you look at different religions, they usually contain "magic." For example: Image by madmaxx via Flickr The Mormon religion contains the magical golden plates, the magical angel, the magical seer stones, the magical ascension of the plates into heaven, etc. The Muslim faith contains the magical angel, the magical flying horse, the magical voices, the magical prophet, etc. The Christian faith contains the magical insemination, the magical star, the magical dreams, the magical miracles, the magical resurrecti

Justice, not “Truth”

By Free From Faith ~ This letter is a response to the writings of Bishop Edward J. Burns, in the Juneau Empire , titled “ Abuse Hurts and so does the “Truth ”. M r. Burns, if I may, I’d like to take a moment to paint a historical picture. I believe this picture will illustrate the hypocrisy of your suggestion that “together we will do whatever is necessary to make our families, churches and societies safe places for our young people and those dear to us”. Envision an institution that has centers established across a nation, several nations, in fact. People are brought to these centers because of their religious beliefs and the religious beliefs of those who imprisoned them. These centers are secured with high walls fortified with barbed wire and shards of glass. Well posted guards and heavy gates make escape unthinkable. Anyone who does escape is returned by the public or local authorities. This is not a prison in the legal sense of the term as all of the captives are here

Love is Blind

By Carl S ~ W ho hasn't, when watching a movie, shed a tear when a really fine person, especially a young woman, dies? You can relate to that person as yourself. Or you take special pleasure in the wedding scene in the movie, “ The African Queen ." All such films contain fictional characters like the fish Nemo, Atticus Finch , Jesus. Image by Stacy Lynn Baum via Flickr One day, my Christian Right sister-in-law told my wife about the character of a TV series. She was upset about a decision that person was making, and shouted, "Don't do it Lexiel", only realizing shortly after that the character wasn't real. Real or not, we do get involved, because we empathize. Guys, by design, take girls to romance movies to get them closer. Lately I've come to hate those heart-rending, feel-good, everything turns-out-really-good-in-the-end productions. And I hate reading the DVD jackets at the library, because way too many of the plots involve "an event that

Why are Atheists so Angry?

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ W e atheists are frequently subjected to this question - or criticism. Often, it appears the questioner thinks she already knows the answer, and is simply implying that we’re angry out of defensiveness, as one gets when he is backed into a corner with no arguments left. It’s not that simple. But I want to offer an answer to the believer who is genuinely curious and really wants to know. Now I can’t speak for everyone, but I think most atheists would agree that we get angry for a great number of personal and social or civic reasons. You see, we all grew up in a god-saturated society, everyone does. No one is born believing in a god. We were all indoctrinated in belief, to one degree or another, if not by our parents, priests, or pastors, then by our peers and society at large. We all began hearing about this god when we were toddlers, just old enough to understand a bit of our native language. We were told that there is a very powerful, invisible ma

I need help

By Colin ~ T his morning, I was driving my three year-old-daughter to school. All of a sudden, I was asked "Do you love Jesus?" A little background: I am an atheist. Yes, I was a fundamentalist Christian once, but deconverted ages ago. I have even submitted my testimony on your site (September 2007) so you have heard my story before, but I am not a regular contributor: I find that to give a meaningful contribution, one needs to spend a lot of time on this site, time which I do not have. I have a very demanding job and work long hours, and what little free time I have is taken up by my family, especially my daughter. Even just reading all the posts that I want to read here is just not possible, let alone getting involved in discussions. I have posted comments occasionally, but inevitably I cannot follow up. I guess some might see me as a troll, but I do not post to elicit an emotional response or stir trouble: I simply do so because I have something to say. My apologies to

A Loving Father

By Neal Stone ~ F irst off it has been mentioned by some of you that I've been missed. Sorry for being so quiet, just been a little busy this past year. I promise to try and write more in the near future. The following is an ideological idea of what a loving father would be. In reality I have yet to meet someone like this. But then this is what god is supposed to be and that is what this is about. Someone may try and put me on the spot by asking me if I am a father. No, I am not. But it doesn't take a lot to understand what a good father should be like. It's called common sense. So growing up I heard a lot about this loving father called god. So I sat down today and thought I would draw up what a real loving father should be like. Let's see if god fits the bill. First off a loving father is there from the very beginning and makes his presence known sometimes before the child is even born. He takes great care to see that the woman carrying the child

Becoming a Non-Member

By M.M. Perez ~ I grew up in a church that we, as members, referred to as "the church". My mom believed in raising her family as Christians, as she was raised. Image by Lutz-R. Frank via Flickr All our lives we gave large amounts of what little money we had to the church, filled our lives with bible studies, clean ups on Saturdays, choir practices, youth group activities, and much, much more. My parents, my mom especially, truly and with all her heart, until the day she died, believed firmly in this church as a mediator to her salvation, her peaceful rest in heaven. She waited her whole life for the moment she could give her life to God, after giving her whole life to the church. As a member, I didn't feel like a fanatic and I certainly didn't view the church as a cult. It's against the church to marry someone who doesn't already belong to the church. There are exceptions, depending on how well liked you are or how much money your family has, or

One Reason I Hate Christians

By Slow Break ~ H ave I told you I hate Christians (most of them anyway)? Let me set the stage: Image by pimpdisclosure via Flickr It’s three months after I stopped pastoring St, Michael's church in Asscrack, South Carolina . I’m working at a second rate car dealership full criminals, liars, and thieves. I fit right in. Fraud is being committed on an hourly basis by salesmen falsifying documents so that lenders will give car loans to the people using food stamps to buy an eight ball from the guy who sits in the desk next to me. I’m living in a borrowed pool house where my son is sleeping in a closet. I have not sold a car in weeks because I’m white and I don’t know enough crack addicts. I have no money, no future, and no idea where I’m going to move my family when we have to move out of the borrowed pool house. This is not my finest hour. I am filling my car up with gas to make a 2 hour drive across the toilet bowl they call South Carolina, so that I can meet with the Cred

Enough is enough

By agnosticator ~ I n October, 1991, two young boys were killed when a tire from a truck driving in the opposite direction flew off, bouncing over the median, and through the front of a school bus full of fourth graders in Miami, Florida. Image via Wikipedia Was this an accident or God's will? Was it coincidence or God's plan? If we believe God intervenes supernaturally to save us from accidents, disease, natural disasters, even crime, what about those who suffer and die? Doesn't this thinking make tornadoes tools of God's whim and criminals his lackeys? By the way, don't blame Satan or God will lose His power! This news story has stayed with me, reminding me of the insanity I once embraced called Christianity. Americans perpetuate the manipulative objectives of the New Testament authors by teaching their children this nonsense. By portraying God as desiring people to be unthinking, submissive, blank slates to write His Will upon, the N.T. writers launched the

Disney's Tangled - A Deconversion Story

The Voice

By Patrice ~ T oday is 2/11/11, my 28th birthday is 2/13/11. I've been journaling for quite some time and it has been quite helpful. Therapy has been very helpful also. I notice the gradual change from frantic, scared and not believing in myself to the opposite of that. I believe or I should say I know, that things will continue to get better. I've been learning a lot about the Inner Critic through my readings. Here's an excerpt from my journal from yesterday: 2/10/11 This "voice" has been here for ages-it just grew as I grew. It was there when I used to have bad thoughts about my Mother getting into an accident while going to work (3rd grade). I would then feel like a horrible child for thinking these thoughts, as if I were a monster, as if something was wrong with me. I believed Jesus would take it away...he didn't. I'm not super mad with him anymore, pretty much got over him these past months. It was there when I was going through puber

Just my story and struggle

By Ken ~ O K, I was raised in a Christian home I guess. My parents would drag me from church to church depending on their mood. When I was in my mid teens I didn't feel like going so they would take my sister and then go out to do something fun after church in an attempt to blackmail me into going, didn't work by the way. I actually got pretty into being a "Christian" for a while. But then I started asking questions about things that were in the bible and nobody had any answer other than the standard "It's god's will" or "The lord works in mysterious ways". Needless to say I got away from the whole mess. Now, in my mid 20's I was in the US Army and was deployed for Operation Desert Shield/Storm. While there I saw so many hypocritical bible-bashers it was disgusting. People that I knew were cheating on their wives, alcoholics, spouse abusers, were singing to high heaven about how holy they were. This of course was being done due to

Evolution Made Us All

by Ben Hillman ~ Evolution Made Us All from Ben Hillman on Vimeo .

Fear and the Bondage of Religion

By RickO ~ F ear is an emotional response to a perceived threat. It serves as a vital survival mechanism triggering the fight-or-flight reaction in most living creatures, ourselves included, when faced with imminent danger. We feel fear physically as our bodies release chemicals like adrenaline. Image by stuant63 via Flickr We can sense it in others in a way that is often compared to the sense of smell. We have adapted it for use it as a weapon, not only to intimidate, but to motivate. Fear is one of the most powerful copy drivers used in marketing. And we’ve all seen the political campaign ads where the opponent is cast in grainy black and white while his or her positions are grimly outlined by a deep sinister voice intended to make us afraid. Fear is also defined as a sense of awe and reverence, a profound respect, such as the common term, “Fear of God”. But these two uses of the term “fear” are not mutually exclusive. In fact they are directly related. For example, one

I'm Not a Christian Anymore

By Lisa Kerr ~ "Vampire Christ" by D.W. Frydendall I n August, 2010, Anne Rice came out and said, "I quit being a Christian. I'm out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being a Christian. Amen" ( link ). I couldn't have agreed more with her decision. For quite a few years, I've spent time deconstructing my own faith and came up with a very similar conclusion. I can no longer call myself a Christian. Ironically, I think this is a very "Christ-like" decision, since I don't think modern Christianity represents Christ and the teachings of modern preachers seem to me very unintellectual, simple, and money and power hungry. I think if "Christ came back" he'd say WTF?! But, I don't blame the state of the Church on preachers themselves. I think each individual who accep

Righteous Versus Righting

By Seth Strong ~ I read a lot of testimonials on this site after stumbling on it a few months ago. Keep those coming if only to vent something that you may not be able to say in mixed company. I think religion-free people have a way to be right that is more process oriented. Instead of getting a book of divine providence and the comfort of knowing the man behind the curtain, we have to dedicate ourselves (in my opinion) to something more than simply being correct that there is no Christian god. Saying there are no gods isn't enough either. Our information is no longer infallible, coming from church elders from God. Our information comes from the whole gamut of people which includes the informed, the delusional, the mistaken, and the liars. Our mission, if I might be so bold, is to continue to educate ourselves so that we can uncover the informed from among those. You may not have time for continued guided education. But now that you've thrown off faith, what is