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Showing posts from April, 2011

Preacher Son, Black Sheep.

By JB ~ W hen I was three years old, my father, who was a violent drunk, became a Christian. The night he was saved by his bedside, he tore through the house, throwing out anything and everything he felt would be displeasing to god, including his porn collection and the television. My mother soon followed suit and accepted god three weeks later. We began attending a Nazarene church , where I was baptized and my father felt the "call" to the ministry. Within a year we moved miles away from our hometown and my father began pastoring his first church. He worked third shift and went to Bible College during the day; the only time he and I interacted was when he would beat the crap out of me for any and all infractions my mother had deemed sinful throughout the day. And this was in addition to the abuse my mother handed out. My parents put on a good front within the church walls and when socializing with church people, showing stern love and kind correction, but at home it was

A Stubborn Myth

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ T here have been several posts on this site recently by freethinkers (and/or posers?) who seem to have swallowed the Christian bait that religion is a good basis for moral teaching, and have yet to regurgitate this toxic concoction. Even though they have given up practicing the faith, and may even have given up belief in gods, they still suffer the delusion that religious training is good moral training. Image by MarcelGermain via Flickr This theory has caused more misery down through the ages than smallpox, and, like smallpox, needs desperately to be stamped out. This article is intended as a temporary inoculation of sorts. As the freethinker continues her studies of religion, and begins to see more clearly the effects of this diseased thinking in current events, I am confident she will move herself well beyond the reach of the sickness. While all major religions are guilty of spreading the disease, I will naturally concentrate on Christianity. I


By gamestop ~ B efore I start I would just want to thank all of you who post and write on this website. Before I found this site I felt truly alone with my thoughts and struggles but have found comfort in the one place I would never think I would find it. Among a bunch of non-believers. Thank you for listening and apologize for any grammatical errors or flaws in my story. It came from my heart and won’t be perfect. Image by Jason Pier in DC via Flickr I’m 18 years old (almost 19) and was raised in a Catholic family. We go to church regularly and are what people call practicing Catholics. For the first 16 years of my life I was totally happy with my faith. To be honest I could have easily gone on like that for the rest of my life being a happy Catholic. My parade got rained on when a group called “Young life” got into our school when I was 16. It was instantly popular and a bunch of my friends went to it. Therefore I got dragged along. At the start it was a very fun group -- they p

The Mind of God

By Palmer ~ I was talking to myself in my living room, as many thinkers do I suppose, and suddenly had this thought. "How is it that the Religious, and Xtians in particular, seem to believe that they understand or 'know' the mind of God ?" This got my metaphorical Mind-Hamster running. After a good period of about ten minutes, I had it! Aha! I said to my self: This supposed God, in the minds of the Religious, created the entire universe, from the particles to the Red Giants . Everything in this universe that ever has or ever will be was created by this God. This of course, includes each and every law, including the ones not yet discovered. These Laws have been studied for generations upon generations by scientists who have spent the entirety of their lives thinking, learning, and paying massive student loans that would put a Loan Shark to shame. All in the earnest search of the truth. Now, these Xtians suppose to know and understand the very mind of God, so on

When An Atheist Lies

By summerbreeze ~  Religion forces us to lie. I t's ironic I think, that the giant lie of religion, in turn, forces the enlightened among us to lie our socks off. We have just returned from New Mexico and Arizona , visiting relatives that I hadn't seen in decades. It was my first trip to 'The West'. My initial reason for going was to see my last Aunt on my Dad's side ( Step Dad actually, but he adopted me ) while she was still in the early stages of Alzheimer's . I knew if I waited, it would be too late. In a terrible twist of fate, her 22-year-old Grandson ( my 2nd cousin , who I'd never met ) died about two hours before our plane actually hit the ground there in Albuquerque . We arrived there to meet relatives who were deeply in shock and heavy with grief. This was a fine young man who loved life, loved helping and giving to others, and was a dedicated hiker in the mountains there....being as close to nature as he could get. He also was a ver

Fatal Attractions

By Carl S ~ N ature programs on TV involving animals frequently have narrators describing them as personalities, with concerns, thoughts, empathy, much like ourselves. Whereas scientists avoid anthropomorphism, these shows embrace it. Yet, the more like us an animal seems, the more interested we are. Animal Planet has taken this further with " Fatal Attractions ", with personal testimonies from individuals who are living with dangerous, feral animals. In their testimonies, they tell you of their histories with these animals since adopting (being adopted by?) them. There are wolves, bears, chimpanzees, lions and tigers, snakes, etc. It is when they explain their relationships with these animals that things start to get really interesting. Image by ξωαŋ ThΦt via Flickr Is there a kind of psychological relationship between these “animal believers” and God believers? It would seem so. The animal lovers are intensely involved, tumbling around with, embracing and being embrac

Borderline Father

By Anonymous ~ W hile I was just a tiny lad, It was only truth that could come from Dad. He loved me and tried to keep me from harm This dangerous world, so much to disarm. Image by KellyB. via Flickr He was a pastor with insight from God. A spiritual man without a facade. He was the one that I looked up to, For direction in life and all that he knew. “It’s not just life that we have to fear, Life after death is all too near. If you don’t believe the right things, Tortured you will be with a fire that stings.” I was afraid to die every night, Unable to sleep and full of fright. What if I am not saved at all? It’s not like I could give God a call. “You are a sinner, have fallen short, Of the Glory of God, and you’re like a wart. A wart that God needs to have cleansed, So bow your head and make amends. Only with the right beliefs can you escape, An eternal punishment and your default fate. Trust in Christ or end in Hell,” That’s one way for a good quell.

He Is Not Risen

By ThinkTank ~ C hristianity. A belief system based on a god who isn’t there, first humans who never existed, and a savior who is absent from the historical record. The idea that ‘christianity is good’ is a societal delusion that currently enjoys a privileged status. How do I know? I know because I had to read “He is risen!” all day long on Facebook, but I cannot post “He is not risen”. If I did, I would be accused of being hateful, out of line, insensitive, and inconsiderate. I would run the risk of being deleted as a friend and removed from future family gatherings. I noticed that other non religious people also abstained from making “He is not risen” status updates. And why is that? It is because christianity enjoys a privileged status and it’s not worth the social penalty for most people. A group or idea that enjoys privileged status is one that will tolerate no dissention and will actively punish those who challenge it. In the past, ideas that challenged privilege

Easter this year

By PuffyMac ~ T his Easter, since becoming a deist about a month ago, I'm feeling somewhat melancholy. I am thankful to have found this place that gives so much support and from people that really THINK, and care. Image by Ali Gold via Flickr Now that I largely dismiss most of the teaching of Christianity, I guess I'm going to have to struggle through holidays such as Easter and Christmas. Where I once scoffed at the "C & E" churchgoers (we know what those are, right?), now I'm faced with having to make a choice to attend or not attend, and if I attend, how I wrestle with I'm hearing and seeing, in my own mind. I guess I'm going to have to struggle through holidays such as Easter and Christmas. I'm melancholy, because I see all these people with "blind faith", excited to be celebrating these holidays, and apparently finding real meaning in them. I wish I had that, both the belief (or the comfort of that belief) and that communi

Once Free, Now Afraid

By Sam ~ I 'm just wondering if someone knows what I'm going through, if someone understands. If someone else has suffered through the hell of obsessive anxiety and religion. I am so scared, I don't want to go back but I'm starting to think I might have to... Hey, I've considered myself to be agnostic since a little under a year ago, although i didn't stop going of church until about four months ago. I was very happy with my new life and felt so much more clear headed and free. Initially i drifted away from Christianity because of the anxiety which came with it. I was raised pentecostal for about the first 14 years of my life, the next four were in the same church, however it became a little bit more lose/more about a "relationship." I was raised on fire and brimstone, speaking in tongues , believing the world was a dangerous and evil place, full of temptation and sinners seeking to destroy me/drag me down. Later, when my church shifted towards a m

Easter Morn

By Jody Milholland ~ A ttending the Easter Sunrise service is one of my fondest easter childhood memories. (That and chocolate bunnies). At the time, I thought it was the "message" of the passion play that captured my heart and made me catch my breath. But, looking back, as an avowed agnostic, I think what gave me butterflies was watching the sunrise over the hill. Hearing the early morning bird calls, and the crisp April air stinging my nose. Now, with Christianity a mere reflection in the mirror of my past, I am sure it was the serenity of being with the earth at that early morning hour, and with my mom that made it so special. Because now, I can say with true freedom and gladness that my religion-inspired guilt, shame and fear are buried. When I rolled away the rock of spiritual oppression and bondage, I emerged a new person. I was raised from the dead, resurrected in new life. The old is gone the new has come. I have welcomed the change, the metamorphosis of leaving b

It is We Who Live

By Marlene Winell ~ O n Easter , they say Jesus rose from the dead. Yet, coming out of this religion, many of us feel like we are the ones who are coming to life. Despite all the difficulties – the fear and anger, the grief and pain, we also have the exhilaration of waking up. We emerge from the coma of conformity and stand blinking as we get our bearings. And then we realize “We’re alive!” Here and now, in this world. We pat our own bodies and notice they are real. We pinch ourselves. We look around and see the natural world and we allow ourselves to be moved, perhaps weeping with amazement. With trembling hands we touch the softness of leaves, the liquid of water, the grit of sand, the smooth skin of a child’s face. We see into a friend’s eyes, finding there another being who is also alive and waking up. Together we hear the ocean, we smell jasmine, we see falling stars, we taste sweet ripe mango. We all stand with our feet planted on Earth, our home, and we realize that we have o

Cuss Words vs. Threats of Burning in Hell

By Greenworld ~ B eing an atheist/skeptic for a few years, I have noticed many Christians complaining about atheists using profanity and sometimes wishing death on them. At first, it may seem like atheists are really cold-hearted, cruel people. And when you develop that sort of thinking you start to feel sorry for the Christians getting insulted by atheists day and night. This is a feeling of pity; Christians like to point out the actions of one atheist and assume that by definition most atheists are rude and that the Christians themselves instead are actually decent-minded people who speak in a clear voice, thanks to their humble faith and obedience to the words of Jesus Christ. However, this is nothing but a way for Christians to trick others into thinking much like they do. When you are competing against someone in an argument, you always try your best to look good and convincing while exposing your opponents’ flaws as much as possible. The way I see it, many of these Christian

First/last straw for me ...

By Lock ~ O K, this is all really new and a 180-degree way of thinking for me, being raised and always considering myself a Christian, but if you look at recent comments of mine, you'll see where I am today. Was driving to work today and this thought/story came to me.... A mother sent her two kids out to the backyard to play, and told them to have fun, but DO NOT go over to that corner of the yard, bad things could happen to them if they do. they are good kids, but a little naive and inexperienced in the ways of the world. now, what see didn't tell them was that that corner of the yard had land mines buried in it. These mines wouldn't kill them, but it would maim them, and injure them for life. This Mom's neighbor, with the adjacent yard, separated by a fence, had knowledge of these land mines, and the Mom knew she did, in fact that had a discussion while the land mines were being buried, over the fence. The Mom also knew that this neighbor was an ex-con (v

Recovery Tip: Lay some new tracks and play them often.

By Marlene Winell ~ O ld thought patterns are automatic, like default programs that pop up without being asked. How often do you think of familiar verses, song lines, or slogans from your past? Your brain actually has grooves for them. We know this from neurology. Plus if you got these things as a small child your brain was still being wired in basic ways so unwiring is not so easy. In cognitive behavioral therapy , repetitive, unbidden ideas are called automatic thoughts and the intervention is called cognitive restructuring . This is an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. As part of it, you need constructive new thoughts. We have to replace the old ones because it’s pretty hard to not think at all, and it’s thinking that affects how we feel. So, if you washed your brain of all the toxic indoctrination that causes you trouble, what would you replace it with? What values, attitudes, objectives, and principles make sense to you now? See if you can write a manifesto for


By Ex-Pastor Dan ~ F or my ‘light’ reading lately (you know, the book on the nightstand, or the one in the bathroom - the one you have been reading in quick snippets for the past three months) Image by Pombinho via Flickr I have been enjoying When God is Gone Everything is Hol y by Chet Raymo . Chet is a prolific writer who was educated at Notre Dame (High School & College). Chet is an Ex-Catholic, turned Agnostic, or as he self-describes - “a Religious Naturalist ”, and thanks to a class in epistemology, he turned from “ religious apologist” to “agnostic scientist” during his last three years at Notre Dame University . In chapter 6 (sub-titled – Wielding Ockham’s Razor ) he sets the scene of a family dinner where he, his wife, their daughter and her husband were discussing a recent poll that revealed, “9 out of 10 Americans believe in God, and 9 out of 10 members of the ‘National Academy of Scientists’ do NOT.” While they were contemplating the “WHY” of this not-so-shockin

My (de)conversion to atheism

By A ~ W hy am I an atheist? This question requires a fairly lengthy explanation and some background. I was born into a Christian family. While we were less fundamental or fanatical than some, we were very active in our church, our family life focused on Christianity, and we were brought up to believe that the Biblical God is the truth, and that following Jesus was the only way to happiness in life and to an afterlife in heaven. [I should pause here and explain my etiquette when using the term "god". To me, the word god is not generally capitalized because it refers to an improper noun like any other item in our lives: table, cat, car, banana, etc. But, occasionally I need to capitalize the word when it refers to a specific proper noun, the Biblical god who Christians often think is named God. In fact this god's name is Yahweh , though one could make the case that the god has evolved over time to actually be quite distinct in personality from Yahweh, so perhaps he