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Showing posts from October, 2011

Something was wrong, but what?

Son of a preacher man ~ N ot a single day goes by where I judge and hate myself for being a sinner. Where does this sin come from? It was taught to me when I was a child. So, who taught me this sin? well it was directly taught to me by my parents, but they couldn't have done it without the support of the community (donations), government (tax breaks and grants), and other charitable funds (grants). So who taught me this sin? Every one around me. Whats worse these same people (every single one of us) then force me through threat of abuse, rape, violence, and even death (prison) to finically support (taxes) these child abusers . We are horrible people. I am the son of a preacher man, and I can't teach you anything. Education, whats that? Going to two different fundamentalist Christian schools in different cities before thirteen. The first school (looking back it was more like a christian commune) I have only few memories of, mostly of my sin. One that sticks out was when I

How I managed to escape!

By x-xtian ~ I was brought up an Anglican by normal parents who go to church every Sunday but don't necessarily feel the need to give up everything for God - they just have their hour on Sunday morning and that's that. I should have stayed that way! I was a waitress at a restaurant opposite a pentecostal church . I say pentecostal, because that's what they were. If you ask them though, they will say non-denominational . At the time I was going through quite a hard time emotionally and had been treated very badly by lots of guys. A cute guy (lets call him *Ben*) and his friend kept coming in and talking to me about coming along to the church, eventually I gave in. They told me it was a sign from God that I came. The cute guy and I got closer and people kept telling me that a Christian man would never break my heart and would always be loyal. The fact he was preaching no sex before marriage to me and how he was 24 and had never had a girlfriend cos God hadn't to

Problem with Annhiliationism

By Paul So ~ A recent article in this website criticized Annhiliationism specifically because it assumes that God’s divine retribution on people are unjust, and from there the author of the article made an analogy between God’s divine retribution and Hitler’s holocaust. While the analogy, indubitably, conveys a strong rhetorical and moral appeal, I personally believe that Annhiliationism has other serious flaws that must be addressed. Before I do this, however, I want to explain Annhiliationism in contrast to another position that believes in the eternal punishment, which I would call Eternalism . After I explain the theological differences, and the brief background context of those positions, I am going to criticize Annihiliationism by arguing that while it does avoid some of the moral problems of Eternalism (namely, infinite duration of punishment for a finite crime), it fails to avoid another moral problem of Eternalism which is the kinds of actions that are culpable for eterna

The Lesson of Fear

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ T he Bible contains story after story involving god demanding worship and threatening – intentionally invoking fear in - those who might not worship him. Clearly, there is a very important lesson concerning fear that we should learn from the Bible. The following are just a very few of the thousands of passages where god brandishes fear among the people: Malachi 2:3: “Because of you I will rebuke your descendants; I will smear on your faces the dung from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.” Exodus 22:20: “He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.” Deut. 6:14-15: Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.” Ex 34:6-7: “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed . . . that

Through a Glass, Darkly

By Carl S ~ G od believers live in the world without actually seeing it, because "this world" is interpreted through the lens of superstition. There are standard answers when beliefs car-crash into reality: "We can't question the wisdom of our god, there’s a higher purpose in this; There's a reason for everything and we can't know it; It happened to teach us a lesson, like, to be humble." And, one of my favorites, "Someday, we'll know." It’s a regular diet of junk food for the soul they consume. Blame that last "explanation” on the self-conflicted St. Paul, who wrote of humans experiencing the world as, "We now see through a glass darkly." But, in Paul’s view, after the believer is dead, everything will be revealed. THEN believers will completely understand all the good, bad and indifferent explanations about life! In other words, THEY shall be as gods (whoops!). Wait until after they're dead? Sure, that makes it eas

A Personal Battleground

By Aphotic ~ F rom a young age my parents always took me to church. Eventually my dad stopped going because he simply didn't like it. Soon after that my mom stopped going, and it was always because of this reason or that reason, and so my sister and I stopped attending service. Image by jesuscm via Flickr About a year after that, when I was eight and my sister was seven, we were playing in the apartment complex when two missionaries came up to us. We were excited by the idea of going back to church, and so we went. We took the church bus every Sunday, enjoying service, enjoying our teachers, and enjoying our friends. I, for one, never felt a stronger sense of belonging, up to that point, than from attending church. When I was ten, my dad took me to get my ear pierced, and I had a little alien earring , and thought it was the neatest thing in the world. My pastor and my Sunday school teacher absolutely hated it, and told me not to come back to church wearing the earring. I w

On Friends and Change

The following is a post from the blog ( Why I No Longer Believe ) that I've established to log my recent deconversion and the fallout thereof. By Anthony Toohey ~ O ne of the difficult parts of the deconversion process is talking it through with the friends you’ve had for decades of shared Christian experience. These are friends you met and grew with wholly in the context of Christianity. Every conversation you had, every struggle you shared, every joy you delighted in was in the name of Jesus Christ. You understood that every good thing came from above. You understood that every bad thing was a means of testing, proving, correcting; driving you closer to the all-loving God of the universe. Even if you weren’t talking about God at all, there was always that mutual understanding of a shared faith. It was a trust connection from without that didn’t exist for people outside the faith. Image by Fr. Stephen, MSC via Flickr Now, suddenly, that particular connection is severe

Questioning Paul was a slippery slope

By Dave ~ I recently adopted the skeptic’s approach to life, the universe and everything. Image by Paul Graham Raven via Flickr I had been struggling to reconcile morality (as I knew it by observation and experience) with the moral code of the evangelical Christian culture I had always identified with. One big question for me: Why were evangelicals treating Paul’s condemnation of homosexuality as a moral absolute while casually dismissing other policies found in his letters – such as his prohibition on women opening their mouths in church? I had never really believed that Paul’s writings were inspired in any way; they had always struck me as the rants of an opinionated and conceited man who may have sincerely believed in Jesus but who spoke only for himself. The church’s waffling just reinforced that impression. So I got curious about who else might be less than reverent toward Paul. I did a little web research and was amused to find that some Christian groups reject Paul out

I wish I knew how to be a better friend

From A Friend ~ My friend needs help... more help than I can give. I would like to post the letter below if it is possible, maybe he will read it someday... or someone else will read it and they will reconize a friend trying to reach out. M y dearest friend, When we met, you told me you where a Christian, I told you I had no god. I honestly never intended to deconvert you. Years passed, we accepted our differences. I saw you change slowly...questioning your faith, being dissatisfied with the answers your church and Christian friends would tell you. We enjoyed talking for endless hours about these questions: life, evolution, love, faith, travelling. They started to warn you against me...I never said a word against them. I never said anything against your faith. You still got more and more confused about your faith. In your own words it slowly became clear: you could not believe anymore. We both knew knew it. Your faith had become an unbearable burden. Then, without

Annihlationism: Hitler, God, and the Second Holocaust

By Justin B. ~ R ecently esteemed theologian " John Stott " tragically died in August and therefore some Christians are reverently depicting him as a positive force within a religion that is filled with some pretty wretched characters like " Jerry Falwell ." Admirably, John Stott did represent a more healthier form of Christianity when opposed to the depravity of Jerry Falwell or that crazy Camping fellow. Except, John Stott also argued for acceptance of an idea of hell that supposedly presented God as more merciful than the merciless God that permits the torture of his own creation for eternity for not believing properly. John Stott thus supported the more deceptively humane idea of " Annihilationism ." For some reason, most people would think that the word "annihilate" connotes something sinister and evil. Except, John Stott presented the idea of "annihilationism" as the less barbaric concept of hell. Reasonably, the idea of per

It's true -- Religion Ruins Lives

By Robert ~ S o glad to find a site like this! My own aversion to Christianity begins like this: Jesus ruined my life when I was eleven years old... My two brothers went to a mixed senior school which happened to be a Church of England school , where they had an enjoyable time and did very well - the elder of the two went on to Cambridge . Consequently, it was decided that I should follow in their footsteps by attending the same school when I was old enough. We applied and I was offered a place, which we accepted. Then, before I joined the school, they had a change of headmaster. The new headmaster overturned the decision to accept me because I was not a practising Christian (ie. I did not attend Sunday school or blow a trumpet in the boy's brigade etc.). He rejected me even though I had already been accepted by his predecessor. But my brothers are not Christians either. This left me with no secondary school to go to and, because it was late in the school year, most over d

The Emperor's New Clothes

By Simon Gross ~ M y parents are Evangelical Christians , both converted when they were around 20. They met at the same church, and Mum asked Dad to marry her because she believed God told her she should. So from the very beginning, my whole existence was predicated by these few events. I exist because of Evangelical Christianity. I grew up in a Born-again household. There were four kids, and we were pretty much like any family. Except we read the bible every night after dinner, and went to church every Sunday. But along with that, every single decision, every action that occurred withing our home was based on the dogma of Evangelical Christianity. So from a young age, I was imprinted with these ideas. I didn't get a choice. Church services designed to play on your emotions, the excitement of worship, the mystery of the gifts of the spirit, praying in tongues . And the emotion of fear. The whole premise of this belief structure is fear. Fear of hell. Apart from being inc

Ultimate Justice

By Carl S ~ E very society has judges and tribunals to mete out justice. The World Court was established by nations for the purpose of trying and bringing to justice those guilty of crimes against humanity . Our societies demand justice. Indeed, to be HUMAN is to clamor for justice. One universally accepted law is that a murderer must pay a severe price for taking another’s life. Image by donsutherland1 via Flickr With this in mind, one can understand the outrage that ensues whenever a mistrial is declared or a verdict is rendered in favor of the accused for lack of compelling evidence. The usual cry goes up from those convinced of his guilt is that he "has gotten away with it." Every Christian I have spoken to on this subject has the same basic response for this verdict: "Some day he will answer to God," or, "God will get him in the end, so he will NOT get away with it." God is, after all, to the believers, the ultimate Judge, therefore justice WI

Sacred—Moral—Evil: Should Freethinkers Shun or Claim the Language of Spirituality?

By Valerie Tarico ~ O n reading an early draft of Trusting Doubt , which looks at my old Evangelical beliefs from my current vantage as a nontheist, one reviewer commented, “This is a very spiritual book.” What?! I thought. A part of me protested: I don’t believe in the Christian God any more, or for that matter any kind of humanoid god or for that matter any kind of supernaturalism. I’m not allowed to call myself spiritual. But another part of me kind of liked the label, even though I was startled by it. I tried it on for size. What would it mean for me, a freethinker, to think of myself as spiritual? What is spirituality if you scrub away the woo and soak any potential regrowth in a strong solution of reason and evidence? Some nontheists argue that the idea of spirituality is too bound up with religion to be of any use to us who have left religion behind. Front and center are philosophical problems brought up by the term “spirit.” Religions typically espouse one o

I’m Not Angry, and that Worries Me

By Positivist ~ I am not angry as I emerge from the debris of a super-fundamental Pentecostal charismatic Word of Faith life. The main reason for my lack of anger, I think, is that I can’t blame anyone but myself for staying tied up in this mindset as long as I did. Image via Wikipedia Surfing today I stumbled upon , in which “Hammurabi” articulates commonly observed phases in deconversions posted on this site. Being acquainted with the transtheoretical (stages of change) model , Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief , and my own experience in deconversion, I was curious about Hammurabi’s perceptions on the phases of deconversion. Phase 4, according to this theory, is anger. What concerns me, and has for some time, is my apparent lack of anger as I emerge from fundy-land. Is my anger perhaps niggling just under the surface, like an abscess waiting to explode? Do I have an unresolved anger problem that I’m