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Showing posts from February, 2012

I don’t think I believe in God

By Sarah ~ E veryone has some sort of a moral compass. I would venture to say that even the most depraved have a line, wherever it may be. Usually we inherit a large portion of this from our families and other influential people in our lives, good or bad. I was like so many other Americans was raised, Christian. We may be a diverse country with many different religions represented but Christianity is the most intertwined in our cultural subconscious. There comes a point when you must weigh your options and figure out what works for you. No matter who wants to sway you to their favored system of belief. I was born into a very Norwegian, Lutheran family. My father’s Parents ran a small Lutheran Bible camp in a rural area close to Story City, IA . My mother’s family lived less than a mile away. I was born by the area midwife in the house my parents built between the two. Those first few years I was lovingly raised as the camp baby in this little christian bubble. My family was th

Who Do You Trust?

By ToonForever ~ “Every one of the world’s 'great' religions utterly trivializes the immensity and beauty of the cosmos. Books like the Bible and the Koran get almost every significant fact about us and our world wrong. Every scientific domain — from cosmology to psychology to economics — has superseded and surpassed the wisdom of Scripture.” – Sam Harris L et’s consider the development of human knowledge. First, that is certainly an enormous topic. The most expansive topic in the world, right? It’s all-inclusive. But we won’t be taking the whole thing on, thankyouverymuch. Instead I want to consider the one-way nature of human knowledge. While it’s certainly not perfectly linear, humanity is unique on this earth in that we accumulate, store, and propagate knowledge external to our own experience, and that the sum total of knowledge generally grows with each generation. Our view of all of existence gains clarity with each discovery. Our understanding of life, the

When Will It Stop Hurting?

By Belladarkness ~ W hen does the pain go away? I am really hurting and I don’t know where to turn. I had a really awful experience at a church and I am really broken inside at the rejection and judgment I received there. The people there were really cruel underneath but had a way of putting on a fake face in order to appear loving and kind to others. It was to the point that even when these people did things that were outright wrong, people would still support them and actually shun the people they hurt. Or just turn a blind eye to it. My experience there was one that practically left me hopeless. I went there to get healing from past abuse and encountered more of it. I was involved in a lot of the Christian “counseling” groups and a lot of these groups opened up wounds without closure. Well at least for me, since everyone around me would say how much it was helping them or how god had delivered them from their abuse and I would think “Why not me? There must be something wrong wit

I was lied to

By Olga ~ F irst of all I apologize for the mistakes, as English is not my mother tongue. But I feel a strong urge to let the others know how Christianity damaged a huge part of my life. I became a Christian when I was 16. I was in love with a schoolmate who told me he would never believe in a god. Three days later he became a Christian. He looked so happy. And I loved him. And what's worse: I was not feeling happy at all. Depression, anxiety, despair. And when something good happened, I immediately knew it wouldn't last for long. I guess I was not the only sixteen years old who felt like this. And here he was. My happy hero. He took me to his church and I loved it. I loved the moments I could spend with him. But it was not just him. All of those Christians seemed to be so happy! I had no problem to take all I had believed in and throw it to the waste basket. Jesus was the only one I wanted to live for. My parents weren't happy about my decision. But still better th

Does prayer work?

By cjmybad ~ M y Mom has been praying almost nonstop for 8 years for my grown niece to grow up and get off her butt to take care of her 2 children. She even does a group prayer at church for her at Sunday and worship service on Wed. nights. Which of these scenarios do you think would prove most effective and likely to work: Scenario 1: Her prayers work and my niece becomes a fabulous caring parent – like overnight! Scenario 2: My Mom's prayers are answered by a friend from her church that goes over to give my niece cooking and cleaning lessons. And preaches to her about her immoral ways of watching TV shows and movies that aren’t christian. She leaves material for my niece to read and instructions how to live morally. Scenario 3: A new state policy is instituted that makes it mandatory to have drug and alcohol testing and mandatory parenting courses for every person who receives welfare, WIC checks and free housing. The teachers are able to contact the state

Listening to Himself

By Carl S. ~ H e told her how, when the congregation carried on in the service and the preacher preached, that all the while, he thought thoughts about them. And she said, “You know what they say about people who listen to their own thoughts only." He didn't ask who “they" are or what they "say." Then one day, while watching another one of those real courtroom cases on TV, he asked himself that inevitable question. “Don't those defendants listen to themselves?“ They all too often didn’t get the point when their contradictions were revealed to them. Maybe they were being defensive, suppressing anger. But he began to suspect it had its roots in their own self-deception. "Just listen to yourself!" is what friends and, especially, mothers say when their children tell them lies. There's something in the congregation's loud, repetitive, constant proclamations that overrides listening to oneself by listening to anyone BUT oneself. Well, if y

Darwin's Birthday Bash

by C.T. Ogden ~ T he argument concerning the teaching of evolution and creationist ideologies in schools is one that has long swept the floors of our school boards and state legislatures. It is so teeming with personal convictions of educators and legislators that one may find it quite difficult to wade through the ridiculous and come up with a viable decision on the matter. According to the article that I have selected,"On eve of Darwin’s birthday, states take steps to limit evolution" by Kimberly Winston (Washington Post), the schools of certain states are attempting once again to remove theory repeatedly proven by exact and methodical scientific testing, and replace it with fantasy. I find my atheism very apparent from that last statement, but I will attempt to remain as non-biased as possible concerning the subject matter; which I assure you is very biased even so. Whatever side of the spectrum you find yourself on, it is very difficult and almost certainly naive t

Patience for the Blind

By John ~ I t wasn't until I was twenty five that I began to discover that I am white. I had noticed, on occasion, that I didn't look like many of the other kids in my school. There were a lot of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Black, Hispanic and even a few black Panamanian folks in my school along with the other Caucasians like me. In those days, I tutored English as a Second Language (ESL) and enjoyed learning what I could of many other cultures. My folks, on a couple of occasions, allowed foreign exchange students from Japan to live with us. After graduating, I traveled to Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines even staying in a province for a few months. All in all, I would say that I enjoyed learning about different cultures. At the age of 25 I was living in Michigan as an enlisted member of the Air Force and working as a medic. The majority of folks on our unit were white but I was also friends with a doctor from Puerto Rico, an airman from Nicaragua, and Judy and Gina

Dear Son

By ex-Pastor Dan ~ S everal weeks ago I posted a letter that I had written to my mother, a 95 year old, fundamentalist, pentecostal Christian . I won't re-print that whole letter here, perhaps webmdave will post the link: My mom waited quite some time in replying, but finally she sent this very short attempt at deflecting blame back upon me: My Dear Son Danny, I'm sorry YOU feel like you do - all I can say is you haven't walked in my foot steps. I love you & I always will. Lovingly, Mother This kind of took me aback. I really had poured my guts out in my letter, and I expected a little more than just one more lame attempt at making me feel sorry for saying anything. So after several weeks of ruminating upon it, I wrote her this reply: Dear Mom, As you can see, I have returned your card. As I stated, very clearly, in my last letter to you, I refuse to accept any more guilt, shame or fear from you. Your few words did not speak at all to the heart-

To Trolls

E Chamberlain, MD, San Diego ~ I live in a world of "This-Actually-Happened," docked far from the swamp, the stagnant, the still route mapped out for you in your Noah's Ark Coloring Book... Far from the sound of your soup kitchen sermons, I have no need of your catholic catharsis, your catholic catatonia, your pleas and your pleadings, your cathedrals of your own private hell, your almighty alcatraz... Two thousand years of trials and still you would cheat me of my duly-deserved hung jury?... I am not guilty and I walk out free... Open your book and I'll put your silent god to more silence and shame... Are there a thousand verses in your holy book? Then I have a thousand arguments against it... I listened long and hard and I hear no reason in your voice that I should move my lips to the words of your song... I won't live in the hell of tortured theology... I won't stand convicted because your god can't convince me... I wouldn't think to torture

It was all a sham..what now?

By NeverAgain ~ I ’ve stopped here many times…read a lot of stories that resonated with me. Now it’s time for me to add mine. Bottom line, I know I was involved in a bible cult. It’s been almost 5 years since leaving & I’m doing a whole lot better. I was a mess for quite some time. I understand what happened & to some degree how & why. Now I’m at a point where I am very restless…I have spoken up on the internet about what happened to me & my family in a somewhat anonymous fashion. Here it goes……. I was a member of a Primitive Baptist Cult with a demented Calvinist twist to it for almost 2 decades. The abusive pastor preaches from the bible...& it looks good from the outside (to those who are “believers” that is). However, anyone who has been exposed to the teachings & manipulations & abuse for long enough, sees that the leader & the sacred dogma has done a lot of damage to people. He preaches grace on the one hand, then stifling rules on t

Being rational is lonely business

By Rachel ~ I posted a month or two ago a letter I wrote to my fundamentalist father, essentially "coming out" as an atheist after his pressing invitations to join him at church and bible study. Interestingly, and to my relief, the matter has been pressed no further by my family, and thankfully they have been just as loving as always. I know they are sad and I'm sure they are praying for my soul but at least they have been kind and respectful, as I assured them I always would be. This post isn't about that relationship, but with a new and difficult road ahead that I'm looking at. I'm a young (ish, 36) divorced mom, I am attractive and confident. Even though I don't "party" I'm fun, and I'm involved in my community. I have a wonderfully intelligent 7 year old daughter, and a great career so security isn't really an issue for us. However, as a romantic, I keep the possibility open that I could re-marry one day. I live in a sm

Sometimes you just KNOW it's not a Reasonable Faith

By Steve ~ H ey guys, I’m Steve, and this is my first time ever publishing on I’ve commented several times, but I thought it would be a nice idea to share my thoughts on Christianity with you all. I grew up in a relatively different background from many people I’ve noticed on the site. I had loving Christian parents, a moderate church I attended, and overall, I’ve been very fortunate. And I still have my loving parents, my church, I could care less about. Anyhow, I’m now an agnostic atheist, and I’m not shy about it. Two months after my deconversion, I told my dad that I did not believe in God or Jesus anymore. He took it well, but he’s argumentative and he has a lot of ideas that are irrational. My mom took it well also, although she cried for a couple days after she learned I did not believe. I haven’t told my grandparents; it’s hard when both sides come from strong Christian backgrounds and two have had considerable training in theology. I know I’d be in for a l

I'm through with make-believe

By Joe ~ W hen I was 18 years old me and a friend were walking down Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn one summer night. We had both recently decided together to quit college after meeting in Philosophy 101. I remember saying "Yeah we can get farther in life working for four years than going to school." Sounded good and logical, almost wise and philosophical. Wrong. We both got jobs in a bank. He got the computer room, I got the telex department. We ran into these people that night who were evangelizing Christians. I bought the story and joined up, so did my friend, at least on the surface. That was July, 1979. Since then I have been on a holy roller coaster of religion, drugs, music, drinking, and basically life in all its wonder. Or should I say blunder. Eh, maybe thunder. Anyway now I have come full circle. I am no longer a christian or religious in any form. I don't pray, read the bible, go to church, meditate, evangelize, astro-project, contemplate, or whatever. My fo

The Reason Rally

By dealdoctor ~ M ass movements are on the rise worldwide. People are hitting the streets to call for a more humane and better world in the Arab Spring and OWS. People are even hitting the street to spit out brain dead right wing nut babble. It is hit the streets season everywhere so where are the secular humanist folks. Wait. It is about to happen. There is to be a massive "Reason Rally" March 24, 2021 in Washington DC on the national mall. This is your invitation. Yes, you. It is being billed as the largest gathering of secularists, humanists, reason lovers in the history of the world. Our numbers are growing as I am sure you know. When asked what there religion is those who mark "none" is the fastest growing segment of the American population. We are about to have a big coming out party March 24th, 2012. Bring balloons. This rally will demonstrate to the American public that the portion of the American population that does not believe in God is n

Why I don't need religion

By Paul So ~ R eligion is a very difficult term to define in the field of sociology, anthropology, and comparative religion. But for the purpose of this essay I’ll try to define religion in ways that is relevant to the religions that we are familiar with: Religion is any world-view that tries to explain the natural world by positing supernatural agent(s) who are claimed to deserve worship from those who are created by them (or by him/her). Worshipping is servitude and devotion to the supernatural agents is a socialized practice indoctrinated through communities . Such forms of worship come in many varieties in respects to different rituals, doctrines, tradition, clergy-authorities, etc. Religions also socialize its members to follow certain norms that are said to be commanded by the supernatural agents. Image by h.koppdelaney via Flickr If this is what many religions are, then I do not need another religion in my life, and here is why. I am an agnostic naturalist who believes that