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Showing posts from March, 2012

Where was God when.....

By Klym ~ B eing a school counselor , I deal with the neglect and abuse of children frequently. It never ceases to hurt and disturb me deeply when a child has suffered at the hands of an adult that they love and trust. Anyway, I had to deal with a horrific case of abuse recently and something one of the adults said to me about it really upset me. The child had made the first outcry to this adult who then came to me for advice on what to do about it. In the course of our conversation, the adult said, "It's a miracle the child told me---it truly is a God thing." My first thought was that yeah, it was a miracle. Then my next thought was----Where the *&$^#*& was God when this child was suffering the abuse? Geez, I sure am relieved that He decided to show up SEVERAL days later and work a freakin' miracle. REALLY??!!! The child could have been dead by that time! Then, true to my Christian past, I started feeling guilty. Maybe there is a God and he really does ca

Captive Virgins, Polygamy, Sex Slaves: What Marriage Would Look Like if We Actually Followed the Bible

By Valerie Tarico ~ Reprinted from Alternet T raditionally, Republicans tend to run on a platform of God, guns and gays. This time, it’s God, gyne-policy and gays – a set of urgent priorities straight from the mouths of conservative bishops and evangelists who call themselves Bible believers. There’s no way to understand politics anywhere without understanding religion, but to an outsider American Christianity -- and so American politics -- can seem almost incomprehensible. Over the last 2,000 years, Christians have quarreled themselves into 30,000 different denominations. On top of that, American Christianity, like American culture more broadly, tends to flout hierarchy and authority, which means that a sizeable number of American Christians consider themselves “nondenominational." The ever faster splintering of denominations and non-denominations, from crystal cathedrals to house churches gives a particularly elevated status to the Bible, which is why, along with the Ca

Breaking Free of My Fear

By Night Wanderer ~ I was raised in a Christian home, that of the fundamentalist variety. You know the kid in class, who does well in classes but is incredibly shy? I was that type. Unfortunately, I also had poor self-esteem, and when you combine this with a religion like Christianity, you have a recipe for disaster. I had an alcoholic father, and his treatment of us wasn’t exactly kind (there were several occasions where our lives were threatened). What made my life easier was the rest of my family: my mother and sisters loved me to the point of spoiling, and a few years later my nephew became a good friend of mine. We went to church regularly, prayed now and then, and I attended Christian schools. The latter became a norm for my before-college years. When I was little, I didn’t really care too much for Christianity or really understood it. I was more interested in the world around me: I loved nature and nothing made me happier than hiking or going to the zoo. But things wen

The Beauty of Reality

By John Shores ~ T he recent article in Scientific American titled How We Opt Out of Overoptimism: Our Habit of Ignoring What Is Real Is a Double-Edged Sword concisely canvasses a problem that I think we can all agree pervades the "Christian" religion. Consider these two key elements of the article: 1) The Basis of Overoptimism (or delusion): The writer points out that "the few entrepreneurs who succeed spectacularly have biographies... whereas the many who fail do not." Each of us, in our formative years, have heard it said that we can do anything; even become President of the United States. The idea has appeal because Presidents all have biographies that we know and study. But it completely ignores the fact that this country has been home to hundreds of millions of people, among whom 44 have made this distinction. (Yes. Your first grade teacher lied to you.) Let us consider a common goal among Christians: "We are to be like Christ." Aside from h

Escaping Indoctrination

By Kate Hawthorne ~ M y journey here is probably something like a clone of many of yours. Raised in a Christian home, by parents who were raised in Christian homes, went to Christian colleges and never questioned it. Church nursery ages 0-2 (where I'm told I was bitten several times and almost kicked in the head by a rambunctious older boy...isn't church such a peaceful sanctuary away from the world?) gave way to Sunday school, and by age four I was deemed ready to be up in the adult services ( Reformed Baptists start them young). Theology and dogma saturated every sermon; of course, I didn't understand it and would rather have been running around outside, but I tried to be reverent to avoid the disapproving parental glares, and believed whatever wasn’t too confusing. I sang all the songs about being washed in Jesus’ blood, felt guilty for making him die with my six-year-old evilness, and was appropriately grateful for being saved from the fiery tortures of hell.

Noah's Ark Revisited

By atheistnurse ~ M ost of us grew up with “nice” stories of the flood that included an ark with cute, smiling, little animals overflowing the deck. And don’t forget the pretty rainbow at the end of the story that symbolized a loving god’s promise to us. What about the terror of seeing your children and loved ones drown? Of seeing the floating corpses of your neighbors, family, and friends? The horror of feeling your lungs burning as you gasp for air and just breathe in water, knowing you are going to die? Of clinging to floating debris only to die a long slow death of exposure and/or starvation? Hmmm, not such a “cute” bible story anymore, is it? Estimates for the population of the earth at the time of the flood range from 2 million people and up. The bible says god “regretted” making man. This indicates god isn’t omniscient and that he didn’t see this coming. Whatever. God decides to wipe out the wickedness of man and drown everyone but Noah’s clan. It didn’t work.

From "Under Authority" to Owning Myself Again

By Muse77 ~ I n 2005, I was a deaconess in a small full gospel church, my husband was head deacon and together we did bible studies for couples and I was part of the music team. That year, my husband fell in love with his secretary and left me and our three kids, then 14, 7 and 18 months. As you can imagine, this was a very painful time in my life, but the worst was yet to come. My pastors talked to my husband and came to me, convinced his wandering ways were my fault for being a rebellious 'Jezebel' and that I should immediately submit to counselling and prayer ministry (read that, deliverance ministry ). At that time I was desperate to save my marriage and I did submit, for a while. When the humiliation grew to be too much, I started bucking the system, only to be told I was in rebellion and that I needed to be 'under their authority' if I had any hope of being 'spiritually well' and saving my marriage. My husband had refused counselling, seeing throug

Hell (Hath No Fury)

By Christianagnostic ~ More on the terrors of Hell visited upon my 8 year old imagination... S o there I was, mortally convinced that my destiny was Hell, with most nights of my vacation at the beach spent sleepless, and wondering if the devil was really red…. After our return from the beach, the fears of my future fate would drift to the background. I continued attending church, no further threats were made, and I graduated to a new Sunday School class with a teacher that was pretty fun (and no warts-at least none that he was willing to tell or show us). I began to figure that maybe, just maybe God knew that I was joking and that he would forgive me for my foolish utterance. Later that year, fall began to set in, nightfall started earlier….and I began to retreat to my room to listen to top 40 radio and read the Bible. I came across a verse in which Jesus says that many sins will be forgiven, but that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit would never be forgiven. The unpardon

A "Thank You" to My Friends

By CatholiKitty ~ I've been meaning to write this to you all for a while now. I t's been almost two months since my cousin passed away. The only deaths I had experienced before this one had been my grandfather's, the unexpected death of a close friend's father, and a few pets'. Nothing I had been through had prepared me for my cousin's death, and only now, as I write this, does it finally feel real to me. I'm going to get into the heart-breaking details in the next paragraph. They're relevant, but I'll sum them up in the section after that, so please feel free to jump to the *** and skip the sad stuff. Forget-me-not flowers. Türkçe: Unutma beni çiçekleri. (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) My cousin had gotten married in 2008. About a year and a half later, her husband luckily found a spot on the top of her head; it was melanoma. For the next one-and-a-half to two years she got treated, obtained remission, got worse, went on a clinical trial , an


By Cacti ~ M isery. That is the word I use to describe my childhood. Sheer, awful misery. I lived in a house where I was tormented by an abusive stepfather who had it out for girls. My mother has three daughters, of which, I am the youngest. We got in trouble (and beaten) for the simplest things. We cleaned the kitchen, and he'd sit in there and watch us, waiting for one of us to screw up(i.e. miss a small spot while scrubbing) so he could "set us straight". We couldn't go to the bathroom after 9pm. We weren't even allowed to laugh. We all felt as though we walked on eggshells; our world was fragile. My mother would come to our rescue when things got too bad. Meanwhile, Mike's (our stepfather) own son, Jared, was never touched. Jared wasn't yelled at. Jared didn't have to keep his room spotless. In fact, my oldest sister, Amber, had to clean Jared's room for him. Then we moved. There was a church right up the road, so my mother thought it w

Saved and in the Light

By Barbara Grimes Piazza ~ T hree months ago, I was saved from Jehovah and Jesus. Now, the lyrics of Christian hymns dance joyfully in my mind. "I'm saved how I love to proclaim it", "...and the burdens of my heart rolled away...", "..Life now is sweet and my joy is complete for I'm saved, saved, saved"!!! I feel like I can breathe freely for the first time. The one miracle in my life is that I escaped the clutches of that abusively patriarchal god. It took 50 years because I remained psychologically bound to my "God the Father" in spite of his psychopathic demeanor - his arbitrariness, withholding, favoritism, hardheartedness, egomania, perfectionism, and conflicting instructions. I wish I knew how to explain to family and friends, but they won't hear. They're like C.S. Lewis ' little dwarfs, sitting in the full sunlight, calling the light darkness. The delicious sensations of my heart, the freedoms ringing that

Homophobia, Lasciviousness, Religion and Celibacy

By Caroline Reznicek ~ C ertainly, not all men fall into these categories that I will mention here, but you guys know who you are and should be secure in that knowledge enough to think about what I am saying about your "brothers". The only reason any man is homophobic is his own mind on hormones. Just as in some cultures a woman must be covered completely, it is only the ugly testosterone driven thoughts of his own being that make him think in a lascivious way. He dwells on what goes on sexually. So because his own lack of control, his own failure at controlling himself, he has a feeling in the back of his mind that he might also be homosexual. He is afraid of himself. Being a "homo" is a big "NO NO" in his mind, but nasty thoughts of women are just "macho". Not only Christianity, but other religious views support him in this thinking. So he then oppresses others by calling THEM sinners and/or temptresses. I think it should be called t

The Final Frontier of Tyranny

An Essay by P.D ~ With contributions by Tanya Simmonds ~  Introduction When I was 16, I was an impressionable, credulous teenager who was lonely. I was taken in by a Church near to my home who introduced me to the Bible and to Jesus. They taught me the doctrine of Hell, and the idea that if I became born again, I would be saved from it. A sign that I was reborn, I was told, was that I would no longer feel the need to masturbate. By now, my hormones were raging. I would pray, in my terror of Hell, that Jesus would deliver me from masturbation , but the urges persisted with a vengeance. I attempted to suppress those urges with pain by mutilating my arms with a razor blade, but it was futile. I lost sleep at night thinking that if the urges were still there, that meant I wasn’t ‘born again’ and so I was bound for Hell. I wanted to commit suicide but was afraid of doing so for fear of going straight to a place of eternal torture. I petitioned God to reach back in time and preve