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Showing posts from October, 2012

Why I hope Conservative Christians Will Fight Gay Marriage Tooth and Nail Till their Teeth and Nails Fall Out

By Valerie Tarico ~

With marriage equality battles in front of the voters in four states, the faithful are out in flocks to defend traditional matrimony. I don’t know exactly what traditional means in this context. It certainly doesn’t mean biblical, or it would include captive virgins and sex slaves and fathering children for your deceased brothers. It certainly doesn’t mean Mitt Romney’s version of traditional, since his great grandfather had five wives and his great-great grandfather had twelve.



But whatever. I hope they fight tooth and nail and keep fighting until they are so old that their teeth and nails fall out. The battles are expensive, but they are worth every penny. Why? Because of all the nasty things that religion is doing in our country, beating up on gays is one of the most visibly nasty, especially to the young people who will be shaping our future. Teenagers, even many Christian teenagers, look at it, and it makes no sense. It just looks ugly. So bad, in fact, that…

Confused

By LB ~

I was raised as a Christian, but it was the type of Christian that went to church, prayed, etc. I was never VERY religious. My dad died when I was only 14 and then things started to change for me. I didn't want to go to church anymore and kicked against God because he took my dad away. I did eventually finish sunday school because of my mother's pressure. I got married, had two kids, got divorced. I re-married, had three more kids. Through all this, I could probably count on my hands how many times I've been to church. My kids got christened because of pressure from the grandparents, but it never really bothered me.

Well, after my last child was born, I started to suffer from depression. It was so bad that I tried to commit suicide five times in a period of two years. I felt something was missing in my life (I even experienced with metaphysics for a while), it didn't work, so I turned to a church. Our whole family started to go to church on a regular basis. I …

Some thoughts this morning for our family and friends

By electech98 ~

Skepticism and doubt are priceless tools we all use every day in our own lives to great and worthwhile effect. They help us to avoid injuring ourselves or losing our way, and they help us to be financially, socially, and relationally responsible. They help us survive in a world of liars, disasters, and diverse other uncertainties.

Skepticism is what you use to fend off the latest get-rich-quick schemes or Nigerian email scams. It helps you get a second opinion from a doctor to catch anything that might have been missed. It makes us cautious at four-way stops to avoid a life-threatening wreck with the drunk driver that just flew past. It informs our decisions about who we leave our children with at day-care. It forces you to call the cops because of the suspicious-looking character entering your neighbor's backyard in the middle of the night. It calls into question the integrity of the guy or gal you met last week at the bar. It makes you look out the peephole in you…

Test Your Knowledge of Wild, Weird, and Outright Wacky American Religious Beliefs

By Valerie Tarico ~

Americans in past generations lived in a sea of religion inherited largely from the Middle East by way of Europe, with home grown refinements. Most still do. When Americans venture off the continent, one of the things many find fascinating is the religious  beliefs they encounter. Some people worship flying monkeys, or magical big breasted dancers, or Prince Phillip.

From the outside, beliefs like these seem fantastical and unlikely. They played a key role in evoking such ethnocentric ideas as noblesse oblige and manifest destiny and white man’s burden.  But if we could see our own culture from an outside vantage point, as if we were travelers, the world might look a little different. Even one of the Bible writers pointed out that self-examination is the first order of business.  Why are you looking at the speck in your brother’s eye, he asked (to paraphrase), when you have a plank in your own?

So, how well do you know what your neighbors believe? How about the chu…

Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life

Richard Dawkins explores what science can tell us about death. It's a journey that takes him from Hindu funeral pyres in India to genetics labs in New York.

Dawkins brings together the latest neuroscience, evolutionary and genetic theory to examine why we crave life after death, why we evolved to age and how the human genome is something like real immortality - traits inherited from our distant ancestors that we pass on to future generations.

He meets a Christian dying of motor neurone disease, reminisces about the Wall Street Crash with a 105-year-old stockbroker, and interviews James Watson, the geneticist who co-discovered the structure of DNA.

Dawkins admits to sentimentality in imagining his own church funeral, but he argues we must embrace the truth, however hard that is.

In a television first, he has his entire genome sequenced to reveal the genetic indicators of how he himself may die.


Unlocked Cage

By Lily D ~

My siblings and I were raised by a father who was brought up as a strict Plymouth Brethren, as well as being paranoid, bipolar in his depression and rage, insulting and verbally abusive, and using the threat of a terrifying God to control and frighten us. My mother was quiet and scared of him and usually seemed to melt into the background.

We attended Baptist, Presbyterian, informal gatherings, Covenant, etc. We switched churches quite a few times due to my father having a "falling out" with people there. The churches were not really all gloom and doom themselves, there was the sense of a loving God, the people were friendly. My dad actually did a pretty good job appearing to fit in as a nice, down to earth, jovial guy. They didn't know how insane and cruel and confusing he could be at home. One minute we were great kids, the next we were so wicked he couldn't look at us. The rants and blaming and yelling could be triggered by any little thing and could l…

Ignorance of the Truth

By Steve S ~

Take a look at this link: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/article/275836/3/UNF-student-makes-plea-to-keep-Chick-fil-A-off-campus.

In it, you will see laid out succinct reasons why it is not a good idea to let a religious right affiliated, Mike Huckabee supported company into your university. Sadly, his speech failed to prevent the interests of greed and the ignorance of justice. Chik-fil-A will be built at this college.

It was then I decided to read the comments.

Once I read them,the vast majority anti-gay screeds, mixed in with slander and excuses for the cruelty these beliefs cause to others, a defense that, "Well, this is the loving thing to do" and a proclamation of the gay lifestyle as sinful, and the effluvium of trash that is "Love the sinner, hate the sin", I understood why America can't have nice things. I've just exceeded my weekly dose of stupid. Wow. I was expecting dumb, but the level of sheer idiocy and blind faith and the sten…

Another Unique Experience

By Carl S ~

This is a sort of late-anniversary testimonial for me. My first posting on this site was on Sept. 6, 2009, under the heading, "My Unique Experience.” Since that time, a lot of writing has gone down - hopefully helpful. Today is Sept. 23, 2012; this date is listed here for you to know that I wish to be as honest as possible in describing what preceded something unique to this date.

Several years ago, I had a phone conversation with my wife‘s pastor, I believe in regards to an auction to raise money to send some kids for a get-together, and I wanted details. Well, it seems that this auction collection enables them to go down South to a rally involving youth groups from all over the country. After reading of child abuses by the clergy, I mentioned my concerns for their safety, and was immediately assured they would be well looked after. Then we got into "God," etc., and it ended up with me so disgusted with the ignorance he was expounding that I finally told hi…

The Same God? Twelve Beliefs Mormons Might Not Want You to Know About

By Valerie Tarico ~

In an effort to reassure Evangelical voters, presidential candidate Mitt Romney inserted the phrase “the same god” into his domestic policy debate against Barack Obama. Over the course of 2012, the LDS Church promoted “I’m a Mormon,” a multi-million dollar marketing campaign seeking to portray Mormonism as mainstream. But do  Mormons and Evangelicals worship the same God? How mainstream are their beliefs?

Dr. Tony Nugent, retired professor of religious studies, has compiled a list of twelve teachings that Mormons tend to downplay. Dr. Nugent calls each of these beliefs “questionable.” A quick read suggest they also are far from mainstream.

1. The American Continent Was Originally Settled by Ancient Near Easterners.

The story of the Book of Mormon (BoM) is that the American continent was originally settled by people from the ancient Near East who came across the ocean in boats between 5000 and 2500 years ago. This includes four groups: the Jaredites, who came from Me…

Christianity: A New Type of Myth - Part 4

By Michael Sherlock ~

4. Myths Are True.

Discussing this aspect of the definition of myth, Professor Vandiver says:

They (myths) present themselves within the society in which they develop, as factual accounts of how things actually happened in the past. It would be very rare for any culture to recognise its own mythology as mythology. Myth is only a category when you are outside a culture looking in. From within any culture, myths are accounts of the way things really are. It is only when we step outside the culture and look in, that we can say; these stories are myths.(1)
Such is the case not only with Christianity, but almost all religions, especially the Abrahamic ones, which have attempted to weave myth into the very fabric of history. Ask a true-believing Christian whether or not, they believe the Gospels describe real history and they may respond with any of the following remarks:

…"historicity, however, should be determined not by what we think possible or likely, b…

In God We Trust . . . Really?

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~

At this year’s Republican national convention, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) declared, “Our national motto is ‘In God we Trust,’ reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.” Sure, he was just trying to whip up the god believers behind the righteous cause of electing a god-fearing Republican as President. But he got me thinking. Is it true? Do we as a nation trust in god?

According to Rubio, belief in a god is a more important American value than freedom, honor, or anything else. Now that’s a strange notion, to my mind.

‘In God we Trust’ became the US motto in 1956 during the great communist scare whipped up by Senator Joseph McCarthy, apparently to differentiate us god-trusting Americans from those godless communists in the Soviet Union. In more recent times, in our religion-drenched Congress, the motto was reaffirmed (after brief debates) in 2002 and again last year. Apparently, it is absolutely vital that everyone un…

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