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Showing posts from November, 2012

No Conclusions for the Validity Christianity

By a Free Man ~

My childhood was on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. My parents are absolutely nuts and when I was a kid I was beat for anything that was against God. If I got a toy in a cereal box my mother would curse it and throw it in the garbage saying it was delivered directly from hell. My dad was seriously messed up. He enjoyed beating his cows and driving into them damaging their bodies and running over and shooting gophers. He would often take my brother and me into a tent or his bed when my mother wasn't there and tell us to take off our clothes and sleep with his back against ours 'Like a real grown up soldier would do'. I'm not sure if we were raped or molested as I can't remember anything and neither can my brother. They would use me as a tool to send messages back and forth to each other about how the other was demon possessed and eventually they got a divorce and the church they attended split because each took a side of one of my parents.

Fro…

My Extimony

By Joanne ~

I've been lurking on the Ex-C blog for some time now, and felt it was time to get my story out there and into the world. So, this is my Extimony.

I am presently 20 years old. I was raised in a Christian home with very devout parents and an sister two years older than me, who I would consider to be my best friend. We were raised going to church every Sunday. Mom read devotions to us every night for a while, before she got tired of doing it or something, and then it would stop for a while, and then we'd start doing it again. This was undoubtedly my least favorite part of my religious indoctrination: listening to my mother's droning voice go on for what felt like forever on a subject that I had no interest in and couldn't escape from. Our church did not allow women to speak, pastor, or teach, so that really messed up my beliefs on gender roles, because I knew I'd never fit them. I could never be the homemaker that "God" supposedly wanted me to be …

The Difference Between a Dying Fetus and a Dying Woman

By Valerie Tarico ~

In early November, a young Indian man in Ireland went public about the death of his wife, Savita Halappanavar. A week later, her name, picture, and tragic story were known by millions. Now the husband, Praveen, has launched a fight to ensure that no woman ever again is refused a lifesaving abortion. Her parents have requested that the Indian government bring diplomatic pressure to bear. Their goal is to clarify and, if need be, to amend Irish abortion law: “We lost our only daughter due to this illogical law…. If that law is changed, we will think that our daughter was sacrificed for a good cause.” “Maybe Savita was born to change the laws here,” says Praveen. It is, perhaps, the only possible sense in her otherwise senseless death.

Savita was 31 when she died after being denied an abortion during a second trimester miscarriage. As a dentist, she not only felt the infection in her body, she understood it. According to her husband she asked repeatedly for the medica…

An alternative morality universe

By Rachel ~

Oh Lordy, where to begin?

I have to admit I have nothing new under the sun to write about. While my experiences have been quite the roller coaster ride in my own life, in the greater scheme of human experience they're so predictable and common that they're almost boring.

I posted a long time ago on this site a letter I sent to my fundamentalist evangelical father, 'coming out' to him as a non believer. After a period of family peace and mutual respect the dust has been kicked up again.

Here is the background:

There are several preachers and missionaries in my family, but my Uncle has been a fire and brimstone southern baptist preacher for my entire life. It has been at least a decade but I can remember hearing him from time to time, pacing up and down the altar, pounding the bible, hollering about sin and salvation until he was red in the face and his suits would be soaked with sweat. Every Sunday was like a revival, every altar call had folks wal…

Why Faith Requires Closed-mindedness (Or what I learned from the dictionary)

By Carl S ~

Close-minded: “Intolerant of the beliefs and opinions of others.” This is an accusation believers use against those who challenge or question their beliefs. However, let us note that non-believers have arrived predominantly at their positions from the direction of considering with an open mind, the beliefs they were taught as true in their and other faiths. We might ask if this accusation of them by believers is either due to ignorance about non-believers, fear of condemnation to damnation by their God, or a lion-mother reaction in defense of threatened cubs, i.e., the faith. We might also note that the stronger the faith is, the more close-minded the believers are.

Bias : “A preference or inclination that inhibits impartiality. Prejudice.” the experience of most non- believers, from what I know, is that believers waver between close-mindedness and bias in different degrees, picking and choosing from their dogmas and scriptures whatever they want to.
Hermetic: “Impervio…

Don't Thank Me; Thank ... ?

By Susan G. Bonella ~

Beliefs that lead to positive actions are commendable. “Don’t thank me; thank God” is a common phrase among kindhearted friends. It’s a reflection of their love for their god and the beliefs that keep them going. That the sentence is in the form of a command is a little hard for me to digest and even harder for me to form a response. Perhaps I could respond with “And I thank you for your free-will decision”. Given the general consensus that God doesn’t interfere with free will, making the choice to be thoughtful solely at the believer’s discretion, my response ought not be offensive. Whether or not the giver is trying to prompt me to acknowledge “God”, I recognize that the generosity really comes from the individual, and so I refrain from any discussion of opposing beliefs.

I can’t imagine speaking the command, “Don’t thank me; thank humanity” when giving a generous gift. Not only does it sound pompous, but it would most likely make a religious person form a reb…

Losing Faith

By Jodi ~

I was born and raised in a conservative christian family. I went to a christian school, was not allowed to listen to rock and roll, and was taught that the rest of the world is doomed to hell and only the "good christians" were going to make it to heaven. And as a young child I believed it. For me losing my faith has been a very long slow process. There was never that "aha" moment that so many others have. I had so many spiritual questions that no one could answer, and I would hear "just have faith", but I couldn't. Questions of science, cruelty and suffering in the world, human sexuality, contradictions in the bible, history of the bible, differing believes in the many christian churches (what made mine right?), and the list goes on.

As the years passed I slowly started to see there is no proof of christianity and/or any other religion. I began to realize that the "evil" world maybe is not so evil, and the "good" christi…

When God Was Pro-Choice and Why He Changed His Mind

By Valerie Tarico ~

In the autumn of 1978 the Washington Association of Churches and the Washington State Catholic Conference jointly published a six page pamphlet they called, “Abortion: An Ecumenical Study Document.” Their work offers a fascinating snapshot of Christian thinking at the time and raises some equally fascinating questions about what, exactly, has happened in the last thirty-five years.

The pamphlet does not contain a position statement. Quite the opposite, in fact. From the beginning, the authors explain that such an agreement is impossible:

Clearly there is no Christian position on abortion, for here real values conflict with each other, and Christian persons who seek honestly to be open to God’s call still find themselves disagreeing profoundly.

At the time, five years had passed since the Roe v. Wade decision, and the Church, broadly, was wrestling with ethical and spiritual complexities the decision brought to the surface. The WAC, which existed “to express and str…

Assertions Are Not Facts

By Rev. Ex-Evangelist ~

We just got through an intense presidential campaign. It's nice that it's over. I will tell you upfront that I supported President Obama's re-election. I know others on this site may have supported Gov. Romney or other candidates. All well and good. I'm not trying to get into any political debates or controversies here. Nevertheless, we all know that The Religious Right has become a powerful and influential force within the modern Republican Party (although I know Republicans who don't like this and wish they would leave).

So, anyway, I said all that to say this: I have a Facebook page and friends who go back to my elementary school days (I'm now 58!). I grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee (USA), which is the Buckle of the Bible Belt, as evidenced by the hundreds of fundamentalist churches and five conservative, Christian colleges in the area.

Chattanooga has never been a haven for liberal forms of the christian faith. No sir! Pe…

Christianity: A New Type of Myth - Part 5 (Finale)

By Michael Sherlock ~

1. Function of Myth

According to Professor Vandiver’s definition, a myth will often serve one or more of the following functions. In the professor’s words:
“Myths do many things. Among the most obvious functions that they fulfil is; myths often explain, justify, instruct, or warn.” (1)
So, the various functions of myths are categorized as follows:
Explanatory MythsWarning MythsInstructive MythsJustification Myths (2) Professor Vandiver sums up these functions, saying:
“Explanatory myths are often called etiological myths. The word etiological comes from the Greek word ‘etion,’ which means ‘cause.’ Explanatory myths may explain why things are as they are, how certain events or entities came into being, why conditions in the world are the way they are….Another function that myths fulfil is to offer a justification for certain rites and social institutions…Myths that provide justification for social rites and institutions are very frequently called, charter myths…

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