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Showing posts from 2013

10 Reasons ExChristians Can Look Forward to a Bright 2014

By Valerie Tarico ~ D ays may be dark right now—after all, as the memes proclaim, axial tilt is the reason for the season . But things are looking bright for those who would like to see humanity more grounded in science and reason. If you are a nontheist in the mood for a party, here are ten reasons to celebrate. 1. Coming out atheist is up and coming. In May of 2013, after a deadly tornado destroyed her home, young mother Rebecca Vitsmun gave an unexpected answer when CNN ’s Wolf Blitzer asked whether she thanked the Lord for her decision to flee. Vitsmun tells the story in a sometimes tearful interview with Seth Andrews , host of The Thinking Atheist . “I had this moment in which I realized you either lie or tell the truth, and I-I’m not a liar.” In that moment, Vitsmun outed herself not only to a national media audience but also to her Christian parents and friends. Vitsmun’s situation was extraordinary, but candor about nonbelief is becoming more and more commonplace. From

Why do I have to suffer?

By John ~ I 'm in so much pain. My faith has been shattered into nothingness. I'm left in a state of confusion and dismay. I ask God sometimes why he does not show me he loves me and that he is real, but at lass, I get no answers. I tried 1000 times and I have failed 1000 over to go back to the faith. I feel like my mind has been played with, deceived for all those years for absolutely nothing. It seems no amount of logic and reasoning, learning, thinking can bypass the fear and guilt of this God, yet how can I not believe in this God and yet hold onto such rigid feelings at the same time? I feel like I'm stuck in limbo and that I'm a living paradox it-self. I long for a soul to exist. I cannot fancy myself the way some nonbelievers do to say life is full of so many wondrous things. it's full of repetition and trite things, bad and evil things, unfairness, a system that is governed by it's king, I call it money. I cannot accept that this is it and yet

Speak of the Devil…

By Daniel out of the Lion's Den ~ M y wife asserts that I am being blinded by Satan , and that he uses science to bring about my unbelief. This certainly attributes a great amount of ability to this creature. That he can telepathically implant thoughts and ideas in my brain to alter the process of how I arrive at rational conclusions? That he has just the right biochemical substance to create a neurotransmitter, injecting it at just the right location in my frontal lobe to be carried across just the right synapses to bring about doubt in the existence of God, the deity of Jesus and the inerrancy of Scripture? Whoa, if somebody could bottle that… Thinking about Satan was a big part of my deconversion. Consider all the human perspectives of this being, everything from a hideous monster to a beautiful angel. All these images concerning a being that has never been seen! Yet, 57% of Americans assert that Satan is real. It’s all a part of the clergy casting their net of fea

"D" is for Duck Dynasty…and Double Standard: Why Conservatives are Freaking Out and Why LGBTQIA is Rightfully Upset

By xxkindofboredxx ~ W hy Everyone Is Freaking Out In The First Place Excerpt from GQ Magazine ’s interview with Phil Robertson: “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” “We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.” What does repentance entail? Well, in Robertson’s worldview, America was a country founded upon Christian values (Thou shalt not kill, etc.), and he believes that the gradual removal of Christian symbolism from public spaces has diluted

An Atheist Photographer Takes a Trip that Changes His Life

By Valerie Tarico ~ W hen freelance photographer Chris Johnson climbed into the passenger seat of a borrowed Honda Civic and set off with his brother Peter to see the Southwest, he thought he was in for a journey of at most a few thousand miles. He had no idea. In the summer of 2011, Chris and Peter set out from San Antonio, Texas. Their destination was their hometown of Seattle, Washington for an annual family vacation. On the way, they found themselves looking out over the snow-like dunes of White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, with the sun sinking behind the San Andres Mountains. Chris pulled out his camera. “You should do a photography book,” said Peter. Chris shrugged him off. “There are so many books out there,” he said. “Nobody knows who I am.” But Peter persisted, “You just have to find some way to make it different.” Between towns, tourist stops, and national monuments, the brothers had been passing time by listening to podcasts about religion and atheism. Th

Finding new meaning in Christmas

By Christina H ~ A t this time of year I listen to Tim Minchin’s ‘White Wine in the Sun’ over and over again. It’s on my Christmas playlist twice. "I really like Christmas It’s sentimental I know But I just really like it." Because I do. Almost in spite of myself. When I realised four years ago that I was no longer a Christian, an atheist even, I had to reorganise so many of my attitudes about life. There were so many questions to answer: What can I tell people about why I stopped attending church? Is it possible to avoid aggrieving the people I love? How do I make my parents understand that this is not a decision motivated by booze and sex? I worked through my questions, slowly, and then suddenly Christmas was upon me. I hadn’t anticipated it, but this was one of the Hard Things to Deal With. Christmas had always been one of my favourite times of year, so deeply invested in meaning, but now all of that meaning had been ripped away from me. This favourite holiday wa

What really happened in the field that night...

By slave2six ~ S adly, the Heavenly Host was lost. They were, after all, from Heaven and had no knowledge of Earthly topography. Today was the big day and they were supposed to sing for the new child when he arrived. It was going to be a spectacular event and all of Bethlehem would be astounded. But they were lost. And it was getting late. "Hey, Hend-el! You better hurry up angel! We have midnight mass duty tonight and you know we can't be late." "Shut up. Of course I know." "Remember when Lucifer was late and God told him he was being rebellious?" "Yes. Now will you shut up?" "He threw Lucifer and his entire choir out of Heaven." "Alright already!" Hand-el was metaphysically sweating. Golly gosh darn it , he thought. There, in the distance. A light. Hand-el shot forward like a comet and the choir, who was also getting nervous, followed closely. Ah! People! This was good. Hand-el showed hims

What do we mean by a Primitive Belief?

By Ubi Dubium ~ R ecently I was responding to a long-winded Xian commenter on a lengthy comment thread on Friendly Atheist. At the end of a really preachy comment, he finished with: “Think about it, God abhors human sacrifice , and yet he decided to go against his own feelings and permitted the death of his only son for your salvation. Sounds like a pretty generous God to me.” To which I replied: “Sounds like a bunch of mythology made up by primitive humans to me.” In the following comments on that thread he took exception to his beliefs being described as “primitive”, and there was some discussion among other commenters about the idea. But that got me to thinking about what we mean when we describe a person, or especially a belief system as “primitive”? I’d like to have a good definition worked out, so the next time I describe something like creationism as a “primitive belief” and I’m challenged on it, I’ll have a good response. An example of why this is tricky:

Walked Away!

By Stefanie Lynn ~ B eing a Christian... Just those words alone bring pain, loneliness, regret for my children and for myself. The beliefs that are pumped into you, you believe them just as a child believes in Santa Claus. Child like faith. But children don't know any better, and one day, I had to grow up and take a real look at the damage blind faith had done to my family. I was so blind.... I was angry when I opened my eyes. I grew up with little attention. Little care. Passed onto this person then to the next. The adults in my life made up what ever lies they wanted to make it as though I was the problem as they didn't want anyone to know that they were the ones that fell short. One adult after another adding their horrible story of what ever they wanted to say. I gave up at a young age. Nobody would ever get to know me, cause everyone was to busy listening to these stories, or telling them. I would look up and ask god when I would get something in turn. Always giving

Merry Atheist Christmas!

London’s Atheist Church, the Sunday Assembly, Goes All Out to Celebrate Its First Holiday Season By Valerie Tarico ~ L ast January, a small Sunday morning gathering in London dubbed “atheist church” by the local press went viral globally. Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones, two British comedians, had organized the event in a decommissioned Anglican church . They called it “Sunday Assembly,” and described it “like TED for the soul.” As Sanderson puts it, "We wanted to do something like a church for people who don't believe in God," said Sanderson. "Life is such a wonderful thing to have been given -- and frankly, it's as transcendent as any one god. We come from nothing and go to nothing and in between we have these short glazing moments of awareness and consciousness to love and sing and mess up and try again. We should celebrate it." Pippa moved away from religion as an adult but missed the ritual and community she had experienced in her youth, while