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Showing posts from March, 2013

Rethinking the "Atonement": Whose Guilt?

By Marlene Winell ~ O n “ Good Friday ," I thought about how little was good about it. The atonement is a Christian doctrine that is both absurd and horrible. The cross is a symbol of execution and represents Christianity. Iconic images of our country’s major religion are violent and unjust: A powerful male outsider forcibly impregnates a young woman who is engaged to another, and she is compelled to have the baby despite any social consequences. The ruler of the universe has his only son killed in a brutal and unjust manner, and this torture and death of an innocent is considered an act of love. The guilty ones, all the people for whom the son was a scapegoat, go free and never have to be responsible for any of their own wrong-doing. No attention is paid to anyone’s real behavior so that punishments would fit crimes, as they do in modern law. Instead everyone is considered deserving of death and eternal damnation; this includes all since no one is perfect. No one has

Easter: Was the Risen Jesus Originally Female?

By Valerie Tarico ~ An interview with Dr. Tony Nugent, ordained minister, scholar of world religions, and symbologist. Ishtar--the goddess who became the resurrected Jesus? M any ancient religions, including early Hebrew and European pagan traditions, evolved in part out of star worship. Because so many traditions treated celestial events including the solstices and equinoxes as auspicious, it can be hard to tease out which holiday traditions originated where. But even Church authorities acknowledge that our Easter holiday was named after an Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess alternately known as Estre, Eostre, and Ostara. Over time, religious traditions tend to merge and blend, which the Catholic church saw as an opportunity rather than a problem. Authorities advised early missionaries simply to retain local holidays and rituals and give them new meaning. A letter from Pope Gregory I to St. Mellitus, credited with Christianizing England, suggested that it would be easiest

An Apologist's Armoury: Christian debating tactics examined

By Unoder ~ A s ex-Christians, one thing we’ve all had to contend with at some point is the asinine arguments of Christians in defence of their faith. Whether its arguments with Christian friends, family, or strangers on the Internet, anybody who is not a Christian has attempted (and most likely failed) to reason against the fervent, barely coherent nonsense that passes for most Christian apologetics. What I have discovered from online discussions and speaking to believers is that they always rely on the same old tired arguments, rarely, if ever bringing anything new to the table. With this article, we will look at some of the more common tactics employed by Christians attempting to debate or defend their beliefs in the face of scepticism and why these arguments fail. The Bob and Weave Probably the most common Christian debating tactic is to not actually address any direct questions. We’ve all seen it around here at some point: a Christian comes wading in, fists flying, cocks

Religious Trauma Syndrome: Is it Real?

By Valerie Tarico ~ A t age sixteen I began what would be a four year struggle with bulimia.  When the symptoms started, I turned in desperation to adults who knew more than I did about how to stop shameful behavior—my Bible study leader and a visiting youth minister.  “If you ask anything in faith, believing,” they said.  “It will be done.” I knew they were quoting the Word of God. We prayed together, and I went home confident that God had heard my prayers. But my horrible compulsions didn’t go away. By the fall of my sophomore year in college, I was desperate and depressed enough that I made a suicide attempt. The problem wasn’t just the bulimia.  I was convinced by then that I was a complete spiritual failure. My college counseling department had offered to get me real help (which they later did). But to my mind, at that point, such help couldn’t fix the core problem: I was a failure in the eyes of God. It would be years before I understood that my inability to heal bulimia th

Faith and the Resurrection

By Daniel out of the Lion's Den ~ I was in the 5th grade when I came to the realization that Santa Claus was not real. Even in 1973, eleven years old was ancient in terms of believing in Old Saint Nick. But why should I not believe? Every year I wrote a letter to Santa, and the presents appeared. Maybe not exactly what I asked for, but close enough to keep me believing. My mother taught me that Santa was a real person who knew who was naughty and who was nice. When I came home from school telling her that classmates had become unbelievers, she acted appalled, and assured me that those who stopped believing would no longer receive his gifts on Christmas morning. Believing that Santa Claus was real gave me a sense of joy - a magical being cared so much about me that he gave me gifts! So it came as quite a shock when my younger sister outed my parents for lying to me all the eleven years I had spent on this earth. I was played the fool. A seismic jolt had altered my worldv

The Easter Fable, Part 4: How's that resurrection thing work again?

By God O Rama ~ I f the Bible is vague, confusing, and contradictory about the details of the crucifixion and resurrection stories, it is even more puzzling when it comes to the nature of the resurrection itself. We all want to live beyond the 70 or 80 years most of us are allotted on this earth. We all want to believe that there is something beyond this life. All religions offer some hope for the afterlife, whether it is the Greek concept of existence in the spiritual underworld or the Hindu teaching of reincarnation. Christianity is unique in that it teaches that just as Jesus died and rose again in a body of flesh and bone, so the resurrection of believers will be like his own resurrection. Here's what Paul teaches in Romans: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [bring to life] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 7:11) First-Century

We're all born atheists!

By Dano ~ W e are all born atheists! Look at it this way. If it were important for us to know whether there is a god as in the bible and what happens to us when we die, we would all more or less believe the same thing. We would all be born with that instinctual knowledge, just like instinctively knowing that we need to eat. On the contrary we are all born atheists and may be taught to believe some form of mythology before we die, or we may not, depending who our parents are and where we are born. Believing in a "Bible God", heaven, hell, angels, devils and all that made up stuff is incidental to living, loving, enjoying life and dyeing. Other than how it effects our capacity for reproducing. Mother nature (God/it) has no regard at all for what we believe,only how well we live. The same thing happens to all of us in the end, and it again becomes just as important to us as it was for the eternity before we were born. I know I never worried about it before I was born

A Dangerous Site?

By Carl S. ~ H as anybody written on this subject here before? This site is (pleasantly) dangerous because this is where thinkers ask questions, for one thing. If you‘re a believer reading this, you have probably been warned by your religion's reps not to, because you're “endangering” your eternal soul! They want you to avoid anything unapproved by them, which means everything we have to say, and that's a lot! We hope you are not intimidated by them, and take your own initiative to be independent adults, and listen to us who have made the “leap of facts“ already. We are gathered around the water coolers and coffee pots of free speech, interrupting each other in enthusiastic enjoyment of freedom from religious beliefs and freedom to laugh at those prior beliefs, and are not intimidated by such foolish talk of “danger.” In fact, dangers have been the means to the end. Danger is not always a warning. Much of the time it's a challenge. Ask the Coast Guard members d

Show a bit of respect!

A letter from a "fan" of Ex-C ~ It does so offend the mental palate! T he sheer arrogance of this site is astounding, congratulations to all of you who have no doubt solved all humanity's millenia of questions about how and why we are here with such utter and complete certainty, there could of course be no way that YOU could be wrong, no way that perhaps the 6000 years folk have believed in God might have meant something and no way any of you would be willing to accept that what you are preaching is another religion, and a nihilistic and empty one at that, which slings insults and critisises mainstream religion for its intolerance whilst simultaneously trying to efface all mention or religious expression. Do none here comprehend that to be intolerant of other beliefs because they are supposedly intolerant is the most ludicrous piece of bollocks ever to grace this green earth? Finally, even if you don't put this up, which i doubt you will, so prove me wrong t

Jesus Was a Failure!

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ A ccording to the Bible, Jesus’ primary mission on earth was to modify Judaism for the Jews, as their Messiah . In Matthew 15, for example, Jesus is quoted as saying: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel .” And, in Matthew 10, Jesus’ charge to the disciples is: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Now, given that very few Jews converted to Christianity, so few that Paul later put the focus almost entirely on Gentiles ( non-Jews ), it becomes apparent that Jesus failed in his primary mission. But, not only did he fail to convert many Jews, he also failed to foresee that failure. Remember that in Christian dogma , Jesus is a god and can foresee the future: “Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he (John 13:19).” Now, recall that the Jews were fully primed to expect a Mes

The Dreaded Atheist

By Seth ~ I feel as if I should post my deconversion story, for others to read, and for me to simply recall why I left religion, and how far I have come. A little background information; I am a teenager, and I still currently live a very strong religious household. My Father is a Baptist preacher, and my Mother and older Sister are gospel singers, and my Sister is practically a celebrity among the Baptist churches of North Carolina . I was a firm believer up until about a year and a half ago. I was the essence of the stereotypical Christian. Gays were bad, God was real, science was irrelevant, and Atheists were in denial...and now that I look back, I am embarrassed to even think that my mind was that far warped. My deconversion is a slightly odd story. I used to be into a Military Simulation sport, and had a YouTube channel dedicated to it. This brought me a number of Internet friends who I would join Skype calls with on Summer nights. One of these friends, from Canada, was