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Showing posts from October, 2013

Searching for the Truth About Homosexuality

By Jazzybelle ~

I grew up something-of-a-Christian. I say something-of-a because my family wasn't necessarily religious. Around the age of nine, I learned about sexuality...via Sims Life Stories.

I can't say what I exactly felt seeing my two female sims have romantic relations, but I had been taught that such an act is wrong and should be hated, so I hated it. I tore them a part and made them male husbands. I ignored the subject until a little later, I learned of something called the internet.

I guess you can say that I was amazed. So many different views and ideals being tossed around. They made me question my religion. Just why would there be so many different religions if God was the one who created everyone? If God says he loves us, why does he also say he hates homosexuals? How come I had to waste two hours of my life every Sunday at church, listening to this sweaty guy on the podium say the same thing fifty times (as if he hasn't made his point across the first five …

The Two-faced Book

By Carl S. ~

Twenty-five years ago, driving to work, I turned on the radio and got a call-in talk program. The subject was “The Bible’s influence on children." The host was reading various texts from that book, and exclaiming after each of them, “I won’t have my children exposed to this!” He was not content with that, however, as he followed each reading and statement with a ripping-out of the page on which the texts were printed. Many listeners were furious, calling in to condemn and berate him to no end. Still, he continued and did not lose his contract. Why should he? No one could deny that what he read was in the book, nor that he should shield his children from such filth and immorality found therein. The objectors focused with indignation on the right of anybody to criticize “the word of God,” no matter what harm might be done to children.

Most believers who praise the Bible as a moral guide haven’t really read, or ignore, most of it. Many go through it highlighting passag…

That Internal Witness

By Michael D. Speir ~

Fandom is basically religion. I’m convinced the same psychological impulses lie beneath both phenomena.

English: Rodrigo y Gabriela performing at Sasquatch 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I’m a huge fan of Rodrigo y Gabriela, the Mexican couple who play guitars like few others on this planet can. In fact, it’s become almost a meme among their admirers that the pair are in fact extraterrestrials, so seemingly preternaturally stunning are their performances. I allow myself to be caught up in this diversion, too, speculating about what star their home world circles and commenting on the skills of the plastic surgeons there, who have almost perfected the art of making squid creatures look like humans. Those fingers, though— They haven’t got the fingers right yet, and maybe it’s better that they don’t.

Have you ever thought about how arrogant the whole idea of genius is? Oh, I’m not talking about the attitude of someone claiming to be a genius. I mean the whole i…

Why Bible Believers Have Such a Hard Time Getting Child Protection Right

By Valerie Tarico ~

Far too often, the news cycle includes a tragic story about a child dying because his or her parents applied religious teachings with too much vigor. The most recent victim, Hana Williams, was adopted from Ethiopia by Evangelical parents who believed that parenting required “breaking her will.” Stories like Hana's provoke rounds of collective soul-searching: How did we miss the signs? What can we do differently to protect children better? But some people find those questions more threatening than the abuse itself.

Mark Meadows is the congressman and Sunday school teacher from North Carolina who rallied the Tea Party to shut down government operations this month. His passion for blocking contraceptive access has been on national display. Less known is the fact that Meadows also leads a fight against rights and protections for children. He is the sponsor of a “parental rights amendment” that has 64 signers in congress.

Or consider Scott Lively, the anti-gay pre…

Genuine miracles or magic tricks? -- a personal experience

By Fabrizio the sailor ~

Genuine miracles or magic tricks?

The answer to the preceding question is often a matter of perspective, as the following story illustrates. My girl-friend Patricia and I had reached India from Italy in 1975, after an adventurous 10,000 km trip overland by camper. During our 6 months’ stay in India, once in the city of Indore, a city in Madya Pradesh, we paid a visit, which turned out to be a 15 days’ stay, to our friend Virendar Sing Babar, a very wealthy person belonging to the Sikh religion. Among his many other activities, he managed one of the family’s four steel factories. His education was remarkable, because, due to his father’s social position and wealth, he had had the privilege of attending a high school, before the university, where only four other students had been admitted: these had been selected because they were potential claimants to the “throne” of the state, while Virendar “ad honorem”.  I have mentioned these details to show that Virenda…

Mr. Meanie

By Carl S. ~

Back in the 1950's, before Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes, there was a cartoon strip called, “Pogo.” It was a sophisticated and sometimes political commentary of the times. During one Christmas season, a strip ran in which one character confronted another with the words, “You told my kid that there’s no Santa Claus. What are you trying to do - destroy a child's faith in his father?”

Last night, I watched “How the Universe works,” while my wife napped. It's the kind of program she would avoid because it's loaded with scientific information, and therefore, is T MI for her mind. To me, just observing what's known about the Universe is awesome. When she awoke, I left the show on ‘til it ended. Maybe I was feeling mean; her religion teaches a deity created and keeps this Universe in order, and clearly the evidence shows this is not true. Facts erode faith.

I just finished reading ex-pastor Jerry DeWitt‘s book, “Hope After Faith”. (Which I recommend to everyone.…

Crossroads (no pun intended)

By Luke ~

"Do you want to go to church today?"

"No. I don't"

"Oh, well... it doesn't take long to lose that fire. Huh?"

But little did my grandmother know, I was already armed to the teeth.

"If you're trying to make me feel guilty it's not working."

I could tell she was speechless.

"I AM trying to make you feel guilty."


I will never forget that conversation on the phone.

It would tear my grandmother apart if I ever told her, but I wish that I would have never had anything to do with the faith.

I was brainwashed very early on. Equally by both my grandmother, who would make sure I went to church, and by the church itself. My first memories were in the church. As such, I was not the same as every other child. I did not do things like read harry potter, or be a problem child, by choice. I did not see myself as a tough kid, nor did I want to be. I wanted to be the nice kid. I wanted to be the Christian. Throughout my childhoo…

Discovering

By Mallory ~

I have spent a major portion of my life in the church. My stepfather is a pastor and ever since I was eight years old my family and i traveled around Australia preaching at several different churches.

I am now 26 years old and married to the love of my life. We met in church and fell in love and about five months into our relationship we had premarital sex. We both felt bad and decided to stop, but it kept happening.But nothing bad ever came from the sex. I didn't get pregnant, or a VD or anything like that. about  one year later he moved in with me and my friends. I was in a leadership position at my church and the church kicked up a big stink. Eventually I stepped down before I could get kicked out of my position.

About three months after I said yes to my love's proposal, he told me he didn't want to be a Christian anymore. People then told me I could not marry him as we were "unequally yoked." I loved my husband and of course I was still going to …

Un-schooled Un-Christian

By unsigned ~

To understand my current situation, I must explain the somewhat paradoxical position of my parents. On one hand they're intelligent (dad got a masters from Princeton), well traveled (mom spent three years In Portugal), care about the environment and raised us in a radical, controversial method known as unschooling which involves learning by exploring your own interests at your own rate. On the other hand, they're fundamentalist Christians who go to church every Sunday, listen to Rush Limbaugh and would have thought it heinous if we so much as dated in high school.

As an unschooled student, the only friends I had throughout my entire childhood were my siblings and these two sisters who were our friends and who went to the same church.

I never questioned Christianity at all until we (my siblings, friends and I) participated in our parents weekly philosophy group and began listening to a history of philosophy. Anyway, these lectures got me interested in thinking abo…

If God Died, How Would We Know?

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~

One of the most famous articles in the history of Time magazine was published on April 8, 1966. The magazine cover, a black background with big red letters which read, “Is God Dead?” was a shocker for many. While the article didn’t actually offer an answer, it did raise a valid question; one which was on the minds of millions – and still is.

April 8, 1966, cover of Time magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As atheists, agnostics, and other non-Christians, perhaps we are not qualified to answer the question of whether god is dead. After all, we spend most of our time ignoring gods. Still, we would like to know, wouldn’t we? So, perhaps one of the Christians who regularly lurk around this site could perform a great service and answer this question for us: If God died, how would we know?

Would there suddenly be thousands of Christian (and other) children in Africa dying every day because god doesn’t provide for them enough to eat?
Would little children around the…

It Is Well ??

By Tania ~

Almost five years ago, I was standing on the side of a highway when a semi-truck came around a curve, its 53-foot trailer fishtailing all over the highway. I yelled at the man standing beside me to run. Another man, who was also standing with us, saw the truck fishtailing, and he ran, too. My car, which had been pulled over on the side of the highway, was totalled. I didn't hear the crash. I didn't see much of the truck that hit my car – the tractor was blue and the trailer was white, but that's all I saw. What I do remember clearly is what I was thinking as I was running to avoid being hit: “Hmm. I didn't think this would be the way I would die.” After realizing that I had survived, my next thoughts were about my parents – how, for their sake, I was grateful to be alive, because I'd heard and read many times that the death of a child is the most difficult type of death to deal with. I had a few more thoughts at that time, of course. One of them was that…

The Sick Biblical Literalism That Puts Children at Risk of Abuse and Even Death

By Valerie Tarico ~

In 2008, Hana Williams was adopted from an orphanage in Ethiopia and brought to the United States where she died at the hands of her Bible-believing American parents. Their notion of Christian discipline required breaking her will, a remarkably common belief among conservative Evangelicals. To that end, they frequently beat her, shut her in a closet, and denied her meals. Ultimately, she was left outside where she died of hypothermia exacerbated by malnutrition. They were convicted of manslaughter this month.



In carrying out their obsession with child obedience, Hana’s adoptive parents drew tips from Tennessee preacher Michael Pearl, whose spare-the-rod-spoil-the-child book, To Train Up a Child, has been found now in three homes of Christian parents who killed their adopted children. The title comes from a stanza in the book of Proverbs: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

M. Dolon Hickmon is the author of an upco…

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