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Showing posts from November, 2013

My struggle with Sex, Relationships and Spirituality

By M ~ If God created us different, why are we all expected to be the same? T here is so much I could write. I could probably spend the rest of my life discussing and sharing about my story of how I became a Christian and my experience in a highly religious household. I call my parents the "Crazy Christians". I became a believer in Jesus Christ when I was two years old. My parents were Missionaries so you could say I was a "Missionary kid/Pastor's kid". We all know the unbelievable pressure and single mindedness that comes from being raised by "Bible Thumpers". I went to church every Sunday/I went to Awanas (Group where you memorize scriptures/intense bible study/sing Christian songs etc). I was home schooled my entire life and I was extremely religious due to my parents being missionaries. I'm pretty sure it doesn't get much more sheltered then that. I also really enjoyed these things when I was really little though. I rem

Confirmation Bias

By Undercover Agnostic ~ I ’m starting to get it — to put my finger on an idea that I couldn’t articulate well before. Through a book called, “ A Manual for Creating Atheists ” by Peter Boghossian, I now have adequate words to describe what I am thinking and feeling. The missing phrase from my vocabulary has been confirmation bias . This explains why and how I was able to stay locked into Christian ideology for over 40 years. As a young child, I was presented with “truth” of who God is and what he requires of us, as defined in scripture. I was taught that this truth must be defended and protected at all costs. So I fenced in these beliefs and settled into my own Christian pasture, tending and nurturing the biblical seeds that had been planted. My goal has always been to uproot any idea, question or doubt that could potentially threaten or undermine my belief in the Bible and its many claims. So, in the arenas of history, science, philosophy, psychology, sexuality, and religion,

A Fall of Flowers

By Glebealyth ~ O ne newspaper called him the “Crystal Methodist” - he is now suspended from his position as a Methodist minister of 40 years’ standing - after having been found to be purchasing crystal meth and cocaine. When he resigned as a City Councillor in Bradford, UK, citing "increasing and competing demands on his time", the leader of the council reportedly paid tribute to his “significant and lasting contribution”. No mention was made of the fact that he had resigned when “inappropriate, adult content” was discovered on the council’s laptop which had been issued to him for work, and which he had taken in to be serviced. He is no longer the Chairman of the Cooperative Bank . One assumes that this man of the cloth, Paul Flowers, who apparently used his work email address for the task of soliciting “rent boys”, is a believing Christian, though it is not something he is currently boasting about. If he is, where did the renewing of the old through the bold of J

Deconverting? Keep it a secret? Or not at all?

By Jimmy Frank ~ I guess the first thing that started to make me question some things was after my mom went on a nervous breakdown that she never recovered from, which was after my youngest brother was born. Mom had me believe that my Dad's side of the family was evil and that she would tell me all these things. Here are some examples: she's an heiress of a sheik's oil fortune, she was a spy that was tortured,  she was being hired by the CIA .  One time, we got a phone call and she yelled at it. She told my grandma that someone wanted to put me and my brothers in chains. (Not to mention the fact that she once accused me of being a homosexual.) They got into a fight. Mom took us three kids to the mall to see Santa (I already know Santa doesn't exist for some time. I'm 19, for crying out loud!) She got arrested right in front of us. Mom went to some counseling and got some treatment for her illness, but she never did get better. Oh, no. She did NOT. Weeks

To Tell or Not to Tell

By Undercover agnostic ~ A s a newly de-converted Christian, I find to be a uniquely comforting and refreshing lifeline. This is the only place I can candidly assume my self-proclaimed title: humanist agnostic. One question that often arises is how to muster the courage to “come out” to family and friends and own whatever label, best describes one’s new identity outside of faith. I’m grappling with the same conundrum. On one hand, what does it matter what thoughts, ideas and beliefs, my brain is generating? I’m still very much the same person my family and friends have come to know and love. I still spend time with my husband and six kids. I continue to enjoy teaching, composing music, cycling and kayaking. I’m active in my neighborhood and community. If I said nothing, my life would carry on the same way it has for decades, and no one would be the wiser. I can talk the Christian talk and walk the Christian walk with ease, as it has been my identity for over

The Clergy. the Gods, and Other Deceivers

By Carl S ~ C lergy are by definition specifically ordained persons of organized religious bodies, past and present, authorized to perform and administer religious rites. Thus: Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopal priests, plus rabbis, ministers, imams, the priests of Baal, Ra, Ahura Mazda , including any and all of the millions of gods. Clergy are practitioners. And, if you're making a connection between clergy and voodoo practitioners and witch doctors here, you're getting the picture. (By the way, did you know that a “mojo” is “a magic charm or spell?” So is a Christian cross. Got your mojo/cross working?) Dictionary definition of “clergy”: The body of people ordained for religious service.” And who “ordains” them? Why, other clergy! What other clergy? Why, the clergy that belongs to any sect which “ordains,” or, in other words, orders them so by decree. So, whatever the religious sect declares is true, is what they are ordained to practice. Unlike certification for other prac

The Costco Bibles

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ T he Costco company apologized recently that in a California store its Bibles were labeled “fiction.” But, c’mon now, what the hell else would you label a book with a talking jackass, a talking snake, a talking bush, an invisible superhero who created everything, a man with superhuman strength because of his long hair, another guy who kills a thousand warriors with the jawbone of an ass, a guy who walks on water, heals the diseased with a shout, walks through walls, feeds 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, and has a cast of characters which includes demons, ghosts, spirits, angels, dragons, and unicorns?! Is Costco telling us we’re supposed to believe this book is non-fiction? Only the most gullible could believe that. Even children know the world doesn’t work like that . . . if they haven’t been indoctrinated. This reminds me of the story I read on this site once about a young atheist mother. Her five year-old daughter had heard abou

On the Edge of Becoming an Ex-Chriatian

By DT ~ I have a twin brother who has been ill for more than 20 years and lately he has developed additional health issues. As a Christian I thought that I could rely on God to heal my him or at least minimize his suffering. After praying faithfully in spite of my growing skepticism and continually seeing no results I began to feel that I had been lied to and that there are no supernatural help for peoples suffering. My brother is near the end of all hope and we have tried to hang on to our faith because that was all we had and still have. I feel that we are alone with no help from doctors or god and the situation is becoming dire. My brother would rather die than continue with the torture that he has been through and still going through at this moment. Faith in a god seem so futile now, and I feel that everything that I was taught to believe is meaningless. I have just made a last appeal to God, if he actually exists, it reveal himself and intervene our hour of extr

Trouble in Christianland?

By Danimal  (aka  Aspieguy)  ~ I was looking for one of my favorite radio stations tonight (92.3 WTTS, Indianapolis ) when I found a Moody Radio station. They were advertising a book. The name escapes me, but it had something to do with god being disappointed in his followers. Intriguing. Apparently, god is disappointed with them for coming to Jesus with unrealistic expectations. They expect things from Jesus that he never promised. Therefore, God grants them, "The grace of disappointment," whatever the hell that is. Christians praying in Goma, DR of Congo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) OK, this is the man who told his followers they could throw mountains into the sea, that he would return very soon, and that his followers would do even greater works than he did. It appears that asking Jesus to heal grandma's gout or clearing my acne is asking entirely too much. I think there is trouble in Christianland. Christians are starting to question why their beloved Jes

The Irony of iRobot

By Slave2six ~ W hen Isaac Asimov began writing about robots , his purpose was to show robots in a positive light as potential helpers of humanity. He loved the idea of intelligent appliances to assist people in their daily lives. His " Three Laws " for robots were an ingenious safeguard against robots becoming a threat to humanity. This cover of I, Robot illustrates the story "Runaround", the first to list all Three Laws of Robotics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) Asimov was motivated by the fact that stories or plays about robots were almost universally doomsday warnings in which robots take over humanity. He wanted to get away from the fear that these stories engendered. Asimov saw the world as a far better place than these other stories depicted and he spent a lifetime telling stories that displayed a love for technology coupled with a love for humanity. But in 2004, Will Smith appeared on the big screen in " I, Robot " telling a story that was

The Answer: Mystery, Myth and Knowing

By Hellspeak ~ " Myth is the dramatization of conscious or unconscious values of a group or individual."~ James Hollis PHD. I have no issue with what we can learn from myth. My issue is with the followers of fundamentalism, those people or groups, whom proselytize, project, and transfer upon us, not just their dogmas, beliefs, and values, but there, Knowing. Mystery defined, solved and simplified. We Know God! Know mystery!, leaving nothing to wonder, to glimpse. It is the lack of an imagination. Mystery is mature, unknowable, transient, forcing you to grow and continually adapt...too evolve. Certainty is grasping, clinging, demanding, childlike, and "stuck". Can the certain not bear to learn to live with the existential angst of not knowing? Nor the anxiety that ultimately follows? Ambiguity, and the learning to live with it, even enjoy it, is the road less travelled. It is not the wide easily chosen path that proclaims "The Answer" of the

An Atheist Heaven

By Carl S ~ S ome months after the Twin Towers fell, l asked a Christian woman, “The 9/11 Islamic martyrs believed that their actions would send them straight to Paradise. What do you think about this?” She said that since they really believed it, then they did go to Paradise. This figures, because that Christian woman believes the same about her Heaven . Believing in it, and the means to achieve it, makes it true; without-blinking-an-eyelash, without-doubt, true. Hamburger Heaven (Photo credit: Dystopos ) Of course, the Hindus and Buddhists have their own versions of an afterlife, so, by the same criteria, theirs must be equally true for them - different versions of what happens after death ; forever after. But, even within the beliefs, there is segregation. Have you noticed the sectarian cemeteries? Catholic, Jewish, Protestant , Orthodox, etc.? Strange. Dead bodies have no religious affiliation. (One commentator noted that a buried body would indicate belief in a bodily r

The Source of Morality

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ O ne of the most common defenses of god belief involves the claim that a god is necessary to explain man’s innate morality. Personally, I think this is just another case of people getting carried away with their feelings and not testing a theory rigorously. We need to ask - what does history tell us about man’s innate morality, and what does the Bible tell us about “god’s morality?” About a year ago, Leah Libresco, an atheist blogger on the Patheos Atheist Portal, announced that she had decided there really was a god and that she was in the process of becoming a Roman Catholic. Now Leah is no dummy; she is a Yale graduate and an obviously smart and articulate writer, so what was at the root of her conversion? If you doubt that she was a committed atheist to begin with, then you are not alone. As this article, by another atheist blogger shows, there are abundant signs that she was already leaning toward god belief and Catholicism when she started

Fearing God is a waste of time

By Roadblock ~ M y mother and grandmother were very religious. We went to Catholic church every Sunday, then over to grandma's for pancakes. It was a lot of fun. One problem I had was an over-active imagination. I constantly thought I was upsetting God and setting myself up for punishment. It was crazy how passionately I prayed every time I thought of a bad thing, or looked at a girl the wrong way. My life was a mess. When I was 15, I woke up on the floor of the bathroom with my dad looking over me and telling me paramedics were on the way. I had had my first epileptic seizure, and the worst was yet to come. As the years went on, my seizures were few and far between, but they were definitely there. My stressful "worship" of God continued, and really did me no good. Finally, when I was 30, something in me changed. My seizures started coming more frequently, and it became obvious that stress was a trigger for them. I still stayed faithful to God, even

How I Figured Out Christianity is Not Real

By Michael Runyan ~ M y path out of Christianity began 30 years ago when I realized that evolution was a fact- that we evolved from very simple organisms that lived 4,000,000,000 years ago. I wondered why a god would use such a long, convoluted process to produce the desired human product, a process that included a 160,000,000 year reign of the dinosaurs and the countless suffering of animals that starved to death or were eaten alive. The way I got out of that conundrum was to suppose that God allowed everything to happen on its own and that only when intelligent beings evolved did he decide to intervene, and that perhaps he did the same on other planets where intelligent life evolved. For a while, I was satisfied with that, but then I started to realize other problems. Modern humans have existed for 100,000 years, so why did God wait 95,000 years before he made contact? And why was that contact made with only a small tribe in the Middle East? The problem was further exacerba