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Showing posts from June, 2014

Good News Club Targets Children for Summer Salvation; One City Fights Back

By Valerie Tarico ~ I n past summers, Child Evangelism Fellowship has targeted children in Boston, Denver, Chicago, Little Rock, Salt Lake City, and the Twin Cities for conversion to their brand of biblical fundamentalism. This summer they chose Portland, Oregon. It may have been a mistake. Some child advocates argue that proselytizing children for religious conversion is immoral. By contrast, Child Evangelism Fellowship boldly proclaims what they see as a God-given mission: Child Evangelism Fellowship® is a Bible-centered worldwide organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living. One of their key tools is an after-school program called the Good News Club, which takes place in public grade schools across the country. Good News Clubs mix snacks, games, art projects and stories with upbeat moral le

Fools Give You Reasons

By Carl S ~ S ometime in life, if you have believing parents, it begins. “God made you to serve him and to be happy with him in heaven.” You're expected to accept this as fact, along with the verifiable facts you learn, such as how to read, use numbers, and make a sandwich. Sometime later, if you're thinking, you realize that your parents actually made you; and if you think further, they didn't actually create “you” because they couldn't know what “you” would be, intentionally or not on their part. In fact, come to think of it, they merely passed on their genes, only re-creating another human. What's the purpose of sex? Does that question even enter your head when you’re diving head-first into it? The fools will preach that the reason is conception; but that's like saying the purpose of eating is to sustain the body. In both cases, ignorance ignores reality in dogmatic assertions. Lovemaking and intimacy aren‘t “entered into” with a goal. We don’t eat stri

It Just Doesn’t Make Sense

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ M any Christian sects believe that, according to the Bible, God will one day destroy the earth at “the end of days.” That just doesn’t make sense. We humans were put on this earth under very difficult conditions, prey to the beasts, infectious microbes, the weather, natural disasters, and our own tendencies to arrange ourselves into often hostile tribes. Ever since, we have worked hard to better the lives of our species through the development of science and social progress. Thanks to our development of science, very few of us are in danger today from beasts like lions, tigers, etc. And, we have developed inoculations to protect us from many diseases like measles, mumps, polio, and many others, we’ve developed numerous antibiotics like penicillin and its allies, and we’ve discovered or developed dozens of pain killers to aid the suffering. We learned that diseases aren’t caused by demons but by microbes, toxins, and genetic flaws. We learned that

Childhood Indoctrination is Serious Brainwashing

By Marlene Winell ~ F rom this graphic, it should be clear that a child in a fundamentalist Christian environment faces a powerful array of factors influencing indoctrination. Many of these techniques are quite deliberate, such as keeping children at home for their schooling to control what they learn and don’t learn.  The primary goal of sincere Christian parents is to pass on their faith, not help their child develop critical thinking to make a fully informed decision about religion.  Christians do not present their offspring with literature on all the religions of the world and make field trips to temples, churches and mosques to help them decide.  Yet in their theology they claim that “accepting Jesus” is a personal choice of free will and only those who reject God’s free gift of salvation will go to hell. The fact that parents go along with churches inducting toddlers into the belief system and programs for preverbal children are readily available only indicates the depth of

Why "Fetal Personhood" is a Dangerous Theological Word Game

By Valerie Tarico ~ W hat does it mean to be a person? For the anti-abortion group, Personhood USA, a “person” is present from the moment a sperm penetrates an egg, and members are fighting to have their definition encoded into law. Online coaching tools for abortion opponents use the term person interchangeably with human or human being . Are they interchangeable? Does it matter? Personhood USA is driven by a mission that dates back to Roe v Wade, when, in the process of legalizing abortion, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun made this comment : “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's [Roe's] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment.” In other words, if an embryo or fetus can be defined legally as a person, then abortion could potentially be classified as murder and a host of other legal rights could accrue to the developing fetus. The set of legal argum

The finger of G-d's destiny that led me to leave christianity

By Ewas ~ Why did I leave born again Christianity ? I ’m a 23-year-old guy from Lithuania who left Christianity 1 month ago. For 3 years I've been a serious christian, walking as hard as I could on the christian path. All of my dreams and goals in this life were related to fulfilling G-d’s plan in my life. I was really serious about that. I spent all of my time (free and not free) for Christianity. I was strongly focused. I was praying in tongues so much in order to build my spirit as strong as possible, reading the bible so much too. I lost all of my friends, I actually disowned them myself and everybody what was on my way. I wasn’t too sad because of that though, because I saw a bright future. I knew I’ll achieve it, cause I was even ready to die for these dreams and for G-d. I saw many kinds of miracles, it was natural for me and I really liked it. If 1 month ago, somebody would tell me that I would leave my faith, I would laugh strongly. I was so strong in my fai

A spiritual awakening... a year after abandoning the church

By Martin Solos ~ L ast weekend I was reminded that it had been approximately nine years since my family started attending church. Being reminded of this also brought to mind the fact that it’s now been a whole year since I stopped regularly attending church. I’ve only been twice in the past year, and an attempt to ease in via a smaller home-group earlier this year lasted only a few weeks. Talking about it face-to-face isn’t something I’m all that comfortable with as I can never guarantee on the neutrality of the other person. If I discussed it with someone within the church, I fear that their primary mission is to get a lasso around my waist and drag me back; but discussing it with someone outside of the church may not work as there wouldn’t be a common frame of reference. At least by articulating everything in the written word, I can have my say before anyone interjects. Firstly, although it’s been a year since I attended church, it didn’t automatically mean I’d lost whatever

I’d be willing to accept the Bible as evidence…

By Still Unsure ~ W henever I’m encouraged to re-consider my departure from Christianity by those that genuinely care about me, I tell them all pretty much the same thing. I’d be willing to accept the Bible alone as evidence for God – if it can be proven to be reliable. I’ve even conceded that I’d settle for just the New Testament being reliable, and we’d forget all about the OT. Most begin with the gospels and state that eye-witness accounts are reliable evidence. Agreed. An eye-witness has some credibility. But just to make sure they haven’t seen a UFO or Bigfoot too, they need to be properly vetted. The problem is; we don’t know for certain who wrote Mathew Mark Luke or John - they are “unknown” authors. If Mark and Luke actually did write their respective gospels…neither one was known as an eye-witness to Jesus’s ministry. Mark was a convert of Peter that worked alongside the Apostle as his interpreter. An eye-witness has some credibility. But just to make sure the

Becoming Free

By James Smith ~ B lame it on my parents. They always told me to "think for yourself”. I doubt they ever considered what would happen if I really did that. Now, I suspect what they meant was, "Think what we tell you but do it in your own words." Too late. When I was 13, I began to question everything and soon the total absurdity of religion became apparent. Because I have been “encouraged” (forced) to read the bible several times, it was easy for me to see the contradictions in the book, what Christians professed to believe, and how they really lived. When I refused to go with them to their church, they said they would "Make me go." I asked them, “How are you going to make me? How will forcing me to attend church change my mind?” Already, their attitude was starting to harden me against everything else about religion they would tell me. Their next idea was to have their minister talk to me. I told them it was a waste of everyone's time.

The Way Home

By thisisnowhere ~ “It’s been a long road from there to here. Don’t get me wrong, I feel I am a long ways off from my destination. I’m the last person to claim that I’ve arrived. All that I know for sure is that I’m not there anymore.” – Erika Rae, Devangelical F rom the moment I first laid ears on “The Way Home,” a gorgeous bonus track on the European release of The Airborne Toxic Event ’s Such Hot Blood , my overriding impression was that of a journey. But it took me months to realize that it was, in fact, my journey. I’ve said before that my connection to The Airborne Toxic Event does not stem from shared experiences. Much of the band’s subject matter is foreign to the life I’ve lived for the past 40 years (give or take 15 months). But that’s not entirely accurate. At the core of the group’s work, and Mikel Jollett’s lyrics in particular, lies the notion of struggle. And though my specific struggles may have come wrapped in different packaging, the fact

Outspoken Anti-Theists and Secular Champions List Bible Verses They Actually Like

By Valerie Tarico ~ A few years back, a cheeky Christian website named Ship Of Fools asked readers to vote on the worst verse in the Bible. The solicitation went out—“It could be a verse which is irredeemably naff, mind-numbingly boring, or a verse which you find offensive or cruel. Please send us your nomination.”—And contenders flowed in. Ship of Fools is the brainchild of two Brits, Simon Jenkens and Stephen Goddard, who met in theology school and who hold among their sacred values a belief in self-examination. "Our aim is to help Christians be self-critical and honest about the failings of Christianity, as we believe honesty can only strengthen faith," says Jenkens. Their list of top 10 worst verses might cause more conservative "Bible-believing" Christians to flinch—or to dive headfirst down a rabbit hole of rationalizations, but at “The Ship” it found a comfortable place nestled between quirky church reviews (“How long was the sermon? How hard the pew?

3 Strikes And You're Out, With God

By summerbreeze ~ I haven't been visiting for quite a while now, and I've missed my almost daily conversations with you all. I feel that I need your help / input on something that has come up in my life. I know that I've talked about my ultra-fundy Brother, Sister-in-law and my two Nieces who live in the buckle of the bible belt . They think that I'm a christian, and the reason for that is because if I come out to them, they will not only disown me, but will disown my Daughters and their families. Over the years, our family has dwindled down to just a very few ( with the deaths of 'the Elders' unfortunately ). it's important to keep the ties with the Tennessee clan going, as much as I hate the religious crap-o-la that goes with it. Long story short, in the last month I've had 3 not-so-great things happen health wise. I want you to know sincerely that I am NOT asking for sympathy or anything like that. Afte