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Showing posts from February, 2015

Activist Publishes Book of Hate Mail from Bible Believing Christians, Bible Believers Respond By—You Guessed It

By Valerie Tarico ~ When devout fundamentalist Christians find their evangelism thwarted, all hell can break loose—along with some surprisingly nasty language. B onnie Weinstein is married to Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( MRFF ), which brings a special set of challenges to their relationship. The mission of MRFF is “to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.” Some people don’t like that. They don’t like it because ensuring religious freedom in the military means among other things that: No religion or religious philosophy may be advanced by the United States Armed Forces over any other religion or religious philosophy. No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or r

10 Reasons Popular Versions of Christian Heaven Would Actually be Hell

By Valerie Tarico ~ Maybe descriptions of Hell are so horrific to keep people from thinking about how hellish popular versions of the Christian Heaven would be—even without Pat Robertson in the mix. M ost Westerners are at least vaguely familiar with the popular Christian version of Heaven: pearly gates, streets of gold, winged angels and the Righteous, with their bodies made perfect and immortal, singing the praises of God forever. What’s surprising is how few people have actually thought about what a nightmare this kind of existence would be. Let me start by laying out a bit more detail about Heaven itself. Popular Christian Descriptions of Heaven Derive from the Bible Our familiar images of Heaven come from texts written in the first and second centuries and incorporated by Catholic councils into what we now call the New Testament. The Hebrew writers of the Torah alluded to an afterlife much like the Hades of the Greeks and Romans—a hazy underworld in which the souls of t

Fleece Alert ! !

By summerbreeze ~ T his is a heads-up on a scam. I hadn't planned on posting an article so close to my last one, but something happened to us about 2 weeks ago that I thought I should share, as a kind of warning. My husband ( Mike ) had received a call from two guys with very thick Indian accents ( New Delhi Indian, not Native American ) who said they were from 'Windows' and wanted to help 'clear up' issues with our computer . They each took turns speaking with Mike. He thought that they were legit because we had been having a few minor problems. They had him do several things with the computer, then said that our anti-virus protection was not sufficient and we needed to up-grade it with their plan. They explained the different programs and the costs. Mike was very suspicious and said he'd get back with them after he searched other options. They got mad, real mad. They said that they'd shut down our computer if Mike didn't accept the

What the Hell? Christians Trying to Revise the Word of Jesus

By Carolyn Hyppolite ~ I n the venerable tradition of making crap up as you go along, Christians have been trying to allegorize and sanitize the embarrassing fact that their loving God is planning to roast most of his creation in perpetuity. Unfortunately for them, we can read. When I ask, how am I supposed to enjoy Heaven knowing that most of my fellow human beings are locked in a torture chamber, mostly for misdemeanors, I am told that Hell is no such thing. It is in fact a place of separation from God, or a place of darkness, or just eternal annihilation. None of these description of Hades can be justified by the Christian’s primary text—the Bible. Nothing remotely close to “eternal separation from God” is ever mentioned in the New Testament. Darkness might be the very place one might expect to find God since he has been known to speak in it (Deuteronomy 5:22), make it is his canopy (2 Samuel 22:12), and to dwell in it (1 Kings 8:12). There is some Biblical warrant for the

Why Male?

By Carl S ~ T he Day after the terrorist attacks in Paris, a spokesman for Islamic Americans said that Islam is “a religion of tolerance.” These words were spoken by someone who chooses to ignore the fact that, after an Islamic extremist attack, the perpetrators shout out, “God is great!” (Where did they learn that phrase from? Oh yes, at least five times a day, every day, from the time they are children.) The following morning, in Saudi Arabia , a blogger was flogged 50 times for degrading Islam. That same evening, Al-Jazeera America did a feature about a male singer-songwriter in Iran who was about to depart the country and had his visa revoked. “Tolerance?” In protest, several women got on the internet or Facebook or whatever, and in a group, and individually, sang one of his songs. Wonderful! Thousands of hits. But there's a problem with this: you see, in Iran, it's against the law for a woman to sing. It's based on the fear that a woman's voice will lead

Craig Hicks forces me to write my first Atheist Apologetics Blog

By David Kirk ~ T his week atheist Craig Hicks killed three Muslim students which has forced me as an atheist to write my first atheist apologetic blog. If you do not know what the term "apologetic" means or what an apologist is in cases of religion , an apologist is defined as "A person who argues in defense or justification of something, such as a doctrine, policy, or institution." Thankfully atheism is not a doctrine, policy, or institution. The End. David Kirk is a former Christian and recently launched , a website dedicated to helping other former believers who are in the process of "coming out."

Joy Unspeakable, Part 6: Jesus Freak in Neverland

By undercover agnostic ~ M y added zeal for the Lord, prompted by rapture-mania, manifested itself in peculiar ways, especially at the High School, a.k.a. my “harvest field” where I was commanded to fulfill the great commission. So, what do you call a kid who wears “Jesus” paraphernalia to school, attends a weekly Bible study during lunch, stuffs gospel tracts in lockers and coat pockets, owns no secular albums, and has a Gideon New Testament peeking out of her backpack? Take your pick: weirdo, nerd, fruitcake, Jesus Freak-- that was me. I was the clumsy misfit whom the jocks and cheerleaders mocked and patronized. Even Mr. Osmond, my Social Studies teacher, would roll his eyes in mild disgust when reading aloud, my fake Coca cola button, “JESUS CHRIST He’s the real thing,” or the sticker on my binder that said, “My God is not dead. Sorry about yours.” I took to heart the message I had heard repeatedly at church, “If you’re ashamed of God, He will be ashamed of you.” Lord knows

Religion’s Dirty Dozen—12 Really Bad Religious Ideas That Have Made the World Worse

By Valerie Tarico ~ S ome of humanity’s technological innovations are things we would have been better off without: the medieval rack, the atomic bomb and powdered lead potions come to mind. Religions tend to develop ideas or concepts rather than technologies, but like every other creative human enterprise, they produce some really bad ones along with the good. My website, Wisdom Commons , highlights some of humanity’s best moral and spiritual concepts, ideas like the Golden Rule, and values like compassion, generosity and courage that make up our shared moral core. Here, by way of contrast, are some of the worst. These twelve dubious concepts promote conflict, cruelty, suffering and death rather than love and peace. To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, they belong in the dustbin of history just as soon as we can get them there. 1. Chosen People –The term “Chosen People” typically refers to the Hebrew Bible and the ugly idea that God has given certain tribes a Promised Land (even

Duality of Consciousness

By BlackFreethought ~ I have many facets to my identity. Here are just a few: Blerd, Afrogeek, Blatheist, or if you prefer, Black Nerd, Black Geek, Black Atheist. I am a non-conforming individual fighting against the religious status quo . At least that's what I would like to think. The reality has much more complexity than it would seem. I love comic books and the ideas about secret identities and alter egos. I especially like the X-Men . With it's thinly veiled allegory about being "the other" and the challenges that come with it, allow me to insert my experiences into the stories. The "other", referred to in the X-Men by the term mutants, have abilities, powers, and skills that set them apart from everyone else. These folks were born with their powers. Some mutants look very different from normal humans and have a difficult time with acceptance due to their appearance. Other mutants look like normal humans and can fit in as long as no one disc

Silence and the Stage

By Ronna Russell ~ P reacher Dad decided he needed to be around more. My mom had been a good mother in our early childhood but it was time for him to take over. Her usefulness as a parent had been served and she could step aside, he told her. Thanks, honey. Mom wept a lot. So he took a job as the vice-president of Jackson College of Ministries in Jackson, MS . This small church college was owned and operated by the local UPC pastor, Brother Thomas Craft . If you have ever seen the movie The Apostle with Robert Duval , that’s the man. If Mr. Duval did not study Brother Craft with a microscope in preparation for that movie, I will eat my hat and yours. We arrived in the Deep South on a pedestal. Big announcements were made, public introductions, etc.; PD went to work and I went to fourth grade. Socializing at school was not allowed. All other kids were sinners from sinner families and had to be kept at arms’ length. I was, however, allowed to witness to them or invite t