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Showing posts from June, 2015

An (Unbiased) Examination of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Vol. 3)

By Ben Love ~ At this point, all that remains is to examine the New Testament itself to see if that can shed any light on our pursuit. But before we delve too deeply into the possibilities of the New Testament, there is a relevant matter we must address. We have to ask if the various books that comprise the New Testament were written for the purpose of serving as historical documents (and this means we must also ask what constitutes an historical document and what the purpose of an historical document is). English: Icon of saint womens who went to Tomb of Christ Русский: Жены-мироносицы у гроба Господня (Икона праздничного чина, Вологда) (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) L et’s ask the general question first.  What is an historical document?  Basically, it is any kind of textual record of information about a person, place, or event. This can mean written accounts, letters, engravings, inscriptions, legal drafts, medical records, contracts, and, pertaining to more recent history, newspa

Marriage Equality

By Ronna Russell ~ W hile most folks are breathing a sigh of relief at the better-late-than-never decision of SCOTUS regarding marriage equality , the reaction of some reminds me with the force of a punch in the gut of what it really means to be fundamentalist christian. I am reminded why I fled so many years ago, to escape the suffocating judgement and infuriating self-righteousness. It is impossible for me to comprehend the mental gymnastics required to put oneself in a position of authority over other humans simply because one has swallowed a “belief” about who they are. There is a lot of talk about god’s wrath and judgement day , akin to a mother telling a misbehaving child “just wait until your father gets home.” Covert fundamentalists aren’t much better, with their judgement–lite attitude of love the sinner, hate the sin. It is still a position of false superiority; willful ignorance of what it means to be gay. If you are not gay, you do not understand and have no right

My Path To Atheism : Annie Besant

Sent in by dealdoctor ~  F or those who wish a convenient online way to hear excellent detailed arguments against Christianity, its doctrines and its "Bible God" here is a link to   Annie Besant 's magnificent book  My Path To Atheism     Annie BESANT (1847 - 1933) Annie Besant in 1885.  Annie Besant was a British social reformer, and radical free thinker of the late 19th century. She married a clergyman but her increasingly anti-religious views led to a legal separation in 1873. Besant became a member of the National Secular Society which preached 'free thought' and also of the Fabian Society , the noted socialist organisation. In the 1870's Besant and Charles Bradlaugh edited the weekly National Reformer , which advocated advanced ideas for the time on topics such as trade unions, national education, women's right to vote and birth control. In 1877 Besant published 'My Path to Atheism' which surgically dissects the basic tenets of c

God Empties Hell

By Carl S ~ T his morning, by divine decree and without explanation or apology, God announced that he has emptied Hell. “It's time has been long overdue,” he said. “Enough is enough. Tell NASA and the ESA to keep their telescopes focused on Venus. They'll notice that the planet is cooling rapidly. And by the way, to anybody who was paying attention, this announcement should not be surprising: After all, nearly 2600 years ago, my prophet Zarathustra told everyone that Hell wouldn't last forever.” Spectators remarked that CNN should have been there, as they were for the fall of the Berlin wall, with cameras recording this joyful event of millions leaving, destined for Purgatory or Heaven. “There’s plenty of room in Heaven,” said God. “I have many mansions here, but not for these people. Mansions or not, welcome!” And contrary to opinion, atheists and agnostics have always been in Heaven. “I have to be realistic; If I was a human being, I wouldn't accept the exist

Where’s the Evidence?

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ R ecently I discovered a Christian blog, titled WinteryKnight , that raised a very interesting question. The title of the essay is, “ Why doesn’t God give us more evidence that he exists? ” As the author explains, this is a common argument raised by atheists. So far, we can all agree with him. The author writes, “To defeat the argument we need to find a possible explanation of why God would want to remain hidden when our eternal destination depends on our knowledge of his existence. What reason could God have for remaining hidden?’ Now that’s a damned good question. The author then claims to have found the answer in a paper by “a brilliant professor of philosophy at Franklin & Marshall College” Dr. Michael Murray. This is the Murray paper, “Coercion and the Hiddenness of God“, American Philosophical Quarterly , Vol 30, 1993. I hope WinteryKnight wasn’t basing his judgment of “brilliant” strictly on the basis of this paper. If he was, then he’s

Why Conservative Christians Feel Threatened by Consent, Queers, Contraceptives, and Child Protection

By Valerie Tarico ~ The conservative Christian obsession with sex and procreation can be traced back to a single Iron Age gender script. S tories of patriarchal Christian leaders groping, fondling, masturbating on or otherwise harassing or assaulting women—and having clandestine sex with men--seem to be a media staple of late. At the same time, conservative Christian leaders are fixated on lording it over women, queers, and kids . Consider the following sample from Spring 2015: The Vatican’s second in command pronounces Ireland’s 62% endorsement of marriage equality via national referendum a “defeat for humanity.” Catholic priest and blogger Father Dwight Longenecker proclaims that transgender former Olympian, Caitlin Jenner, is a “man dressed up as a whore” who is “caught up in a huge publicity machine to sell himself and now to sell his sexual confusion.” The Seattle Archdiocese agrees to pay $1.2 million to a woman abused for five years by a priest who was a known pedop

Churches Get Creepy Facial Recognition Software To Track Members

By Valerie Tarico ~ I f selling afterlife perks is your business, then getting people to believe, attend and give “voluntarily” is the whole game. Churches just got a new way to figure out who is sleeping in on Sunday morning: facial recognition software. Churchix is a product of Skakash LLC, which sells Face-Six for law enforcement, border control, and commercial applications. According to CEO Moshe Greenshpan, 30 churches have already deployed the new software and service, which could be used to target members who need a nudge or to identify potential major donors among those who show up faithfully. Make Disciples of Every Creature Evangelical churches often center their theology on a New Testament verse called the Great Commission : Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel every creature . They do so with good reason. Almost 40 years ago, with the publication of Richard Dawkins’s book The Selfish Gene , the broad public realized that ideas can be viral self-replicat

What was wrong with me?

By Rick ~ I grew up in the church and never thought much about believing or not. It was just a part of the social structure of my family. When I was in my teens the youth of our church went to a summer camp for a week. One night in our room, there were six of us, one of the staff came in and we began discussing our faith in Christ. At the end of the discussion he led us in prayer then asked us if we had felt the presence of God in our soul. Then proceeded to go around the room and ask each of us did we know God and trust in his faith. It just happened that I was the last one he asked. Every one of the other guys said that they felt the presence of God.I became very upset and almost began to cry but could not do that in front of the other guys. I must have been 14-15, don't know why, but I just could not lie about my faith. I said no, that I had not felt anything happen. I very clearly remember this event as a very important decision in my early life. Let's jump forw

The Struggle Continues

By Klym ~ I posted an article recently stating my intention to "come out" as a nonbeliever on my 60th birthday . I also talked about my pending retirement from 37 years as an educator--teacher/school counselor/mental health professional. I was both excited and anxious at the same time about the many significant life events happening in a short span of time. I'm happy to report that turning 60 was wonderful---no problem there. I officially retired yesterday and I welcomed it and happily embraced this new chapter of my life. I surprisingly felt no anxiety at all---only relief that I can finally REST and do whatever my heart desires for whatever time I have left on this planet. But, coming out as a non-believer?? I just haven't found the courage to do that yet. Let me explain. A week ago, my husband and I made the extremely difficult decision to euthanize one of our pets. I'll call this pet Buddy. I have always been a dog person---I have always owned a dog e

The Voyage of Discovery

By Carl S ~ T he Lewis and Clark expedition initiated by Thomas Jefferson was known as "The Voyage of Discovery." Its members, he said, had "undaunted courage." Last week, I told my wife, a Lewis and Clark fan, that I have undaunted courage. Since she sat in my peripheral vision at the time, I don't know whether she looked skyward after I said that, but she didn't contradict me. She has spent many an hour, as I write for this site, listening to my keyboard in the background while watching TV. She knows that I wear my "atheist" cap when I'm in public with her. I even wear it when I need to go through the entrance hall of her church in order to use the men's room. When there, I don't speak until spoken to first. It's awkward being the only free person in a building. Last Sunday, a member we've known for years implied I should NOT be standing outside wearing my cap when church members were leaving. To which I replied, &q