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Showing posts from August, 2015

The Missionaries

By Carl S ~ T wo Assembly of God missionaries , John and Theresa Foud, came to investigate and convert one of the many tribes previously exposed to Western cultures, so that most of its members could communicate with them. There was a suspicion in their denomination of a new religion among these tribes which was “spreading like wildfire." The following are excerpts from writings they recorded during their encounters. "We began by greeting the villagers with our salutations of the Good News in Christ Jesus." They shrugged and said, "Maybe you mean Jesus. He's lived and taught among us, and he did warn us about missionaries. False prophets, he called you. He told us never to leave you alone with our children. He said you would frighten them by your words, and that some of you in secret harmed them so that they became not our same children anymore. He said that you would take our gods away, and make your god our ruler, but we must never let that happen. OUR

How can anyone LOVE a HATEful God?

By Klym ~ "I have no right to judge anyone. It's God's place to judge." T his statement was made by my best girlfriend, who I will call Friend 1, to me and another friend (Friend 2) during a conversation about religion. We were on our annual summer chick trip and were having a delicious lunch at a restaurant just outside of Austin, Texas . This conversation started when Friend 2 stated tearfully that she didn't think she was good enough for god. Now, let me say that her statement completely and totally broke my heart in two because I could so relate and because this friend is the most gracious, kind, and loving person you can imagine. She has overcome tremendous and unfair odds in her life to become a wonderful educator, friend, mother, grandmother, and mentor to many young people who adore her. To think that someone as fabulous as her feels inadequate because of Bible God made me angry and overwhelmingly sad. Both my friends know that I am a non-believe

Backsliding toward belief?

By Sam ~ I recently (toward the beginning of this year) gave up the faith I had been raised in and which I had tried fervently to practice as a young adult, after a sort of mental breakdown in which I suddenly decided that the God I had been praying to and trusting was just an imaginary friend, and all the guilt I had been wallowing in was unnecessary. Prior to this point, I had been obsessed with getting victory over "sin" in my life. Filled with despair and hopelessness at times, I was constantly living in fear about being out of control and being judged by society and by God. There is more, but I will spare you the sordid details of what my "faith" almost drove me to do. Since turning my back on the "God" I had previously tried to know and to please, and since embracing that part of myself I had been repressing for so long, I feel as if things have changed for the better. I am no longer wracked with guilt and fear, and there is no longer the o

Addressing the Arguments for God

By Ben Love ~ Intend to demonstrate here why the theists’ usual arguments in favor of a God fall logically flat… THE ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN This argument states that because the Universe (the physical realm) exists and shows signs of intelligent design, there must, of course, be an intelligent designer (a supernatural deity), and this person we call “God”. My response:  Prehistoric man could not explain earthquakes because he didn’t have the geological information on why the Earth might possibly quake. So he inserted the best answer he could find: there must be some sort of invisible being making the Earth shake, and if this being is powerful enough to do that, this being  must  be a type of God. But he was wrong. There was no invisible being making the Earth quake . There was a scientific explanation to which prehistoric man did not have access. Similarly, when we look at the intricacies of the physical world and conclude that we have no way of adequately explaining their


By Prufesso' ~ M y dear comrades in difficult it is to leave one's faith, especially if you have been in ministry. Not only do you have to deal with your own doubts and questions, but you have others who depend on you -- including your family. Very hard. Over the last three years I have slowly moved away from the faith and I am now almost to the end of that move, but there are still vestiges of it, that, from time to time, hit me sideways and get me hooked once again, although briefly. What amazes me, however, is the same attitude found among the funnymentalists we are leaving to be found among those who have already deconverted. A word of warning: let's extend to everybody the same amount of understanding we wanted to have extended toward us. I received an email from somebody who read my story here, congratulating me on my courage. When I replied, during one of my return to the faith moments, that I had returned to the faith, he belittled me, go

Atheist Perspectives, Volume 6

By Ben Love ~ Y ou want to believe in God. You really do. Sometimes you get…lonely. Even when you’re surrounded by a room full of friends. Even when you spooning your wife at night, basking in the love you share. You still get lonely. Why is that? Isn’t it because something inside of you longs for more? Isn’t it because something inside of you yearns for eternity? Isn’t it because there are needs within you that even your loved ones can’t seem to fill? Your Christian friends call this yearning a “God-shaped hole.” You, on the other hand, simply call it par for the course on the human journey. After all, to be a human, as the Buddhists have said, as Nietzsche said, is to  suffer.  It’s not easy to be flesh and blood in a world that is cold and indifferent. We get dirty. We get hurt. We get discouraged. Sometimes we end up sitting on the side of the road with no energy to take another step. In these moments, we feel the ache. The Christians say this ache is a stepping-stone t

How Can They Live With Themselves?

By Carl S ~ T here's an old story about a peasant who goes to a very, very, wealthy widow's estate. Admitted into her presence, he pleads, "My wife is very ill, my children are starving, and I have lost my employment. I am at the point where I'm considering suicide." The Woman looks at him and says, "Wait one minute." Then she calls for her butler and says, "Get that man out of here. He's breaking my heart." Like all good jokes, there's an irony behind it. We understand the peasant and the attitude of the rich. From my experience, this attitude also applies not only to the wealthy, but to the Christian Right, and upper middle class Christians as well. None of them want to be bothered with dealing with the poor. You have to ask: How can they be sending their money to Focus on the Family , Priests for Life , to televangelists and the bubble-headed evangelicals they've elected to Congress, and ignore those unnecessarily starving

Basement Epiphany

By Tina Rae Collins ~ T his past Saturday night my son Seth had a going-away party for himself with some of his friends. (In a couple of weeks he's going to Wuhan, China , to teach at the university that employs his cousin Jamey.) I went down into the basement occasionally to get some cider and a snack (especially the yummy ham and cream cheese rolls a guy named Chris brought). I was watching " Hot Pursuit " in my room when Seth came and said his friends wanted me to join them for a game of Crimes Against Humanity. Several men and women, mostly heterosexuals but at least two gays--in their twenties, thirties, and forties--filled the basement, and everybody seemed to be having a good time. I got a little high, so after a time I began to wax philosophical. I looked around at the partying group with a critical eye. I thought about how, over the course of the evening, I had heard "bad words" and "inappropriate" conversation; and I had also, horror of

Atheist Perspectives, Volume 5

By Ben Love ~ Y ou want to believe in God. You really do. Death is, after all, somewhat frightening. It’s disheartening to think that everything you are and think and feel and know will cease at death, that there is no afterlife , no  beyond.  If there was a God, the afterlife is automatically implied, and that is a nice thought. Something deep inside you longs to know that you will last for eternity, that the “here and now” matters and will echo on in infinity. But, as nice as that sounds and feels, your logic tells you that consciousness requires a physical brain, and there is no physical brain after death. Still, you’d love to believe. But this is not to say that your life doesn’t have meaning on its own. It does. Your Christian friends are somewhat doubtful about that, and they ask you repeatedly how in the world you could possibly have meaning in life without a belief in God to instill that meaning. You reply by paraphrasing Richard Dawkins , that it’s foolish and childish