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Showing posts from September, 2015

I'm Afraid

By Lisbeth ~

My deconversion began last month, when I realized half of my anxiety and stress was due to the very religion that had promised me peace. I took a few weeks' break from it and then when I realized the freedom I felt, I began to doubt God's existence. He didn't try to reconvert me. All I heard from the bible was the same old stuff I'd been hearing since I was four. My mom tried to tell me that every good thing that happened to me was him telling me he loved me, but I could t help feeling it was pure chance.

The real journey started this month.

I was reading the comments on Jessa Duggar's Instagram page, a guilty pleasure of mine; I find internet arguments to be very amusing. The comments often degrade into debates about spirituality and religion. A few things that I read disturbed me.

Firstly, I began to realize that most of the Christians arguing with non believers were far more closed-minded than the atheists and agnostics. Secondly, I also realized…

Hoarding Faith

By Carl S ~

If you channel surf, chances are likely you'll come across a program on TLC called "Buried Alive: Hoarders." Don't watch it if you don't want to be emotionally troubled. Hoarders experience trauma at the very thought of having to separate themselves from their collections. The reasons for discarding years of accumulation are many. Their health is at stake because, for the most part, they live in filth. Sometimes their safety is compromised when their possessions are piled so high, so far, so wide and dense that they could not possibly safely make it to an exit door in case of fire inside their residences.

The hoarders' children become so disturbed by these things that they sometimes threaten to stop seeing them in the future. And they make this clear to them. Despite this, so entrenched are the hoarders that they become torn between losing connections with their real children or losing their "family of children,” meaning, their piles of most…

"That's Me in the Corner...

By Chelles ~

...that's me in the spotlight, losing my religion."

My story is not unlike many others here. I was not raised in a particularly Christian home. My mom had her wedding Bible on her nightstand and we recited the same, repetitious "God is great, God is good" blessing before each dinner, but we were not church goers. My life changed when, at the age of 13, my parents decided that I was heading down the wrong path and forced me to attend youth meetings at the local First Southern Baptist Convention Church of Somewhere. About three weeks in I met a boy who informed me he could not date a girl who was not a Christian. The following Sunday I had a miraculous "salvation experience". At this time my parents did not attend church. My mother came first to offer me moral support. Then the rest of the family followed suit. Before long we were involved in every aspect of ministry, besides being pastors of the church. You tend to learn things about people you…

UNLOCKING THE CHAINS

By Cecelia ~

I grew up in a time and place where almost everyone was a Christian.

On Sunday mornings, my neighbour would drive a big bus around town to round up happy, eager, little children and bustle them off to Sunday school.

On Saturday nights, my sisters and I would sleep with hair in curlers (ouch!) all ready for the best day of the week; Sunday school in the morning, roast lamb for dinner followed by fish and chips for tea.

My father was a lay preacher who would practice his sermons out loud to anyone who would listen, even our cat. Puss had heard so many sermons that even she was a Christian.

I stopped going to church when I was too old to attend Sunday school.

My absence wasn’t a rejection of God or of Christianity. I still believed but I just wasn’t into it. As an infant, I had been taught to say my prayers at bedtime. I remember, at the age of about five, thanking God for bananas!
(I hate bananas now.) Beyond that, I don't recall ever praying on my own. I knew all o…

Catholic "Pro-life" Group Touts Virtue of Suffering

By Valerie Tarico ~

The American Life League mobilizes devout Catholics against medical options that, to their way of thinking, violate God’s will. If you should drive past a Planned Parenthood and see elderly women fingering rosary beads next to pictures of the Virgin Mary, or young men holding Bibles and praying, American Life League probably had a hand in their presence there. Ironically, ALL also spreads misinformation about birth control, for example via a Pill Kills campaign—which means they feed the line-up of Catholic women waiting for abortion services.

ALL promotes a passive, “let go and let God” approach to the dying process as well as family planning, so with death with dignity approved by the California legislature (and validated across Canada by a Supreme Court ruling), the group is fighting back—by touting the benefits of suffering. “Suffering is a grace-filled opportunity to participate in the passion of Jesus Christ. Euthanasia selfishly steals that opportunity.” So p…

Christian or Atheist? Tell me What it Takes...

By Ben Love ~

“It takes just as much faith to believe there is no God as it takes to believe in the Christian God, maybe even more so.”
This was a statement spoken to me by a Christian man recently. It is an echo of a sentiment I have heard time and time and time again. Believers seem to think this is somehow a winning statement. The truth, as I have demonstrated elsewhere, is that faith, by its very nature, requires the adherent to believe in something for which there is no justifiable evidence (this is even supported in the New Testament’s own definition of “faith” as seen in Hebrews 11:1). Therefore, to refrain from believing in an object due to a lack of evidence reveals an absence of faith, not some inverted version of backward faith. Thus, it requires no faith to be an atheist, because the atheist is refraining from believing in something for which he has no proof.

At this point, the Christian usually replies by saying that the assumption of nothingness is itself a belief, that f…

I finally did it

By Klym ~

The community I grew up in is just 15 miles south down the road from where I now reside. That community is in the North Central Texas area and it is the most backwards thinking, non-progressive place you can imagine. Even for Bible Belt standards, it is astoundingly behind the times. I would say they are stuck, perhaps, in the 1850's?

I grew up attending a hell-fire and brimstone Southern Baptist Church there that still occupies the better part of a huge city block. If you don't attend church there or at the other huge Baptist church in town, you are NOT part of the IN crowd in that community. It's amazing how much difference 15 miles north can make---while the town I live in now is mostly Christian, our mayor is very forward thinking and religiously liberal. When the same-sex marriage law was passed, he supported it out loud and clearly stated that our city clerks would abide by the law.

The mayor of my hometown, on the other hand, stated emphatically in their n…

Holy Lies: Profiling God's Chosen Ones

By Carl S ~

If you were raised in a religious household or institution, you were told that lying is immoral, and that you should always tell the truth. (Ironically, adults who told you these things didn't see the harm in lying to children.) Parents religiously imprint children with the concept of a black-and-white approach to truth and lies. In a real world with so many gray areas (even if the parents don't interpret it that way), such imprinting leaves the child vulnerable to serious manipulations by those who are trusted to be truthful, and unprepared for reality.

There's something else about raising children: Researchers report that, "parents who praise kids by constantly telling them they're special or exceptional, may instill a toxic personality trait: narcissism." They found that parents who heaped unearned praise on their children wound up raising self-centered brats. "Children become more narcissistic when they are put on a pedestal - when they …

Unlearning God

By Ben Love ~

I think the biggest mistake I ever made in life was choosing to believe in a personal God. From this one choice, so many other wrong choices followed. Because I took part in the God delusion, I went through roughly the first third of my life believing a lie, a lie that led me to think there was a benevolent force in the Universe who cared about me, knew me personally, and was involved the minutiae of my daily life. When a person believes such things as these, he is liable to make choices based on those beliefs. Since I now know there is no personal God in existence, I must reflect on my life thus far and realize, with some sadness and regret, that I made the wrong choices for the wrong reasons.
There is also the unfortunate fact that my development as a human being was stunted. Rather than learn to depend upon myself and, in so doing, learn to cultivate my own resourcefulness, I turned instead to an imaginary being in times of hardship or sadness. Based on my beliefs at t…

Papal Decree on Abortion Shows How Religion Hooks People By Inducing then Absolving Guilt

By Valerie Tarico ~

Jon Stewart famously said, “Religion. It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.”

The painful irony of Stewart’s words is obvious to us all. What may be less obvious is the underlying pattern: Offering solutions to problems that religion itself has created is one of the key means by which religion propagates. The Pope’s recent limited-time offer of confession and forgiveness for women who have aborted pregnancies perfectly illustrates this pattern.

The Reality of Women’s Lives

Few women end a pregnancy on a selfish whim. All around us—all around you—are women (or couples) who have chosen to end pregnancies for reasons that are prudent, compassionate, service-oriented, or self-aware. Sometimes the reason is simply, “I can’t do this right now,” or “I don’t want to, and children should be wanted.” Sometimes a woman commits to an education, or to take one step forward out of poverty, or to join the military, or simply to devote her finite energy to th…

Debunking William Lane Craig's "Cosmological Model"

By Ben Love ~

William Lane Craig is one of Christianity’s foremost apologists. Oddly enough, for all of his vehement and vocal devotion to Jesus, Craig is one of the few Christian apologists who not only subscribes to the Big Bang theory but has also publicly spoken about it, much to the ire of his Christian colleagues.

Unlike many of his counterparts, Craig has conceded that the argument from design, which is used to argue in favor of a Creator, solves nothing. By way of a reminder, the argument from design states that since the natural world shows design, there must have been a designer. The problem, which many apologists deny but which Craig, to his credit, has attempted to grapple with, is that the designer also shows design. Thus, the designer needs a designer, and that designer needs a designer, and so on. To state this in another way, we could observe that all effects require a cause. But if God is the creator of all effects, this makes him the ultimate effect. What was his caus…

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