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Showing posts from March, 2016

20 something y/o lost girl

By Tess ~ I f you told me two years ago that how someone that loves God so much can one day lose their faith in Christianity, I would have thought that would be impossible.... 2 years later, today at the age of 22, I am struggling to tell my family and friends that I no longer believe in God. When i think about telling them I worry about losing my best friends who are all Christians , disappointing my parents and losing the love ones around me. For the past year or so I had continued to go to church and small groups just to see my friends and pretend that I am a great Christian though in my mind bible studies, praying and worship means nothing to me. It has been a long time of pretending and I know that eventually I need to tell the truth. It's painful to think about the outcome and every time I think of telling them I cry. So instead I have avoid it. It all started at the age of 19 when I went through some difficult times at university, stress and anxiety. I started making l

I Swear

By Carl S ~ H ave you thought of removing the words, "so help me, God" in ending the oath witnesses and defendants take after swearing to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" What would happen? One veteran court recorder remarked that, in his experience, "so help me, God," was no deterrent to perjury: people still went on to lie in the witness box. Defendants have been known to say things they know aren't true, sometimes several times at a hearing. You would think it would be quite the opposite, judging by the gravity of the situations involved. Why isn't this so? Is it that they know their God doesn’t care? But before we consider this question, we might look at oath-taking involving God. One biblical scholar ( John Allegro ?) has said that the 2nd commandment alone, "taking the Lord's name in vain," does not refer to blasphemy. It has to do with using the name of God as one's witness to support lyin

How Do They Dare?

by WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ I n our regular Sunday morning meetings of the “Church of the Angry Apostates,” Carl S. and I have found ourselves repeatedly coming back to an interesting question: how do clergy commit egregious crimes against humanity, if they really believe they are being watched and judged by an all-powerful god? A few examples from the “ Black Collar Crime Blotter ” of the Freethought Today newspaper, published by the Freedom from Religion Foundation , will serve to set the stage. Loan Pop, a Romanian Orthodox priest, was convicted and sentenced for sexual assaults on 8 young adult women between 1999 and 2013. One woman testified that she was molested after seeking help from Pop while her husband was in a coma after a car accident. Henry L. McGee, lead pastor at first Baptist Church in Austin, Texas , is accused of committing sexual acts with a girl starting in 2014, when she was 13. The girl told detectives that McGee had sex with her more than 15 time

Christi and Athea

By Tina Rae Collins ~ M y name is Christi. I worship the god Hewhay and have faith in his son Auhsey, my savior. Auhsey loves me and has promised to marry me soon. Since he is royalty, I'll become a princess! Auhsey will bestow upon me amazingly expensive gifts, including a huge mansion. I'll even rule with him over my fellow human beings. What joy that will be! It will especially be nice to have authority over the humans who don't like me (payback time!). My best friend is Athea. Athea was raised by parents who aren't followers of Hewhay and Auhsey, so Athea can't bring herself to believe in a supernatural being who can see her when she's sleeping, knows when she's awake, and knows when she's been bad or good. When Auhsey comes for me, he's going to torture Athea. He says he'll put out both her eyes, break her legs so that she can never walk again, and beat her in the head till she has the mind of a two-year-old and will sit around d

The Godfather and the Judge

By Carl S ~ T here are millions of hucksters selling products promising eternal life to "souls." Christian salesmen are the worst, because they tell people eternal life is granted through the "grace of God," and "grace" means "given free." But it's not, since they keep asking for money to pay for "it." (Some buyers most sincerely believe their products are "to die for.") What they're selling is an escape plan out of death, by saying everyone has a "soul" surviving death. My sister was a buyer. She was what I'd call syncretic Catholic; she lived in poverty, and regularly sent money to those salesmen. She would tell me about heaven, and how Mary would let you in the window of heaven if St. Peter wouldn't let you in through the pearly gates! With religions, it's what their hucksters are not saying that lays at the heart of "soul." They cannot conceive the thought of how brain/mind/pe

This Site for Christian Education

By Carl S ~ S ome explanations an individual will give for believing: "I feel God's presence in my heart." And: "Millions believe as I do." One time, I pointed out how one cleric told me I would enter heaven merely by being a good person, while another cleric said I would not if I didn't accept Jesus. The believer said, “Well, that's his opinion." Some people, rather than talk about the existence of their god or the supernatural when you give a reason why they don't exist, will avoid discussing these things, by saying, “Well, that's your opinion." Everyone has feelings, beliefs, and opinions. Feelings, beliefs, and opinions are neither good nor bad, virtuous nor evil. You're real, you can't help having feelings. You may feel lust in your heart for a woman or a man, or feel, "I could kill him for that," or you'll fluctuate between feelings of embracing or punching someone. Feelings vary constantly and change.

Does God speak through scripture? Yes and no

By John Draper ~ A ll religions have scripture, the word of God funneled through specific men. Which, when you think about it, it’s an admission that God  doesn’t  speak to the mass of us. That is, we yearn and yearn to hear what God wants from us—but He’s silent and invisible. He says nothing. So, desperate, we cast about for someone human to give us revelation—an Oracle. Consider the early Christians. They had no scripture, as such, just stories passed around the campfire about Jesus, which was fine. Really, there was no need for parsing theological niceties. The world was about to end. Just make sure you’re wearing clean underwear. But, as it turns out, the world didn’t end. Jesus didn’t return—which was an embarrassment, frankly. Once they explained this all away, the early Christians set about looking for scripture. They needed the silent God to speak. What they had were letters Paul had written to various churches, letters that are full of contradictions and half-forme

Evangelical Christianity’s Brand Is Used Up

By Valerie Tarico ~ The Evangelical “brand” has gone from being an asset to a liability, and it is helpful to understand the transition in precisely those terms." B ack before 9/11 indelibly linked Islam with terrorism, back before the top association to “Catholic priest” was “pedophile,” most Americans—even nonreligious Americans—thought of religion as benign. I’m not religious myself , people would say, but what’s the harm if it gives someone else a little comfort or pleasure. Back then, people associated Christianity with kindness and said things like, “That’s not very Christian of him,” when a person acted stingy or mean; and nobody except Evangelical Christians knew the difference between Evangelicalism and more open, inquiring forms of Christianity. Those days are over. Islam will be forever tainted by Islamist brutalities, by images of bombings, beheadings, and burkas. The collar and cassock will forever evoke the image of bishops turning their backs while pri

What Were You Doing?

By Carl S ~ F or years, the big question was, "What were you doing on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated ?" Everybody who was asked that question remembered. Detail of The School of Athens by Raphael, 1509, showing Zoroaster (left, with star-studded globe). (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) Later it became, "Do you remember what you were doing the morning of Sep. 11, 2001? I remember, for it was a morning after my wife and I just finished our lovemaking. We got a phone call telling us to "tum on the TV, now." Isn't this how life works? While we made love, others were making war. Every day, birthday parties, marriages, raves, and celebrations of every kind and intensity play out, while thousands, at the same moments suffer and die from preventable wars and diseases. You'd think that if there really was a caring deity constantly observing this picture, said deity would do something to spread around its blessings. But it doesn't, because it isn&#

Was That Sarcasm?

By Carl S ~ A nyone familiar with the TV series " The Big Bang Theory " will recognize this question as coming from its character, Dr. Sheldon Cooper , the genius who has trouble relating with us "common" humans. Whether or not part of his problem is due to his being raised by an evangelical mother explains this, we may never know. But it's possible. List of The Big Bang Theory episodes (season 1)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) The Wizened Sage and I have noticed that ex-Christians have problems whenever I write sarcasm . In fact, he re-titled my recent submission, lest it be misinterpreted as completely serious, because of this problem. I remember when, years ago, I wrote "My personal relationship with God," which threw responders into ga-ga land. This piece was a takeoff on the oft-heard claim of believers that they do have such a personal relationship. I was making the point that, without actually seeing, hearing, touching, etc. a real person


By Tim Weston ~ The following is an excerpt from Tim Weston's book, Heaven, Hell and Hillsong . Chapter 4 – CHERYL’S STORY C heryl Fisk was born into the Revival Centres. Both her parents had been converted in the Melbourne assembly under Pastor Lloyd’s preaching. Neither of Cheryl’s parents could be called smart. In fact, they were both a bit simple. It’s not that they were mentally retarded, but it would be fair to say they were both challenged by the everyday. Before marrying her husband Harold, Cheryl’s mother Mavis had been caught having an affair with one of the high profile elders of the church, James Sweet, a married up-and-coming young pastor in the church. He showed great potential for leadership and most certainly would have made it had that Jezebel Mavis not found her way into his bed. When Pastor Lloyd found out about the affair, he was bitterly disappointed in Mavis, but even more so in Sweet. He removed him from leadership and Sweet was never quite the