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Showing posts from September, 2016

Adventures With the Cap

By Carl S ~ A bit of background: First of all, the experiences I report take place for the most part in my own state. My wife and I are retired, but we gave up far traveling some time ago. (However, as the license plates every summer here will attest, the other states come to us.) Secondly, I'm not a confrontational person, but I haven't shied away from protesting injustices done to my fellow humans. Thirdly, I admire Rosa Parks. It all began years ago, with the purchase of an "out of the closet atheist" cap from FFRF. I wore it occasionally, but only when my wife (she's a Christian) was not with me. I got into the habit of wearing it on Sunday morning meet-ups with another atheist friend while my wife attended church. My friend didn't feel comfortable with my "advertising." Neither did I. Then, one summer day, while my wife was in the hospital recovering, she suggested I go to some of the local yard sales. I strode into one of them, and the

Why Anyone Would Want to Believe

By Carl S ~ "All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few." - Stendahl. T here's an old saying, "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." Fear, in the real world, is a reactive proven means of survival. In that case, it's wise to listen to fears. Fear can be warning to prepare oneself for fight or flight; it can teach the lesson that some fears can be unfounded, but it's best not to take chances when survival is important. But fear of a god? First, you have to know someone who can confirm personally that the god exists. That person, and preferably others as well, will agree about why you should fear the god. These people, who claim to have access to the god can't even explain why they fear some situations. They can't remember the sources of their recent fears; they don't recall whether these were reported on Fox News, CNN, or stemmed from something they saw on the net. Nevertheless, they are absol

Bye bye Bing Bong

By Spludge ~ S o I was bawling a couple minutes ago. I've come across posts from angry ex Christians who say you might as well be praying to a pink elephant instead of God. Bing Bong from Disney Pixar's Inside Out is the pink elephant. Bing Bong and I had an amazing relationship for about nine years. I called him by three names, Holy Spirit, God or Jesus. At the beginning Bing Bong made perfect sense, he came through and manifested in certain ways during parts of my life which made his perpetually invisible existence so believably tangible. We were close as thieves. Having so many other people believe in him helped too. Then I started full time work, had problems, grew up, moved out, grew up again, had more problems, went through some more hardship and existential angst, then grew up again. With every blow Bing Bong's tangibility weakened just a little bit more. I tried to revive him and hold on of course, but then something started to change. Bing Bong began acti

Gaining the A

By Tangible Word ~ I n the cacophony of voices already ringing out, I suppose it would do no harm to add my own. While I’m tempted to write a polemic against Christianity, this isn’t the place, nor the time for such antics. Though to be sure, that might end up happening anyways. Instead, this is my story of leaving the Christian faith and some of my reasons for doing so. Not that I’ll be completely able to keep my lips shut on some of the absurdities of Christianity. Grab something to drink, something to eat, and if you’re in for the long haul, then I strongly suggest at least getting comfortable. For while this story may be brief, I cannot say the same for its re-telling. The year is 2013. I’m on the cusp of graduating from grade school. Though I should say that this isn’t any normal Canadian grade school. No, this is a private Christian school, which contains all the grades from Kindergarten to grade 12. I’ll stay away from any naming and shaming, and instead call this scho

I Kissed “Kissing Dating Goodbye” Good Bye

By Steve Dustcircle ~ I grew up fundamentalist, but strayed for a few years in my teens to seek out gangs, sex and art. After a couple of years, I returned to the Church but dabbled in romance and kink on and off. Eventually, I returned to the Church and tried to be good. However, in the Church, “being good” means trying not to have sex but keeping an eye open for a suitable partner. The hunt is always on, and I was constantly having to show my spiritual peacock feathers. I had to flash my mojo more so than other Christian because I had some strikes against me: I wasn't a virgin I didn't have a clean record I was a smoker I liked to drink Not that these are things that most Christians are free of, but if you're not a homely person and you're trying to find an attractive person who has personality and brains, finding that person can be hard if they too are being picky. But in certain religions—as it is in Christianity—once you marry, it is for life. There is

The Fine-Tuning Argument

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ A mong Christian apologists, what is termed “ The Fine-Tuning Argument ” appears to be one of the most popular arguments for the existence of a god. The hypothesis is that there are numerous physical constants and conditions that must be met to very close tolerances before life could arise and be sustained in our universe, so this universe must be the work of a creator god. He may not have been the first to propose this particular counter-argument, but the novelist Douglas Adams penned the following clever insight - one of my favorites: “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller a

How Do You Know Your Missionaries Aren’t Lying?

By Carl S ~ E very month, my wife and another lady from her church work on the church collections and expenditures report from the past month. And every month I hear my wife's end of the conversations over the phone, and they always mention the missionary allowance. Every time, I want to ask a question. This time I gave in to temptation and, after taking a psychological deep breath, asked, "Just what are those missionaries telling people?" My wife replied, "I assume, the teachings of the church." So, by way of giving a reason for my question, I offered an example for it. I mentioned something that happened just last week: We took our car to a local repair shop, where my wife described "the sounds" (she could hear them, not me), coming from the rear brake area. Later on, we were presented with a rundown of problems and expenses to fix them. Their report didn't sound right to me, so I told them we'd wait. We made an appointment for another

My life in cults

By Claire Bear ~ W ell, I will start at the beginning, as it's a good place to start. I was a very deep thinking, shy and painfully insecure child. I remember from a very young age wondering what life was about? Why am I here? My parents were and still are evolutionists. This was hard for me to accept, what there's no point to life we just die and that's it? Surely not? There had to be more. So began my search. When I was 18 I met a lovely Muslim man called Riz, he was the first person I had met who really had a strong religious belief, so I read the Quran, I read it about 5 times. It was very scary, very detailed descriptions of hell, where skin is burnt off and replaced for eternity. I was very frighted by this. I cried when I read at sura 4:34 which says a man could beat his wife if she disobeyed him. None the less there were things that made me believe it, their stance on alcohol as I could see all the trouble it caused, their modesty, I hated how woma

Confession of a Writer and an Atheist

By Ben Love ~ T he thing about writers is that we both love and hate our vulnerability. On the one hand, we have to put ourselves out there, because, well, that is what a writer does. On the other hand, we are terrified of putting ourselves out there, because, well, the world in general just doesn’t care. Most people are so wrapped up in their own lives that they have little time or patience for those who come along and start sharing their innermost secrets. It makes people uncomfortable. And more often than not, the vulnerability of us writers (and all artists, really) gets trodden under the feet of the masses as they run away from our stark honesty. The thing about atheists is that we became atheists for a reason. And that reason was probably the result of intense inner struggles endured over a period of years as we wrestled with the incongruences of our religion. By the time our deconversion was complete and we were planted firmly in the meadow called “atheism” or “disbelief,”

You Can't Please Everyone

By Carl S ~ D on't even try. You have no idea how many testimonies I've read from individuals who worry what will happen if they come out as atheist or simply as not believing anymore. There are the usual references to parents, grandparents, and friends in a church who will be hurt or angry with the decision. "Coming out" is common today. Maybe you remember when all gays were in the closet, but being gay is now acceptable. Celebrities waited until they had a fan base and made their millions before coming out. Most of us don’t have that option. No matter what you decide, someone is bound to be displeased. What about your own unease? Repressing your harmless needs, conscience, intelligence and emotions, is not healthy for you psychologically or physically. You can reach the point of exploding or imploding from the pressure. Then nobody’s happy. Trying to please others can sometimes be a bitch. There will always be some people telling you how to manage your life,