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Showing posts from April, 2017

Can atheist organizations work together?

By Karen Garst ~ W hen my husband and I left religion behind for good, we did not seek out an alternative community. We didn’t explore more liberal churches such as the Unitarian Universalists. We didn’t check out any humanist organizations in the greater Portland, Ore., area. We didn’t inquire if friends knew about any secular communities. We just raised our son without religion…and slept in on Sundays. But many people do seek out like-minded organizations for a variety of reasons. If they have recently left a church community, particularly one that disowned them, they may want to make new friends. Others seek out a community where they might learn more about their newly found non-belief. Some might want to help other people who are seeking to leave the fold as they did. What will they find? When I did some research on what exists in Portland, I found a variety of different organizations—the Humanists of Greater Portland, a local chapter of the Center for Inquiry, a Sunday Assem

A Fall and A Rise from Christianity

By Zephram Harrison ~ "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth." -- Revelations 3:16 (New Revised Standard Version) I was raised Christian. My church was near Indianapolis, Indiana, and was non-denominational. My family was relatively devout. We all volunteered often at the church. My siblings and I were even in the drama team. We acted out skits to help teach lessons to the younger children. I can't remember when I committed my life to Christ. But I can remember a moment, after doing it. I was riding home from a Sunday service in a white pickup truck. I was very young, about seven or eight, and I was very happy. My parents believed in God, and I wanted to be like them. It felt like the right thing to do. The fall started quietly when I was between ten and twelve years old. I began having strong sexual thoughts towards girls. This is lust, a sin in the Christian faith. The Bible is very clear about th

Were we wrong to reject Christianity?

By Frankie Trice ~ H ave you ever pondered the idea that perhaps you were wrong to reject Christianity. We really have to honestly ponder the question if we are to be fair to ourselves and so that we don'tdo the same thing we did in Christianity. I used to be a Christian, but I found out in reading Adult Children of Alcoholics that my role in the alcoholic family will dissociate from the family and go heavily into drugs or religion. I went into religion, joined the end-time cult, and moved 5000 miles away from my family, just like the book said I would do. On discovering that I was typical for the lost person (third son) of an alcoholic family, after being a failure as a Christian (I was gay, so that is an automatic failure, go directly to Hell, do not pass Go and do not collect any salvation at all or forgiveness). I chose to convert to paganism when I reassessed my situation. Paganism accepts people that are gay, it gives an empowerment, and you are accepted auto

Why Has Science Failed to Find God?

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ I t seems to me that god believers should be very concerned that science has failed to find any trace of positive evidence that god exists. Given science’s amazing track record of predicting, discovering, measuring, and describing dozens of invisible things, some with only very tiny effects on our material world, why is there still no tangible, reproducible evidence of the existence of a god, an entity which supposedly created and supports the continued existence of everything else? My claim here is that if there is a god which interacts in any way with our world, science should by now have measured, at least statistically, some effects of that interaction. Somewhere there should be some data that simply cannot be explained by purely natural causes. Yet, while scientists have scoured, tested, and measured the earth and the heavens for thousands of years, they have yet to uncover that data. Of course, this failure of science to find god goes back as

Re-Visiting Church: the Day Before

By Tania ~ I n about 24 hours, I will step foot into the church that I “took a break from” over two years ago. I am going there because it is my aunt and my uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary, and this anniversary will be acknowledged during the service with the presentation of a plaque to the celebrating couple. I am filled with mixed emotions — curiosity, worry, detachment, indifference. On the day that I’d last attended the church, I told myself I would not go back there for a while, except maybe for weddings and funerals. I think this occasion counts as something similar to a wedding, and so I will go. On November 16, 2014, I was visiting my parents and siblings, and I joined them for church. By that point, I’d already been transitioning away from Christianity for over three years, but I wasn’t as far removed from it as I am now. I’d still sometimes go to church on Sundays…and then go to Skeptics in the Pub on Mondays. I spent a lot of time in an online support group for decon

Ex-Christian - But Spiritual

By Carl S ~ W hen people tell you, “I'll pray for you,” aren't they really saying they'll hope for you? (Wizened Sage and I think so, and he suggested a response: “I'll hope for you, too.”) In a terrible bind, in imminent danger or a life-threatening situation, you'll often hear the words, “Let's try this and hope it works,” and when it does work, others say, “Your prayers have been answered.” This got me to thinking: Isn't “God,” like “'prayer,” just another word for “hope?” And, while Christian friends might ask how you can be happy without their god, nobody asks if you're unhappy without their hell. This is written for those who have left behind their indoctrinated beliefs, but still consider themselves “spiritual.” Too often, writers like me assume leaving blind beliefs also means rejecting spiritual ones. And yet I personally know those who are good and virtuous without a god or religion, who say they are “spiritual.” For atheists/material

When the puzzle falls apart

By -Anony-mouse- ~ A s this is my first post, I suppose that an introduction is in order. I grew up being a believer in Christ. I am, also, a very observational person. Often, questions will pop-up into my mind and I will spend hours on Google, searching for an article that poses a similar query. I love to study different subjects from all angles, so as to be sure that I am 100% confident that what I'm speaking of is true. About 5 years ago, my curiosity took me to study archaeological evidence of different Biblical events. I was honestly searching for secular proof of my faith, as all that I had ever known was "evidence" that was taught in the church and within Christian articles. It started with Noah's Ark, then, the Exodus, then, studies of original text dates of the New Testament. That's when my "Jenga puzzle of faith" slowly started to come apart. The problem was that, other than the typical "faith-based" evidence, there was

If Truth Doesn't Matter Anymoref

By Carl S ~ P erhaps you've heard of this case: A woman lost a custody battle for her two children. She killed her ex in revenge. Hers was not an special case. Spouses have been murdered so that their mates will, in their belief, be able to live with their lovers and/or children, happily ever after. In every case, the murderers followed their hearts, not their heads and minds. In virtually every case, they were caught and sentenced to prison. So, they lost the lover, the children, and the family. (In the first example, over custody, the mother would have had at least, visitation rights.) In the pursuit of having it all, they lost it all. The truth is, if they had gone through legal processes, they would have ended up with something rather than nothing. They went with their emotions, their guts, instead. Any human being understands what's happened with these perpetrators. Except for those psychopaths who kill because they feel entitled to fulfill their desires, they'v

The False Reality – Why Christianity requires Ignorance

By Luke ~ Ignorance I gnorance really is bliss. Before I read the bible I only had a vague notion of Christianity and God. After reading the bible, however, I was forced to the conclusion that God is not real. I now understand why religion relies on faith. Faith, by definition, requires ignorance. I came to realize that the people who have the strongest faith are the ones who shield themselves from any information that contradicts what they believe. They create their own reality out of intentional ignorance and pass their opinions on to anyone who will listen. This, in turn, influences the perceived reality of the more trusting and suggestable individuals of our society; our children and I was no exception. False Reality As a child my view of reality was influenced by my dad’s perception of reality which was shaped primarily on his beliefs and opinions. He had the typical Christian view that God created everything and that if you want to live on in heaven after you die, you h

White Women Voters

By Karen Garst ~ A fter the recent selection of Donald Trump as president-elect of the United States, many people have tried to fathom how most of the polls were inaccurate in predicting his victory. Richard Dawkins tweeted that pollsters got it wrong because the people they were talking to simply “were ashamed to admit they were Trump supporters.” Sarah Haider added that “when political correctness takes over—you don’t know how people actually feel.” These statements go a long way to explain how the predictive polls were inaccurate. But more important than the inaccuracy of the polls themselves is an interesting fact revealed by the final election results—52 percent of white women supported Trump, while Clinton received 94 percent of the votes of black women. Who are these white women? Why did they vote the way they did? Are they simply opposed to reproductive rights for women? Unconcerned about family leave? Oblivious to health care programs like the Affordable Care Act? Blind

Free from Divine Purpose

By Black Freethought ~ K nowing that there is no divine purpose for my life gives me a sense of freedom that I have never experienced before. I spent the first part of life looking to the Christian faith to help me discover what my life's purpose could be. After leaving the faith behind, I looked inside and outside myself for a clue of why I was put here on this earth. Then I began to think about this with rationality while avoiding sentimentality. By asking the question of why am I here on earth presupposes that my existence has a greater meaning than what it actually boils down to. My parents had sex, my mom got pregnant and decided to carry the fetus to full term. That's the real reason that I'm here. I am simply one out of an estimated seven billion people on this planet. My life is like one grain of sand on a beach glimpsing the infinity of the vast ocean in front of me. When I die, I will only be remembered until the last person who knows me dies, then all m

22 Amazing Women – Part Two

By Karen Garst ~ A s promised, here are excerpts from three more of the 22 women who wrote their personal stories of leaving religion in my book, Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion . Hopefully you will agree with my assessment that it took strong doses of courage, will, and strength to share their stories with us. This is it. Now you will have to purchase the book to read the rest! Ruth Marimo Ruth was raised as a Christian in Zimbabwe. Her essay gives us pause to think of all of the harm done to other societies in the name of evangelism. As a black woman, I often wonder why brown and black people are so devoted to Christianity when the Bible was used to enslave their ancestors. As an African, I am well aware that Christianity did not exist in Africa until white people showed up on the continent with Bibles. Our ancestors survived hundreds of years without modern religion. Christianity arrived and created a patriarchal and misogynist culture in Zimbabwe infl