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Showing posts from May, 2017

I was a True Follower of Jesus

By Carl S ~ G o into a Christian church parking lot any Sunday during service. You're likely to see a few expensive cars there. (My wife informs me two males, who most likely chant, “in God we trust,” wear their guns to services.) Are expensive car and/or, gun owners true followers of Jesus? Do those married males look with lust at other women, even as they sing “I have decided to follow Jesus?” Ditto. Nope, the majority of believers are “following” the party line of their particular church, and if it doesn't fit them, they change churches. Each church leader has to not only attract new customers, but even more, hang on to the ones he or she has. Tread cautiously lest they walk away, seems to be the policy. Jesus of the gospels wasn't that way. Take it or leave it, he would say; toughen up, the way ahead is narrow and your life is cheap compared to your soul's future. If you own everything, it isn't worth it if you lose that soul. So, just who is Jesus? Why, h

Why “God Is Sin” Is Important

By Carl S ~ F oundationOfUnity's essay: “ God is Sin ,” (3/26/2017) is worthy of serious consideration. Whatever we have been told about “sin” takes on a different meaning when it's understood as distinct from morality. The author makes this distinction when he tells us, “God is sin...this is true. I know this by the definition of sin and its relationship to god. Without god, sin could not exist for sin is the transgression of god's law.” No god, no sin. On the other hand, one can be “sinful” yet moral, ethical, loving and charitable. In fact, if we consider further, doing moral acts will often entail being sinful. This understanding of god = sin denies the dogmatic propaganda of religion, which insists that without god, any immorality is permissible. But, if this god forgives everything, all bets are off, aren't they? Why is a discussion of god and sin necessary? Obviously, believers in god consider obedience to his will as all important. Judging by their actions

Why aren’t there more women atheists?

By Karen Garst ~ W e all know that the movement called the “New Atheism” was promoted most importantly by the “Four Horsemen.” These men ¾ Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens ¾ all became very outspoken after the tragedy of 9/11. Each of them published seminal books in the first decade of the 20 th century. A survey of the 100 best-selling books on atheism on Amazon shows each of them still in the top ten today. The number of women on that list of 100 on May 8, 2017 was two. YouTube debates between Christian apologists and atheists are dominated by men, usually on both sides of the issue, including the men mentioned above. Women atheists who take to debates about religion are few and far between. Why? If we look at the men listed above, Dawkins was a renowned scientist with many books to his name and Dennett was a philosopher with works published as well. Both of these fields, if indeed these fields gave rise to their work on athei

Broken Promises and False Hope

By Pendaflex ~ I have read and enjoyed the many testimonies on this site and I am glad to share my experience. Many of the testimonials are very well written, I am not a great writer but hopefully my experience will help some one else. I was "saved" when I was 12 years old. Since then I have poured my life into my faith, I truly felt that I had a personal relationship with god and that he had a purpose for my life. As I got older I selected a college major based off what I thought god wanted and what I felt called to do. I also married a beautiful wonderful woman who shared my faith. I joined a church and poured all my free time into study and fellowship with others. I was asked to be a deacon of the church after about 15 years of faithful commitment to the church. Although I was young I was asked to this position because I believe I reflected a level of maturity given my devoutness and thoughtful study of the bible. I felt that if I prayed and studied that god would g

Re-Visiting Church: A Few Weeks Later

By Tania ~ O n the first Sunday of April, I went to my "home" church for the first time in over two years. It was my aunt and my uncle's 50th wedding anniversary that weekend, and a part of the Sunday morning service at church was dedicated to the occasion. I wanted to be there with my family, so that is why I decided to attend. For me, going to a special event such as this isn't usually a big deal. I've been to probably a dozen weddings, and countless funerals, bridal and baby showers, and baptismal services. I've been to hundreds of church services, at many different churches. This time, however, was quite different, because over the course of the last six years, my transition away from Christianity has also included a big step away from the church where I grew up. I felt a bit awkward on that Sunday morning, but also pleasantly distracted and comforted by the realization that I'd be surrounded by my immediate family (who, although they do not al

One Year Into Recovery – A Reflection

By AnonAgno94 ~ I t's hard to believe - we are coming up now on one year of me departing from the born-again Christian community. And while I am not the best at maintaining an active online blogger lifestyle (apologies for not posting more regularly on here), I thought it would be appropriate to share some thoughts as to where I am now. I came to this community here at Ex-C as a new agnostic, struggling with losing the foundation that once had the name “Jesus Christ” appended to it. Over the last few months, however, and after lengthy conversations with others with whom I have crossed paths, I will declare today that I now consider myself an atheist rather than an agnostic. Am I definite on that? No, but quite honestly with all of the knowledge I have gained over this last year on humanity and life as we know it, I cannot help but truly doubt there will be anything once my brain decides it has lived its life and needs a more permanent rest. Not relying upon some one-in-a-mill

Women in Arabia before Islam

By Karen Garst ~ I have written extensively about the worship of female deities prior to the advent of monotheism. Many historians will agree there was likely a notion of a Mother Goddess or Mother Earth early in the lives of humans. Everyone knows about the later pantheon of Roman and Greeks gods and goddesses… unless you were sleeping in high school. Many other cultures had goddesses as well. Furthermore, Judaism was not the only culture to get rid of the goddesses and opt for a single male deity. Enuma Elish, the Babylonian myth, predates the Jewish tradition by at least 1,000 years. In this story, Marduk, one of the male deities, asks his fellow gods to make him the head god. If they consent, he will kill Tiamet, the goddess of the sea. Yup, they agreed and she was cut in half to separate the skies and the earth. But we often hear that females in the area where Islam started, the Arabian Peninsula, were disadvantaged, couldn’t own property, and couldn’t choose whom they could

Menstruation and Circumcision

By Karen Garst ~ L ate at night a lone man picks up a piece of ivory. Near the entrance to the cave, a fire is still glowing. He cannot seem to go to sleep. He picks up a sharp flint and carves a figure of a woman with pendulant breasts and a stomach that could only mean pregnancy. The time? 30,000 years ago. Why is he doing this? Is it because women and their ability to give birth is so important to his tribe which has just lost three members on a hunt? Is he enthralled with the way a woman’s body changes during pregnancy? Does he wonder why only the women get pregnant? He finally begins to feel tired. He puts the flint down and drifts off to sleep invoking the Earth Mother who provides for them all. Conjecture? Absolutely. Possibility? Definitely. As more and more attention is given to archeological finds of this era, it is likely that the role women played in giving birth was venerated. Because of the awesome aspect of nature – providing sustenance, having regular cycles –

God, I Want A Divorce

By MTC ~ I was raised Catholic, went through an agnostic phase, then classified myself as a non-denominational Christian after "finding Jesus" again during a Baptist church service while visiting maternal relatives. Like so many others, I was devout and had such a strong relationship with God. However, that doesn't mean there were certain teachings in the Bible and Christianity that didn't sit well with me. Then again, our Heavenly Father knows best. Bleh! I happened to find several videos on youtube and other sources elsewhere on the Internet which gave very intriguing facts about the history of the Bible, earlier myths, etc. To sum it up quickly, I no longer classify as any religious person. Not just the lack of evidence or newly discovered facts, but what mainly did it for me is the numerous teachings, claims, etc., in Biblical doctrine that make absolutely no sense at all if one really thinks and pays attention. Example: God is in control and ever

Without Enthusiasm, What is There?

By Carl S ~ A bout those 24-hr. news channels. My wife watches them every day. I used to, especially during election seasons, until they stretched out for 18 months. What was once enthusiasm faded to interest, then disappointment, and now those channels are annoying. Time to move on. It's a madhouse out there now, more aggravating than entertaining. News commentators talk every subject to death. Wouldn't it be cool to have a regular series on TLC, The Learning Channel, about atheist families? It's the channel viewers go to to learn about lives they pretend not to care about. It's the perfect place for the evangelical prudes to indulge, without each others' knowing, their curiosity about the godless they condemn. But that's not all. I'm seriously thinking about quitting my commentaries; there's neither interest nor enthusiasm, and I put a lot of labor into them. Maybe move on to something different, somewhere? Interests and enthusiasms make life wort

Behind the God Façade

By Carl S ~ “A mass grave containing about 800 human remains ranging in age from 35 weeks to 3 years was discovered at the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Ireland, a Catholic orphanage that closed in 1961.” - Associated Press, March 3, 2017 . S hortly before I quit going to church with my wife, I found myself after one service, alone with her pastor. He took the opportunity to ask me if I had “issues.” I told him I didn't. (But later I asked my wife what “issues” meant.) Of course I have issues. For years now. Looking back at his question, I suspect he was planning on setting up an intervention with him and other church members to “explain to a wanderer from the faith,” just to keep him in the herd. Little did he know I never was part of his flock. If he did, he might have agreed with actor Strother Martin in the movie “Cool Hand Luke,” who said, “What we have here is failure to communicate.” But then, problems all believers deal with stem from the f