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Showing posts from June, 2018

Small God Answers Small Prayers

By Carl S ~ B ottom line: God is in the business of bestowing good feelings and material prosperity. He's answering small prayers. Take the recent U.S. Kentucky Derby race. The jockey on the winning horse said, “I thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” God answers the prayers of one jockey. What about the prayers of those massacred by fanatics as he spoke? Wait. Isn't he the same “Lord and Savior” who finally answered the prayers of those stricken with smallpox in the 20h century by eventually “sending” scientists to cure smallpox - but waited for 300 million people to die first? Again, on a national news feature, a young man who was in a vegetative state (in a hospital) recovered. There he was on camera, telling us he “went to heaven.” He and his mother proclaimed his recovery a “miracle.” If you're a member, like them, of the “closed-world,” you understand exactly what they meant. If not, you want to find out what really happened; to discovering evidence in order

One Thing I Miss About Being a Believer...

By A Former Believer ~ A fter quitting my Religion, I have had a problem. I always have had ADHD. The problem that follows with this is lack of focus. I have never been able to sit down and work without having a lot of distractions. When I was young I had the same problem but after converting to Christianity I prayed and suddenly I could work for hours and hours. It worked like this : after I prayed and I started working, when some distraction occured, I immediately thought about God, and he would ask me to focus and return to Work. It was very efficient. During those years, my grades rose several steps. This was one of the main reasons why I stuck to Christianity for so long. As an adult I have tried several times to come back and achieve the same effect, but without any luck.Today I dont have the slightest belief that a God exist. When I tell christians about this, they soon proclaim it was a miracle.I don't think so. I remember that when it worked, I considered it to

Is God a Man?

Submitted to ExC by Karen Garst ~ W hen I was growing up in a religious cult, I never thought for one moment to question whether god was a man. After all, in our house, my father reigned supreme as his god had intended all males to do. My mom, however, was a rather stubborn woman according to him. It was often necessary for him to subdue her. She didn’t always comply to his wishes and that caused a great deal of religious tension in the household in addition to all the other angst and terror that a holy god brings to a family controlled by an iron fist. Once, my mom became so angry that she bit my dad’s nose. They were having one of their rows over scripture and how much in submission a woman needed to be in order to please her husband, I mean god. My dad was a bit of a philanderer, but he blamed that on my mom, too. After all, if she’d only been a better wife, more compliant and supportive to him as head of house, he might not have been driven to seek solace and companionship e

My journey from faith to freedom

By GimpyGeek ~ I grew up in the church. Well, actually, the first 5 years of my life were not so church like. My mother left when I was about 2 years old. She never bonded with my sister or I, and so she left us with our father. He also didn’t have the ability to bond with anyone, so we were pretty much on our own from a very early age. Sometimes we had babysitters, but more often my sister (a year older than me) and I would be left to fend for ourselves. When my father married his second wife, they put us in foster care for a year while they went to bible training. When I was six, I “got saved”. I still remember the flannelgraph board with the story of Jesus. I remember really loving him, and I really needed someone to love and be loved by at that point in my life. Our parents came back and got us shortly after that, and we moved to California for them to start in ministry. They were very involved with Campus Crusade for a while, and we were brought up in a very strict fundamen

I am no longer under the control of religion

By Stormcloud ~ T here. I said it. Or rather, thought it to myself and confessed it through this keyboard to those reading. I'm thankful there's an outlet like this where I can come forward with my true feelings on this topic. It feels good to read the stories of those who share a reality mentality. To feel like I'm not the only one. So here's my story. Growing up in a Christian home with Christian family and friends, I never felt any reason to question my beliefs. I went to church every Sunday like a good little girl and got baptized and saved at a young age. I felt so special, like God just wanted me in his life from the moment I was born. How naive and conceited of me... Looking back I know the truth. It wasn't some fictitious "God" who wanted me. It was me who wanted to belong and be a part of what everyone around me was. I was spoon-fed scriptures and brainwashed myself with Christian contemporary music. I still have a Christian playlist on

The Crybaby God of Christianity.

By Ben Love ~ I t has been almost four years now since I’ve become an atheist. I wrote a lot about my experiences and my intellectual stances during the first few years, but it occurred to me recently that I’ve not written any sort of atheistic essay since then. Thinking that perhaps it was about time to do so, I began to wonder what, if anything, I needed to add to my arsenal of acerbic ramblings on this topic. That led me to revisit some of the old theology that I used to subscribe to… back when I was still lost and tangled up in the hopeless religion that is Christianity. When you’ve been removed from that cesspool of absurdity for long enough, you begin to look at your prior beliefs with a different lens than you did when you first left the religion, assuming you came to atheism from Christianity, as many do. So it was with me. I spent a few days pondering the nature of the God I used to believe in, and some new insights occurred to me, insights I intend to share now. Perhaps

It's a Small World after All

By Carl S ~ I 'm an overt atheist. Sometimes I'm surprised to find out how many people approve. There have been objectors. At our local supermarket, the checkout lady, while scanning our purchases (!), noticed my "U.S. Atheist" ball cap and asked me, “Don't you believe in anything?” I told her I believe in goodness, kindness, truth, etc. And then: “Do you believe in God?” I said, “Which one?” That didn't stop her, since she followed with, “What about Jesus?” After thinking for a moment, I said, “I've never been into mythology,” and added, “There are Christians who do bad things.” Long pause, then she smiled, “None of us are perfect.” Out of time. Being an honest atheist isn't bragging; it's kind of interesting. I was a Christian, fated to be boring. To all believers reading this, I ask: Do you think being a believer is something that makes you special? If you believe what your clan believes, this makes you just another club member. You may

The Car Analogy

By Michael Runyan ~ I f you know nothing about how a car works, you would think it’s pretty magical how you can just press the accelerator pedal and it goes. All you see is the shiny exterior and the passenger cabin, but nothing else. This is the situation with most Christians- they only see the shiny exterior of the faith. Here’s how to be that kind of Christian: Do not study anything about church history Read only selecot portions of the Bible, principally the more popular verses of the New Testament Get most of your Christian education from your priest or pastor Do not think too deeply or critically about your faith To continue with the analogy, if you look under the hood of the car, examine the parts, and study the science behind how it works, it no longer seems magical. This is precisely what happens when an objective person “looks under the hood” of Christianity. It is so easy to see how it came about, plagiarized other traditions, evolved, devolved, changed, and

How to Be Spiritual without Religion, Faith, or God

By Tim Sledge ~ T oday, the only way I can see religious faith is through a rear-view mirror. I don't think any God is listening to any of us or is involved in our lives in any personal way. In Goodbye Jesus: An Evangelical Preacher’s Journey Beyond Faith, I shared my story of five decades of up-close involvement with churches, Christians, and ministers. I wrote of what it felt like to be a committed believer and a productive pastor. I did my best to journal my struggles and failures along with my accomplishments. But the heart of the story was my journey out of faith. The breaking point occurred when I decided that no supernatural source was needed to explain the way of life I had witnessed for decades in one church after another. It all made more sense when I understood that church—as impressive as it could be at times—is just one more human organization. The end of my faith was not far behind. It might seem surprising, but when my faith ended, I did not stop wanting to b

You've probably heard this before...

By Josh ~ O bviously, I am preaching to the choir here, but… Like many here, I grew up in the Christian faith (my mother was yet another who grew up Catholic and spent much of her life running from strain to strain, searching for “the truth.”) Now, I have not been to a church in decades, unless someone died or got married, and yet… That itch, that odd thing that may not be, certainly not as written, but might be in a “mad scientist” way, does scratch some. Even though, after the divorce in 1978, I grew up quite poor ( my father is probably the poster child for deadbeat Dads, after he married his mistress – a “devout” Christian, of course… not that he is, or even claims to be, but he does play along). So, I prayed a lot, and not just for myself, but generally for my mother. She could actually screw up a wet dream, she was that kind of person. If given three options, from pretty damn good to flat-out horrible, she would take the worst one every time, so I prayed quite a lot

How our mental psyche is affected by religion

By Karen Garst ~ A nyone who has left religion, whether it was a fundamentalist religion or a more liberal variety, knows the role that religion plays on our mental psyche. We feel guilt that we are making mistakes and not being the person the holy book tells us to be. We feel shame when we engage in pre-marital sex if our church condemns it. And when we leave, some of those feelings are hard to let go of. We may be depressed because of a loss of community or we may feel anxiety that we haven’t yet encountered others like us. Candace Gorham, a former Evangelical minister, became a mental health counselor after leaving religion ten years ago. She knows about these issues because she has experienced them herself and has helped clients overcome them. She writes about religion’s impact on our brains and well-being in a new book: Women v. Religion: The Case Against Faith – and for Freedom . Dr. Karen L. Garst, edited the book which consists of thirteen essays by women atheists who talk

What if Trump went to your church?

By John Draper ~ M y ex-brother-in-law is a Trump supporter. Other than that, he’s a great guy. I helped “lead him to the Lord” about 40 years ago. He was zealous then and he’s zealous now, deacon at his church and all. He loves the Lord. However, he also loves Trump. To give you a little context, he also loves Benny Hinn. Anyway, since he’s my ex-brother-in-law, I don’t have to endure holiday gatherings listening to him say Trump is the greatest thing since Benny Hinn. But there’s no way of drowning out the evangelical clamor for Trump in the media. They won’t shut up about him. I can’t help but wonder: What would they do if Trump was a member of their church—right over there, sitting in the front pew? See? Right there. See the bald spot? I know what they’d do, and I know because I was a zealous Christian for 35 years. I know what they would do—because I know what I would have done. Long story short: They wouldn’t put up with his nonsense. New Christians—and supposed

My Thoughts @ 80

By Carl S ~ Definitions of a Christian martyr: someone who would rather die than think.  one who fears doubt more than death itself. F or 1500 years, Christianity ruled the Western world. And what a horrible mess it made of that world, totally controlling education. During those centuries, anyone questioning its domination would be punished into being silent, to the extent of being executed. The omnipresence of superstition was totally inhumane and unfair. We should demand equal time for non-Christians to be heard, even revered. This is only fair. Instead, what we get is that same religion militating for re-domination, while we're pushing back to keep our civil rights. If every newborn is a “miracle,” shouldn't nativity songs be sung at each birth? Since clergy assert they “speak for God,” every time someone says, “Thank God,” or “praise God,” shouldn’t they reply, “You're welcome.” And if a clergyman were honest, he would say, “In my opinion...” Every past