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Showing posts from 2019

Nothing There and No One Listening

By James Wilhelm ~ I came from a Catholic family and grew up in the 50's, 60's and early 70's. I'm the second oldest – now 65 – and have a sister two years older. We went to Catholic schools, catechism classes, mass every week, confessed our "sins" to a priest every month and all the usual nonsense connected with this brand of Christianity. My parents held strict Catholic beliefs. We had aunts and uncles that were priests, nuns and other holy people. We were deeply entrenched. We believed that priests were one step lower than God. They were prefect – we were lowly ignorant children. The expectation was that we children shut-up, and if there were any blame to go around it was always us kids that took the hit. My father would say over and over and over, "Children should be seen and not heard," and he abusively meant it. My older sister revealed to me just recently that while attending Catholic school as a child she was abused by a priest.

Coping With Religious Family Over the Holidays

By Marlene Winell ~ A t this time of year it’s hard to avoid dealing with the differences you have with your family. If you are a “reclaimer” (reclaiming your life after being religious) who has been raised in a religious household, holiday times can be very uncomfortable when other family members are still devout. Having worked through these issues with many clients, here are a few guidelines that might be helpful.  I’ll start by suggesting you write in a journal, starting now and continuing through the holidays. This can help you sort through jumbled thoughts and emotions, stay on track with how you are trying to handle things, take care of yourself, and learn. There are exercises here to prompt your thinking. In general, if you plan to be with family at this time, it helps a great deal to approach the holidays with a high level of consciousness. In other words, don’t just blindly go home for Christmas, hoping it will be fine. What do you really expect it might be like? This

Without God I Am Nothing?

By Carl S ~ H ere's one of my favorite jokes: A cruise ship was thrown off course in a storm. After the storm passed, the captain noticed a small island in the distance, not found on his maps. He ordered the ship to come near to it. Embarking with some crew members, they found a man roaming the beach and asked him how he got there. It seems he was the only survivor of a shipwreck recorded thirty years before. The captain told this man, “I don't know how you didn't go out of your mind, all alone here.” The answer came as the man flung his arm around an invisible being: “I never would have made it without Irene!” There's a site, “Without God I Am Nothing Quotes.” Oh? Does one have to believe God/Irene exists, in order to be a person? Really? Why doesn’t religion ASK us to believe, instead of TELLING us what to believe? My question is, since there's no proof this God/Irene is real, does that mean you might NOT be the “somebody” you think you are? I don't kno

Jesus Did it Again

By James Wilhelm ~ (The following is a true story - one of many I have personally come across during my 40+ year journey through Christianity.) I have a good friend - a dependable, devout, genteel type of guy. Regularly attended church - always participating in "fellowship" and other church activities. Being single - he met a girl in church and quietly and discretely dated her. One night a very clear dream came - God wanted him to marry her! God answered his prayer! They married months later and soon a child followed. Turned out his new wife was a secret drug addict - and within two years sunk deeper into addiction and eventually killed herself. Now - totally broken and no faith he's struggling to explain to his child what happened to her mother. The real issue is how do you stop from being angry, bitter and resentful at a God you believed in that really doesn't exit? This is the conundrum of many of us who have abandoned religion. My anger is toward the th

Hell, is no one asking the children?

By Carl S ~ W hen wars are planned, when invasions begin, when atrocities are committed, when religious and other ideologies seek domination, who considers the impact and ravages on children? Driven by adult fanaticism, who among those fanatics cares how the new generation will suffer? Who considers the damage to their psyches, their nightmares, the results of creating orphans, the damage done by terrifying innocent children with threats of hellfire? What about children whose parents and guardians choose to live in cults, where they are abused, or their lives wasted if they have to die with them? Why don't the Ten Commandments include a prohibition against sexual abuse? Why are there no prohibitions against sex abuse in scriptures or in any writings by those who “speak for God?” Right now, go to OpenBible and enter, “What does the bible say about killing children?” The compilers list “100 verses;” only about half of which apply. If you read them all, you'll notice the co

Jesus killed my mother

By Lisa ~ I feel like I need to get this out so what better place then among other non-believers. My mother died of Gallbladder cancer 5 1/2 years ago. She was a type II Diabetic, Charismatic Christian. My mother (the narcissist) proclaimed to everyone she knew after one of her very spirit filled experiences at church, that "the Lord" spoke directly in her ear and said "IT IS FINISHED". My mother was convinced that God was speaking to her about her diabetes and surely she is now healed. She proceeded to tell her entire family (which the majority also had diabetes) that she was HEALED... and she didn't need to go to the doctor anymore, no pills, Jesus took it away. While the rest of her family were also "believers," none shared her joy in the news and most thought she was a little crazy for being so bold about it. I mean really.. even if you did believe Jesus could take away the disease, why her? Why her over them? My mother would g

A painful lesson in life

By James W ~ I grew up in a strict Catholic family of seven children. Fear was always present – fear of God - fear of my very abusive parents – fear of life – fear of myself. At 15 years old stress and depression finally overcame me. I was barely able to maintain. I asked my parents for help - I was rapidly losing the ability to cope. My mother – a very mean person - totally ignored me and didn’t care - my father screamed and yelled at me. I sunk deeper but somehow managed to graduate high school and left home for a technical school at 18. I started drinking. I graduated an 18 month technical school and got a job - but the stress and depression now overcame me and I was hospitalized four times. I spent a year and a half in a mental hospital. In the last hospital stay I met a man that introduced me to fundamental Christianity. I decided to “give my life to Jesus” and get “saved”. From that point I slowly began to cope and understand things better – at least I thought. At

Troubled by Christianity? Blame Paul.

By Gary T. McDonald, author of The Gospel of Thomas (the Younger) ~ W hat happened? How did the wise, compassionate, Buddhist-like teachings of the Sermon on the Mount end up morphing into this highly judgmental believe-or-burn imperative religion? Well, who invented Christianity? The Apostle Paul did more to spread the Christian cult throughout the Roman Empire and into Western culture than anyone else. Paul’s letters and, later, the Gospels of his followers, Mark, then Luke and Mathew, are the earliest Christian writings and sources of history we have. And they were all written decades after Jesus’ death. Jesus’ brother James became the leader of the Jerusalem-based “Way Followers” after Jesus’ crucifixion. We know from Paul’s letters and The Acts of the Apostles that there were significant disagreements between James and Paul on various issues. We have no writings from the Jerusalem “Way Followers” at all. We only have a summation of these disagreements from the Pauline ca

Let's Be Honest

By Carl S. ~ D ear human beings: One’s first response after surviving an accident is not to praise a god for saving one's ass; one has to be trained like a pet to react with a religious response. After mass tragedies, families and community members buy huge amounts of stuffed animals and pile up flowers in their mourning, to honor the victims. Those are primal responses, originating long before the burial practices of ancient Egypt! And not one of the purchasers is aware of this: toys and implements were originally buried with the deceased to be used in their afterlives. Now, thousands of years later in a market economy, lamentation, grief, and loss are sales opportunities for businesses taking advantage of the lucrative business of religion. (Doesn't this remind you of Christmas?) After these things, comes the ceremonial praising of a god by survivors, the prattle of victims being “in a better place, with that god, becoming angels.” Which is why a non-believer invented the

Scraps from god

By Eveningmeadows ~ I left religion almost twenty years ago. This was my final test: When I first left (I decided when I was sitting out in my screen house), I would ask god to send me someone to talk to about my questions and doubts. It was an easy walk, they could park on the side of the road, and walk down the hill to the screen house. We have a wooded area that is very park like, and the screen house is there. I would be able to see them coming down the hill while sitting in the screen house. So I prayed that prayer for three years, every summer sitting in my screen house. At that point I had enough doubts that I didn't really think anyone would show up, but it would be nice. God would send them a message, you know like, it was laid upon my heart, the Lord was speaking to me, He told me to stop here that I had a message for you the usual. I didn't worry that this person couldn't find me or my house, because people talk about these great miracles god showed them

Christian Indifference

By Carl S ~ T here are pains that don't go away. You know what I mean. All you have to do is watch survivors of clergy rape or any rape and read about or listen to their experiences. Some survivors are over 80 years old. And fundies like to say they're being persecuted! Anyhow, grievances aren't welcome nowadays (except on TV “reality” programs.) And we're expected to be forgiving (let's not forget forgiving). And we don't want to offend anyone, do we? How boring! I occasionally have feelings of what once felt like betrayal, at a picnic with my spouse's family. You know how you sit around small talking and confide with family members? An in-law mentioned “God” and asked if I believed in “him”, and I said “No.” Another in-law heard me, and came over. This was my first close encounter with fanaticism. Someone else joined in, so I was trapped between two fundies. Bystanders listened. This went on for some time. I left that room, and went to cry in another

Grow Up

By Lilith Lite ~ Ex-C hristians, you're so sensitive! Guests come on site, push the right buttons, and you grab the bait! (Are they also ex-Christians? I wonder.) How many of you are there, really? Ten? Fifteen at the most? You're more involved with Christianity than any Christians I know. They don't give a shit for thinking. You piss them off when you confuse them with “facts, truth, reasoning and evidence.” They wanna live forever and they're terrified of hell. Those guest objectors want to be left alone to enjoy their drug of choice and messing with the rights of others. They want their children to be just like them. Are you any different? Yes you are. Religions, like drug addictions, alcoholism, habitual gambling, and pedophilia, are addictions, and you're busy shaking yours. Many former believers are still in rehab. There are no rewards established for recoverers from religious addiction, but there ought to be. I imagine staying drug free in the midst of

Leaving the Faith: Letting Goods and Kindred Go

By Matt ~ I have clambered so hard for Christianity to be true. I love the story. The idea that everything sad will come untrue inspires me. I want to believe Aslan returns and tears apart the White Witch . I want to believe the ring is being carried to Mordor to be plunged into a pit of fire. I want to see justice delivered from a man on a horse. I want there to be Lucy’s and Bilbo’s and Frodo’s , and even a Mr. Tumnus . I want to believe my futile efforts at work and art will ring forever throughout the ages and reach their culmination at the end of this present age. For that idea—to quote the triumphal hymn by Martin Luther—I would “ let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also .” And I would have been happy to do it. Except, when it’s the epitome of the cultural norm in my own circle, you never have to lose a single good or kindred. You gain a bunch. There’s a faintly noticeable addiction to that gain, muted no doubt by the beauty of the story, by Aslan’s deafe

Religious Trauma and Abusive Romantic Patterns

By B ~ T here are innumerable and unforeseen ways in which growing up in the fundamentalist evangelical fold shaped who I am; for the most part I am horrified by the impact. I did not resist a lick of it, being a natural people-pleaser (is that natural? Or is that also part of the programming?). I was a ten-year-old prodigy preacher, considered by elders of my church and leaders of my close-minded Christian school to be “Lady Wisdom”, a manifestation of God’s efforts to guide his flock. I was good at it! I believed it in every crevice of my heart and mind. I vividly remember sobbing in my room at home, listening to worship music and begging God to deconstruct my life, take my world to pieces, and make me His disciple. I was maybe eleven. That is the start of the story. I am 34 now and I am here to find out if anyone has experienced anything like what I am currently experiencing. My Dad became a pastor when I was a kid, and I dutifully leapt into his mania. His Father (I generall