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Showing posts from February, 2019

Did You Get the Message?

By Carl S ~ “Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth.” - Albert Camus. T he fundamentalists of the three Abrahamic faiths gain political power in order to impose their laws on everyone, so they can punish those who disagree with them. If you don't think so, then read their scriptural guide books, focusing on the attitudes of the scriptural writers who created their very nasty role model god. What's the message of these scriptures in 21st century vernacular? To help you understand, here is the latest translation, the Freely Revised Translation, (FRT): 1 The serpent goes before their God and says, “Cut them some slack. These newborns don't even know the meanings of the words 'good, evil, knowledge, and death.” And God said, “F * *k them.” 2 Noah’s son says, “Please, spare my friends, the babies, children, and animals everywhere. They aren't doing any harm. And give us time to work out our problems among ourselves.” But God sa

Ask and you shall receive?

By William ~ "Dear God, please grant me a brother or sister and a loving father." T his was my prayer for every single day of my life in my elementary years. I had to learn the hard, painful, unnecessary way that the answer was a flat out "no". Back when I was grade one, I wanted a sibling more than anything else. Unfortunately, my father wasn't around to breed another child with my mother. Whenever I told my mom about this, she would just shrug it off and say, "You just want a playmate". Sure, I did have friends who I liked to hang around with, but I still wanted a sibling. Despite not fully understanding my feelings, my mom together with me prayed about it. My biological father never lived with us, and when I was told that he wasn't married with mom, I suddenly felt like I was left out from the other kids. Not only that, it was very natural for a child to desire for both parents to be around. Having memories with my father is something I

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette

Genesis for Dummies

By Carl S ~ I n December 1953, I was 15 years old and in a monastery. A monastery is a place where men appear, to the outside world, to be living in harmony. Their lifestyle depends on pretending. Doubts, questions and anger are not allowed to be publicly spoken. Can you imagine anything more anathema to our humanity, our well-being, than poverty, chastity, and obedience? One pays a terrible price for this “spiritual peace and comfort,” especially mentally and emotionally. Trust me. If a person is willing to believe poverty, chastity, and obedience means a special calling to a high spiritual realm, you know how a monk is a person conned to believe bullshit. This comes from reading chosen scriptures supporting this lifestyle. How to read the bible? We were instructed on a method anyone should use for reading scriptural texts. This is employed to seriously find what “God” was conveying. It means you must concentrate on the particular words, since scriptures constantly change the s

A Closeted Ex-Christian

By Sherman ~ W ow. I’m new to this site and after reading many testimonials, I decided to submit one myself. It’s amazing (and sad) to read about different experiences people had with religion. I had a lot of manipulation and betrayal in my religious past, but was fortunate to have not suffered the various forms of abuse that many went through. My heart goes out to you. I was raised in part of the Bible belt and got “saved” when I was 12 during a YMCA summer camp. My immediate family was not very religious. We attended church maybe once a month. Growing up where I did, I didn’t know anyone who was not a Christian. I was in and out of church through high school and college. After college, I met a girl, got married, and wound up going to Bible college and decided I wanted to be in full time ministry. About a year after graduation we moved to another city in the Bible belt where we thought God had led us to go. We worked with one church for a while, then helped start ano

Mr. Rogers, the Failed Minister

By Carl S ~ I watched the PBS special documentary on Mr. Rogers the other day. I also went online to read some comments about him. One thing I noticed was emphasized, he was a Presbyterian minister. Let me explain how he was a failure as a Christian minister. On his TV show, Mr. Rogers did not talk about God, Jesus, angels and devils. He did not frighten children with threats of hellfire, or offer the phony consolation of heaven. He was grounded here, with real children and their thoughts, feelings, and situations. He calmly talked about death, fears, feelings, without any reference to faiths. He practiced secular humanism, but without its boring philosophizing. Mr. Rogers is famous for telling each child, on every program, “You are special.” He told children it's okay to feel angry, frustrated, and sometimes disappointed with themselves. He made a point of saying adults also felt the same sometimes. A child could depend on him to say, “I love you just the way you are.” Th

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VI

By Robert Conner ~ B esides being the first to comment on the ghost story quality of the post- resurrection accounts, the philosopher Celsus appears to have been the first to advance a psychological explanation for Jesus’ apparitions. Celsus, a conservative member of his society’s upper class, was particularly critical of the irrational, emotionally driven nature of Christian belief. “While [Jesus] was alive he did not help himself, but after death he rose again and showed the marks of his punishment and how his hands had been pierced. But who say this? A hysterical female, as you say, and perhaps some other one of those who were deluded by the same sorcery, who either dreamt in a certain state of mind and through wishful thinking had a hallucination due to some mistaken notion (an experience which has happened to thousands), or, which is more likely, wanted to impress the others by telling this fantastic tale, and so by this cock-and-bull story to provide a chance for other beg

Fetal rapture

By Michael Runyan ~ M any Christian Protestant and evangelical denominations believe that Jesus’ second visit to our planet will entail a rapture, or gathering, of his faithful followers, transporting them instantly off of the earth and into a heavenly realm. This idea is fueled by the following scripture as well as others: For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. -- 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 At the instant this happens, there will likely be millions of pregnant women who will have met the requirements to be included in this event. What will happen with their pregnancies? Surely, the fetuses will not be killed, so it must be assumed that the women will give birth in heaven and that th

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part V.

By Robert Conner ~ B ack in 2005, while researching material for a book on magic in the career of Jesus, I read Daniel Ogden’s sourcebook, Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds , and recall being surprised at how closely the post mortem appearances of Jesus in the gospels of Luke and John match Greco- Roman ghost stories. My initial search of the available literature turned up nothing that specifically addressed the similarities, but convinced of the parallels, I included a chapter, “The Resurrection as Ghost Story,” in my book, Jesus the Sorcerer: Exorcist and Prophet of the Apocalypse , released in 2006.   Why would elements from ghost stories end up in the gospels? What could possibly motivate the author of a gospel to compose a resurrection narrative that reads like a ghost story? It turns out there are a number of reasons.   First of all, most people in the first century took the existence of ghosts for granted: “Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to

Jesus is The Way... to Sexual Gratification?

By Carl S ~ I use Jesus as an example, but Allah or Heavenly Father or Prophet might work just as well. Let's just say for now we know Jesus alone has been the key, opening the barriers, accessing children for sexual exploitation, and lest we forget: gullible adult women and men. I have no doubt this has been going on for centuries. The “spiritual” come-on, like all like evolutionary adaptations, exists because nothing succeeds like success, especially sexual success. Cults, including the hyper-inflated cults which are the major religions, are excellent covers for sexual exploiters. They are in the business of channeling sex for their own purposes. Religions exploit our needs for affection and sensuality. But you won't get affection from Jesus, guaranteed. “Come unto me for comfort, send your children to me,” gospel Jesus says. He ain't there. But his priests and prophets are on hand to act in his stead. Unlike you and me, they don't work; they have to be “availa

Did God change or did he deceive?

By Michael Runyan ~ I t is one thing for Christians to say that God established a New Covenant that superseded the Old Covenant, allowing for the somewhat unusual though not totally implausible idea that God changed his mind about how he wanted to interact with humans. But it is altogether another thing to say that God changed his very essence. That is- after being a unity God, he suddenly split himself into three persons. If God was a trinity of persons all along, how likely is it that that he hid this characteristic of himself for hundreds of years from his chosen people? And if he wasn’t a trinity of persons up until the time of Jesus, how likely is it that he split himself into three parts at that time? Neither scenario makes any sense. Christianity suffers from its total dependence on Judaism as its foundation. If this god is real, he doesn’t change and also he doesn’t deceive, but Christians must concede one of those two options- either he did change or else he did deceiv

Why Are Children Still Praying?

By Carl S ~ M y wife got another Christian charity junk mail request yesterday, and threw it in the trash unopened. Which meant I could read it. “Angel Tree,” included a flyer to be given to kids at Xmas time. I read, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matt. 19:14.” This was followed by their message: “He wants to live inside your heart. He watches over you. And he will always be with you.” You've heard it often enough: “God hears the prayers of children.” Believers of all faiths teach children to pray to Allah, Jesus, Mary, God, the Great Spirit, saints, and whatever gods, goddesses, etc. they were raised to believe in themselves. Worship isn't the main reason for this; it's to comfort the child into believing he or she will be personally guarded by a mighty Protector who is watching out for him or her under all circumstances. When it's constantly reinforced by loving parents, this teachi

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part IV

By Robert Conner ~ I n Matthew, ancient Christianity’s favorite gospel, the author abandons all pretense of historical reportage, crashes through the guardrail, and takes his readers off-roading through the untamed wilderness of the imagination. Who the author of this high-on-Jesus joy ride really was is unknown, but for convenience we’ll just follow tradition and call him “Matthew.” A preview of how crazy this is about to get is provided by Matthew’s reworking of Mark’s account of the women at the tomb—Matthew uses Mark as a primary source, quoting or paraphrasing around 95% of Mark. Here is Mark’s description of the women coming to the tomb: “They began saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?’” (Mark 16:3) Here’s Matthew’s answer to the women’s doorman dilemma: “Behold! A great earthquake occurred because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and approaching them, he rolled the stone away and sat on it. His appearance w