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Showing posts from April, 2019

Dear Evangelical Christians: It’s Time to Talk About The Abuse

By Dragonfly Lady ~ T here's a lot of media coverage about sexual abuse in catholic churches these days, and I hear a lot of scoffing, pointing and shaming and condemnation in the protestant movements, particularly in the high-profile Evangelical or Apostolic circles. Acknowledging that it happens on their own turf is a different story. So, I've decided to open up and share mine, because I know first-hand what that looks like. So... Deep Breath... There's a picture of me as a little girl. I have it in a photo album I don't look in much and I'm not sure why I keep it. It actually makes me ill to look at it to this day. In the picture, I am about 6 or 7 years old. I am smiling, with an ice cream cone in my hand and a pink bow in my hair with ringlets bouncing around my face. The Shirley Temple-styled curls and bow were done by an aunt for a school play I was in the day before. I wanted to keep them in as long as possible because I thought they were so pretty, de

What is Religious Trauma? Andrew Jasko VIDEO @ 2019 ATP Transpersonal Psychology Conference

Submitted by Andrew Jasko ~ M any religions teach ideologies that psychologically traumatize millions of people. Yet few helping professionals are trained to help people heal from religious trauma. Religious abuse can result in anxiety disorders, PTSD, spiritual suppression, sexual dysfunction, and communal shunning. Indoctrination also results in societal harms such as oppression of women and LGBT communities and climate change denial. When people leave religious total identity systems, they face a major life crisis. The process of transitioning and healing has a general shape and stage-specific challenges. Challenges like grieving the death of god, overcoming fear of hellfire torture, and rebuilding the self-relationship damaged by teachings about sin and surrender of agency are commonplace. How can we help people suffering within oppressive religions? How can we facilitate spiritual and life transition for those questioning their religion? How can we help those in recovery heal fr

My Lucky Rabbit's Foot

By Richard Packham ~ I have a wonderful lucky rabbit's foot. I don't know what I would do without it.  I try always to keep it with me. My rabbit's foot is magical: I can ask it for anything I want, I can ask it to do anything I want, or to make anything happen, and it will make it happen. I can't explain how it does this, but I know, because it works. I have seen it work many, many times. Of course, it only grants the requests that are best for me. Sometimes I foolishly ask for things that I shouldn't have, and so it wisely does not grant those requests. I have no idea how it "knows" what is best for me, but it does! It is a lot smarter than me, because a lot of things I ask for that I think would be good for me, it won't let me have them. So somehow they must be not good for me. My rabbit's foot is also very protective of me. It keeps so many bad things from happening to me. I shudder to think of all the terrible things that would

The True Meaning of Easter!

Easter is a Pagan Holiday This article was originally published on this site for Easter, 2003. ENJOY! Note: Illustrative images NSFW. R eading from Compton's Pictured Encyclopedia, 1948, Volume 4, page 140, we find that Easter is the Greatest Festival of the Christian Church, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ - which festival was named after the ancient Anglo Saxon Goddess of Spring! EASTER. The greatest festival of the Christian church commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a movable feast, that is, it is not always held on the same date. The church council of Nicea (a.d. 325) decided that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox (March 21). Easter can come as early as March 22 or as late as April 25. The name Easter comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre or Ostara, in whose honor an annual spring festival was held. Some of our Easter customs have come

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and...

By Webmdave ~ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV C hristianity promises salvation from something called sin and sin's consequences: eternal damnation. Christianity promises this salvation is paid for in full by the crucifixion of an ancient Jewish, 30-something-year-old, itinerant preacher who, come to find out, was the direct offspring of Yahweh, the ancient tribal god of the Jews. Christianity maintains there is nothing anyone can do to earn this salvation. It is a free gift. It cannot be bought. It cannot be earned. It cannot be acquired by any actions on our part. It is freely given gift, again, paid for by the tortured death of Yahweh's offspring. If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. -- Romans 10:9-10 New International Version (NIV)

Bible Belt Doc

By Carl S ~ B ill grew up in Alabama. Since he and his daddy were never close, it wasn't a surprise when he left the state after getting his “basketball diploma,” vowing never to return. But the death of his father left him with an obligation to go back, despite his feelings. Also, because he's a journalist, he saw this as an opportunity to chronicle how things had changed since he left. It wasn't much different except for the developments going on in every community in the state: some fast-food places, a big box store ten miles outside town, etc. With time to spare, he went around interviewing the barber, city planner, cops; people like that. He couldn't get over it, but it seemed their awareness of the outside world hadn't changed a bit since the day he left. Wouldn't you just know it, he contracted a “bug” that was going around? Now, you might think of this as one big misfortune, but it had the result of introducing him to the town's only resident do

Isolated and Alone

By Carl S ~ N o one can see it, but I'm suffering from a disability. Everything about me looks “normal.” I have an inflammatory disease which I see as permanent, though I'm about to have some relief in a week or so. It affects all the muscles and racks the nerves in my body. In spite of your concern, you aren't experiencing these symptoms. Now, spouse and friends may say they “feel your pain,” they don't, while with their prayers they console themselves into believing they're doing something. I want to keep it that way; I want that distancing. Unremitting pain is hell, but fortunately, there's a lot to distract me from it. It's a bitch, but I'm damned if I'll let it win. And it's natural for people to be sympathetic about the sufferings of the debilitated, but after a while, they find such sufferers aggravating. (I know one woman who believes her sister, a resident in an assisted-living facility for years, was overdosed on morphine. After so

I Know that I Know; that I Know that I Know!

By Al Wm Johnson ~ O ver the years “religious” acquaintances of mine have defended their supernatural beliefs by saying, “I know that I know; that I know that I know.” For me, this is an egotistical defense of stupidity. Their use of “I know” is basically a sandbagging defense mechanism since there is no way to logically and factually defend supernatural nonsense. Isn’t it futile to try to make sense out of nonsense? Supernaturalism is the absurdity of saying, “there is absolutely no way I can scientifically and logically defend my belief system, but I stand by and defend it anyway.” Their use of “I know” is basically a sandbagging defense mechanism Isn’t it kind of absurd to defend the indefensible? My standard answer for those who believe in virgin births, corpses rising from the dead, saints and sinners, devils and hellfire is, “I know, that you know, that there is no way deep-down you can possibly believe that bullshit.” I know, that you know, that anyone w

Fear of not being a Christian

By Peter H ~ I grew up in an agnostic normal household, but then down the road I had the brilliant idea of becoming a Christian I thought there was something wrong with the religion from the get go, because no matter what I did I could never achieve peace of mind. Yes the christian girls were attractive and I still like looking at Christian girls, but that was about it. Then after awhile I started feeling a lot of guilt and shame -- something I was not used to. So I said, “Well why bother with Christian girls if I am feeling guilt for lust. Then I started reading about the true Christian Church and all the frightening things they have done, particularly in the middle ages. The torture of Galileo I found very odd, me being a science person.... All the atrocities of the inquisition in general which Galileo was sucked into. As I studied Christianity I found that Christ as a "spiritual" leader was really not very good. He have seemed to let a lot of things sl

Praise the Lord for Black Holes!

By Webmdave ~ I f you've been watching the news, you know that astronomers have revealed the first-ever "image" of the black hole at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, 55 million light-years away. Thinking this image and the ensuing conversations about the age of universe, etc. might've thrown a monkey wrench into the confirmation bias of some Christians, I decided to trawl the Internet for evidence of initial Christian reaction to this tremendous scientific revelation. Below are a few examples of what I found: A black hole is a perfect example of something we’ve believed in even though we cannot see it or touch it. -- The Jesuit Review It is a reminder of the amazing complexity of the universe that God created. The fact that black holes exist and that we cannot see inside them because no light escapes, reminds us there will always be mystery in God’s creation – and in God himself. -- Eternity News I was fascinated by the first photograph of a black h

School officials disciplined a 14-year-old after she posted Bible verses at school

Excerpted from Cincinnati.Com. T he church told her not to let it go, and the pastor called her a hero. The congregation stood and applauded. You might know the story by now. It made  Fox News  and  Yahoo , dividing people across the country.  School officials disciplined a 14-year-old Lebanon High School student in March after she posted Bible verses at school. She did so because she saw rainbow flags there, and she said she was trying to help students who were confused. “I seen that there was people in my school that needed help, and they don’t need to be living in the confusion of wondering if they should gay, bi, lesbian, trans – anything like that," Helsinger said in a video her mom posted to Facebook. "God is the only way that they can be healed by that."   School officials have disputed the student's version of events, without going into detail because of student privacy laws, they say. Her video has been viewed more than 121,000 times.

Previously unknown human species found in Asia raises questions about early hominin dispersals from Africa

Homo sapiens   is the only living species of a diverse group called hominins (members of the human family tree who are more closely related to each other than they are to chimpanzees and bonobos). Most extinct hominin species are not our direct ancestors, but instead are close relatives with evolutionary histories that took a slightly different path from ours.   Writing in  Nature , Détroit   et al . 1   report the remarkable discovery of one such human relative that will no doubt ignite plenty of scientific debate over the coming weeks, months and years. This newly identified species was found in the Philippines and named   Homo luzonensis   after Luzon, the island where bones and teeth from individuals of this species were excavated from Callao Cave. Specimens of   H. luzonensis   were dated to minimum ages of 50,000 and 67,000 years old, which suggests that the species was alive at the same time as several other hominins belonging to the genus  Homo , including   Homo sapiens , Ne

Christian free thought and unbelief

By Webmdave ~ W hile living in Japan in the early 90’s, my family was deeply involved in an Assembly of God (AOG) Church catering to a congregation of resident Americans and local Japanese. My wife and I were part of the music ministry, led evangelistic outreaches in the local area as well as in remote rural areas, led weekly evangelistic English classes at a sister Japanese church, led a home group and ran the church bookstore. I was hungry for “the truth™,” and believed I’d found it in Christianity. Like any “true Christian™,” I had loads of questions, so I immersed myself in studying the bible, systematic theology and apologetics. One day the regular pastor was temporarily recalled to the United States and an administrative leader from the AOG hierarchy took over during his absence. This new man’s apparent claim to fame was a recently published book he had authored on the “Gifts of the Spirit.” Predictably, his opus magnus was the foundational basis of all his teaching a

Spirituality and / or Religion?

By AJ ~ I have asked, “Is it possible to be a spiritual person without being a religious person?,” "Is it conceivable to be a spiritual person and not belong to an organized religion?,” and “Can a person be spiritual and at the same time be an atheist?” I submit that the answers to all of these questions are yes. The answers are yes if we acknowledge that religion is man-made and spirituality is nature-made. George Vaillant declared that, “religion arises from culture; spirituality arises from biology.” (2008) Spirituality invites us to become awakened to ourselves and to the world around us. I maintain that each one of us has a life encapsulated in Nature, human nature, and our own nature. I announce that this awakening can happen without adhering to any religion. I recognize that for some spirituality can include religion, but it doesn't have to. Really, to be a spiritual person doesn't require a belief in a God. I view spirituality from the following

Investigation Unearths Hundreds Of Abuse Allegations In Independent Baptist Churches

A n investigation has uncovered hundreds of abuse allegations against leaders of a conservative, loosely affiliated network of evangelical Christian churches. The report , identified 412 abuse allegations in 187 independent fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches and institutions across 40 states and Canada, with some cases reaching as far back as the 1970s. About 2.5 percent of American adults identify as independent fundamental Baptists, according to the a higher percentage than those who identify as Episcopalians, Presbyterians or members of the Assemblies of God. The most well-known independent fundamental Baptists are likely the Duggars, who starred on TLC’s reality show “ 19 Kids and Counting .” The show was canceled in 2015 after had been accused of sexually abusing girls, including four of his sisters, and that his parents had kept the abuse hidden. America’s estimated 6,000 IFB churches can be part of loosely tied fellowships or pastors’ networks. There are also shared