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Showing posts from 2023

The Nature of Evil

By Rebekah ~ E vil isn't some force that actually exists, it's a concept we assign to events that we find undesirable. Such events occur because evolution is the survival of those that are best suited for their environment, this allows room for all sorts of undesirable events to occur. People's behaviors are driven by the results of evolutionary pressures which molded their DNA and their environments. The God hypothesis doesn't bring us any closer to a resolution to the question of how did life begin. It just pushes the question back a layer, to how did God begin? Or, if an infinitely complex being can exist forever, why not the universe? If some infinitely intelligent and benevolent being had set evolution in motion, they would know it doesn't make sense to punish us, especially so severely, for being what we were created to be. From the Christian perspective, how do you explain evil? Why does God give the devil so much power, to the point he can roam the en

Reasons for my disbelief

By Rebekah ~ T here are many layers to the reasons for my disbelief, most of which I haven't even touched on here... When I think of Evangelical Christianity, two concepts come to mind: intense psychological traps, and the danger of glossing over and missing a true appreciation for the one life we know that we have. I am actually agnostic when it comes to a being who set creation in motion and remains separated from us in a different realm. If there is a deistic God, then he/she doesn't particularly care if I believe in them, so I won't force belief and instead I will focus on this one life that I know I have, with the people I can see and feel. But I do have a lot of experience with the ideas of God put forth by Evangelical Christianity, and am confident it isn't true. If it's the case god has indeed created both a physical and a heavenly spiritual realm, then why did God even need to create a physical realm? If the point of its existence is to evolve to pas

The Blame Game or Shit Happens

By Webmdave ~ A relative suffering from Type 1 diabetes was recently hospitalized for an emergency amputation. The physicians hoped to halt the spread of septic gangrene seeping from an incurable foot wound. Naturally, family and friends were very concerned. His wife was especially concerned. She bemoaned, “I just don’t want this (the advanced sepsis and the resultant amputation) to be my fault.” It may be that this couple didn’t fully comprehend the seriousness of the situation. It may be that their choice of treatment was less than ideal. Perhaps their home diabetes maintenance was inconsistent. Some Christians I know might say the culprit was a lack of spiritual faith. Others would credit it all to God’s mysterious will. Surely there is someone or something to blame. Someone to whom to ascribe credit. Isn’t there? A few days after the operation, I was talking to a man who had family members who had suffered similar diabetic experiences. Some of those also suffered ea

How to come out to your parents as non-religious

By Marlene Winell ~  A fter going through your own deconstruction of religious belief, it can feel like a challenge to reveal your change to your religious parents.   You might have a lot of fear about their reaction – anger, hurt, disappointment in you, and so on.   You might fear being disowned.   This is a common concern because our families mean a lot to us.   It’s natural to want approval from your parents.   When you were young, you depended on them for your life; you absolutely needed their love, care, and approval.   So, even in adulthood, we long for our parents to love us unconditionally.     However, in terms of human development over the life span,  it is necessary for   everyone   to outgrow their parents.   Growing up to maturity involves becoming the authority in your own life and taking on the job of self-care and self-love.   This is true even if you aren’t recovering from religion.   Personal health and well-being, in other words, means that your inner “Adult” is tak

Disney, the Creator, and Christ

By Carl S ~ I s Dumbo more real than Jesus? The answer depends on who you ask. Doesn't every culture have fantasy-fabricated individuals, often with lives of heroic proportions? Haven't celebrities with their real/imagined lives, been around forever? In the beginning, man created gods and keeps altering them. My oldest brother was an artist. He could paint a portrait of someone you'd know, and change the character of that person with a couple of brush-strokes, or make a sculpture of a figure and change its proportions daily, even hourly. He made figures out of Silly Putty, and watched each one as it changed form. Eventually each melted into a puddle. All gods are like that, because they're only as "real" as a person's imagination continues to create them, at whim. Humans need outlets for frustrations, anger, fear of the future and the unknown. Ergo, in the beginning, man created entertainment, Those seeking explanations for the origins of nature, death,


By David Andrew Dugle ~ O ctober. Halloween. It's time to visit the haunted house I used to live in. When I was five my dad was able to build a big modern house. Moving in before it was complete, my younger brother and I were sleeping in a large unfinished area directly under the living room. It should have been too new to be a haunted house, but now and then I would wake up in the tiny, dark hours and see the blurry image of a face, or at least what I took to be a face, glowing, faintly yellow, high up on the wall near the ceiling. I'm not kidding! Most nights it didn’t appear at all. But when it did show itself, at first I thought it was a ghost and it scared me like nothing else I’d ever seen. But the face never did anything; unmoving, it just stayed in that one spot. Turning on the lights would make it disappear, making my fears difficult to explain, so I never told anyone. My Sunday School teachers had always told me to be good because God was just behind m


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

On Living Virtuously

By Webmdave ~  A s a Christian, living virtuously meant living in a manner that pleased God. Pleasing god (or living virtuously) was explained as: Praying for forgiveness for sins  Accepting Christ as Savior  Frequently reading the Bible  Memorizing Bible verses Being baptized (subject to church rules)  Attending church services  Partaking of the Lord’s Supper  Tithing  Resisting temptations to lie, steal, smoke, drink, party, have lustful thoughts, have sex (outside of marriage) masturbate, etc.  Boldly sharing the Gospel of Salvation with unbelievers The list of virtuous values and expectations grew over time. Once the initial foundational values were safely under the belt, “more virtues'' were introduced. Newer introductions included (among others) harsh condemnation of “worldly” music, homosexuality and abortion Eventually the list of values grew ponderous, and these ideals were not just personal for us Christians. These virtues were used to condemn and disrespect fro

I can fix ignorance; I can't fix stupid!

By Bob O ~ I 'm an atheist and a 52-year veteran of public education. I need not tell anyone the problems associated with having to "duck" the "Which church do you belong to?" with my students and their parents. Once told by a parent that they would rather have a queer for their sons' teacher than an atheist! Spent HOURS going to the restroom right when prayers were performed: before assemblies, sports banquets, "Christmas Programs", awards assemblies, etc... Told everyone that I had a bladder problem. And "yes" it was a copout to many of you, but the old adage (yes, it's religious) accept what you can't change, change that which you can and accept the strength to know the difference! No need arguing that which you will never change. Enough of that. What I'd like to impart is my simple family chemistry. My wife is a Baptist - raised in a Baptist Orphanage (whole stories there) and is a believer. She did not know my religi

Old Seventh

By David Andrew Dugle ~ I n an era long before televangelism and megachurches, before the Age of Muscular American Fundamentalism, my grandfather made sure that all of his grandchildren had a Christian upbringing. Every Sunday he drove us all the way across the county to his church, Seventh Presbyterian . Seventh was built of Ohio’s bedrock in 1849. Not as big as some, it was however equipped with a powerful pipe organ and magnificent stained-glass windows, especially the rose window, enormous and multi-hued, above the main entrance. Its grandeur was awesome, in the fullest sense of the word. The first time I went there I was only a few months old, being baptized. After adding a couple drops of water (Poof! Instant Presbyterian!) I was taken to Seventh’s stately services weekly. Stately? Our church didn’t try to be entertaining as such. In fact, our services were relentlessly bland – there were no snakes, no speaking in tongues, no miracle healings, not even an incense censure. Bu

Why do bad things happen to good people?

By Webmdave ~ W hen I was Christian, one of the paradoxes that I pondered was the question of why bad things happen to good people. The unsatisfying (at least to me) explanations from many true believers included statements such as “God’s ways are not our ways,” and “We will understand these things when we get to heaven.” Right. Got it. You guys don’t know the answer. So, why do bad things happen to good people? For that matter, why do good things happen to bad people? The thing is, Jesus supposedly answered that question in the Sermon on the Mount, specifically in Matthew 5:45. However, most clergymen and Christians gloss over this important aspect of what he is reported to have said in the “love your enemies” section of that historic sermon. Matthew 5:45 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. The rising sun and the falling rains are the effects of natur

The Christian Guide To Ultimate Wisdom and Love

By Carl S ~ D ear readers: This was composed over a period of several days of re-writing, revising, adding and subtracting entire paragraphs, etc., in order to convey my thoughts and conclusions as honestly as possible. I hope you feel as free reading it as I do after writing it! I was born in 1937. At that time, Adolph Hitler was in power. He and I had something in common: Both of us were raised in societies which accepted the daily sight of a Jewish corpse, predominantly displayed, as the highest symbol of love. Read that again.   In parochial school we were told an invisible god's pre-determined PURPOSE for our lives: "God wants you to serve him on earth and to be happy with him in Heaven. All you have to do is obey his will." Don't worry, WE will tell you what his will is for you and your parents for the rest of your lives. Trust us. (All those "anointed authorities" are STILL making up shit.)   On my own, over decades, one way I tried to fin

Prophecy Strikes Out

By Merle Hertzler ~ J eremiah steps to the plate. Here’s the pitch. Jeremiah swings–“After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place”–and he misses. Strike one! It was not looking good for the home team. Yes, the inning had started with hope. The home team, the Jews, were basking in great promises. The prophet Nathan had told David, “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ( 2 Sam 7:16 ) Forever! But, in spite of this promise,  the northern tribes were taken captive by Assyria  in 740 BC. One out. Then  Babylon deported  the southern tribes in 597 BC. Two outs. Jeremiah And that is when Jeremiah came to the plate. The kingdom had not lasted forever. The people were defeated. Now what? Jeremiah writes: For this is what the LORD says: “When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to y